Rapunzel Birthday Cake

31 August 2014

Rapunzel Tangled Cake  / mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

Here is the cake that nearly killed me! Ok I'm totally exaggerating but it was definitely the hardest cake I've ever made and caused me so much stress. 

Months ago my niece requested a Rapunzel cake for her 3rd birthday and she was very specific in her requirements. It had to have Rapunzel in the tower with her long hair showing and the chameleon {or frog, as she called it - bless!} on it. Well I think I fulfilled the brief. 

Rapunzel Tangled Cake  / mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

The tower was a nightmare to make. I researched different ways of making it and settled on making it from marshmallow krispies as you can mould them to any shape and they're lightweight. I struggled with the stickly mixture and spent ages trying to get it into the right shape but eventually ended up with three pieces, the tower, the house at the top and the cone shaped roof. After a night in the fridge they were hard but I decided the tower was too tall so chopped a couple of centimetres off!

Rapunzel Tangled Cake  / mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

Then after decorating and assembling it all, the tower started sinking into the cake! I used skewers to secure it all but hadn't realised the tower would be so heavy with all the icing on it. So with hubby's help I had to take the tower off and put some card under to support it. But then the card was showing round the edges so a last minute addition was the pebbles round the base of the tower to cover the card. I actually think they look really good.

It was also the first time I've made a fondant face. YouTube came to the rescue with an abundance of tutorials on how to make a face, so I just kind of copied what they did. I wasn't 100% happy with the face but it's not bad for a first attempt!

Rapunzel Tangled Cake  / mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

I spent about 16 hours on the whole cake and finally finished it at 11.30 the night before the party! Chloe's little face lit up when she saw it, everyone loved it and I got loads of compliments.  After all the stress, in the end I was really happy with it but I've told my sister to make sure the next cake is an easy one!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

28 August 2014

Chocolate chip cookie dough bars / mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

It's all a bit crazy in My little Kitchen this week. I have a very special birthday cake to be made by Saturday. I would say it's the most difficult cake I've done to date so I'm busy planning, preparing and sugarpaste modelling. I won't give it away by saying what the cake is, however it's for my niece's 3rd birthday so what do you think it might be? {Clue - it's not Frozen!}

Anyway, I had a few minutes to spare so thought I'd share the recipe for these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars which I made last week. I baked a lot last week so I made sure one of those would be an easy no bake recipe. These are indeed easy peasy and no baking at all is required. And they're absolutely delicious! Go on give them a go... I promise they're maximum yumminess for very little effort!

Chocolate chip cookie dough bars / mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

Makes 16

Prep time 20 minutes
Chilling time 2 hours

115g butter softened
130g Soft brown sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
397g can light condensed milk
100g milk chocolate chips
150g milk chocolate

Line a baking tin with baking parchment or cling film.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. You can do this either by hand or with a hand held electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.

Add half the flour and mix until fully combined. Add half the condensed milk and mix again. Repeat adding the flour and condensed milk until fully combined and everything comes together in a ball of dough. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. 

Transfer the mixture into the baking tin and push down into the corners and smooth the surface with a palette knife to make an even layer. Pop in the fridge for about 1 hour until firm.

Melt the chocolate, either in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave on half power in 30 second bursts. Once melted, pour over the cookie dough and smooth to make sure everything is covered. Pop back in the fridge for an hour until firm and the chocolate has fully set.

Remove from the tin and baking parchment. Cut into 16 slices and store in the fridge.

Enjoy!
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Rye Soda Bread Rolls

22 August 2014

Rye Soda Bread Rolls

The theme for week three of The Great British Bake Off was... BREAD! I love bread week, I mean Paul Hollywood is the king of bread. He's my bread making hero if you like. Plus I'm always fascinated watching bread being made as I don't think I've quite mastered it yet.

Anyway, the challenges this week were rye bread rolls {Signature Bake}, ciabatta loaves {Technical Challenge} and stuffed centrepiece loaves {Showstopper}.

I loved the stuffed loaves, they all looked amazing {even Jordan's strawberry mess!} but I thought Kate and Luis excelled themselves this week. Until now Kate seems to have struggled a bit so bread must be her thing and no one even came close to Luis who was crowned the star baker.

Rye Soda Bread Rolls

So I had to decide what to make for this weeks Great Bloggers Bake Off, hosted by Mummy Mishaps. I really need a lot more practice at making bread. It's one of those things that I always think will take ages to make... and I just don't have ages to spare.

