Bunny baking

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Mermaids, mermaids, mermaids!

We aunties find that having a theme helps when it comes to thinking up activities for the dotes.  If you have an idea of something they like to begin with, a quick think and an internet search can provide enough activity to get you through a rainy summer day.

The latest theme? Mermaids.

For a while now, Lil D has been obsessed with mermaids (encouraged greatly by the kids offerings on a certain on demand streaming service) so Bear came up with some under the sea craft ideas. 13658996_10153810914775749_446217057411689408_n

Somehow this morphed into making a mermaid cake because who doesn’t enjoy the chance to create a showstopper cake?

We began with a pinterest search, but surprisingly found little to inspire (mostly because we lacked fondant to make a fantastical mermaid topper and had only one colour to dye our icing…).  But we weren’t about to let that stop us.  Two round cakes, and a quick sketch later, we began the epic journey

from this ↓

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To this ↓

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A simple sponge covered in a pink buttercream and sprinkles gave our mermaid (tail) some fishy definition.  And a batch of madeleines were whipped up to create some amazing shells.

Yes it was an all day kind of project, and yes, Papa struggled to get his head round the headless mermaid (he insisted it was just a fish tail) but it fed an army of people (and tasted good!)

Success!

Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes

Saturday afternoon with no little ones, and a box full of strawberries.  At this point it’s almost inevitable that I reach for the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

A few pages in and I find my mission: 2016-06-18 16.29.37

Vanilla cupcakes with fresh strawberry pieces, a cream cheese frosting and crushed biscuits on top.  Yummy!

Yogurt muffins

IMG_4098Nanny always has yogurt pots in the fridge, which is sometimes a mystery given she eats yogurt maybe 3 times a year.  Despite our best efforts this often means yogurt is found in the bin after its use by date…

Nanny is a stickler for use by dates, no matter how many people tell her that most food will be OK.  What’s scary is the fact that Lil D now looks forward to the weekly checking of dates and general dumping of food.  But we aunties don’t waste food if we can help it, so it was definitely time to find a recipe for flavoured yogurts before they get to the bin!

This one from Tesco real food is super easy.

You have one carton of yogurt (any flavour), one carton of vegetable oil, 3 cartons self raising flour, one carton of caster sugar and three eggs.

The trick here is the use of the yogurt carton for measuring , so less washing up. Papa will be pleased!

Mix all the ingredients, then spoon into muffin cases. Push any fresh berries you like in the top.  All in, maybe 5 minutes of work.

Bake for 15 mins in a 180 degree oven, and enjoy!

Today’s flavour combination: forest fruits and blueberry.  Who knows what tomorrow’s can be?

 

Push Cakes

Bank Holiday Weekend baking with Lil D is always a good idea.

Having watched yet another YouTube video, Lil D had her heart set on pushcakes.

First up the sponge.

We’ve been obsessed with the funfetti craze we’ve been seeing everywhere at the minute so we opted to try lemon “skin” and sprinkles for our sponge. Baked flat on a baking sheet and sliced right down the middle when cool, ready to cut out circles.  Experience shows regular sprinkles do not show up when baked so no spectacular funfetti this time. The circle cutting was hugely satisfying though, and the scraps are on standby for some Danish Romkuglar (Rum Balls).

Next you need frosting to create layers between your sponge circles.  Lil D decided on purple but something brighter could have been more effective.  She assembled her pushcake all by herself, piping and squishing sponge down with glee.

In the meantime I was moved to play with the mini cake shapes.  They screamed mini victoria sponges – an idea we really need to keep in mind for future baking moments.

Mini food is fantastic and we all enjoyed today’s activities so well done YouTube, you win again (^-^)

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Swedish Chokladboll

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Swedish Chokladboll

Ever since trying the fabulous mocha balls in KaffeO (Belfast) I’ve been obsessed with having a go myself.  Memories of Stockholm and Copenhagen trips are always worth reliving.

A quick google led me to this recipe. Oats, butter, sugar, cocoa and coffee.  No bake simplicity.

As I followed the quick steps I began to fear dryness. The KaffeO chokladboll had been so moist and chocolatey.  I began to suspect further experimentation would be needed but gamely carried on. (Mostly because I had used all my oats.)

After an hour of chilling in the fridge the mixture did form a ball but I wasn’t convinced that they would be the texture I was looking for. Still, the mixture tasted amazing so at worst I’d made an awesome sprinkle for icecream.

A couple more hours in the fridge and the verdict is in. They held together as a ball; not as dry as I’d feared but definitely not as moist as I wanted.  The flavour had sadly dulled a little with the chill but hope is not lost.  There will be a revenge bake.  I’ve since seen a creamed butter method or the addition of cream for moisture.  I can *totally* see these as my signature afternoon tea offering, just as soon as I can get them right.