First Communion Cake – #Bakeoftheweek

First Holy Communion Cake

I’m so delighted with this First Holy Communion Cake – Yes, it has flaws, the perfectionist in me is trying not to point them out but its pretty amazing that it got made in the first place. It would have been much easier to tell Violet that there just simply wasn’t enough time to get everything ready, clean the house, make a buffet AND make her a cake but I just couldn’t do it. She went to bed on Friday night with a severely unfinished cake, a house that still needed cleaning for her party the next day and a buffet still to be made. She was so sweet when she woke up on the Saturday and told me she loved her cake (which had miraculously been finished over night) and gave me a big hug. It was totally the right thing to do and I will never go for the easy option ever again!

We’ve still not cut into it but will probably do so tonight – The top is vanilla sponge and the bottom a rich fruit cake (with no mixed peel!) The little Violet is made from a mixture of flower paste and fondant with a marzipan head. I had to include her freckles (dots of brown food colouring with a cocktail stick) and her veil is made from a piece of lace ribbon.

We had a lovely day – You made have already seen Vi’s picture on my Silent Sunday post. The church service was lovely – her special friends all made their own First Holy Communions and Confirmations at the same time. My sister, Rachel was Violet’s sponsor and did a brilliant job of keeping her calm just before it was her turn to go up to the priest.

We had plenty of photo opportunities afterwards – even us mums got involved! Tara and her special friends had a great play – we will be doing it all over again in 5 years with these little guys!

First Holy Communion

As usual, thanks so much to everyone who got involved with last week’s #Bakeoftheweek. Great to see some new members too – A warm welcome to you!

P_20150509_190355

I couldn’t ignore Kirsty’s Bailey’s Cheesecake – Aside from being one of the best culinary inventions ever, this recipe comes from Sunrise Senior Living in aid of supporting people with dementia. I’ve written before about how dementia has affected my family. Particularly apt as this weekend we missed Dad being at Violet’s communion.

Baileys Cheesecake

I also have to choose this amazing Happy Rainbow Cake from TrulyMadlyKids – This cake just makes me happy looking at it. And there’s no calories involved with looking is there?!

Bake of the week

1. Making Peanut Butter cool again with these perfectly formed Peanut Butter Spelt Scones – The Lass in the Apron
2. Snap Happy Bakes has made a much better job of her Sweet Potato Fries than I did a couple of weeks ago – I’ll definitely be following her technique than my own soggy, burnt mess technique!
3. Eileen from ET Speaks From Home describes her Cinnamon Waffle Dippers as the ‘Perfect Party Treat’ – I think she may be correct!
4. Warm welcome to Kidgredients with her fantastic Apple Pie Yogurt Dough Scrolls
5. Hannah from Domestic Gothess with her incredibly pretty Lemon Shortbread served with Camomile Tea
6. I have to award a special mention to The Green Gourmet Giraffe for being so unusual and dramatic with these Kale Cheesecake Surprise Chocolate Mint Cupcakes – Don’t they look amazing? That colour green is stunning.
7. Julie’s Family Kitchen Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes – These look so tasty!
8. Cardamom Almond Cinnamon Buns from Domestic Gothess – Catering for my love of all things almond!
9. Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins has the genius idea of using up leftover chocolates (Yep, I know, its not a concept we are familiar with in this house either!) with her Chocolate Cupcakes – and very pretty they are too!
10. Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen Quick Muffin Pizzas – Perfect for an after school snack!

Bake of the week

Our other bakes are all ones that we can help ourselves to a generous portion or slice of – There’s even a couple of warm dishes in there too!

11. The ability to make a summer crumble look gorgeous can not be sniffed at! Truly Madly Kids has definitely achieved this with her Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble
12. Hoping that these Oatie Choc Nut Breakfast Bars have helped to make the Gluten Free Alchemist feel a bit better this week.
13. Making the most of a well yearned for long weekend with an utterly beautiful Cream Cheese & Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart is Petite Raisin.
14. Mummy Mishaps’ Sugar Ice on her Frozen cake is so striking – Perfect for any Frozen loving birthday parties.
15. Chewy and Juicy Banana & Date Flapjacks from the FreeFrom Fairy
16. Ultra seasonal and some great tips for getting the ultimate Rhubarb & Custard Self Saucing Pudding from Tales from the Kitchen Shed
17. Calling time on the amount of refined sugar her son consumes and a lesson for us all to consider is Sneaky Veg with her Courgette & Lemon cake – complete with green bits!

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bake-of-the-week.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Same linky as usual for this week – I have left the link open until the 2nd June just in case I don’t get back from Aldershot in time to open a new linky. Feel free to add up to 3 bakes per blog – No theme, savoury, sweet, hot, cold, fruity, slow cooked – they all count! I’d love it if you could pay a visit to another entrant and share the #Bakeoftheweek love.
I’m finally catching up on all the commenting and should be completely up to date by next week – Phew!

 Loading InLinkz ...

