Baking – Blog catch up 8 (very delayed)

Oops. My blog catch ups hit a rather large hiatus again. Of course, that means that my catch up list is even longer than it was. In order that I might finally catch up with myself properly I shall endeavour to keep some of these catch up post short and sweet.

With that in mind I suppose a baking catch up is the most appropriate thing to share. It will be sweet if nothing else. Short? Well I’ll see what I can do.

Fortunately for my blog and rather less fortunately for the usual recipients of my baking I haven’t baked as much in the last year so these catch up pics are mostly from the year before. The first bake I will share is probably the one of which I am most proud. A good friend and colleague asked if I might be able to make a cake for his daughter’s 9th birthday (she has recently celebrated her 10th). ‘Of course’ says I, ‘What would she like?’ Well what she wanted was her initial and it had to be chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. ‘Leave it with me’ says I. I was pretty pleased with it and judging by the picture my friend posted on Facebook his daughter and friends loved it too.

Amy's cake

Amy’s cake

 

When I had completed the cake I had some leftover sponge and chocolate fudge frosting. I had fancied having a go at making cake pops, so Amy had a little extra surprise.

Cake pops

Cake pops

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

 

I had a second commission last year of a Golden Wedding Anniversary cake for a colleague in my office. I felt more pressure over this one.

Golden Wedding Cake

Golden Wedding Cake

Golden Wedding Cake

Golden Wedding Cake

Another favourite bake was a batch of cookie monster cupcakes after I stumbled across a pack of candy eyes in Hobbycraft.

Cookie Monster cupcakes

Cookie Monster cupcakes

Cookie Monster cupcakes

Cookie Monster cupcakes

And there was a range of other bakes made from time to time. I think I need to do a bit more baking soon and get my mojo back again. I’m sure my friends and colleagues won’t complain.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ginger cake and Lemon traybake

Ginger cake and Lemon traybake

Simon's Cat cookies

Simon’s Cat cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Lemon Buttercream cupcakes

Lemon Buttercream cupcakes

Lemon Buttercream cupcakes

Lemon Buttercream cupcakes

 

Another update coming soon. I’ll get up to date eventually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Birthday Baking

I had my new Kitchenaid a couple of days before my birthday and really gave it a workout in the first few days. I baked cakes for colleagues at work as well as for my fellow students at Uni. It was certainly a good test for the machine and I have to say I was not disappointed.

For Uni I made a dozen plain cupcakes with royal icing and sweets to decorate plus a dozen chocolate cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting and mini marshmallows. Then on my birthday in readiness to take to work I baked a second batch of the chocolate cakes plus a dozen Lemon Meringue cupcakes (fast becoming my signature bake) and a new recipe to me of a rather lovely Almond, Cherry and Coconut meringue slice. As you will see from the pictures I had a fair old mountain of cake which went down very well with my work colleagues. Indeed there were enough left over to pay a visit to hubby’s office on the way home and deliver some there away.

Here are the pictures.

Birthday baking

cupcakes

Cherry, Almond and coconut meringue slice

Happiness

This is the first of a number of catch up posts from the last few months. You’ll probably be bored rigid by the end of them if you stick with me that long. On the plus side I’m sure it will be a good cure for insomnia.

Going back to the beginning of April for this one and the time that I hit the big four zero. Did I go out and get drunk? No. Did I throw a huge party? No. What about go out and buy a mid life crisis car? No. What did I do? I bought a food mixer. I say I, in fact I paid for some of it but numerous people kindly chipped into it for my birthday present.

This is not just any food mixer though, I should think not, considering what it cost. This has been the object of my baking desires for a number of years now, it has been paraded before my eyes in it’s many colours on more cooking shows than I care to count, taunting me every time with it’s stylish retro looks and fabulous baking performance. This, my friends is none other than a Kichenaid food mixer. And I am so very happy it is finally mine.

The hardest decision was which colour to choose, they come in so very many gorgeous colour-ways. Common sense however, prevailed and I finally plumped for the classic Almond Cream variety. It fits in with my kitchen and the classic colour-way means that if our kitchen changes it will still fit in.

So how to celebrate and welcome my new arrival? Well I had to bake of course. I love my new toy and indeed spent the whole day on my birthday in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

Here she is then. My new baby and the first lot of cakes. I was such a happy birthday girl.

My Birthday Toy

Cupcakes

Mini visitors? Mini Baking.

We have friends coming to visit this afternoon with their sons Fergus and Ben aged 4 and 2. The arrival of these mini visitors I felt was a good excuse for some mini baking. I have been thinking of making some lemon meringue cupcakes in miniature so this was a good opportunity for it.

The mixture to make 12 lemon meringue cakes was enough for 48 miniature versions. I took some to a stitching day I went to yesterday leaving the rest at home for our expected guests.

This morning I thought I would add some choice for our guests so made up a 2 egg chocolate sponge mixture which made 36 mini  chocolate cupcakes. A little piped ready made chocolate frosting and some hundreds and thousands (or sugar strands as they insist on calling them these days) and we have a rather large amount of cake to work through with our guests later on.

