Saturday, 7 April 2012

Baking Frenzy

I have been meaning to upload these photos for a while now but after having my horrid root canal treatment (yay for sedation!) I managed to saddle myself with a cold.  So annoying.  I have just about managed to get through the working days but the second I switched off my laptop I was back in my PJs and into bed.  

I'm on the mend now but the husband has caught it and, obviously, has it much worse than I did.  Whatevs!   I am no nurse and his constant mouth-breathing, throat-clearing and nose-blowing is grossing me out a bit.  I know that sounds really unsympathetic but I'm just super-queasy when it comes to snot.  Ick.

So, let's talk about sugar and spice and all things nice.  Like cake.

I had a bit of a baking frenzy before our holiday to Center Parcs - I really wanted to take some homemade baked goodies for the family.  Having made the doughnut muffins recently I have become a little bit obsessed with injecting things with jam (!).  It's such fun.  These little vanilla cupcakes have a squidge of strawberry jam in the centre and are lush.  In fact, Drew declared them my 'best ever' cupcakes!  I knew this little jam trick would work because my friend's mum runs a gorgeous cupcake business and she sometimes adds a squib of jam to hers.  

I made two dozen muffins too:

Cinnamon & Walnut muffins
Rocky Road muffins
The muffins look delicious but were a bit disappointing.  The cinnamon and walnut ones were a tad dry.  The chocolate muffins were OK but I didn't feel they were nice enough to warrant the calories.  I have this thing about chocolate cake.  I love it, but I rarely find one I absolutely delight in.  I can't bring myself to finish a slice of chocolate cake that's anything less than delicious.  My search for the perfect chocolate cake continues (alongside the search for perfect red lipstick - they all make me look a bit sinister).  Delia's chocolate roulade is amazing but really just for special occasions.  If you can give me a fab chocolate cake recipe I'll be your BFF.

I had to make scones - we've developed a bit of a love affair with the cream tea - but I also made some  coconut tarts:

My mum makes these every Christmas. They are jam tarts with a mixture of sugar, butter and coconut spooned on top before they are baked.  One is never enough! I love them.

And of course I had to make a few mini buns for my niece's dollies to have a tea party with:

Told you it was a frenzy!  I don't know why I made quite so many cakes (there were only seven of us on holiday) but I was just enjoying it all so much I didn't want to stop.  I'm planning more baking this weekend.  I've already made a big plateful of the ubiquitous chocolate crispy bird nest cakes, complete with mini eggs, but I'm also going to make some coffee cupcakes and a batch of iced fingers for our Easter tea tomorrow.  I had a practice run of the buns last weekend and I think they are going to be amazing!

In other news, I've finally finished my granny square blanket, decorated an Easter tree, had a huge sort out of my kitchen cupboards and cleared our barn to create a delightful little potting shed.  It's a work in progress but photos to follow.

Have a great Easter weekend! 



PS -  I just wanted to explain why I've been so rubbish at commenting on blogs lately.  I had an iPad for my birthday which I use all the time now.  I love it.  It isn't great for commenting on blogs though.  I've found that if I type a comment and try to correct a typo the whole thing freezes so I have to scrap it and start again.  Beyond frustrating so I've been reading your blogs and not commenting, which makes me feel a bit rude.  Sorry - I've dug the laptop out of hiding now and I'll be back in full 'gobby' glory!  :-) xx


  1. Gosh that is a lot of cakes Nicki :D sure they were all enjoyed very much though, they all look delicious! Hope you're having a great weekend, happy Easter to you, Jenny xx

  2. I am exhausted just reading this post!!!
    Exhausted and really really hungry!!!
    Hope you both feel better soon

  3. Wowsers, missus!
    You're giving Nigella a right run for her money, aren't you?!!
    They all look LUSH!
    And chocolate crispy cakes with mini eggs? Marvellous.
    Am off to rummage through my cereal cupboard right away!
    Happy Easter to you.

  4. Yum!! Absolutely gorgeous looking cakes etc. Am planning on making easter cookies & a cake today, thats once Ive read my MolliesMakes & got out of bed!! Cant wait to see your finished blanket & the easter tree.xx

  5. Those cakes look so scrummy and dreamy i could eat the whole lot honestly xxx

  6. Hi Nicki,Happy Easter hols,hope hubby s feeling better,so you get a rest ;) Men always get it worse,hehe.
    The tea party buns are My faves,thet remind me of the old fashioned type My mum used to bake with the jelly sweetie tops,yum!
    take care,hun,lots of love xxx

  7. Wow, those all look AMAZING!! Must try the coconut tarts as they sound lush!!

    My iPad does that too, but only on Blogger blogs, really annoying - I have to try and be careful and if I spot a typo it's tough, I was not commenting as much and in the end I thought sod it, I'd rather comment and leave typos than not at all.

    S x

    PS is there room for a small (big!!) one for Easter tea?!!

  8. Those cupcakes look delicious!

    You've been mighty busy there Nicky ... looking forward to the pics :D

  9. You are officially the baking queen! I'm thinking I'd better leave this comment and naff off quick sharpish before D sees your creations and starts making disgruntled "how nice to have a wife who bakes" noises.

    Sooo with you on men and colds - the nose blowing and throat clearing actually makes me heave. Worst thing? Used cacky tissues in the waste paper basket and not the toilet - FOUL.

