22 Sep 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Ella


My husband has been friends with Sam since they were 4, now we've moved we live just 2mins down the lane from her and her fiance. Due to their close bond I have also grown very close to Sam and love living so close.

Today was the birthday party of Sam's niece, Ella, she's now 2! It was a fabulous day in the countryside playing in the garden and eating cake made by yours truly. 


It was a mixed bag of a day......so much fun and the kids had a great time and I got to know Sam's family a lot better.....and I like them all BTW :-)


However there were a couple of moments of sadness, you see, last year Sam's brother, Jorden (who is Ella's dad) and Ella's mum went to Sam's to celebrate Ella's 1st birthday. This year though Jorden was not there. He passed away suddenly in November last year leaving behind his partner, their two daughters and the rest of his family, including Sam. He was just 27 years old.

Thankfully the day was a success and everyone had a great time, the cakes went down brilliantly and Sam is excited to do more baking with me, the girl seriously needs the tuition!! Ha!




Anyhoo I hope you get inspired by the pics.

Enjoy your weekend

xx Kat xx

16 Aug 2012

Butterscotch & Banana Parfait

 

I've seen Parfait's all over the bloggersphere and they always look delicious.

A Parfait is a food (savoury or sweet) that is layered and is served in singular portions. The word "parfait" is French for perfect......and these really are!!

I had some left over Banana Flapjack from yesterday (the ones without chocolate on them) and decided to make them into a Parfait. I rummaged in my cupboard and found banana pudding and butterscotch pudding mixes. 

I wouldn't have normally used Butterscotch but Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker gave me the idea. Check out her Banana Butterscotch Pecan Muffins.

Recipe ~ makes 4 (depending on your glass sizes)
1 x Banana pudding mix
1 x Butterscotch pudding mix
8 x pieces of Banana Flapjack (without the chocolate topping)
  1. Preheat Oven to 200/Gas Mark 6
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cut up the flapjacks into granola-esk sized pieces/crumbs.
  4. Spread out evenly over the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 5-10 min make sure you mix the crumbs once or twice so they get an even bake.
  6. When they are golden brown take them out of the oven and leave to cool.
  7. Prepare both pudding mixes as per the packets. 
  8. When the banana granola is completely cool layer it up in a glass like so..........

ET VOILA! 

Easy peasy!!!

I was right about Parfait's being delish, the flavours in this one go great together and the granola stays lovely and crunchy (like chopped nuts)!

These are tooooooo goooooooood! They might even be my new THING!!

ENJOY

xx Kat xx

The Mandatory Mooch

15 Aug 2012

Chocolate Topped Banana Flapjacks


Yes......another banana recipe!! I DID WARN YOU!! ;-)

I thought I'd do flapjacks today, with a bit of choc for good measure.

I've never been able to get the texture of my flapjacks right, these are no exception. I want to get soft flapjacks that hold their shape. These ones are lovely and soft, but still fall apart! Grrrr 

Maybe I just need to make them thicker?!?! (yes that is a question!) lol

I WROTE THE ABOVE YESTERDAY......IT SEEMS THAT A NIGHT IN THE FRIDGE REALLY HELPS THEM SET UP AND STAY SOFT BUT FIRM!! JOB DONE :-)

Recipe
250g butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
80g sugar
400g oats
2 mashed bananas

Topping
300g Dr. Oetker Scotbloc Chocolate Flavour Cake Covering Milk I only topped one pan, use 600g if you want all your flapjack covered.
  1. Preheat over to 180. 
  2. Grease and line 2 x 18" square pans (if you want chunkier flapjacks just use one pan)
  3. Melt butter, golden syrup and sugar, in a pan, on a low heat until everything has melted and the sugar has dissolved. (scrape the spoon on the bottom of the pan to make sure there's no sugar granules).
  4. Take off the heat, add the oats and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the banana's and stir until evenly mixed.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pans, flatten down with the back of your spoon and bake for 20-25 mins. Until the edges turn golden. 
  7. Leave in pan to cool.
  8. Melt Scotbloc in microwave in 30 sec bursts, stirring each time until smooth.
  9. When the flapjack has cooled pour the Scotbloc over and leave to set.
  10. Once the chocolate is set cut into desired sized pieces.
I got 16 pieces per pan. 

They are very yummy, especially with the chocolate. 

ENJOY

xx Kat xx

p.s The boys loved their Banana Milkshake's yesterday morning!!

13 Aug 2012

Banana Milkshake!