Here are some pics for you to drool over.

Mini Chocolate cupcakes

Mini Chocolate cupcakes

Mini Lemon meringue cupcakes

Mini Lemon meringue cupcakes

Review of 2010

2010 in a nutshell.

I thought I would use today to have a look back over the last year and think about what I have in store for this one. I thought the best way to go about this would be to have a look back at the last 12 months worth of photos, to see what I recorded throughout the year. I have covered quite a lot but I have noticed some gaps. Since Tim took up Photography, when we go out and about I have found myself leaving the picture-taking to him and looking at his pictures afterwards. His pictures have been fab and you can have a look here. I think in 2011 I shall make sure I take my own pictures whenever we go out and about so I have my own record of events to look back on.

I did still take quite a few and have put some of them together to show a few of the events and achievements over the last year. To see these pictures in more detail have a look here. I was quite pleased with some of my shots from our visits to Rye and to the Borough Markets.

The big event for the year was my Mother and Father in law’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. So my first picture had to be the family pic that Tim took of us all this time last year. In May we had a family holiday all together, taking Pam and Ron to the Isle of Wight for the week where they had their honeymoon 50 years before. We had a lovely week with the weather being mostly kind. Tim, William and myself even managed a day’s bike ride which was lovely and where Tim met his furry friend who just came and joined us as we were resting on the grass. A couple of weeks later we gathered with other family and friends to celebrate with them at home. I made the cake for them which you can see in the pictures and was not unhappy with my icing attempts.

I had a lovely weekend away with the girls in April to Eastbourne and Tim, myself and William had a couple of camping trips too which were lovely and restful. We had a camp fire on one trip and we all enjoyed relaxing in the countryside and I worked on my blanket that I have blogged over the course of the summer. William and I also had our annual trip to the Cambridge Folk Festival with Grandpa.

I have managed some making and baking this year as you can see. My lovely ripply blanket of course was my largest achievement sizewise but my lace has given me my proudest moment. I finished the piece in March and many of my lacemaking friends persuaded me (firmly) to enter it into the Triennial Lace Guild Exhibition. I bowed to the pressure and sent it off. I was thrilled and surprised in June to receive a letter from the guild saying I had been awarded a Medal for Excellence for my work. I also finished a couple of other pieces of lace and a crocheted bag using some of the yarn I had left after making my blanket.

We have also managed some TLC for the house this year. In January we treated ourselves to new lounge furniture so gave the room a clear out, scrub up and a new coat of paint. Then in the summer while William was away at Scout camp I spent the week giving our bedroom a spruce up stripping it down to the bare walls and making a restful sanctuary for us to enjoy. This was long overdue as we last decorated this room when we bought the house 15 years ago.

This year was also the year when my little boy definitely became not so little by growing taller than me. It was always on the cards but I had hope it wouldn’t be quite so early as him turning 12 when it happened. He takes great delight in looking down on his poor old ma. (Bless him).

Late September saw the opportunity to visit Stonehenge with my mother’s coven. Tim can honestly say that his Mother in law is a witch. It was a wonderful experience to be able to go right into the stone circle and enjoy the stones with a small group of people. The coven performed their annual Mabon ritual ( Autumn Equinox) and it was a fascinating experience and lovely to be a part of. Hopefully they will let us come again.

At the beginning of December winter hit with a vengeance and landed us with the heaviest snowfall I have seen in 24 years. As we were going nowhere I used the opportunity to finish a piece of lace that I started on a weekend course in Idrija lace that I attended in Folkestone in November.

This year I have also started on my second teaching course to complete my qualifications for teaching Adults.

We have a lot to celebrate in 2011 William becomes a teenager on the 3rd of January then toward the end of January it will be 20 years since Tim and I first met. Then in April, Tim and myself will both turn 40. I hope to successfully complete the first year of my teaching Diploma and with any luck manage to still get some crafting time in to share on my humble blog.

I hope that you have enjoyed my offerings for this year and I wish you a very Happy New Year for 2011.

Golden Wedding Cake




Golden Wedding Cake

Originally uploaded by bonitocrafts

Last week was my Mother and Father in law’s Golden Wedding Anniversary and today they are have a little gathering to celebrate. My contribution is to provide this cake. It’s a 10″ cake which is the largest I have ever made and is iced with regal ice roll out fondant icing with royal icing piping. I bought the plaque ready made and the roses are actually made of foam, and look really effective.

The ribbon covers a multitude of sins around the sides of the cake and next time i would roll the icing out a little thicker.

All in all though I am pretty happy with how it has turned out although I am not sure I would want the pressure of doing it regularly for a living.

Sunday baking




Lemon Meringue cupcakes

Originally uploaded by bonitocrafts

They really are yummy and as we have a glut of lemons from an online shopping mix up I knew I had to bake them.

My wonderful son gave me a lovely cupcake recipe book for Mother’s Day. Sponge base with lemon and cream cheese in the recipe, home made lemon curd on top of that then lovely crisp meringue with a fluffy soft inside on the top.

Bit more work than your average cupcake but boy are they worth it.

Delicious.

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