Saturday, 30 November 2013

Peppa Pig Cake

I was asked to make a Peppa Pig Cake for my friend's little boy who turned 2 last week. Peppa pig is his favourite and he had a Peppa Pig themed party. I've never made one of this before so I did a little research on the internet and decided to give it go. Luckily it turned out well and the birthday boy was extremely happy! He wanted a chocolate cake so I made my trusty Nigella Chocolate Cake which never fails. I baked the cakes on the first day, decorated on the second day (approximately 3 hours) and served it on the 3rd day. The cakes remained moist and delicious and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I also made cake pops with the cut offs but those were less successful. 

 I enlarged and printed a picture of Peppa Pig that I found on the internet to use as my template 

 I made a double recipe and baked 1 round and 1 square cake 

 Using the picture as  a guide, I cut out the head 

 and the body 

 covered in chocolate buttercream and placed in the fridge to set 

 I used the pic as a guide to cover the board with fondant  

 I used blue fondant for the sky and green for the grass. I cut some cloud shapes using white fondant and rolled out 2 white circles for her eyes. The pupils are edible black icing as I didn't have any black fondant 

 The 'muddy puddle' is made of chocolate icing and I cut out the shape of the number 2 to place on her body 

 The finished product

 making cake pops 

 I forgot to shape the ears! oops!

 I decided to try out my new food coloring markers that I bought from America 

 However, it didn't work well on the cake pops so I ended up using writing icing for some of them 

 Not brilliant but it passes for a pig!  

Happy Birthday again H !

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Pumpkin Pie

Today is Thanksgiving so Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who's celebrating. It's mainly celebrated in America as a way of giving thanks for the harvest of the year. There are lots of traditional foods associated with Thanksgiving such as roast turkey and trimmings, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and sweet potato pie. My friend is hosting a Thanksgiving party tonight and I offered to make a pumpkin pie for the occasion. 

I bought a tin of pumpkin puree from America and it has a recipe on the back which I loosely followed. I added in some elements of a recipe on I used my mum's recipe to make the crust and filled the base with crushed, roasted pecan nuts and ginger biscuits which hopefully gives added crunch, texture and flavour to the pie and prevents a soggy bottom as it will absorb the moisture of the filling. I added ground cinnamon, mixed spice and ground ginger to the filling. I managed to make a mini pumpkin pie as I had some leftover pastry and filling so I've already had a little taster and it tastes good. It does not have thepecan/ginger layer so I am curious to find out what that tastes like!  The pumpkin pie itself has a lovely buttery crust with a smooth filling and a hint of spice. It's not overly sweet probably because I reduced the sugar amount but goes well with sweetened spiced cream.  I'll update my blog later when I have photos of the sliced pie.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

 making the crust 

 adding spices to the egg and sugar mix 

 adding pumpkin puree 

 for the pecan/ginger base 

 smash into pieces 

 line tart tin with pastry 

 add a layer of pecan/ginger mix 

 add filling 

 freshly baked 

 crust looks good! 

 a slice of my mini pie

Update 29/11/13

 My first pumpkin pie! It was a huge success at the party (phew!) Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it mainly because it was light and not overly sweet. You can just see the pecan/ginger biscuit layer but it did not really add to the texture or flavour - I will double the amount and pre bake it slightly next time to see if that helps. The sweetened spiced cream definitely paired very well with the pie. 

Pie crust
200g plain flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
115g cold butter
2 - 3 tablespoons ice cold water

Topping for pie base (optional) 
25g roasted  pecans
25g ginger biscuits

Pie Filling
2 eggs
110g light brown sugar ( This is a reduced amount, would recommend 150g if you prefer a sweeter pie)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk

To Serve
300ml whipping cream
65g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Make the pie crust sifting the flour and salt into a bowl.
  • Cut butter into cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs.
  • Slowly add water one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. 
  • Shape into a ball and wrap in clingfilm.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and line a pie tin, pressing the corners into the tin. 
  • To make the pie base topping, place pecan nuts and ginger biscuits in a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin. 
  • Sprinkle the pecan and ginger biscuit mix over the base of the pie and press it down firmly. Place in the refrigerator to firm up. 
  • Preheat the oven to 190C. 
  • Make the filling by whisking the eggs and sugar together.
  • Add the spices then the pumpkin puree and whisk.
  • Finally stir in the evaporated milk.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  • The crust should be brown on the edges and the filling should be set with a slight wobble in the middle. 
  • Insert a sharp knife or palette knife into the filling and it should come out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely.
  • Pour whipping cream into a bowl and whisk until it just holds its shape. Add in sugar and cinnamon and continue whisking until it's a spreadable consistency. 
  • Decorate with spiced whipped cream and pecan nuts. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Fork Biscuits

I missed out on Random Recipes last month so I wanted to make sure I could join in this month. Dom from Belleau Kitchen who hosts this fabulous challenge has chosen a traditional random 'random recipes' where you select a book at random then open it to a random page and cook whatever is on that page. I usually count up my books then use a random number generator to pick my book and this time my pick is Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book. I was really pleased as this is one of my favourite books and I was really looking forward to a delicious cake.

