Why Emoji cakes always win!

Darcey Emoji Cake : CakemojiWhy Emoji cakes always win!

When I asked Darcey what cake she would like for her birthday this year she actually said

” I want a caterpillar cake”

Now I have absolutely nothing against Marks and Spencer cakes. I love M&S and for a long time was ever so slightly, completely addicted to their profiteroles. Have you tried them? They’re devilishly good! Anyway.

“CATERPILLAR!” I replied. “You have got to be joking” A slightly crumpled Darcey replied –

“WellI don’t know – something that’s just me then”

So I got my thinking cap on. Darcey is really into a lot of things at the moment but at the top of the list is Adventure Time. We went to ComiCon in the summer and the guy who does the voice for Jake- one of the main characters was there and Beau and Darcey were a bit in awe. So, I decided an Adventure Time cake was in order. My plan was to make a 3D Jake the Dog cake with him sitting up with gifts all around him so that I could make a little gift cake from gluten free madeira cake for one of Darcey’s friends – no one misses out on cake in our house!

Changing your cake mind!

My plan was coming together nicely and then this book landed on my doorstep. CakeMoji. I didn’t stand a chance! One look and I had begs of ‘pleeeeaassse make me a poo Emoji cake‘ and ‘pleeeaasse make me a sunglasses emoji cake‘. Every five minutes it was a different cake so I went to plan B!

Plan B. The Emoji cake plan

As I had already baked a very chocolately Madeira cake – (actually I had three 8″ cakes and a 4″ Gluten free one) I thought I’d just make a few different emoji cakes. Thinking that one cake wouldn’t feed all the kids at the party and that I’d need a second cake anyway I set about reading the book (forcing it out of the girls hands!) and laughing quite a lot. Even the Poo emoji makes an appearance and it’s pretty cute – poo cupcakes anyone?

CakeMoji – about the bookemoji book

I have to say that from the moment I received a press release about this book I knew I had to get my hands on it as I knew the reaction it would get when the girls saw it. Some books are for decorating details and some for baking direction – this book for them was pure joy. It’s clever and full of great tips, recipes and ideas as well as clear step by step photos for 30 cakes, cupcakes and cookie designs. But it’s the sheer giftability it has that makes it a winner in my eyes. I can think of loads of people who would love this book. Everyone knows someone who loves an Emoji. Everyone kinda has an Emoji signature. I have favourite sign offs. Tim is the only person who gets a red heart – everyone else gets a pink one – or two hearts if I really like you. Beau gets the pink heart with a bow – get it? a Bow / Beau! Darcey’s favourite is this tongue sticking out one – hence her birthday cake. She draws him all the time and always has.  So I think this book will do really well.

Darcey Emoji Cake : Cakemoji

CakeMoji – about the book

As you would expect in a baking book Cakemogi, by Jenni Powell, Quadrille Publishers, is full of recipes and top tips. It’s clever and full of great techniques for cakes, cupcakes and biscuits. There are clear step by step photos for 30 designs. Darcey had trouble making a choice but let’s face it – this isn’t going to be my last Emoji cake. Is it?

Darcey Emoji Cake : Cakemoji

You can order Cakemoji which is released on 28th July 2016 on my affliate Amazon link here 

 

enjoy!

 

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thanks to Quadrille Publishing for sending me a copy of Cakemoji. I love it and so do Beau and Darcey! All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are entirely my own.

The biggest, brightest Hawaiian birthday cake I’ve ever made

80th Hawaiian birthday cake The Hawaiian birthday cake.

A few months ago I was asked to make a cake for a friend’s mum. It was an 80th Birthday cake for her friend – a lovely lady from Hawaii. Now she may have been 80 but she was larger than life and full of energy and anyone who met her wouldn’t have believed her age! So this Hawaiian birthday cake was set to be full of life and have tons of colour. The elements are all native to Hawaii and mean something to Sharon. It was so much fun to do a bright cake for grown up!
80th Hawaiian birthday cake

How to decorate a Hawaiian cake

The palm trees

When it comes to palm trees the trick is to make them in advance. WELL in advance. The first ones I made broke so I had to whip these ones up quickly. I think they broke becasue I was over handling them – anyway I learnt my lesson. My top tips would be-

