Friday, 27 April 2012

Posh Rocky Road

Sometimes you just need a super duper chocolate fix....for me thats unfortunately ALOT of the time! I think I've have found the perfect recipe for this. I am a massive fan of Rocky Road. I just love marshmallows and chocolate - amazing combo! I don't enjoy the super market rocky roads - there never seems to be enough marshmallows etc mixed in, so I have been searching for a good recipe.

My Dad has been raving for a while now about how good some Rocky Road is that he's tasted at work. Apparently, his colleague's wife makes it and then sends him into work with it. I have therefore been constantly nagging him to get me the recipe so I can sample it for myself. He's finally emailed me it so I set about making it last weekend for when my Mum and Dad visited and, well it is actually quite amazing. So amazing infact, I have made it again this week and taken it into my work (it lasted about 5 minutes!)and will probably make it again next week!

The recipe is so simple, no baking required but involves lots and lots of chocolate, maltesers, snickers bars, mars bars, marshmallows, cherries and apricots.

It actually made quite alot too - it seemed to go on forever. I managed to give some to my Mum and Dad to take home with them, take some to my friends Jenny's to have after our tea, give some to my friend Vikki whilst she had to sit for hours in A&E after breaking her ankle and then there still seemed to be loads left for me and Karl!

Posh Rocky Road

700g milk chocolate
4 x regular sized mars bars/snickers (maybe I'm just greedy but I used 6 in total, 3 of each!), roughly chopped
50g marshmallows, plus extra for the top
50g maltersers
50g diced apricots, roughly chopped
50g raisons/sultanas or cherries (I used cherries as Karl doesn't like raisons!)
50g cornflakes
chocolate sprinkles for decoration

Line a baking tray 33 x 23 x 2.5 with grease proof paper (I didn't have a tin of this size so used a slightly deeper smaller one.)
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water, stirring every so often.
Once melted, take the chocolate off the heat and mix in all of the dry ingredients.
Make sure it is all evenly distributed through the chocolate.
Pour into the lined tin and using the back of a spoon, flatten the mixture into the tin.
Decorate the top of the rocky road with more marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.
Allow to set in the fridge over night or at least for a good few hours.
Once set, remove from the fridge and leave out for an hour or so(or else you'll never manage to cut it!) and cut into pieces.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Toffee Mocha Cupcakes -

I have recently been contacted and asked to be involved with a campaign. Although I had heard of this website before from the recent Eric Lanlard tv programme (they sponsor it!), I had never taken a look at the website.

I was asked to re-create a recipe from the website and blog about it. After spending quite a bit of time looking through all of the yummy recipes on the website I thought I would try and find a cupcake recipe. I feel its been a while since I last made some cupcakes and am missing them!

There are plenty of yummy cupcake recipes on the Baking Mad website along with loads of helpful tips and solutions for all sorts of baking issues. If you've not had a look at this website then you definitely should.

In the end I settled on making the Toffee Mocha Cupcakes:

Toffee Mocha Cupcakes
100g butter unsalted
60g golden caster sugar
60g light muscovado sugar
3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g dark chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
For the butter cream
3 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
3 tsp hot water
3 tsp espresso coffee powder
150 grams butter unsalted
300 grams golden icing sugar
Fudge pieces, grated chocolate and toffee sauce to decorate


Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 170 C fan/ Gas mark 4. Line the muffin tin with muffin papers, or grease and flour each hole individually.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat together the eggs and vanilla extract.
Gradually add the flour and eggs into the butter and sugar mixing all the time.
Gently stir in the chocolate.
Spoon into the muffin papers, about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

To make the icing, mix together the cocoa, expresso powder and hot water until dissolved for the mocha flavouring. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and mocha flavouring, until well blended. Fill the piping bag, and pipe onto the cupcakes.
Grate chocolate over the icing and scatter on some fudge pieces. Finally drizzle on some toffee sauce.

I did change the recipe slightly, rather than completely following the one on the Baking Mad website - I'm a chocaholic and felt the cake needed some chocolate adding to it so I mixed in 50 grams of chopped up chocolate. Also I changed the method - I made these the first time following the original method which said to melt the butter and sugar in a pan and then stir them into the beaten eggs. Even though I let the butter and sugar mixture cool as the recipe instructed, I still felt it cooked my eggs and left me with a really lumpy cake batter. The second time I made the cakes I creamed the butter and sugar together first, rather than melting them.

I also tripled the ingredient quantities for the butter cream (the quantities above provide the amount of butter cream I used) - I do like a LOT of buttercream on my cupcakes!! And then as well as grating dark chocolate onto the butter cream, for extra naughtiness I also added fudge chunks and a simple home made toffee sauce to to make them a bit more toffee-ish! The toffee sauce was made by melting 120g of light brown sugar with 120g of butter in a pan. Once melted, I added 100ml of cream and heated till it was bubbling and then took of the heat and allowed to cool.

Over all I really liked these cupcakes - the coffee-ish chocolatey butter cream was really good, especially with toffee sauce drizzled over it. I think if I was making them again though I would tweak the cake recipe - for me they were a bit too muffin like in texture, rather than a cupcake. I think some toffee sauce in the centre of the cupcake would be good too..yum!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dotcomgiftshop Product Review - Tea Coffee Sugar Tins

As you have probably seen from my previous post Dotcomgiftshop recently got in touch with me to tell me they had featured my blog on their website.

They asked me if I would be interested in doing a product review for them, which of course I jumped at the chance to do - I am always having a little nosy on their website and longing to be able to afford every single product on my huuuuge wish list. They honestly have some gorgeous products on their website, so if you haven’t checked them out yet – please do! The website is well worth a visit.

