Rum Delicious - Rum Balls

I'm currently in my home town of Warwick. I'm over at my mothers waiting for what looks to be an amazing Wagu Beef Thai Salad. In the meantime my sister and I whipped up some rum balls with some good old Bundaberg Rum! These will be the perfect after dinner treat... Though some didn't quite make the table as my mum's partner had 3 pre- dinner balls already.

Happy Baking x

Australia's own rum!!

Lulu's Birthday Carrot Cake

I decided to break the posts up, however the last post and the next one were actually all made in the one weekend. For this post though I think she deserved her own post as she is a big loved and demolisher of my baking adventures and her opinion matter very much to me. Also if I was to actually go into selling this properly she would be a model of my market.


This cake was for LuLu and once again LK helped me out with this as it was part of her birthday present. I actually can't take much of the credit for the baking of the cake as all I did was measure out the ingredients and LK did all the hard work, however i did make the cream cheese icing.
The birthday girl was over the moon with this cake which made it all worth while. 

Happy Birthday Lulu, and Happy Baking to all x

Cupcakes fit for a Vegan Surfer Blood

I am finally on my first proper holiday of the year and I'm currently sitting in Dubai airport waiting for my plane to be refueled. I have already completed the first 8-9 hours of a 25 hour journey, but a break from being on the plane is appreciated. Its also giving me the chance to write up about some of my last baking ventures from the last month in London before my trip back to Australia where I'm going to celebrate the Christmas and New Year break with my missed friends and family.

My housemate LK and I have been very fortunate this year with gig tickets, along with many other thing we can be thankful for. Our twitter friends Surfer Blood who are awesome band from Florida were kind enough to give us guest spots to the sold out Interpol gig at Brixton Academy. I have been listening to their album for a few months now, however was yet to see them play, and I was definitely not disappointed and I think you should all check them out.

Anyway to the baking. So Thomas from Surfer Blood is the main man behind the tweets and also a vegan. Since I like to take on a challenge I thought I'd give some vegan cupcakes a go. I never thought about how many ingredients have animal products in them and I was very weary whether the mix of weird ingredients; rapeseed oil, soya butter & milk, cider vinegar, ….. would actually resemble anything that looked like a cupcake or even taste like one.

Its hard to explain the taste of these, however you can definitely taste the difference in the mixture which tastes slightly like a vegetable based cupcake and was actually very light and fluffy which I loved. The icing pretty much resembled normal cream cheese icing, except made on soya butter. The icing came out a little runny, but we made at about 11pm on a Sunday after a very long weekend, so getting the texture right to pipe this icing was far from our minds, so icing by spoon was what they got.


I think the boys enjoyed the cupcakes and tweeted this picture at us after they went off stage…. thanks guys!!


The boys enjoying the cupcakes after the show

Happy Baking x

PS.  Hey Surfer Blood, if you are reading this, we are still waiting for our champagne :)

Guest Blogger - My Mum - Christmas Cake

I've finally convinced another person to be a guest blogger and this time its my Mum. She has blogged about her fabulous Christmas cakes which for the last 3 years I've had to miss out on because of the fact I'm in another hemisphere and all. This year will be different as I will shortly travel to the other side of the world just to be able to sample some of this fine cake which I miss thoroughly.

This is What My Mum Made

 

Well this is my first attempt at writing something that actually made sense. Lets see how it goes....

Years ago I decided to take over the role of Christmas cake maker. Looking though endless books I finally decided to try this one. It a recipe by little Scottish lady, who was and still is the matriarch of Australian cuisine - Margaret Fulton. This lady would immediately make me think of my mum Peg (if you didn't know Peg is also short for Margret) who was also a little Scottish lady who made lovely Christmas cakes, however she never gave me a recipe and alas with most knowledge has gone to the grave with her.

I don't know where to start with my cake as I moan and groan each year about making it. All that effort and time for one day a year and then by the end of the day everyone is to stuffed to think about having some. But the beauty of this cake it is meant too keep for sometime. I make it early in the year in either October or November, then the trick is to feed it regularly with a nip of spirits a couple of times a week, Brandy rum sherry what ever spirits you have.


