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How much is that Cake in the Window?

‘I’m on a relentless quest to discover cakes and bakes from far and wide. Where I glean my information from is limitless; who I inspire is unknown.’  

Being fortunate enough to travel to other countries I’ve been able to sift some ‘Cakespiration’ from other bakers. Whilst in NYC I literally stopped in my tracks at the sheer sight of the cakes. ‘They’ weren’t lying when they said that Americans do everything bigger!

 

On one of my many trips to iHop and Tim Hortons, I found myself stopping on route, nose pressed against the window, and camera in hand, snapping up photos of the cakes I was determined not to purchase! I stumbled across meringue pies, apple pies, cheesecakes, cupcakes, and just regular big ol’ cakes. I was mesmerized by the overall presentation of the cakes and the nonchalant-liberal use of candies and sprinkles!

 

 

The sight of these larger-than-life-cakes and bakes got me thinking that maybe it’s time to up the ante and step away from these two-tier cakes that I’ve become accustomed to. Perhaps it’s time for me to move onto three or four tied cakes? Presentation is one of the factors that I’m working on with my baking skills and these cakes in the window have fired me up to work harder. Enjoy drooling over the pics!

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo

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Bridal Shower in Brooklyn

In today’s post I want to flashback to the month of April when I took a vacation to NYC. The purpose of my vacation was to attend my friend’s wedding (A and T), and in the week preceding the wedding I attended T’s bridal shower in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

The function hall was decorated according to the chosen colours of pink and green, laden with synthetic flowers, containers filled with green and pink Kool Aid, and a giant throne for the Bride-to-Be. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you when I say that the dessert table caught my eye from the second I entered the room! I’m usually a lover of fruit, but on this occasion my eyes glossed over the tropical-coloured fruit platter and diverted straight to the giant cake, mini macaroons and delicately frosted cupcakes.

 I admit I’ve never been a fan of American-style frosting because I found that it had an artificial taste- you know the kind, when you can tell the difference between a home-made frosting and a store bought frosting, and the store bought kind doesn’t quite measure up? On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the frosting on the cupcake was light and creamy; the frosting had been whipped to perfection, and the cupcake itself had a light note of vanilla which complemented the frosting to a tee. But the one dessert that I was most excited to get my hands on was the Red Velvet Macaroons. 

My sister has been bragging about the beauty of Macaroons for at least a year now. Not only is she blessed to have a baking obsessed sister like me *wink wink* but she also has a very devoted, baking obsessed friend who is renowned for bestowing treats on birthdays, particularly cupcakes and Macaroons. So you can imagine my glee when I realised that I would finally be able to indulge my taste buds with these delicacies.

 I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with the Macaroons because they looked like a cross breed between a cake and a cookie. In essence it is the love child of a cake and cookie (yes, I actually took the time to think about that analogy and I believe it’s the most fitting description).  I’ll try anything once, and as far as red velvet and cream cheese is concerned I’m a slave to the flavours! I have no shame in admitting that I ate two or three Macaroons at the Bridal Shower, and took a few home in a doggy bag too! Hey, they were there for the taking, stop shaking your head- only God can judge me!

For those of you wondering where the recipe is, I didn’t think it would be fair of me to supply a recipe that I have not tested and tried myself. It is my mission to add Macaroons on my list of baking-trials, so until I begin to experiment I will leave you with a few images from the Bridal Shower itself.

 

 

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo

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The Big Apple Crumble

Hello cake lovers,

I didn’t forget about you! I’ve spent the past three weeks in New York City on vacation, and celebrating a friend’s wedding. I had every intention of blogging whilst I was out there but I’m not ashamed to say that I got caught up in the excitement of the Big Apple…

I stayed with family whilst in the States, only to arrive and find out that my Mother had told her sister that I would cook and bake regularly! (Thanks Mother.) So during my first week I treated my family to one of my favourite desserts, an apple crumble.

There’s nothing like the sweet and sour fusion of almost-crunchy apples resting underneath a roof of buttery crumble topping, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. I wouldn’t do this blog-post justice without providing the recipe, bon appétit!

Over the next week I’ll be uploading a few other posts about desserts that I discovered in NYC so keep your eyes open.

Love & Big Apple Crumble,

Tracey xoxo

The Big Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

Green Apples

½ tsp ground ginger – 1tsp

½ tsp ground cinnamon – 1 tsp

½ tsp ground nutmeg – 1tsp

3oz Caster Sugar – 6oz

8oz Plain Flour – 1pound

3oz Unsalted Butter – 6oz

2oz Brown Sugar – 4oz

Walnuts OR Chopped mixed nuts (Optional)

N.B. The measurements on the left are to make a small portion, and the measurements on the right are for a larger portion.

  1. Wash, peel and dice the apples into small squares and place into a saucepan. (I prefer to use green apples as they provide the sour kick, whilst the crumble adds the sweeter element.)
  2. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg and ginger to the apples and cook on the lowest heat for 5-7mins, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat once the apples are slightly soft.
  3. Place the flour, caster sugar, butter and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and use your hands to mix the ingredients together, whilst creating ‘crumbs’ in your fingertips.
  4. Pour the apples into a flat (Pyrex) dish (Optional: sprinkle nuts over the top of the apples), and layer the flour evenly over the apples.
  5. Place the crumble in the oven on a medium heat, no time specification. Check on the crumble every 10minutes by tapping the top of the crumble with your finger; it will have finished baking when the crumble is firm and golden brown.

Can you resist the buttery crumble...

Serve with vanilla ice-cream or custard.

Triple vision!