Friday, 22 April 2011

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars

A great, simple, chocolatey recipe for Easter. I saw this on one of my favourite blogs- cookies and cups and knew I just had to make it.... again and again! It's really simple to make and a definite crowd pleaser. Mine were gone literally within minutes... they really are that good. Give them a try and I promise you won't be disappointed.
I'm off to the land of pasta and gelato for a short break and will be back in May with more baking. Have a great chocolate-filled Easter everyone! :)

 oreo cookie crumb base 

melt chocolate chips and condensed milk 

 pour chocolate mixture on top 

 add broken pieces of oreos and more chocolate chips 

 fresh from the oven

 drizzle with white chocolate 


3.5 x 154g pack Oreo cookies
120g butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (397g) condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate chips
100g milk chocolate chips
100g mini chocolate chips
200g white chocolate chips, melted 

  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Set aside 8 Oreo cookies and chop into rough pieces.
  • Crush remaining Oreos in a food processor.
  • Add salt then stir to combine.
  • Melt butter and gently stir in to cookie crumbs.
  • Press to the bottom of pan to make an Oreo crust.
  • Melt dark and milk chocolate chips, condensed milk and vanilla extract. 
  • Spread evenly over the Oreo crust. 
  • Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and Oreo cookie chunks on top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
  • Cool for approximately 1 hour.
  • Melt the white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top.
  • Chill until firm.
  • Slice and enjoy. 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Cake Pops

I have been extremely busy the past few weeks and haven't had a chance to bake which is very unusual for me.  However, I managed to squeeze in a cake pops class at the Oak Studio, Hampstead which I booked months ago. I was really looking forward to the class as a friend, Charlotte had bought me a cake pops book for Christmas and had agreed to come with me.  I've never made cake pops and they seem to be the latest baking craze in America.
The class was taught by Leigh who is a professional pastry chef and has her own bespoke cake business. You can check out her website craft cakes for class details (she also teaches cupcake decorating and celebration cake decorating) and check out her amazing custom cakes. 
The class is small (there were only 5 of us) and everything you need is provided.  We were welcomed warmly by Kate and then the fun began! Leigh provided cake dough which she pre-prepared.  It's basically a vanilla sponge cake crumbled up and mixed with a lemon buttercream icing in a 2:1 proportion.  The cake was really light and moist and I really liked the lemon taste. 

First step is to roll the cake dough into little round balls as shown above.
Bowl of melted Wilton Candy Melts on the right used for dipping
Fancy sprinkles for decoration
Dip lollipop stick in a little icing and push into the cake ball about halfway through
Dip it in candy melt until the cake is fully coated. There is quite an art to this! My first one fell off the stick :(
A chicken in progress... just needs eyes painted on.
You can see the completed chicken here as well as other the cake pops that we made
These are my creations. The tigers are unfinished here...
..completed tigers and what is supposed to be a pink cat? I'm not really sure what I was making to be honest!
Charlotte made this cute face perfect for red nose day!

All in all it was a really good day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I look forward to making more cake pops in the future. I also met another baker in the class, Olivia of livalittlebakery. She was the most talented student in the class and made some beautiful cake pops. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of her creations as she was sitting at the other end of the table.

Thank you Leigh and Oak Studio for a fun, informative class.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Popcorn cake

Sorry for the long absence, I've been so busy I've not even had time to bake! Gasp!! Yes I know such a sad state of affairs. I still have a few things to blog about that I've baked in the past few weeks to months so all is not lost. I made this for a colleague Ruthie's leaving do. I was out that night so didn't have time to whip up a proper cake but made a "cheat's" cake instead with this popcorn cake. She loved it though :) I ended up making two cakes as I bought way too much popcorn! I put jelly babies (Ruthie's favourite) and smarties in hers along with pretzels and marshmallows.  I used mint M&M'S for the second one, which my lovely friend Lisa brought all the way from Sydney for me - thank you Lisa! 
Everyone at work really enjoyed this cake. I have to say this is my least favourite cake/dessert that I've ever made mainly because I'm not a fan of the main ingredients - popcorn and marshmallow. This was actually my first time popping popcorn in the microwave! It was fun watching the bag expand and the smell of freshly popped corn is amazing! 
Don't let me put you off as it's super easy to make (no baking required) and will most definitely be a hit with parties and children. Check out the post that inspired this cake. 

