You never know what you are going to pick up at a carboot sale which is where I found this wooden trinket box to decorate. I started out with the bare wooden box and painted it a teal colour .Once everything was dry, I piped on the henna and finally added the gold glitter. This was the finished product. I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out and I think the gold really brings everything together.
You can never have too many keyrings right? These keyrings make the perfect personalised gift and are really easy to do.
Take some wooden keyrings then paint and decorate as desired. Let your imagination go wild.
This is a simple cake for everyday, it’s so easy to make and the coffee flavour is subtle so even the non coffee drinkers will like this one.
From the Big Book of Baking
- For the cake
- 225g Self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 225g butter
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs beaten
- 3 tbsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water cooled
For the White Chocolate Frosting
- 115g White Chocolate
- 55g butter
- 3 tbsp milk
- 175g icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180degrees celsius and line 28x18cm shallow cake tin with baking paper
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl and add the butter, caster sugar, eggs and coffee. Beat well, by hand or with an electric whisk, until smooth, then spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 mins, or until risen and firm. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the lining paper to cool completely.
To make the frosting, place the chocolate, butter and milk in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the pan and sift in the icing sugar. Beat until smooth, then spread over the cake. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder, then cut into squares.
These do take a while and can be quite fiddly but they are so fun and different. Have them at your next event to impress your guests.
Recipe taken from Bakerella
130g cake (Make this the day before to save time. You can also use a box mix to make it even more convenient)
85g tub ready-made frosting
350g chocolate or cake covering
12 lollipop sticks
Stryofoam block, or some sort of construction that will hold the cake pops upright as they dry
MAKES 12 CAKE POPS
- Take your preprepared cake and crumble it into a large bowl. You should not see any large pieces of cake. Mix in the frosting with a large metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
- The mixture should not be too dry or too moist. If it’s too dry add some more frosting. The mixture should be moist enough to roll into 1 1/2-in (4-cm) balls and still hold a round shape. After rolling the cake balls by hand, place them on the prepared baking sheets and let them rest for about 20 minutes before chilling.
- Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator, or place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You want the balls to be firm but not frozen.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, do this is 30 second intervals as you do not want the chcolate to burn. The melted chocolate will be used for dipping.
- Now you’re ready to dip. Take a few cake balls out of the refrigerator or freezer to work with, keeping the rest chilled. If they’re in the freezer, transfer the rest of the balls to the refrigerator at this point so they stay firm but do not freeze.
- One at a time, dip about 1/2 in (12 mm) of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, and then insert the lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.
- Holding the lollipop stick with cake ball attached, dip the entire cake ball into the melted candy coating until it is completely covered, and remove it in one motion. Make sure the coating meets at the base of the lollipop stick. This helps secure the cake ball to the stick when the coating sets. The object is to completely cover the cake ball and remove it without submerging it in the coating more than once. If you do resubmerge the cake pop, the weight of the candy coating can pull on the cake ball and cause it to get stuck in the coating.
- The thinner the consistency of your coating, the easier it will be to coat the cake pops. (If you find that your coating is too thick, add some vegetable oil or paramount crystals to help thin it and make the coating more fluid.)
- When you remove the cake pop from the candy coating, some excess coating may start to drip. Hold the cake pop in one hand and use the other to gently tap the first wrist. Rotate the lollipop stick if necessary to allow the excess coating to fall off evenly, so one side doesn’t get heavier than the other. If you didn’t completely dunk the cake pop, this method of tapping and rotating generally takes care of that. The coating will slowly slide down the surface of the cake ball until it reaches the lollipop stick.
- If too much coating surrounds the base of the lollipop stick, you can wipe the excess off with your finger. Simply place your finger on the stick right under the cake ball and rotate the pop, allowing any excess coating to fall off and back into the bowl. When most of the excess coating has fallen off and it is no longer dripping, stick the cake pop into the Styrofoam block.
- Repeat with the remaining cake balls and let the pops dry completely in the Styrofoam block.
- Bake the cake the day before, and let it cool overnight. Then just dip and decorate the following day.
- Use a toothpick to encourage the coating to cover any small exposed areas or to make sure it surrounds the lollipop stick.
- Make sure the cake balls are chilled and firm when you dip them. If they are room temperature, they are likely to fall off the lollipop sticks into the melted candy coating. You can always place them back in the freezer for a few minutes to quickly firm them up again.
- Poke holes in the Styrofoam block before you start dipping. Just use one of the lollipop sticks to make holes about 2 inches apart.
- For fun, experiment with different colors of candy coating and drizzle pops with a second color to decorate
- You can also make cake pops in different shapes. Just roll them into balls, place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm, and then mold into your desired shape.
I love this combination of flavours, I think it’s such a classic combination and it works so well.
Recipe taken from Ali imdad bakes
For the cake:
- 250g Margarine
- 250g Caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 large orange
For the Icing:
- 300g dark chocolate
- 300 ml double cream
- 60g butter
- 1 large orange
1. Preheat the oven to 180°c or 160°c for a fan oven
Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in the orange zest of the entire orange and the juice of half an orange. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder, then fold in melted dark chocolate until everything is combined.
Put the mixture into the tins and bake for 25-35 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean and when the cake springs back when lightly pushed .
To make the icing
Melt all the ingredients in a bowl in the microwave including the zest and juice of one orange (Do it in 1 min bursts to avoid the chocolate burning). Once they have all melted, taste to see if the icing needs more orange zest. Once you are happy with the flavour put the icing in the fridge to set for an hour until it has firmed up and is of a spreadable consistency.
Ice the cake and decorate with terry’s chocolate orange like I did or decorate as desired.
Isa has an Eid party at nursery tomorrow so I thought we’d make some biscuits for him to take in. They were great fun to make and he loved getting involved in the whole process.
- 175g butter
- 125g sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 250g plain flour
Makes around 18 biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 160°c and line 2 trays with bakig paper
- Mix the butter and the caster sugar with an electric whisk until blended. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Stor in the plain flour until the mixture comes together
- Wrap the dough in some cling film and place in the fridge to chill for around 30 mins. This will make the dough easier to work with
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 4mm thick. Use a cutter to cut out your shapes or use a knife to cut finger shapes.
- Transfer to the baking trays and cook for around 14 mins or until light golden brown.
- Leave to cool before decorating as desired.
These cupcakes look so bright and summery and taste lovely too.
Makes around 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1.5 cups/175g Plain Flour (sifted)
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 50g/113g soft butter
- half a 3/4 cup/175g sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup/120ml milk at room temp
For the buttercream:
- 100g/3½oz soft butter
- 200g/7oz icing sugar, plus ½ tsp for dusting
- ½ tsp pure vanilla
- 1 packet of dark chocolate chips
For the cupcakes
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.
2. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition then add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk beginning and ending with the flour. So flour, milk, flour, milk, flour. Mix until just combined.
4. Line your cupcake pan with your cupcake cases and evely divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick insertedinto the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed.
5. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, once they are completely cooled you can begin to frost them .
For the buttercream
Put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Add some yellow gel food colouring and whisk until the colour is all incoroporated. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and pipe petal shapes. Finally add some chocolate chips in the middle to create your finished sunflower.
Variations: You can make these with chocolate cupcakes too.
Notes: Cupcake recipe taken from joy of baking.com http://www.joyofbaking.com/VanillaCake.html
Buttercream recipe taken from the Hairy Bikers
Chocolatey, crunchy and marshamallowy these rocky road bars are great fun and the kids will love them.
Notes: You can make these with popcorn instead of biscuits. This would add variety and it’s also healthier too.
- 125 grams soft butter
- 300 grams best-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces ( Even though it doesn’t match the description, I use Cadbury’s Bourneville chocolate as it’s more affordable and I like the taste)
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup
- 200 grams rich tea biscuits or any other biscuit you prefer
- 100 grams mini marshmallows
- 2 teaspoons icing sugar (for dusting)
- Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan. Scoop out about 125ml / ½ cup of this melted mixture and put to one side.
- Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and then bash them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for both crumbs and pieces of biscuits.
- Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and then add the marshmallows.
- Tip into a foil tray (24cm / 9 inch square); flatten as best you can with a spatula. Pour the reserved 125ml / ½ cup of melted chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top.
- Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
- Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar by pushing it gently through a tea strainer or small sieve.
Recipe taken from Nigella Lawson
Around the same time that I did the Playdough post (I’ll leave the link for that at the bottom of the page), Isa and I got creative and thought we’d try making some salt dough magnets. He really loved rolling the dough and cutting out the different letter shapes and was so excited to see the end result whilst we were making them. They are extremely inexpensive to make, and very verstaile, you can turn them into magnets like we did or you can pierce a hole in the top before baking so you can hang them up as decorations. You could also make them as gift tags too and I have even seen others create salt dough medals. The possibilities are endless.
To make these salt dough creations you will need
- 225g Flour
- 112g Salt
- 100ml Cold Water
First of all you need to mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Then add the water in stages till you get a good consistency dough to work with (you may not need to add all of the water) as you don’t want the dough to be sticky. If the dough is too dry and crumbly add a little more water.
Roll out the dough and cut out shapes as desired, if you are creating ornaments to hang use a straw to pierce a hole near the top of your shape.
Leave to air dry on a tray for around a week or bake in the oven at 120°c for around two and a half to three hours. You could even try putting them in the microwave for 3 minutes if you’re really pressed for time ( I haven’t tried this method myself though). You will know when they are done as they will feel firm, hollow and dry.
Once they are all baked and cooled you can now add your piant and glitter.
And there you have it, your very own salt dough creations.
Recipe taken from: http://simplybeingmum.com/2013/03/18/simple-salt-dough-recipe/
For my previous Playdough post click here:
Recipe taken from: The Farm Chick
Notes: Make cupcakes without the icing for a great lunchbox snack. These cupcakes are extremely moist and chocolatey .
- 1cup sugar
- 1cup brown sugar
- 1 3/4cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2tsp baking powder
- 1/2tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 veg oil
- 2tsp vanilla
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 Tub Betty Crocker Tempting Chocolate Icing
- Preheat oven to 180oc and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners
- Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
- Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer for about 2 mins
- Add the boiling water and beat until just blended. At this point the batter will be extremely runny
- Pour the batter into the liners and bake for 20-25 mins until the centre of the cupcakes pring back when lightly touched
- Once cooled pipe on the chocolate icing if desired.
Link to original recipe: http://thefarmchicks.typepad.com/farmchicks/2009/01/moist-chocolate-cupcakes-with-vanilla-buttercream.html