Thursday, 26 November 2009

Sophia's NY style blackberry swirl cheesecake!

It was Thanksgiving the other day and my lovely cousin who lives in the USA made this cheesecake with her mum/my aunt. It looked so good I had to post it on here!
I've made a few changes as it's an American recipe so people everywhere to make it!

Ingredients (serves 16)
  • 8 oz. Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs/digestive biscuits
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • Tablespoon of melted butter
  • 4 packs of Philadelphia cheese / 5 packs of cream cheese - 8.oz per packet (the weight of packet depends on where you live...)
  • 8oz sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of blackberry jam
How to bake

  • Preheat the over to 325F/gas mark 3
  • Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil, with the ends of the foil extending over the sides of the pan.
  • Mix the cracker/biscuit crumbs with the butter and press firmly onto the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is just blended.
  • Pour mixture over the crust.
  • Drop small spoonfuls of jam over the mixture. Cut through the mixture several time with a knife to create a marble effect.
  • Bake for 40minutes or until the centre is almost set.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Animal Print Cupcakes.

All I can say is...

They were made by deathbycupcake on flickr for her friend's 40th birthday.

I have to try and make some! When I do I will post my attempt on here. (Don't hold your breath for success!)

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cappucino Birthday Cake

This Cappuccino Cake is for my coffee-loving brother who recently turned 28.
The original cake was from BBC Good Food, but I couldn't help but add my own twist to it with some Malteasers and chocolate shavings for decoration.

Here is the cake we will be making...

  • 250g pack butter , softened
  • 250g light soft brown sugar plus 2-3 tbsp
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs , beaten
  • 50g walnuts , toasted and finely chopped (a food processor is easiest), optional
  • 200ml very strong coffee (made fresh or with instant), cooled

  • 500g tub mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • cocoa powder or drinking chocolate to decorate

How to bake Cappuccino Cake

1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
2. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
3. Beat butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale and creamy.
4. Add the flour and eggs in one go and keep beating until evenly mixed. Fold in the walnuts (if using) and half of the coffee (or all the coffee if you want a plain mascarpone icing)
5. Spoon the mix into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until golden and well risen.
6. Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
7. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Tip the mascarpone into a large bowl and beat in the sugar . Use about half of the frosting to sandwich the sponges together then, using a palette or cutlery knife, spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake.
8. Decorate with by shaving chocolate on the top with a grater. (Add Malteasers if they sell them where you are in the world for extra decoration).

If you're making this cake to eat at home, it will keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Cupcakes and hip hop

Roman is as Roman Does by Themselves
Including cupcakes!

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Monday, 9 November 2009

Valentine's cupcakes


Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my Valentine's Day post! It's just a few days away now, but there's still time for all of you romantics out there to prepare.

I've picked a selection of photos that show the endless ideas to impress your Valentine with. There's something for everyone, from cute pink fairy cakes to utterly sinful chocolate cupcakes.

Valentine's Day is one of those occasions where making something yourself, however unsuccessful it is, is truly appreciated. So this year, take inspiration from these amazing cakes and have a go at making something beautiful for your loved one!

My Sweet and Saucy
These cupcakes by My Sweet and Saucy are simply stunning. They manage to be detailed and intricate yet elegant at the same time. If you're feeling brave, here is the tutorial on how to make them. They are by far my favourite.

Kumquat Cupcakery
These pretty cupcakes are perfect for those who prefer a more subtle approach to celebrating Valentine's Day. These mini-cupcakes are from Kumquat Cupcakery in NYC.
If you really want to go alternative this Sunday, they also sell maple bacon mini cupcakes!

Sometimes, you just need to let your partner know...


Abbietabbie is a lady I found on flickr who describes herself as someone "who makes cakes as a hobby", which goes to show you don't have to own a bakery to put a lot of effort into what you do! Her other cakes are very impressive, but I love how simply and effective these are.

Breeleed made these beautifully iced cupcakes for her grandma, which reminds me of when my mum used to send cards to my brother and I pretending they were from secret admirers.

If you are secretly admiring someone and feel it's time to let them know, just say the words Belgian white chocolate ivy leaves on a ganache glazed chocolate cake and watch them fall in love with you. You can thank me with an invite to your wedding.

Red Velvet cupcake filled with Barvarian cream and frosted with cream cheese, butter cream and topped with chocolate swirls and a dark chocolate dove heart...
This cupcake makes me want to hyperventilate...
Taking the big step of sharing these with someone definitely shows you love them.

Here's some more inspiration that Blogger won't let me share...

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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Fireworks cupcakes

I remember remember the 5th November, but I don't get any particular joy from this tradition, especially after being ill all this week. So today I'm going to do my bit to celebrate with some delicious fireworks cupcakes.

I searched for recipes but didn't find much I decided to improvise.

Here is what we will be making:

I found the recipe on which is marvellous. I seem to spend a lot of time converting recipes which serve the wrong number of people. The ultimate timesaver, this website allows you to choose how many people you need to serve and gives the appropriate amounts without wasting time working it out yourself.


Ingredients (makes 18 cupcakes)
  • 150g butter or margarine
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g sieved self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional) (I replaced this with 1/2 tablespoon hot white chocolate powder)

  • Food colouring
  • Silver balls
  • Tubes of icing
  • Sugar stars
  • Multi-coloured sprinkles

How to bake Fireworks cupcakes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (Electric oven | Electric fan oven 160°C | Gas Mark 4) and place 18 paper cases into a cupcake tin.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. (I found a nice gentleman to stir the mixture with a large fork which worked just as well as an electric whisk).

  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next. Add the vanilla essence / hot white chocolate powder if using.
  • Carefully fold in the flour (and baking powder if using).

  • Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients together using a food processor. Use the pulse button to mix together in between adding the ingredients in the order above.
  • To create multi-coloured insides follow this next part of the recipe. If you would prefer your cupcakes to be plain inside continue to baking instructions.
  • Spoon mixture into separate bowls and add food colouring.

  • Layer the coloured mix.

  • Bake in the oven for 10 - 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, check to see if the cupcakes are ready by inserting a cocktail stick into a cupcakes. If it comes out dry then the cupcakes are done. If not, then back in the oven for a few minutes more. Don't overcook the cupcakes otherwise they will dry out. Lift the cupcakes out of the muffin tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • Decorate to taste.

We spent the time it took to bake these cupcakes dancing to Galvanize by the Chemical Brothers. It makes the cakes rise better.


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Scrumptious jewellery

Let the world know about your passion for tea and cake!

Mama San in Brighton is very special boutique. They sell adorable women's clothing, including some very scrumptious jewellery.


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Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Cake Wrecks

Working at a bakery myself I have to be careful before I post the link to Cake Wrecks to state that I of course have NEVER seen any catastrophes such as these where I work.
(Maybe once or twice...)

Cake Wrecks is a glorious homage to truly awful professional baking. Think of it as Fail blog combined with English Fail Blog...on cakes.

The cakes are neatly organised into categories including: Oh-So Ugly, Beyond Bizarre and Literal LOLs.


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The days are getting shorter and the weather's getting colder which means Christmas is just around the corner!

I thought I'd make cookies as gifts for my friends this year to add a nice personal touch.

After a long search in Brighton for cookie cutters and plenty of misunderstandings from confused shop keepers who don't know what they are (one man in the 99p Store took me to the Pet Food aisle when I asked if they sold any)I found some in Bert's Homestore.

Bert's is all part of the current fascination with all things retro and homely. They are also the only place in Brighton I can find that sells cookie cutters, and they've whipped out their festive shapes just in time for the holiday season.

I bought a Christmas tree, an icicle, a snowman and a generic gingerbread man shape as these seemed the most clear in shape and the easiest to decorate. I plan on keeping decoration reasonable simple and elegant, i.e. the opposite to my Fireworks cupcakes.

Other than selling cute cookie cutters, Bert's also sells a wide range of housewares from cooking supplies to rustic decor and some wonderful storage baskets I had to buy made from Chinese newspapers.

This Saturday I will be baking some test run cookies and will post the recipe and some dos and don't that I'm sure will arise too.

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Fullertons Brighton

Brighton stationers Fullertons puts the soul back into occasions that buying a Hallmark card from Clintons can take away. They sell a wide range of cards for all tastes as well as decorations, balloons and those kinds of necessities.

But what we're interested in are their cake tins for hire.

It was my boyfriend's milestone 18th birthday, so I decided to bake him a cake. I went to college around the corner from Fullertons and remembered their cake tin hire service.

You can order tins in the shape of numbers from 0-9, which was perfect for me.

There's a £10 deposit for hire and a £2.50 charge for each tin, so even if you somehow destroy the tins, it's still cheaper than ordering a cake from a bakery. (I know this from working at one). Plus it's so much fun to do!

The tins come with a recipe for sponge cake or chocolate sponge cake (which involves adding cocoa powder to the sponge cake recipe).

This is the first cake I've ever baked for anyone else and I had a limited budget so it's far from perfect.

However, it tasted wonderful! I added some white hot chocolate powder from Whittards for my own twist.

One thing that was annoying was their the fact that the bottoms weren't flat.

They look like this, but as they've been used before they were slightly bent and didn't sit flat on the baking tray.

This resulted in half of the cake mix escaping...

One advantage of this was being able to try the cake by eating the parts that had seeped out, but this is outweighed by having half as much cake.

Nevertheless, it's still great value and no one else knows about this little catastrophe unless you tell them!

There were red smarties on the metal balls in the 8 holes, but they were eaten before I could take a photo!

Find Fullertons at: 151 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JE / 01273 325508


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Parklife Cafe

I found this gem by chance whilst on work experience at the Worthing Herald last week. Since then I have not stopped talking about it!

I was walking down Montague street and saw a vintage bicycle tied to a lampost next to a sign about the Parklife Cafe. How could I not pop in after such a curious way of advertising.

Serving amazing cupcakes and milkshake/smoothies this cafe reminds me of a mixture of ShakeAway and Angel Food Bakery in Brighton (more about the latter later).

They also sell delicious paninis, sandwiches and another favourite of mine, bagels. I recommend the ham and cream cheese toasted bagel.

But back to the cakes!
They are stunning! See for yourself...

I love Halloween so I adored the giant orange cake! Unfortunately I couldn't buy it due to lack of funds and the fact that I would eat it in a day quite easily... so I settled for a delicious orange butter icing cupcake decorated with chocolate eye balls. The icing was fabulously rich and I had a green version the next day.

If you have no other reason to go to Worthing (and let's be honest, there probably isn't except for the new H&M), go for the Parklife Cafe! Then join the Facebook page afterwards.

Find it at: Bath Place, Worthing.
View Larger Map

NEXT TIME: Fullertons in Brighton

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I love tea, I love cake...let's make this happen!

So I've set up about a million blogs this week, but this one is particularly close to my heart. All my friends know I adore tea and cake and so I thought I might share some of this with some lovely readers.

I'll share some recipes for cakes that I've tried, where to go for tea, amazing cake artists that I can only dream of being and some stylish crockery to sip tea/scoff cake off.


It's autumn, a day before Fireworks night infact, so today we love Sleep Wale. Nice and chilled out like the best autumn days.

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