Vegetable Patch Scarecrow Cake

fussyeater.netThere was a Scarecrow Competition at the local farmer’s market(at Overton Farm) this week and my contribution was cake based (of course)! I have no idea how to make an actual scarecrow but the idea of making veg patch cake with a wee scarecrow standing guard got me really excited. It’s time for a cake challenge!

Orginally I was going to make my own tiny scarecrow but I just didn’t get the time to do it. So I bought it online lol(as you do!). I did however, make all my own vegetables! Somewhat of a feat considering I’m not good with fondant. Its not something I use often, in fact, this is only my 2nd time using it. My first foray into sugarpaste was the Sonic the Hedgehog Cake that M & I made last year.  So trust me when I say, this cake is alot easier to make than it looks. A few cheats here and there to make things that much easier 🙂

Orange, Choc Chip & Crystallised Ginger Cake with Buttercream

fussyeater.netIt was my good friend’s birthday and I couldn’t decide what cake to make. I asked M, my mum, my collegues at work; I asked more or less everyone I met what cake I should make lol. They gave me plenty of ideas but nothing felt right. That’s one thing I say all the time. I only bake things that ‘feel’ right. I add fruit or nut or spices because I feel like it fits in this mix not because the recipe says so. In fact, I very rarely follow recipes, I like making them up.

So I sat at the dining table and thought very carefully. What did I want to bake? … Orange. I wanted to make something orangey and choc chippy with a hint of warmth. But what? And what goes well with orange and with chocolate? I got it – Ginger!

Then came the next dilema, what kind of ginger. Should I use ground ginger? or stem ginger? All these questions were giving me a headache. I decided to just go to the shops to get the oranges. While I’m there I can have a nosey at the bakery section and see what’s there. I’m really glad I did. I spied a tub of crystallised ginger and knew immediately that’s what I was going to use.

So that’s the cake I made. Sponge cake with orange zest, chocolate chip (the very last of my Lime Tree Larder chocs) and crystallised ginger. That was topped with buttercream that had orange zest, dark chocolate shards and crystallised ginger mixed in.

Vanilla, Cherry & Choc Chip Loaf

fussyeater.netDid I mention how much I love cherries? I just can’t get enough of them, as you can probably tell from my last two posts. I actually made these before the brownies but forgot to post it.

Loaf cakes are so easy to make and great for using up little bits and bobs of fruit or nuts. Just what you want with a nice cup of tea/coffee.

In this recipe I used cherries that I pitted and froze. Often when cherries are in season, you tend to get a good deal. That of course means that you end up buying far more cherries than you can possibly eat. To stop them going bad and going in the bin, just pitt the cherries and freeze them. They will keep quite happily in the freezer for a couple of months or until you’re ready to use them. It can go from the freezer into the cake batter and straight into the oven. You can also put them in smoothies and sauces.

Vanilla & Pandan Layer Loaf – 1st Attempt

While randomly looking for recipes, I came across this interesting looking cake on WendyinKK’s blog. She calls it a Topo Map cake. Originally I was going to do a raspberry and vanilla cake but my mom’s over visiting at the moment and she brought over some pandan paste for me. Naturally I had to try it out, so pandan and vanilla it is!

This is just the 1st attempt. I wanted to try out the technique more than the actual recipe, which is why I used my normal sponge recipe. It’s also my first time using pandan paste. Normally I pound the pandan leaves in a mortar till I get the extract. I love this pandan paste. It’s really thick, adds a beautiful aroma and green hue to the cake. I should have asked my mum to bring me more bottles of the stuff!

I’m going to have to try this again using the original recipe. As for the technique, its actually pretty simple, just slightly time consuming. The only thing I would change is the amount of cocoa powder used (I used a bit too much) – just a thin layer is plenty.

Lemon & Choc Chip Cupcake

The summer is upon us! After months and months of nothing but rain and snow and gales and hail and sleet, its finally sunshine!! I haven’t really been cooking and baking as much as I normally do. Just enjoying the sunshine as much as I can, while I can! I made this cupcake a couple…

Banana & Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

choc chipsAhh chocolate chips. Not just any chocolate chips – these ones are from Lime Tree Larder. I bought one tub to try and now I wish I bought more. I’m going to have to use this sparingly until I get more. I don’t know if I can face going back to mass produced supermarket choc chips!

Anyway, as I was saying, I bought these chips on a friday and couldn’t wait to try them out. So, on Saturday(yes the very next day!) I made 2 banana loaf cakes with chocolate chips. I was not disappointed. I don’t know how they did it but once cooked the choc chips stay ‘soft’ even after the cake has cooled.