Joining in with Patisserie Makes Perfect as she hosts CookBlogShare

#CookBlogShare

Share the Joy linky at bodfortea.co.uk

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

It’s been Nanna Val’s birthday this weekend – A pretty significant 65 on the 1st May. Now Nanna Val is rather partial to a tipple of Baileys – She rarely drinks it neat but a cup of coffee just isn’t the same without some. In honour of the birthday girl, I decided to make a substantial cake – We are off out for the day tomorrow, so this is joining us.

A triple Chococcino Cake (Coffee & Chocolate) with luxurious Bailey’s cheesecake sandwiched between – Topped with a soft Bailey’s frosting, made into pretty roses. Definitely not one for the kids – although they’ve been hinting about a slice of the cake all day!

Piped Roses on Baileys Cheesecake Cake

 

Baileys Chococcino Cheesecake Cake

Serves 8+
Prep time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
If you like a really strong Baileys taste, feel free to substitute one of the teaspoons of milk for Baileys in the Rose frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 + 3oz Butter
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 2 + 1 + 1 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 10oz Self Raising Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 250g Soft Cream Cheese (Full Fat)
  • 150g Melted Chocolate (I used half white/half milk chocolate)
  • 2 TBSP + 10oz Icing Sugar
  • 2oz Milk

Directions

Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C and line an 8" Cake Tin with Baking Parchment
Using an electric mixer, whisk the 8 oz of butter and the caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract
Reduce the mixer to a slow speed and add the flour and cocoa powder, one spoon at a time
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean - remove from the oven and allow to cool fully
Baileys Cheesecake
Using an electric mixer on a medium speed, whisk together the cream cheese and the double cream until they start to thicken
Add the Baileys and 1 of the remaining teaspoons of cocoa powder and the 2 TBSP of icing sugar and mix through thoroughly. Stir in the melted chocolate which should be cool by now.
To Assemble
Cut the cake into 3 even layers - this can be quite tricky to do so just do 2 if you are not confident
Re-line the cake tin with fresh baking parchment and place the bottom cake layer at the base of the tin
Scoop half of the Baileys Cheesecake on top of the first cake layer and smooth out evenly
Add the middle cake layer and repeat with the remaining cheesecake
Top with the top cake layer and place in the fridge for 2 hours
To Decorate
Using an electric mixer, whisk the remaining butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract until well combined
Add the milk a splash at a time - if the frosting is getting too runny, then add a couple more tbsp of icing sugar
Scoop into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe roses on top of the cake (I use a Wilton 2D nozzle for mine)

Making a Chococcino Cake

If you fancy having a go at piping your own roses, its a lot easier than you think – I’ve produced a super short video showing you how (Its only 8 seconds long!)

If this recipe has whetted your appetite for more Baileys recipes then why not try some of the recipes over at the Bailey’s website

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. This recipe uses just under 2 units of alcohol in this recipe. The NHS recommends that you do not regularly exceed 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women a day.

Bailey Chocolate Coffee Cake

The Gang at Nanna’s Birthday Meal

We're going on an adventure

Dulce De Leche Marshmallow Brownies #Bakeoftheweek

Dulce de Leche Marshmallow Brownies

I don’t often blog about Brownies – They feel like a bit of cheat as they are so easy. Brownies are definitely my go to bake if I need something sweet in a rush. And Oh My! these are delicious!

I’ve given approximate guidelines for the Dulce de Leche and Marshmallows but go for your life, sprinkle liberally. Who is to know?

My tips for perfecting brownies are:
* Baking Parchment – Never Greaseproof paper, you’ll be picking it off the brownies for weeks.
* Silicone Tin – No idea why, it just works.
* Take them out of the oven 2 minutes before you think they are done.

Dulce de Leche Marshmallow Brownies #Bakeoftheweek

Dulce de Leche Marshmallow Brownies

Serves 8+
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Rich decadent Brownies with a soft centre, topped with the most gorgeous Dulce de Leche and sweet marshmallows

Ingredients

  • 10oz Butter
  • 5oz Caster Sugar
  • 7oz Light Brown Sugar
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 5 tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 5oz Plain Flour
  • pinch Salt
  • 5 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 5 tablespoons Dulce de Leche
  • 1 Handful of Mini Marshmallows

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a silicone tin (I use 9" square) with Baking Parchment
Using an electric mixer, whisk the butter and sugars until well combined
Add the eggs, one at a time whilst mixing on a medium setting
Turn the mixer off and add the syrup and vanilla whilst stirring with a spatula
Fold in the flour, salt and cocoa until combined
Pour into the tin and spread out evenly - this is a mixture that doesn't rise so you don't need to leave a hole in the centre
Spoon over the Dulce de Leche - If your hand slips and you manage to add more don't worry ;-)
Sprinkle over the marshmallows and bake for 25 minutes - check how it is going after 20 minutes and reduce the temp if the edges are starting to catch
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack
Cut into even squares and enjoy with a cuppa

In honour of my Brownies, I have also featured another Brownie recipe for this week’s Featured Bake – The lovely blog, Petite Raisin has shared with us her Flourless Black Bean Brownies – Fudginessa and Chocolate Chips – What more could we ask for?