  1. Make more palm trees than you need then if one or two break you still have a back up. You also have a choice.
  2. Place something long, thin and sharp at one end into the tree trunk. I made brown sausage shaped sugarpaste tree trunks and pushed a chopped down skewer into it’s centre. If it gets a bit loose use edible glue inside.
  3. Create curved lines along the trunk with a shaped decorating tool (the second one from the left here is the one I used)
  4. I made the leaves with an oval cutter and then folded each one in half along the length. I then scored lines and added them to the top of the tree trunk using edible glue
  5. Make your tree with florists paste or at least add firming Tylo powder to sugarpaste to make it dry quicker and harden up nicely.
  6. Leave your tree to harden up for as long as possible. At least three days.

80th Hawaiian birthday cake

The shells

When it came to making the shells I used a silicon mould. I was especially happy with the end result when my nephew Asher asked if these were the shells we had picked up from the beach a week earlier? What a compliment! Once they were out of the mould I gave them a brush with an almost dry paintbrush with a little brown paint on the tip. Each shell was given a dust of pink lustre. I started off with a white florist paste and moved onto colours for the starfish. I stuck them onto the cake with edible glue.
80th Hawaiian birthday cake

Hawaiian flowers

If you’re making a Hawaiian cake with flowers they have to be frangipani and hibiscus. Luckily I had my copy of Peggy Porschen’s Bloom book to hand so I could look up how to make them. I used a rose cutter for the smaller hibiscus and bought a large cutter for the big ones. Whichever size you’re making all you need to do is thin the outside edges of the petals then place them onto a palette to harden. A stamen stork was added then a little extra food colour inside each florist paste flower to make them pop out.

The frangipani was made using five petal shapes. The florist’s paste was rolled out a little thicker than usual and each petal is tucked into the previous until you have a complete flower. The flower was then placed on a piece of foam to dry out. Powder colour was used to enhance the inside of each flower. Each flower was stuck onto the cake using royal icing.
80th Hawaiian birthday cake
80th Hawaiian birthday cake  I really love how vibrant this cake turned out. Even the wording stands out. Really good fun.

So, what’s the brightest cake you’ve ever made? Share a photo of it on the CakesBakesAndCookies.com Facebook page. I’d love to see your creations.

EmmaMT x

Prohibition Bakery book review & giveaway

Prohbition bakery review and giveaway Prohibition Bakery book review and giveaway

I bet the title of this post grabbed your attention. Prohibition Bakery! Prohibition = alcohol and in cakes that can only be a good thing.

I’ve made quite a few boozy cakes here on CakesBakesAndCookies.Com, The whisky cake aimed at my dad, the Black forrest gateau aimed at the husband and don’t get me started on boozy mince pies -aimed at everyone! So when I saw this book was about to land in the UK I had to get my hands on it. It is literally bursting with amazing cupcakes all with a touch of the hard stuff. I’m not a big drinker (unless it’s Dr Pepper!) but I love an alcoholic cake. The flavour just adds that little something extra.

The Prohibition Bakery

The Prohibition bakery isn’t just a book. It’s an actual bakery in New York City run by the very talented Leslie Feinberg and Brook Siem. The duo set up the bakery in 2011 transforming your favourite cocktails into tasty cupcakes. Flavour is the name of the game and every conceivable flavour is included in this book. Fifty five recipes to be exact.

So, what’s the book all about?

You’re gonna love this. Here’s a run down of the contents titles and just one example of what you can bake !!!!

  • Vodka – White Russian anyone? Super cute looking cupcake.
  • Rum -This is a nice big chapter.  Mojito cupcake- probably one of my all time favourite cocktails. Definitely going to make this one!
  • Whisky – The Sherlock and Watson cake sounds like it has a powerful punch, with an Earl grey and Highland scotch filling. There are eight Whisky cakes to try. Eeek!
  • Gin – It’s not everyday you come across a cupcake named ‘Suffering bastard’ It’s a ‘hair of the dog’ cupcake with gin and bourbon!
  • Tequila -Margarita. What more can I say?
  • Wine – Port in the storm. I love port and these cute little chocolate cupcakes look too good to miss.
  • Beer/Cider – The ‘apples to apples’ cupcake sounds amazing – pumpkin, cinnamon and applejack brandy. Niiiice!
  • Liqueur – For me it has to be Amaretto sour. Amaretto is basically alcoholic Dr Pepper to me. 😀
  • Cocktails  – Not the cake variety. Actual cocktail recipes. A great end to a great book.

