Sarah&Stuff

Reviews, Recipes, Travels, Crafts & Party Ideas. @sarahbooth6
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If you’ve seen some of my other posts then you may recognise this kinda cake. It was my dads birthday this last weekend and so he specified he wanted this cake -(http://sarahandstuff.tumblr.com/post/45356539355/cookie-dough-mountain-cake-okay-brace). However, it’s my dad. He LOVES walnut whips. So it seemed silly to do exactly the same thing again. Still the chocolate and vanilla marble sponges. Still the amazing cookie dough frosting. But instead of brownies, it just had to be walnut whips. You shoulda seen his face!

STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI MINI CUPCAKES

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I’ve never made cakes for a wedding before so this was a first! (WOOP!) I wanted to make cakes that fit well with a wedding atmosphere, drinking, dancing, partying etc. I also didn’t want to make anything too heavy if that makes sense. Something small and delicate is what I was going for. These cupcakes are PERFECT for that. Little, alcoholic sweet treats. Yum.

The cakes are bite size and the bottoms are filled with rum soaked strawberries. The sponge also has rum soaked into it and each is then topped with a creamy lime flavoured frosting.

I also made some Mojito mini cupcakes which you’ll find in the post below. Presented together at a party, wedding or celebration, they really do look impressive.

FOR THE SPONGE:

100ml white rum, 170g caster sugar, 150g strawberries, 40g unsalted butter - softened, 120g plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 large egg, 120ml whole milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence. 

FOR THE FROSTING:

80g unsalted butter - softened, 250g icing sugar, 1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest, 4 tsp whole milk, sliced strawberries and lime zest to decorate.

ALSO, one or two 24-hole mini muffin tin and cases. My tin was from Sainsburys and wasn’t too expensive. Around a fiver I think. The cases were from Asda. They were really brilliant as they came in different colours which can really make a difference to the final look of the cakes.

1. Preheat the oven to 170c and fill a mini muffin tin with mini muffin cases.

2. Add the rum and 30g of the sugar to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, allowing it to reduce by about half, then set aside to cool slightly. Hull and chop the strawberries into small pieces, then soak in the rum and sugar reduction for 30-40 minutes.

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3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, slowly mix together the butter, flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix until the ingredients have come together and resemble fine breadcrumbs.

4. In a jug whisk the egg, milk and vanilla essence together. With the mixer still running on a low speed, gradually pour the liquid mixture into the flour and butter and mix thoroughly. 

5. Drain the strawberries from the rum reduction, reserving the liquid, and place a few small pieces of strawberry in each cupcake case. Spoon the cake batter on top, filling each case by two-thirds. Any remaining batter can be spooned into more cupcake cases in a second mini muffin tin. 

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6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cupcakes are a light golden-brown colour and bounce back when lightly pressed. If like me you only have a single oven you may need to bake in two batches. While they are still warm, spoon about 1/2 tsp of the rum reduction over each cake then leave to cool completely before frosting. 

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7. Using the electric mixer, beat together the icing sugar, butter and lime zest until combined and crumb-like in texture, then mix together the milk and 4 tsp of the reserved rum reduction in a jug. Pour the milk and rum into the butter and icing sugar mixture, still mixing on a low speed. When all the liquid has been incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat the frosting until soft and fluffy. 

8. Smooth the frosting on to the cupcakes using a palette knife. Then top them with sliced strawberries and lime zest.

MOJITO MINI CUPCAKES

These cupcakes are so fresh tasting. Full of zesty lime and fresh mint and of course, a little bit of rum.

FOR THE SPONGE:

100ml white rum, 170g caster sugar, 40g unsalted butter - softened, 120g plain flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp finely grated lime zest, 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest, 1 tbsp finely chopped mint, 1 large egg, 120ml whole milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence.

FOR THE FROSTING:

80g unsalted butter - softened, 250g icing sugar, 1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest, 1/4 tsp finely grated lime zest, 4 tsp whole milk, 4 tsp white rum, 1 tbsp caster sugar, mint leaves and lemon zest to decorate.

