Wednesday, 28 September 2011

An Unexpected Break

I must apologise for my little unexpected blogging break these last few weeks (not sure if anyone noticed or not!) but I have been super busy with work that although I have been taking lots of photos, I've not found time to sit and upload and type all at the same time, until today.
So I have lots of bits and bobs to catch up on, firstly we have had two family birthdays this month which meant that I have been doing a spot of baking at home (I bake all day at work, so home baking can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore, but once I get started I do always love it).
Firstly for my dads birthday I picked a coffee sponge cake which in the past has always been a bit of a failure, but I found a really good recipe and I was really chuffed with it, especially the icing.


As with all family birthdays we have a little tea party after dinner where we do the cake and candles and drink tea using my Utility China. Always nice to see it all being used and enjoyed rather than hidden away don't you think?


The recipe I used for the coffee cake was passed on to me via a bloggy friend of mine, and worked perfectly! I am a huge fan of coffee cake, I would say its my second favourite after chocolate of course, and I am so pleased to discover that I can actually make a good one.


The week after was my sisters birthday, and I wanted to do something a little bit fancy for her, so I decided to make a 4 tiered chocolate and vanilla cake with two different icings...


I just sort of made it up as I went along, I made one vanilla sponge and one chocolate sponge, and then cut both in half. Then I made a chocolate buttercream icing, and used a ready made "chocolate cake covering" icing for the other. I layered it up with alternate sponge and alternate icing and decorated it with buttons (always a cake decorating favourite of mine!)


As it was her 20th I bought these cute number candles, which was an awful lot easier than 20 individual candles! The cake was ok, a little bit rich for my liking, but she seemed to enjoy it, I think I underestimated how much bigger a four tiered cake would be, but it was rather pretty to look at.


Again, cake was enjoyed with a cup of tea from the pastel blue teapot and we each had a dainty floral teacup for our tea. After making these two cakes I definately feel much more confident about my icing, at work I deliberately shy away from things that have complicated icing, but I think I should challenge myself more and attempt something even fancier for my next family birthday cake.


Inbetween baking the cakes I also found time to rustle up some cinnamon oat and raisin cookies that I make using Lucy's recipe, I just add a teaspoon of cinnamon, cos I love it!


Delicious, moreish and so dainty that you can have two at a time without feeling guilty, and well, the use of oats and raisins make them practically a health food!!


What have you been baking lately?
Anything I should try for my more complicated birthday cake?


x gem x

11 comments:

  1. Did think you were MIA LG and nice to see you back. Now you've made me want to do some baking ... coffee cake is one of our faves too x

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  2. Eek - such lovliness and yumminess!

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  3. Yum Yum gorge cakes Gemma! I`ll have to have a go at coffee cake.
    Love the utility china too. I totally agree on using it rather than hiding it away.
    Dx

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  4. Ooh Gem can I come round for tea sometime please??!!! Looks fab.
    Missed you, welcome back!
    Your blog is stunning, as always.
    x x

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  5. I really enjoyed this post......it was a feast for the eyes!! All sooooo yummy!!! I sooooo want a tea party now!!! ::)

    x x

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  6. Tomorrow I'm baking a lime and coconut cake for my sons Christening. Am hoping it'll turn out ok!!

    Your cakes look yu-um. Chocolate buttons are the best in decorations I think.

    xxx

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  7. Oh you domestic goddess! Your sponges look delicious! Love the utility china x

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  8. Awww look at all your pretty china being used! It's my birthday next week so I'm definitely getting mine out to celebrate.

    Glad you're doing more baking. I made a swiss roll last week which was a great success (good old Mary Berry!) If you fancy being adventurous you could try a chequer board cake.

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  9. cute tea party!!! I love that choc cake!! it is fab xxx

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  10. Glad to have you back :) Both cakes look delicious, they are making me peckish just looking at them. I still haven't attempted any more baking, I really should though so watch this space xxx

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  11. oh my goodness I am rumbling now, they all look scrummy. I love cinnamon too , such a yummy spice.

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Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment, I love reading them and will always try to get back to you and visit your blog! xx Gem