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Snow Leopard Cake

Can you believe it’s been a year since this cake? Its always a scary reminder how quickly my nephew is growing up.

My nephews list of likes has recently expanded due to a certain aunty (😁) introducing him to the wonders of Nutella, he also really likes Oreos (what is it about nutrionally devoid food that makes it sooo delicious?!). However, he still wanted his cake to be vanilla and white chocolate.
Apart from the usual computer games that most 9/10 year olds seem to be obsessed with, my nephew loves Snow Leopards and can tell you all the facts about them.

So a vanilla cake, with white chocolate, nutella, oreos and a hidden suprise of a snow leopard. This was actually a no brainer….

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'snowy' inspecting the cake

For the cake I used the same vanilla recipe used in the Rainbow Cake:
175g unsalted butter creamed with 250g golden caster sugar (cream for about 5mins til pale and fluffy, with golden caster sugar the mix will remain grainy).
Whisk in x4 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence (I add each egg separately with a teaspoon of flour to prevent curdling).
Sieve in 250g self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder, fold in gently.
Mix in 75g natural yoghurt.

I then separated the mixture 1/2 into one bowl with a small amount of Wilton black gel food colouring to get a nice grey, 1/4 with some cocoa powder and black gel colouring to make the mixture a dark grey and the remaining 1/4 I kept plain.

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I spread a thin layer of the light grey mixture on the base of the cake pan. I then piped rings of the dark grey mixture on top

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I then piped the plain mixture on top of the dark grey rings, pushing the nozzle into it so it fills the dark grey ring. Cover with the light grey mixture carefully

They were baked until a knife poked through the centre came out clean (fan assisted oven at 170deg).

To see if I had achieved the desired affect meant waiting until the cake was cut!

To decorate I made a Nutella-Oreo frosting.

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A 250g bar of unsalted butter was whisked until smooth, I gradually added 500g of icing sugar. Once fully incorporated, whisk for aprox 5mins til smooth and fluffy. Add a tablespoon or two of milk (until you achieve the consistency you want), I then whisked in 3-4 tablespoons of Nutella and a pack of Oreos which were blitzed in the food processor. The frosting became quite stiff so I added more milk til it had a spreadable consistency.

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This frosting is amazing 😋. 

There was enough to fill and cover the cake with a generous amount of frosting (there was a lot of frosting,I could have saved it for another cake, but I know it would have ended up being eaten with a spoon :oops:).

To finish the cake I poured over some melted and cooled white chocolate to achieve a dribbled effect and decorated with mini Oreos (can you believe they don’t sell these anywhere in the UK? I had to order them from Amazon for a silly amount of money) and the very delicious Cadburys Oreo bar.

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I was really happy with the final cake and my nephew couldn’t wait to cut his cake.  He was sooo suprised with and loved the snow leopard design inside….

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The nephew and snowy definitely enjoyed themselves:mrgreen:

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Fat Free Cake

I have never been a fan of ‘low fat’/’fat free’/’low calorie’ desserts.

A slice of cake every now and then as a treat never killed anyone, right? Well that’s what I thought, ok nobody died, but one brownie turned into two brownies …and…yes I have no self control😐

I made some adjustments to this recipe. I replaced the rapeseed oil with Apple sauce, making it fat free.

1 medium orange
140g raisins
140g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
125ml unsweetened apple sauce
115g plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder, plus a pinch1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
115g self-raising flour
280g finely grated carrots (about 375-400g carrots before peeling)

Ok, I lied, it’s not completely fat free, but naturally occurring fats in eggs aren’t too bad!

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Zest and juice the orange. Mix the zest, raisens with 3 tablespoons of the juice and set aside

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Separate the yolk/white of one of the eggs. Place and yolk with the other egg and whisk with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Tip in the Apple sauce and continue to whisk

Combine the remaining dry ingredients

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Tip in the flour mix, half at a time, and gently stir it into the egg mixture

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Fold the grated carrots and soaked raisens/zest

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Whisk the egg white with a pinch of baking powder to soft peaks. Fold into the main mixture

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Place the mixture into a lined/greased tin (I used a 20cm square tin), and into a preheated oven at 160 C for 45-60mins

I also got rid of the frosting and used a sugar icing drizzle.

Once cooled, I mixed three tablespoons of orange juice with enough icing sugar to produce a thick icing, this was then drizzled over the top.

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I have to admit I was kinda worried when I cut it up and was ready to eat it, what if it was inedible?