ALSO, one or two 24-hole mini muffin tin and cases. My tin was from Sainsburys and wasn’t too expensive. Around a fiver I think. The cases were from Asda. They were really brilliant as they came in different colours which can really make a difference to the final look of the cakes.

1. Preheat the oven to 170c and line the muffin tin with  mini muffin cases.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the white rum and 30g of the sugar to the boil, allowing it to reduce by about half, then set aside.

3. Using a hand held electric mixer, set on a low speed, beat together the butter, flour, salt, baking powder, lime and lemon zest, mint and remaining sugar. Mix until the ingredients have come together and are crumb like in consistency.

4. Mix together the remaining ingredients for the sponge in a jug. With the mixer on a low speed, gradually pour the liquid ingredients into the flour and butter mixture and mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

5. Spoon the cake batter into the paper cases, filling each up to two-thirds full. Any remaining batter can be used to fill more cases. If you only have a single oven like me, you may have to bake two batches one at a time. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cupcakes are a light golden brown on top and springy to the touch.

6. While the cupcakes are still warm, spoon about 1/2 tsp of the rum reduction over each cake, then leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

7. Using the electric mixer, mix together the butter, icing sugar, lemon and lime zest on a low speed until combined and sandy in consistency. In a jug stir together the milk and rum, then pour this into the butter and icing sugar while still mixing on a low speed. When all the liquid ingredients have been incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat the frosting until light and fluffy.

8. Divide the frosting between the cupcakes, smoothing it on with a palette knife. To finish, I topped each cake with a fresh mint leaf and some lemon zest.  

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt.

I can always tell how much I’ve enjoyed a book by the length of time it takes me to read it. This one, I flew through. I couldn’t put it down. Also, will you just look at that cover. Beautiful. Love it. 

The Sisters Brothers begins with a cruel image. A good opening to keep you instantly hooked. A horse is being burned in a fire ‘his kicking, burning legs, his hot-popping eyeballs’. If you don’t appreciate that first line and you’re not happy with that kind of description then this book probably isn’t for you. Especially seeing as though it is blurbed as ‘hilarious’ and ‘relentlessly absorbing’.

Eli Sisters, the narrator of the story, is a hired killer alongside his older brother Charlie Sisters, on the American west coast in 1851, around the time of the gold rush in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

It becomes quite clear quite quickly that Eli’s brother, Charlie, is the dominant force in the pair and killing duo. Whilst Eli is reflecting on the death of his previous horse and commenting on the nature of his new, somewhat slow (in every sense of the word) horse, Charlie is taking orders from a commodore.

The Sisters brothers are to head to San Francisco and kill a stranger called Herman Kermit Warm. We have no idea why this is or what the commodores reasons for wanting this man dead are at this point.

The brothers relate their odyssey throughout the book and like most odysseys, it is full of both strange adventures and revelations. So much comes from the request to kill a man and the story is gripping.

The book is utterly compelling. In every single way, right to the last word in the last chapter on the last page. Each brief chapter is a separate tale in itself and the story is so cinematic. The entire way through I was imagining how good certain parts would look acted out on the big screen. You’ve got to read it. It won’t let you down. 

It was one of my best friends birthdays the other week and she had a cocktails and cake party round at her house. Probably my favourite combination ever I have to say. 

It involved homemade cocktails, cut little jam jars, yummy cakes and nibbles, fancy straws and lots of laughs. 

Take a look at the next three posts below to see what I decided to bake and take along! 

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY BLONDIES

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GAH! What a combination this is. These blondies are slightly crispy round the edges and gooey in the middle. They are packed with white chocolate chunks and fresh raspberries and taste good either left at room temperature or refrigerated. 

100g unsalted butter, 400g Milkybar, 50g self raising flour, 150g plain flour, 120g fresh raspberries, 112g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract.

1. Preheat the oven to 170c.

2. Line the sides of a sqaure baking pan with foil - just around the edges though, not the base.This will help prevent the edges of the blondie from over browning while allowing the base to brown sufficiently. Now line the pan with baking paper. No need to grease it though. 

