Category Archives: Baking


Raspberry Cheesecake Ice cream

January 21, 2017
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  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 punnets of pureéd, strained raspberries
  • 1 cup. whipping cream (Shlagrahm)
  • 1 cup. whole milk


  • In a large bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth; add sugar and continue whisking until combined. Whisk in raspberries, followed by cream and milk until fully incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer instructions.
  • (Add in chocolate chips)
Princess Cake

Ta da… the Princess Cake! B is 4!

January 10, 2016
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Two days, burnt cakes, hands stuck together with marshmallow…

but I did it.

Thank you internet for the help. (

I first made the marshmallow towers. This was sticky. I used 2 child beakers and a tupperware as moulds. I melted the marshamallow and added the Rice Krispies my parents had brought from UK for me. It was the stickiest, gooiest thing ever and I thought I was going to end up stuck to the towers too. I left these to set overnight. I got onto thinking about stacking the cakes and that I didn’t have any dowels… googling skewers suggested not using them so I found some good wooden chopsticks instead. Hurrah.

I remembered I hadn’t bought ice cream cones so went searching for them – in December! – None in the supermarket.  I remembered a great ice cream outlet nearby and explained to them I wanted to buy some empty cones – they gave them to me for free!

IMG_3341I rolled them in royal icing and dipped them in hundreds and thousands – then left them to set overnight.

I baked my two chocolate cakes – actually I burnt them! And so back to the shop for more eggs and I baked them again. This time they were good.

The next morning I made up some chocolate buttercream for the centres. I sliced the cakes into two (whoops – a bit wonkily) – I was at this point thinking this most definitely will be a cake wreck. I added the butter cream and left the cakes while I started on the base.

Of course I was using a bigger base then the instructions and so I didn’t have enough green. I used jam on the board to stick the fondant – and of course it went everywhere. Okay – this isn’t going to be a perfect cake. I was feeling a bit disheartened. I carried on. I cut a path and filled it with the hundreds and thousands. Next I needed to cover the cakes in fondant. I was very worried.

I rolled the light pink fondant and actually didn’t do too bad a job at cake covering and so I also covered the next cake. I cut the chopsticks down by sawing them to the size I then placed the cakes on the base.

I rolled the darker pink fondant into strips and  used a cookie cutter to cut out the squares for the turrets and the armaments. These were tricky to attach to the cake. I used water only to attach pieces together so lots of holding and repositioning until it was dry/stuck.  I used some lilac fondant to make the  windows and made some brown fondant for the doors.  I also made some flowers and stems from pink/purple and green fondants to decorate although I didn’t do too much as I knew I had the playmobil as decorations. When I was happy with it I arranged the playmobil bits (shrubs, fountain, princesses, etc.

Actually it wasn’t a wreck – it actually looked okay – and the next morning when B saw the cake she was amazed! She loved it. Success. Now I have a year to think of a 5 cake!


It’s cake time…

December 3, 2015
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It’s December and in this house that means planning the birthday cake.  Of course B doesn’t remember her 1st and 2nd birthday cakes, and she’s too polite to tell me if she doesn’t remember last year’s but this year she will be 4 and she’s very excitedly asked me for a Princess Cake (much to my dismay), and so the planning begins. But first a look back on the last birthday cakes, and whether i’m learning!

_MG_6007Birthday number 1 – The Owl Cake.

This cake was loosely designed around some wallstickers she had in her bedroom. It was a plain sponge cake with jam and buttercream, covered with ready-made,  fondants. I bought a packet of pre-coloured fondant. It was my first ever attempt and actually I was quite pleased it didn’t turn out too badly. My name piping definitely had room for improvement but as a first go, not so bad.


Monkey cakeBirthday Cake number 2
– The Monkey
By Age 2 Bella was very attached to her Monkey soft toy, having taken it to nursery with her every day since starting there at 1 year. Monkey was her best friend and so I decided a monkey cake it will be. Instead of going down the fondant approach I decided to make this an all chocolate affair. I used a cake recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book – the most choclatey cake I found(!), and added two cupcakes for ears. I practised the cake beforehand, though on the day the ganache didn’t quite go to plan and was lumpy. So another attempt it was and here is the result..


Island Tea PartyAnd so the 3rd birthday – The Animal Cake

This was trickier as we were planning to move to Germany and so I wanted to throw B a party before we went – and so this meant a cake in October and another in December. By then I’d been inspired by colleagues at work and also by the local cake shop and decided to invest a bit more time.
The cake needed to link with a party theme and the bouncy castle was an underwater scene, so I changed the theme to just animals – any sort to include the jungle animals I wanted to use. I bought white sugarpaste and coloured it myself for this cake, except for the blue sea fondant and the picnic table cloth which the lady in the shop sold to me for a good price.

I used Mexican modelling clay to build the characters and the picnic set and whatever tools I had to hand – playdough tools, a sharp knife and the flower cutter I bought when doing cake 1 – it’s amazing how a petal can be shaped for ears or plates.

I made the lion, elephant and monkey, before my daughter insisted she also wanted a horse and so I had to add a fourth character. I left these to dry in a cardboard box. I then made the cake- again chocolate. I used the base of my Lazy Susan to have a swivelling stand I could use when decorating. I used the yellow coloured fondant first to make the sandy island and then the blue fondant around the sides. I learnt quickly that I should have done the yellow all the way as it became a bit stressful trying to have no gaps between the two – admittedly there was a “patch job” on the side. I positioned the characters and the picnic blanket, and then made all the cups, saucers and cake – a fiddly but fun job. For the fish I had a mould and for the dolphins my child’s playdough cutter. I used silver balls for bubbles and added smarties around the bottom like underwater pretty stones. I just use water and a fine paintbrush for sticking the bits onto the cake and this worked fine. I also used a bit of water to help smooth any lines when smoothing the surface. When it came to piping B’s name, I decided I could make some driftwood, pipe it onto that and then if it was okay I would use it and if not I could try again. Actually I managed it okay the first time and so I could stick the driftwood on too.

