I’m Still Baking!

Hello Cakers Bakers & Beauties!

With all of this hair and travel talk you would be forgiven for thinking that I’m not baking anymore, ¬†I am ALWAYS baking…lol

I just don’t always remember to take photos or blog about everything I cook, life has been so hectic lately…Arghhhh!

This weekend I remembered to take a few pics before everything got eaten and it was too late…

Friday night I made a pizza from scratch, we used to get a takeaway every Friday but it’s a waste of money and most of the time it doesn’t even taste that nice. We live 3 minutes away from an amazing Italian deli so I was able to pick up authentic ingredients on my way home from work.

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My Mum also asked me to make her a Banoffee Pie, these requests come about every couple of months and it’s a bother dragging my pie tin around London, so I bought a stack of disposable pie tins from Lakeland, I’ll leave the stack at my Parents’ house so I can just rock up and bake on demand. I made the base with crushed biscuits, butter oats and sunflower seeds, it had a fantastic texture…Yummy!

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I forget to take a pic when it was whole, sorry!

Last week my dear friend CeCe had her 4th baby, I wasn’t able to attend the baby shower as it was the day before my birthday and I was in Vegas so I promised myself I would go and see her while the little bubba was still tiny. I decided to make my own “congratulations it’s a girl” gift, I saw some gorgeous baby socks with a touch of sparkle, one foot has “little” on the sole and the other one has “princess” on the sole, so adorable. I made a balloon bouquet from assorted pink balloons in my decorations box, pink hydrangeas from my garden and the first lily that bloomed in my garden this summer.

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I actually made 12 cupcakes because I wanted to try different toppings and piping effects.

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Then I picked the best 6 to bring to CeCe and her family of 6 (including CeCe and partner.)

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For some reason I decided to be “clever” and I cycled from London Bridge to Croydon on my “new” bicycle to deliver this gift package. I got into a spot of trouble along my way and every single cupcake got flipped upside-down! Luckily nothing else got damaged including me, the balloons and my beloved bike!

CeCe loved her gifts and the cupcakes were still delicious!

Thanks for reading.

Luv

Sian

x

Love Harlem – Pop Up Shop

Hello my Local Naturalistas!

This is a very quick post to let you know that Love Harlem’s Pop Up Shop is closing on Thursday 26th September 2013.

I popped down today to grab some last minute bargains and say hello to the lovely Sisters Erica and Aretha Rutherford, I was there chatting away with them until closing time!

The shop is at 172 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5JZ.

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 They are also having a buy one get one half price offer*!

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I bought their Organic Rhassoul Cleansing Clay & their All Natural Avocado Butter, look out for product reviews in the coming weeks!

If you can, get down to the store and show some support to our sisters, as you can see from my photos, they sell much more than just fantastic hair products!

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Erica Rutherford Co Founder of Love Harlem (and me of course!)

Thanks for Reading

Luv

Sian

x

 * Terms and Conditions apply

Chocolate and Beetroot Cake – Recipe included!

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This cake is not one of those cakes where the beetroot is added just for fun, you can taste the beetroot in the cake however if you¬†don’t¬†like beetroot, I would still say to try the cake as it’s so moist and tasty and it does mainly taste like chocolate, I served some to my family and although they could tell it wasn’t only a chocolate cake, no one guessed the “secret¬†ingredient¬† was beetroot.

Vegetables in cake is not a new thing (carrot cake anyone?) ¬†and beetroot was the original colouring for red velvet cake, if you’ve ever roasted a fresh¬†beetroot you will know how beautifully sweet and tender they become.

Although the original recipe ¬†says to serve it dusted with icing sugar I decided to cover it in chocolate ganache. I ¬†used 85% chocolate in the cake because I love the deeper rich flavour in cooking .¬†I also¬†discovered¬†that I’d somehow not weighed my beetroot properly at the market and since I was only around 50g short, I chucked strawberries in as that is what I had on hand, I’m always breaking the food rules because I know that even if it turns out looking messed up and lopsided we will still eat it as we don’t waste food ’round here!

