Saturday, 31 December 2011

Snowball cake pops

As promised, here is the second part of my New Year's Eve recipe.
Over the past few years, I have been on a nostalgia trip during the Christmas period, by indulging myself with snowballs. I mean the drink not the real ones. It is a mixture of Advocaat, lime, lemonade and a cocktail cherry, and is like an alcoholic cream soda....delicious! So as a little treat I decided to make my favourite drink into a confection.
You will need the cake recipe from yesterday. Fortunately for today I have lost the rabbit!

Slice off any brown bits from the sheet cake. Crumble it into a bowl.

Pour in about three tablespoons of advocaat and squidge the mixture together with your fingers.

Measure out 30g of the mixture and roll into a ball between your hands. For some balls measure out 25g and flatten the ball, then place a cocktail cherry in the middle.

Then squidge (this is a very squidgy recipe!) the cake around the cherry and roll into a ball.

Take 400g of good quality dark chocolate and melt. Add a teaspoon of Trex. Dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate and swirl until covered.

Let the excess chocolate drip off and place the balls on baking paper to dry. I sprinkled these with gold lustre dust. 
Enjoy your New Year celebrations and I hope 2012 is happy and full of cake! 

Friday, 30 December 2011

Mystery cake recipe

Hello all, is your Christmas going well? Here at Amelie's House we have been having a super time. I have put on a stone, mostly in chocolate and paprika crisps! But the New Year is just around the corner with all it's resolutions and diets. Before we get there though I thought I would try and quickly whip up a recipe for a New Year's Eve treat. It's still a mystery what I am making so you have to trust me. This is the first stage, a simple sponge cake.
As it is the holidays, I have little people helping me, I don't normally put up photo's of them but this one insisted on joining in!

Here he is buttering the baking tray and adding 200g of sugar and butter into the bowl.

Then he kindly creamed the  butter and sugar together and added four large eggs.

Being careful of his paws he grated the zest of a lime into the mix and beat it all together.

He sifted 200g of self raising flour into the bowl and folded it in with a large spoon.

He got a little camera shy at this point, you can't see the photo, but he added three tablespoons of lemonade and mixed that in well. Then, regaining his composure, he poured the cake mix into a lined baking tray and cooked at 170C (with the fan), 200C without, for 25 mins. Then left the cake to cool on a cooling tray.

Of course you have to sample the cake to make sure the taste is good....and it was.

I shall be back soon with the second part of the recipe (hopefully I can loose the bunny!)

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Book Club Cake of the Month...November

Due to an extreme workload, I had to miss two book clubs, and the last one I did attend, (True Grit) I never got round to writing up (an average of 8.5, I made cheesy corn balls), so apologies for the lack of book club cakes recently. Hopefully I can make it up to you with this post.

This month (well I mean November) we read "The Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys. As with many books we tend to read, it was the story of a woman's 'descent into madness' (say this in your head in a movie trailer voice).  It is written as a prequel to Jane Eyre, focusing on the mad woman in the attic, and turning Mr Rochester into a most dislikeable character (not that he is attractive to begin with).
I found reading the novel like reading someone's dream, which swiftly turns into a nightmare. We all enjoyed it and some even went on to re-read Jane Eyre, which I am tempted to do. We gave it an average of 8.5.

I made a Jamaican ginger cake, which went down a storm. I used the recipe I found here. I then made a syrup with 100ml of dark rum and 100g of sugar. I heated the two ingredients in a pan until the sugar dissolved, then cut up a pack of mixed tropical fruit, (pineapples, mango and passion fruit) and steeped the fruit in the syrup for a hour. Then before serving I tipped the boozey fruit and sauce over the cake. I also whipped some cream with sugar and rum, for some extra fun. It was delicious!

Hopefully I will be able to attend more book clubs in the New Year.

Previous book club cake of the month

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

I hope you have a lovely Christmas with lots of cakey goodness!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Gingerbread men 2011

Here is a little post about this years gingerbread men. 
They made a brief appearance in November's Country Life for a Christmas shoot, and were very well behaved. Some demure ladies joined them this year, for the first time, and what lovely couples they make!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas confections

Remember I said I was thinking of a Christmas version of the mushrooms?
Well here they are, magic toadstools. They were one element to go into my package of Christmas confections this year.
Would you like to see more?...Ok here you go!

