Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Cake Leftover Blondies.

This week I have been doing a lot of decorating and for once it's not cakes, it's my living room. I decided to paint one big wall in the room a deep red colour, so cue lots of red paint everywhere, including a ton in my hair and just the right amount on the walls. The end result makes the room look warmer and the colour gets me in the mood for Christmas, and cuddling up watching Christmas films on the couch with hot chocolate and cakes.

however I have also been baking and about 7 weeks ago now I started the first of my Christmas baking by soaking all the fruit for my Christmas cake and last week it was time to bake the cake. Both the boozy fruit and the cake recipe was taken from the pink whisk  and as she explains if you are late starting it can still work with just soaking the fruit for a week. Any way here is my completed cake.

 Just have to feed it with brandy regularly before decorating ready for Christmas.

I also mentioned in my last blog how there had been quite a few birthdays recently and the latest ones where my boyfriend's and my friend Mandie, they fall just a day apart and we went for tepenyaki and then on to a tiki themed bar with cocktails served  in treasure chests  and pineapples. any way the day before we went out everyone was coming round to my house to give the birthday girl and boy their presents and I decided way to late to make 2 little cakes, one each. So they really were a rush job but hey they still tasted like cake and hey that's all that counts. Any way Mandie thankfully took a few photos on her phone as I didn't think to so here they are, not the best photos or decorating but here you go:

Any way Amanda's cake was a small cupcake shaped cake decorated with leftover Icing from my bazinga cake in the last blog. And Neil's cake was a heart shaped chocolate cake iced to look like a box of chocolates and topped with chocolates, this cake is a shoddy thrown together copy of a cake I saw on a while back.

Anyway onto this weeks baking, After soaking my fruit for my Christmas cake I was left with little bits of this and little bits of that, but not enough of one thing to make anything so I decided to combine all the leftovers with a little spice to make a easy traybake that uses all my leftovers but still tastes good. I first followed a basic recipe for Blondie's and amended it to fit my flavours. The result I was a soft yummy cake that could easily be sliced into bars. It had warming flavours perfect for the winter and ensured my leftovers didn't go to waste. The Blondie's themselves turned out a little more cakey than I had expected, soft and light rather than gooey but that was fine. Also even though I used all my leftovers this recipe definitely could have fitted more fruit in if you wanted to pack your blondie's. Any way here they are:

And here's how they're made:

125g Butter
220g Light brown sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
125g Flour
(Little bit of milk if needed)
1tsp Treacle
2 tsps Golden Syrup
About 10 Cherries  (As I said before with the fruit use as much as you want or have left)
25g Dried Cranberries
25g Flaked almonds, broken up.
50g Dried Mixed fruit (Raisins, sultanas, mixed peel)
2 Tbs Brandy (Optional) 
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
A good grating (1/4 tsp) of fresh nutmeg

First of all I soaked the dried mixed fruit in the brandy (this I think made the fruit sink lower in the cake so can be left out or added separately)
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the flour, mixed spice and nutmeg, If the mixture is a little dry/ thick add a touch of milk if needed.
Stir in the treacle, syrup and all your left over fruit and nuts, including the brandy if your using that. To stop any dry fruit from sinking to the bottom, try tossing it in a little flour first.
Pour the prepared mixture into a brownie tin and bake at 180 degC until the Blondie's are baked through. As usual I forgot to time this but it was between 15- 20 minutes.

And that's it, these definitely got me ready for the build up to Christmas.

I've entered this to the The Pink Whisk November Challenge

Bye for now

Cupcake Kris xxx

Linked up to  Sweets for Saturday

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Big Bang Birthday Bash!

I feel I have abandoned my poor blog of late, however that doesn't mean I haven't been baking, in fact I have had to bake a lot recently as there have been some birthdays the past few weeks. I have been baking plenty of tried and tested recipes and also decorating birthday cakes which is something I don't do very often and still need a lot of practice at. I have also been soaking fruit for a few weeks now and will be baking my Christmas cake this weekend. I Love Christmas cake with a capital L so making one then having to wait so long before eating is torture for me, only with a tasty reward at the end.

Any way onto the Birthday's in question recently it has been 2 of my best friends Birthdays (Jen and Mandie's) as well as the boyfriends birthday so there have been much celebrations, drinking, present giving, trifle (courtesy of my fabulous friend Alex, who makes yummy trifle) and of course, cake!

Today I'm blogging to tell you about Jens Birthday (well what I can remember of it) and the cake. The Birthday itself involved, pre meal cocktails, a meal at a restaurant called Damons which serve the tastiest ribs that just fall of the bone, during meal cocktails and then many, many post meal cocktails and tasty dessert back at Jens house followed by yet more cocktails (can you see where this is going?) 

Any way I had planned this cake for a few weeks before and already got approval from her fiancee that she would love it. So (last minute as usual) I bought the alphabet cutters I needed and set to work. 
You see one of Jens favourite television shows is The Big Bang Theory and her favourite character in said show is Sheldon, so I decided to incorporate a slogan of his onto the cake. I copied the design form a t-shirt her Fiancee had with it on. Any way if you aren't a fan of the show you probably wont really get the cake but that's what made it so great as I knew Jen in particular would love it. any way here it is: 

I haven't iced a big cake for around 8 years or so and was a very disappointed with parts of this and learned a lot along the way, I definitely need more practice but none of that mattered as long as the Birthday girl was happy, which she was and she loved her cakey surprise! 

The cake itself was plain vanilla with a strawberry buttercream filling. 

any way that's it for today next week I'll make sure to post all about the other Birthdays and the progression of my Christmas cake. 

Until then 

Cupcake Kris xxx