Sunday, 29 July 2012

Random Recipes - My books!

I haven't entered into Dom's Random Recipe challenge for a while but this month he is giving uschance to be nosey neighbours  an easier task so I thought I'd definitely have time to join in. After viewing a few entries, I have to say I have been massively impressed with everyones cook book collections! So the task this month was to take a photo of your cookery book collection and share a story about it. These are the books we usually pick our random recipes from and it gives a little insight in our fellow bloggers worlds.

My collection of cookery books is not that impressive! 

I only have 15.

I live with an English graduate and a complete lover of books. We have three bookshelves in our flat and I'm only allowed one shelf. Our whole house would be covered in built in wall to ceiling book shelves if he had his way!

As you can see the book shelves are pretty full. We even have some piled on the front - I don't like this - I have to admit I'm a neat freak. 

I have resorted to a one in one out rule which has spurred many tiffs!

Our building has a great book swap down in the courtyard. It keeps me in tacky crime novels all year round, so my tube journeys go by with suspense and adventure, helping me ignore the heat and sweaty armpits!

The boy is always coming up stairs with am arm full of books exclaiming "look what I found?".

In my journey to keep the number of books down I try to use the internet for recipes as much as possible. This way I can can compare many different versions and read reviews which I find really useful. It's always great to know someone else has perfected a recipe for you! And with all the great food blogs out there we're spoiled for choice.

However I do think bakery books are beautiful. I genuinely will go to bed reading one, marking the pages of recipes I want to try and exclaiming at the pretty decorations. I am pretty good at restraining myself from buying books except when the Book People come to my office!

I don't know if you know who the book people are but they turn up at offices around London bearing lovely books. Tthey usually have a great selection of cookery books and at such reasonable prices I can't help it!

I predict that when I move somewhere larger my restraint will not last any more. I secretly can't wait!

Random Recipes #18 - July

Thanks for a great challenge Dom, I've loved peeking in to everyone's houses!

Happy reading all.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Chocolate and Yogurt Coated Blackcurrant Cookies - We Should Cocoa

This is my entry for this month We Should Cocoa hosted by the lovely Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog

She started off announcing that this month chocolate pairing ingredient was challenging. 

Blackcurrents, Pah I thought, easy. I love chocolate and tart fruit. No probs!

However I was very wrong, I've searched high and low for these cheeky little things with no joy!

In the end I managed to find one pack of yoghurt coated blackcurrents at 2 am in the small shop I went to to buy eggs and bacon for breakfast.

My plan was to make blackcurrant and chocolate cookies. I was looking forward to the juicy blackcurrants in contrast with the chocolate but I went ahead with the recipe anyway. I didn't get the pretty splashes of purple I would have got with fresh blackcurrants, but I did get little bits of fruit chewiness which was pretty pleasing!

The yogurt melted and you couldn't really see any blackcurrant pieces - here is one on the left just above the chocolate chunk! You could say it was surprise eating!

The cookies were chewy and super easy to make. I am a chewy cookies girl rather than a biscuit person so a chewy cookie is a must for me!

Chocolate and Yogurt Coated Blackcurrent Cookies:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 170g melted salted butter
  • 200g dark brown soft sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150g chocolate (Chopped in to pieces with a sharp knife)

1. Preheat your oven to 170C and line two (or more) baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Using an electric whisk, beat together the melted butter and sugars until fluffy.

3. Beat in the egg and yolk and vanilla bean paste until the mixture is creamy.

4. Sift in the dry ingredients and fold into the creamy mixture. Try not to over mix.

5. Fold in the chocolate pieces and yogurt coated blackcurrants (feel free to substitute with real blackcurrants!)

6. Scoop the cookie dough with a tablespoon or ice cream scoop and drop on to your prepared trays. Leave 6 cm between each dough ball and you don't need to flatten the dough.

7. Bake for 15 mins for chewy deliciousness!

8. Nibble hot or leave to cool on a wire rack.

I hope you are all enjoying the weather ( I had to mention it, I'm British right!?). It's not really baking weather but you can still make many delicious desserts that are no bake, so it's no excuse not to quench our sweet tooth's.

It is two days until the Olympics officially start! Where are you watching the Olympic ceremony? I am watching it on a big screen in Walthamstow. I am so excited about the Olympics, I just can't wait!

Cake Fairy x

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Orange and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I saw these really pretty cupcakes a while a go and thought the flavour combination sounded yummy. I was right!

These are nice and fresh. The creamy vanilla beans perfectly goes with the tangy orange.


You can find the recipe over at Annie's Eats here.

You know how much I love easy and effective cupcake toppers and I especially like ones you can eat. As you can see I candied some oranges for this recipes. This was the first time I have candied anything (I'm sure I say that in every post) it was surprisingly easy. Annie details exactly how to do it in her post. I used a whole orange and had to cut the pieces in to quarters. Annie candied a smaller tangerine so one ring covered the cupcake - In future I would go with this idea but I only had oranges, it's so much cuter to have a whole slice. 