Black Bean Brownies

Bake of the Week #bakeoftheweek

1. Making Victoria Sponge interesting with Lemon Ripple – can almost feel the tang from here from Baking in Pyjamas
2. A Girl and Her Home has made the most perfect Carrot Cake complete with Vanilla Bean Frosting
3. And another perfect Carrot Cake with Neilsen Massey Vanilla Bean Frosting – Definitely a week for carrots! Domestic Gothess
4. I defy you not to gasp when you see Domestic Gothess’ Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake
5. Useful for birthday parties, an Easy Thomas Cake from Modern Family Bakes
6. Finding another use for that cornmeal I need to use up is The Little Italian Kitchen with her Sbrisolona Crumble Cake
7. Hay Cakes has made a stunning Double Chocolate Cake with brilliant decorations
8. Classic but beautiful combination of Chocolate and Strawberries in Domestic Gothess’ Tart
9. Baking Queen, your flavour combinations are awesome! Marzipan & Pistachio Cardomom Buns
10. Simple yet stunning Coconut decoration on this Coconut Layer Cake from Baking in Pyjamas

Bake of the Week #bakeoftheweek

11. Truly beautiful Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies from Petite Raisin
12. I’m loving the name Brookies this week – So Creative from The Not SO Creative Cook
13. I’m wishing we had some of The Not SO Creative Cook’s Mini Challah Rolls for tomorrow’s picnic!
14. Adorable Mini Cheesecakes with the shiniest Blueberry Compote from The Dream Baker
15. Wow to the Nutella Souffle that is designed to catch a blob of Ice Cream in the middle – The Not SO Creative Cook
16. There is not a kid in the land that wouldn’t want a try of these cute green sugar cookie bars from Baking in Pyjamas
17. This lady has a talent – making Butternut Squash pretty with her Butternut Squash Muffins – ET Speaks From Home

Its back to school next week so normal service should be resumed with the roundup posted on Tuesday – Don’t forget there’s no theme, all welcome if they are baked in an oven or slow cooker. Please try to comment on at least one other entry to share the love.

Thanks once again for all your entries and for being such a brilliant part of the #Bakeoftheweek family – Really appreciate it!

If you are wondering where #FoodieFriday is – I’m hoping to be back next week with a full roundup – #FoodieFriday will be incorporated into a new weekend linky where we look at what you have been cooking, where you have been, what you have been reading and what you have been crafting over the past week – I really want to celebrate my love of all things craft, reading and cooking, so watch this space!

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bake-of-the-week.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 Loading InLinkz ...

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Easter Nest Cupcakes with Stork

Stork Easter Nest Cupcakes

Happy Easter! One of the loveliest days of the year – full of pastel colours, chocolate and little chicks. Hope you are having a super day.

You may already be sorted for Easter baking but in case you are still yearning for something sweet and crunchy, the bakers at Stork have invented the Easter Nest Cupcake for our delight. All about making the humble cupcake that little bit more interesting with the addition of their very own Cornflake Nest on top, they are speedy to make and great for sharing. If that wasn’t enough, we are encouraged to add a couple of Mini Eggs to the top for decoration too!

Easter Nest Cupcakes

We enjoyed ours at our family Easter lunch with this bunch of crazy kiddies! Safe to say, the cupcakes went down very well! We even played Egg & Spoon balancing using the Easter Cupcakes – They weren’t very good at balancing!

Egg & Spoon with Easter Cupcakes

Easter Nest Cup Cakes
Servings: 12
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Cakes
115g (4 oz) Stork tub
115g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
115g (4 oz) self-raising flour, sieved together with
1Ž2 teaspoon baking powder

Chocolate Nest
40g (1 1/2 oz) Stork tub
3 tablespoons golden syrup
6 tablespoons drinking chocolate powder
18 tablespoons cornflakes or branflakes
To decorate: Cadbury Mini Eggs

Method

1. Place all cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until well mixed. Place in 12 muffin paper cases

2. Bake in preheated oven 190°C, 170°C fan, Gas mark 5 for 15 -20 minutes. Cool.

3. For chocolate nest, gently melt Stork and syrup and stir in chocolate and cornflakes. Place a tablespoon of mix on each cupcake in a nest effect and leave to set. Serve decorated with Easter eggs.

 Energy                   Fat          Saturates     Sugars  Salt
1079 kJ/ 281 kcal 12,8 g     4,2 g          24,3 g   0,8 g
14 %* 18 %* 21 %* 27 %* 13 %*

Stork have also provided us with full step by step instructions on how to make these cupcakes plus a super clear video featuring the lovely Ruth from The Pink Whisk.

Violet Phoebe

Make the Easter Nest Cupcakes your own with some suggestions for adding variety:

  • Try some chopped Glace Cherries mixed into the Cornflake Nest mixture
  • Add some edible glitter for super sparkly nests or some sprinkles for yet more crunch
  • Flavour your cupcakes with any of the following:
    • Lemon/Lime Zest, Almond Extract (1/2 tsp), Replace 1 Tbsp of the flour with 1 Tbsp of Drinking Chocolate powder or 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • Add 1 tsp Raspberry jam to the top of the cakes just before adding the Nests – The mixture of Chocolate & Raspberry is incredible

Definitely make a double batch – these disappear fast!

