Pistachio Cake

Not only do I love the taste of pistachios, I love the vibrant green colour as well. They really are such a unique nut, which other nut has a green colour? 🤔.

This cake was pretty simple and easy to make the only thing that took long was to un shell the pistachios! I was hoping this cake would be really fluffy and nutty but I didn’t find it that moist. Although the taste of pistachio did come through and sometimes you don’t get that.

 

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Raffello Coconut Cake

This cake makes me think of Christmas in a hot country lol, 😂 mainly as the cake is covered in desiccated coconut which looks like snow and as it’s a coconut cake it always makes me think of a desert island somewhere. I know, totally odd combination right? I have been Christmas in a hot country once and really didn’t enjoy it, as much as I hate feeling cold, it just didn’t feel like Christmas at all.

I’ve always wanted to make a Raffello cake, I like the taste and textures of them and how they are crisp, light and creamy. I wanted to incorporate these into the cake. But the main feature being coconut of course, I wanted the cake to be spongy and taste of coconut through and through!

I adjusted the recipe slightly, I added malibu to make it more coconutty (and desert island theme of course 💁🏽) and slightly alcoholic. I also added coconut wafers in between the layer to recapture the taste of them Raffellos. These are all optional but I just wanted to I bring extra elements. Of course, I made cream cheese frosting, my fav and it works so much better as it’s creamy yum yum 😋 😋 😋 .

This cake was really moist and coconutty, if you love coconuts you will like this cake. I couldn’t taste the Malibu that much but I didn’t want to alter the texture and add too much Malibu as it could have made the cake too wet.

 

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Blood Orange Cake

When I think of oranges I don’t think of them being red, just orange so blood orange are unusual to me. I don’t remember trying blood orange well not that I know of, apparently they are known to be much sweeter then normal oranges but what I’m most fascinates me about them is the beautiful, vibrant red colour it’s captivating. I was hoping this vivid colour would carry through to the cake. 

I was so excited to see that red colour once I cut the orange open, however I was a hugely disappointed as the colour was a mix of orange and red and not fully red 🤔 I didn’t understand, why? 😔 I wanted that lovely pink for the icing but mine turned out a very dull pink, however this cake was amazing it had a lovely taste of orange and was really soft I enjoyed it and would make it again, hopefully with more of red coloured oranges. 

 

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Tiramisu truffle balls

Oh hey, bye bye 👋 2017 and bring on 2018 🎉, let’s hope it brings happiness for everyone.

So as my first post of 2018, this year I still want to carry on with my baking and cooking adventure. I want to experience different taste and experiences as I do every year and yet I still am greatly in love with food and I don’t think that will ever stop!

Over the holidays I did some baking (of course) it was very Christmasy based. I made some gingerbread men finally after having my cutter for 2 years! yes I know, how bad is that?! unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to photograph them. I also made Lebkuchen these are spiced German biscuits and are AMAZING they bring the most amazing smells of Christmas waft through the house, I just love them and their intense spiced flavour.

Back to this post, these tiramisu truffles were made for NYE, I celebrated with my family, the best way for me. I thought these truffles would bring a little bit of sparkle into the new year and I had to add a bit of liquor obviously. I really love tiramisu and when I came across these I was super excited to make them and thought they would fit perfectly for NYE.

These truffles are super easy to make and it does resemble the lovely flavour of tiramisu.

 

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Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake

I have seen many of these ‘Poke’ cake recipes but most of them use condensed milk to fill the poked holes in. I have a feeling this will be too sweet but one day I still want to try it.

The poke cake was fun to make as I liked creating the holes in the cake and then add the blueberries. I just loveeeeee the purple against the white cake it’s so vibrant and I really like the contrast.

This recipe was different as it used a blueberry compote and it was less sweet. I was looking forward to eating this cake as I love the combination of blueberries and lemon together, it works so well. Also it really reminds me of the summer with fresh and fruity flavours. 

 

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Vegan Lemon Curd Cake

I was amazed when I saw this recipe, ‘vegan lemon curd’ I thought how did they make this without the eggs? but then I thought about it, it’s most probably made using cornflour as the thickening agent and I was right, yay. I do eat eggs but I’m not a huge fan of eating eggs as it does smell a lot, and also when you can taste an eggy taste in cakes, you probably thinking well yeh, when you eat eggs you are going to taste eggs duh! but it’s that strong and overpowering egg taste I’m really not keen on. Anyway most curds are made using eggs and I think it’s made with the egg yolk which are the richer more stronger in taste part of an egg and this is the part which is over powering. To avoid this taste I generally buy the cheapest lemon curd as they use egg powder instead of real eggs. 

