Bundles of Bakes

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Busy being a busy bee 🐝

Feels like it’s been forever since my last post! But with good reason.. the last half of May was crazy busy for me. Where to start!

Well, I had some cupcakes delivered to Hollyoaks! Here’s a pic of the make up department, Jazmine Franks and Duayne Boachie with some of them!

Exciting!!

I’ve been making a lot of changes in my life which will hopefully go on to awesome things but I’ll talk more about that in the future when things are properly in motion. I also managed to watch all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy in May, and I revamped a Welsh dresser! My kitchen is slowly becoming my dream kitchen..

It went from green & white to a Bundles blue & pink! It’s in much better shape now and just looks adorable with all my cakey and bakey equipment residing in/on it.

The last week in May was my busiest. I made a giant hot chocolate cup cake aaaand…

I had my first ever cake stall!

I baked and decorated non-stop for what felt like an entire month (but in reality was just a few days) and my trusty hand mixer decided to die the morning before the event when I had 150+ cupcakes plus biscuits and buttercream to make!! But I somehow manged to pull it off. I was so tired and achey afterwards that I passed out on the couch as soon as I got home. Despite the crazy wet and windy weather I did really well, much better than I was expecting! Looking forward to next time :)

June is set to be busy too, I’ll be making a ballet themed cake for my cousin’s 16th birthday this week. Can’t wait to get started on that!

I’ll try and update with a new recipe soon :)

Soap & Glory Inspired Breakfast Muffin

Ever had bath-time goodies that smelt so good you just wanted to eat them? Chances are if you’ve ever used anything by Soap & Glory, then you have (I’m currently slathered in their Sugar Crush body buttercream and I smell like Skittles. SKITTLES).

The product that has inspired this particular post though is the one and only Breakfast Scrub. It’s been a staple in my bathroom for the last few years and for good reason! Not only is it amazing at it’s job (leaving you super silky smooth and smelling fiiiiine) it smells absolutely divine. I often find I’ve walked into the bathroom for no other reason than to sniff this glorious pot of scrummy sugary goodness.

 

Bananas, almonds, honey, maple; it’s no wonder it smells so damned good! I decided to take all of these yummy things and whip up something that smells just as good that I can actually eat and thus the Soap & Glory Breakfast Muffin was born.

Light and fluffy, deliciously moist, perfect for an on-the-go breakfast and just heavenly warmed up! Give it a go the next time you want to eat the contents of your bathroom.

 

Soap & Glory Breakfast Muffin

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes plus 20-25 minutes baking
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 90g Caster Sugar
  • 25g Light Brown Sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • 75g Butter
  • 2 Large Ripe Bananas
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 120ml Milk
  • Maple Syrup

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 5/190°C/375°F. Line a 12 tray muffin pan with muffin cases.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar into a large bowl and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl add the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, honey, milk and butter and beat well. Mash up the bananas and add to the egg mix. Stir.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Mix with a fork until just incorporated. It should be thick and lumpy.
  6. Spoon into the muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until firm and golden.
  7. Once baked, removed from the oven and whilst they’re still hot drizzle each muffin with a good amount of maple syrup and sprinkle some light brown sugar. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  8. Leave to cool completely or enjoy warm.

 

 

(I’m not sponsered by Soap & Glory btw, I’m just an S&G addict)

Fondant Silicone Mould Tutorial

When I first started working with fondant I was so excited to try out all the amazing silicone moulds, there was so many lovely designs I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. And then I finally did get my hands on them and ended up nearly tearing my hair out in frustration trying to get them to work!

The fondant would get stuck, the design wouldn’t hold.. it was so frustrating! I did eventually (after many hours of growling and cursing) discover how to get them to bloody work.

