Monthly Archives: December 2013

I want that Cake cake cake cake cake cake cake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARJI!

My little brother turned 15 on Monday (23rd). Yeah I know 2 days before Christmas, ain’t he a lucky fella.

For months Arji has asked me to make him a fudge cake. And for months I have mugged him of. So since it was his birthday I thought he deserved a homemade chocolate birthday cake (marks & spencer’s can suck it!). This is a 6 layer chocolate cake filled with marshmallow and ganache frosting, yum. I feel bad since with Ajay’s birthday cake, it kinda went downhill (I’ll give you the dets later. All I’m say is look at the pics below.

Okay so this recipe is from ‘Sweetopia’. Not sure if you’ve heard of them. I was basically looking for ‘inspirational’ cakes when I went through all the bakeries I stalk and found this recipe on foodnetwork. It’s known as a s’more cake, but I like to think of it as Arji’s cake! It literally is him all over; he loves fluff, and eats more chocolate than a girl during her sensitive time of the month.

whole cake

so what you see here is chocolate letters which i made. Hah just joking i brought them from Sainsbury’s, for like £3. worth it though?and then i found a box of chocolate letters for 2 pound something. I originally wanted the candles but then Debden Sainsbury’s is so shit they don’t sell ’em. But the chocolate was just as good. please don’t laugh at the slant! you’ll see how it became like that!

arji letters

So as you cut into this beast you get this. Now I don’t know about you but this reminds me of Matilda. You know when Bruce has top eat the whole cake. That’s what I said to Arji, “I put my blood, sweat and tears into that cake. So EAT IT!” if you don’t remember it, then what is wrong with you? And if you haven’t watched Matilda, you have had a sad childhood.

6 layers of mush

The BEAST of all cakes.

Okay this slice is a little ‘damaged’. it shows 5 layers instead of 6, sorry i pulled the cake away to soon and forgot about the bottom layer.

cake slice

Aimee was right, i could make it look like it does on the recipe. they had clean layers and everything. yet mine look like they’re mushing together. Sorry folks, maybe next time.

Ingredients:

Sponge Cake

  • 330g plain flour
  • 600g GRANULATED SUGAR (not caster)
  • 135g cocoa powder (please no hot chocolate powder)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs always keep out of fridge!)
  • 360ml buttermilk (or yoghurt mixed with a little milk to thinen)
  • 360ml strong BLACK coffee, warmish-hot
  • 180ml veggie oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache frosting

  • 450g butter, room temperature
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled (PLEASE USE 70%+ otherwise its gonna taste like shit)
  • 120ml whipping cream

Marshmallow frosting

  • 125g icing sugar
  • 225g room temperature butter (make sure its not straight from fridge as it wont blend together and will become lumpy. Trust I’ve been there)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (none of that essence shit please)
  • 1 tub of Fluff

Instructions:

For the chocolate cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare three 8″ round cake pans (butter, line bottom with parchment paper, butter paper, dust with flour).

In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Combine eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla in a measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork.

Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer). Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. (Batter will be thin.)

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Continue to bake until toothpick or skewer comes almost clean (a few crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

I would make this a day in advance, so the cake is easier to trim after.

For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.

Add vanilla and salt, and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).

Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute.

Use it when you are definitely going to use it right away as it stiffens up and turns into set ganache. I’m serious please use it right away, no faffing about!

For the Marshmallow Frosting:

In an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and icing sugar on low until blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix on med-high for about 3 minutes.

Add marshmallow cream and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute.

originally this recipe uses real marshmallows that you toast. I ended up taking them out. look at pictures below!

Assembly of the Campfire Delight Cake:

On cake board bigger than the cake! Put a small dollop of frosting. Cut your 3 cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 layers. i would suggest you place it on a turn table and keep the knife dead horizontal and light engrave around the cake. then slice through. 

Place your first layer face-up on the board and cover with an even layer of the Marshmallow Frosting, leaving about 1/2″ around the edge. Place another cake layer face-up and repeat with Chocolate Frosting.