When I'm mixing the cake I always make sure whomever is in the house at the time has a go at mixing it too as its quite a heavy handed job and then you will also get to make a wish too. And in the end the cake is made with love and I'm hoping that with a little piece of cake served, a little piece of love is served too.


To all my family and friends may you have the happiest Christmas ever....

Love Anne

This is my Mum's cat Miso.. so adorable I'd thought I'd share

Fast Cupcakes and Lemon Drizzle

I made these cupcakes yesterday for another birthday at work. I learnt another valuable lesson with these ones - take not of the colour of your cupcakes cases otherwise you end up with fast food coloured cupcakes unintentionally. They still looked fairly cute, but after spending 18 months of my life working for McDonald's I'd rather keep all of my baking treats away from any association.

Little McD's

Secondly I made a lemon drizzle cake. I tried the Hummingbird Bakery recipe this time and also used a round tin, mainly because its easier to trasnprot, but I actually prefer it that way.


Happy Baking x

Mo'vember - Round Two

This was the second batch of Mo'vember cupcakes which in my opinion kicked arse over the last batch. First thing I made was a batch of gingerbread mustaches which were later decorated in pretty colours by my housemates.

Baking weekend for the Mo'Bro's

Second batch was some butter biscuits which I doubled up with some jam in the middle. These were/are my favourite type of cookies. Back in my hometown in Australia I use to love going to the bakery to get these biscuits. They always had pink icing and hundreds and thousands, so I re-created this.. Mo'vember style.

Jammy goodness

Next up were the cupcakes. A lady at work who has been very supportive of my baking, however is unable to eat wheat products, so I thought I would make my low-fat gluten free cupcakes. I use to make these all the time earlier this year as they always ended up being so light and fluffy, despite the main ingredients of ground almond, rice flour and courgettes. In the middle I put strawberry jam, which likes to find its way to the bottom no matter what I try. For the icing I really wanted to try out some of my new piping tubes and i'd never made royal icing before so I thought i'd give it a go. I tends to dry hard and crack so next time I will put some glycerine in it, but with just a hint of pink they looked delightful.

Low-fat Gluten Free cupcakes
so much pretty

The next batch of cupcakes were just normal batter, however since I'm a ginger 'nut' I decided to make this batch ginger, with crushed up ginger biscuit in the bottom, and some also sprinkled on top. The ginger went well with some simple cream cheese icing. It ended up being like mini cheesecake cupcake... sooo delish.
I had smashing these biscuits to made them into the base

bake it in a cake style

 

Before the day was out I decided to make one more batch of cupcakes. I used the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook recipe for chocolate cupcakes and chocolate icing. I don't know what they do with their mixture or how big their cases are, but its a big stretch to make 12 cupcakes like the recipe says... I think I squeezed out about 8.
all boxed up and ready to go

At the end of the two days I ended up raising £80 in total which I thought was amazing as we even had left overs. Thanks to all who supported/donated/decorated/ate my baked treats, your support was very much appreciated.

Happy Baking x

A little film of our baking team... 
video

Mo'vember - Round One

If you didn't already know it was Mo'vember, then your probably thinking there is a sudden fashion trend of dirty mo's about the place.

Mo'vember was started in Australia and has spread across the world as a fun way for people to raise money for Prostate Cancer Research. Most guys I know use it as an excuse for that one month of the year that its okay to have the dirty mo. I don't mind them, so maybe they will catch on for others months of the year too...mmm Johnny anyone?


Since I don't have any moustache growing skills, I thought I'd use my baking skills and bake cake for the cause. I ended up backing for two separate occasions and I will update on my next post how much I raised. This is just to show my first few batches that were taken into work to fundraise money on the office quiz night. Cupcakes were just simple vanilla with butter cream icing.

I decided to decorate the cupcakes with simple chocolate and cookies, however cutting a Oreo in half seemed to be a two man job. Please see our short instuctional video.


video

I was very happy to raise a total of £60 for the night and the social committee pledged to match whatever I raised.. so just waiting for the cheque in the mail!

All my cupcakes - not my best as they got a little squashed




Happy Baking x

Red Velvet Cupcakes and some Lemon winners too...

These are the two dozen cupcakes Julie at my work ordered from me for the office to share for her birthday. She let me choose whatever flavour I wished to make and so I decided to test some more recipes from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

I decided to have another go at the Red Velvet cupcakes. I think they were my first post if I recall from the start of summer. We ate those cupcakes on the top of Primrose Hill where we sat for at least 8 hours in the sun... best summer Sunday ever, IMO! I have to say these cupcakes whilst they look stunning with their rich red bases and contrasting white cream cheese icing, they just don't do it for me, but others love them, so I'm sure I will make them again.

my housemate trying to take an 'arty' shot

Little Red

Good Ratio of icing to cake ... I think anyway!
nom.. my afternoon tea at work

The other batch I decided to make is always a winner, Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing. And I was right, they were a winner!

Happy Birthday Julie!

Little Lemon.. small but delish
All boxed up and read to go..
 Happy Baking everyone else x

Bake it in a Cake - The Laura's Way

There is this amazing website which is dedicated to some interesting cupcake combinations. Its called Back It in a Cake. Its very exciting to walk through a supermarket and think about what you can put inside a cake. We tried this with a bit of our left over mixture from various cupcakes over the past few weeks, this is how it went.

This first one is a digestive biscuit crushed into a chocolate cupcake.  

I like sprinkles.. and lots of them


Digestive Goodness

 The second one we didn't get a great photo of the inside as we were tired and just wanted to smash them in our face - literally! But this one was made from left over vanilla cake, with a Lindt ball in the middle (which clearly sank to the bottom) and left over peanut butter on the top.

Last minute photo on the iphone before smashing in our faces
Peanut butter and Lindt ball awesomeness

Happy Baking x

Fan Cakes of the Peanut Butter kind....

The last few weeks for me have been amazing, along with having to make some hard decisions. Hummingbird Bakery was looking for new bakers for their various stores, and I thought there was no harm in applying. All I had to showcase my baking skills was my blog, and being a home baker I didn't think I would have even the slightest chance. So I was very excited when the following day I was called up to be offered a trial at one of their stores. Apparently a few people had seen my blog within their offices, and apparently even the head of Hummingbird Bakery! I was completely blown away and extremely flattered to be contacted; and had I only been 5 years younger, I would have jumped straight in.

Unfortunately, after a few years of living in London, I'm in a place that I'm not to keen to give up right now, and the balance of having a good job enabling me to fund my hobby/obsession is where I want to be. In saying that, the other reason I turned it down is, being the slight control-'freak' that I am, I want to bake my way and I can't quite do that within the constraints of a full time baking job.
Shortly after making my decision, I received an order which made me more confident that turning the job down was the right decision. The order was for 50 cupcakes for Cloud Control's gig at the Lexington. This order made me realise that there were other parts of my life I would have to give up, including going to numerous gigs, and that was something I just couldn't pass up. Also the fact I could do my baking and take it to the gig opened up a whole new realm.

The order of 50 cupcakes was a bit of a challenge, mainly transportation, and I couldn't have gotten a worse day to transport them. The weather decided that gale force wind and rain was perfect for the occasion. Thankfully we made it to the venue between breaks in the torrential rain.

My housemate LK helped me out on this order and she baked her chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing recipe again. They were just as good the second time around. We also went with a chocolate base with chocolate icing. The chocolate icing from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook is to die for, and resembles mousse on a cake... nom. The remaining cupcakes were lemon with cream cheese. I know these always go down a treat, so I baked two batches.

We had a lot of fun making these over two nights and we thought we'd video a bit of it to share... LK bakes the best when she has her fox hat on...


video

The whole night was the best I've had in awhile, even getting to bed at 3 am on a school night didn't seem to bother me.

Thanks for the shout out guys - this is our shout out to you.

The Laura's

x Happy Baking

PS. check out their blog... you'll love it too http://www.cloudcontrolband.com/blog/

Flagged and ready to go
LauraK's chocolate with caramel 
biscuit on the bottom and peanut butter icing
Lemon with cream cheese
Chocolate with chocolate mousse icing
Beanz trying to steal 
all the lemon cupcakes
Even with the sign up people still were 
hesitant to eat them, in the end yelling..
'Have a cupcake they are FREE' worked well
The cupcake merch table
a excited fan with a flag
LK was a little excited about 
Cloud Control about to come on stage