Thursday 30 August 2012

AlphaBakes "T" round up

Time for another AlphaBakes round up. We had an easy letter this month so it was great to see some creative and unusual entries amongst the usual suspects.  Huge thank you to everyone who sent in their entries.  All eligible entries have been counted and I used a random number generator to pick the winner. Scroll to the bottom to see who the lucky winner is. Big thanks to dotcomgiftshop who have kindly sponsored a set of 4 botanical measuring cups.

First off the mark is Laura from Laura Loves Cakes who happened to be posting a Yorkshire Gold Tea Loaf for Yorkshire Day when I announced that the letter for AlphaBakes is T. Lucky coincidence! Looks perfect with a cup of tea :)

Fiona from Let Them Eat Cake has had her eye on these marshmallow teacakes for a while and I'm so pleased she made them as they look delicious! She was worried about having to eat them on the same day as advised but I can't imagine why that would be a problem :)

Next is my entry with chocolate hedgehog cupcakes using Twirl bars. This is a choc-a-holic's dream as it is a chocolate mud cupcake with chocolate sour cream frosting decorated with even more chocolate! 

Fleur from Homemade by Fleur had a brilliant time at the Olympics (do check out her pictures). It inspired her to create these Wenlock and Mandeville gingerbread men. The "T" ingredient is treacle.  She gives a short history about Wenlock and Mandeville plus an excellent decorating guide so make sure you click on the link. 

Olivia from Liv a Little Bakery sent us these gorgeous toffee apple cupcakes which have a toffee baked in the middle. I love the matching green cases too :)  

Gill from Tales of Pigling Bland baked to support team GB (check out her olympic torch popcorn and olympic velodrome cake) and decided to make tennis ball cake pops to support Andy Murray and Laura Robson. I'm sure that helped with the gold medal! 

My co-host Caroline's mum made some thimble cookies that she found on the internet but said they tasted more like cake. You're supposed to press your thumb in them and fill the indent with jam but they spread too much when baking. She wasn't too impressed with them but I'd happily eat a few :) 

Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog sent in this beautiful chocolate & rose summer fruit tiramisu/trifle. I don't care what she calls it as long as I get to try some - it has chocolate sponge, caramelised nectarines (yum!), vanilla and rose mascarpone cream.. need I go on? Just head over there to see for yourself. 

Dom from Belleau Kitchen has typically gone slightly left of field and came up with this purple gooseberry, lemon and rhubarb cake after raiding his neighbour's larder (it's ok - they have an agreement!) Where's the T I hear you ask? Well, it's a Tart cake, and that's "tart with the letter T!" 

Becky from Mintcustard sent in these chocolate tiffin biscuits that her mum used to make to keep them happy! Her mum used the crumbs from the bottom of the biscuit tin to augment the bought biscuits which is a genius idea and one that I will be stealing from now. 

Welcome to Helene from I cook with butter who sent in some tropical pineapple cupcakes which have little pieces of pineapple in them. She found the icing a little runny and overly sweet but the cake tasted good. I have a major sweet tooth so send them over :) 

Kat from Life of a Cupcake Baker decided to make Tiffin her way having never made them before. She used digestive biscuits, bourbon biscuits, sultanas, plain and milk chocolate in hers. 

Lucas from CoverVersionsTV has done it again with yet another brilliant video entitiled Jalousies or fancy jam turnovers. It's simple and versatile and looks delicious! A word of warning from Lucas - choose your jam carefully - you have been warned :)

Alida from My Italian Kitchen sent us breakfast in the sunshine : peaches tart. She says that when it's hot you need plenty of fruits and vegetables and the best way to use fruit is in cakes and tarts. Definitely can't argue with that! :)

Me again with cherry chocolate thumbprint cookies. I made a cherry and almond cookie and placed a Hershey's kiss in the centre after leaving a thumbprint with my thumb hence the name.

I also made some Toblerone cupcakes with a honey buttercream frosting which was too sweet for some but perfect for me. 