3. Place the butter and 200g of broken/roughly chopped Milkybar in a large saucepan. Place saucepan over very low heat and stir the mixture frequently. Remove pan from heat as soon as the butter and chocolate have melted, and set aside for five minutes to cool slightly.

4. In a medium bowl, stir together the self-raising flour, plain flour and remaining 200g Milkybar (chopped into small chunks). 

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5. Add the sugar to this mixture and stir to combine. 

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6. Add the eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and stir until the ingredients are well combined. 

7. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.

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8. Carefully chop each raspberry in half and lightly stir into the mixture being careful not to crush them too much. 

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9. Add the mixture to the pan and spread evenly. Bake for around 30-35 minutes until a golden brown colour. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. It is ok if it comes out a bit oily as long are there is no mixture attached. 

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10. Once cool, remove from the pan and cut into chunks. 

ROCKY ROAD

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This recipe for rocky road is the best! Take my word for it. They have a bit of chewy, a bit of crunchy and a lot of tasty. They are so easy to make and so versatile that you can pretty much throw in whatever you want!

125g unsalted butter, 300g dairy milk chocolate, 3 tbsp golden syrup, 100g shortbread biscuits, 100g digestive biscuits, 80g Cadburys Crunchies, 100g mini marshmallows.

1. Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup together in a heavy bottomed saucepan and stir together. 

2. Chop the digestives, shortbread and crunchies into small chunks and add to the chocolate mixture. Mix around so all are coated.

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 3. Stir in the marshmallows.

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4. Line a tin (I used a loaf tin as they have good depth and create nice chunky pieces of rocky road) and tip all of the mixture into it. Press down slightly so all the mixture is spread evenly. 

5. Refrigerate until set. 

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6. Remove from the tin and cut up into chunks.

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NUTELLA STUFFED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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I LOVE NUTELLA. I LOVE COOKIES. So let’s combine them shall we?!

220g unsalted butter, 165g brown sugar, 220g granulated sugar, 2 medium eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 525g plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 280g chocolate chips (milk, white or dark), jar of Nutella. 

1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line 3 trays with baking paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

3. Turn the mixer onto a low speed and slowly add the flour, salt and baking powder, mixing until just incorporated. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.

4. Using a heaped tablespoon, scoop balls of the dough. Place a ball of dough in the palm of your hand and flatten it well. Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center and fold the edges of the dough over, using your fingers to pinch them together and shape the dough around the Nutella.

5. Place on baking trays and bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden.

Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

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Firstly I’d like to point out that despite the complete and utter lack of book/film reviews on here lately, I have in fact been reading a lot of books and watching a lot of films. The problem has been sitting down and writing about them. It’s basically been a bit of a struggle forcing myself to use my brain. Which is stupid.

The other day I sat down and set myself some goals for the next few months before I start my PGCE in September. One goal was to spend more time writing reviews. It keeps everything about my degree in English alive. Most importantly, I do really enjoy writing.

So. The book. 

My brother recommended Disgrace to me. I have family who live in South Africa and it’s a place I have been lucky enough to visit a fair few times which also made the book appealing. 

The story is set in Cape Town and is told to us by narrator and protagonist David Lurie, a professor at the University of Cape Town, middle aged and twice divorced. It becomes pretty clear early on that David doesn’t have much passion for anything in his life. He visits Soraya, a prostitute, once a week but claims that even that lacks the “wow” factor.

The first line in the novel was extremely impressive I thought. David believes that ‘for a man of his age, 52, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well.’ If you’ve ever wondered why commas are so important, then this is a prime example. BRILLIANT GRAMMAR ALERT! This line immediately made me think that in fact, this will more than likely mean David hasn’t solved the problem at all. It’s the bracketing off of ‘to his mind’ that suggests in reality, and indeed in anyone elses mind, he has got it all wrong. 

Moving on through the novel, the lack of passion in David’s life is suddenly turned around when Melanie steps in, a student of his Romantics class who awakens feelings he thought no longer existed within him.

Coetzee’s style of writing is brilliant at this point as he creates a sense of awkwardness in the reader. As you read you almost feel as though you should stop, thinking David’s character is too sick and disturbed in a way. David pushes the boundaries of acceptable behavior around women and it becomes apparent very quickly that this secret affair is very one sided.

It begins one night when he invites Melanie around to his home for a drink, then dinner, then he asks her ‘to do something reckless.’ He says at one point that ‘a woman’s beauty does not belong to her alone’, suggesting that he thinks it should be shared. Eventually though, the moment comes when even he knows he is wrong. ‘Not rape, not quite that, but undesired nevertheless, undesired to the core.’ Melanie remains passive and he goes on:

as though she had decided to go slack, die within herself for the duration, like a rabbit when the jaws of the fox close on its neck, so that everything done to her might be done, as it were, far away. 

Melanie goes slack but unfortunately for David though, she doesn’t stay silent and so comes his disgrace. She files a complaint against David with the University and the charge of sexual harassment separates him from his profession.

After the uproar of his faculty and reporters calms down, Lurie moves away from Cape Town and he thinks, further away from his disgrace. He takes refuge with his daughter, Lucy, on her smallholding in the countryside of the Eastern Cape. Lucy runs a kennel and sells produce and flowers at a weekly market. She lives alone, helped only by one man - Petrus: once her employee but now, in the new South Africa, simply - that is, not simply - her neighbour and “co proprietor”.

'I feel anxious leaving my daughter all alone here' David tells Petrus. 'Everything is dangerous today' replies Petrus. He adds 'here it is all right, I think.' At this point I don't want to go too much further in an attempt to not ruin the story for you. I feel the line 'here it is all right, I think' holds a lot of power in the plot. It made me immediately question both Petrus's character and the safety of Lucy. It kinds of strikes a cord in you when you read it and warning lights flash.

There is much to say about the range of concerns that Coetzee has woven seamlessly together in this book. Desire, trust, sex, betrayal, South Africa at the time, revenge, family, punishment and acceptance are to name a few. I thought this book was brilliant. Stylishly written with exceptional use of grammar throughout to change and alter interpretation.

This brings me to my last point about the novel which will not be felt until having read to the end. Coetzee’s most impressive achievement, I believe, is one that grows from the very bones of the novels grammar. The title. The word ‘disgrace’ is present tense suggesting a continuous condition. Disgrace in this case doesn’t stop, it continues.

CHOCOLATE & STRAWBERRY DRIZZLE CAKE.

This cake was made for an 80th birthday and I got to try some for a change! (The tasting bit doesn’t often happen unfortunately.) The sponge is lovely and moist and with the chocolate drizzle running through the layers it really is delicious. I actually made two cakes both exactly the same as it happened to be mother’s day the same weekend so thought I would finish off the rest of the strawberries and make another. I’m going to write the quantities that I used but if you only want to make the one cake, which I’m assuming most people will, then halve everything.

FOR THE SPONGE:

250g unsalted butter - softened, 600g caster sugar, 3 large eggs, 470g plain flour, 140g cocoa powder, 2tsp bicarbonate soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 375ml buttermilk, 1tsp vanilla extract, 375ml boiling water.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:

500g Dairy Milk chocolate, 500g double cream.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM:

110g butter - softened, 170g icing sugar, 55g sifted cocoa powder, 1-2 tbsp milk.

PLUS:

A large punnet of strawberries, chocolate truffles to decorate (if you have time you could make your own), a little icing sugar.

1. Preheat the oven to 170c and line 4 x 19cm cake tins. If you are only making the one cake you will only need to line two tins.

2. To make the sponge, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

3. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda and salt together. Mix the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a jug. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Mix well on a medium speed. Slowly add the boiling water, mixing until combined.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the four (or two) prepared cake tins. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. If like me, you are making two cakes and therefore have four tins of mixture then I baked in two batches. Boooo to small, single ovens!