My mum and her love for lemons. This was made for her birthday as per usual baking anything lemon and she’s my best friend. I do like lemons in cakes too, I think that’s due to the amount of lemon cakes I’ve eaten which has made me like lemons a lot more. This cake had to be all eggless due to religious reasons and this recipe just came at the right time. I have made a few eggless victoria sponges and most haven’t really impressed me. They have either been too dry, too dense or too flat one problem or another. I think making eggless or vegan cakes are quite tricky to get right. I think this cake impressed me and my family, with the help of the lemon curd and the frosting this was a winner in taste and texture . This cake used golden syrup and boy could you smell that whilst it was baking in the oven it was soooo yummy and it brought me back to when I loved eating porridge with golden syrup but I stopped doing that and replaced it with honey.

You should definitely try this cake as its scrumptious, if you love lemons and more lemon with a hint of creaminess you would love this cake… yum yum yummy.

Please note that the lemon curd is usually made a day in advance so keep that in mind when making this cake. 

 

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Rhubarb and Custard Cake

When I think of Rhubarb and Custard, I always think of the hard boiled sweets which I used to love when I was little, so delicious, now as I’ve grown older, my taste has changed. I don’t really have many sweets but mainly chocolate. I randomly brought some rhubarb not sure why, lol and the first thing I thought to make was rhubarb crumble but then I thought about those sweets again and wondered if there is a cake recipe and there was.

I wasn’t sure how this cake would turn out, rhubarb can be quite tart but custard is overly sweet so you would think the two would balance each other out. I was half expecting the cake to be reminiscent of those sweets, sweet but slightly tart.

This cake, had a long bake as you can imagine it has rhubarb in, it was supposed to take 1 hour but in the end it took over 1h30!!!!!!!! I was like, this is just not right! The cake itself was not great, unfortunately, I didn’t like the taste, or lack of it. I couldn’t taste the rhubarb or the custard although the texture was nice and soft. I was a bit disappointed as it totally didn’t meet my expectations :( oh well, my dad liked it though on the bright side.

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Black Bean Brownies

Black bean in brownies?…why not hey?!. I’m all for adding vegetables into cakes to add extra moistness or a different texture. Everyone accepts carrots in carrot cake so why not black beans hey?. I have always wanted to try this recipe out since I seen it and finally had my chance :). I was dubious about how these would turn out, only as I wasn’t sure how much the texture or the taste would affect the usual ‘normal’ brownies. 

I’m usually a fan of dense, chunky brownies with that crispy top, I don’t usually go for the fudgy type as these I think are more like cake than what I class as brownies. 

These brownies are super quick and easy to make especially but you do need a blender. I looked for a number of recipes and some only used cocoa powder but I wanted to add chocolate, as that’s what brownies are made from. You need that chocolate fix after all especially when you make brownies.

The other thing I liked about them are they are super protein filled if you can imagine almost a tin of black beans went into these, so could these be classed as ‘healthy’ ;). My initial thoughts of them were that the texture was not like the ‘normal’ brownie, they were more fudge and cake like which I wasn’t expecting, although I shouldn’t have been surprised right? You definitely can’t taste the beans, I gave them to a number of people of which, none could taste the beans at all. Overall, I did think these brownies were a different alternative but I wouldn’t say they compare to a dense brownie. They are more fudge like and if you like that sort of thing then these will be up your street. I would make them again but I think it needed little more chocolate chips and maybe some nuts for that different texture.

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Carrot Cake part 3

If you don’t know, the cake I’m most known for is Carrot Cake, it’s famous not just with family and friend but also work colleagues. It’s also my go-to cake and never fails me, I’ve been using the same recipe for such a long time but I did switch it up and have a go with another carrot cake recipe from the GBBO, only as Paul and Mary couldn’t contain their excitement over it, like seriously I’ve never seen them excited over a carrot cake before and I remember Paul saying it was the best carrot cake he has ever eaten (like jaw dropping reaction!). I was like WOW, if they must like it, then I have to try it….and….NO it didn’t meet my expectations, it was just your average carrot cake but with extra orange and spice flavour. :s
 
I carried on using the ’signature’ recipe until I came across this other carrot cake recipe. I was very very wowed with the photos and how they described it as being a very moist cake. I was actually telling my boss about this latest discovery of this amazing carrot cake, but she did say that why try something new when you have cracked it with yours, but the ever old silly me, just had to try it as I love trying new bakes and you never know, what if it did work out even better than the original?. But, yet again I wasn’t actually that impressed, I still felt my original recipe still had it. I made this cake to take to a family dinner and was super excited to try it, as I was expecting some miracle cake, but….yes, I was still left disappointed :(. Neither of my family members or I liked it boo :(, they all said the original is much better and why did I try something new. 
 
I cake itself did look nice and hold it’s shape and also it was easy to make but the texture was hard to explain it was more dense/rubbery not light like the one I make, the flavours were nice but I think I may have learnt my lesson now, just STICK to the original. :p I just need a reason to make the carrot cake again and stuff my face with it.

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Brookyln Blackout Cake

Getting older isn’t any cause for celebration, for me anyway :(, I swear I just feel too old, the only good thing is I don’t look my age (which can be a good, however when your still getting ID’d for alcohol, I’m like REALLY?!!!!) but as birthdays go, it’s about treating yourself and for me it’s having good tasty food and to pair it with nice drinks ;). 
 
With family coming over, to celebrate I wanted to treat myself and them. As it was for my birthday, it had to be something chocolatey of course! the only problem is half my lot don’t like chocolate as much, so it was going to be interesting to see how much would be leftover :0, which I was dreading but thought I will deal with that later! As I’m not such a meanie, I also made a non-chocolate dessert and just as indulgent Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake. Anyway back to the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, I’ve had a copy of the hummingbird cook book for some many years now and whilst looking through all them years ago I spotted the cake. It’s a moment when you stop and stare at something and admire it’s beauty and think WOW! this cake was just that moment, it’s amazing, like seriously amazinggggggggg. Obviously, I couldn’t replicate it to it’s full beauty but it’s worth giving it a go. 
 
Reading the description of the cake made it just more tempting…this is a must for chocolate lovers, the filling and frosting are made from an eggless chocolate custard….hold up! they had me at chocolate custard, oh man!!!! but I also love the effect of the crumbled cake crumbles that are liberally scattered over the cake, it finishes it off and gives it a very dark but elegant look.
 
The cake has a history behind which I didn’t realise: 
Ebinger Baking Company , with a chain of stores across the Brooklyn borough, was founded in 1898 by George and Catherine Ebinger. Famous for their cakes and pies, and especially their Blackout Cake, they closed in bankruptcy on August 26, 1972. The cake is named for the wartime blackouts.
 
I wasn’t so bothered about making the chocolate cake, which should be a simple affair but after researching over the web I found that the custard is very tricky and it can make or break the whole cake!!!….ekkkkkkkkkkkk!!!! It can be hard to get it smooth and without out lumps, but there are ways to rectify it if it does go wrong, so don’t worry. Before I started to make it I was having soooo much anxiety over making this bloody custard (yes I know, who has anxiety over that?) I really was worried it wouldn’t turn out, BUTTTTTTTTTT it worked out and I was ever so grateful :) :) :) if in doubt I would make the custard the day before. The funny thing is the recipe for their cake didn’t work out hahaha which was funny but not funny!. I didn’t like it, it was dry and slightly crispy around the edges and there’s me thinking that making the cake would be a breeze, how wrong was I?. Luckily I had my tried and tested and overly used chocolate cake recipe I made which was worked out fine. I should have made this from the beginning but I thought the custard wouldn’t hold the cake very well, as the chocolate cake recipe I use is very very moist.
 
**IMPORTANT: I made the cake in two tins and cut them in half therefore one of the quarters could be processed in the food processor, I would say that if you want to resemble those very fine crumbs there isn’t any other way then using the food processor I’m afraid, if you don’t have a food processor then it will be difficult to get those crumb your after and I’m not sure if theres another way around it.**
 
As for the family, luckily everyone seemed to enjoy the cake, I think it was the introduction of the chocolate custard which made it unusual and got everyone interested. Surprisingly there wasn’t as much as I thought left over, happy me. Saying that I had a lot of the chocolate custard left over and I would recommend making half the amount. 
 
This cake is very moist, rich, gooey, dark, custardy and I loved it :). It would be better to have some cream on the side and you only need a small slither. 
 
 
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