I was hoping that someone would make a dessert with tofu when Mich from Piece of Cake sent in these amazing Tofu and soya bean cheesecake. Mich says that the tofu and cheese layer has a melt in the mouth texture and goes well with the springy chiffon cake underneath. I love her presentation as well - they are neat, perfect squares!

Time for a cup of tea? Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen has a Yorkshire Barm Brack with Wensleydale cheese to share. A traditional Yorkshire tea loaf made with Yorkshire tea! A lovely moist fruit cake with a hint of whisky flavour. 

Sally from Piggy Bakes also had the brilliant idea of making marshmallow teacakes which were not as tricky as she thought they might be. Look at that shiny chocolate coating - yum! 

Our first savoury entry comes from Eira from Cookbooks Galore who baked a salmon, mustard and rocket tart. The pastry has lemon zest and crushed black peppercorn in it which gives it a nice zing! 

Sarah from Sarah Bakes made a thank you cake for her son's swimming teachers and it comes complete with a horse 'woggle', arm discs and a float! It's a Madeira cake with a filling of homemade strawberry and vanilla jam.

Laura from Credit Munched had a genius brainwave of an idea for Alphabakes - mini toffee cheesecake cupcakes. I have a weakness for desserts in miniature form, you can feel less guilty about eating a whole one yourself!

I've been on a roll this month with AlphaBakes. This is a low fat coffee tiramisu cake I made to thank a friend who was very kind and generous to me. She's watching her waistline so I found this on weight watchers. It's a really tasty cake and would be a nice treat if you are counting the calories. 

Mich from Piece of Cake is back with egg tarts. Look at that golden yellow filling - yum! They have been listed on the World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011. They are very popular in Asia but the best she has tried was from San Francisco - I wish I knew before my trip earlier this year! 

Helene from I Cook with butter is back with a Dorset Apple Traybake as she didn't like the way her tropical pineapple cupcakes turned out. She served it warm with vanilla ice cream and it was so good, she forgot to take a picture of that but luckily she has this to share with us :)

Great minds think alike. Suelle from mainly baking made these cute Toblerone brownies which has honey, ground almonds and almond extract to replicate the flavours of toblerone. I especially like the triangular shape!  

Have you heard of tamarillo? They are also known as tree tomatoes and Mel from Sharky Oven Gloves has incorporated it into a tamarillo and walnut cake. She was worried that they would be bitter but the tamarillo flavour was subtle and the walnutty tastes comes through well and is well balanced with the lemon icing. Definitely one to try if I can get my hands on some tamarillos. 

Kimmy from Cooking Pleasure made a Lipton Tea Loaf Bread for us. It's a soft, fluffy and moist loaf with a mild tea flavour. 

Caroline's mum is back with a toblerone cake. She made a normal victoria sponge and melted toblerone on top. She cut them into triangles and tried to stand them up to resemble a toblerone bar but it didn't work. I can just imagine the taste of sponge cake with melted toblerone :) 

Angela from Garden Teacakes and me made some lovely Yorkshire Tea Cakes. They look so tempting covered in melted butter! They are from one of her favourite cookbooks - The dairy book of home cookery. 

My co-host Caroline from Caroline Makes made apple, pear and chocolate tarte tatin to use up some brown apples. Caramelised fruit with melted chocolate and pastry? Yes please :)

Yorkshire Tea Breads have been very popular this month and here's another great looking one from Cake, Crumbs and Cooking. This recipe came from a Waitrose recipe card and although it curdled quite badly before baking, it turned out to be very tender and delicate.

Elizabeth from Tango Like Raindrop has sent in not one, not two but three entries to AlphaBakes this month! Starting off with roasted trout with thyme - a lovely double T entry! She's never had trout before even though she goes fishing but never eats what she catches. Thanks to her lovely neighbour who supplied the trout, she tried this recipe and loved it!