5. Whilst the cakes are baking, make the chocolate ganache. Break the chocolate up into small squares and add into a medium sized bowl. Pour the double cream into a small pan and heat until just before boiling. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and leave for a minute. Mix the chocolate and cream together using a spoon until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth. Leave to cool slightly and then place in the fridge.

6. Once the sponges have been removed from the oven, take them out of their tins and allow to cool completely. Whilst waiting for the sponges to cool, slice the strawberries into thin pieces and then using some kitchen towel, lightly pat them to soak up any excess juice. Set aside the slices on a plate.

7. When the sponges are completely cool, slice horizontally through the middle of each and level out the tops using a sharp knife if needed. Set your sponge on your stand or plate and check your chocolate ganache has thickened slightly, but is still runny enough to drizzle down the sides of the cake.

8. Cover your first sponge layer with ganache, spreading quite close to the edge. Layer with strawberry slices and then place your next sponge layer on top. Push the sponge downwards lightly and twist slightly. Repeat for the next 2 layers and then add your final sponge layer.

9. Make the buttercream by creaming the butter and sugar together. Then add half the icing sugar and mix using an electric mixer. Add the remaining half and the cocoa powder and mix until completely blended. Add 1-2 tbsp milk if the consistency isn’t quite right. Gently cover the top sponge layer with the buttercream and lightly run a fork through to add a rippled effect.

10. Decorate with chocolate truffles, strawberries and icing sugar. Finally, clean your  plate or stand to remove any excess chocolate drizzle.

NUTELLA CRISPY CAKE.

I made this for a friends birthday because krispie cakes are so quick and simple. Plus this one involves Nutella which is even better. I always find that rice krispie cakes go down amazingly well at parties. A winner with children and a winner with adults.

500g tub Nutella, 150g rice krispies, 150g marshmallows, 100g butter (+ 1 tbsp), 150g dairy milk chocolate.

I lined 2 loaf tins with baking paper so there are no problems getting the cake out at the end! I used loaf tins because of their depth. I wanted the pieces of krispie cake to be nice and chunky. Really though, any tin can be used!

Mix 200g Nutella with the marshmallows and the 100g butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Continue to stir until all the ingredients have melted. Add to the rice krispies and mix well until all have been coated. Add to your tin(s) and press down so all the rice krispies are tightly packed together. Chill in the fridge until they are nicely stuck together.

To make the topping simply melt the remaining 300g Nutella, the chocolate and the 1tbsp of butter together in a pan. Once all has melted, pour over the krispies, making sure everywhere is covered and swirl with your finger to add a nice rippled effect to the topping. Chill in the fridge until set.

Once ready, pull out of the tin and then peel the baking paper off the cake. Either serve as one big krispie cake or cut into squares.

Mars Bar Cheesecake

Sometimes, if I want to make something that doesn’t require too much effort, I make a cheesecake. A non baked cheesecake. Really, the only bit that requires a bit of time is the chilling of it in the fridge. This mars bar cheesecake isn’t all that original, and by that I mean it has been done many times before, but it’s not too difficult and if you’re surrounded by people who love rich, chocolatey, creamy and caramel based food then it’s a winner.

INGREDIENTS

250g plain chocolate biscuits, 125g butter - melted, 2 tbsp’s brown sugar, 20g butter - extra, 300ml whipping cream, 50g dairy milk chocolate - chopped finely, 3 tsp’s gelatine, 60ml water, 2 x 250g packets cream cheese - softened, 110g caster sugar, 3 x 60g Mars Bars - chopped finely.

METHOD

1. Blend or process biscuits until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add butter; process until just combined. Press biscuit mixture evenly over base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin. Place in the fridge for approx 30 mins until firm.

2. Meanwhile, make the butterscotch sauce; combine brown sugar, extra butter and 2 tbsp’s of the cream in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves.

3. Make the chocolate sauce; combine chocolate and another 2 tbsp’s of the cream in another small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts.

4. Sprinkle gelatine over the water in small heatproof jug; stand jug in small saucepan of simmering water, stir until gelatine dissolves. Cool for 5 minutes.

5. Beat cream cheese and caster sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat remaining cream in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir gelatine mixture into cream cheese mixture with the Mars Bars. Fold in the cream.

6. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into the crumb base, drizzle half of the butterscotch and chocolate sauces over the top. Pull a skewer backwards and forwards through the mixture to create a marbled effect. Repeat with the remaining cream cheese mixture and sauces. Cover cheesecake. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or until set.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter! 

Having a massive sweet tooth means Easter is one of my favourite times of year (along with Christmas and pancake day and my birthday etc!) It’s acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner in our house on Easter Day and let’s be real, for the week after too. 

This is the dessert we made for Easter Day! So simple yet so damn good. Fill Easter eggs halves with butterscotch angel delight, mix in some hidden maltesers and top with some tasty chocolates. YUMYUMYUM.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter!

Having a massive sweet tooth means Easter is one of my favourite times of year (along with Christmas and pancake day and my birthday etc!) It’s acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner in our house on Easter Day and let’s be real, for the week after too.

This is the dessert we made for Easter Day! So simple yet so damn good. Fill Easter eggs halves with butterscotch angel delight, mix in some hidden maltesers and top with some tasty chocolates. YUMYUMYUM.

PANCAKE PARTY!

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Just thought I would share my pancake day with you all! I decided that this year I wanted to throw a party (it’s one of my favourite days of the whole entire year) and invite my best friends round for a bit of a feast. I wanted a pancake bar that was full of different toppings so that each pancake could be different.

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I made a list of all the toppings I wanted to be included and then purchased a couple of throw away paper table cloths. When I was home I arranged the toppings on the table as I wanted them and made sure I also included some water/juices and napkins! Then I grabbed a marker pen and just wrote what each topping was. I know it’s pretty obvious what everything is, but it makes everything look pretty and more interesting so just go with it.

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I made sure I included plenty of chocolate based fillings but also included fruit and the traditional toppings like oranges, lemons and sugar!

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It’s pretty cool to be able to pick what filling you want for each pancake and the fact you can try new combinations each time is THE BEST.

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I tell you what else is pretty cool about hosting a pancake party, you get to extend pancake day into pancake week because there is guaranteed to be a few different toppings left that absolutely must be used up. Maybe next year I’ll do a savoury section as well as a sweet. Here are a couple of combinations that were chosen at the pancake topping bar! Of course, there were many, many more! Hope you enjoyed your pancake day! We sure did!

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White chocolate spread, Nutella and marshmallows topped with toffee sauce.

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Fresh strawberries, Nutella, white chocolate spread and golden syrup.

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Milk chocolate buttons, white chocolate spread and toffee sauce topped with milk chocolate sauce.

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Fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, milk chocolate buttons, Nutella and squirty cream.

It was my brother’s 30th at the weekend and he threw a bit of a birthday bash. Seeing as there was to be a HUGE buffet, I was put In charge of cakes. Here is what I decided to make. He didn’t want a lot spending on cakes so I kept it simple. I’m not including the recipes for the cupcakes as you really can use any basic recipe for vanilla/chocolate cupcakes/fairy cakes.

The Jammie Dodger cupcakes are a simple vanilla sponge with a blob of strawberry jam in the centre. They are then topped with vanilla frosting, mini Jammie Dodgers and another blob of jam.

The chocolate cupcakes are plain chocolate sponge with chocolate chips inside. They are then topped with chocolate frosting and either mini Maryland chocolate cookies, mini Party Rings or a full on Gold Bar. GOLD BARS ARE THE BEST. You don’t see them enough these days If you ask me.

Rice Krispie cakes are always a winner. These are toffee marshmallow Krispies and they are so amazing. These were all gone verrry quickly. Just melt 100g butter, 100g marshmallows and 100g toffee together in a pan. Once it’s all melted, add this to 150g rice Krispies and mix. EASY PEASY.

It was kind of lovely making some simple cakes for a change. Just because they are made with a standard recipe though, they can still be made to look impressive.