I'd better let you know now that I have a job lot of browning bananas......so if you don't like bananas (DAD) don't bother reading my blog for the next week or so :-)

The kids have decided, after months of munching them like they are going out of style, that they no longer require bananas. TUT!

Also the warm weather has pushed them into over ripe status pretty darn quickly. 

What's a girl to do with sooo many bananas?!?!

I've made Banana Muffins. Now it's time for a milkshake methinks. 

Never made milkshake before but this one is AMAZE!! 

Recipe ~ makes 1 glass
2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream 
1 softening banana
100ml semi-skimmed milk

Pop all ingredients into blender and blend away until nice and smooth. Pour into a glass, add a straw and slurp away. DONE!!

How easy is that?!? 

Mmmmmmm.............Milkshake!


I'm totally making these for the boys in the morning!!!

ENJOY 

xx Kat xx

11 Aug 2012

Banana Muffins



I have decided that I'm going to start joining in with the Calendar Cakes monthly challenge, this months challenge is hosted by Dolly Bakes and is all about British Summer Time.

As it's warm (at the moment) my bananas are going brown quickly!! BOO HISS

But what this means is they are perfect for banana cake.......hubby's favourite. YAY

Hello entry for this months challenge.

I normally make this into loaves, it's fantastic sliced with a cup of tea! But I thought I'd make them into cupcakes this time around.

Actually these are more like muffins as they are un-iced and I've added a sugared, oaty top. Also perfect with a cuppa, especially out in the garden while reading your fave mag......believe me :-)

They have already had the approval of my eldest (aged 3). After eating one he ran up to me, showed me his hunk pose and told me to feel his muscles!!

I reckon this is definitely a "man" cake!

Recipe ~ Makes 12 to 18
350g wholemeal self raising flour
100g butter
250g caster sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 bananas (mashed)
100ml milk
20g oats
20g demerera sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 180/ Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.
  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add egg in stages until fully incorporated.
  5. Add half the flour and baking powder and FOLD gently until completely mixed in.
  6. Add milk, FOLD again.
  7. Add half the mashed bananas FOLD
  8. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and FOLD.
  9. Then the rest on the milk and banana and FOLD. (see a pattern?)
  10. Fill the wrappers 2/3 with the batter.
  11. Smooth the batter gently to get an even surface.
  12. Mix the oats and demerera sugar and use 1 tsp to sprinkle over the batter.
  13. Bake for 20-25 mins.
  14. When baked leave to cool for 2 mins then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
My hubby was a happy man when he got home last night!

We were all happy at breakfast time this morning!!



Have a great, sunny, weekend!

xx Kat xx
Calendar Cakes Blogger Challenge

10 Aug 2012

Tiffin ~ My Way


I've been trawling my fave blogs for some challenges, I love it when my treats appear on other peoples sites......makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :-)

One of my favourites is the Alphabakes Challenge hosted each moth by The More Than Occasional Baker & Caroline Makes. This months host is the lovely Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker. The aim of the game is to make something with a name or main ingredient beginning with the letter for the month, the letter is chosen at random. This month the letter T.

I did a tea cupcake last month and couldn't really think of any other ingredients beginning with "T"!!

I blame baby brain for that one!!

Eventually I decided on Tiffin.

Who doesn't like Tiffin.......right?

I've never made Tiffin before, my mum used to make Hollywood cake which is basically the same thing but without bourbons and with cherries and a chocolate layer on top. I liked it but not the cherries or the extra choc on top. So I changed it up a bit....hope you don't mind!!

My Recipe
250g unsalted butter
250g digestive biscuits
100g bourbon biscuits
200g plain chocolate
50g milk chocolate
100g sultanas
2 1/2 tbsp golden syrup
  1. In a bowl Crush all the biscuits until you have a sandy texture, you must still have some chunks no bigger than your thumb nail. (I used my rolling pin)
  2. In a separate, microwaveable, bowl melt the butter, chocolate and syrup together in 30 second bursts. Mix after each time until you get a lovely smooth chocolate sauce. 
  3. Add the sultanas to the biscuits and mix well until evenly distributed.
  4. Add the chocolate to the dry mix and stir until everything is covered.
  5. Pour/scrape into your LINED tin (I used a square 18 inch tin).
  6. Pop in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to firm up.
You should have seen the chaos as my boys climbed all over each other to get to the bowl and spatula!! I tried some and it's actually ridiculously yummy straight from the bowl!! NOM NOM NOM
When the Tiffin is set use a super sharp knife to cut it into squares (as big or as small as you'd like).

