Not just one but two weeks of cake roundup! This pile-up of sweet treats was caused by my recent visit to family in the UK where we were busy not only making and eating cakes but also visiting pâtisseries, restaurants or the farmer’s market to eat more stuff! 🙂
Let’s kick off with mum’s birthday Pink grapefruit and kirsch savarin, which she loved and ate almost single-handedly with admirable dedication, pouring a little extra kirsch liqueur on one slice. Anyway, my first cake bunting attempting was fairly successful, slightly fiddly but fast and easy with sticky-back material. The instructions are on my cake bunting page.
Cakes in Birmingham
My baking quest for the perfect Coffee and walnut cake continues. We took the latest version to my brother and his family in Birmingham. They loved it and polished it off rapidly and enthusiastically. It was delicious, softer and spongier than it looks but I’m determined to make a fluffier prototype before posting the recipe. Oh no, more cake testing… tee hee.
We also took up a Salted caramel and milk chocolate mousse tart, warmly welcomed by those with a sweeter tooth who stayed by its side testing the heavenly slices. Distracted by its decadence they paid little attention to my comment in the background: ‘it’s got healthy low-gluten pastry’. Lol.
My niece was looking forward to baking sessions with Auntie Lili (me) so we made Ispahan cupcakes. Bit of an epic. Brilliant sponge and raspberry coulis but our first two raspberry swiss meringue buttercreams separated hideously. Possibly due to the special farmer’s eggs or my difficulty adapting from balmy Barcelona to cooler Birmingham. I told everyone the story of Robert the Bruce, the exiled king hiding out in a cave who watched a spider repeatedly fall and fail to spin its web until it finally succeeded. The king learnt from this, steeled himself and went on to defeat the British in battle. So ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’. To cut a long story short we also tried again but with lemon frosting instead of raspberry. And phew, we conquered the buttercream in battle! 🙂
I admire my young niece for sticking with it and towards the end still offering enthusiastically ‘Shall I cream the butter?’ ‘Yay!’ Monday morning she happily placed an Ispahan cupcake in her school lunchbox. Richly deserved.
My niece and I also made healthy superfood chocolate mendiants and salted date caramels for my long-suffering ‘I-thought-you-were-baking-healthy-stuff-now’ brother. Sorry, forgot to take photos of them. But when mum and I took our fuller stomachs back down to London, my brother looked concerned and asked ‘Did you leave some of those chocolates?’ We did. Yay!
Back in London me and mum had a rest from baking and visited the wonderful Wa café, a Japanese pâtisserie in Ealing. Really recommend it. Beautiful matcha cream roll, chestnut montblanc, white sesame and Japanese cheesecakes. Go now if you can – book plane tickets if necessary! 🙂 Again I forgot to take photos in all the cake excitement but here’s one of me in there earlier this year.
A healthy colouring page
Finally we had another healthy break making Spiced fruit, nut and seed porridge bars based on Jaime Oliver’s recipe from his Everyday Super Food book. Delicious! I love his book because the recipes are tasty and healthy without being extreme – they include little treats like bacon. 🙂 Oh and here’s the illustrated porridge bar recipe colouring page if you get the urge to colour…By the way, I’m not sure I should lump two weeks’ worth of treats together again. It’s like writing a cake epic. The saga continues…
The great cheesecake discovery
Inspired by Wa café’s cakes, mum and I made our first cotton soft Japanese cheesecake. I’ll make another prototype later then post the recipe. I’m really excited about sharing this yummy pillow-like cake with you!
I had a lovely time in the UK baking with my mum and niece (thank you both!). It was also wonderful having lots of sweet cake testers, aka my family. I’m back in Barcelona now (snif) but with new cake plans and inspiration.
So farewell sweet reader and thanks for making it this far down the page through the cake rambles! Hope you’ll have a wonderful epic week with successful kitchen battles, adventures and sagas! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 x