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Celebrate Good Times!

At the end of last month I had the privilege of celebrating another year being added to my life (or as I like to call it, the Second Christmas- no blasphemy intended!) In my previous post Ooooh Lola! I paid homage to the amazing LOLA’s Kitchen who baked me one hella’va cake on my last birthday. Today I want to show my appreciation and love for my close friend and partner in crime J aka J-Bird!

As a good judge of cake I only wanted the very best for my tastebuds so I called on one of the best bakers I know, my former Uni housemate of two years, J. A month before my birthday I phoned J and asked if she would do me the honour of baking my cake. She willingly accepted and within minutes of being on the phone she had sketched numerous cake designs. (This is the point where I brag and say how blessed I am to have such a creative friend *Aaah* I love my life!) Just as last year I requested a fusion of chocolate and vanilla cake, but without being too restrictive and demanding on J’s artistic mind I left the design and frosting flavour to her discretion. In some instances the average person may have planned their cake down to the very plate it’s served on, but I wholly trsuted J to deliver the best. After our phone call I didn’t hear anything more about the cake until the day of my party…

It arrived in my kitchen in a rectangular-form, wrapped tightly in a protective bag. A few holes had been poked in the bag to allow the masterpiece to breathe, but there was no way I was allowed to peak. The aroma of the cake wafted through the kitchen and overtook the smell of baked wedges and spicy chicken wings. Every time I walked past the mystery cake I attempted to decipher its ingredients like a hound dog: ‘It’s got nuts in hasn’t in J? Almonds right?’ She shook her head and I remained puzzled. (Now at this point I imagine you want me to cut to the chase and reveal the cake in its full splendour, but I’m afraid I can’t do that. You need to experience the very same suspense I felt that day too).

As I looked around the kitchen I saw J hard at work crafting brightly coloured fondant Calla Lillies (one of my favourite flowers) …An hour or so later I found myself spying on the baker once again; by now she had joined forces with another close friend A, and together they were putting the finishing touches to my cake by mixing a thick, creamy, chocolate frosting. (There’s no deying that at this point I was tempting to dive face-first into the bowl of sugary goodness- but I resisted. I know that I’m a cake-a-holic but goodness me I have class!)

The time finally came to reveal the masterpiece and it’s safe to say that I was more than satisfied. I grinned from ear to ear as I feasted my eyes upon the biggest birthday cake that I’ve ever received. A large rectangular block of vanilla and chocolate sponge, smothered in a rich chocolatey frosting, and laden with the fondant Calla Lillies. The only word that I managed to muster was ‘WOW’. I cut into the cake to reveal three layers- chocolate on the bottom, vanilla sandwiched in the middle and another chocolate-lid on top. If ever there were a taste I could liken to Paradise, this would be it.

The cake was so soft and moist that it crumbled on my fork. The frosting so smooth and rich that I couldn’t help but close my eyes with every bite. The cocoa flavoured cake was smooth and rich, and the vanilla was light and buttery. As if I wasn’t already having heart palpitations, J suggested that I warm the cake in the microwave. Four words:Free.Running.Chocolate.River. The frosting melted under the heat of the microwave and glided along my plate, surrounding my slice of cake like a moat around a castle. Dare I say that I was in my cake element and a C.A.M. (Cake Addicts Meeting) would have done me a hella good that day!

I wish it was my birthday every week!

I make no exaggeration when I say that this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten. J-Bird, thank you once again :) You made my tastebuds dance, and set a mighty high standard for my next birthday cake! To say that you made me proud is an understatement, to say that you’re my baking-hero may be a starting point.

 

 

Love & Chocolate frosting,

Tracey xoxo

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“Cakespiration” pt.I

Cookies & Cream Oreo cupcakes

The finished product: Cookies & Cream Oreo cupcakes

Perfect for satisfying the sweet tooth

As I inspire my readers to get acquainted with the mixing bowl and whisk, I also plan to share where my cakespiration stems from (Cake + Inspiration= Cakespiration). As part of my appreciation for my fellow cake lovers I’m starting a new blog-series called ‘cakespiration’, in which I hope to get you all viewing the cake tin as half full!

This week I want to draw your attention to one of my top three favourite baking shows- ‘Cupcake Wars.’ I discovered this show a year ago while surfing the cooking channels. This fiery battle of the cupcakes is a baking competition in which professional bakers (most of which own their own Cupcakery or Bakery) compete to be the caterer for various Hollywood events. For the most part, the bakers benefit because their Cupcakery/Bakery gains recognition among the celebrity circuit; but for the viewer, it’s an hour of pure baking anarchy!

The bakers are set a number of challenges and a contender gets knocked out at each round until the winner stands victorious. In one particular episode the opening challenge was to create a breakfast cupcake, it sounds simple enough until you hear what ingredients were provided: bacon, black pudding, cinnamon, fruits and tea bags! Only a baking magician could turn black pudding and bacon into a cake. That is exactly what these people are, pure baking genius. Bakers are given between 30-45mins to create a cupcake with impeccable presentation and of course a mouth-watering taste too.

What these bakers create is nothing short of amazing, and a standard that I crave to obtain. However, I must admit that after watching the show for the past year I have adopted a little kitchen hysteria! I recently took on the challenge of catering for a Youth Christmas party and I appointed my sister as assistant baker. It got to a point where she had to tell me to stop and calm down because we wren’t on Cupcake Wars! Needless to say, I threatened to fire her!

If you’re not a baking addict I can be certain that even the sceptical among you will get a kick out of Cupcake Wars. And for those of you who are joint at the hip to your recipe books, prepare to be amazed, inspired, and lured into my world of cake addiction.

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yVhdfLdIpM&feature=youtu.be