Easter Nest Cupcakes

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Stork

Lemon & Almond Easter Cake #FoodieFriday

Lemon Almond Easter Sponge Cake

Hopefully everyone is having a pleasing Good Friday – The weather is rather dreary so I am happy to be copped up indoors. Mr C has done a scoot around the shops for last minute Easter Eggs – I normally buy them as soon as they come out in February but time has slipped by this year.

We are having a family day on Sunday and have bought the biggest leg of lamb I’ve ever seen – I’m not convinced it was actually a lamb looking at the size of it – Its more like a dinosaur leg! Of course, for any celebration, you must also have cake so I’ve practised our Easter cake for this year. I didn’t want anything stodgy like a Simnel Cake so opted for a light Lemon & Almond Easter Sponge Cake instead. I have made homemade lemon curd this morning and have added lashings of whipped double cream … and a couple of Easter chicks for good measure!

Lemon & Almond Easter Cake

Serves 8+
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Easter
The cake can be made in advance and frozen for 1 month. The lemon curd can be made 1 week in advance and kept in a sterilised jar in the fridge

Ingredients

  • 225 + 175g Caster Sugar
  • 225 + 125g Butter
  • 8 Medium Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 4 Lemons (Zest of 4, Juice of 3)
  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 25g Ground Almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 Tub Whipping Cream
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • Yellow Gel Food Colour

Directions

Sponge Cake
Preheat the oven to 160C and line 2 x 8" Cake tins with baking parchment
Using an electric mixer on a medium speed, whisk the 225g of caster sugar and 225g butter together until pale & fluffy
Whisk 4 of the eggs in a jug and add gradually to the sugar/butter mixture until well combined
Add the zest of 2 & juice of 1 of the lemons & almond extract - You may need to add 1 tbsp of the flour to stop it curdling. Turn off the whisk
Mix the flour and ground almonds together lightly and fold gently into the cake mixture
When all ingredients are just combined, divide equally between the 2 cake tins and bake for 45 minutes. A skewer should come out clean when fully cooked
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks
Lemon Curd
Whisk the remaining eggs and egg yolks in a large microwaveable jug until just starting to get fluffy
Add the remaining sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice of lemons and mix with a small hand whisk
Cook in the microwave at 30 seconds intervals for at least 8 minutes - You must use the hand whisk in-between each cooking session to stop the eggs from scrambling
I also make sure I wash the hand whisk in between the cooking sessions as by the end your eggs will be cooked but you are using a whisk that has had raw egg on it - I'm paranoid!
The last 2 sessions will see the curd thickening significantly
Divide into sterilised jars if you are not using all the curd at once and allow to cool fully before placing in the fridge or using
Decorating the cake
Once each of the elements if fully cooled, spread a thick layer of curd on the bottom tier
Add a layer of thick whipped cream and place the top layer of cake on top
Make the icing sugar quite thick so it doesn't run down the sides of the cake and sprinkle more lemon zest over the top - You could also sprinkle some grilled marzipan over the top if you want it more almondy
Place 2 cute little Easter chicks on top and serve. Happy Easter!

lemon almond easter cake

Ginger pear pancakes

This week’s featured #FoodieFriday entry must win the award for the most unusual name – Birnenpfannkuchen or Ginger Pear & Ginger Pancake courtesy of HodgePodgeDays – Described as a bit like a sweet Toad in the Hole, it would definitely be a winner in this house!

foodie friday

1. Domestic Gothess has given us a fascinating insight into her childhood along with some spectacular Caramelised Red Onion & Goat’s Cheese Tarts this week

2. I’m loving how Sadhna from Herbs, Spices & Tradition is expanding my knowledge of different cooking techniques – Her Chhole Bhature with puffy Naans looks just up my street. Definitely one to try.

3. You seriously cannot beat an excellent Beef dish and Foodie Quine’s Spring Roast of Scotch Beef looks very tempting.

4. Nina & Co has written a really thought provoking post on whether Pay what you like restaurants are a genius idea or foolhardy? What are your thoughts? I rather like the idea and would love to go to one soon.

5. Very much admiring the bread making skills of the Gluten Free Alchemist with her Perfectly fluffy Gluten Free Oat Bread

6. Also featuring super cute Easter Chicks is Snap Happy Bakes with her incredible Cup a Cake – I love the fact that Cup a Cakes are so acceptable now

7. Foodie Quine has shared with us her Spaghetti Carbonara Frittata which looks so filling and hearty. Fabulous!

8. I agree with Kate from the Gluten Free Alchemist – Her Banoffee Cheesecake with Salted Caramel definitely screams EAT ME!

9. Encouraging us to make at home rather than takeaway with Sweet & Sour Chicken is Wheelie Good Meals

10. Super speedy and easy Pesto Double – also masquerading as Pesto & Cheese Tart – Continuing my love of Puff Pastry this week is Wheelie Good Meals

11. If you are still in need of sweetness for an Easter dessert, why not try Miss Pond’s Vanilla & Chocolate Cheesecake – Simply stunning.