First things first; Tylo Powder. It’s pretty much an essential when I’m working with fondant moulds. For softer, more flexible moulds us less tylo. For firmer moulds use a little more. Dust your mould with a little cornflour then tap it on the counter to remove the excess; use a soft brush to remove any more excess cornflour. You only need a very light coating. Next, warm up your fondant up by kneading it, then push it firmly into the desired mould. Use a small rolling pin to push it further in and roll it gently across the fondant to make sure it gets into all the nook and crannies. Cut the excess fondant away from the mould and use your finger to lightly rub over the edges; this will help to remove any last excess fondant. Flip your mould over and bend it, as if peeling it away from the fondant. Gently coerce the fondant out with your finger if you need to, and hey presto! You should have successfully used your fondant mould :)

Melt in the mouth Melting Moments

I first saw this recipe posted at Happy Home Baking and absolutely fell in love with how these cookies looked. I immediately added them to my To Bake list and gave them a go the first chance I had, which was today. Oh my goodness, they really do melt in the mouth! They’re delicious, so easy to make and use ingredients you most likely have to hand right now, which is good because you’ll want to make them ASAP.

I added glacé cherries to some of them before baking and dipped some of them in milk chocolate once they’d baked and cooled. You can jazz them up however you like but they’re gorgeous on their own too.

 

 

Melting Moments

  • Servings: 25
  • Time: 30 mins prep 15 mins baking
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 175g Butter, softened at room temperature
  • 40g Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 40g Cornflour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/180°C/350°F and line two baking trays.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few seconds.
  3. Sift the flour and cornflour together over the butter mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped piping nozzle. Pipe into the required shapes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Space the shapes well apart.
  5. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until they are a pale golden colour. Leave for a few minutes on the baking tray to firm up slightly before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Recipe Source: Happy Home Baking

 

Yummy Malty Chocolate Truffles

A few days ago I tried my hand at making some homemade Maltesers (Whoppers/Mighty Malts) just for fun. The outcome surprisingly tasted just right, but the texture was all wrong. They weren’t crunchy and they were much too solid especially considering how light an airy a Malteser is. So I haven’t cracked the well guarded secret recipe for Maltesers, but it inspired me to create something else: Malty Chocolate Truffles.

They’re not light, and they’re definitely not crunchy, but they are yummy and moreish and malty. And easy! (And only a teeny tiny bit messy!)

Oh alright. A bit messier than a teeny tiny bit, but they are truffles! You can’t have homemade truffles without getting your hands dirty, can you? (Can you!?) My best advice is to keep your hands cold and roll the truffles fast. They’ll get sticky very quickly but this helps the cocoa to stick to them. Stack them on a plate and they’re good to go. Enjoy!

 

 

Malty Chocolate Truffles

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 20-30mins plus 4 hours chilling
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 125g Milk Chocolate
  • 75ml Double Cream
  • 20g Butter
  • 40g Malt Powder
  • Small bowl of Cocoa Powder

Directions

  1. Chop the chocolate into rough, small pieces and set aside. Add the double cream and butter to a saucepan and heat gently, stir until the butter has melted and it’s just beginning to simmer.
  2. Remove from heat and add the chocolate to the saucepan. Leave it for about a minute and then mix it all together. Once all of the chocolate has melted, add the malt powder to the mixture and stir until it’s nicely incorporated.
  3. Transfer to a suitable container. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  4. Once the mixture is nice and firm it’s ready to roll into truffle. Take a melon baller or spoon, scoop out a truffle sized amount and roll it into a ball with the palms of your hands.
  5. Roll the ball in the cocoa powder until it’s nicely coated.
  6. Repeat until you’ve used up all the mixture and you have a nice little pile of truffles.

Birthday cake mistakes, tips & recipe!

The first time I decorated a birthday cake I was so proud of it; In my beginners eyes I’d done an amazing job. I couldn’t quite believe just how well I’d done. Now when I see that cake, I cringe.

It wasn’t terrible. Honestly, it could have been so much worse. I’d done some research and it tasted fine, but it was absolutely riddled with mistakes.

I’d dived in head first and decided to make a two tiered cake.
I didn’t dowel it.
I repeat; I ADDED NO SUPPORT TO THIS CAKE. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. I’m not even sure there was a board beneath the top cake, argh! Luckily it didn’t cave in on itself, but that may be down to my next mistake.

The cakes lacked depth. I used a bog standard cake tin that was maybe an inch tall. I thought this was how it was done and that there would be plenty of height. Even when the cake was done I didn’t see a problem with how tall it was. You can see that the side of the bottom tier is entirely covered by the width of a ribbon. The height of those two tiers put together is probably the height of an average single tier of any cake I make now. Oh dear.

The next thing I did wrong with this cake was the decoration. This was in the days way before I’d discovered Tylo Powder (which will have a blog post all of it’s own soon!) so the decorations were much chunkier than I’d like now, and dangerously easier to break. They were also just dotted about willy nilly; they’d have looked much better in a posy pick. You can’t really tell in the picture, but they were also covered in icing sugar that I’d used to make sure they didn’t stick to my work surface (BIG NO NO). It completely dried the fondant out.

My biggest mistake though, was the recipe. It was your basic Victoria Sponge mix. It baked fine, it tasted fine, but a Victoria Sponge just isn’t durable enough for this type of cake decorating. I mean, it is possible to decorate it with fondant and things, but it’s so light and fluffy that it’s so much more likely to end in disaster. It’s not great at taking the weight of the fondant, it’s much more likely to fall apart, it’s terrible for getting a nice smooth finish and it’s absolutely atrocious for carving!

But here was a problem; In my experience, when I asked people what type of cake they wanted, they would almost always answer with “a Victoria Sponge” (the second most popular answer was “just a birthday cake”). And of course, I soon discovered, a Victoria Sponge just didn’t cut it.

So I set to devising my own recipe; it had to taste like a Victoria Sponge, but it had to be firmer. After a lot of trial and error, I finally made my perfect birthday cake. I have made a lot of them since then, and they’ve always gone down a treat- so simple too! It’s basically a Victoria Sponge with plain flour added to the mix and this creates a nice amount of density. It bakes well, carves well, freezes well and tastes great. It’s also really versatile so you can flavour it however you like- in the recipe below I use vanilla, but that can be switched up any way you want. For chocolate cake I just replace some plain flour with cocoa.

Annoyingly the only photo I have of this cake before decoration is this one:

 

Anyway, here is the recipe! This is the amount for 2 x 8inch round cake tins.

Natalie's Birthday Cake Recipe

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1hour 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 300g Butter
  • 5 Medium Eggs
  • Tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 3/160°C/325°F. Grease cake tins and line with baking parchment.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and cream it until it becomes lighter in colour, and smoother and fluffier in texture.
  3. Sift the flours together in a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and sugar mix, with a spoonful of flour to help prevent curdling. Slowly mix until all the eggs are incorporated, then add the vanilla extract and mix for a few more seconds.
  5. Add the remaining flour and mix it by hand with a spatula or large spoon until it all comes together; don’t overmix.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two tins and pop them into the oven. Check on them after an hour; if they are golden in colour and spring back when pressed on they should be ready. Double check by inserting a knife or skewer into the center, if it comes out clean the cake is done. If they’re not yet baked, check on them every 10-15 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. Once cooled completely wrap it up or store it in an airtight container. Leave it for 12 hours before cutting into it.

(here’s the finished product of the above cake just because!)

Tips!

  • Allow all of the ingredients to reach room temperature; this is very important. If you need your butter to warm up in a hurry, you can pop it in the microwave on a VERY LOW setting for 10 seconds at a time or (and this one sounds crazy but trust me on it) put your butter in a bowl and cover it with some warm (not hot!) water. Give it a few minutes then drain it off, your butter should be ready. Remember, you want your butter to be softened, not melted.
  • Sit your eggs in some hot (not boiling) water for about 5 minutes before you use them.
  • Add a bowl of boiling water to the bottom of your oven. I don’t know the science, but I think it keeps the oven nice and moist. Works for me!
  • When you add the cake mix to your tins, make a hole in the middle; you literally want to see the bottom of the tin. This helps make the cake raise flatter and there’s much less waste when you cut off the dome.
  • Give your cake-mix-filled cake tins a good few taps on the counter before popping them into the oven- this helps release any big air bubbles that might be trapped in the mix.

And that’s it I think! If you do try this recipe please let me know what you think of it, I’d love to see some cakey creations!

Happy baking :)