Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Happy Birthday Bunny!

So, it was my baby girl's 2nd birthday on Saturday.

My baby. Is. 2.

I can barely deal with that. But, I made her a cake anyway!

And I guess it's the perfect opportunity to pass on my favourite cake recipe. Courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Super Easy Cake

SR Flour

Now, you'll notice I didn't put any amounts up there. There's a reason.
What you do is weigh your eggs. Use as many as you want. I did 5 medium eggs for the cake above. They were about 250g in total. It fed 8 adults. And there were left-overs. Well, there would have been if the kids hadn't gotten to the cake!

Anyway, weigh your eggs then put aside. Take note of how much they weigh. Then weigh out the same amount of butter and sugar. Cream together. Add eggs. Then add the same amount of SR flour. Add a bit of milk. A couple of tablespoons until the batter is a nice consistency. (Pourable but not too thin)

Add a teaspoon of vanilla.

I made a vanilla chocolate swirl cake by splitting the batter in 2 at this point and adding a quarter cup of good quality cocoa. You'll need to add a bit more milk to this one.

Then pour both into a greased and floured pan (or 2 depending on how many eggs you started with) and bake at gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes. But again it depends on how much cake there is. My best advice is: Keep an eye on it!! (But DON'T open the oven a lot...your cake will sink!)

Obviously this isn't the Peppa Pig jumping in muddy puddles birthday cake. But I make this cake a lot with my son. This one turned out exceptionally well.

Vanilla buttercream icing with chocolate buttons and Reese's Pieces ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce optional.

Actually, that fudge sauce was a complete accident. I was making icing and realized after I had creamed my butter that I only had about half a cup of icing sugar. So I put it in. Not sweet enough. So I added some vanilla and cocoa powder. Still really needed sugar. So in a moment of insanity I added some regular sugar. Don't do this. Really. It was gross. UNTIL!!! Until I put it in the microwave for a bit to try to melt the butter and sugar down a bit. OMG it was fudgy chocolatey goodness. Especially when it cooled down. Like the next morning when I was eating it for breakfast

I haven't tried it again to see if I can recreate it. For now I'm going to live with the memory.

Oh, and did I mention I bought proper running shoes? Now you know why I need them!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

So you'll never believe this....

...but I've been RUNNING!

I know! It's crazy!

I really am the most unfit unsporty type person. But I've been getting up early every other day to take the dog out and one morning thought I'd run just to see what happened...

total shock.

I'm not ready for a marathon yet but I can do about 5 minutes which for me might as well be an hour.

I do have some great food stuff to blog but I thought I'd start with this. I'll be back later with something unhealthy. Don't worry. I'm still me.

Friday, 8 April 2011

(Another) Healthy start

Last year I lost a stone and a half. Then summer came and I relaxed a bit. And a bit more. And a bit more. and then it was Christmas and ....

Well, you get the jist. It wasn't good. In January I decided to get back on the wagon. That lasted a few weeks but I just can't get into it this year. Last year it was hard but I was determined. This year...meh.

It's not even as if I don't have motivation. My brother is getting married in July. I want to find a kick-ass dress. But still I just can't be bothered.

So today I got up and took the dog for a power walk. (which reminds me...I haven't seen him since we got home...) had some fruit for breakfast and then did a half an hour of Wii Fit (burned enough calories to have a piece of toast ??) . So is today the FIRST DAY OF A NEW START? More likely just another first day of a false start. But maybe I'm on my way again. I just have to stop reading all those blogs written by skinny girls who make cake.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

This is what happens when I'm left to my own devices.

The Kids and I end up eating banana and chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter cream cheese icing and chocolate sauce. For. Dinner.

Damn. I forgot to put sprinkles on.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Baking for School

Since I love to bake so much I am always looking for excuses to do it. The boy's teacher was going off on maternity leave so they were having a goodbye party for her. You don't have to say party twice, my oven was preheating in anticipation!!

So I decided to make something delicious and easy. Shortbread. My favourite 1-2-3 recipe...and then drizzle it with chocolate and put sprinkles on top. 'Cause the kids are 5 and so am I a bit!
 Today they school was having a coffee morning to raise money for SCIAF and well...you know. I made some lemon drizzle cupcakes. No photos I'm afraid. The girl was crying so I basically made them while holding her. Poor thing has got a nasty cold and is miserable. I will post about the lemon cake at some point. It's mostly what I'm famous for in these parts. To the point where that's what I get my next door neighbour for Christmas. It's his very very favourite.

Proper Scottish Shortbread

1 oz caster sugar
2 oz unsalted butter
3 oz plain flour
a little splash of milk if you need it...

mix all ingredients together to make a dough. Chill for at least an hour. Roll out and cut into whatever shapes take your fancy. Or roll into balls and flatten.

Bake at GM4 for 10 - 12 minutes. It really depends on how thick you make them. Keep an eye on them and don't let them get too dark. (I always burn a few)

These are great with dark chocolate chips as well. In fact if you put the chocolate chips in I wouldn't bother to bake them, Just eat the dough. Seriously, it's awesome.

Now....I'm off to check the school calendar!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Confession time...

Well, sort of a confession. If you know me you'll already know this. If you've been to my house you'll definitely know this...

