More Glorious Cakes

5 04 2017

Just over a year ago, I posted a little post showing a collection of cakes I had made. Since then I have made a lot more cakes and thought I would share some pictures of the more recent creations. Hope you like them, at some point I may even put up a recipe or two on how to make some of them; Enjoy.

Christmas Pudding Cake Pops

Christmas Pudding Cake Pops: These are chocolate cake pops with white glacier icing, and topped delicately with Christmas themed decorations to make them look like Christmas Puddings.

Mint Mini Egg Cake

Mint Mini Egg Cake: This is a chocolate cake which I adapted from a cupcake recipe in 1000 Recipes – Cupcakes. Basically it’s a chocolate base with mint icing and green food colouring and topped with Mini Eggs.

Homemade Red Velvet Cake

Homemade Red Velvet Cake: This is taken from the book Bake Me a Cake: There’s always time for cake;  and is the first time I have tried making a Red Velvet Cake from scratch and not from a mix. The icing on top is Cream Cheese and is covered with hundreds and thousands. The cake is technically meant to be split in half, but it was crumbling quite a bit when removed from the tin, so i decided to leave it. In the future though,  am considering using a different kind of icing as Cream Cheese is not my thing I have discovered.

Volcano Cupcakes

Volcano Cupcakes: This is another adaptation recipe from 1000 Cupcakes. This time the base cakes have Vanilla Extract in them, and are topped with icing that packs a little surprise. The icing has red food colouring in it, but actually tastes of Mint. The cakes are then finished off with sprinkles made from finely broken up Oreo’s.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake: This is very similar to the Mint Mini Egg cake, but is in essence my own design and idea. The base is the same to the Mint Mini Egg cake, but instead of Mint icing, has Orange flavored icing with Red and Yellow food colouring mixed in together to make it look orange at the same time. It is then finished with a Chocolate Vermicelli topping.

Hedgehog Cake

Hedgehog Cake: This is another creation of mine. I really like Chocolate Log at Christmas, but as it’s only a once a year thing, I thought of a way to allow myself to enjoy Chocolate Logs throughout the year without issues from seasonal critics. It’s a Chocolate Swiss Roll base with Chocolate Buttercream Icing and is done very much like a Chocolate Log, but part of the Roll is cut off and halved to make a head, which is then decorated with Buttercream, Silver balls and Smarties to make a head, and then finally has chocolate fingers broken up and inserted into the back to make it look like a Hedgehog. Originally I was going to call it a fallen log, or fallen tree cake, but I think Hedgehog Cake suits it better.

GENEPOOL (I decided not to include the Red Velvet Cake recipe in the poll above as the full recipe can be found in the book).





Cakes Glorious Cakes

9 02 2016

Oreo Cake 8

I like baking, baking is something I find very fun to do. Either doing it in my spare time, or doing it for an event, either way I like baking. I have been baking for many years now, but more recently I have begun to take photos of the things I have baked to show my friends on Facebook. So, in something of a quick post but also to show off my baking talents to the world, I thought I would do a quick post showing some of the cakes I have made recently (and maybe not so recently)…and maybe include some description. Any way, enjoy the post (especially as you will not be able to enjoy the cakes, not unless I know you and let you have some, or make any of these yourself).

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake: This is a basic chocolate cake recipe with Icing in the middle and on top (I think) with icing sugar to finish it off (Click Here for the recipe).

Oreo Cake 1

Oreo Cake: This is something of my own creation, it’s basically a chocolate cake with Betty Crocker White Icing in the middle to make it look like an Oreo. Plus, the mixture for the two cake halves have crushed up Oreo’s in them (Click Here for the recipe).

Mini Egg Cake

Mini Eggs Chocolate Cake: This is basically a chocolate cake with Mini Eggs added on top for decoration. The inspiration to do this came from a cake recipe book I got as a birthday present a few years ago.

M&M's Cake

M&M’s Chocolate Cake: Much like the cake above, this is a standard chocolate cake but with M&M’s added for decoration. Originally intended to have Mini Eggs on, I couldn’t find any, so bought some M&M’s instead, then I found somewhere where I could get eggs, so bought some to make the cake above.

Minstrels Cake

Minstrels Cake: Same again…but with Minstrels.

Cake Pops

Cake Pops: One of the things I have grown to become quite good at making this past year is Cake Pops. I have made many of the last 12 months and continue to enjoy making them plus come up with ideas for some. These I made for New Year’s Eve are the basic Cake Pop recipe, but have chocolate instead of icing for the tops, and are then covered in an assortment of chocolaty sprinkles/decorations including popping candy.

Chocolate Log

Chocolate Log: One of my favourite Christmas traditions, me making a Chocolate Log. Basically it’s a Swiss Roll bought from the shops, and then covering it in Chocolate Icing, before dusting it off with icing sugar, and placing Christmas themed decorations on top. We used to have more, but now it really only comes down to Father Christmas (I am hoping to post a sort of recipe for this sometime in the future).