Next up is a chocolate berry torte from Green & Black's chocolate recipe cookbooks. She reckons this is one of the best chocolate torte recipes she's come across and I have to say it looks very impressive.

Finally a healthier, low fat alternative to a fried beef burger, Elizabeth made a turkey burger with garlic & herb potato wedges. She recommends a local Shetland cheese with the burger - I love the thick slab of cheese!

Kimmy from Cooking Pleasure is back with a Lipton Tea Chiffon Cake. The cake is light and soft and you can see the tea leaves in the cake. 

I was quite intrigued by this Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip cookie made by Cookie Sleuth.  It's time consuming to prepare the layers but sounds like its well worth it as the cookies are soft on the inside with crispy edges and plenty of chocolate!

Kit from I-Lost in Austen has created this beautiful banana and tapioca pudding with raspberry coulis. She says it does not look very appealing but she was amazed by the texture and taste. It looks pretty good to me from here :) 

Another newbie to AlphaBakes, Achu from Tangy Minds sent in this tricolor flag tart to celebrate India's Independence day. She used saffron for the orange, cashews/almonds for the white and pistachio for green. 

Back to me again this time with a nectarine summer berry tart. It's my first time making pastry and I'm wondering why I've not made it sooner. The tart was delicious especially with all the lovely summer fruits.

Phil from As Strong as Soup sent in a different tart - Tarta de Santiago. This is a traditional cake but Phil has made it in his own way without butter or flour! It's moist, simple, flourless and a little fragile. I wish I could have a slice now :)

 Cupcake Crazy Gem had a baking epiphany whilst in the queue in Tesco and came up with this triple toasted coconut rocky road. If you read our blogs regularly, you will know that she is a huge fan of coconut and I am not. She claims that you need to make this for your coconut hating friends because she guarantees that no one can turn down this level of deliciousness. Bring it on I say!

Guess who's back? Yes its Mich from Piece of Cake with lower calorie chocolate whoopie pies with green tea cream. I've grown rather fond of whoopie pies so I'm pleased to see a healthier version here made with mashed bananas, wholemeal flour and low fat milk. The green tea cream filling looks delicious too!

Clare from Under the Blue Gum Tree made a little trip to London for the Olympics and wanted to bake something quick and easy on her return.  She made a tomato and almond tart, using a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi which can be found in the Guardian.  There's a cheese/almond layer between the tomatoes and pastry so there's no soggy bottoms! Mary would be proud :) 

Caroline's sister Clare also joined in the AlphaBakes fun with these Tia Maria and Coffee cupcakes. There is Tia Maria in the cake mixtures, then soaked into the cakes once they had come out of the oven and Tia Maria in the icing!

Anuja from Simple Baking sent in this Tri Colour Tart made with fresh fruits and pastry cream to celebrate India's 65th Independence Day. There was supposed to be blueberries in there as well but they disappeared from the fridge! Her daughters' giggling faces told her where they had gone :)

Another first timer to AlphaBakes - welcome to Stuart from cakeyboi who made Trifle Cupcakes which were born after spotting some Scottish raspberries in the supermarket.  If you're not convinced, imagine biting into fresh raspberries, yummy vanilla sponge, with the coolness of the jelly and creamy custard, and a topping of cream and flake! Yes please!! As Stuart says "Remember trifle is for life, not just for Christmas"

Mich from Piece of Cake has been on a roll with T entries this month! She has another 2 entries for us, starting with a Thousand Layer Cake. It is made up of many very thin layers of cake piled on the top of each other. It is very rich for its size as it consists of large amounts of butter and sugar and egg yolks (22 of them!!). She made this for her kids' teachers for Teacher's Day to thank them for their hard work. 

Final entry from Mich is a Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta Pistachio Cake. Just look at the vibrant colours! She reckons it's more like a cornbread and was best served warm. 