Joyful cookies.

Christmas cake baubles.

Gingerbread pocky (a very delicious way to use up gingerbread house offcuts!)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

More gingerbread houses

I have  made a few bespoke gingerbread houses in the last few weeks and here are a couple of the designs.

This gingerbread house was ordered especially by someone very close to my heart. Big kidlet wanted to do a stall at the school fair and came up with a 'guess how many Pokemon are in the box' competition. So I was commissioned to create a Pokemon themed gingerbread house as the prize.

Of course, I didn't get to pick the Pokemon used, I was just handed a list .
 Evee (I've watched too much Pokemon!)is the all time favourite and had to make a special appearance.

Then another special commission from Miss Cakehead, for gingerbread houses with her beautiful (but often naughty) cats. As they are so mysterious looking I wanted to create an enchanted christmas cottage where magic fills the air.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Feeling Christmassy

Most of the decorations are up ( I am still trying to get the kidlets and Mr LD to make a lego display). I have laid (or should that be lain) down my paintbrush until the New Year. The Christmas baking is finished and the snowballs are being's Christmas!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Gingerbread Inspiration

I thought I would share some inspiration form one of my Pinterest boards.

I love this sweet Valentines house from With Love and Confection. It's so pretty and girly.

 One for my geek side from Anna-Maria. I love this and I'm sure the Doctor would too.

How sweet are these houses? From Sweet Pudgy Panda. (Look at the tiny candy canes!)

This is, of course, for tiny kidlet, and the owl obsession we are still subject to. Josh Lathem has created a free e-book with fabulous gingerbread house instructions, you can find it here.

Finally, my favourite, I love Where The Wild Things Are, and I love gingerbread...perfect! There is something really magical about this from A Table For Two.

 You can check out the rest of my gingerbread board here.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Magic mushrooms

Now you may find this hard to believe but sometimes I can obsessed by the little things! It may be one rose or a butterfly or a cookie mushroom.
Last week I took part in a big project, with seven dessert tables, five big cakes to make, and various other sundries. However I became obsessed with making these mushroom cookies! I got very excited with the thought of them and spent a week working on them. 

I was so happy with the finished product that I decided to give them their own photo shoot.
(The magic is a little bit of popping candy in the middle.)

Stay tuned because I am now obsessed with a Christmas version.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Cakes lost in the mist of time!

I am trying to sort out my photos before my computer stops working, and I have found lots of cakes that I never posted. So I thought I'd give them an airing!
There's no logical link to them, except that they have been wallowing in my 'photos to edit' folder for various amounts of time.

This is a 1st birthday/christening cake with the little boy's favourite toy as a sugar topper.

This is a 40th birthday cake for a friend. His wife was taking him on a surprise trip to Finland and wanted a cake to reflect that. 

This was a simple cake for an Alice In Wonderland party.

There are more but I don't want to overwhelm you!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Poke London's 10th birthday

Earlier this week I was involved in the fabulous celebrations for Poke London's 10th birthday. Miss Cakehead and I came up with seven (yes seven!) different dessert tables to represent some of their campaigns, including Orange ( an infinite rainbow cake and balloonacy), Sykpe (two cakes skyping each other)and the Global Rich List (bling your cupcake). It was great fun as Poke are amazingly creative, so we could let our imaginations go wild. 
I baked all the cakes. There were about 150 eggs, 10000g butter and enough icing sugar to cover my house! (Kooky Bakes made the macarons and Crumbs and Doilies the cupcakes, well I couldn't quite manage everything!) I also made a 10 pinata but forgot to take pictures of it.
(And yes, it is supposed to be a cow pat!)

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Giveaway winner

Congratulations to Love Those Cupcakes who has won the giveaway.
Thankyou for all your lovely comments, I hope you all get the empires you wish for!
I had my own random Org generator (a hat!) to find the lucky winner.
If you contact me I can arrange posting!