Every now and then something so unusual, so unexpected, so downright astonishing, can happen in the course of your normal everyday life that your are left reeling and questioning the very nature and purpose of your existence. For example; we were recently left with a considerable amount of uneaten cake. It was spooky. Ultan suggested we make something with the leftover crumbs and I immediately felt like a complete dummy as the thought had never even crossed my mind. Before my eyes had been opened to the possibilities I was of the belief that with cake, it was either ‘the belly or the bin’. I really do hate to waste food anything containing chocolate and so this became a matter of the utmost importance. Continue reading
I’m not an avid baker, not that I dislike baking or anything, I just don’t fully understand the science of it. Unlike cooking, it’s an exact science with seemingly infinite possibilities for failure. A key ingredient isn’t weighed to the correct gram, eggs aren’t at room temperature, the oven isn’t hot enough, the oven is too hot, baking powder is substituted for baking soda because that’s all you have left… any multitude of things can result in baking failure. Scrambled batter, dense batter, dry cake, undercooked cake, cooked on top but not in the middle. Sound familiar? Welcome to my baking world. This recipe won’t win you any awards but it’s a fail-safe in times of need. Continue reading
Today I woke up and decided I wanted to bake a cake. It was my lovely friends’ birthday on Wednesday and I hadn’t seen her in such a long time. So I used this as an excuse to make and eat a cake because I wanted to have it. Is there really anything wrong with that? I blame society for making me feel like I had to make an excuse, and also you if you’re now sitting there judging me silently on the other side of this screen. However if you agree with me then great, lets run away together and live off cake for the rest of our lives. Continue reading
When I first bought my lovely bundt tin I had visions of elegant tea parties, grand birthdays and bake sales, and quaint country fêtes. Impressed bystanders would “ooh” and “aah” in dramatic fashion as I produced the most wonderful baked creations the world had ever seen. Since buying the tin not one of these things has actually happened. I don’t blame myself for this (obviously). Continue reading
Sometimes I can’t believe how anti-peanut butter I used to be only a year ago. We don’t eat all that much of it here and so it isn’t often used as a main ingredient in baking and desserts, which in my opinion is a mistake. A horrible, horrible mistake. We’re all familiar with the happy marriage of peanut butter and chocolate and these bars are a quick and easy way way to enjoy this delicious combination. Continue reading
What I liked initially about Krave was it’s marketing campaign, for the first time in a long time a cereal was being unashamedly marketed as being good tasting and not much else. In these times of health conscious mothers it’s rare to find such a thing even in the kiddy cereal aisle where Kellogg’s are hell bent on ruining old classics such as Coco Pops by adding healthful varieties to the range such as the thoroughly disgusting looking choco rolls and coco pops rocks. Eating Coco Pops for the benefit of your health is as silly as going to McDonalds and ordering a salad. No, healthy and kiddy cereal just don’t go hand in hand and that’s part of the joy of getting them. As a kid Cornflakes and Rice Krispies were cupboard staples and Frosties and Coco Pops appeared on special occasions, their rarity was what made them special and adding healthy grains reduces them to level of the common cereal. My fear is that all the wacky cereal characters will one day be wearing t-shirts emblazoned with words like ‘multigrain’ and ‘fiber’, only to eventually be abolished leaving only the text and some hideous aspartame loaded grain infused carob cereal inside. At least Krave is going some way to appease my concern Continue reading
I really wanted to make some kind of Halloween themed baked good this year, I really did. But the last week kind of got away from me and well, the best I could come up with was this totally unrelated albeit hilarious play on the word roulade. And so we have ‘Chocolate Ghoulade’. It’s a pretty tasty traditional chocolate roulade (or swiss roll if you’re feeling international) made using Mary Berrys recipe. I’d always been put off the idea of making a roulade for two reasons: 1) many recipes I read required the cake to be left overnight before filling and rolling and to be quite honest I just wouldn’t be able to sleep for thinking about that little chocolate cake sitting all lonely and untouched in the fridge and 2) the rolling aspect gave me the willies. After watching Mary Queen of Cakes demonstrate the roulade on the Great British Bake-off I decided that it wasn’t so scary after all and god dammit I was going to attempt it for myself. The texture was light and airy and the flavour sweet and chocolatey. The only thing I would add is perhaps a touch more cocoa powder or some brewed coffee to enhance the chocolate flavour of the sponge. We added orange food colouring to the whipped cream filling for no other reason than because it looked vaguely halloweeny, and I like it so there. Even the rolling went very well, better in fact than Mary’s herself who butchered her poor old cake. It was quite the success, unlike my numerous attempts at baked cheesecake but that’s a story for another day.