Prohbition bakery review and giveawayI love it that the introduction of this book includes everything you need to know to make a great cupcake – from building a baking kitchen, equipment and the basics right through to creating new flavours, frosting tips and everything you need to know about infusions and fillings. Once you have these down you can make all sorts of flavours using their guidelines. Tips like making an infused jelly will bring out the flavour more than just adding that ingredient to your cake mix.

The photography is dark and moody with loads of old photos from during the prohibition age. I love the shot of the ‘ladies against prohibition’ with their old time fashions and serious faces. The pages have sticky tape marks on them like the book’s a scrap book – nice touch. The photos of the cakes are really close and make you want to learn how to get those pretty star topping effects so big on the top of a cupcake – they’re perfect! The recipes are easy to follow and look sooooo delish! I want to eat every single one – especially in the liqueurs section.

I should mention that these are little cupcakes. Eat too many and you know what effect they’ll have.

I really like this book. It’s got a great vibe to it, lots of Leslie and Brook’s personality coming through in the writing which makes it feel really friendly. As much as I think this would make a fantastic gift for a friend I think my mates would prefer a box of cakes made from the book more!

The Prohibition Bakery by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem, Sterling Epicure publishing, is available on Amazon through my affiliate link here

Prohbition bakery review and giveaway

And what about the giveaway?

The lovely publishers of  The Prohibition Bakery by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem, Sterling Epicure publishing, have given me not one, not two but THREE copies of this great book to giveaway to my lovely readers. Wanna win one?

To enter all you need to do is share at least one image from this post on Pinterest AND leave a comment below telling me what your ideal alcoholic flavour cake would be and why. Winners will be drawn at midday Thursday 2nd June 2016.

If you hover over the images on this post a little ‘pin it’ sign will appear to make sharing super easy. Don’t forget to leave a comment too!

 

Good luck!

EmmaMT x

 

CakesBakesAndCookies.com Terms & Conditions

This giveaway will close at 12:00 midday on 2nd June 2016. Sharing an image from this post on Pinterest and leaving a blog post comment is a mandatory entry option. This prize is offered by Sterling Epicure. I am hosting it on behalf of Sterling Epicure. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prizes out or providing it. Sterling Epicure or their representative will send out the prizes, the winners must provide their name and address once contacted. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. The winner will be notified within 3 days of the closing date. The prize is one copy of the ‘Prohibition Bakery’ book, no cash alternatives are available. This giveaway is open only to residents in mainland UK (excluding Northern Ireland and Scottish Highlands and Islands) and entrants must be over 18.

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora Buttery

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora ButteryLemon Drizzle cake recipe

When someone asks you if you’d like to do a sponsored post the chances are you’re going to say yes. When that post involves you baking- and lets face it, demolishing a Lemon drizzle cake in almost one sitting the answer is definitely a double yes!

Flora asked me to choose a recipe from their website  and I have to say I was surprised at just how many recipes there were (gazzillions!) From their selection the Lemon Drizzle cake was the one that I fancied eating most right at that very moment. But I had to wait for the weekend food shop to get my hands on a tub of the Flora Buttery (it’s available in all supermarkets). By the time I had a tub arrived I was craving chocolate so I gave the Flora buttery it’s first baking test run on the choc chip cookies from a few weeks ago. Normally a softer butter (or margarine) would make a really gooey-not-in-a-good-way cookie but these were delish. I’ve already made them again.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake – everyone’s favorite.

