What is #BetterWithCake?

So what isn’t  #BetterWithCake? Mr Kipling has asked us to find out. We had lots of fun testing situations and here is what we discovered.

Mondays are certainly  #BetterWithCake, and the perfect way to start the week with a Cherry Bakewell my favourite. I would say the other 6 days of the week are also  #BetterWithCake just so they don’t feel left out!

Fencing Friday is certainly a good cake day and one that I wholeheartedly participate in. Somehow it makes up for spending 2 hours in a corridor waiting for my sons fencing lesson to finish and the mums take it in turn to supply the cake, its good to share.

Weekends and Sunday coffee with Bingo Granny is #BetterWithCake, and her favourite is the Viennese Whirl, great with any hot drink, coffee tea or hot chocolate.

We tested out the garden, and in the sunshine it was  #BetterWithCake, although I don’t think even sheltering from the rain could spoil the bright fun colour of a fondant fancy.

Finally we tested out den building, and after all the hard work of sourcing building materials, construction, and finally furnishings, the boy came to the conclusion that Dens are #BetterWithCake too!

dens are

Our experiment finished, we decided that “there really is nothing that cannot be made  #BetterWithCake”

This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge, sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes.

The Fencing Cake!

The Fencing cake idea came about from a dinner table discussion where the boy announced that he thought as I was at home all day I would have lots of time to make him a cake. After a bit of deliberation I secretly agreed with him and a seed of an idea was formed.

First though you need a little bit of history, as I don’t like cooking, or should I say didn’t like cooking before I left work. I am not a food lover never have been. I do however like a spot of cake, but feeling like I could never make a cake as good as my Nan, my cakes came from packets. I have made some great cakes, but all of them courtesy of my good friend Betty Crocker.

Ok I did have one other attempt at a cake, and with lots of advice from two good friends, one who is a chef, and the other who has done cake courses and made some beautiful cakes. The resulting microwave cake was tasty and looked as planned, a purple octopus cake. The Fencing cake however was going to be a bit more of a challenge, as it was going to have figures.

I set about my research, and after a long discussion with Miss L and a look through some of her modelling and recipe books. A simple sponge recipe with: 220g soft butter, 220g caster sugar, 220g self raising flour, 4 eggs and 100g cocoa powder mixed with hot water, would make the base for my chocolate cake. I cheated and bought some vanilla fudge icing as I have had too many disasters that I wasn’t willing to risk it, this would be my only concession. The ingredients were bought, and with some borrowed tools, cocktail sticks I started what turned out to be a weeks work. I did think about other themes for the boy’s Birthday cake, but there is one thing in his life bigger than all the others so a Fencing cake was the only option.

fencing cake 1

Day 1, and fencer number one. I had my instructions on how to roll and mix the flour paste with the fondant icing, adding colours for the mask, glove and socks. Luckily fencers are mostly white. This proved to make for an easier time, although I still needed some highlight colours. With the help of the book, and sizes for each part, making the first fencer only took 2 hours. I was rather pleased with the results, and adding detail with a food dye pen was a great touch. Confident that number 2 would be ok, I hid him in an airy place to dry out.

fencing cake 2

Day 2, and Fencer number 2. This fencer was going to represent the boy and both Fencers would stand proudly on the cake. I had all my mixed icing, tools and weapons at the ready. But as the first fencer was in a right-handed pose I realised that Fencer 2 would have to be left-handed to add them flat to the cake. There would be no going back now as the boy is a right-handed Fencer! The worst bit was making stripe socks, as my red icing kept melting and going sticky!

fencing cake 3

Day 3 and time to bake! The cake mixed up ok, as I have my lovely new mixer that I treated myself to earlier in the year. It didn’t curdle like other cakes have and was rising beautifully. I wanted the finished cake to be long and skinny like a Fencing pieste, so baked a square cake with plans to chop it in half. A few added touches made, score board, stars and a birthday star, and all was going well.

fencing 4

Day 4 time to put some of the parts together, the cake had baked a bit lop sided but some careful cutting and turning and I managed to get it level. the fudge icing was great and a lovely contrast to the dark cake. Only problem was the crumbs that came off the cake. I was covering this with fondant so know one would ever know! I rolled out my grey icing, and prepared to lift onto the cake. This cake wasn’t small so lifting was a problem. As I got it over the cake it cracked, there was no going back as it was on fudge icing, not like a marzipaned cake that you can remove and try again. I was annoyed with myself, but finished off, trimmed the icing and did the best I could.

fencing cake 5

Day 5, and a restless night worrying about what to do now. My worst fears realised, yes the thunderstorm and high humidity in the night had caused both of the fencers to start to melt. Yes this can happen! A crack across the top and a bodge on the sides and things were not looking good. This is where some creative thinking was needed. A trip to Hobby Craft, and some co-ordinating ribbons which I tacked up on the sewing machine. that was the sides sorted. I rolled more icing for the top to make a pieste to cover the cracks. There was no way the fencers would stand up so taking fencer 2 as it was most like the boy, I set out the top of the cake.

fencing cake

The Fencing cake was finished. I can say it was a labour of love, and something I certainly would do again. I have complete respect for people who make wedding cakes as it must be super nerve-wracking. The best part was the look on my boys face when he saw the cake. I presented it to him at his fencing club, he had no idea at all. They sang Happy Birthday, then all had a piece to share his day.

the cake is finished

So , yes I am at home all day, and yes I can make a cake. If it makes my boy smile than that is all the reward I need. We still have the fencer as the boy doesn’t want to eat him, and now a whole club who want me to make fencers out of icing for them!

This post  is my entry into The Great Denby Cake Off,you can find out more about the competition here



Ozeri Pro Digital Kitchen Scales

We were sent Ozeri Pro Digital Kitchen Scales to review, and I have to say how impressed I am with them. I have only recently had the time to get the flour and eggs out of the cupboard and inspired by the Great British Bake off I have been baking cakes of my own. These Ozeri Digital Scales came along at just the right time as much as I love my old-fashioned scales, I like the fact with the Ozeri Digital Scales that you can weigh things into the mixing bowl. Saving on the washing up is always a bonus in my house, as its my least favourite job!

Yesterday I set about making a Double Ginger cake. The Ozeri Digital scales were very easy to use, they came with instructions but to be honest you just need to know the on/off, units (oz, g, kg, lb) and tare, which takes of the weight of your bowl away. For the recipe I was making I needed to melt butter sugar and syrup in a pan, the scales were perfect for this as I could remove the weight of the pan and add the ingredients. I could also remove the weight of each ingredient as I added it. The scales are also very accurate, and I experimented adding and removing 1g of flour. The scales are very light easy to keep clean with a quick wipe of a damp cloth. The display is clear and easy to read and also comes with a timer. This would come in useful if I was using both of my ovens as I only have one timer on the oven.

The Ozeri Digital scales can be bought from Amazon for £9.95 and can weigh from as little as 0.05oz up to 12lbs I think they are great value, and make a very stylish and handy gift.


Birthday wishes #FlashbackFriday

Today I am sitting in my office (at home) and thinking of all the things I should be catching up on. Mostly long outstanding blog posts, but housework and decorating as well. But instead I find myself wondering through Facebook, twitter posts and other people’s blogs. That was when I cam across #FlashbackFriday, having seen a picture of a friends one year old, I couldn’t help remembering my boys 1st Birthday, so it seemed fitting to join in.

Birthday Wishes
I can remember being very excited and thinking he would need a party for his birthday. But actually the reality was that at age one children like to play on their own, don’t have strong friendships and actually family seem more important. Our family’s are quite spread so it ended up that the boy had 2 celebrations the first at home with our Bournemouth Family. This was a low-key party food meal and playing with his cousins and of course eating cake. He had a lovely day but was a bit grouchy as I think his teeth were bothering him.

The following day was a day at the beach, yes in September we were lucky with the weather and this was to be with friends and local family. There was lots of sand, a trampoline and a slide. Our friend carried the trampoline all the way to the beach and back! There was of course more cake, one with ladybirds which the boy was obsessed with now we know why because he couldn’t see properly. I remember the cute little grown up shirt, which I still have and some lovely gifts. It was a lovely afternoon with friends and one that I will remember more than any of the subsequent parties which we have enjoyed.

If you are planning a 1st Birthday, then just enjoy, cliché I know but you can’t get this time back and it is so special.

This post was brought to you as part of Flashback Friday

mummy mishaps