Chocolate Roulade

Chocolate Roulade: Following a recipe from the book (briefly) mentioned above, this was my first attempt at making Chocolate Roulade. It’s cream in the middle, chocolate base and topping and is finished off with some of those silver sprinkles that look like ball bearings.

Bake Me A Cake (Good Housekeeping - 2013)GENEPOOL





Green Gunpowder

25 11 2015

Atkinson's Coffee

When I was young, much younger than I am now, roughly about 20 years ago at least; but when I was young, when it was Christmas or my Mam’s Birthday, I would usually go and buy her some Coffee from the Coffee Shop. A specific one most of the time in Lancaster’s own J. Atkinson & Co. Ltd, which is to coffee what Ollivander’s is to wands in Harry Potter. Anyway, I would always buy coffee from them for my Mam for Birthday’s and Christmas. I used to love going in there, picking a coffee, having a smell and then having it ground up and given to Mam as a present.

One time however my Dad suggested that we go to a coffee shop in Kendal. Can’t remember what it was called, I was about 7/8 at the time. Anyway we went in and bought some coffee, and I think had a drink in the café too. While we were there though, I spotted something which I was immediately drawn too. My favourite colour back then (and for some part today still is) was green, and I liked the name of the coffee/tea that was displayed across the side of the large tin. It was called Green Gunpowder. Never knew what it was or what it looked like or anything. But that name remained inside my head because I liked the sound of it.

Kendal

Years went by, and eventually I stopped getting Coffee consistently for my Mam, I don’t know why, I just did, and with it, I did not venture inside Atkins or any other coffee shop since, other than places like Starbucks and Caffé Nero obviously, and best of all; Esquires, well it’s the culture now isn’t it? I can remember when a tourism advert was published in a newspaper in London which said this country had over 300 castles but only 6 Starbucks. How times have changed.

Green Gunpowder Tea

Well last week, because I was on the very street of Atkinson’s, and spotted the shop, I decided to venture inside just to have a look around, and on the shelf I could spot Green Gunpowder, so I asked if I could have a look just to satisfy my age-old question. It wasn’t much to look at, it was a tea that was sort of green in colour, don’t remember much about the smell; but for simply being able to finally find out what it was, made my morning. Still won’t drink it though, I don’t drink Tea or Coffee, more a Hot Chocolate man myself.

Hot Chocolate Drink

GENEPOOL





All This Food To Try Out

7 10 2015

Sainsbury's

A few weeks ago, I was working at a local branch of Sainsbury’s during the store’s refurbishment, which was rather odd as I am certain that particular store had been open for less than 4 years (possibly even 3) and it was already going through this refurbishment. Anyway, as one of the people working on site to help in the refurbishment, one thing happened on a daily basis while working there, and that was spotting new types of food and brands that I then wanted to try.

Milka

Basically I was doing Stock Replenishment. What that means is that once a section of the store was complete, me and my team were responsible for restacking empty shelves to the point where they were all brimmed full of brand new products. To do this we had to get the products from the marquee for the first few days (basically a bunch of tents where the car park is) then later the warehouse; then follow a planner sheet telling us where the products went, how many faces were on show (how many products across and up) and keep doing this until all available space was filled up. Simple and we did this for five days in a row, up until the day just before the shop reopened to the public. We also had to do a lot of facing; this is where you turn the product on the outside to make it all face outwards, so basically showing the logo of the product rather than any other part of it.

Pringles

So that’s what I was doing for all 5 days of the job, however when dealing with so many products, it’s real easy to get a little bit distracted when you spot something interesting. This would usually happen in the food isles, most of the time you wouldn’t take a blind bit of notice when handling a brand you see almost every day, like Pringles. But every now and then you’ll spot something which after a few minutes of looking at it, will want to try it. For the first few occasions it was liquids. While I did on one day work the alcohol isle, I don’t drink alcohol and so don’t have any intention to try any, however one day I was doing the juice carton section and since then have wanted to try Ocean Spray. My knowledge on Ocean Spray at that time only went up to the adverts with the 2 blokes up to their knees in Cranberries, however after spending a good period of time replenishing the Ocean Spray’s back onto the shelves of Sainsbury’s, I now want to try some.

Ocean Spray Carton

Other occasions included a breakfast like milkshake thing I found and stocked in the breakfast aisle (It was called something along the lines of; “Up On The Go”), cakes in the cakes and bread sections (including a gorgeous looking triple layer red velvet cake) and some cake mix recipes. I also spotted some brands I had already known about but immediately wanted to have some, such as a Milka chocolate bar, and what appeared to be the return of one of my favourite brands of chocolate, Riesen’s. On the final day itself I spotted something else, this was inedible, but I still wanted to try it. It was a Graphic Novel in the books section called Username: Evie, I have since spotted it in Waterstone’s, so at least I don’t need to go into Sainsbury’s to buy it, as I feel like it will be a long time until I’ll want to go back into that particular store.

