It’s very hard to believe and somewhat difficult to come to terms with, but my mother turned eighty a few days ago. Where have the years gone? To celebrate, we went out for lunch with a few friends and I made this fig lemon marzipan bundt cake.
This is another recipe adapted from my vintage Christmas stocking present which I made back in January – yes I do have a few unposted recipes that have been hanging around in my drafts folder for far too long. I know Bonfire Night has now passed, but this seems a very suitable cake for this time of year, bonfire or no bonfire.
I had a birthday cake to make for a friend and given free rein to make what I thought fit, I was in the mood to create a salted caramel cake. A once unfamiliar concept on British shores, it seems to have taken the nation by storm and is now everyone’s favourite flavour – it’s certainly one of mine.
Can you believe it? I certainly can’t. This blog is three years old today!
Thank you so much to all the wonderful folk who follow my blog, leave comments, bear with me, visit and join in the We Should Cocoa challenges. I really couldn’t do it without you. Much as I started this blog as inspiration to make me bake a more diverse range of chocolate goodies, it has morphed into something else and I don’t think I would have come nearly as far as I have if it hadn’t been for all of you.
For this, my third blogiversary, I wanted to take a highlight from each month of the last year. This proved to be much harder than I’d anticipated – there were a number of significant events worthy of inclusion, but I made myself stick to only one – cue applause. Here they are:
February 2011 – really excited by the quality and quantity of entries for the We Should Cocoa tea challenge and to have the brilliant prize of a box of Matcha Chocolat tea chocolates.
|March 2011 – having fun playing with some of the words associated with my blog on this wordle cloud|
|April 2011 – rolo cake for a friend’s 3rd birthday|
|May 2011 – baking with my first ever goose egg|
|June 2011 – a triple chocolate matcha cake for a dear friend’s birthday|
|July 2011 – weather and time permitted a miracle tea party down at our plot|
|August 2011 – my first time joining in with Celia’s wonderful In My Kitchen series|
|September 2011- another friend’s birthday and a 2nd and more successful attempt at piping with these chocolate and ginger cupcakes|
|October 2011 – my mega baking session for a friend’s all weekend party|
|November 2011 – a weekend of food blogger meet ups with Vanessa’s Lets Make Christmas in London and Annie Ko’s Bite n Write in Birmingham|
|December 2011 – one of several Christmas Hampers I made – a true labour of love|
|January 2012 – not much of a picture, but I was inordinately proud of these top tea cakes – the most delicious I have ever eaten|
|February 2011 – hooray and just in time for the double celebration of my blogiversary and Valentine’s Day, I won this amazingly hug box of chocolates from Simply Food – and I haven’t touched a one yet! The chocolates that I made for CT and in anticipation of this post will just have to feature another day.|
- Melted 100g bar 85% dark chocolate and left to cool slightly.
- Creamed 4.5oz unsalted butter with 4.50z light muscovado sugar & grated zest of 1 orange.
- Beat in chocolate.
- Beat in 3 medium size eggs, one by one.
- Sieved in 6oz flour (1/2 wholemeal spelt & 1/2 white spelt) with 2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
- Stirred in juice from same orange with a couple of tbsp of water as it was quite a stiff mixture.
- Stirred in 3oz natural glace cherries – halved and 2oz of walnuts – roughly chopped.
- Spooned mixture into a 21cm cake thingy and baked at 180C (gas 4) for 30 mins.
- Turned out onto rack and left to cool.
- Rolled out 8oz natural almond marzipan into a round to fit top of cake.
- Melted 100g bar of 70% dark chocolate with 1/2 oz butter and two tbsp of date syrup.
- Stirred this until smooth then covered cake with the marzipan and then the marzipan with the chocolate mixture.
- Decorated with 12 toasted walnut halves.
It’s my birthday next week and in true birthday tradition I have to bring in cakes to work. What to make? Last year I think I did a strawberry and cream cake along with Expresso cupcakes. Cupcakes are good because they travel well, don’t need cutting and are easy to eat in a work situation. This time I plumped for Night & Day cupcakes from How to be a Domestic Goddess.
- Sifted 175g flour (used 1/2 wholemeal spelt and 1/2 white spelt) with 50g cocoa, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
- Mixed in 175g granulated sugar & made a well in the centre.
- Poured in 100ml sunflower oil, 25ml cold pressed olive oil and 150ml warm water.
- Combined liquid and flour then mixed in 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar.
- Spooned mixture into a 21cm cake thingie and baked at 180°C (gas 4) for 30 mins. Turned oven off and left for further 5 mins. Cooled in container.
- Creamed 75g granulated sugar, 50g muscovado sugar with 125g unsalted butter
- Beat in 2 duck eggs alternately with 125g flour (1/2 wholemeal and 1/2 white spelt), 1 tsp baking powder and 2 level tbsp cocoa.
- Stirred in 1 tsp vanilla extract with 1 tbsp milk and 2 tbsp warm water.
- Divided into 12 cupcake cases and baked at 180°C (gas 4) for 20 mins.
- Sieved 100g icing sugar.
- Mixed in 100g cream cheese and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
- Spooned onto cupcakes and decorated each with a chocolate coated coffee bean.