Thursday, 16 February 2012

Speedy Recovery

These were made for Ve and her mum who has recently broke her foot.  Just a little something to try and cheer them up.  There's nothing worse than being unable to get about, so what better thing to do than eat cake! (These were lemon cupcakes)

Sleep-Over Snickerdoodles

As mentioned, Favourite Niece was having a sleep-over with 2 of her friends and I made them some Valentine Heart Biscuits, I also made them up a batch of Snickerdoodles as Chloe absolutely loves them. If you have never had them before I urge you to bake a batch, as Chloe describes them they are like little pieces of cakey loveliness!!  They are a sort of a cross between a biscuit and a cake with a lovely cinnamon flavour to them and they are soooooo moorish, once you have one you want another, and then another........and oh go on then, just one more.......

She announced that they would keep them until midnight and eat them then and that it was ok she didn't want her Mum to keep them safe as she was going to put them underneath her bed where she kept her midnight snacks! (cue a worried look on my sister face as she began to wonder what other food was under her bed!).

The recipe for them is mentioned in an earlier post (called, ahem, Snickerdoodles!)

Melting Moments & Valentine Hearts

For Mrs Shorts get-together I also whipped up a batch of Melting Moment biscuits.  I had seen the recipe on the Hairy Bikers programme the other week and quickly jotted down the very easy recipe:

250g Plain flour
250g butter
50g corn flour
50g icing sugar
1/2 tsp good vanilla extract

Blend everything in a mixer until it reaches a dough-like consistency.  I then placed in the fridge for 15 mins to chill so the mixture was easier to handle.  I drew circles on some baking parchment (evenly spaced I got 16 on) and then rolled in my hands small pieces of the dough to form balls.  I then placed on the baking sheet and pressed down to fill the circle.  It makes it easier to sandwich the biscuits together if they are roughly the same size.

Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes at 180°C until they are a pale golden colour.  Once out of the oven leave for a few minutes on the tray and then with a palette knife transfer onto a cooling rack good side faced down (easier to fill as you are then not handling the biscuits too much as they are crumbly!).

Once cooled I spread some seedless raspberry jam on one biscuit and piped a small splodge of the lemon buttercream I had left over from Mrs Short's cupcakes onto another biscuit and sandwiched them together and then dusted with icing sugar.

This mixture made 30 individual biscuits or 15 sandwiched together ones.

They proved to be a popular hit!  The biscuit was nice and crumbly in texture but still had a bite to it and the lemon buttercream offset the raspberry jam very well.  Maximum results for minimum effort - marvellous!!

They were so nice I decided to do some in honour of Valentines Day and used a heart cutter to cut out the dough (note, roll the mixture out in small batches on a well floured surface or it will stick like hell!).  My niece was having a sleep-over with her friends so I made them some for their 'midnight snack'.  I sandwiched these together with a chocolate buttercream with a bit of nutty chocolate spread mixed in......mmmmmm!!  Chief Taster also got some along with a bag of Snickerdoodles which kept her happy!

Mrs Short's Birthday Baking Bonanza!!

It was Mrs Short's birthday last week and as I had the house to myself on Saturday as OH was enjoying himself watching his team beat Chelsea I decided it was going to be a Baking Bonanza Saturday!

First on the agenda was a ginger cake for Mrs S as her little bump (or 'sprout' as it has been named!) is currently making her feel slightly sick and ginger is renowned for getting rid of queasy feelings.  A lovely loaf cake was produced with instructions to just have a slice in the morning with a cup of tea.....not sure whether she stuck to the one slice a day rule, I think a few at a time may have been consumed!  I didn't take any pictures of the cake as well a ginger cake is not very interesting to look at really!!  But I will post the recipe later.  Ginger cake is one of those lovely cakes that just gets better and better the longer you leave it (if you can manage to leave it alone).  The flavour mellows and the top goes all sticky and you are left with a perfect piece of cake to have with a cup of tea, or simply smothered in lots of vanilla custard (Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Madagascan Vanilla Custard is just the perfect partner!)

In honour of her birthday (and the fact that she was having a get-together) I made a few lemon cupcakes with a lemon buttercream icing.

I also made some Melting Moment biscuits which I will talk about in the next post for the get-together......they proved to be popular....very popular indeed!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Going Spare & Afternoon Tea

A few cupcakes made it on to the spares list.......dangerous things to be having lurking about in the kitchen!  I think they will be taking a trip over the road to Chief Taster's House, just to remove the temptation out of our way!!

On another note, over the weekend my lovely OH surprised me with a little trip out to Burscough Wharf, in surprise surprise, Burscough!  There we found a great little tea room where we had Afternoon Tea and it was lovely!!  I have a thing at the moment about wanting to have afternoon tea and I am making it my mission to try and find different places that do them.  The 'tea' here was great, for 2 of you you got a huge big pot of tea (or they did coffee) complete with homemade tea cosy (knitted by Edna apparently, all of which are for sale), and then a stand was brought out with your  choice of sandwiches on the top tier- we went for ham and cheese.  The ham was nice thick cut ham not any of your wafer thin stuff and the cheese was nice and creamy served on a mix of thick white and wholemeal bread with real butter on with side salad and crisp garnish.

Homemade scones with chantilly cream and jam and cake of your choice made up the bottom layer of the stand.  OH went for a coconut sponge cake which was delicious and I went for a strawberry sponge, all of which were very generously sliced.  There was also a slice of cinnamon and blueberry cake as well as some pieces of rocky road.  I have to say the coconut cake was fabulous.

All in all, we were stuffed and all caked-out by the time we had finished, but well worth it.  For the 2 of us it was £18 and we will definitely go back.  The staff and the whole place was very warm and welcoming.  The details are below:

Box Tree Tea Room Burscough Wharf, Liverpool Road North, Burscough, Lancashire, L40 5TN
Tel: 01704 894578  Email:

Anyway, back to spare cakes........

Next I have to try and persuade OH to go to Lancaster because apparently The Borough do Afternoon Tea as well............

Happy Birthday Ve!

Happy Birthday to Ve!!  Hope you like the cake & cupcakes!

Friday, 3 February 2012

God-Daughter Birthday Cake

First cake of the new year for me.  This is for my god-daughters birthday tomorrow.

The flowers were done with varying sizes of blossom cutters and their edges just highlighted with lustre dust for a nice sheen.  I love this teal greeney blue coloured icing, it looks good alongside the duck egg blue icing used.

The 'name plate' was done with some letter cutters that the OH bought me a couple of Christmas' ago, they are great for 'stamping' which creates a great embossed letter.  You can use them as a cutter but I found that the letters were tricky to get out of the mould so I prefer to use them as a stamp.

So from having a lovely clutter free dining room over the Christmas and new year period, its reverted back......stuff everywhere!!  Oh well, back to normal then!!