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😋

Those fears were short lived, the cake was delicious! I’m huge carrot cake fan and this did not disappoint.

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Ferrero Rocher Brownies

I had a dilemma…cookie dough brownies ferrero rocher brownies or Biscoff brownies?! Tough one, right?

So I took it as a sign when I saw a picture of Ferrero Rocher Brownies on my facebook news feed. And as you may have noticed, I do have a bit of a Ferrero Rocher/nutella obsession (this, this and we mustn’t forget this 😋).

Place box of Ferrero Rocher in the fridge a few hours before you start.

For the brownies I used the Jamie Oliver recipe, which is my normal go-to recipe.

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Brownie mix

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Spread half the brownie mix in a prepared tin, using a sharp knife cut the Ferrero Rocher in half and place over the mix

Cover with the remaining brownie mix, and bake for 30-40mins; until a knife poked in the centre comes out almost cooked (shouldnt be too runny or come out clean).

Leave to cool in the tin.

In the meanwhile, make the dreamy nutella frosting.
Cream together 125g unsalted butter at room temp with 250g icing sugar, add a few drops of milk (as needed)to achieve a smooth consistency.
Add nutella to taste (at least 2tablespoons).

Once the brownies are cooled, spread the nutella frosting over. If you have any, which unfortunately I didnt, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Leave to chill/set in the fridge for at least 2hrs.

Remove from the tin and cut into squares, I cut them into 25 squares.

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Mmmmm 😍

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Welcome Back Cake

My parents had been away for a few months on their annual migration to a warmer climate.

To welcome them back I wanted to make them something special …

(this was also the first cake I was going to make/eat in three weeks as I am trying to lead a healthier lifestyle; unfortunately 5 portions of cake and chocolate a day wasn’t a good idea and that explains why I haven’t blogged for a month!)

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My Rose and Pistachio Cupcakes are a firm family favourite, so I knew a big cake version would be a hit, and after trying ‘Raspberry and Pistachio Slices’ from Mason Blanc I knew raspberries would compliment this cake perfectly.

For the cake I decided on a genoise sponge, as it was so easy to slice into layers last time, and I still haven’t found my cake slicer/layerer thingy.

Ingredients:

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Cake:
100g unsalted butter
100g pistachios
300g golden caster sugar
6 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp cornflour
175g plain flour

Soaking syrup:
2 punnets of raspberries (150g each)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Icing
600ml double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar sieved
2 tablespoons rose water (or to taste)
Pink/red food colouring (I used Wiltons gel colours in ‘rose’)

1) Place the butter and milk into a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Turn of the heat, and leave aside.

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2)Grind the pistachios into a fine powder using a coffee grinder

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3)Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar, whisk for 10-15mins until the mixture has thickened and leaves a trail when the whisk is pulled out. As the cake doesn't have any raising agents this is important to give the sponge a bounce and make it rise nicely

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4)Mix together the dry ingredients and seive into the egg/sugar mix. Gently fold in. 5)Pour the melted butter/milk mixture at the side of the bowl, again stir in gently til fully combined

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6)Divide the mixture between two cake tins (or use one deeper and adjust cooking time). Bake at 170C for 20-25mins (or until a skewer comes out clean) 7)Once ready, remove from cake tin and leave to cool on wire rack

8)While the cakes were cooling I made a raspberry sauce to soak the cakes with.  This was made by mashing and seiving 2 punnets (150g each, I actually only used about 1.5 and ate the rest 😋).  The juice was heated with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 2tablespoons of icing sugar.

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Slice the cakes in half to get 4 layers

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Brush each layer with the raspberry sauce

9) For the icing :Empty the cream with the icing sugar and whisk until at soft peaks, add the rose water to taste (I used two tablespoons, but add in small quantities until you get the level of rosiness you want) and the food colouring. Whisk a little bit more. Decorate cake as desired.

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I wanted to do a naked cake with pretty edges, so piped the cream around the edges of each layer and just spread it in the middle and sprinkled some pistachios on top.

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For the top of the cake I just spread the cream across and dotted some leftover raspberries on top, with a final sprinkling of pistachios

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Ta-dah!

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Mmmm... Delicious

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Super fudgy brownies packed with peanut buttercups AND topped with more peanut butter.

