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.

Black Forest Brownie

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Its cherry month! I love cherries. I didn’t use to though. I think the ghastly glaced stuff really did a number on me, put me off cherries for years. I’m glad I gave cherries a second chance. Look at all that I’ll be missing out on! The taste of fresh cherries can differ quite a bit depending on the variety.

Besides their fabulous taste, cherries are full of antioxidants, melatonin and anthocyanins. Antioxidants help protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate sleep and anthocyanins help relieve pain from arthritis and gout (more details in next post). Seems there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be getting our fill of cherries while their still in season!

This recipe is exactly the same as the Chocolate & Raspberry Brownie(originally from Good Food Website), just that instead of raspberries, I used cherries. Its such an easy recipe and lends itself well to most fruits. Remember to use good quality dark chocolate for best results.

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…

Chocolate & Raspberry Brownie

IMAG0019 copyEver had a real hankering to make a particular dish? That’s exactly what happened to me on Saturday morning. I decided to make a cake to bring along to the farmer’s market(for the stall holders) and had a real hankering for chocolate and raspberry brownies. So I went online and looked for a recipe. I really liked the look of the brownies on the Good Food website and just had to make them! Only thing was, I wanted to make them square… or rather I wanted to use my square tin, which meant that the brownies would be extra thick. I also had no idea how long to cook them for as the timing in the original recipe would be of no use, what with them being in a different sized pan. You’d think that would phase me…you’d be wrong. I often do crazy things like that. It wasn’t my first time and it certainly won’t be my last!

So how did I work out how long to cook the brownies for you ask. Well, knowing full well that the 30 mins cooking time in the original recipe would not be enough, I figured I would cook for 30 mins, shuggle the pan to see how wobbly the mixture was and from there work out how much longer it needed to stay in the oven. Worked like a charm! It took a whole hour to cook the brownies and the resulting brownie was gooey in the middle and chewy/crusty on the outside.

I literally took it out the oven and brought it straight down to the farmer’s market. It was still warm when it was cut and it was delicious! I loved making it so much, I made another batch when I got home!!

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.

Lime Tree Larder – Ice Cream & Chocolates

SAMSUNG

Its been snowing all day and its bitterly cold so naturally we decided to go on a short day trip to the Lime Tree Larder in Kilbrinie. Most people would look outside their windows today and think ‘I’m staying in my pjs+housecoat and eating soup’. We look at the snowy weather and think ‘Could go for a nice drive and have some chocolate & ice cream’. But we’re crazy like that.

Cranberry & Pistachio Cupcake with White Chocolate Buttercream

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I’m favouring a new cup cake flavour combination these days. Well… its not really new as such. Its white choc + pistachios + cranberries soaked in Southern Comfort. Yep you read it right, Cranberries soaked in Southern Comfort! I first made this cupcake at christmas. I’ve made several variations of the white choc, pistachio and cranberry combination but I don’t usually soak the cranberries.

Last christmas, whilst prepping for my marathon cake making session, I was looking at all the booze I had in the house to see what would be best to soak the cranberries in. All I had were various Bailey’s and Marsala. Then I spied a bottle of M’s Southern Comfort. Perfect! That was just what I needed. The cranberries were plump and juicy and the southern comfort in the background gave the cake a little air of mystery. Everyone kept saying, ‘There’s something else in this cake…I just can’t put my finger on it’. It was a roaring success 🙂

Owl Cupcakes

  What is it about animal cupcakes that brings out the child in us. Maybe its the fact that most animal(cheat) cupcakes are adorned with candy of some sort 🙂 A little bit of what you fancy is not such a bad thing… The problem is stopping at ‘the little bit’ lol It was one…