When I used to work at Woman & Home magazine and we had a cake sale it was always the Lemon Drizzle and the banana cakes that sold out first. For that reason I though that it would be a good idea to make this Lemon Drizzle for when I was visiting a friend. It was the perfect balance of sweet and zingy. I baked the cake but I always worry I’m going to drown the cake in the lemon sugar syrup so I just brushed it on liberally when the cake came out of the oven. There’s something very satisfying about watching syrup seep into a cake. As the cake is hot it literally disappears in milliseconds. There was tons of syrup left which made me think I’d made the cake wrong. In hindsight I could have added a lot more syrup at this stage but it still tasted great without it. Really light and the texture of the cake was so soft and springy.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

After I had ‘taste tested’ the cake I decided that rather than waste the lemon sugar syrup I would brush most of what was left over on top of the cooled cake. Oh – my- goodness!!!! That’s when it all came together for me. So good. So zingy. So deeeelish! In fact the true test of whether a cake is good is when Tim comes into the office peers over my shoulder while I’m writing this post and says “Mmmm that looks good. Can you bake it again?” – I should note that as my official taste tester he is a bit rubbish. He has amazing will power and will eat just one slice of cake, whereas I will eat till it’s gone (that’s why Monday’s are so good. No kids, no Tim, just me and the freshly baked goods!) I only saved one slice of this for Tim before I headed off to my friends – obviously it was not enough!

My reply to Tim was ” I can make another lemon drizzle cake but I was planning on making muffins today” to which he replied “You can make those too!” Hello ever widening hips!

The Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

You can 🖨 off this recipe here

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thank you to Flora for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions and ramblings are my own 

Matzah Kugel Pudding recipe for Pesach

Matzah Kugel pudding for Peasach

Matzah Kugel Pudding recipe for Pesach

If you’re Jewish I think I know what you’re thinking. “Oh yeah thanks Emma. Today is the last day of Pesach. Great timing for a Matzah Kugel Pudding!” and I get it. This recipe would have been a whole lot more helpful if it had gone out last week when Pesach – the Jewish passover started. But I hadn’t perfected it then and I don’t want to share anything with you that isn’t just right. Also I had so many downloads this year on the first two days of Pesach for the cinnamon balls biscuits and almond macaroons that I know you’ll love this recipe next year anyway!

This is a basic matzabrai recipe – matzahbrai is an eggy breakfast we eat during Pesach. I love it and eat it all year round for lunch. The key to this recipe is to keep the egg soft and moist. The Matzah Kugel Pudding can become dry and therefore really stodgy really quickly so if there’s a bit of movement when it’s time to take the Kugel out of the oven that’s just fine.

I added a whole load of almond flakes to this recipe as I’m a bit addicted to them at the moment and lets face it this is the perfect time of year to fill up on almonds – basically all the cakes made at Peseach use almonds in one form or another. Almonds make it really tasty. I also add a drizzle of honey on the whole pudding when it comes out of the oven. If you eat it then it tastes divine but if you come back to it the next day and nuke it in the microwave the honey just seeps in. Deelish!
Matzah Kugel pudding for Peasach

You can 🖨 this recipe off here

You can of course make this pudding anytime of year but during Pesach when food gets a little bit limited it’s a real treat. Definitely one to make every year along with the cinnamon balls and almond macaroons. I feel a new family tradition coming along!

Matzah Kugel pudding for Peasach

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Delicious Date and Walnut loaf recipe

Date and walnut loaf recipe

Delicious Date and Walnut loaf recipe

Sometimes you need a little afternoon pick me up and for me this is it. A slice of date and walnut loaf tastes great on its own but with a little butter spread across it – deeeelishhh!. Oooooh butter! One of life’s little luxuries! The reason I like this loaf so much is because it has a really firm texture. One slice is often enough – who am I kidding one slice is never enough! I wish I could pack it into packed lunches but the whole nut allergy at school thing prevents me so we’ll just have to stick to eating it here at home. (smiles as she types!)Date and walnut loaf recipe

I am a massive date fan. I have them with a cup of tea at the end of the day (instead of another slice of cake or cookie) and the really soft, gooey medjol ones are my favorites. But when you get a regular pack and they’re all a bit hard I bake with them. By soaking the dates in boiling water they get really soft. You can leave them to cool for half an hour and they’re perfectly ready but to make them really moist for your cake leave them over night in an air tight container and give them a shake every now and then.

I didn’t used to like walnuts but over the years they’ve been growing on me. I don’t like it when you can’t taste them in a cake so I often just quarter them so the pieces are big and chunky but you can chop them smaller if you prefer. Toasting them (or baking them in the oven) makes all the difference. It’s like you’re sealing the flavour in. Definitely worth the effort.

Date and walnut loaf recipeYou can 🖨 this recipe off here

Date and walnut loaf recipe

EmmaMT x

 

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