 2 boxes of popcorn which was 1 box too many. I didn't realise there are 3 packets in one box. Looks like I'll be making a lot more of these unless anyone has any other recipes for popcorn? 


 fresh, buttered popcorn - I really love the smell of popcorn :) 

 cake 1 - jelly babies, smarties, pretzels

 cake 2 - mint m&ms, peanut m&m's, pretzels 

 leave to set in bundt pan

 I ran out of white marshmallow so I used coloured ones which turned out quite orange! 

 slice of cake 1

 cake 2 

For 1 'cake'
1 bag of popcorn 
2 cups of candy - smarties, m&m's, jelly babies, etc
1.5 cups broken pretzel sticks
113g butter
450g mini marshmallows
1 bundt pan

  • Grease bundt pan with butter or cooking spray.
  • Pop the popcorn in the microwave as per instructions on the box. 
  • Pick out the kernels that didn't pop.
  • Mix in the candy and pretzel sticks or whatever you want to use. 
  • Melt butter over a low heat in a large saucepan.
  • Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. 
  • Remove from heat and pour over popcorn mixture.
  • Stir until combined and press into the prepared bundt pan. 
  • Cover with foil and let your cake set for at least an hour - I put mine in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Slice and enjoy. 

Friday, 8 April 2011

Baked & Delicious Giveaway WINNER!!

My first giveaway sponsored by Baked & Delicious has now closed.  Many thanks to all that took part.  Congratulations to Choclette for winning the giveaway! You should hear from Baked & Delicious shortly. Look forward to seeing more baking creations particularly with your new silicone bakeware. 

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Timestamp: 2011-04-08 20:22:43 UTC

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fat Duck

I had the wonderful opportunity to dine at Heston's Fat Duck last month and I would like to share my experience with you as it was so amazing! It's the best dining experience I've ever had and totally worth it in my book. My friend, Lisa came to visit from Sydney and she booked us a table exactly 2 months beforehand from Sydney. She arrived at about 6am in London and we were having lunch at Fat Duck by 12! We got a train to Maidenhead from London and then a short taxi ride to the restaurant.  It's quite unassuming from the outside and surprisingly small on the inside. I say surprising as I expected it to be bigger - don't ask me why. It's very well staffed with very polite, courteous and knowledgeable staff. 
The whole experience really was just incredible. I'm quite a fussy eater and when I first looked at the menu I thought I wouldn't even eat half of it. I did ask for a few modifications and they were extremely obliging. The food was superb and the presentation just stunning.  If I could afford it, I'd eat there again in the future! 

 tasting menu

 Nitro Poached Aperitifs - this is one of my favourites. I chose Vodka and lime sour. Its cold and light with a crisp, meringue like shell on the outside and just melts in your mouth leaving a lovely refreshing taste. 

 Red Cabbage Gazpacho with pommery grain mustard ice cream - interesting flavours, very refreshing

 oak moss - the strips in the box melts in your mouth and gives you a flavour of the moss 

 jelly of quail, crayfish cream, chicken liver parfait, and truffle toast - one of my favourite courses of the meal. 

 love the 'special effects' 

 snail porridge, Iberico Bellota Ham, shaved fennel (I had mine without the snails) - probably my least favourite course 

 2nd favourite course- roast foie gras rhubarb, braised konbu and crab biscuit

 mad hatter tea party 

 mad hatter tea. the waiter tells you the story of the hare and the gold watch from alice in wonderland. He brings a gold watch in a box (I didnt get a picture of it - arrgh!) and puts it in your tea cup and asks you to stir it. It becomes the broth with edible gold pieces. 


 sound of the sea. You listen to music from the ipod whilst eating this. The waiters only tell you what it is AFTER you've eaten it despite numerous requests for an explanation beforehand. Everything is edible on top of the glass plate and it was really delicious. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. 

 Lisa's favourite course - salmon poached in a liquorice gel, artichoke, vanilla mayonnaise and golden trout roe. I was dubious about the liquorice to start with but it was delicious. 

 My alternative main course as I definitely could not stomach the one on the menu. It was absolutely gorgeous and I'm so glad I went with this. The fish was perfectly cooked and the mushrooms and baby onions complement it well. 

 This had pieces of fish and ?crayfish or some sort of large shellfish and something else - it was an accompaniment to my main meal. 

 main course - anjou pigeon, blood pudding, ...

 ... served with risotto of spelt and umbles. 

 hot and iced tea - this was amazing! as you sip it, the left side is hot and the right side is cold! It's an earl grey flavoured tea which was very refreshing. 

 galette of rhubarb, neroli scented yoghurt ad rhubarb sorbey and bits of coconut. Not my favourite flavours but I thoroughly enjoyed this. 

 Black Forest Gateau

 These were cute! The come on a picture stand which is placed in front of you and you have to eat them in order. They melt in your mouth and tasted better than normal wine gums! 

 finally you get a bag of sweets with this menu card 


Have you ever been to the Fat Duck or somewhere similar? I would love to hear your experiences.  My next trip to Sydney, Lisa has promised we can go to Tetsuya's :)