I was going to have a go at ciabatta but then I found this recipe for Rye Soda Bread rolls which sounded really quick and easy. It's a no-yeast recipe which means no kneading and proving thus saving you loads of time and muscle power.  The lack of yeast doesn't detract from the flavour though, it tastes just like 'normal' bread! I personally think this type of bread is perfect for dunking in a bowl of soup.

Rye Soda Bread Rolls

Rye Soda Bread Rolls

Makes 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Baking time 20 minutes

100g rye flour
250g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1tbsp linseeds
1 tub (284ml) buttermilk
1tblsp milk
Oats for garnish

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, mix the self raising flour, rye flour, bicarb of soda, salt and linseeds.

Make a well in the middle and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together and forms a ball of dough. I always give it a mix with my hands too to make sure all the flour is combined.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into six equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle a few oats on top.

Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. When you tap the bottom of the roll, it should sound hollow. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!
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Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

20 August 2014

Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondies via mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

The last time we visited the local 'Pick Your Own' farm the strawberry section was closed for ripening. We were a bit disappointed until we were told there were lots of raspberries ready for picking. So we collected our baskets and made our way to the raspberry fields. 

Now I think they were exaggerating when they said 'lots of raspberries'. Those little pink blighters were doing a good job of hiding and it was like looking for a needle in a haystack! After hunting high and low {and sweating like crazy on the hottest day of the year!} we managed to gather about half a basket of raspberries. What didn't get eaten by the kids in the car on the way home, made their way into these blondies. 

The recipe is adapted from one I found in my  Chocolate Cookbook. I chose that recipe as the blondies in the photo looked gooey and squidgy in the middle which is just how I like my blondies {and brownies!} Raspberries and white chocolate are always a good combination and they worked beautifully together in these blondies.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondies

Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

Makes 12 squares
Prep time 20 minutes
Baking time 30 minutes

100g unsalted butter
40g honey
250g white chocolate
4 large eggs
180g caster sugar
190g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Line a 20cm baking or roasting tin with baking parchment.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a pan with the butter and honey. Heat on a very low heat, stirring occasionally until everything has melted.

Put the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Tip in the melted chocolate mixture and stir in with a wooden spoon. Then sift in the flour and baking powder and carefully fold in just until the flour disappears. Don't over mix.

Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle the raspberries over the top of the mixture. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to the touch with just a slight wobble underneath. 

Leave to cool completely in the tin, then remove and cut into 12 squares.

Enjoy!
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Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits

17 August 2014

Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits  via  www.mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

I have to say I'm absolutely loving The Great British Bake Off this year. Week two was biscuit week which was brilliant. 

The signature challenge was savoury biscuits. There were some great bakes including Nancy's Fennel & Rye thins and Iain's Za'atar {still not sure what this is!} & Fig Biscuits but I was in total agreement that Richard's Rosemary Seeded Crackers should be the winner.

This weeks technical challenge was Mary Berry's Florentines. I've always wanted to make them but never got round to it and I'm sure they made it looker trickier than it really is! They all looked good to me {except for Enwezor who cut his out with a cookie cutter!} and i  thought Paul and Mary had a hard job judging them.

Finally the 3D biscuit scenes showstopper which was fantastic. They were all truly amazing, it's so hard to choose which I liked best, but I thought Luis' George versus the Dragon and Martha's Ski village were incredible. Richard was the very deserving Star Baker and Enwezor was kicked out for daring to use ready made fondant on his space ship!

So back to the biscuits. Although these Pistachio shortbread biscuits are strictly not savoury, they have a beautiful balance of sweetness and saltiness. My most lovely work colleague June provided the pistachios. And in return I gave her a big batch of these biscuits! I'm linking these up with The Great Blogger Bake Off over on Jenny's blog Mummy Mishaps. Pop over to see what biscuity type things everyone has been baking this week.

Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits  via  www.mylittlekitchenblog.co.uk

Pistachio Shortbread Biscuits

Makes 20
Prep time 20 minutes plus 2 hours chilling
Baking time 18 minutes

190g plain flour
115g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
160g butter, chilled and cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons pistachios, chopped 

Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in a large bowl and give it a good mix. Add the butter and rub in until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. 

Tip in the egg yolk and mix to combine until you get a solid lump of dough then add the pistachios and work in. I found it easier to get my hands in to mix it so that I get everything combined.

Shape the dough into a log, which should be about 4cm in diameter and 25cm long. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.

Preheat oven to 170C {325F) gas mark 3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Remove the clingfilm from the dough and cut into 1cm think discs. Place on the baking tray about 2cm apart {they spread a bit when cooking}. Pop in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes until they have turned a pale gold colour.

Leave to cool on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack. 

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