I learnt a lot making this cake – it was a big job but I was very happy with it. Still room for improvement though.


TPolar Bear Cakehe other 3 cake – the Polar Bear

This was probably my neatest looking cake – see, I’m learning! After embarking upon a challenge for the one in October I wanted to keep it simple. When we first visited Munich, the zoo had two polar bear cubs that entranced me. B and I would visit the zoo often after the move whatever the weather and I would always love to watch the cubs springing into the water and playing rough and tumble with each other. Such a delight. I thought immediately of these as I also realised I hadn’t yet checked out cake decorating supplies. I had some of that gorgeous blue sugarpaste left from the last cake and knew I could buy white at the local supermarket. I again modelled the bears and left them to dry.I bought a ribbon from the Christmas markets and my piping again had improved. I was very happy with this cake, as was my little girl.

However, now she is 4, B is much more involved in choosing the theme and so of course princesses it will be… I have a plan, I have ordered the sugarpaste online and watch this space… each year what really goes through my mind is whether it will be worthy of the Cake Wrecks site ( or whether I will pull of something my girl can be proud of.





Stein’s Fish & Chips

November 5, 2015
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  • Plain flour 240g
  • Baking powder3 1/2 tsp
  • Ice-cold water270ml
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Cod fillets
  • Potatoes

Chip potatoes and put into a small bit of hot fat in the oven for about 35 mins at 210degrees.

Mix the ingredients for the batter and put in fridge for no longer than 20minutes. Dip fish in flour and fry in deep fat (160degrees) separately for about 7 mins each, depending on size.

Add tartare sauce, ketchup and peas.


Link here

My Simple (German) Beef in Gravy (with hidden carrot)

February 9, 2015
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When making a Coconut Beef Madras for us, I wanted to make Bella something less spicy that she could eat with us that looked similar so I made simply beef in gravy but added carrots into the sauce as she won’t eat carrots usually. It’s a trick I learned from Annabel Karmel to get other vegetables into her and I now do this frequently with bolognese, lasagnas, shepherd pies etc. Of course you can do this with other vegetables too.

Bella rating – 4/5Sauce Zu Braten

  • 1 to 2 tbsp Oil
  • Diced Beef – 80-100g (or as much as your child eats)
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • Sauce zu braten (Rein Pflanzlich)
  1. Using a little of the oil, brown the beef in a frying pan. When browned, place on a plate to rest.
  2. Fry the onion and grated carrot together in the rest of the oil (I did this in the pan that I’d been frying onion, ginger and garlic in for our dinner)
  3. Boil the kettle and dissolve 2 heaped teaspoons of sauce zu braten into boiling water and stir.
  4. When soft, place in a food mixer and blend until smooth – you may need to add a little of the gravy mixture to help blend it.
  5. Add all the gravy mixture to the blended paste and mix/blend well.
  6. Place Beef into a small oven proof dish, cover with gravy mixture and cover with the lid or foil if there is no lid.
  7. Place in oven at about 160 degrees for an hour or so or until tender.

I served this with rice (to look like our curry), peas and sweetcorn but of course it can be served with anything you like.   Lo and behold our curry wasn’t that spicy after all and she enjoyed that too! But still – I have a new meal to give Bella that she enjoyed.

Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

July 20, 2014

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Today in an attempt to get Bella eating different vegetables I made the following, a variation on Annabel Karmel’s hidden vegetable pasta sauce:

  • 2 cloves of Garlic – crushed
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots – grated
  • About the same amount of grated sweet potato as carrots
  • 125g Mascarpone
  • 1 tin (400g)  chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of Italian seasoning herbs
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Splash of Worcester sauce
  • Chopped chicken
  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 5 Mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil

1. Heat oil in pan then add the garlic and saute for 2 mins

2. Add the chopped onion and saute for 2 mins then add the carrots and sweet potato and cook for another 2 mins before adding the tomatoes and herbs, salt and black pepper, and Worcester sauce.

3. In another pan, cook the chicken until cooked through

4. Use a hand blender to blend the sauce so that there is no trace of vegetables for child to pick out.

5. Once sauce is nicely blended, add the other vegetables and chicken and simmer until cooked.

You can separate off some sauce after blending if you want to add different vegetables for adults and child, for example we didn’t put mushrooms and pepper into Bella’s version.

Serve hot with boiled pasta shapes and garlic bread.


Perfect Lemon Drizzle Cake

July 3, 2013
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175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
2 unwaxed lemons
3 eggs
100g self-raising flour
75g ground almonds
A little milk
100g demerara sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Beat together the butter, caster sugar and the finely grated zest of 1 lemon until light and fluffy. Add a pinch of salt and the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined before adding the next.

2. Sift over the flour and fold in, followed by the almonds. Add just enough milk to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency (so that it falls off the spoon), then spoon into the prepared tin and even out the top. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a skewer comes out dry (crumbs clinging to it are fine).

3. Briefly mix together the remaining lemon zest, and the juice of both the lemons with the demerara sugar, then poke holes all over the top of the warm cake and pour over the drizzle, waiting for the cake to absorb one lot before adding the next.

4. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out.



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