Category Archives: Cooking

Mrs P stars in her own version of The Great British Bake Off

With Ava’s 4th birthday now only 2 sleeps away, I have competed in my annual version of The Great British Bake Off. Ok so Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are hardly likely to pay a visit to my kitchen but the pressure of having ‘the cake’ on show for the scrutiny of all my Mummy friends at Ava’s 4 th birthday party this Sunday is surely on par. For those of you attending said party, as I know quite a large proportion of my current readership will be there, I really don’t take cake making that seriously. As a Stay-at-home Mum, I personally don’t feel justified in buying a cake or paying for someone else to make one but I certainly don’t judge those that do. I’ll let you into a little secret though – I have bought the fairy cakes so I’ll let Ava loose on the decoration of these!

So here is the finished article and I think it’s my best one yet!

4th Birthday Cake

I must say a couple of thank yous for this effort…

1. Thank you to Andrea of Andrea’s Celebration Cakes for sending through the recipe for the Madeira cake. It was a little cheeky to ask for a recipe but a friend and I are doing a cake decorating course with Andrea in a few weeks time which I will no doubt report on here.

2. Thanks to my husband Andy for saving me from a cream and jam disaster. Benjamin’s 1st birthday cake lacked jam so I decided that I would spread jam over both halves, only to discover that I then couldn’t spread the cream! Jam scrapped off and a sliver taken off the end of the cake with a sharp knife rescued the situation.

3. Thank you to my mother-in-law Nadine for helping me to lay the royal icing on the cake and for suggesting the twisted trim around the bottom which I think really finishes off the cake nicely.

If you’re interested in the recipe for the cake and a few helpful hints for cake making that have been passed onto me, then please read on…

Madeira Sponge Cake (7inch square tin/8 inch round tin)
12 oz Self Raising Flour
10 oz Caster Sugar
10 oz Butter (I used Stork as recommended on my cupcake decorating class)
5 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 150°C
Sift flour into bowl and add all other ingredients
Using a mixer, beat for 1 minute
Spoon mixture into a tin 3/4 full
Scoop some of the middle and place it round the edges

A couple of other useful hints I have picked up are:
Place a bowl of water at the bottom of the oven to make the cake more moist.
Add a 1/4 teaspoon of glycerine per egg, also to increase the moisture content.
Grease the baking tin before laying baking patchment in the tin.
Use a cocktail stick and dip in a small amount of paste to colour the royal icing. The more dips, the deeper the colour.

Baking time: 1hr 10mins

I filled the cake with strawberry jam and buttercream (4 oz butter and 8 oz icing sugar)

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

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Pimp my cupcake

It seems to be an unwritten rule that every mother should be able to make a decent cupcake. I guess some have a natural flair for this activity whilst others need a little helping hand. I certainly fall into the latter category so when the opportunity to attend a cupcake making class came up, I jumped at it faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 metres.

Technically this was a cupcake making class with an ulterior motive as the host was a Pampered Chef consultant so as expected there were more than a fair sprinkle of product plugs and I was left wondering whether it was possible to make the perfect cupcake without spending £17.50 on the muffin pan with the extra deep holes and £13.95 on the cake scoop which promises that each cupcake will be exactly the same size. It turns out that Pampered Chef aren’t responsible for Stork, the magic ingredient that makes cupcakes taste extra nice. The decorating equipment was surprising easy to use and I had oodles of fun trying out various different nozzles with some great results:

Cupcakes

Cupcake decorations

Inspired by my cupcake class I offered to make cupcakes for a couple of joint birthday teas. The first set I made in my down time when the children were safely tucked in bed and the second set had the finesse that only a certain 3 year old can achieve. Having seen the difference in my cakes compared to the ones we made at the class, I think Pampered Chef may have made one sale out of me. The muffin pan with the extra deep holes probably would have prevented the volcano peaks in the middle of my cupcakes, although it turns out that like a well fitted wedding dress, buttercream icing really can hide a multitude of sins.

Homemade cupcakes

Ava's cupcakes

Ava’s cupcakes

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

 

1st Birthday cake DONE

Perhaps there is a little guilt behind the reason why I decided with the utmost stubbornness that I must without fail make my son his first birthday cake. This is not something I did the first time around for my daughter. On that occasion I found Costco was more than able to meet my needs. However tomorrow there will not be the first birthday party with the 50+ guests celebrating my son’s birthday. He will have to make do with Mummy, Daddy, big sis, Nana and Grandad (plus a Skype! session with his Uncle, Grandma and Grandpa who are currently residing in California). Of course I’d like to think that my daughter remembers all the fuss we made for her 1st birthday but I’m prepared to admit now that the party was more for me and there was a special reason that we wanted to thank a lot of people for what was one very challenging year ( have a look at this for more details – https://ididitmummy.com/please-support-bibs-babies-in-buscot-support/). Anyway as a stay-at-home Mum (one day I’ll get used to writing this as my ‘job’ on forms), I have fulfilled my duty and the cake is done and I’ve got to admit it’s turned out pretty well – so as the title of my blog says, ‘I Did It Mummy!’. To my 3 year old’s dismay the cake is not a George Pig cake which according to her was the wishes of her little brother. With her next birthday only a couple of months away, she can put in her request then and if I have got over the cake fatigue that has set in over the last couple of days, I may consider making her one too.

Helping Hand 1st Birthday Cake

Mummy’s Little Helper                                                      1st Birthday Cake

‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy

 
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