However, when I opened the book to a random page, it was not a cake recipe. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed but it's no excuse for cheating! I had a choice of plain, chocolate or orange fork biscuits. I ended up making the plain and chocolate ones and they were absolutely delicious. Buttery, melt in your mouth biscuits that you just can't stop eating once you start on one. It's so simple to make and only requires 3 ingredients (for the plain version). It's such a classic staple but would you believe I've never made fork biscuits before? Another Random Recipe success so thank you Dom for allowing me to bake this lovely recipe that I might not have tried otherwise. 

 sugar, flour, butter and a fork 

 shape dough into round balls 

 then press with a fork 

 chocolate version 


Recipe available online here 

SRC: Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Welcome to another Secret Recipe Club Group D reveal day. Each month we are assigned a blog in secret and we then choose 1 recipe to make and blog about on the same reveal day which is today. I made this recipe early in the month but I can still remember the amazing smells from my kitchen and the lovely flavour from these cookies. They are definitely for peanut butter lovers like me - soft, crumbly and full of peanut butter flavour. Needless to say, these were really popular and I'm sure I'll be making them again soon. 

My assigned blog this month is Making Miracles written by Rebekah who started her blog in 2006 to record her experiences in surrogacy but it has since evolved to include her day to day life, including what her son and puppies have been up to and the recipes that she creates in the kitchen. You can read more about her surrogacy experience here which is truly inspiring. She had my blog last month and made my Neiman Marcus Cookies and it's pure coincidence that I also chose a cookie recipe to make. 

She has lots of amazing recipes on her blog and although it was difficult to pick one, I knew what I wanted to make as soon as I saw her Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies. Other recipes that have also caught my eye are Avocado and Banana bread, Chocolate Chip Cookie Souffle and Lemon Sunshine Cake

 Luckily I bought some peanut butter chips from my recent trip to America 

 adding in PB chips 

 ready to go in the oven 

Recipe adapted slightly from Making Miracles
Makes approximately 73 cookies

375g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
225g butter
150g brown sugar
180g caster sugar
2 eggs
360g peanut butter chips
250g smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in an electric mixer until well blended.
  • Beat in both sugars.
  • Stir in half of the dry ingredients.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in the remaining half of the dry ingredients.
  • Finally stir in the peanut butter chips.
  • Place 1 scoop of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat, spacing the cookies apart. 
  • Bake for about 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Almond, chocolate chip and berry mix oat cookies

I created this recipe specially to enter into multiple blog challenges this month. It's based on a recipe that I previously devised and I have to say that this combination was particularly tasty. Everyone at work loved it! The cookies were crumbly and buttery with an almost melt in your mouth quality. I love the mix of dried berries & cherries and chocolate chips and the crunch from the almonds. 

I'm sending this to AlphaBakes which is hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and co-hosted by myself on alternate months. The letter this month is O for Oats.


This month's We Should Cocoa Challenge is guest hosted by Rebecca from BakeNQuilt. She chose the theme 'cookies' which I was really pleased about as cookies are my favourite treat. The challenge is created by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog.  

November's Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and co hosted by Kate from What Kate Baked has the theme of 'Dried Fruit'. These dried berries & cherries will fit in nicely. It's Tea Time Treats 2nd birthday so I hope they will enjoy this. On a separate note, Kate will be standing down from co-hosting the challenge at the end of the year so if you are interested in co-hosting this lovely challenge with Karen, do let her know. 

The One Ingredient Challenge hosted by Nazima from Franglais Kitchen and co hosted by Laura from How to Cook Good Food has the theme of 'Fruits of the Vine'. I'm hoping that my dried berries & cherries will count! 

Finally, I'm entering it to a new blogging challenge called the Biscuit Barrel hosted by Laura from I'd Rather Bake Than... The theme this months is 'Festive and Party'  and I think these would be great at any party. 

 adding the almonds, chocolate chips and mixed dried berries & cherries 

An original recipe by bakingaddict

220g butter
150g brown sugar
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
270g oats
100g dark chocolate chips
140g dried berries & cherries
100g almonds

  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until lights and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour and add the oats and mix well.
  • Add this to the creamed butter mixture.
  • Finally stir in the chocolate chips, almonds and dried fruit.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop out cookie dough spaced apart on a lined baking tray.
  • Bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown. 
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.