Yes world I know I keep letting you down. Have been off since Thursday as well. What’s my excuse? None I’m afraid. I’ll try and get better. No more pledges. Mad photo blog today tho.
I can finally comfortably blog about Catherine’s 30th. I have had this secret for some time, and she properly had face on with me for going to Manchester without seeing her the preceding week!
Well, the previous week was Pete’s birthday and I took him for shopping and cocktails.
After this supposed snub, which wasn’t anything like but it was less imperative we meet up seeing as we were seeing her the next week!
So I was messaging Catherine’s fiancé on Facebook and said id do the birthday cake. For at least 15. So thought bugger it, let’s get creative. And then I remembered the fab Lorraine Pascale doing a cake she called the I Can’t Believe you made that cake on baking made easy. Now I can bake. I’m a relatively decent baker. But I’m the definition of cack-handed. I could make a scone look like a beef Wellington. I’m crap. So Lorraine provided me with an elegant solution. So I thought on. Now I’m ok with a bit of chocolate cake. Like a red velvet sized portion, I’m ok. But I have grown out of the era of lots of sweet. For Pete, I did him a courgette cake, a la Domestic Goddess recipe ( which i recently bought having been reminded by Kate of it’s existence and absence from my bookshelf). See below for my crap decoration:
From the heart mind!
So I then panicked. If I hate chocolate, what if other people do? And I am as subtle as a heart attack, so I could never contact Catherine and start a random conversation about food and cake preferences. So I thought on. Now, I love a vanilla sponge. And raspberry and White chocolate is a winner. So why not marry them and add White choc cigarillos? Located them at the Castle Market cake shop. Sorted. I took Thursday and Friday off to make the magic happen. I also settled on the Butterscotch layer Cake from Domestic Goddess and some chocolate peanut butter brownies as well to appeal to the masses.
So I then had to begin. Friday, u baked brownies and vanilla sponge. Now it says underbake brownies. They looked ok but were molten in the middle. That scared me. I didn’t want to be left with them never bloody setting. So went back in for another ten or so. They didn’t go hard and still had a moist gooey texture. Brownie purists may tell me to man up, but I’m a coward! Ina had told me about swirling peanut butter on top. It was pretty special I’m telling you!
My next step was vanilla sponge and raspberry buttercream. I tripled the quantity of sponge from the vanilla cupcakes in hummingbird bakery’s book. Gorgeous. Now I don’t do artificial flavourings. I think my generation and younger don’t. My mum does, but as a child of the 50’s I think essences and flavourings were common as real vanilla and almond extract were not on the shelf in Lakeland like they are now!
I decided to add fresh raspberries to the buttercream. Well, I used frozen, as Aldi don’t do fresh. I substituted the milk from buttercream recipes for raspberries as they would release their own juices. I then sandwiched the layers with some buttercream, then iced the cake. Now my cake was a bit wonky. So the buttercream covered all ills. I refrigerated it mid ice, so it would set, as per Lorraine’s instructions.
Saturday morning came, and time for cake 3. Now I had to start with the caramel. Sugar, water, and add cream. It was magic. The danger was that I wanted to eat it all. Although the actual benefit is that three teaspoons in and you’re done! The cake itself was great, and the real benefit was that the batter was mixed in my Magimix. And I do love any excuse to whip out the Magimix.
We had a fab time. Loved Ego in Bramhall. Chorizo to kill for. Great steak. Great live musician! All great. Big lass with massive fascinator in her hair that was enormously distracting! Opportunity to see people I have not seen in bloody years as well. All in all, fab time! Made even better by the random stuffed tiger on the floor of the B and B. See below!
Right. Dinner needed. Hope this catch up is well received. Lots of love world.
Ps when is new Good Housekeeping out? Sick of seeing Lulu edition now!
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