Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake

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I do still exist! So does my baking 🙂 and this time I have a funny story. When I was walking to work with this cake in a box to assemble later, I had the honeycomb in a plastic container on top of the box. It was 6am, pitch black, wind in a full blown gale. And what did I do? I walked past the windiest place I know in my city.

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And proceeded to watch as the box of honeycomb blew from my reach and onto the ground 5 metres away. After a split second of hope when the box didn’t open, it blew another metre and burst into a glorious explosion of caramelised sugar shards and that was that. The box and honeycomb blew into the distance and I could only laugh at my stupidity.

Two weeks ago I woke up and my first thought was ‘oh my gosh, I have a baking blog!’

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Yes, I forgot, completely 😦 I’m sure we all do that from time to time. Like we forget the keys or our passwords to how many ever accounts we seem to accumulate!

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Anyway, this cake was made as one of my first proper cake orders in a while for a ‘crunchie bar’ lover. It’s chocolate cake filled with honey buttercream (was meant to be filled with honey comb too but sadly my second batch hadn’t set when I was assembling) and topped with hokey pokey squiggles cookies, and honey comb and chocolate shards.
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I couldn’t find my nice piping tip a ziplock bag had to do. Any way, it turned out to be a very large cake indeed, with added height thanks to the toppings. Here’s roughly how to make it:

Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake
Make 1.5 times this chocolate cake recipe here, making three layers
Make a batch of this honey comb
For the butter cream, whip 150g softened butter, 3 cups icing sugar, 3 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp (or more if needed) milk until light and super fluffy.

To assemble, spread butter cream on top of all the layers and stack them, then pipe some leftover buttercream around the top and arrange hokey pokey squiggles, honey comb shards and chocolate shards around the top. Voila! Makes a big cake….

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Rose Syrup and Lemon Layer Cake

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It would appear that the angular shape of this cake matches the photos! I have none from an angled perspective, so I will leave you to imagine it, or even make the cake 🙂 Even though there are a few elements, it’s actually all pretty simple and there are no fancy ingredients except for the rose syrup (bought accidentally for margaritas). You can even leave out the syrup or maybe use rose water.


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It’s actually quite light and fluffy, I tried to embrace my inner Japanese-patissier. Then I ruined that a little with the traditional buttercream, but hey, life is a work in progress.

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Lemon and Rose Syrup Layer Cake
Ingredients:
Sponge Cake:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Frosting:
30g butter
1 cup icing sugar
Pinch of lemon zest, some lemon juice
Rose Cream Filling:
1/8 c cream
1 tbsp rose syrup
To decorate:
More syrup
Lemon Slices

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until very light and pale. Sift the flour and baking powder on top and fold in very gently. When just combined, pour into the tin and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool in the tin.

When cool, make the frosting. Beat the softened butter, icing sugar, lemon zest and about 2 tsp lemon juice until light and fluffy, adding a dash of milk if the icing is too thick.

Now whisk the cream and rose syrup until stiff, but not over beaten. We don’t want any butter now….

Unmold the cake and cut into three even layer, long rectangles. On top of two of the layers, spread on a thin layer of lemon frosting. On the last one, spread on the rose cream. Stack them, so that the rose layer in the middle. Pipe the remaining lemon frosting onto the top of the cake in whatever way you like, I did rows of dots. Arrange lemon slices on top and some dots of rose syrup if you like.

Makes 1x20cm long cake, which you can bake the day before and assemble on the day.

 

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Strawberry Banana Ring Cake with Lemon Frosting

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‘C’ for cake! Also for ‘couldn’t help myself’ as, as you can see, I took a slice of the cake before it was even frosting. Sorry about that.

‘C’ could also stand for ‘confused’ as I forgot to put oil in this cake, but it still turned out really nicely. If you are game, then I would add about 1/2 a cup of olive oil and slightly less water.

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At least the icing is absolutely delicious. It’s quite cool to decorate a cake this way, because you can drape and decorate with almost anything that links to the flavours. Banana chips, fresh strawberries, lemon slices, mint leaves, candied lemon peel, freeze-dried berries…. the list could go on! Here is the recipe, and I hope you have a lovely week 🙂

Banana, Lemon and Strawberry Ring Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
2&1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Zest of one lemon
3 bananas, mashed
1 punnet/cup strawberries (give or take)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
250mls+ water
Frosting:
75g butter, softened
Zest of one lemon
1 cup+ icing sugar
To decorate:
Geranium leaves/edible flower petals
Kaffir lime leaves
Lemon Zest

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a ring/Bundt tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest until combined.

Blitz the strawberries until smooth, and mix in a bowl with the bananas, eggs and vanilla essence. Mix VERY gently into the dry ingredients along with the water, until the batter is smooth. If the mixture is too thick, then add a bit more water.

Pour into the tin and bake for an hour, until the a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin for about 20 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

When cool, beat together the butter, lemon zest and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Spread on top of the cake, then decorate with edible flowers, leaves, lemon zest and maybe some more strawberries.

Makes quite a large cake, and lasts well about 3 days.

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Leftover-Porridge Banana Cake

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Another banana cake, but this one is different?! It’s handy to use up that porridge you didn’t eat, and those bananas that got a littttle too brown. Plus it’s perfect for breakfast or a pudding! Enjoy 🙂

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Leftover-Porridge Banana Cake
2/3-3/4 cup leftover porridge
Two mashed bananas
1 egg
Cinnamon, vanilla, chinese five spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup any sugar or honey (add a bit more flour if you use honey)
1 cup-ish flour (depends on how much porridge)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20x20cm tin (or just grease it!).

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Yup, that easy. Pour into the tin and sprinkle with some more spice if you like. Bake 35 minutes, until only a few wee crumbs stick to the skewer when inserted. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Summer Lemon Hummingbird Cake with Grape Compote Filling

Say hello to Carrot Cake’s friend, Hummingbird Cake 🙂 (version two as a matter of fact, after the wintery version one)

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It was the first thing I baked when I got home for the holidays; being in a kitchen not too small and not too big was incredible! It took three steps to get the fridge, as opposed to the ten or zero I am used to.

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It’s decorated with a big long string of lemon zest, kaffir lime leaves and some fresh pansies. Also I used up some old grapes for the filling (‘waste not, want not’).

 

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And lemon cream cheese frosting; that was a mandatory. It seems there is something about cream cheese frosting….

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It’s a wonderful summer cake 🙂

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I hope you are having a wonderful time even if you aren’t able to eat on the lawn thanks to the weather at the moment!

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Here is the recipe!

Lemon Hummingbird Cake with Grape Filling and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
Cake:
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup desicated coconut
1 cup olive oil
425g crushed pineapple, drained
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Lemon juice (of two lemons)
6 small bananas or 4 medium, ashed
Filling:
1 cup red grapes
Frosting:
75g butter
100g cream cheese
Lemon zest and juice
1 cup icing sugar
To Decorate:
Lemon Zest
Pansies
Kaffir Lime Leaves

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line two 18cm diameter cake tins.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, lemon zest and coconut until combined. In another bowl, mix the olive oil, pineapple, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and bananas. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. The mixture will be very thick, don’t worry! Divide between the two tins, spread out evenly and bake for about 50 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes with only a few crumbs sticking when inserted. Cool in the tins.

Meanwhile, make the grape filling. In a small saucepan, add the grapes and cover with water generously. Over low heat, cook until juicy and popped, squishing occasionally. When the juice has reduced and there is not much left, pour into a bowl and cool.

For the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. It will be difficult to start with but then soften up. Mix in as much lemon juice and zest as desired (I used one only!) and the icing sugar. Beat until smooth.

To assemble, pick which layer you want to be the bottom. Place on the plate and spread about 1/3 of the frosting on top, followed by the grape filling. Place the top layer on top and then spread on the rest of the frosting. Decorate with the lemon rind, pansies and kaffir lime leaves. Serve!

Makes  a big cake with about 14 servings at least. Keeps, iced, extra well 🙂

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Apple-Oat Dessert Cake (Vegan!)

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Just a quick wee recipe to get you through the week! If it is fall/autumn in your area of the world, then these apples will be a hit, I’m sure 🙂 Plus it’s all one bowl! In half an hour, you can have morning or afternoon tea on the table. I had mine with some leftover caramel sauce (use coconut cream instead of cream if you are making vegan caramel sauce).

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Have a good week everyone! 😀
Vegan Apple Dessert Cake
Ingredients:
250g wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
100g brown sugar
210g apple, chopped
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water
1 Tbsp oats to top

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 20cm square baking tin.

In a large bowl, mix in the flour, baking powder and baking soda, ginger and sugar, followed by the apples. Make a well in he middle and mix in the vinegar, oil and water until all combined. Pour into the tin and top with some oats, Bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out with only a few crumbs.

Cut and enjoy!

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Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake

 

 

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Another cake! This one was a birthday cake for one of my friends, a sweetheart who adores anything French and speaks the language well (we have been learning it together since we were 10 years old…..!). As you can see it was strawberry season when it was made….. It’s a tad more complicated than my usual cakes and slightly more ‘francais’ so if all the components seem a little over the top altogether, then just adapt and take what you will from it 🙂

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It looks pretty anyway! Although I have to admit I used food colouring for the pink icing, something which I am not usually fond of doing…..

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Anyway, here is the recipe!

Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake
Genoise:
3 eggs
125g sugar
40g flour
30 g cornflour
35g butter, melted
Crème Mousseline:
1 yolk
2 Tbsp sugar
15g flour
100mls milk
30g seedless jam (raspberry)
35g butter
Italian Meringue:
1 egg white
50mls water
50g sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
Extras:
Some plain icing on top if you want.
(I used ½ cup icing sugar with some hot water and pink food colouring)
Jam to fill
Strawberries to decorate
Edible leaves to decorate

Instructions:
Begin with the genoise. Place a large metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin) if it has a removable bottom then don’t forget to line it too!). Don’t forget to melt the butter.

Place the eggs and sugar in the large bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk! Keep whisking until the batter is thick and pale. You should be able to drizzle the batter into a figure of eight before it sinks in. Remove it from the heat. Sift the flour onto the batter and fold in. Do the same for the corn flour. Lastly, pour in the melted butter and fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, start on the crème mousseline. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, sugar and flour until pale. Heat the milk until boiling/steaming, and pour it a bit at a time into the yolk mixture and whisk well. Pour the egg and milk back into the saucepan and heat on LOW heat. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until the crème is thick and like custard. Keep mixing because there is not a lot of crème in the pan and it will glug up fast if you aren’t careful! When done, transfer to a bowl or cup and chill.

Now to assemble; cut the sponge in half horizontally. On the top of the bottom layer, spread on the jam of your choice, then top with the crème mousseline. Place the top layer on top. Spread on the plain icing.

Now to make the Italian meringue! Place the egg white and cream of tartar in a clean mixing bowl; beat until frothy. Separately, heat the sugar and water together until the mixture reaches, soft ball stage, or 110 degrees Celsius. Working quickly, turn up the speed of the mixture (or get your arm working harder!) and pour in the syrup in a thin stream. Beat continuously until the meringue is thick and fluffy, Dollop or pipe the meringue around the edge of the top of the cake, into a big whispy tiara. Arrange mint leaves and sliced strawberries on top. Done!
NOTE: you can sprinkle the cake with some simple syrup or liqueur before assembling.

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Vegan Butterfly-Inside Banana Loaf

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Not as hard as you think! I make so much vegan banana bread I thought I should so something special this time. It’s quite a nice surprise to cut it open and reveal a wee butterfly (or whatever shape you prefer). It’s good practice if you are looking at doing this in a large layer cake 🙂

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Plus it’s a cute way to spruce up a simple loaf. I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and have been inspired to get busy in the kitchen. I’m baking lots of cupcakes today to raise money for Syrian Refugees, so I can’t wait to post them!

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Butterfly-Inside Vegan Banana Loaf
Ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup sugar (any)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp plain oil
1 banana, mashed
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp cocoa
Cinnamon/ginger/cardamom

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 10x20cm loaf tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and soda and sugar until combined. Another small bowl, mix the banana, oil and vinegar until combined, then add to the dry mixture. Mix together with the water, until there are no lumpy bits. Transfer just under 1/3 of the batter into another bowl and mix the cocoa into it. Cover the rest of the batter and put to the side.

Tip into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin, then cool completely on a wire rack. (I was a bit impatient and waited until it was cool enough not to fall apart!).

Now, for the rest of the cake assembly! Mix whatever spices you want into the rest of the cake batter. Cut the chocolate loaf into 2cm/0.5 inch slices (they don’t have the be too even) and use a cookie cutter (in my case a butterfly) to cut out shapes from each slice. Re-grease your loaf tin and pour about 1/4 of the spiced batter into the bottom. Spread evenly. Arrange the shapes in the middle of the tin, in one line. Then gently spoon the rest of the batter onto the chocolate shapes, covering completely. Bake for about 25 mins (still at 170*C) until the top springs back when touched lightly. Cool for about half an hour, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Now, the best bit! Slicing your creation! This makes one small-ish loaf, and is great toasted 🙂

Note: I cooled my cake in the tin, and it sweated a bit, so I would recommend doing as I wrote in the recipe!

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Much butter and love!
Sami x

Easy Lemon and Blueberry Birthday Cake (August Birthday Cake #3)

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Just a quick recipe this one 🙂 A toned down version of the flavour combo in this cake here. It’s super lemony and super delicious, as well as super easy….! Enjoy, more birthday cakes to come……!

 

Lemon and Blueberry Birthday Cake
Cake:
175g flour
2 tsp baking powder
115g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
½ tsp lemon oil
Zest and juice of two lemons
Syrup:
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Blueberry Compote:
250g frozen blueberries
Frosting:
75g butter
130g icing sugar
100g lemon curd
Dash of milk

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm diameter cake tin.
Mix together the flour and baking powder, then add the butter, sugar, lemon oil and lemon zest and juice. Mix gently until just combined and transfer into the cake tin. Spread evenly and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, make the berry compote. Chuck the blueberries in a pan and boil gently until nice and thick. You should be able to make lines in the sauce in the bottom of the saucepan with your spatula. Cool completely.

When ready to assemble, make the frosting. Soften the butter and whip with the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon curd and continue beating. Add a bit of milk if the mixture becomes too thick to mix well.

Cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread about a quarter of the frosting on the bottom layer and spread a bit of the compote on the frosting. Place on the top layer of the cake and spread the rest of the frosting on nicely. Using a teaspoon, arrange the rest of the compote around the edges of the cake and serve.

Makes about 10 slices, the cake itself can be made the day before.