I'm also entering this treat into the Zero Baking Required challenge hosted by Maison Cupcake in which all us bloggers have to make something yummy that cannot see the inside of an oven. This is a great challenge for me as I am moving soon and want to use Mr Oven as little as possible. Needs a darn good clean TBH!!

This is a recipe you just HAVE to try, I guarantee you'll like it as much as I do!!! My hubby and kids barely got a look in!! :-)



ENJOY

xx Kat xx

Zero-Baking-Required

2 Aug 2012

Baking Mad Olympic Torch Cupcakes


Being a Brit, a blogger and missing the boat on the Jubilee is pretty shameful, but missing the Olympics too would just be completely pants of me, to be honest! 


So I went a'hunting for some Olympic cupcake fun, I wanted a kid friendly little something that isn't your typical cupcake. 

Guess what I found in the cupcake recipe section of Baking Mad.com!! 


PERFECT!!! (I've been eyeing up the Askeys cones in my local supermarket for months) 

Instead of using plain vanilla sponge I coloured it red "Tres Flamey" and instead of red icing with white icing I used orange, red and yellow "Uber Flamey". I also really wanted to spray the cones gold, but as my kids were hanging off my legs I completely forgot this part!! :-/

I had no idea that you can actually bake the batter in the cone!! Thought you had to bake it in a case then remove case and plop cake in the cone....is it just me who's a complete idiot?!?! All you need to do is pop them in a mini cupcake tin (they fit perfectly!) and bake. For all you non-believers ~ as I was ~ here's a piccies..........












For the recipe please go HERE

The boys were most impressed with their Olympic Torches (even hubby munched one)

As the Olympics are all about "Inspiring the next generation" I decided to let the sprogs "help", there are no pics of this great event as I was far too stressed to take any!!

NOTE TO SELF ~ Don't let kids help when I care about the outcome!!

Anyhoo as I had some batter and icing left over I made some cute mini's to carry the boys through the rest of the week. Aren't I the best mummy ever :-)


Also on my Baking Mad travels I found the How To Make Pancakes Tutorial..... I know, it's not cupcakey, but me and the boys LOVE pancakes for brekkie, as hubby leaves at 6am and hates pancakes.....I KNOW!! I'm always on the hunt for the prefect pancake. The tutorial is fab and really easy to follow. Never thought of making a paste first but it makes total sense if you want a smooth batter. 

I love the kitchen they use in the tutorial too, it's just as I want my new kitchen to look!! I'll post a before and after kitchen make-over so you can see how I did :-) 

I hope you're all enjoying the Olympics as much as I am!!

xx Kat xx

24 Jul 2012

Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes - Tea Time Treats July Challenge




The Tea Time Treats Challenge is brought to us by Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage. This month's theme is being hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage the theme is Cake Stall Cakes & Bakes 

My favourite spring/summer past-time is scoping out the cake stalls and competitions at Fetes and Fairs. To be honest I like comparing mine to theirs ~ in my mind, I always win!! :-)

What comes to mind when I think about these events are all the layer cakes with thick butter-cream centres. The most famous and traditional of which being the Victoria Sponge. I haven't made one of these before so I thought I'd give it a go. As you know I like small cakes, hence the name of my blog, so I made minis! 

Here's the recipe....

Recipe
150g self raising flour
150g butter - @ room temp
150g sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 deg/gas mark 4
  2. Cream sugar & butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time to stop separation.
  4. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Gently fold in half the flour & baking powder in until combined.
  6. Fold in half the milk.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you get a smooth batter.
I used 3 baking tins to bake my cakes (I haven't got a swiss roll pan) make sure you spread the mixture about 1cm thick.

Bake for 20-25mins

Buttercream
100g butter - unsalted @ room temp
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of milk

  1. Whisk the butter until very light in colour.
  2. Add the icing sugar in small batches until fully incorporated. 
  3. Add vanilla extract and stir in slowly.
  4. Mix in milk to loosen until you have your desired consistency.  

When the cakes are baked take them out of the oven and leave to cool for 5mins in the tin. When cooled slightly take cakes out of the tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely. 

