Category: Gluten free

How to make a swimming pool cake

Evies Swimming Pool Birthday cake I love making cakes for Evie. Apart from the fact that she’s lovely, she is ALWAYS smiling. She always says “hello” when we walk into school (and I mean says hello to me- not just Darcey!) and she always chooses fab cakes that I’ve never made before. This year she was having a swimming pool party – obviously! So a swimming pool cake was definitely the right choice of cake.

I’ve made a few cakes for Evie before and if you remember then you probably know that she’s coeliac. That’s why I love making her birthday cakes. You don’t get cakes like this in the supermarket. I basically use my Madeira cake recipe as seen in this chart and swap the flour quantity for 50% gluten free flour and 50% rice flour. I find that mixing up the same quantity of flour needed in a recipe with a mixture of gluten free flour, rice flour or almond flour comes out light and tasty.

Designing the Swimming pool cake

I wanted to keep the design simple so I made the main part of the cake the swimming pool. I baked a rectangular cake and cut it into three layers then cut away the centre of the top layer. Raspberry jam and buttercream were added and the whole cake was covered in pale blue sugarpaste. I had to make it quite thick to be able to handle getting into the corners of the pool.
Evies Swimming Pool Birthday cake

I wrote ‘Evie’ in my fave script and left it to dry for a few days. I mixed it with some Tylo powder so it would really firm up (and quickly). A square cutter was used to make tiles which we placed around parts of the pool.

Rope was made with white sugarpaste strands which were twisted together and stuck on at the corners. Evies Swimming Pool Birthday cake

The splashes were made from a ball of sugarpaste which was brushed with gelatine to give it a glossy effect. The Evie was also brushed to give shine. Evies Swimming Pool Birthday cake

A life saving ring was made from white and red sugarpaste and left to harden.

To make the ‘water’ I made up some gelatine and let it cool before I spooned it into the pool. What I hadn’t banked on was that the tiles I had stuck in the bottom of the cake would bubble up and kind of soften and start to dissolve. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was how the gelatine would set. I thought it would just firm up like jelly. It didn’t. It wobbled a bit like jelly but when I had to drive the cake to the pool party it had moved and jiggled creating all these white lines. I was mortified but Evie’s mum said that the waves looked great. Pfew! Lucky save. Evies Swimming Pool Birthday cake

To finish off I added grey bars which I painted with edible silver paint and stuck them onto the side of the pool along with another life ring.

Having learnt my lesson making this mermaid cake I kept Evie in a little better proportion and just made the top half to place in the pool.

The bunting was literally a last minute idea made from decorative paper, string and two skewers.

Evies Swimming Pool Birthday cake

I kinda like this cake. I think the water worked but it’s all the splashes and the ‘Evie’ in a big dribble of water that makes it for me. What do you think?

EmmaMT x

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.

Almond pancakes with Tory

Almond pancake recipe I have a lovely friend called Tory who has a list of food that she can’t eat that’s as long as your arm. I can’t imagine being so restricted with my diet. I’m in the middle of my February ’30 day challenge'(yes I know there are only 28 days in Feb but I choose a new challenge each month!) and this month it’s no chocolate and no crisps. Last month it was no Dr Pepper and I didn’t struggle with that at all but this – no crisps business is proving to be a real challenge, so I can only imagine how hard it was for Tory to deal with being told that she would have to cut out ……..

“sugar; all grains (so: no bread, pasta, couscous, polenta, rice or even quinoa); yoghurt, cream, milk, soft cheese, chick peas, sweet potatoes and potatoes, soya, broad beans and butter beans”

Why am I telling you all this? Well she has a new blog How to eat (when you can’t eat anything at all) and I totally love it. Her recipes have to use a different combination of everyday foods in a creative way and she makes them all sound so yummy and intriguing that I thought I’d share it with you.

A few weeks ago she posted about Almond pancakes and as it’s pancake day next week I thought I’d share her recipe with you. Just click on the link above or either of the photos of my Almond pancakes (which didn’t last very long I have to say!) to be sent straight through to Tory’s blog.

Tory's Almond pancake recipe

Because these pancakes don’t contain flour – just ground almonds they don’t taste like regular pancakes. They have a more granular texture. I really like that difference but what made it for me was the cinnamon honey. What a brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that before?

 

Are you gluten or dairy free or someone like me who just loves anything almond? Let me know. I’d love to hear how you get on with this recipe

 

Enjoy

EmmaMT

 

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Squires Kitchen ‘BAKE School’ magazine review

Have you seen this magazine on the shelves yet? I got my hands on the second issue this week and it’s really, really good. I don’t buy many baking magazines – if I started I don’t think I’d stop and what with all the interiors titles I buy for work I’d be drowning in piles and piles of paper!

Squires kitchen, for those of you who don’t know, is a baking shop/school/ haven. It’s based in Farnham in Surrey and has people coming from all over the world to learn how to master the art of decorating cakes and cookies, modelling, sugarcrafting and much, much more. Their baking ingredients and equipment are so readily available the chances are you already have a ton of it in your baking cupboard without even realising it. They have had a fantastic  Wedding magazine for a while but this new ‘Bake school’ is right up my street and so probably yours too.

So what’s in it?

Recipes to start with, and lots and lots of them. Most are by the Squires tutors but there’s also a few experts thrown in for good measure, Mary Berry, Edd Kimber and Carlos Lischetti to name but a few. There are also tons and tons of tips. Really simple things that make a difference to being a successful baker. How to line a cake tin, how to colour icing, how to pipe a cupcake, which nozzle give which effect etc

The features in this issue

Biscuits

There are loads of recipes as well as beautiful decorating ideas from stencilling and embossing to flooding and stained glass effects

Cupcakes

Recipes including very vanilla, triple chocolate and some basic how to’s on piping buttercream to more complex designs. I love the butterfly cupcakes with the iced cookies in them and the cupcakes that really look like roses. They’re incredible.

Cakes

Raspberry Victoria Sponge anyone? Or a pretty layered cake, like the one on the cover? Yes, please!  There are also some dairy free, wheat and gluten cakes as well.

Chocolate

Well what can I say. You will want to make all of these recipes from Mud cake to chocolate chilli cupcakes, Chocolate fondant puddings to chocolate and walnut brownies to name but a few.

Dessert

I love desserts. In fact I nearly love them more than cakes – but don’t tell anyone! This is one chapter that I have folded down the page corners on every page! Swiss Meringues that are so pretty, Eaton Mess Meringue cakes, Mango tart, yum, yum, yum!

Bread

I’ve only recently discovered the fun of baking bread. I have loved making pizza bases this week. They are so much better than shop bought ones. George Thomopoulos, Squires expert bread baker, shares his tried and tested recipes for brown malted loaf, bloomer and rolls and Focaccia – this is what I’m making next.

Also worth checking out ….

  • Susanna Righetto’s sugarcraft flowers. You could sell them in a florists shop they look so real.
  • The interview with Edd Kimber, winner of the first series of The Great British Bake off.
  • Plum chutney and a jam recipe to accompany other recipes.
  • In the kitchen with Carlos Lischetti – this man makes models from modelling clay that are incredible. They are so beautiful you could put them on a shelf as an ornament. They are the epitome of perfect.

Bake school is available from WHSMith, Sainsbury’s and selected newsagents for £5.99 or you can buy it directly from the Squires on line shop, but beware, you’ll come away with a lot more than you bargained for if you let yourself loose in the shop. It’s a treasure trove of baking goodies!

Do you buy baking magazines? Which ones are your favorites and why? I’d love to know what to look out for.

enjoy!

Best for Baking with Tala

I love Tala. It’s so Retro it reminds me of my childhood and baking with my mum. When I think of Tala I think of their metal cone shaped measuring jug as I have one which I use to hold all my cake decorating tools. It’s way too pretty to be used just as a jug!

They have so many more products than I first realised. So, when I was asked if I would like to give a test run on their cupcake tin I obviously jumped at the chance. The tin is really sturdy. It’s professional grade and you can really tell by the weight.  You know it will last and last. It washes up really well too which is a big winner for me! No nooks and crannies to get crumbs stuck in. I hate that!

Tala have kindly given me permission to share with you their Strawberry fairy cake recipe which I used for the last school cake sale. I used gluten-free flour in mine so my little friend (well actually Evie is Darcey’s school friend but she gave me such a lovely unexpected hug at Darcey’s birthday party that I think that makes her my friend too now!) could have something nice to eat too. I couldn’t tell the difference between gluten-free and not gluten-free. They were, as you would expect deeelish!

