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After a little harassment from my friends i’m finally presenting you with my next blog entry. I must confess I have not done a huge amount of baking since our web world last collided. just been a bit busy with my new job managing a lovely new cafe and roasters OZONE http://ozonecoffee.co.uk/

And so what on earth have I come up with of late????

Whisky Gingerbread Chocolate Moustaches!!

ImageI was inspired by my beardy man who sports not only a wonderful ginger beard but a well groomed tweeked moustache. A man who is also fond of a cheeky whisky or three.I wont lie to you the moustache cut outs were kindly donated by the London Movember folk. Instead of using a small amount of fresh ginger I used ginger in syrup, a slightly less intense flavour but meant that I could use less sugar. The moustache backs are painted with dark chocolate.

What else…?????

Banana Bread Choc Bread and Butter Pudding with Flaked Almond Crust!

It seems like a life time ago since I made this for some pretty happy campers.

I made a traditional banana bread the night before. On the evening of the dinner I made a delicious custard from the LEON cook book. I did layers of bread followed by good quality dark chocolate. about 3 layers then poured the hot custard mix over the top and added a hefty amount of flaked almonds. Baked for 30mins at 180. Hot creamy crunchy dreamy naughty for you goodness.!

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Next Up!

My “Adelaide” Sponge.

I only had two shallow flan tins hence the light trim at the top of the sponge cake but thats beside the point! The Adelaide Sponge had a base layer of clementine rhubarb marmalade that I also made myself, double cream with fresh passionfruit and pistachios were to follow with a scattering of blackberries to make it juuuusssssttttttt right!

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Just a little Nibble

I’d have to say that although I bloody love baking and making sweet treats I don’t actually have a massive sweet tooth. I guess I rather enjoy the tentetive process of desert making, the layering, rising, smashing, decorating, waiting, repeating, agonising, labor of love. I also enjoy wrapping a portion up and handing it over to one of my sweethearts to enjoy, for me it’s a way of saying ” hey I really think you’re neat and I’ve been thinking about you”.

Macadamia shortbreads with caramel fudge and dark chocolate icing

I think I left the shortbread in 5 mins too long so it became more like a biscuit than a soft shortbread. Paul and Samuel from Moro thought the crispness worked well with the gooeyness of fudge, so It wasn’t a complete failure. My favourite thing about this photo is the cake stand the shortbreads are on. A beautiful Royal Doulton cake stand I received for my birthday last year from Lovely James Joyce.

Happy New Year Pumpkin Pie

When I think of Pumpkin Pie I think of the Beverly Hills 90210 Thanks Giving Special in the 90’s. I’ve always been rather intrigued by the idea of this sweet tart/pie thing and it was not until New Years just gone that I decided it was time to see what all this hoo ha was about. This was baked in Cornwall for my lovely beardy man and friends Lizzy and James. Lots of mashed pumpkin, all spice, cardamom, cream, ginger and toasted almonds. I added hazelnuts to the shortcrust. Notice the areas where the edge is rather dark… Thats me being a right spazz putting the pie in the oven, spillage everywhere!

Cheap date trifle 

Tonight my mate Ra came over for the cheapest night of her life haha. Both counting our pennies, she thought she was in for baked beans on toast with Stepney Green air for dessert. I couldn’t fathom this thought so I came up with the cheapest of cheap dessert.. This might be boring to the readers but my lordy lord it was rad. I smashed up the left over shortbread fudge slice for the surprise bottom, did layers of custard and raspberries and sprinkled toasted coconut on top. Took minutes and looks 70’s glam dinner party. Thanks Tesco custard ( shame ).

In The Beginning

I am a self taught baker.. I don’t really boast about what I make, i’m pretty shy about it my ego does get the better of me and I do worry about other peoples opinions. The idea of something not being edible is a horrifying thought, ahhhhh failure, you are such a darn nuisance of a feeling! Having said all this though, for me, baking is possibly the only time I can be completely at ease, alone with my own thoughts, own ideas. At this point, it’s only me who is judging! My stuff is rather rustic, nothing fancy pants ( due to my lack of technical skills). I have been bloody lucky to have spent some time with Madame Lily Vanilli, a rather inspiring self taught baker who is taking the world by whisk and pin http://www.lilyvanilli.com. Her, David and Martin have taught me great things about the trade, rather amazing individuals indeed.

My blog is not some wanky rant.. Just a place for friends to check out what I’ve been up to in my spare time on the other side of the world! I am open and eager for peoples ideas and feed back Please FEED BACK AWAY! I also hope that some of my treats will spark ideas in my readers too. All photos courtesy of Paul Shooter Mcgough

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Mini Victoria Sponge

My first baking test in London!

This was my first London baking attempt at home! I thought instead of 1 large Vic Sponge I would much rather 6 miniature versions to nom on. The filling is vanilla rosewater cream and blackcurrant jam. My question for you. Why are the tops like little speed humps?!

Cherry Ripe Cupcakes

I made these in spring last year. Very very rich indeed, a vanilla/coconut cupcake base with a dark chocolate cherry liquor cream cheese icing. Notice my interesting icing technique, so advanced 😉

My Decadent Layer Tart

I was really quite proud of this little gem. I kinda just made it up as I went along. This layer tart was made for my dear friend Ian, a wonderful chef from Melbourne, recently working at Moro http://www.moro.co.uk/moro/restaurant/default.asp. The tart consisted of 4 layers. The base was made with coconut biscuits and peanuts, 2nd layer was a cognac and dark chocolate fondant, 3rd layer butterscotch fudge and 4th was a dark chocolate mousse. Twas delicious indeed.

Croissants are HARRRRDDD!!!!

Croissants are HARRRRDDDD!

Oh my bloody Gosh! Croissants!!!! They will haunt me forever I swear! I don’t know how many attempts were made before I made a batch that were not too bread like, too crispy, too hard, too soft!!! It took me ages to realise I wasn’t using the correct flour. I searched so many recipes, watched a dozen YOUTUBE clips, all freaking different. My attempts are still a bit hit and miss but I am getting better, each time learning more and more about detail.

Chocolate Eclairs

I got the recipe from the cook book The Art of French Baking. It’s a bit of a fiddly thing to make.. Took me about 3 hours, this was my first attempt of course. Chocolate creme patissiere filling, wasn’t the best outcome, a little lumpy, though the flavour was still there. The eclairs were huge as I didn’t have the correct piping nozzle to make them small but not too small. Fed these to my workmates, a rather good 3pm treat.