This morning at work I received my parcel from DotComGiftShop. I was so excited when the delivery man walked into reception and I saw the pink Dotcomgiftshop logo on the box he was carrying. I was having such a bad day (feeling poorly and then some crazy lady tried to ram into my car and then blame me!) but when I saw my parcel I was grinning from ear to ear (the delivery man must have wondered what on earth I was having delivered!). I’d already told my friend at work I would at some point be getting a delivery so eagerly we opened the box and unwrapped the contents.

The products I have been sent are the pantry design tea coffee sugar tins. I have never branched out into tea coffee sugar pot ownership...they’re always something that I can be found perusing over in kitchen shops..pondering over the different styles, taking lids on and off etc etc but something I have never actually bought!! Perhaps it is because I have not yet found the right ones that suit me or maybe it is because I am not a huge drinker of tea and coffee – who knows…but when Dotcomgiftshop said I could pick a set to review I knew as soon as I saw these ones with their cute vintage style and pastel colours that these were the ones for me – I could imagine these in my kitchen, especially when the people at DotComGiftShop suggested using them for my baking ingredients – what a good idea!

When the tins arrived they were well packaged in plenty of bubble wrap - always a plus when your products arrive in one piece and not damaged! The tins are approx 14cms high and 10cms in diameter and are a cylindrical shape. They have a quirky 50's style design with each tin having a matt finish and and being coloured in either pale pink, pale turquoise or a pale moss green. The lids of each tin all have a singing bird design on a doily style polka dot background.

The tins are selling on Dotcomgiftshop for £12.95 which I think is really good value. I'm very impressed with how well made these are and how much they actually fit in. The design is absolutely gorgeous and would look beautiful in anyones kitchen. I would definitely recommend these to a friend - they'd even make a fab house warming gift.

I couldn’t wait to get home and start filling the tea coffee sugar tins up and of course this was the first thing I did when I walked through the door.

As you know from my coffee and walnut cake post I have found a new obsession with coffee in cakes..yum! And therefore this coffee tin came at the right time – who wants to look at a boring jar of coffee in their cupboard when they can look at this cute little tin.

The sugar tin was also a most welcome addition to my kitchen – there are so many afternoons when I have been happily weighing sugar out for a cake and realised that the bottom of the sugar bag has been leaking and I have sugar all over my floor – nightmare! The last thing I want to be doing in the middle of baking is to start having to clean my floor! This new sugar tin will hopefully put an end to this mishap that keeps occurring!!

How lovely do these two tins look in my baking cupboard (yes..i did give the cupboard a tidy specifically for this picture!).

I didn’t realistically feel I could use the tea tin for baking ingredients – although I have used tea in baking before I don’t use enough to warrant giving it its own tin in my baking cupboard and I couldn’t stand to have something other than tea in it when it says tea on the front. I do drink a lot of green tea though and so this is now its new home.

I couldn't resist taking a few piccies of the tins in my kitchen - they just look so pretty...

Now I'm just saving my pennies for the matching cake tins!

Friday, 13 April 2012


The lovely people at dotcomgiftshop got in touch with me this week to say that they had included my blog in one of their posts about food blogs that they love.

I was over the moon when I got the email and so proud that my blog had got a mention! When I started my blog it was so I could share my enthusiam for baking with everyone, meet fellow bakers and really keep a record of everything I had baked - I really didn't think anyone would be interested in my little blog about cakes..but it turns out that maybe a few people are :)

I love Dotcomgiftshop - another reason why I was so happy that they have featured my blog! I'm always having a nosy at their website and have ordered a few things from them - I got the cutest heart shaped containers from them and people always comment on them when they see them in the fridge at work and I still love cooking with my pink spotty frying pan!

Dotcomgiftshop stock all sorts of gifts and homeware for everyone. They are always very cool and quirky but are also very affordable.

I'm hopefully (fingers crossed) moving house in the next few weeks/months so will definitely be making purchases in the near future for my lovely new home.

These are my personal faves on the website at the moment:

Red Kitchen Scales £19.95

Heart Shaped Measuring Spoons £1.95

Set of 3 Tins £12.95

12 Mini Loaf Baking Cases £2.95

White Love Bird Cake Stand £11.95

Coffee and Walnut Cake

When I had my fab week off work of baking I also made this fantastic cake. I seriously cannot stop raving about how good this cake is! The recipe is from the first Primrose bakery book but is apparently adapted from a Delia recipe. I had already made both the lemon and vanilla layer cakes from this book and adore the recipes - they always give consistently good results and I had been pondering over making this coffee and walnut one for a while.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of coffee and walnut cakes - if i was buying a slice of cake in a cafe and the choice was between a chocolate cake or a coffee and walnut cake, the chocolate cake would win hands down every time! I think this cake however, has converted me to the amazingness of the coffee and walnut combo!

The first time I made this cake (I've made it an additional 2 times in the space of about 3 weeks..thats how good it is!)I was worried it was going to taste too strongly of coffee. There is coffee in the cake, then once the cake is baked and cooled the sponge is brushed with coffee syrup and then more coffee in the butter cream. I had nothing to worry about - the sponge is a lovely flavour and gorgeously moist thanks to the sugar syrup and the butter cream is still lovely and sweet with just a hint of coffee flavour - just perfect! You'll see from my pics below, I liked the butter cream so much I put about an inch of it inside the cake - looks a bit messy but it was sooooo good!

I also liked the way the sponge had a nice marble effect to it - the coffee and ground up walnuts are added right at the end to the sponge mixture and you are instructed not to stir it too much.

I cannot stress this enough - if you have the primrose bakery book - you MUST make this cake!