The link is open from now until next Thursday for your foodie posts- I love that we are not only getting recipes but general foodie posts and information too. Please add the linky badge to your post to let everyone know that you are part of the Foodie Friday team. I will be emailing the winners of the Featured post each week for them to place a ‘Featured on #FoodieFriday’ badge on their site if they wish.

* As usual, feel free to link up to 3 posts (old ones are fine as long as they display the badge.
* I will share all posts on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ aswell as commenting.
* Try to visit at least one other entry if you have time – Feel free to use #foodiefriday to let them know how you found them.
* If you want to tweet me @CasaCostello with your link & #FoodieFriday, I will do my best to RT

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/foodie-friday-badge.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 Loading InLinkz ...

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.amummytoo.co.uk/2015/04/recipeoftheweek-4-10-april”><img class=”alignnone” src=”http://www.amummytoo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/recipe-of-the-week.png” alt=”Link up your recipe of the week” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a></div>#CookBlogShare

White Chocolate and Lemon Cheesecake Layer Cake – #evenbetterbaking with Dr. Oetker

white chocolate lemon cheesecake cake #evenbetterbaking

Longest blog post title ever? One of the nicest cakes ever too – combining two of the best inventions on earth: Cake and Cheesecake. This is one of the many chocolate recipes that can be found over on the Dr. Oetker website. They are challenging us to do #evenbetterbaking in the run up to Easter.

The people at Dr. Oetker are even running a competition throughout March. If you tweet @DrOetkerBakes a photo of a chocolate bake that you have made and include the hashtag #evenbetterbaking, then you are in with a chance of winning one of their luxury chocolate hampers.

Dr.Oetker chocolate

I wanted a bit of a challenge so decided to do a recipe that combines quite a few techniques – Cakes are dead easy but there is always the chance with a cheesecake that it might not set. Ooh living on the edge.The recipe and instructions on how to make your own White Chocolate and Lemon Cheesecake Layer Cake can be found here

The ingredients needed for this cake are simple to find, the method of actually making the cakes is slightly different to how I usually make them (I think mine is known as the ‘bung it all in the kitchen aid method’) but still worked out well.

how to melt white chocolate

It pays off to be really patient when melting white chocolate – I just can’t do it in the microwave. A glass bowl over a pan of boiling water is the only way to get truly melted white chocolate that doesn’t burn.

white chocolate lemon cheesecake cake #evenbetterbaking

I actually like the cake better without the shards of white chocolate for decoration – White chocolate shards melt really quickly so I found it much easier to just eat them. I’m out with friends later on today with our pre-schoolers, they might get lucky and get to share a piece of this creation with me! Who would you share it with?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in association with Dr.Oetker – All opinions are my own

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Alos joining in with Domesblissity for Thriving on Thursdays

Cool Layer Cakes Giveaway – Foodie Friday

cool layer cakes giveaway

A little different #foodiefriday than usual, not a recipe but a giveaway of a book that I highly recommend. Cool Layer Cakes by Ceri Olofsen, is a book that is suitable for bakers wanting to expand their cake repertoire. There’s a good mix of recipes, decorations and some more intricate sugarcraft – well it looks intricate, but actually it is more than achievable for most bakers.

The book itself is bright and fun, with easy to follow instructions. There are cakes to appeal to adults and children, boys and girls. I particularly like the camouflage cake, the colours of which could be changed to suit the party theme.

camouflage cake

Other cake tutorials contained in the book are: The famous Rainbow Cake (pictured on front cover), How to make a Piñata Cake, and an intricate Battenburg type (perfect for a Minecraft lover?). You can learn how to make sugar roses and other sugar flowers, brush embroidery (which is so much easier than it looks) and mini stacked cakes.

cube minecraft cake

I have 1 copy of Cool Layer Cakes to giveaway. Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter – UK entries only please. The competition closes at 11.59PM on Sunday 12th April 2015. When you leave a comment, please do so at the bottom of this post, rather than in the rafflecopter widget, otherwise it won’t count.

Best of luck to everyone who enters.

strawberry cake

My featured post from last week’s #FoodieFriday entries is Wheelie Good Meals with his Chicken, Pek, Leek & Sage Leftover Pie – Celebrating British Pie Week, this was Richard’s first ever pie and what a success it was. Brilliant step-by-step picture instructions. Congratulations!

chicken leek sage leftover pie

Our other entries were just as marvellous:

foodie friday roundup

1.I absolutely love these top ten tips for Mashed Potato from Tales from the Kitchen Shed – I will never bung the salt in at the last minute ever again!
2. Bakewell Junction has been using up Lemon Curd with her ever so perfect, Meyer Lemon Bars
3. Happy Blogiversary to the Cream Baker with her Chocolate Chiffon Cake
4. This Stunning Spiced Sausage Stew from Wheelie Good Meals would go down very well in our house
5. Making good use of leftover chicken is Wheelie Good Meals again with Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala
6. Beautiful colour in Herbs, Spices & Tradition’s Mango Jam Jelly – Would brighten up any dish
7. I’d be proud of this marbling if I were Eileen from Et Speaks From Home – Chocolate & Vanilla Marble Cake
8. I found Foodie Quine’s post on brushing up her food photography fascinating – Its something I have definitely tried harder with this year but there’s still work to do!

