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Sweet ‘n’ Zesty

Happy Mother’s Day ladies! 

What a beautiful thing to celebrate the Superwomen in our lives – and what better way to do it than with a spot of tea and cake!

My Mother requested a plain Vanilla Sponge cake, but I also surprised her with a new recipe, a Classic Cherry Cake

Classic Cherry Cake

 

A loaf of sponge cake embedded with sticky Glacé cherries, with a blend of flaked almonds and a light hint of lemon. My taste buds were tantilised with the sweetness of the fruit, the wholeness of the nuts and the crumbly-softness of the cake. I can see that this could fast become my new favourite! I’ve quickly learnt that the flavours of berry-based cakes and bakes can be enhanced by the zest and juice of lemon; so if you’re a lover of the sweet ‘n’ zesty then this is a cake for you. 

 

 

‘Strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them’ ~ Anon.

 

Have a wonderful day Superwomen!

Tracey xo

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Quest for a ‘manly cake’

 Evening cake lovers,

Yes, it is I. Returning to you with new, exciting and mouthwatering recipes.

With Father’s Day in mind I wanted to venture into the untouched pages of my recipe books. With my Dad’s high blood pressure and dislike of “sweet things” I attempted to dig up the most manly-cake… I found a number of recipes containing nuts. What’s more manly than nuts eh? The decision was made, Blueberry Crumble Loaf. (Fruit+Nuts, yup a manly cake!)

Having been a recent convert to blueberry pancakes, I was certain that this cake would be a success. Especially with the divine partnership of a crumble topping with pecans. When I wrapped and presented this loaf of heaven to my Dad, he oh so conveniently announced that he had a conference to attend. Meaning he would be taking the entire cake with him! I know, I know, I baked the cake for him but every baker must sample their own produce, right? And I’m convinced that the rest of our household shed a silent tear as we watched that cake leave the house…

The manly cake!

The good news is that Dad loved the cake! Even more importantly, I baked another cake the next day so that the other hungry mouths could sample the delicacy.

The softness of the berries, embedded in the spongy bed of cake; sitting underneath a blanket of light brown, nutty crumble, was a taste of heaven that I had never experienced before. The crumble topping was crisp, and golden brown corners fell away from the knife, like nuggets of treasure. The contrast of the supple sponge and crunchy crumble was just the right amount of machoism I needed for this Father’s Day treat.

Served with a side of fresh blueberries and a cup of breakfast tea, this is the perfect summer’s afternoon indulgence.

“Over years I discovered that my Father was not just an advisor to kings but a kingmaker” -Nelson Mandela 

Happy Father’s Day to all the men who have raised young boys to be men, and those who taught their girls to value themselves as Queens. And to those who are no longer with us, let us remember the legacies that they’ve left behimd. For me, every day is Father’s day.

Love & manly cakes,
Tracey xoxo

Bluberry Crumble Loaf

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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!

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You can’t buy their Love… But you can bake them Cake!

Marbled Chocolate Mud Cakes: gifts of love I baked for my colleagues.

Marbled Chocolate Mud cakes (Keep an eye on the 'Recipes page' for the how-to)

Have you ever struggled to find the ‘perfect gift’ for someone? There’s no denying we have all been there- birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, just-because-gifts; they can all be a pain in the derriere, especially when you don’t know exactly what the person loves. The key to providing a jaw-dropping gift lies in your listening and visual skills. What is the person passionate about, and where do their hobbies lie? If you pay enough attention to these things then you’ll have no problem whatsoever. I always thought I was the master of gifts, sensei if you wish, well that was until one particular friend knocked me off the top spot!

It was last year on my birthday that I received a new revelation of gift-giving: I was handed a sparkly gift bag with a picture of a giant cupcake on. I grinned from ear to ear and peeped inside the bag to see a lavishly scented, hand-crafted, cupcake-shaped candle. But wait, she didn’t stop there, the biggest and best birthday gift- two gift wrapped bags containing freshly baked, rich, and nutty chocolate brownies. OMW! (Oh My Word) If ever you were blessed with the gift of these brownies you would know the utmost joy I felt that day…

You can’t gobble down these brownies in 2mins, no, no, no. These brownies are so moreish that you can’t help but nibble them, just so that they last that little while longer. The top was flakey and the inside so soft, it felt as though it were melting on my tongue. Rest assured these ‘Killer Brownies’ are not the gooey kind but baked to perfection. And the finely chopped nuts, oooh they were just the right amount of crunch that was needed. (There’s no denying that was one of my best gifts that day, and I had obtained some pretty awesome gifts. ) It was that particular gift, from that very special person which spurred me on to bake my way to people’s hearts ; )

But isn’t this a gift only females would appreciate you ask? No, everyone loves cake, yes everyone. There’s a saying that goes, ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ Follow up any hearty meal with a freshly baked treat, or present a bag full of cake-shaped-sin and they’ll be singing your praises all day! So dust off those recipe books and whip yourself into action because I have a feeling that it’s going to be a cupcakingly delicious year.

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo