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Five years ago, Martin was making our favourite meal of grilled chicken tacos* while I watched Mission Impossible reruns on the TV. I heard a pop from inside my belly and our lives were never the same.
Watching him grow over the past five years has been an incredible journey. He gets more and more clever each day. Sometimes it’s my own mission impossible and I can’t keep up!
So, today is a very special day. My baby grizzlin is no longer ‘baby grizzlin’, he’s ‘boy grizzlin’ turning five. Happy birthday, Grady Joe!
Also, happy birthday to my Papa Joe, whom I miss very very much. Since they share the same birthday, I made sure they shared the name.
*Martin did get to have the chicken tacos in the end since I was sent back home, but I never did find out what happened at the end of that episode of Mission Impossible…
And the cupcakes are back. This time in giant form.
My colleague, Keredy asked me to make her husband a giant cupcake. I’d never made a giant one before, so I gladly accepted this challenge. Thankfully, I practiced first because the first one came out a bit small, like didn’t even fill the cake mould small.
As cupcakes are all the rage these days, giant ones are just as popular. You see these moulds in bakeshops, online, etc. The one downside is that these are manufactured in the US. The recipes that come with them are US based, ie it says to use a box of cake mix. I don’t know about you, but using a box of cake mix is cheating. How hard is it really to measure flour, baking powder, etc, etc?
Like I said, thankfully I practiced. You definitely have to double the recipe. For Iain’s cake, I referred to my standard chocolate cupcake recipe from Primrose Bakery. Those ladies got it going on. (I can’t wait for their baking cookbook to hit the shelves… my b’day is coming up people… hint hint!) And yes, I doubled the recipe. This one is perfect for chocolate cakes of any kind. The egg whites create a mousse-like texture.
I haven’t yet found the absolutely perfect marshmallow topping recipe, but the one from Nigella Lawson’s Autumnal Birthday Cake is nearly there. From the ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess‘ cookbook, her original recipe calls for maple syrup, but I just substituted it with golden syrup for the standard vanilla marshmallow flavour. Gently cooking/whisking the egg whites and cream of tartar over a low heat helps set the marshmallow frosting so you don’t end up with a drippy or goopy frosting.
I can’t wait to give the giant cupcake another go… Maybe I’ll make one for myself on my birthday.
Last Sunday, we celebrated Grandma-in-law’s 91st birthday. It was a pot luck affair and luckily, I was in charge of the cake. I wanted something seasonal. light and fun so I turned to the ladies at Primrose Bakery. Although, it is their ‘Cupcake’ book, there are some cake recipes in the back. The lemon sponge recipe would be a winner.
They suggest using a buttercream frosting, but I thought vanilla whipped cream would be the perfect companion. A light cake called for a light frosting. Plus after all of the other food, I didn’t want the guests leaving feeling heavy from the cake.
Whipped cream, while easy to prepare, is a bit less forgiving when it comes to applying it to the cake. If you attempt your own whipped cream frosting, I suggest making a bit extra to help cover up any mistakes or crumbs that make their way into the mixture.
I originally wanted to make it sort of a strawberry lemon shortcake cake, but strawberries have just come in to season. I might just try that out mid June when they are at their prime.
It was a winner with everyone from the young to the young at heart.
Happy 91st birthday, Nan!
For Christmas I received a voucher for Amazon and have decided to indulge in some cookbooks. After trawling through the many baking books out there, I came across one called Home Bake by Eric Lanlard. He’s a master patissier who has studied under the Roux brothers, so he instantly had credibility in my eyes. I have found there are a lot of posers out there when it comes to baking and cooking. The book arrived on Thursday, giving me enough time to browse through and choose a project for the weekend. When I received it, I was a bit put off by the endorsement by Elizabeth Hurley on the cover, does she even eat cake? But after reading the recipes, I was confident with my selection of baking book.
Since it was my father in law’s birthday on Wednesday and we are going to see him tomorrow, I decided to bake a birthday cake. Chocolate cake has always been a tricky one for. So I set myself a challenge to re-create Eric Lanlard’s “Cake Boy” Chocolate Cake. The recipe was super easy to follow and well, the proof is in the pudding, or the cake as we have here. I won’t be able to taste it as the finished product until tomorrow, but if the batter is anything to go by, it’s going to be amazing.