A huge thanks to everyone for entering – Don’t forget to add all your food links while you are entering the book giveaway. There is no theme and all food is welcome as long as you display the badge and link back to this post. I will be sharing like mad this week – Please feel free to spread the word about #FoodieFriday and lets get plenty of people joining in. Each post is commented on, pinned, tweeted and Google+ed. The linky is open until next Thursday morning.

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/foodie-friday-badge.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 Loading InLinkz ...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lemon & Basil Muffins – March Secret Recipe Club

lemon basil muffins

I’ve been wanting to be a member of the Secret Recipe Club for a year now. A huge group of likeminded bloggers who are assigned a fellow member’s blog and can choose from their vast collection, which recipe to make. The waiting list is enormous as it is such an illustrious gang to be part of so I am super excited to be posting my first challenge. I am also more than a little nervous that another blogger will be making something using one of my recipes. I happily share these recipes but every now and then, it strikes me that someone might actually make one of them!! Eek!

For my first month, I was assigned Lena from Edesia’s Notebook – A churchgoing, lover of books, mum to daughters, baking enthusiast – Sound like someone you know? Seriously though, Lena’s blog is divine – I cannot believe I was lucky enough to be paired with someone with so make bakes that I wanted to make.

I chose Lemon & Basil Muffins as I was intrigued about the taste combination. The recipe was super easy to follow and turned out perfectly. The basil taste was quite subtle and I couldn’t help but tinker by adding some decoration. I caught Tara in the kitchen this morning pinching one of them so there’s praise indeed!

Lemon Basil Muffins (Recipe taken from Edesia’s Notebook) – I have adapted for UK measurements

Ingredients:
113g Softened Butter
170g Sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
3 eggs
113ml Sour Cream
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
125g Self Raising flour
Juice of 2 lemons
112g Caster Sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° (180C).
Line a muffin pan with paper or grease and flour it – I cheated and used Cupcake Cases.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
Add the lemon zest, eggs, and sour cream.
Stir in basil.
Gently fold in the flour and baking powder.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins (or until a skewer inserted comes out clean).
To make the lemon sugar, mix the lemon juice and sugar together.
Once the muffins are done, spoon the lemon sugar over the muffins immediately. The syrup will soak into the muffins and the sugar will form a crunchy crust.
Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing from the pan. Makes 12 muffins.

Edit: I have made these twice but did not have any sour cream the second time – Double Cream worked just as well.

lemon basil muffins

 Loading InLinkz ...

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Minion Birthday Cake & Party – Bake of the Week

minions birthday cake despicable me

Well, its a bit of a different Bake of the Week from me this week. I hadn’t realised how long it had been since I did a properly decorated cake until Tara said ‘Wow Mummy, did you do that ALL by yourself?!’ Bless her! We had our crazy happy week last week, when Tara & Dermot celebrated their birthdays on the same day.

There was no question that the theme of Tara’s party was going to be Minions – She’s mad on them. Her nursery bag has to be Minion, her favourite t-shirt is her Minion one (That has to be washed and ironed in lightning quick speed).

minion birthday cake

 

It was rather strange to get back into my sugarcraft drawers and I was a bit apprehensive that I might have forgotten how to do cake decorating. I think the results were ok? In fact, I really enjoyed an afternoon of creating Creme Egg Minions So much so, we started talking about maybe taking orders for some cakes after Tara starts school in September and saying YES to a possible wedding cake in November!

kevin minion creme egg cake topper

giant minion

 

The party itself was a real traditional one in our church hall which is a lovely, light, clean and spacious place. We were gifted some Minion party supplies courtesy of Party Bags & Supplies and added to the rest ourselves. That giant Minion balloon has been everywhere that Tara has this weekend – It even went strapped in the car to Manchester for synchro practice!

minions party supplies

minion party bags

Ready made party bags from Party Bags & Supplies

homemade minion party bags

Homemade Party Bags made by Millie

Tara 4th birthday party

I love a 4th birthday party, its great to see children dressed in their party gear – Girls wearing their party dresses and the boys with their little body warmers on. Too cute!

Tara was wearing a gorgeous yellow dress and navy card from Next – It wasn’t intentional that she matched the Minion colour scheme but rather fitting! Even Violet was colour co-ordinated, also wearing a yellow top and cardigan from Next.

For the entertainment, Tara chose Fran from Jo Jingles, Warrington. We attend Fran’s class every Monday and Tara just loves it. It has really brought her out of her shell and she talks about Jo Jingles all the time. Fran has amazing control of a large group – All the parents were marvelling at how she gets them to join in and keeps them contained!

jo jingles warrington 4th birthday party

jo jingles birthday party

older siblings at birthday party

Older sister, Violet with her mates, cousin & a HUGE handmade Minion!