Repeat until you come to your final layer, which you will place face-down. If you find the cake too soft and unstable, put in refrigerator for a few moments to firm it up, then resume.

Frost entire outside of cake with remaining Chocolate Frosting. with any leftover frosting pipe on the top edge. i used a large plain nozzle and roughly looped the shell like piping. you can even make some plain butter cream and pipe pretty patterns etc. i’m making this again for Carol’s friend so i’ll show how else to decorate a cake. 

layering the cake

I would recommend you crumb coat the cake first. that means ice it but using a thin layer of frosting. bung it in the fridge to firm up for 1/2 hour and then frost it properly. This way you don’t have to fight the crumbs away from spreading into the frosting. 

crumb coatexcuse the fridge being cluttered, don’t forget it is Christmas time so my buddy the fridge is always stocked up! Plus i had to take a whole load out to make space for this bad boy!

see this is my disaster with the marshmallow frosting. i had to take out all the marshmallows because they were rock solid bits.

marshmallow frosting7

Handy tip for the butter to be room temp instantly is: stick it in warm water. this was given to me by Pat (my cake dec tutor). it honestly works and the butter doesn’t dissolve into the water, duh, because its fat!

butter

okay so the original recipe is….

http://sweetapolita.com/2011/02/campfire-delight-6-layer-rich-chocolate-malted-toasted-marshmallow-cake/

please don’t laugh at mine compared to theirs. Don’t forget i am a Amateur and they are professionals!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~i am happy for feedback so please FEED ME!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Walrus Canteen in Manchester

Sorry for the delay…FYI this was experience on 13th November.

Okay so for my cousin, Sneeta’s 23rd, we celebrated with a weekend away in Manchester. And since Ajay kinda lives there at the moment we went for dinner with him. So with Sneeta, she makes out like she’s not a fussy eater, but trust me she is! Now Ajay thinks he knows Manchester like the back of his hand, he took us down a road which is just off the high street, where you see all these hide away places, like you would in Soho. That is what it literally reminded me of. which is where we came across Walrus.

To be honest we all said we didn’t want a typical burger place but then when you see a deal, £6 a meal, you kinda want to go in, no? I have to admit the waitress was a little…not with it shall we say, but the food was pretty decent. Unfortunately we didn’t get a cocktail. Which I think had to do with the late nights etc., so we were all living on ice cold lemon water.

menu

Excluding the deal, the prices were considerably cheap but we just wanted the deal. For our orders; Jemma and I had the pulled pork toasty with a side salad, which honestly was pretty damn good, especially the salad which was really fresh and crisp, not just iceberg on a plate. Ajay and Kaj had the fish and chips with minted mushy peas, and Sneeta had the burger….typical. Now I’m the type who will suggest for others to get a dish that I may think sounds nice so I can have a try. It’s not selfish, I’m just ‘curious’. But trying a bit of everyone’s, I ‘thoroughly’ enjoyed it! Honestly if you are in Manchester and want somewhere a bit cheap to go, I seriously recommend it.

centre piece flower

If you wondering what we had for desert. We had this….

Daim cake

Cookie dough Cake – simple vanilla sponge with chocolate chips and light brown sugar, topped with caramel frosting and chocolate ganache. with cookie dough balls coated in chocolate sprayed gold.

It’s a little un-clean. BUT i wont be giving of the recipe for this disaster. I tried to freeze the cakes in advance and found they tasted like Daim cake you get from IKEA. and I HATE Daim cake. Wasn’t my best, I know. and since there was soo much left of it we decided to give it to a homeless person on the side-walk, with cutlery and everything. maybe next time it’ll work. but for now, i will NOT be freezing my cakes!

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Simple Springy Cake Recipe.

I have finally found the Perfect Recipe which is the simplest. I don’t care what anyone says, I think this is the one for me! See now I have this theory that whenever you don’t put effort into something you make, it comes out DELICIOUS and PERFECT. Yet whenever I actually make an effort, it comes out like turd. All I’m saying is that I may have found the ratio which I can do.

cake pic 1

I just love the golden crust you get on a simple sponge.

Recipe:

  • 150g Butter, Room temperature and cubed
  • 1 Cup of Caster Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp on Vanilla extract
  • ¼ almond extract – can use a different flavour or add orange zest as well as the almond extract.

Okay so it is as simple as making the batter….

  1. Using the electric whisk or mixer if you’d prefer, mix the butter, sugar and eggs together until pale yellow.
  2. Sift flour and Baking powder in and whisk for 3 minutes.
  3. Add milk bit by bit until it feels like lightly whipped cream
  4. Pour into prepared tin and bake in the 150 degree Celsius oven for 45-60 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN WITHIN THE FIRST 40 MINUTES.

Because it’s just a simple cake using a prettier cake tin sets it off. Or you can even put it in a loaf tin and slice it up like bread and sandwich 2 with jam and whipped. Now that is cute when you have friends or family over.

with the ring tin, like i used you can spread chocolate ganache over the top.

cake 2

Usually with other recipes I make, I get a thick crispy crust and this time I got no major crust just a smooth springy cake. Please tell me what you think and if you have any suggestions as to how to improve ‘develop’ the recipe.

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If you like Pina Coladas…

So d’you remember this song. Because it was stuck in my f***ing head all night whilst baking this cake. So I come home from cake Dec class (9pm) and get cracking on with the Halloween cake for Arji. And for some random reason, mum pops in the kitchen and starts talking about pineapple upside down cake. Where did that come from? And then this look on her face, full of delight as she asks, “Neet, are you making pineapple upside down cake?” and usually mum NEVER asks to me to make her a cake because it’s too many calories! And to be honest I was so determined to make Arji’s Halloween cake I kind of at first said I was just gonna make Arji’s cake BUT I’ll make the pineapple cake instead. And you know how mums are, the whole: “oh no don’t worry about me, you just carry on.”
Come on, you can’t do that to your mum can you? So like the good daughter I am incorporated mums favourite things into 1. So mums favourite fruit and cake of all time is pineapple upside down cake and pina coladas are her favourite cocktails. So I made a pina colada cake! 2 upside pineapple cakes with coconut butter cream with a splash of rum.
So I kind of experimented with the cake recipe. Recently I’ve fallen love with the Great Mary Berry recipe, of just bunging everything in the bowl and mixing in the mixer. But I don’t know; d’you ever get that feeling where you want to make the cake like by scratch where you make it with love, I mean are always…kind of. But then I guess I got a little lazy with the mixer and could really see what was going on I guess. I don’t know but I just had a moment I guess with my hand mix. Oh and I tried something else which I used from Great British Bake Off!

RECIPE:
Cake;

  • 125g Butter, room temperature
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk or golden rum
  • 2 ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tin of Pineapple rings  in juice
  • 2 tbsp. sugar

Buttercream;

  • 90g Butter
  • 50g cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded coconut
  • Splash of golden rum (entirely up to you-from 1 tbsp. to 4 tbsp, just ad 2 tbsp. more of icing sugar if adding 4)

STEPS:

  1. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  2. Add all the eggs, vanilla and rum in and carry on whisking on high until really pale and thickish
  3. Sift in the flour and ground almonds and baking powder and fold in.
  4. Whack the whisk on high and whip batter until real thick and pale. If you want the batter a little looser then add rum (which is what I did).
  5. Line the tins and sprinkle sugar on the bottom of the tin first, then arrange the pineapple
  6. Spoon over the cake mix evenly and pop in the oven on 170c for 35-45 minutes or until golden and bouncy

Whilst cakes in the oven start on the butter cream:

  1. Whisk all ingredients until thick and smooth. DONE.
  2. Then WASH UP!
  3. Once cakes are done leave to cool for 30 minutes or until slightly warm, then take out and sandwich together the cream and cakes. The butter cream will melt but it meant to. Trust me when its warm like this… you can’t beat it.

