26 January 2011

Sweet Nostalgia #1 - Flumps

I remember getting flumps in mix-ups when I was at middle school. Mix-ups in case you're wondering was what we called pick & mix, is that just a Northern thing? I loved them, so I probably got a bit over excited when my Mum bought me one this week. The best bit...it wasn't a normal individual sized one, it was a giant flump! I ate mine with a cup of hot chocolate & yes I did dunk :-) Even better, they're only 30 calories per twist & fat free so I'm off to google where I can buy these babies in bulk! What's your sweet nostalgia? Rebecca x

23 January 2011

It's not over yet!

Hello, so it's been 12 days since my last blog post & the completion of my 52 week, 52 cake challenge. I'll be honest when I wrote my last post I really wasn't sure what to do next? Start a new blog, carry on writing, or just leave my 52 week history of me & my cake in cyberland for the sake of posterity? Over the last week, I've spoken to family, friends & fellow bloggers about what to do next. The conclusion I came to was that I have grown to really love writing my little blog & so will be continuing Rebecca Bakes Cakes, although I hope you'll appreciate we might be taking a few weeks off from cake!

I do love baking, but quite frankly love anything to do with food! My plan is to share with you my experiences of all things foodie. By the wonders of twitter I find that this week I have the opportunity to recipe test for a lovely lady who is putting the finishing touches to her first cook book. Exciting eh? So as well as recipe testing I thought I could, test the numerous kitchen gadgets I have (but have yet to get round to using), review cook books & local restaurants, find uses for ingredients you have lurking in the kitchen but are never quite sure what to do with, share the best & worst of the food advertising world (don't forget I am a marketer & ad watcher by trade) Hopefully, as fellow food lovers, you will find at least some of it interesting & maybe occasionally informative :-)

As a caveat, it's worth noting that I am just a run of the mill, bog standard food lover. So if you are expecting high brow critique, then this probably isn't for you. If you want an honest, everyday opinion, with the odd disaster & a dash of humour thrown in, then welcome aboard!

I'd love it if you'd stick around for a while & if you have any ideas for me, please get in touch (always fancied myself as a bit of a roving investigator!) Don't worry, I will be including the occasional cake still, but as I go on holiday in 5 weeks, there will be a temporary cake ban! Bikini fear strikes again! Till next time, Rebecca x

11 January 2011

Week 52 - Coffee & Walnut Cake

Hello cake mates, it's with a tinge of sadness that I'm bringing you the final treat from Rebecca Bakes Cakes. The past 52 weeks have gone really quickly & I'm honestly dead chuffed that I've done it! It was this time last year that I made a batch of Spiced Apple Muffins & had the crazy idea to bake something every week for a year & blog about it. Reading back over those early posts it's funny to see how my writing has changed & as it turns out I've enjoyed the writing just as much as the baking! My biggest triumph was probably the Malteser Cookies that became finalists in the My Dish chocolate lovers competition. Biggest disaster, the Crumpets in week 44, you can relive the whole debacle with video commentary.

But enough reminiscing...lets stick to the matter in hand & get onto the cake. As you know I do have a day job working in the marketing department for Douwe Egberts coffee, therefore it seemed fitting to finish on a classic coffee & walnut cake. In a final shameless plug for one of our products, it was made with Pure Indulgence instant coffee!

For the cake
250g butter
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
2tsps vanilla essence
250g self raising flour
2tbps instant coffee dissolved in 25ml warm water
80g walnut pieces

For the frosting
100g butter, softened
400g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 10ml water

To decorate (optional)
Walnut halves
Chocolate coffee beans
Chocolate sprinkles

1. Cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one, next add the vanilla. Sift in the flour & fold together until you have a lovely smooth batter. Finally stir in the coffee & walnuts until all combined.

2. Line the bottom & grease the sides of 2 cake pans. Divide the mixture between the pans, bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for around 25 minutes until they are well risen, golden & springy to the touch. Lift out & leave to cool in the pans.

3. To make the frosting cream together the butter & sugar, then add the vanilla & coffee. Beat well until you have a silky smooth texture. I had quite a subtle coffee flavour in my icing, you could easily increase the amount you use if you like a stronger taste or cut it out completely for a vanilla frosting?

4. Next level off one of the cakes & spread a thick layer of the frosting on the top. Place the second cake on top of that & cover it with the remaining frosting. Decorate at will!

So there we go, all done! Thank you to everyone for reading over the last 52 weeks & for all your lovely comments & emails. I have a feeling this won't be the last you see of me, I think I've been bitten by the blogging bug & will be back. But for now, that's all from Rebecca Bakes Cakes, it's been a blast. Take care, Rebecca x

p.s. I've put together a round up of all my creations. Click here to see it...

5 January 2011

Week 51 - Devils Food Cake

Happy new year everyone, hope you all had a lovely weekend & are looking forward to 2011. It seems a bit strange that as most people seem to be talking about fresh new challenges for the year ahead & new years resolutions, I'm about to bring my year long baking challenge to a close. Feel a little bit behind with things!

So this week I am baking to take part in a blogging event called Forever Nigella. I got a copy of her new cookbook, Kitchen, for Christmas so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to crack it open! I have quite a collection of her books & if I'm honest like to imagine myself as a bit of a Nigella in the kitchen. The reality is I don't look half as glamorous & usually have flour in my hair! Here's me at Christmas in my Mum's kitchen trying to do my best Nigella impression, complete with posh pinny & gin & tonic in hand!

The Forever Nigella event is hosted by Maison Cupcake, visit her blog to find out more details, but the idea is basically to pay homage to the Domestic Goddess by making & blogging about her recipes. Each month there will be a different theme, this month it's Seasonal Sensations, so there's loads to choose from. I've chosen to make Devils Food Cake as an indulgent treat to help ease me back into the work routine. I always find that post-Christmas can be a bit tricky, it's cold, daylight is in short supply so it's a good excuse for comfort food. I know everyone seems to be on a diet or detox, but lets face it, life's too short, so lets us eat cake! I'm not able to publish the actual recipe on my blog unfortunately, so here's a link to it as featured on the BBC Food website. Devils Food Cake was featured in episode 12 of Nigella Kitchen on BBC1


This is the most delicious, indulgent chocolate cake I have ever made & I love it as it's not sickly sweet as some milk chocolate cakes can be. My only challenge now is how on earth do I get it off the cake stand & into a tin?? Oh well might just have to eat it...can't have it going stale! See you next week for the Rebecca Bakes Cakes 52nd week finale! Rebecca x

26 January 2011

Sweet Nostalgia #1 - Flumps

I remember getting flumps in mix-ups when I was at middle school. Mix-ups in case you're wondering was what we called pick & mix, is that just a Northern thing? I loved them, so I probably got a bit over excited when my Mum bought me one this week. The best bit...it wasn't a normal individual sized one, it was a giant flump! I ate mine with a cup of hot chocolate & yes I did dunk :-) Even better, they're only 30 calories per twist & fat free so I'm off to google where I can buy these babies in bulk! What's your sweet nostalgia? Rebecca x

23 January 2011

It's not over yet!

Hello, so it's been 12 days since my last blog post & the completion of my 52 week, 52 cake challenge. I'll be honest when I wrote my last post I really wasn't sure what to do next? Start a new blog, carry on writing, or just leave my 52 week history of me & my cake in cyberland for the sake of posterity? Over the last week, I've spoken to family, friends & fellow bloggers about what to do next. The conclusion I came to was that I have grown to really love writing my little blog & so will be continuing Rebecca Bakes Cakes, although I hope you'll appreciate we might be taking a few weeks off from cake!

I do love baking, but quite frankly love anything to do with food! My plan is to share with you my experiences of all things foodie. By the wonders of twitter I find that this week I have the opportunity to recipe test for a lovely lady who is putting the finishing touches to her first cook book. Exciting eh? So as well as recipe testing I thought I could, test the numerous kitchen gadgets I have (but have yet to get round to using), review cook books & local restaurants, find uses for ingredients you have lurking in the kitchen but are never quite sure what to do with, share the best & worst of the food advertising world (don't forget I am a marketer & ad watcher by trade) Hopefully, as fellow food lovers, you will find at least some of it interesting & maybe occasionally informative :-)

As a caveat, it's worth noting that I am just a run of the mill, bog standard food lover. So if you are expecting high brow critique, then this probably isn't for you. If you want an honest, everyday opinion, with the odd disaster & a dash of humour thrown in, then welcome aboard!