So many amazing creations entered for our previous Bake of the Week – One flavour combination really stood out for me as a must to try …Apricot Cheesecake with Amaretto Caramel. This sounds just too incredible and right up my street from a newcomer to the Bake of the Week family, Giraffes can Bake

apricot cheesecake amaretto caramel

chocolate bakes

1. Pretty Triple Chocolate Hidden Heart Cake from Mummy Mishaps
2. Perfect pastry from Winnie with her Chocolate Halva Tart
3. Goodness me, these Red Velvet Brownies with Oreo Cream Cheese look tasty – Domestic Gothess
4. This Chocolate Chip Layer Cake is certainly the ultimate as its name suggests from Giraffes Can Bake
5. Classic combination of strawberries & White Chocolate from Baking Queen 74
6. A warm welcome to Mrs B’s Kitchen with her stunning Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
7. Introducing us to Milano Cookies with her Chocolate Cake is Dream Baker
8. I can’t get enough of cheesecake brownies – one of the best inventions ever! Jibber Jabber Uk
9. A very pretty Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake & another warm welcome to Chardonnay & Samphire
10. Looking simply heavenly …Mars Bars Stuffed Salted Caramel Blondies from Baking in Pyjamas
11. The crazy for Salted Caramel is still as popular as ever with these brownies from Baking in Pyjamas

small bites morsels

12. If you are trying to be healthy with your baking, try these Blueberry & Orange Muffin Bars from Tales from the Kitchen Shed
13. Super pretty Marshmallow Flower Cupcakes from Searching for Spice
14. If you are still feeling romantic, try these Pink Velvet Lofthouse soft cookies from Baking Chocolatess
15. Super cute Heart Oreo Sandwich Cookies again from Baking Chocolatess
16. I really fancy trying these Pineapple Cookies from Dream Baker – They are dairy free too!
17. We have got in the habit of buying Peanut Cookies for after training, I’m going to try making these from Dream Baker
18. These Lemon Velvet Squares from Baking in Pyjamas would be perfect to fit in with the yellow theme at Tara’s party

bake of the week

19. Tempting me away from my classic lemon & sugar with her Nutella Spelt Pancakes is Baking Queen 74
20. Adding Cranberry to the classic combo of Maple & Pecan in her cake is Jen’s Food – A warm welcome to you too!
21. Tasty looking Chinese Chicken Pie (but also make sure you check out those super cute Tunnocks Teacakes Sheep!) from Foodie Quine – Welcome!
22. I can’t resist a good Orange Sponge Cake & this from Snap Happy Bakes looks very tempting – a warm welcome to you too!
23. Loving these Lentil Stuffed Peppers from Herbs, Spices & Tradition
24. For the vegans amongst us, we have Valentines Vegan French Toast from the Free From Farmhouse
25. A comforting, gluten free Prune & Raisin Loaf from Lancashire Food
26. Much underused Grapefruit is added to this Honey & Almond Cake from Chocolate Log Blog and a Happy Bloggiversary to you!
27. Apple & Almond perfect pairing with My Little Italian Kitchen’s Pie – Alida seems to love almonds almost as much as I do!
28. How beautiful is this Heart Swiss Roll from Winnie’s Blog? The decoration is so clear.

Huge thank you as ever to everyone who entered their bakes – I really appreciate it and love finding all your blogs. The linky is open for this week’s #Bakeoftheweek – Feel free to tweet me @CasaCostello to let me know you have added your link and I will retweet.

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bake-of-the-week.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Please add the badge or a link to your post to share the word about Bake of the Week – The linky will remain open until next Tuesday 3rd March.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Also found over at: Share your cup Thursday

Cupcakery
We're going on an adventure

Dulce De Leche Kisses – Bake of the Week

dulce de leche kisses

There are some things I make that surprise even me, how popular they are. These Dulce de Leche kisses never fail to disappear and I’m always surprised how quickly they do! I have a confession though, I used shop bought Dulce de Leche instead of making my own. I’ve had a huge tub that I bought in Costco before Christmas that I wanted to use up. Its definitely not as good as homemade but for a quick bake and when you are only using a small dollop, shop bought is just fine.

dulce de leche valentines heart

 

Dulce de Leche Kisses

Serves 30
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 52 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Valentines day
Mouthful portions of crumbly coconut cake with delicious Dulce de Leche decoration

Ingredients

  • 75g Butter (Cold but chopped into small chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons Soft Cheese - Full Fat
  • 96g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 190g Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 60g Dessicated Coconut
  • 3 tablespoons Dulce De Leche

Note

These can be frozen before the Dulce de Leche is added - allow to defrost at room temperature for 2 hours before adding the Dulce de Leche

Directions

Add the soft cheese and vanilla whilst still mixing on a medium setting. Add the egg yolk .
Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the flour and the baking powder until just combined.
Stop the mixer and fold in the coconut.
Bring the mixture together by hand into a dough and wrap in cling film - Freeze for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment
Roll the dough into small balls - about the size of a Ferrero Rocher
Make an indentation in the centre with something approx 1/2 cm wide - I used a plastic cake dowel and kept dipping into flour to stop it sticking to the dough. At a push - a little finger belonging to a 4 year old would do!
Bake for 12 minutes - You might want to move the tray around after 10 to ensure an even bake but these are so small that it is not necessary
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 1-2 minutes then pipe the Dulce de Leche in - I use a disposable piping bag as it is fairly runny

blueberry blood orange cake

Well, we had the biggest week ever for Bake of the Week this week – I’m so grateful that you all join in and am loving finding so many new bloggers that bake.