Daisy from Never Too Sweet stayed up till 2 am to make these for AlphaBakes - thank you! She wanted to make something quirky so she chose Tomato Soup Cupcakes. They taste similar to a carrot cake and the reviews from her regular taste testers were better than expected! I would love to try one of these. 

Last but not least is Ruth from The Mixing Bowl with Toffee Apple Cake Pops.  She made an apple cake, crumbled it and mixed it with apple buttercream and then dipped it in toffee. She was unsure about how desirable it is to snap through hard toffee for a moist cake but she actually found it enjoyable if a little unusual and reckons it might be a marmite! I'm sure I'd love it! :)

A latecomer to add to the pack - Lovely Leanne from My Little Life of Scrap forgot to email us her Twix brownies. She used a pack of fun sized twix sandwiched between brownie layers - the twix remained intact after baking giving it a lovely crunch - yum! 

And another one from Kate Makes Cake with Gin and Tonic Cupcakes. Gin & Slim is Kate's tipple of choice and luckily for us, she decided to incorporate it into a cupcake.  There's tonic water in the sponge and tonic, gin and lime in the filling and frosting. Optional extra - drink version of G&T. 

And another one with huge apologies for missing her out from the round up! Karen who blogs at Lavender and Lovage made Australian Crunchies Traybake - School Lunch Box treats. Karen has started Sepia Saturday: Eighty years of baking with  Be-Ro which is a weekly bake along so do check it out if you are interested. She found this Australian crunchie which has cornflakes, coconut and cocoa powder and a chocolate topping! 

And now for the winner of the 4 botanical measuring cups.... 

Congratulations to Sally from Piggy Bakes

Make sure you check out Caroline's blog on 1st September for the next challenge and a very, very exciting prize :) 


  1. A brilliant round up as ever...a mouth watering selection!!! :-)

  2. Wow, what a lot of interesting bakes. Great Challenge.

  3. Great round up. That's a very interesting set of 'T's.

    1. I'm always amazed by the entries each month!

  4. DElicious and nice round up Ros all look amazing!!

  5. an amazing and inspiring round up!

    1. Thanks! I could say the same for your RR round up :)

  6. Wow, there are sure a lot of wonderful looking foods.

  7. Brilliant, and now I've heard of Tamarillo.

  8. Super roundup Ros!! Love the tennis ball pops.

  9. Wow, so many great ideas! Wish I had time to comment on them all individually but I almost certainly won't, so thanks to everyone for entering - and find out September's letter tomorrow!

    1. Can't wait for September although I have limited baking time!

  10. They do look very good indeed :)

  11. Amazing round-up! So many wonderful recipes that I wanted to try especially Mich's Tofu & Soya Bean Cheesecake! Lovely & intriguing! Awesome! :)

    1. Thanks! Yes that cheesecake is on my bookmarked list too. Thanks for taking part.

  12. I KNOW I emailed you as I have just found email! You missed hoo......BUT, never mind, it is a GREAT round up Ros! FABULOUS! Karen

    1. Oh Karen I'm so sorry I missed you off the round up - I honestly didn't get an email - could you please check if it's the right address?

  13. Here is my link: Sepia Saturday and Baking with Be-Ro: Australian Crunchies (Traybake) – School Lunch Box Treats! :-) Karen

    1. I've added you on and picked the first photo - hope that's ok. Thanks for joining in! :)

  14. Wow - what a selection! Love the marshmallow teacakes

    1. I think they might be my new favourite thing :)

  15. What a fabulous selection - really lovely mix of recipes!

  16. Wow i didn't know there were so many entries this month :) i never ever thought of Tea for the letter T duhhh :) I'd love to try the tea loaf cakes hehe ~

    Thanks Ros for doing an amazing round out!

    1. ha ha.. yes T for Tea :) tea loaf cakes are great - simple to make and great with a cup of tea!

  17. Goodness Ros, what a fantastic round-up and a huge number of scrummy things I want to bake or eat or both. Didn't think to put my lemon sherbet tiffin in, but the ones you've got look great I love tiffin.


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