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g butter at room temperature
  • 325g dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium eggs beaten
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 450g raw beetroot finely grated
  • 115g grated dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
  • 1‚ĀĄ2 tbsp vanilla essence

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas 4. Butter a 23cm deep-sided cake tin.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the softened butter and muscovado sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs little by little, mixing well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the cake batter and stir well. Add the grated beetroot to the cake mix together with the grated chocolate. Stir well to combine and add the vanilla essence.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-65 minutes, depending
    on your oven and the depth of the cake tin (the cake in the photograph took 1 hour).
    Check whether it is ready by carefully piercing the centre of the cake with a skewer. It should come out relatively clean. If you can still see pink batter on the skewer, it needs longer. Cover the top of the cake loosely with foil to prevent it from burning while the middle cooks.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Recipe from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1033341/Beetroot-chocolate-cake.html#ixzz2SeDBOEuD

Please wear gloves when grating your beetroot!

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I really love using dark muscovado sugar especially in Chocolate desserts/cakes.

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Creamed the butter and sugar.

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Added beaten eggs little by little, don’t worry if it starts looking curdled it’ll be fine

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Sifted in my flour and cocoa,

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Grated my chocolate with my hot little hands, if you do this freeze or refrigerate your chocolate first!

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not enough beetroot, so strawberries are red chucked them in too!

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Once everything has been incorporated it looks like this… Hmm very appetising!

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I greased and floured my cake tin as I thought a cake this moist would need the extra “non stickiness.

Also the flour gives the cake something to cling onto as it rises.

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While the cake was in the oven I made my Chocolate Ganache

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Left it to cool and firm up at room temperature while the cake continued to bake…Image

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It rose perfectly with a slight crust and cracks, which are perfectly normal, you can  just see the strawberries peeking through!

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Once it had cooled enough I turned the cake out of the tin onto a cooling rack, it turned out perfectly.

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Once my ganache had cooled and firmed to the texture of chocolate spread I spread it on the cake using a large palette knife.

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I used the tip of the palette knife to create swirled patterns.

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It really was delicious, ¬†if you’re a foodie like me give it a go.

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Luv Sian

xxx

On the hunt for Fresh Cherries ….My Version of Black Forest Gateau

Hiya,

March 16th was my Dad’s birthday, his favourite cake is Black Forest Gateau so¬†obviously¬†I made him one, I like to use fresh, local and seasonal fruit whenever possible but living in Central London UK does limit my options somewhat… I like to expand the term “local” to include pretty much the whole of Europe!

Alas it’s March and cherries are not in season now on my side of the globe, but I¬†like¬†to use fresh cherries so on 14th March I started looking in supermarkets for fresh cherries and I really couldn’t find any, I tried all the major supermarkets and none of them had any, ¬†I was starting to panic by the morning of the 16th so I went online and literally called every branch of each chain until finally Asda saved the day and I was able to buy these lovely (and expensive!!!) cherries.

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Once the cherries were rinsed and dried I could begin the process, I actually love cherries so it was hard to resist temptation and make sure there were enough cherries for the cake, ¬†this isn’t really a recipe post, but if any one would like the recipe let me know in the comments box.

I melted 75% Cocoa fair-trade organic chocolate with water and butter.

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In another bowl I mixed my free range eggs, SR flour, muscavado sugar, baking powder, cocoa and secret ingredient ūüėČ

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Then mixed the two together… The smell was heavenly

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The finished product, sorry the photo is not that great, I’m not a photographer but I will try harder in future I was running late and quickly snapped a pic with my phone.

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Dad cutting his cake, you can’t really tell but I dipped the fresh cherries on top of the cake in melted marbled milk/dark chocolate, ¬† ¬†my Dad is a chocoholic…

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Look at all that whipped cream, this is NOT a low fat dessert.

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Below is last years “classic” Black Forest Gateau

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