Chocolate Celebration Cake

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This was a cake that I made for my friend Erin’s birthday- she is a big fan of all things chocolaty and therefore I felt obliged to try and make a cake where chocolate, chocolate and even more chocolate was the order of the day.

Now I’m usually a hardcore Mary Berry devotee (all hail the queen), but when it comes to chocolate I have to say that Nigella is my go to girl.

So I found the recipe for this cake on Nigella’s website, however during my search I also came across a few of her baking tutorials on youtube which where quite good once you get past all the seductive spoon licking and erotic ganache spreading!

Anyway, the end result was a true beast of a chocolate cake which I thoroughly enjoyed making. I would also like to point out that it even had fruit on it, so nobody had to feel guilty about being unhealthy… I mean the fruit may have been coated in chocolate before being placed on top but that is most definitely beside the point.

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Lemon and Pistachio Cake

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So it was the Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ cake sale at work the other week and I was asked if I wouldn’t mind contributing something for the occasion. I knew that I wanted to do something quite simple so I decided to go with a Lemon and Pistachio cake as anything lemon is usually a bit of a crowd pleaser.

The cake sale was a massive success and in total we managed to raise £240.80 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

It’s a super easy recipe and the bright yellow icing definitely cheered up a dull October day!

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Wimbledon Cake

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This is the recipe for a cake I made a while ago for the Wimbledon 2015 final. Yes, I know that was in July and it is now September… what can I say, its been a busy summer. Anyway, I felt like I had to feature it as it’s probably one of my favourite cakes that I’ve made due to the simplicity of the recipe and the effectiveness of the decorations which I am proud to say are all edible.

I actually took this cake into work to be enjoyed in the staff room during the final between Djokovic and Federer and it was all completely scoffed which is always a sign of a successful recipe in my book. It actually consists of three separate recipes; the actual cake and then the meringue kisses and lemon curd macarons that go on top. I also made some chocolate ‘nets’ out of melted chocolate. You obviously don’t need to make all of these things, but if you do, be sure to give yourself plenty of time!

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Pistachio Macarons

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Ah the Macaron; fancy, delicate, stubborn, downright infuriating. I would argue that behind every great baker there is a failed batch of macarons- it’s almost like a right of passage. Yet trust me when I say that with a little perseverance and lots of practice you can have these dainty little confections mastered in no time!

While many recipes call for fiddly steps such as heating up sugar, I managed to find a super simple recipe by Rachel Allen that involves minimum fuss (I adapted the quantities to suit how many I wanted). Once you have this basic recipe mastered then you can experiment with different flavours and fillings. I decided to go for a pistachio flavour as green is one of my favourite colours and it’s really simple to incorporate pistachios into the recipe. Now go forth and conquer my friends…

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Salted Caramel Banana Bread

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As the old saying goes, everything gets better with age, unless you are a banana. Old, manky, odious, boggin; these are all words that have punitively crossed people’s lips when being asked to describe the more mature banana. However what I see is something very different, what I see is a fruit in the prime of its life, ripe and ready to go forth and be made in to the most delicious of all tea time treats, the classic banana bread.

In my opinion a classic is a classic and therefore on this occasion I have decided to follow a low fuss recipe by none other than the Queen of Cakes, Lady Mary Berry. I have decided to adapt it slightly by adding a good slathering of salted caramel on the top! (I confess it is not homemade, but I had some leftover Tesco’s finest that needed using up and it seemed a shame not to use it!) This is a delicious accompaniment to a good sit down and a cup of tea.

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Breakfast Muffins

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I hate mornings. I takes four alarms placed at various points around my bedroom just to wake me up, and even then I have still been known to hop back into bed for ‘5 more minutes’ after I have completed my ‘snooze lap’. Now we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if I am given the choice between an extra ten minutes in bed and having a proper brekkie, then I will nearly always be inclined to go with the former.

This is where the breakfast muffin comes up trumps. Not only are they quick and easy to make, but having one of these in the morning almost feels like you get to have cake for breakfast- happy days. Furthermore a batch of these will last you the whole week and allow for a ‘grab and go’ breakfasting experience which allows for those valuable extra ten minutes in bed. Packed full of fruits and chia seeds, and topped with muesli, they contain many elements of healthy breakfast all packed into one fluffy muffin. I like to have mine with a banana, ticking off two of my five a day before I’ve even step foot out the door- result!

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