This is my entry for Tea Time Treats this month. The theme is Summer Fairs & Fetes and Cake Stall Cakes and Bakes and it's being hosted by the lovely Karen from Lavender and Lovage. Sadly I have no summer fair to sell these at (really wish more were held in London!) but I think they would be a fab treat if I did!

I don't mean to sound so English but the weather really is awful here! I just got back from Malta and it was beautiful. I can't recommend it enough for everyone, all ages and interests! I yhought I'd share some holiday snaps (possibly too many but it was hard to choose) with you, just to remind us UKer's that the sun does exist! 

Happy Baking x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

"Stain Glass window" Decorations

Cupcake decorating

I have written a guest post and my first tuorial! Please check it out, it is on "stain glass window" decorations.


Cake fairy x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Guest Post: Chocolate Courgette Cake

My name is Danielle, I’m 25 and I live and work in London, as a lead food blogger for hungryhouse. I have always enjoyed entertaining  and cooking for friends and family, and I think this is where my passion for food started. I love discovering new recipes and adore sharing my favourites recipes, especially when it comes to desserts. With a little bit of practice I think everyone can bake delicious desserts and while I  am often order my favourite chinese cuisine at the weekend, I always try bake my own deserts and have it waiting for when people pop by.

I would like to thank cakefairy for this guest post opportunity and for allowing me share one of my favourite recipes with you here on her blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it :) Cakefairy has kindly done the same over on . She has written a tutorial on Stain Glass Windows decorations and I encourage you all to go over and read it and then of course to have fun trying it out for yourself. She is definitely my cake fairy whenever I am stuck for a recipe!

My Chocolate courgette cake recipe is a must, vegetables and cakes is nothing new, everyone loves a moist piece of carrot cake. However when I mention that one of my favourite cake recipes is a Chocolate Courgette Cake I get a lot of particularly peculiar looks. Though these looks will not stop me on my personal baking quest to make sure everyone has tried this delicious yet slightly unusual chocolate treat.



350g of Self Raising Flour
50g of Cocoa Powder
1tsp of Mixed Spice
175ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
375g of Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
2tsp of Vanilla Extract
500ml of Grated Courgette


6tbsp of Softened Butter
65g of Cocoa Powder
350g of Icing Sugar
45g of Milk
1tsp of Vanilla Extract


1.    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
2.    Grease a 10 inch spring-form tin and put to one side
3.    Mix all of the dry cake ingredients thoroughly together in a bowl
4.    Mix all of the wet cake ingredients thoroughly together in a jug
5.    Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients until they are combined
6.    Pour the mixture into the greased spring-form tin and level the surface
7.    Put into the pre-heated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes
8.    Remove from the tin and place onto a plate and leave to cool for 60 minutes
9.    After the cake has cooled you can make the frosting
10.  Put the butter in a bowl and mix in half of the sugar and cocoa
11.  Mix thoroughly and add half of the milk
12.  Continue to stir and add the remainder of the sugar and cocoa
13.  Finally add the rest of the milk and continue to mix until you have a consistent mixture and add the vanilla extract before one last stir
14.  Then you can add the frosting to the top of the cake

Serving Suggestions

This cake is so delicious that it does not need anything to distract from its taste but if you really want to decorate the cake before serving I would suggest spending longer when frosting the cake. With this frosting mixture you can create a beautifully presented cake with no additional ingredients. While it can be difficult to get your piping perfect, I find by using a large open star nozzle mistakes are less noticeable. With this tip, the frosting peaks will fall after a while and you will not have any harsh icing lines on your cake. This piping tip and the similar rosette tip, forces the icing out through thin slits. This means the thin layers of icing flops a little rather than being too structured.

The cake has two layers of icing, and this gives it its sopisticated artistic design.
15.  Pipe the frosting onto the cake starting on the outside. The piping tip should be around ½ inch from the top of the cake.
16.  The idea is to get a wave-like motion going. While squeezing the piping bag, you move the tip from one inch from the outside of the cake, to the very edge of the cake. You hold it at the edge for a couple of seconds before doubling back and pulling away. Continue this until you have a ring of icing blobs all around the outside of the cake. Use the same technique on all the inner circles of the cake, until you have covered the cake completely.
17.  Use a medium open star piping tip for the second layer of icing. This layer looks a bit like flowers and  requires a bit more practice! There will be gaps within the first layer of icing, begin icing here. Gently move the piping tip upwards while gently squeezing the bag, when you are above the first layer of icing, stop squeezing the icing bag and pull it away from the cake. Work your way in towards the centre of the cake.

Piping looks much better than using a spatula and once you mastered the technique, it also is a lot quicker. The good news is that with a little bit of practice you will be making cakes that look like they could be put on a shop window display. Another great option would be to make cupcakes, whether it is for a children’s party or for yummy mid afternoon snacks cupcakes are a great alternative. All you would need to do is divide the mixture into cupcake cases instead of the spring-form tin and cut the baking time by half.