Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Special Little Birthday.

I was recently invited a special little girl's first birthday party and I figured it 
was the perfect excuse to whip up a mini chocolate feast?!...

Be warned, this is not for the faint hearted or let's face it a one year old!

It was created simply to satisfy the ultimate chocolate craving.

 An incredibly moist chocolate sponge filled with a heavenly peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream and smothered in a ridiculously rich dark chocolate fudge frosting.......mmmmm. 

I did try to compensate for the calorific madness by making this one
 a humble 2 layer 6incher.

Virtuous by comparison to a 4 layer salted caramel version I made last week?!
(More on that in my next post!)


 Here's what you need:



Thank you so much to all of the lovely people around
the world who have taken the time to visit my little blog.

Apologies for the lack of new posts lately, it turns out life
with a three month old gets pretty hectic, who knew?!

More frequent posts are in the pipeline.
I'm currently working on a series of "fancy cakes"
as part of a portfolio building project.

I really appreciate all of the views and please don't hesitate
to leave me a comment, I would love to know what you think.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Apple Streusel Slice.


What you'll need:

Sweet shortcrust pastry:

 (*This recipe makes double the amount of pastry required, 
I like to keep one half in freezer to use at a later date*)

250g Plain Flour
75g Icing Sugar
Pinch of Salt
120g Unsalted Butter, Room temp
2 Egg Yolks
1 tbsp Cold Water

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Cornish Cream Tea @ The Eden Project

Sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring the greatest pleasure. 
Take a freshly baked scone, still warm from the oven and slather it with a 
generous dollop of clotted cream and a spoonful of raspberry jam... Heaven.

We visited The Eden Project last summer during a particularly rainy 
camping trip around Devon and Cornwall. I'm not sure if it was our
beautiful surroundings or the 20 minutes of uninterrupted sunshine that we 
experienced here, but this was hands down the most incredible
scone that I've ever had. 

**  As far as I know the jury is still out on whether or not Cornwall can in fact lay claim to the ingenious combination of scone, clotted cream and jam or if Devon really got there first, but heck who cares when it tastes this good!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Step House Hotel.

We went for our first family Sunday jaunt out of the city yesterday
 and ended up in Borris, Co. Carlow.
 We stopped by the wonderful Step House Hotel for lunch and 
I just had to share a couple of photos of our incredible desserts.

I had the 70% Chocolate Pavé with Roast Banana, Peanut Butter Ice-cream and Kahlua Syrup

 My other half had the White Chocolate Delice with Passionfruit Sorbet, Roasted Peaches and Mango Pureé.

The rest of our lunch was pretty amazing too, although I scoffed the lot before I remembered to take my camera out!...oh well there's always next time.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

Nectarine Upside-down Cake

Since having my baby girl 6 weeks ago I've been trying my best 
to stay on the straight and narrow.  And what better 
way to indulge my sweet tooth then with fruit. Some deliciously
 ripe and juicy nectarines.....baked in a cake.....that's still healthy, right?

We came across these beauties on our weekly shopping trip to Aldi, where they were
on special offer for an unbelievable 45cent a punnet!! We ended up carting home two boxes full. I flicked through my bookshelf and a few of my favourite blogs for some ideas.
I first spotted this on David but after much deliberation I decided to try out a home grown blogger's recipe instead (with a few tweeks as I was lime-less!). Many thanks to Babaduck for the inspiration!!

Here's what you'll need:   

5-6 Nectarines, sliced 
175g Soft Butter, plus 1 tbsp
150g Light Golden Brown Sugar, plus 2 tbsp
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
 3 Eggs
3 tbsp Creme Fraiche
120g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt

 How to:

Preheat oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4. 

Melt 1tbsp of butter in the base of a 9inch (23cm) springform tin over very low heat.

Then sprinkle with 2 tbsp of golden brown sugar.

Slice the nectarines and arrange in concentric circles. 

Try to pack in as much fruit as possible as it they will shrink in the oven.

Repeat this process until all the gaps have been filled.

Cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 mins until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
( I use a homemade vanilla paste. I'll post more about that later!)

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is well incorporated.

Next, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold until 
everything is well combined.

Fold in creme fraiche.

Pour the batter over the nectarines and smooth the top with a spatula or palette knife.

Ready for the oven!

Bake for approx. 40mins or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins. 
Then invert the tin onto a wire cooling rack.
 Once turned upside-down, the juice from the fruit will run 
into the sponge leaving you with a deliciously moist cake.