    Loving your last gardening post - I think I'm a bit obsessed at the moment too. You could try growing some nasturtiums - pretty and edible so fab in a salad.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  10. Hello chick, have missed your blog.
    I seem to have a permanent cold at the moment, Eliska keeps bringing them back from her daycare.
    Your baking looks scrummy. How do you get them looking so perfect? I can imagine you with your own tea shop, with all your lovely china.
    I so miss scones, which probably sounds weird, but I love them and you can't buy them here. You have inspired me to make some again.
    Have a nice Easter. xxx

  11. Hello chick, have missed your blog.
    I seem to have a permanent cold at the moment, Eliska keeps bringing them back from her daycare.
    Your baking looks scrummy. How do you get them looking so perfect? I can imagine you with your own tea shop, with all your lovely china.
    I so miss scones, which probably sounds weird, but I love them and you can't buy them here. You have inspired me to make some again.
    Have a nice Easter. xxx

  12. Lovely, lovely post! It has made my mouth water, not a good look! I have that iPad problem too but if you use the Blogger app it works. I've got a great chocolate cake recipe. I'll dig it out and email it to you. xx

  13. I have just spent half an hour trying to find this amazing choc cake recipe for you. Am still looking! Fingers crossed I find it before you go 'off the boil'.

  14. Chocolate cake recipe? Try Nigella's Chocolate Guinness cake - it's superb

  15. 'obsessed with injecting things with Jam' being a bit pervy that I am this line did make me chuckle Nicki...tee hee

    I have been making batches after batches of Easter Biscuits and my three seem to adore them, so come on then, photo's of your finished blanket please....

    Happy Easter sweetie x x x

  16. Thank you so much for the swap goodies - sorry I haven't contacted you sooner, but had quite a few things to sort out with my job ending and they sort of took over. I loved everything best of all it was waiting for me at the end of a particularly difficult day so helped enormously to cheer me up. I just had to make a cup of that beautiful Rose tea and serve it with one of those lovely biscuits using the pretty trio - it worked a treat. Looks like you have been very busy on the baking front - lots of delicious goodies - making me hungry now! Linda xxx

  17. Ooooh Nicki! You are spoiling us with all these cakes!!! They all look super delicious and it shows how much you care for your family x I think it's really, really lovely. I'd like to try one of each please!!! Especially one of those coconut topped tart thingys....yummo!!

    Jo x x x

  18. Ruddy Google just ate my comment!!!!! I feel quite slovenly compaired to you, I have been off work since Thursday night and go back next Thursday, I feel quite burnt out as work is full on, so have 'shut' my door and having ME time, TV, crochet, coffee, tea, no talking, no listening etc. Balm for the soul. Love all your bakes, I make choc Easter muffins, they are surposed to have a tiny solid Easter egg in the middle, but I put two Rollos (do you have them over there)in the middle and you end up with an ooze of caramel in the middle, mmmmm. I will send you the receipe if you would like it.
    So know what you mean about listening to someone else, snot and splutter etc. :) xx Sandi

  19. They all look so yummy. I really love the idea of coconut tarts.

    I am making a chocolate cake layered with a tiramisu type filling today - can't wait to lick the bowl!

  20. Regarding red lipsticks, have you tried Lady Bug by MAC it is a lustre so not too full on. I have a fantastic Chanel red, but it was ltd edition so no point recommending it!

  21. Sorry to hear about the root canal, ouch! Your baking looks amazing though. I have also become a bit obsessed with putting sneaky dollops of jam/nutella/curd in cupcakes. It's so tasty!

    I'm always on the look out for good chocolate cake recipes too. I've heard the Primrose Bakery have a really good one, using dark chocolate. Although this is my main go-to one:

    It uses oil instead of butter, and cocoa powder rather than real chocolate, which some people may not like but I think it produces a lovely, easy, super moist cake.

  22. I'm tormenting myself drooling over your gorgeous array of cakes as I'm on a strict no sugar/chocolate diet! I have got a really good choc cake recipe which I'll get back to you with when I can find it.
    Hope your poor tooth has settled down now,sounds like you were very brave.
    Hope you've had a lovely Easter!:0)

  23. I found it! Tabasco chocolate cake, Will Torrent.
    Gluten free, dairy free and no eggs either, but it is absolutely yummy.

  24. I love Mac Red, think Madonna wore it in the Vogue video didn't she? That's the one, me, my mum and my lush friend "Dolly Kate" love to wear.
    I know what you mean re chocolate cake, I often find them too dry. The best chocolate cake I've ever had is the one my mum makes, but then I am biased as she's the best as everything!
    Cannot believe how much you've been baking. Christ, I'd be the size of a house if I ate my way through that.
    Anyway hope your Easter was lovely, ours was brill.
    Lots of love
    Gem x x x

  25. WOW, you have been busy in the kitchen, all of it looks fab & yummy.
    A belated Happy Easter to you!

    Lou xxx

    PS. I hope you’re feeling a bit better now.

  26. Your Cakes look absolutely scrumptious,what lucky family you have ,I bet all those yummy makes when down a treat,Hope you had a lovely Easter
    XX Manda XX

  27. Hello from your newest follower. Great post and great looking cakes. I recently used a Peggy Porshen choc cake recipe that was impressive, quite heavy and moist. Let me know if you want the recipe x