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Food Stories Award

Evening cake angels,

Tonight I’m writing a belated Award-post that I really should have posted earlier this summer! Despite my rogue memory it hasn’t taken away from the fact that I am overjoyed to have been given my second award this year. The award I’ve been given is called the Food Stories Award (For Excellence in Storytelling http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/and it was bestowed on me by a new blogger friend http://terriskitchenuk.wordpress.com. 

Firstly I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Terri for the nomination; this is only my second award but I feel like it’s my first. I honestly feel like one of those blubbering Actors struggling to give an acceptance speech at the Oscars: “I’d like to thank God… and my parents… and my sisters, gosh I love those girls… and of course all of my amazing followers. You guys got me to where I am today. You are the wind beneath my wings; the cinnamon in my apple crumble, and the frosting to my cupcakes. Without you there would be no blog :’) ”  All jokes aside, thank you. I am extremely grateful that my hobby is recognised as being worthy of an award.

The rules of this award stipulate that I must thank my ‘nominator’, reference back to the award website, highlight a random thing about myself and nominate others.

Random Fact: I  know every single word to the movie ‘Save The Last Dance.’ Say what you will about contemporary dance movies, but THIS is one of the greatest dance movies of all time.

Nominees: I follow a variety of blogs, from photography, baking, Art and parody. This award is food based so I’ve had to narrow down my choices. “…And the nominees are…”

  1. Jen Maan in Amman; http://jenmaaninamman.com/ I love the rustic, home-made feel behind this blog, from the Itty Bitty Apple pies to the Easter Bunny Buns and Ginger Bread houses. This blog mirrors the home-made-recipe-feel that I also try to embody in my blog posts. Good job! 
  2. I’ll Have the Works; http://illhavetheworks.com  Is a new blog on the block that I’ve literally just discovered. Another homely blog, on the road to catering-stardom. I love what you’ve done so far, and I know how scary it is to be the new kid on the block, so here’s an Award to boost you into a blogging high!
  3. NR11: English Kitchen Baking; http://nr11blog.wordpress.com Here’s another new blog that I’ve recently discovered. I’m handing this award to N11 not only for the quality and precision of  blog posts, but also the presentation of the baking, and amazing photography. Go follow this blog and be inspired!
  4. Easy baked; easybaked.net Is a blog that caught my eye during this Christmas period; make sure you check out the Christmas recipes in particular, the presentation is enough  to make you drool all over yourself!
  5. Things My Belly likes; http://thingsmybellylikes.com This blog is an ol’ fave of mine. I’ve been following this blog for almost a year now, and I’m always in awe of the authenticity of the recipes. Okay so I may be cheating a little because this blog isn’t strictly about baking, but it’s far too good to surpass. 

So there you have it cake angels, I have achieved two blog awards this year and I have you guys to thank for it. Keep reading, keep baking and keep sharing!

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo

Marble cake and summer fruits :)

Marble cake and summer fruits :)

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas cake angels,

Just posting a quick message to say that I hope you’re all having a beautiful day with your friends and families, and eating yourselves silly!

In the UK the traditional way to end a Christmas dinner is with Christmas pudding, but having a strong dislike for any form of fruit cake I decided to whip up a Red Velvet cake instead. Meanwhile, my Aunt made a Lemon tart, which was the perfect palette-cleansing-ending to a hefty meal.  {Recipes will soon be updated, for the adventurous among you.}

This was my first sampling of Lemon Tart, and although the pastry looked thick and heavy, it was actually light in texture and not too sweet at all. The bitter-sweet tang of the lemon was a refreshing end to a long day of feasting, which in turn was washed down with a glass of wine :)

Which Christmas desserts did you have this year?

Love & Christmas cheer,

Tracey xoxo

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

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Herman the German Friendship Cake

Hello my cake angels,

Today is a very special day (besides being two days til Christmas) because it’s my 1st Bloggerversary. Exactly one year ago today I began this blogging hobby of mine, and I’m sure you can all relate when I say that I had planned to use every waking hour to blog! Sadly my more taxing commitments in life prevented me from doing so, but nevertheless I have loved blogging and discovering other blogs. So thank you to those of you who have either read one, two or all of my blogs posts. Watching my Stats grow over the past year has really made me smile :)

In today’s post I want to focus on one particularly interesting gift a friend gave to me- Herman the German Friendship cake. I thought this would be an appropriate blog post for all the new blogger-friends I’ve made over the past year. [WARNING: If you lack patience then this recipe is not for you!] …When I was handed the bag I was told that the cake hadn’t been baked yet; it was in the form of a Sourdough yeast and it had to be looked after for a number of days before I could bake it. Without a moments hesitation I took Herman home and got myself acquainted with the instructions…

The first stages...

The first stages…

I soon discovered that this recipe was much more like a Science project than anything else- it would be 9 days before I could even bake the cake, and in the meanwhile all I had to do was keep the yeast alive. Simple, right? The instructions read as follows:

Day 1: Put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.

Day 2:  Stir well.

Day 3: Stir well.

Day 4: Herman is hungry. Add one cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well. 

Day 5: Stir well. 

Day 6: Stir well. 

Day 7: Stir well. 

Day 8: Stir well. 

Day 9: Add the same as Day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the fourth portion. (It was on this day that I found out my friends were not as enthusiastic about Herman as I was!)

Day 10: Now you’re ready to make the cake.

Yep, it’s not until day 10 that you can really begin to get to work on Herman, but by this time it will occur to you that you’ve kept Herman alive, and all you want to do is bake him! Yes, somewhat sadistic, but cake is cake.

The recipe required me to add apple chunks, melted butter, spices and oil, to name a few. After watching Herman bubble up and grow inside the bowl for the past week I was not surprised to see that the cake batter was not so attractive. And so I waited patiently for the cake to bake, ready to expect the unexpected in terms of taste and appearance… Herman came out of the oven like a heavy weight champ, round and firm on the outside and soft as a cushion when cut open. The apple chunks covered the entire surface and sides of the cake, bobbing their heads amidst the golden brown edges of the cake. Some of the brown sugar had crystallized on the cake top, which gave Herman that little extra crunch.  Having used oil instead of butter, the inside of the cake was extremely moist to touch, unlike most ‘common cake’ recipes that use butter and can either dry out or crumble if not baked well. Now, while some may say that this cake is an acquired taste, I shared my cake with a number of people and they all seemed to love it :)   

Meet Herman :)

Meet Herman :)

Though long-winded and tricky for some, Herman the German Friendship cake is a fun and different way to bake. Check my Recipes page for the full recipe, as well as the Starter Mix (if you want to be the first one to start the chain.) Good luck!

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo

Herman the German Friendship cake.

Herman the German Friendship cake.