I'd love it if you'd stick around for a while & if you have any ideas for me, please get in touch (always fancied myself as a bit of a roving investigator!) Don't worry, I will be including the occasional cake still, but as I go on holiday in 5 weeks, there will be a temporary cake ban! Bikini fear strikes again! Till next time, Rebecca x

11 January 2011

Week 52 - Coffee & Walnut Cake

Hello cake mates, it's with a tinge of sadness that I'm bringing you the final treat from Rebecca Bakes Cakes. The past 52 weeks have gone really quickly & I'm honestly dead chuffed that I've done it! It was this time last year that I made a batch of Spiced Apple Muffins & had the crazy idea to bake something every week for a year & blog about it. Reading back over those early posts it's funny to see how my writing has changed & as it turns out I've enjoyed the writing just as much as the baking! My biggest triumph was probably the Malteser Cookies that became finalists in the My Dish chocolate lovers competition. Biggest disaster, the Crumpets in week 44, you can relive the whole debacle with video commentary.

But enough reminiscing...lets stick to the matter in hand & get onto the cake. As you know I do have a day job working in the marketing department for Douwe Egberts coffee, therefore it seemed fitting to finish on a classic coffee & walnut cake. In a final shameless plug for one of our products, it was made with Pure Indulgence instant coffee!

For the cake
250g butter
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
2tsps vanilla essence
250g self raising flour
2tbps instant coffee dissolved in 25ml warm water
80g walnut pieces

For the frosting
100g butter, softened
400g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 10ml water

To decorate (optional)
Walnut halves
Chocolate coffee beans
Chocolate sprinkles

1. Cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one, next add the vanilla. Sift in the flour & fold together until you have a lovely smooth batter. Finally stir in the coffee & walnuts until all combined.

2. Line the bottom & grease the sides of 2 cake pans. Divide the mixture between the pans, bake in the oven at 180c/GM4 for around 25 minutes until they are well risen, golden & springy to the touch. Lift out & leave to cool in the pans.

3. To make the frosting cream together the butter & sugar, then add the vanilla & coffee. Beat well until you have a silky smooth texture. I had quite a subtle coffee flavour in my icing, you could easily increase the amount you use if you like a stronger taste or cut it out completely for a vanilla frosting?

4. Next level off one of the cakes & spread a thick layer of the frosting on the top. Place the second cake on top of that & cover it with the remaining frosting. Decorate at will!

So there we go, all done! Thank you to everyone for reading over the last 52 weeks & for all your lovely comments & emails. I have a feeling this won't be the last you see of me, I think I've been bitten by the blogging bug & will be back. But for now, that's all from Rebecca Bakes Cakes, it's been a blast. Take care, Rebecca x

p.s. I've put together a round up of all my creations. Click here to see it...

5 January 2011

Week 51 - Devils Food Cake

Happy new year everyone, hope you all had a lovely weekend & are looking forward to 2011. It seems a bit strange that as most people seem to be talking about fresh new challenges for the year ahead & new years resolutions, I'm about to bring my year long baking challenge to a close. Feel a little bit behind with things!

So this week I am baking to take part in a blogging event called Forever Nigella. I got a copy of her new cookbook, Kitchen, for Christmas so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to crack it open! I have quite a collection of her books & if I'm honest like to imagine myself as a bit of a Nigella in the kitchen. The reality is I don't look half as glamorous & usually have flour in my hair! Here's me at Christmas in my Mum's kitchen trying to do my best Nigella impression, complete with posh pinny & gin & tonic in hand!

The Forever Nigella event is hosted by Maison Cupcake, visit her blog to find out more details, but the idea is basically to pay homage to the Domestic Goddess by making & blogging about her recipes. Each month there will be a different theme, this month it's Seasonal Sensations, so there's loads to choose from. I've chosen to make Devils Food Cake as an indulgent treat to help ease me back into the work routine. I always find that post-Christmas can be a bit tricky, it's cold, daylight is in short supply so it's a good excuse for comfort food. I know everyone seems to be on a diet or detox, but lets face it, life's too short, so lets us eat cake! I'm not able to publish the actual recipe on my blog unfortunately, so here's a link to it as featured on the BBC Food website. Devils Food Cake was featured in episode 12 of Nigella Kitchen on BBC1


This is the most delicious, indulgent chocolate cake I have ever made & I love it as it's not sickly sweet as some milk chocolate cakes can be. My only challenge now is how on earth do I get it off the cake stand & into a tin?? Oh well might just have to eat it...can't have it going stale! See you next week for the Rebecca Bakes Cakes 52nd week finale! Rebecca x

 

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