Irresistible 😋

Ingredients:
Brownies
200g dark chocolate (I normally use store own brand or Bourneville as I find the high cocoa content chocolate makes the brownies too rich)
250g unsalted butter
80g cocoa powder
65g plain flour
1teaspoon baking powder
150g dark muscavado sugar
150g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Peanut butter topping:
125g peanut butter (smooth)
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons icing sugar sieved
1 teaspoon vanilla

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Ingredients

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Melt the chocolate and butter over a water bath, mixing occasionally

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Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl

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Mix and the chocobutter mix and dry ingredients together

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Mix in the eggs(and vanilla), one by one. The mixture might look abit lumpy/cuddled, but by the time you get to the third/fourth egg, it will look silky smooth

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Add the peanut butter cups, they don't have to be chopped up (I prefer them unchopped). Mix and then put the mixture in a lined brownie tin

For the peanut butter topping:

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Mix in the ingredients until smooth

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Swirl using a toothpick/knife. Place in a 160deg oven for 25-40mins (a knife poked into the centre shouldn't come out clean but not completely raw )

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Ta-dah!

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Once cool, remove from the tin and cut into slices

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I split the mixtures between two pans, usually I make chunkier brownies in a single square cake tin and wouldn’t chop the peanut butter cups up.

However, this time I also wanted to do something abit special to gift some of these.
With the brownies in the second tin, using a heart cookie cutter I made brownie hearts 💕

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Any extra brownie bits left over can be squished up and pushed into the cutter to make more hearts (or you could just eat them ;))

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Hand made/personalised tags make a thoughtful finishing touch

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Any excuse to use these boxes and my mini stampers

P.S. the mini reeses peanut butter cups are half price in Waitrose at the moment!

Revel Bars

As you may have noticed, I love making ‘bars’/’slices’. They are easy to distribute and package, and you tend to get more servings (I was going to say they last longer, but not in this house!)

I’m really into layer bars at the moment AND fudge, so was really excited to make these ‘revel bars’; an oaty base with a fudge centre and more oaty biscuit on top.

Ingredients:
1 cup (225g) butter
2 cups (300g) soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups (300g)plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2.5 cups (200g) quick-cooking rolled oats
1 can  (397g) sweetened condensed milk
175g milk chocolate/175g dark chocolate
1 cup (60g) chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla

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Cream the butter and sugar, leave 2tablespoons of butter for the fudge

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Whisk in the eggs and 2tsp vanilla

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Add the dry ingredients and mix

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Put the 2tablespoons of butter, condensed milk, chocolate and 2tsp vanilla into a pan. Heat until the chocolate has melted.

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Take fudge of the heat once ready and add the walnuts

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Press 2/3 of the biscuit mixture into the cake pan, I used a 20cm square cake pan

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Pour the fudge over and spread evenly

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Dollop blobs of the remaining biscuit mixture over

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Bake in the oven at 180deg for 20mins/until the biscuit topping is golden brown

Leave to cool in the cake tin.  Once cooled, place in the fridge to set the fudge centre for at least 2hrs/overnight.

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Cut into squares

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These are sooo good.  The oaty biscuit layer has an almost cake like consistency and the fudge layer…is well fudgy.  Sooo addictive!

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I found these super cute boxes on eBay 😍

Suprise Cakes

I love cakes that suprise you when you cut into them.

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hidden 'star' and 'butterfly' cupcakes

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hidden red velvet heart cake

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rainbow pinata cake

So I wanted to make a cake to take to a dinner, something simple but would also be fun.

I decided on a hidden heart bundt cake.

First I made the cake for the ‘hidden heart’:

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I used my regular vanilla cake recipe:
175g unsalted butter creamed with 250g golden caster sugar
Whisk in x4 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
Sieve in 250g self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder, gently mix in 75g natural yoghurt

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I divided the mixture into three and coloured using gel colours

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I then placed in a square cake pan and marbled the mixture

Once cooled I then used a heart cutter

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I then made another batch of the cake mix:

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coat the bottom of your Bundt pan with some of the cake mixture

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Place the hearts, upside down. Put the remaining cake mix on top and bake (180deg, aprox 45mins)

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Leave to cool:)

To decorate, originally I planned to drizzle with white chocolate, unfortunately, the white chocolate seized when I was melting it (this always happens to me :twisted:). As I didn’t have anymore chocolate I used sugar icing and sprinkles:

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Using the whole cake mix for the hearts made soo much more cake than needed, you could half the quantities or freeze half the cake.

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..Or make cake truffles 😋.. by crumbling the cake and mixing in with some buttercream icing (i used the seized up white chocolate)

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maybe not the best colour choice with the yellow!