Strawberry Fairy cakes recipe 

(Makes 8-12)

Ingredients

  • 250g butter-at room temperature
  • 250 Caster sugar
  • 4 small eggs
  • 310g Self Raising Flour

Decoration

  • 120g butter – at room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 6 drops of strawberry flavouring
  • A little red colouring
  • A little strawberry jam

Method

Cream the butter and sugar together then beat in the eggs and flour.

Spoon into cup cake cases and place in the bun tins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. When they have cooled a little remove from the tins onto a cooling tray.

To decorate, make a strawberry butter icing by creaming together the butter, icing sugar, strawberry flavouring and colouring. I put jam into the icing too. I also made some just plain old buttercream ones as seen here (as I wasn’t sure about the gluten content in jam/food colouring etc)

When soft and well mixed, spoon into a piping bag. I used a smooth nozzle to get this effect but a star nozzle will work well too! 

When the baking tin arrived I was really surprised to see the cake stand wrapped up too! I didn’t know that Tala did them. It’s so pretty that it came out for Darcey’s birthday party last week. It’s nice and sturdy so it will be making an appearance at Beau’s party in November too! Cute isn’t it?

Here they are boxed up and ready to go. I love the way cupcakes look in a box. All neat and tight and ready to be devoured!

These are seriously easy to make. Go on, give them a go!

enjoy!

Gluten free banoffee muffins recipe

Muffins for Evie

Gluten free banoffee muffins recipe

Last week we had a cake sale at school to raise money for charity. We have them all the time! One of Darcey’s friends, Evie, is gluten intolerant so I made some muffins especially for her so she wouldn’t feel left out. Evie is seriously cute.

I wanted to do something with a great flavour, rather than just another fairy cake and what with the Cartmel Sticky toffee sauce (which is gluten free!) from a previous taste test still sitting in my cupboard waiting for a trial run, I decided to make banoffee muffins. They’re really, really easy to make and of course taste great!

I got some advice on how to go about making gluten free cakes. Evie’s mum had told me that you can just substitute regular flour for gluten free versions, but when I tried that they haven’t tasted quite as good their gluten counterparts.

Gluten free flour

On the packaging for the gluten free flour it says add a little extra liquid. With the first batch I added milk which didn’t really work. The cakes came out quite heavy and tasted and looked like mini banana bread cakes. It will come as no surprise to you that I still ate practically all of these cakes, but they definitely weren’t muffins in any way, shape or form!

After the Truefoodies advice (her “Any questions post” was  very well timed! Check it out here) I added an egg for the extra liquid the second time round. BINGO! They were perfect.

I also wanted to see how these came out with a non gluten flour (in which I used the same recipe but with regular flour and only 2 eggs) and they were practically the same.


Ingredients

(makes 6 nice big muffins) 

125g butter (at room temperature)

125g brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)

125g Gluten free self raising flour (I used Doves which is available in Sainsburys and Tescos)

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 banana- mashed up  (the softer and squidgier the better)

Jar of sticky toffee sauce (Cartmel’s is my favourite)

How to make Gluten free  Banoffee muffins

Heat the oven to 170°C. Place muffin cases in the tin ready.

muffin cases

Blend the sugar and butter together. You can use a food mixer / hand held electric mixer for this. Then add all the rest of the ingredients and mix gently until blended but this time use a wooden spoon or a spatula ( I love my silicon spatulas) .

All the ingredients

Try not to over mix. The less you mix the better the muffins will bake/ rise/ taste.

Mix it up

Add a heaped tablespoon of mix to each muffin case.

Half fill the cases

Use a tea spoon to add a dollop of toffee sauce to the centre of each muffin

Add a dollop of toffee sauce

Cover the sauce with more cake mix, filling the case almost to the top.

Fill the cases to the top

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Avoid opening the oven door.

Pop them in the oven

The muffins will rise up out of the paper cases and crack on the top. When they are done (you can tell by lightly pressing the top and if it springs back it’s ready – or you can insert a skewer and if it comes out dry it’s done) Remove the tray from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool down enough for you to handle the cases and pop them on the wire rack so they can cool completely.

Gluten free banoffee muffins

I was really happy with the results of these muffins. Now I have to start thinking about what I can make for Evie for the next cake sale. Any suggestions? Please leave me a comment if you have any ideas what you think a 5 year old gluten free cutie would like.

For Evie

enjoy!

 

P.S. A special thank you goes out to Evie for the beautiful necklace she made me with the immaculate repeating pattern. I love it Sweetie!

 Em XX 

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