Heart shaped shortbread

i haven’t made shortbread in a while so decided to make some as it’s quick and easy.

I used this recipe and used 1.5 times the quantities:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/shortbread_1290

When they were cool i drizzled dark chocolate over them (I use Sainsbury’s own brand as it tastes really good) and then added white chocolate hearts to some of them:

   

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Showstopper – Hannah’s death by chocolate birthday cake

There seem to be a lot of birthdays at work at the moment!

Hannah requested a chocolate cake for hers so I decided to make this one decorated with Cadbury’s chocolate fingers and Maltesers

I used Nigella’s chocolate cake recipe which has soured cream in it. I added some milk to the batter as it was quite thick.

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-119

  
I sandwiched the cakes together with raspberry jam and then covered the top and sides with ganache. I used 300ml double cream with 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate. Here’s a good article on how to make and use ganache:

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ganache-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-41099

  
Then I used a mix of white and milk chocolate fingers and placed them around the edge, put Maltesers on the top and tied it with a ribbon!

   
 

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Valentine’s brownies

The request this week was for Nigella’s brownies.

I used cacao powder and Cadburys dairy milk chocolate, however the recipe came out more like a cake, than brownies:

Nigella's Everyday Brownie Recipe

I added milk chocolate hearts to the top of them, as it is Valentines Day soon 💕💕💕

  

  

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Clare’s Birthday cake – Coconut cake with vanilla bean frosting

My friend at work, Clare, was heading back home to New Zealand for her birthday, but requested a very specific cake for her return….

I googled ‘coconut cake with vanilla bean frosting’ and there was literally one recipe that matched!!

It happened to be vegan, but I don’t think anybody guessed it. You need to get some very specific ingredients before you make this, but it turned out great.

I used arrowroot instead of agar flakes in the icing, but you really do need the agar, otherwise it doesn’t  set right and is more of a custard consistency.

Here’s the recipe if you fancy doing a show-stopper cake and have a few hours on your hands:

http://amychaplin.com/2010/07/13/coconut-layer-cake/

The cakes looked a lovely golden colour when they came out of the oven, and rose every well with the spelt flour:

  
Here’s the decorated cake – it didn’t last long!

  

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White chocolate and pecan cookies

these are another recipe from the great Hummingbird bakery recipe book.

Let’s hope they taste as good as they smell!

  

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Jammy dodgers!

I’m always looking for recipes to use whatever leftovers I might have & this week I was wondering what to make with the leftover apricot jam from the Christmas cake.

When I found a recipe for jammy dodgers it was immediately requested by everyone at work.

I wanted to replicate the biscuit you can buy & most recipes just involved baking the biscuits, then adding jam to them, but I found one from the River Cottage that bakes the jam in the biscuits:

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/8781564/River-Cottage-Baking-recipes-biscuits.html?image=5

And the finished biscuits:

  

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It’s time to cut the Christmas cake!

My sister and I made the Christmas cake about 6 weeks ago.

I used my foolproof recipe from last year which is exactly what it is – foolproof!

https://www.bakingmad.com/foolproof-christmas-cake-recipe/

Baking it in advance gave me a few weeks to feed it with Cointreau!!

Then this weekend I covered it in marzipan; first brushing a thin layer of boiled, sieved apricot jam over it and as ready rolled marzipan was on offer I cheated and used that! It’s white marzipan so not as visible when the cake is cut. Then today I made royal icing and covered the cake, to look like snow:

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/6350/royal-icing.aspx

Then I decorated it with gold shimmer and the decorations from my Grandad’s old bakery business:

  
We cut the cake this afternoon at my Christmas drinks party & it went down very well!

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