Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Grasshopper Pie in the Sunshine!

I went to a BBQ on Bank Holiday Monday and decided to make a Grasshopper Pie for the occasion.  Its a recipe I have been wanting to try for a while as I think the pie looks fantastic with its bright green filling.  Its an American recipe and I used the Hummingbird Bakery recipe.

This is the non-alcoholic version.  Nigella does a very nice one with alcohol (the green colour comes from the addition of Creme de Menthe).

Anyway, this version was safe for little ones at the BBQ; Harry declared it was yummy and then ate his little brother's as well!  Jess (Official Taster!) said she could just eat loads the filling on its own & that the diet would have to start tomorrow!  The Oreo base makes a nice change from digestives...

Grasshopper Pie Recipe
250g Oreo's (about 2 & 1/2 packets...good excuse to eat the rest of the packet!)
175g melted unsalted butter

180g large white marshmallows (I used the pink & white ones and it was fine)
180 ml milk
1/4 tsp peppermint essence
few drops of green food colouring
2 x 300 ml double cream

23cm (9 in) pie dish

Blend the biscuits (filling included) in a blended until fine crumbs (or bash with a rolling pin), mix in the melted butter and place in the pie dish and press down with either your hand or the back of a spoon until relatively smooth.  Push slightly up at the sides.

Put in the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or put in the freezer for a short while.  The base should be firm, but not that firm that you can't cut through it.

To make the filling, warm the milk in a pan and add the marshmallows to it, stirring until they melt.  Take off the heat and allow to cool.

When cooled, add the peppermint essence and the green food colouring, adding as much  as you like to get the colour you want.  Whip up one carton of double cream until soft peaks are formed and then add to the cooled marshmallow and mix.

Pour the filling onto the set biscuit base and then refrigerate for a couple of hours for the filling to set.

Once set, whip up the remaining carton of cream and then pile on top!  I used edible green glitter and green sugar shards to decorate

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

More Easter Designs

I had seen some cupcakes done on another blog with some really great toppers so I thought I would give them a go; it was a bit fiddly but I passed away a Saturday afternoon quite happily making little ducks and rabbits..the rabbits were more tricky as their whiskers consisted of sifting out the white strands out of hundreds & thousands which I then painstakingly filtered through again to find the longest ones!  Worth it in the end as they looked really good.  I made lemon cupcakes as the base which just gave the cakes a nice lift.

So, remember folks.......give cupcakes instead of eggs this Easter!!

I am looking forward to going to the Lancashire Market which is being held on this Saturday on Friargate in Preston.;  Its a really good market and they close the roads so you can have a good wander about....lots of great 'foodie' stalls on

Happy Easter!

Look at those whiskers!!  Amazing.....!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Monkey Business

Adam wanted a Planet of the Apes birthday cake.  Adam is 35!!  I struggled to find a picture of a cake that had been made so I could work off it, bar ones that had a transfer on rice paper printed off and stuck onto the top of the cake, so he got my homage to Plant of the Apes.......a Monkey Cake!!! (with genuine foam banana's I might add!!)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Easter Cupcakes

OH asks me late Friday night would I mind doing him a cake or cupcakes that he could take into his office for Monday seeing as there are only a few of them in with it being half term.  As he generally doesn't mind that I make all these cakes and he very rarely gets to eat any of them, I thought I would be kind and oblige....

I made cupcakes and I went for an Easter / Spring theme and used pale pastel colours of pinks, greens & blues with little flowers for decoration and it wouldn't be Easter without mini eggs!....

Hope they enjoy them!

Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear made his grand entrance on Sunday at Ben's 4th Birthday Party.  I  made cupcakes to go alongside the cake and made suns, planets, rockets & aliens from the Toy Story 3 as the toppers for the cupcakes.  I also printed off pictures of the aliens and Buzz and made the cake wrappers (which the kids enjoyed wearing as bracelets!!!).  They went down very well and Ben loved his cake!

Blue for Boys

My friends brother and his wife had twin boys last week which they have named Vinnie & Freddie. It was hoped that they were going to be let out of hospital yesterday but they have to stay in a little longer yet as they both have eye infections.  Lets hope they are home soon.  I made these for their parents...

Silver Wedding Anniversary

I was very pleased with the results of this cake.  I used a stencil for the words and 'painted' it on with metallic silver lustre dust using a sponge applicator eyeshadow brush!  Edible diamonds were used in the flowers for a dew-drop effect & one of the leaves had edible silver holographic glitter on them for a bit of sparkle!


My 7 year old Niece, Chloe loves Snickerdoodles.  Fact.  She would eat the entire batch if you let her.   She was going to Yorkshire with her mum and her friend Harika and her mum Cassie and Chloe put in a request for some Snickerdoodles - "for her journey".  She said I could make her 6 and Harika 6 and when asked well what are you going to do if Harika doesn't like them, she replied "don't worry, I will eat her's for her"!  She paid for her 12 with kisses, a special deal only given to Niece's!!

Chloe describes them as 'little pieces of cakey loveliness' and I think she is right!  If you have never tried them, give them ago, they are so easy to make and delicious.....be warned though, they are very, very moorish.....one is not quite enough as Jess (taster) found out....her text message read 'mmmmmmmmm very nice with a cup of tea' and when asked how many she had had, her answer was 3....one after the other!

They are a mixture between a biscuit & a cake with buttery cinnamon & nutmeg flavours running through.  They are just yummy and a batch of them never lasts long.....well not in my house anyway, and as Jess said, they are just perfect with a cup of tea!

Makes about 30 biscuits

Ingredients125g butter, softened
110g caster sugar, plus 1 dessertspoon extra, for rolling
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
½ tsp  nutmeg
¾ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 dessertspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas mark 4.

Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the 110g caster sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.

Sift in the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and gently mix together to form a dough.

Mix the dessertspoon of sugar and the cinnamon together in a medium-sized bowl. Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut-sized balls then roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on two baking trays (no need to grease or line), each ball spaced about 3cm/1 ¼ in apart. Flatten them down with the palm of your hands.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they feel firm around the edges.
Allow to stand for 2 minutes on the baking trays, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Silver Anniversary Cake Ideas & New Baby Boy Cakes

Have been putting together a Silver Wedding Anniversary cake for Ve for this weekend.... a few shots of the work in progress to follow.... basically is going to be a round white plain iced cake and I have a nice silver ribbon to go round the outside, placed on a silver board with 3 white roses which have 'diamond' dew drops in the petals and sprinkled with iridescent glitter and 3 silver leaves, one of which has silver glitter on and then scattered around the cake will be white and silver hearts with the words Happy Anniversary 'painted' on the cake with silver lustre dust and two red hearts near the words.  Does that sound ok?!

Little blue bootees to go on top of some cupcakes for some friends who had twin boys last week and their initials V & F

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Girlie Birthday Cakes & Edible Diamonds!!!!

Made a few cakes last night for a friend at short notice for her daughter's birthday which is today.  They were just plain vanilla and I did pink & cream icing on top.  I used two different piping nozzles, one a largish open star shape and the other a more squareish star shaped one (did that make sense?!) A picture may make it easier!!
I used the one on the left to make the 'rose' effect and the one on the far right to make the swirl.
These are available from Lakeland for about £12 and they are great nozzles

Should one get excited about edible diamonds?!  I think so!!  I was most excited today to receive my latest addition to my cake craft collection.  They are quite expensive so will only be used sparingly but they are just so.....diamondy!!!!  I am going to put them in roses which will be on a silver wedding anniversary cake  that I am making for Ve this weekend.  I think they will look great!  I got them from www.thecakedecoratingcompany.co.uk and considering I only ordered them at 3pm yesterday, they came this morning which was good going!

Busy weekend ahead (again!) I've got Ben's Buzz Lightyear birthday cake & 24 cupcakes to do for Sunday which I hope (fingers crossed) will look as good as it does in the picture I am working from and hopefully he will like it and I hope Ve likes the Silver Wedding Anniversary cake as she left the design up to me!

I had a few nice compliments about my cakes this week, first one from Christian's mum who I made the flower cake for.....she sent me a nice thank you card and a M&S voucher which was lovely and the second from my neighbour over the road who has just had a baby girl and I took her over some cupcakes with little pink bootees on.  She asked Jess (my other neighbour & taster!) where I had bought them from and when Jess explained that I had baked them, she said she was very impressed!

Really should get back to work now.....