When totally cooled pop your cakes on a chopping board, use a round cutter, of your choice, to cut out the sponges. When you cut make sure you wiggle the cutter around (if you just push down you won't get a clean edge). Take a look at my pic :-)


Assembly

I used raspberry jam for this recipe, just take it out of the fridge, spoon out the amount you want and mix it to loosen it for easy spreading.
  1. Blob a teaspoon of jam onto your bottom sponge.
  2. Refrigerate for 20-30mins.
  3. I pipe on my buttercream to make a nice smooth finish. 
  4. Pop on your cake top.
  5. Dust with icing sugar.
  6. Decorate with mini fondant flowers. 

My boys came home to a kitchen counter covered in cakes and loved it!! Even my 17 month old knew what they were and was very happy about the yummy cakes he could see from his high-chair. 

I hope you enjoy these as much as the boys did!

xx Kat xx

23 Jul 2012

Tea Anyone?



I've had my Tea Cupcakes moulds since Christmas. My dad and his girlfriend loaded me up with loads of cakey stuff, was fab!!!

I was thinking of doing a slightly different drink flavoured cupcake in the cup but I decided on green tea as I've never made a tea infused cake before. I've seen lots of them, but never done my own.

As you know I haven't baked for quite a few months so today has been a little tense for me, not sure exactly why ~ my kids aren't here and the OCD hubby is working. Returning to baking nerves methinks.

To make these YUMMY cakes is very simple!! All I did was use my Vanilla Cupcake recipe, but instead of using normal semi-skimmed milk I used green tea infused milk on both the sponge and icing :-)

I guess you want to know how I infused the milk.......

Well ok then!

Infusing milk, this is how I did it......
  1. Pour 1/2 cup of semi-skimmed milk into a microwaveable jug, pop in 2 green teabags. Cook on full power in the microwave for 2 mins or until bubbling hot!
  2. Leave to cool.
  3. When cool enough to touch take out both teabags, cut the top off one of them and spoon out about 1/2 the tea leaves and stir into the milk. 
  4. When completely cool use the milk as you would normally. 
Also I used a little bit of green colour paste, in both the sponge and icing, to enhance the green. Check it out....



I have to say I was a bit worried about the taste as I HATE GREEN TEA!!!! But.... these taste fantastic!! I was really surprised at how much I like them.

You must make them!

That's an order!

ENJOY

xx Kat xx

19 Jul 2012

My Cookbooks - Random Recipe #18 from Belleau Kitchen


Well hellooooo!

I've seen a couple of my blogger buddies taking part in the Belleau Kitchen Challenge, this month it's Random Recipe Challenge #18 which consists of showing off your cookbooks!! What a fab and easy peasy idea!! 

Sooo......... as I am a blogger-phobe at present, due to this and that, I decided this is a brilliant challenge to get me back on track. 

Would you like to see my cookey inspiration?

WOULD YOU?

Well here t'is.....

My faves on show in my kitchen, the pink labels mark the pages with the best recipes, or ones I wanna try !

The cupboard above my oven, lots of different and random books in 'ere.

OMG!! I cannot live without my monthly Essentials magazine (complete with "cut out & keep" cooking sections) and my cake decorating mags, much love each month.

So there you have it, my cookbooks, not very fancy but lots of yummy inspiration :-)

I hope this has given you the will to rummage through your cookbooks to see what treasures you have.

ENJOY RUMMAGING!!

xx Kat xx

9 May 2012

I Made My Own Button!!! And some news

Hello hello hello!!!!

Firstly let me apologise for my lack of blog lovin' over the last 2 months! Wow...... 2 months!! I have been slack.

I have a good reason, honest......

Throughout March and April I have been feeling pretty ill *sighs* I shouldn't moan though, the reason I've been ill is that I am pregnant!!! Yes....again!! I am now 16 weeks and don't feel like I'm on a boat in the middle of a storm anymore. Due to this I have had an aversion to baking (the smells and such). Bambino will be my 3rd, I won't lie, I want a girl, I have 2 beautiful boys but mummy wants a little dolly to dress :-)

So there's the first bit :-)

The second bit is Bradders has changed jobs and we have to move to the house THAT COMES WITH THE JOB (4 bed, detached, big garden, in the country...oh yes!!) Although it is very exciting I have to change everything, schools, doctors, dentists, vets, phone line, t'internet, sky and a whole heap of other stuff...phew, oh yeah, I also have to organise the sale of my house as well as keep my employer, kids, and hubby happy AND grow a baby!! I am cream crackered to say the least.

I am hoping to get back on form in a few weeks, when all has settled down, please hang on in there, I'll make it a good'un!!

For those of you who are techniphobes (myself included) if you want a button for your blog you must must must visit Adrianne @ Happy Hour Projects the detailed explanation of how to do your own button is brilliant and so easy to do......it must be if I could do it :-) Go on, take a look and try it yourself, it's fantastic I promise!!!!

TTFN

x Kat x

8 Mar 2012

3 Tier Chocolate & Caramel Cupcakes


Sorry that I haven't posted for a long time guys. I've been ill over the last few weeks (more on that later).

I know I know, lots of my cakes recently have centred around chocolate.

I work with what I have....ok? Good :-) 

21 Feb 2012

Happy Birthday Preston xxxx

*

I have been looking forward to this post for a while.

The 9th was my baby's 1st birthday, Preston is a beautiful happy baby and when I look at him I could burst.

To my baby boy.......

I love the way you to call me each morning with your sleepy chatter

I love your cute little giggle 

I love your bright blue eyes and dark brown hair (couldn't possibly say where you get your stunning looks)

I love the way you cling to me

and cry when I leave

and cry with arms raised (for cuddles) when I return

I love bath-time, that you always turn into a splash war with your big brother

and warm towel cuddles afterwards

I watch with pride when you and Harvey play so nicely together

You are my darling baby snuffle-pants

And guess what.............

I LOVE YOU


Happy Birthday Preston

xx Mummy & Daddy xx

* To make this cake use my chocolate cake recipe and bake in a 20cm round tin on 170 for 30-35mins. Frost all over (when cooled), cut mini swiss rolls in half and stick around the edge then pile a load of candy coated choc on top.

Et Voila......you are done :-)

9 Feb 2012

Lemon Meringue Cake


So this was supposed to be my "two birds, one stone cake" but I am a dippy cow, completely lost the plot and made this meringue cake instead of Lemon Meringue Cupcakes!!!

I made this and a birthday cake for Preston, he's 1 on 9th Feb, and somehow I ended up making two full sized cakes!!! (I'll post the second cake later on)

1 Feb 2012

Chocolate Cinnamon Mini Cupcakes

YES THAT'S AN EGG CUP!! :-)
As you know January was the month of bite-sized treats.

I'm going to say these count as a January special (I made them yesterday) 

Yesterday Harvey was at pre-school so I got a-baking ~ whoop whoop

23 Jan 2012

Love-ly Strawberry Cake Truffles


This is my entry for January's We Should Cocoa Challenge it's a bit late in the day but if you want to squeeze your entry in check out Chele's post on her blog Chocolate Teapot - This month is healthy treats (whatever that means to you)

For me it's little cake truffles = smaller portions = healthy!! Right? I think so ;-) 

As Valentines day (*coughs* my birthday) is next month I thought I'd love things up a bit. 

So.... what's the flavour? 

Strawberries and chocolate... oh yes, that old chestnut!

This is what I did.

I used a hand mixer, no need to pull out the big boy! 
  • Make your sponge mix, packet or home-made (tutorial coming soon for best ever sponge recipe). 
  • Bake as required and leave to cool completely.
  • Mix 50g unsalted butter until light and creamy.
  • Add 200g icing sugar 50g at a time.
  • Add 5 tbsp strawberry jam and mix until fully combined.
  • Break your cooled sponge into crumbs.
  • Mix in a little of the icing a spoon at a time until you get a dough consistency.
  • Roll into balls, poke a toothpick in each ball, place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on and refrigerate for 2hrs to harden.
  • Melt 150g dark and 150g milk chocolate (cake covering is best) 
  • Dip Balls into chocolate DO NOT STIR.
  • The chocolate will harden on the balls quickly. Once hard, take out the toothpick, blob a little melted choc over the hole a pop a little heart on top.
YOU ARE WELCOME!! 

I have to say these were my first attempt at strawberry anything and I don't think the sponge pick up the taste very well. Perhaps I'll use strawberry sponge as well as the strawberry frosting next time. 

Best eaten straight from the fridge.

And super healthy too, as it's only one bite per truffle (willpower required) ha!



Hope you had a great Monday

xx Kat xx


I'm entering this beautiful dessert to February 2013 Calendar Cakes as hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes it's all about love. Head on over to this months host Dolly Bakes and check it out.


11 Jan 2012

English Country Garden Mini Cupcakes


January, for me, means cuteness.

We've had the massive excess of December and in January we are looking for something a little lighter and smaller. Or, at least, we're supposed to be ;-)

Now my eldest has started pre-school, I have time on a Tuesday to do things I'd like to do.

BAKING!!!

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