I suck at keeping house.

There I said it.

Frankly, I would rather do just about anything rather than clean. Don't get me wrong, I do love a clean and tidy house, I just wish there were little fairies or something who would come in while I'm out to do dishes and hoover.

A girl can dream can't she?

Anyway, my tip of the week for all us slatterns out there is this: invite someone over. Invite someone over who always has a lovely tidy house.

Nothing motivates me more than the thought that someone might see the slovenly mess that is my house. Of couse, you must understand that I have 2 small children. It doesn't stay tidy for long. But for those three or even four minutes it really is bliss!

So that's what I did today. I asked a friend and her kids over, then ran around like a crazy person tidying.

And it was totally win-win. I got a tidy house, and a friend to chat to and some cake! (my friends never come empty handed) And, the kids played nicely and I got a bit of peace. See? Win-win.

So, I'll never be a domestic goddess, but I get by. And as for all those real naturally tidy type people out there...well, let them eat cake.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Who's bright idea was this anyway??


Mr Blogbaker is away for a couple of nights and I've given up coffee and wine?? Well, in lieu of coffee and wine (and husband) I am baking. More of those chocolate cake cookies with the peanut butter icing. I'm trying to pretend that I'm not just baking them so I had an excuse to make the icing. 'Cause damn that stuff is gooood.

Also, I'm procrastinating. I have a lot of stuff to do (not just the basic housework stuff which is a given). Here are the things I should be doing:

1. Studying for my theory test. My driving instructor is getting quite annoyed that I haven't sat the test yet.

2. Making baby shoes. I have 4 babies and one on the way to make some for.

3. Designing a mural for my son's school. I have to paint it on Friday.

4. Making a Cbeebies birthday card. My daughter's 2nd birthday is coming up next month. The cards have to be in 4 weeks before the big day.

So that's my list. And what am I doing? I'm sat here writing a blog while eating a chocolate cake cookie smothered in peanut butter cream cheese icing.

I guess on the plus side it's not a whole bowl of peanut butter cream cheese icing....not yet anyway!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Something for a Monday

It's hard to keep talk about lovely things like food and the like when there's so much going on in Japan. But I think we need a little something to perk ourselves up.

Like some chocolate cake cookies with peanut butter cream cheese icing!

This is what I made with the left-over chocolate cake mix from the pancake incident. These were much much MUCH better than the pancakes. And frankly I could have eaten a whole bowl of the icing...


Friday, 11 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Best idea EVER

For using up the left over chocolate cake mix from the pancake day disaster. I'll let you know if it turns out...

There are no words....

...for how much I am missing coffee so far. And it's only day 2!

So this is my daughter eating my lovely healthy lunch. I had made toasted vegetables with white bean houmous with coriander (from a certain favourite blog) and seeded pittas. I put some in a bowl for her but everyone knows that food tastes better from Mommy's plate.

This was pancake day. I made regular, chocolate cake and lemon drizzle pancakes. The last two need work. They were ok but the chocolate cake pancakes weren't cakey enough and the lemon drizzles pancakes needed a better drizzle. But it was still a successful dinner. Frankly any dinner that includes strawberries, nutella and squirty cream is a success in my book!

With yesterday being Ash Wednesday we needed to have a meatless meal so I made pesto. My son is 5. He doesn't do vegetables (except for raw carrots and cooked broccoli...seriously.) And he only recently started to eat pesto. It's a HUGE deal. So when I make my pesto I add a little secret ingredient...


I cook them until they are tender then once they are cooled pop them in the chopper with the basil etc. Once it's all chopped up you can't tell. Certainly, my boy couldn't tell (nor could his dad!) I think it makes the sauce go further as well.

Looks like normal pesto to me!

I like a  creamier sauce so I usually add some whipping cream as well.

Anyway, it went down a treat. It almost made me forget about coffee.....almost.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


I love pancakes. LOVE. THEM. Could eat my weight in pancakes. And probably will today.

Yesterday I attempted a trial run of these cake batter pancakes from howsweeteats.com (my current favourite blog). The trouble is that I haven't found a proper cake mix yet. I'm in Scotland. They don't do yellow cake mix. So I tried a packet of sponge mix. Yeah. Not good. I mean the pancakes were ok but they didn't taste cakey. And the sprinkles I got all lost their colour. It was just sad.

So I had all this left over sponge mix. What to do?

I was baking cookies for my son's class anyway so I thought I give cake cookies a try. and oh my!
 Yes that is cream cheese icing in the middle.

I mixed the sponge mix with some butter and a bit of sugar an egg and some SR flour until it was the consistency of cookie dough. Then I rolled it into balls which I flattened out on the cookie sheet and baked at gas mark 4 until they were golden.

Then I went to the shops and got some chocolate cake mix.

Very looking forward to pancakes now!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

That's just crazy talk

So I'm giving up coffee and wine for Lent.

And that is, in fact, crazy talk.

I don't drink that much wine. Maybe a bottle a week split between me and Mr BlogBaker. But coffee? Gah. I am insane.

Anyway,  I am toasting my imminent doom. 

 And on a positive note. Lent doesn't start for TWO more days...

...and if the next 2 days are like today....there will me MUCH more wine to cram in.