My featured Bake of the week is a lovely creation from Hey Cakes! with her Blueberry & Blood Orange Cake – The decorating is so pretty and I love the thought of that flavour combination.

I’ve separated all the other bakes (all 24 of you lovely people!) in different categories – In honour of Saturday being the most romantic day of the year, we start with Romantic Bakes

romantic bakes

1. Its lovely to welcome Baking in Pyjamas to the Bake of the Week gang with her delightful Raspberry Chocolate Heart Cookies – I think even Dermot might find these romantic!
2. I love the simplicity of Baking Queen 74’s Raspberry Shortbread Hearts – I can imagine children up and down the land making these for their parents
3. How pretty is this Chocolate Cherry Cake from Winnie’s blog? – Beautiful as ever!
4. And even more beautiful (and rather ambitious!) is this White Chocolate Mud Cake again from Winnie’s Blog
5. Just WOW! to the idea of a box of chocolate made from cake – Jibber Jabber nails it! And so much for your ‘limited decorating skills’ – you are amazing!
6. There’s no more romantic day to get married on than Valentines and this wedding cake from Caroline Makes is just exquisite – Such delicate decorations.
7. Not strictly for just Valentine’s Day but these cute little hearts make Baking in Pyjamas’ Cherry Chocolate Coconut Slices romantic nonetheless

For the dough makers amongst us …

dough

8. Domestic Gothess combines timeless Chocolate & Cherries with her Challah complete with the most amazing six strand braid
9. I’m not a fan of olives but could be tempted by this Black Olive Focaccia from Baking in Pyjamas – I will be baking focaccia very soon too.
10. And Baking Queen 74 takes slow cookers to a new level again with her Spinach & Feta Focaccia

Sometimes you don’t want to share, you just want a portion all of your own …

individual bakes

11. You have GOT to read Baking Chocolatess’ post on her Brownie Marshmallow Cookies for the full glory of the marshmallow centre. Cor! – A big warm welcome to her too!
12. Happy New Chinese Year to Eileen and her family from ET Speaks From Home who is celebrating with her peanut cookies
13. Another new entrant and a big wave ‘hello’ to These Little Lights with her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – I can imagine these disappearing quickly in this house too.
14. Super decorative cookies from Herbs, Spices & Tradition with her Eat Sum More Christmas Cookies made with her grandchildren
15. Using only 5 ingredients but turning out amazingly, Sea Salt & Pepper Caramels from Patisserie Makes Perfect
16. Perfectly uniform Vegan & Gluten Free Rhubarb & Custard Doughnuts from Allotment 2 Kitchen – Incredible for the first time making them.

bake of the week

17. A superb, rich & dark Chocolate, Peanut & Banana Loaf from Baking Chocolatess
18. Bringing back lovely memories of my Grandma who also used to bake a Coconut Raspberry Cake like this one from Julie’s Family Kitchen
19. Classic Tiramisu and a hello to Bakewell Junction – This looks rather light and delicious!
20. Bonjour to De Tout Coeur Limonsin with her rich, luscious Chocolate Fudge Brownies
21. Another newbie with her lemon white chocolate bars – I’m very tempted to have a go at these from Emotional Baker (Love that blog name!)
22. Super neat almond cake which is also Gluten and Diary Free from This is not my Home – Hello and Welcome!
23. A vegan carrot cake that looks full of goodness and taste from Free From Farmhouse – A lovely blog that I have only discovered this week.
24. And finishing with a flourish is Farmersgirl Kitchen with the sort of Tea Time Cake good bakers should always have in their larder ready (I haven’t :-()

Here is the badge for everyone to include in their post – a link to Bake of the Week is just fine if you’d rather not use the badge but please tell everyone about our gang!

Casa Costello
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.casacostello.com" title="Casa Costello" target="_blank"><img src="http://casacostello.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bake-of-the-week.jpg" alt="Casa Costello" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Its half term next week and its also the most manic of weeks in our house – Baby T is a big grown up 4 next Friday (on the same day that her Daddy turns 37!) Where have those 4 years gone?!? Remember this post? The linky will be extended for 2 weeks so feel free to enter up to 4 bakes each over the fortnight – I’m thinking I will be showcasing a special little girl’s birthday cake next time! I’m also off to Crystal Palace and back (twice) with Millie as she starts her England Talent training for 2015 next week – plus we are squeezing in a couple of days at Alton Towers … and a birthday party!. What are your plans for half term?

In other news, did you watch The Secret Life of 4 year olds last night? Hilarious – I will forever be calling people a ‘Green Toilet’ 😉

 Loading InLinkz ...
Cupcakery


clairejustine

#CookBlogShare

Link up your recipe of the week

April J Harris of The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop