Archive | November, 2010

All things Gingerbread part 1

29 Nov

One thing that i automatically think about at this time of year is Gingerbread. I love the taste of it and even more i love the aroma that wafts through the house as it is baking. Infact you could say that i love all things Gingerbread.

The other day as i was taking a peek at other WordPress blogs i found one that had a picture of this fantastic Gingerbread village.

This beautiful Gingerbread village was made by Veronikas mother and it looks like a huge amount of work went into it. For more images and information of this stunning village, take a look at Veronikas interesting blog Lalomino.

If you like to be creative and want to have a bit of fun, without the mess or even keep the kids occupied whilst you construct your own Gingerbread house.

Take a look at these fun, virtual Gingerbread decorating sites.

Home sweet home.

Highlightskids

Or if you would rather decorate your own virtual Gingerbread man then you need look no further than this site.

Sprint Sweets.

After all, everyone loves a Gingerbread man and how could you not like these cute little guys.

Here are some of my favourite and very amazing Gingerbread creations. These definitely have the wow factor.

gingerbread 008Sheratonpk

IMG_0602Sheratonpk

The next one looks like somewhere i could see myself living, it looks so warm and inviting, oh so cosy.

xijosefsen

Watch the construction of the Ginormous Gingerbread house at Walt Disney.

Tempting cupcakes

22 Nov

These tempting cupcakes were 3 different flavours, the 1st was red velvet with a cream cheese frosting and topped with a small icing rose. The 2nd was a cupcake that incorporated fresh strawberries into the cupcake mix, topped with a swirl of freshly whipped cream and a fresh strawberry piece. The 3rd flavour was good old vanilla (everyone’s favourite), vanilla cupcake, topped with vanilla buttercream and finished off with white sugar sprinkles for that little bit of glimmer glamour.

Children in need 2010

20 Nov

This is the cake that i made this year to be auctioned off at a Children in need fundraising event.

I decided it would be fun to make the cake look like it was constructed out of Lego bricks (these were made out of fondant icing). It is then been decorated by little Lego men. All the Lego men are busy, painting the spots, rolling the icing over the cake, all except the one who is on a break that is, reading his newspaper and enjoying a cup of tea.

I really enjoyed making this cake and i hope it raised lots of money for Children in Need. Aswell as the cake i also made 24 cupcakes to be sold. These were vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream and finished off  with a variety of  toppers. The toppers were the Children in need slogan, fondant Lego bricks, fondant Lego men and coloured chocolate balls.

Engagement Cupcakes.

16 Nov

Yesterday my friend gave me 2 photos of the Engagement cupcakes i made a while back. Here are the photos of the cupcakes once they had been set up at the party.

Thanksgiving cake with a difference.

12 Nov

 

Looking at this cake it is hard to believe that it is turkey but really it is. This creative Thanksgiving dinner cake has been created using layers of turkey, sweet potato, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potato and topped with marshmallows. If you fancy breaking away from the norm and getting creative why not give this a try for yourself. For the full recipe and assembly instructions please check out Thanksgiving Turkey Cake Recipe – CHOW.

Pumpkin pie with a twist.

9 Nov

Since i have never made a pumpkin pie, i decided it was now or never and i really fancied giving it a whirl. As i am not really pastry confident just yet ( believe me i need practice or a miracle, whichever comes first), i decided to give my pumpkin pie a bit of a twist. Being a huge fan of desserts and also benefiting from having a very sweet tooth (or cursed, i don’t know which it is really), i decided to combine 2 desserts together to make a delicious tasting sweet treat. So i decided to make a pumpkin pie cheesecake, the base of a cheesecake and the filling of a pumpkin pie. To give this pumpkin pie an extra added bonus, i also decided to use ginger biscuits for my base.

For the base.

  • 85g Butter, melted.
  • 170g  Ginger biscuits, crushed.

For the pumpkin filling.

  • 1  pumpkin
  • 8oz light brown soft sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 350ml evaporated milk

To prepare the pumpkin.

  • Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3.
  1. Place some foil onto a baking tray and lightly oil.
  2. Next cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and place skin side up onto the prepared baking tray.
  3. Bake the pumpkin for 40 minutes.
  4. Once the pumpkin has cooled so it is just slightly warm, remove the flesh from out of it and mash it up.

To prepare the base.

  1. Put the butter into a pan and heat gently until melted.
  2. Add the crushed ginger biscuits and stir well until combined.
  3. Place the mixture into an oven proof dish/container and press down firmly using the back of a spoon, until compact and smooth.
  4. Place into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

To prepare the filling.

  1. In a large bowl beat the eggs together.
  2. Then add the flour, sugar, salt, spices, evaporated milk and the pumpkin and mix together until well combined.

Pour the mixture over the prepared biscuit base and bake for 50-60 minutes 180C / 350F /Gas Mark 4.

Once cooked, remove from oven and transfer onto a wire cooling rack. Once the pumpkin pie has cooled, transfer to the refrigerator. For best results refrigerate over night, unless like me you really can’t wait that long.

This pumpkin pie cheesecake is delicious served on its own or for a really special treat why not top with whipped cream, drizzle with double cream or even serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

This is where i found the recipe for the filling.

Bonfire night goodies.

8 Nov

Bonfire night was good this year, we had a few fireworks at home for the kids and made some yummy bonfire night goodies. First of all i made some Bonfire toffee. After 2 failed attempts it was 3rd time lucky for me. I absolutely love how it turned out and will definitely be making some more. The first failed attempt was due to being careless and chatting on the telephone whilst making the toffee, this is not to be recommended, as it is only a matter of time before it burns, i learnt this the hard way. My second attempt was due to the fact that i had burnt the first batch and i didn’t want to make the same mistake again. I was totally over-cautious and the toffee didn’t get up to a hot enough temperature, although it looked fine, once it had set and i tried it, it was like chomping on sugar and was still quite soft. On the plus side though i did learn a valuable lesson……buy a sweet thermometer instead of guessing. My guess-work paid of better on the 3rd attempt and i was really pleased with the results.

Ingredients
12 oz Brown sugar (Demerara or light brown soft)
4 oz  Butter                                                                                                                                           4 tbsp of water
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp of black treacle

Method
(1) Put all the ingredients into a pan.

(2) Heat slowly, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.

(3) Bring to the boil. Keep stirring so the sugar mixture doesn’t start to burn.

(4) To test if the toffee is ready drop a little into cold water. If it is ready it should separate into brittle threads.

(5) Pour into a container, i used a foil baking tray.

(6) Leave to set and then break into pieces.

I also bought some foil yorkshire pudding sized trays and when i had poured the toffee mixture into it, i then added a lolly stick to each one. Be warned at first the lolly sticks will start to rise back out of the mixture, so just gently keep pushing them back down until they stay put. This took somewhere around 1 or 2 minutes. Leave to set and then enjoy your bonfire toffee lollies.

Keeping with the Bonfire night theme i also made some mini cupcakes. They were all vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. Half of the mini cupcakes were topped with tiny little marshmallows and the other half were topped with popping candy. The ones with the popping candy were fine until i turned the oven on to cook something and then the candy started to pop and melt. I guess they need to be kept totally cool and away from any moisture at all. This is something i am going to have to experiment with. Although i will be more than happy to hear from anyone who has any suggestions on how to rectify this problem.

Last but not least i made some cupcakes that were inspired by my favourite pudding. Rhubarb crumble and custard.

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