batter whiskI was so impressed with the batter. Not sure if you can tell how pale and fluffy it is to normal. As you can see I dusted out of the cupboard my good friend, Mr. Handmix. i honestly believed i baked this cake with love. Like i usually laugh at some mugs who think that’s a key, but I guess i’m joining the crew!

cake liningSo this is how i lined my cake tins. i was watching GBBO and saw a lot of the contestants line their tins like and thought i’d give it a go. So i make the base as you would normally do. BUT then measure, roughly (add more length), 2 inches tall. Wrap round the inside of the only sticking the ends together, so NOT TIGHT. i know you’ll probably laugh but i actually used sellotape to stick together. Only a little so it wont kill. I will look into how they really stick it together, but this was my way for now.

pineapple arrangement close upLiterally its as simple as can be. throw a tbsp. of sugar on the bottom and place you tinned pineapple rings cut in half.

green batterDon’t laugh at me but we didn’t have any glace cherries in the cupboards, so I tried make it look like it was green cherries in the cake? Now i’m writing it back to yous’ i feel like it makes no sense. At the time it did, just not now! Anyway I think i saw Nigella used green cherries somewhere that why. Just don’t laugh at me please. Clever idea though, no?

cake in ovenI was soo fascinated with the way it had risen in the oven. Remember to take out when firm. ALWAYS wait till it looks firm. So about 35 – 40 mins. From experience DO NOT take it out the oven before. Trust me, you end up wrecking the rising process. You just have to have Faith and Patience in the Cake! Look how lovely and golden they are! when you stick a clean sharp skinny knife through and comes out clean and glossy from the butter, you knwo its done. EVEN if you find the smallest smudge on the knife, IT AINT DONE! so give it 10 minutes.

close up pineapple cakeSo my plan with the cherries didn’t go so well as you can see. didn’t make a difference in the taste thank god! but i tell you what i liked about the cake; i always usually get a bit of a crust on the edges, which tends to soften up after a couple of days. But this time it didn’t do that! IT WAS JUST SOFT MOIST AIRY CAKE THROUGHOUT!

pina colada cakeDon’t Laugh but I thought it would be pretty funny to do one of those cheesy shots, you know like when you see you holiday pictures. I thought it was cute but Ajay just laughed and said it looked Naff. I was a little insulted but I guess you learn from it. And from that I learnt Ajay can be a knobbish brother at times. moving on-As you can see I served it with whipped cream sweetened with a little icing sugar and rum sprinkled with a little coconut. Surprisingly mum really enjoyed it and ate most of it herself. Took some in to work and Carol absolutely loved it. so that was nice to see that not just mum enjoyed it. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Give it a Go and tell me what you think. But maybe try using real glace cherries.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Rhodes 24 – Tower 42–for my birthday!

hello all, okay so i have been wanting to post this up for AGES but just really haven’t had the time. so i have managed to squeeze a bit time to go over. hope you enjoy. xx

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IM OFFICIALLY 18! YAY! to celebrate Mum booked for us, as a family, to go to Gary Rhodes Restaurant. Now I know you’re probably thinking, what? Gary Rhodes, Seriously? AND hell yeah! i love Gary Rhodes, well Loved, ever since we went to ‘Taste of London 11’ where I actually met Gary Rhodes and had a picture with him…ooo…AND got a free lemon tart off of him! So Basically Taste of London is a food Festival where all stalls are set up and Celebrity chefs have there own restaurant stall where you can taste small dishes,(which i go to every summer!). And Gary just happened to be checking on his stall whilst mum and I walked past. It was hilarious how mum seen his face, and she just lit up ad ran to him. he was really polite though, asking me about my cooking and that kind of thing. I even got a little signature and message! SAMSUNG

the day was actually really nice. mum surprised me at work to take me out. my loving brothers went all the way to north London to pick up these lovely cupcakes which i could enjoy whilst at work. now if your thinking “wait work?”; yes working in education, towards the end of the school term is enrollments week. which yay for me is on my birthday. so all staff have to be in those days no matter what! i know right? piss take! but these cupcakes do look nice right? my favourite was the golden coloured with the mini fudge pieces. i have to admit they were a little stale like the cake itself. but it was a nice thought!

Dolly's & Cream Cupcakes

oo i ended up getting 3 cakes; the cupcakes; a homemade cake which Sue made me. Oh and next the the picture below is what everyone in the office brought me. ain’t it perty! Bless her she thought this was really me…so i come across as fashionable hey?

2013-08-28 09.06.37

and a surprising cute cake cake Ajay and Arji personalised for me.

Pig Cake

As you can see most of my day was spent eating cake…my HEAVEN.
Now you might think this was a bit of an insult or just cute in a kiddish way. But there is a story behind this. My nickname in the family is Pigso. I know, what? Apparently it is said that when I was younger and went on my first holiday, to Florida, aged 2; there was a Muppets show which we just missed and I was supposedly obsessed with Miss Piggy in Florida and cried the whole way back to the hotel. What a bundle of joy I was! So that’s where the pig come from. Now I wear glasses (only for computers) and supposedly look like Ugly Betty with my glasses and braces, which is what Ajay tried to interpret. AND finally you see this scar on my/the pig’s forehead. This story is, when I was 3 I fell on some pin nails and scraped by forehead, which has scarred me for life (but has cleared quite a bit now). But when I was 11 in my school Selfie, you can see the scar and Ajay took the piss out of me ever since and called me HARRY POTTER! So like the annoying Brother he is, he had to get all my outer beauty perks!!

Back to Rhodes….So the reservation was for 8.45 (mum left it too late to book the reservations), and we got there for 9.30 (traffic) and the kitchen was closing, dad still had to find parking, oh it was a disaster. We had literally 10 minutes before the kitchen closed so had to rush and pick our food. THE best thing from the evening had to have been the afters selection. Starters was ‘ite’-soup. cream of cauliflower. Yeah so nothing to special. The main me and Arji ordered vegetable risotto-it was utterly the worst risotto I have tasted. So you might think I’m over exaggerated, BUT even the cafeteria have served better risotto with their ‘bruschetta’ on the side. I don’t know you might say like it if you go but maybe I expected too much and my expectations were just splattered as soon as the waiter brought over the tiny espresso cup filled with off white loose puree. I have to admit maybe it was partly our fault as to why it wasn’t the best…hmm mum. Next time learn to time manage!

But overall I think I felt like I was made to feel special and blown away with the food. At moments if I had closed my I eyes I could have sworn I felt I was at Toby Carvery. Enough said. Overall the highlight was the magnificent view of London’s Urban Jungle laid out in front of us. Honestly the view just took me away. Gherkin literally adjacent to the window. There was this peculiar building with a 30 floored building, with an elevator lined with blue lights which you could see go up and down speedily. I could even see in the buildings ahead, employees working till 10pm in the office; I was literally praying I won’t turn out like that in the future. another thing which really touched me was the afters the waiter brought to us at the table. since the kitchen had closed the waited plated mini treats piping happy birthday for me. I thought this was soo nice of them and it kind got to me a little.

dessert

okay so what you see here is chocolate truffles rolled in freeze dried raspberries (top), cute mini blueberry muffins (middle) and individual Lime cheesecakes which wasn’t the zestiest (bottom).

I was a little disappointed with this night. mainly because I had this weird fantasy that Gary would randomly do a check on Rhodes 24 and i so happened to be there at the same time….you get where I’m going with this, right?

overall because of the view and mini afters i would rate this a 3/10 and that is purely because of the dessert. Nothing like the previous fine dining places. But hey ho, at least I can say I have finally been to my ex-favourite chef’s restaurant. Next thing on the list…Gordon I’m coming for you…

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