Red Velvet cake mix

It’s been a few weeks since the job and I have yet to try many of the things I spotted. I have though managed to have some Riesen’s and Milka since then. Part of me doubts that I will at some point get to eat all of those products, as I am not a millionaire with a lot of spare time on my hands, but some stuff like the Ocean Spray I still wouldn’t mind possibly giving a go one day. One thing though I could possibly try is putting some Chorizo in my Spaghetti Bolognese, as the announcements round the store kept saying. It was just a shame that there wasn’t any nearby large supermarkets open where I could have bought the ingredients.

Chorizo

GENEPOOL (the following week I was in a much smaller branch of Sainsbury’s, and it was amazing how small it felt all of a sudden, but still felt like a long walk around it).





In An Attempt To Cure Writer’s Block

8 07 2015

Pen and Paper

Since finishing University a few weeks ago (and while waiting for Graduation in just over a week’s time), I have been trying to do a number of things to keep myself productive and busy. I have been looking for work, trying to come up with a career plan, writing weekly blog posts, coming up with ideas for stories and board games, reading when I can, playing games, baking cakes, volunteering at Barnardo’s and at The Dukes play in the park again. One thing though that I have wanted to continue since finishing, I have found rather hard, and that is writing stories. I like writing stories, I like all kinds of writing, and when I am in the zone, I just can’t stop. Starting is an entirely different matter however.

Darkmouth (Harper Collins - 2015)

I have kept up with my blog writing, and right now am writing a series of film reviews to be shown in a few weeks’ time, but writing large pieces of work is proving to be rather difficult. Writing big projects at University (in hindsight) was easier, as I was motivated to get the work done as best as I could, but now I need to find new motivation and am finding it hard. I am constantly coming up with ideas for projects, either it be stories, blog posts or board games, but getting round to actually doing them is what I am struggling with. Writing short stories shouldn’t necessarily be too much of a problem as they are small, quick stories to write, however, starting them is as difficult as any other project. Ideas for them are hard as they need to be concise, small, and not necessarily involve big incidents, or big things happening……….which is kind of what I like. Back in May I even came up with a plan to write at least one short story a month, but in June I (technically) did not write one.

A Cake and some Cake Pops I made recently.

I say technically; basically, last month I entered Preston’s first Short Story Slam. A writing/performing contest where writers write short stories to then read out. Writer’s need to write 3 stories of no more than 200 words that can be read in 4 minutes or less. It’s a head to head sort of thing (as far as I understand it) and I need to write 3 short stories for it. A week ago I wrote one story for it, I still have another 2 to write (at time of writing) but coming up with ideas for such a small word count I am finding tough, and even when I do have an idea, simply sitting down behind my laptop to write it is proving tricky. It was only when I had a voice going through my head telling me to write the first story that I finally did it (The Slam is at the end of July, so I still have some time). Even when it isn’t that though, writing in general (when it is not for my blog) I am finding tough. I can develop ideas quite nicely, (I prefer to do it in my head where I can visualise it, while find that writing it down can usually mean I end up leaving and forgetting about it), but that’s still not writing it.

Rory's Story Cubes: Prehistoria

In an attempt to cure what I think is writer’s block; I have started doing little exercises to get me writing again. While my mind wanders onto other ideas of approaching it, for now, this one is working. I have had Rory’s Story Cubes for over a year now. First I got a small expansion in the form of Rory’s Story Cubes: Prehistoria, but discovered using them rather hard, so I bought a copy of the base set, and was able to get going with them. To begin with I just used them as a little game to play with friends and at the Writer’s Society at University. Basically, the base set is a box of 9 dice, with each side on all the dice being a different image (54 images in total). You roll them, and then use the 9 images to make a story. It has to start with “Once Upon A Time” and can either be done as one continuous story as a group, or several stories. There are other versions of the base set and several expansions, all of which can be mixed and matched to create a diverse range of stories. Recently, I decided to use them to help me write some short stories. I use them in the same way as you normally would play with them; roll them and look at the pictures rolled (sometimes re-rolling if I can’t think of anything). Instead of telling the story to someone though, I would instead write my story in a Word Document.

Story Dice 1

I have been taking the pictures of the images I have rolled, considering possibly putting my stories online at a later date (with a photo of the dice to show what images I have to work with). I actually rather enjoy coming up with stories this way; they can be about anything and there are no restrictions as to the length of the story, nor the genre it is in. It really does help me to get back into writing short stories. While I have not done one for about a week (due to being busy with my current weekly schedule), I look forward to writing another one, and hopefully with time, be able to write some without assistance, possibly even bigger ones. Right now though, I have a Short Story Slam to enter.

Story Dice 2

GENEPOOL








%d bloggers like this: