Ginger Cake Round Two

Since my cake was such a hit the other day I thought I'd try making it into cupcakes which doesn't always work. They turned out great and so These little ones will be taken into work tomorrow and at about 200 calories each they should go down well, I just won't mention the butternut squash.

I also wanted show one of my favourites things about this recipe, the whisking of the eggs and sugar which quadruples in size after just s few minutes of whisking... Amaze!

Also I got the Blogger app today for my phone which I'm very excited about.... Mobile blogging!!!

Happy Baking x

Helena's Ginger Birthday Cake

This month my lovely housemate Helena turned a ripe old 25.. sorry ripe young 25 and so cake was in order.

I used this chance to try out a cake recipe from my low fat cook book - The Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache book. The recipes in this book are all low in fat and based on different types of fruits and vegetables which act as replacements for things like butter and oil. The replacement is done without loosing any of the flavour or texture of the cake. I stumbled across this recipe which doesn't have a picture in the book to drool over, but the use of three different gingers products caught my attention. When I asked Helena if she liked ginger's she promptly replied YES, though she may have thought I was taking about Ginger boys instead, but cake is what she got!

The vegetable base of this recipe was a butternut squash - finely grated. OH MY GOD butternut squash is not easy to finely grate and so I gave up about halfway through and gabbed the normal grater to finished off the horrendous job. I think I need to invest in a grating attachment for the Kitchen Aid and let Big Red do the job and leave working on my upper arm strength at yoga instead. After that job was done the rest was easy! I did manage to run out of ginger stem syrup and only used about half the requirement for the icing, but there was a definite ginger kick throughout the cake with the combination of stem, ground and raw ginger in the mix... a ginger lovers dream!

I already have a butternut squash lined up to bake this again very soon.

Happy Birthday Helena and Happy Baking all x

Chin Chin Laboratories & Primrose Hill Bakery

I've been lucky enough to have my lady wife Monica over from Australia for about 7 weeks, though she is currently trekking through Scotland as we speak and I'm excited to be catching a train to Edinburgh on Friday after work to hang out. Last weekend we decided to do some walking around London like we use too when she lived here a few years ago. First walk included walking home from work which took about 1hr 15mins which we then rewarded ourselves with chili bean nachos at Big Red which is a pub we use to go to with the best nachos* in London^.

The next day we decided to do some more wandering, so after lunch we headed to Camden so I could introduce Mon to the Chin Chin laboratories as she is a massive science geek. If you haven't been to this place and you love ice-cream then you must pay it a visit. The guy who served (I think he runs it) carefully explains how the whole process works which is basically making ice cream on the spot with a kitchen aid and some liquid nitrogen.. amazing! I went for the flavour of the week which was rhubarb jelly and custard. Which was literally custard pored into the ice cream mixture and topped with the fresh rhubarb jelly. You then get a plethora of toppings and I went for the raspberry coulis and honeycomb.

Mon went for the vanilla which was completed speckled with vanilla seeds and also some honeycomb and chocolate topping... so delish. The flavours all can be tasted and without the overload of sugar that most ice cream has, which I'm not knocking by the way! So I have a kitchen aid, anyone know where I can get some liquid nitrogen??


After this it started to get very cold, but we carried on and walked up the Camden canal to find the Primrose Bakery. I have wanted to check it out for awhile now and had no idea how close it actually was to Camden. London is so much smaller sometimes than you think! By the time we got there I didn't really have any room for a cupcake so I went with a melting moment which have always been a favourite of mine. I saved this one for later that night and enjoyed it very much with a lovely cup of tea... unfortunately I ate it before I took a picture.. oops! The shop itself is very kitsch and all the products definitely had that homemade feel about them that I life, unfortunately I thought the sweets which were on sale throughout the shop made it a bit tacky and thrown all in together a bit haphazardly.


Will definitely go back again, especially as a 40 min walk from my house always deserves a cupcake and the walk up Primrose Hill afterwards will burn off anything extra.

How's the serenity?

Happy Baking x

* just don't order the chicken ones - they always disappoint
^ have not actually tried all nachos in London - but enough to know!

Choc-Vanilla Noughts & Crosses - Recipe 16 of the Women's Weekly Challenge

This is a cheating blog entry. I don't have anything new to blog about so I thought I would catch up on my Women's Weekly Challenge baking which I'm hoping to get back into the swing of very soon.

I made these in October or November last year and I wasn't took keen on the bake as they were over done and on the very crispy side. Also they were meant to be as noughts and crosses, but I forgot and ended up all with crosses.. fail! No fun related noughts and crosses games afterwards for me!

Next up to bake in the challenge..  its coconut sesame crisps.. oh wait, I just checked and I think that page is now missing*... so it will be PEANUT CRUNCH COOKIES!

Happy Baking x

*page is not missing - I have no interest  in baking coconut sesame crips and... hey I set the Rules so I bake or not bake what I want to.

Happy New Year!!

Hopefully everyone had a lovely new years and now in full swing of all those New Years Resolutions. I don't really believe in only setting resolutions at the start of the year and think it should be something you assess constantly throughout the year. However I was happy that I do get to say that I did make a resolution last year to give blood and I can happily report back that I have not only given blood once but twice last year and I have my third appointment next month.. woo! The free Kit Kat helps.

I've been looking back over my blog for the last year and thought about any baking goals I would like to set for this year and I would like to blog a bit more frequently. I also want to branch out on what I blog about which means less cupcakes - more ANYTHING ELSE. One goal is to try and master/improve/have bread making skills and I think I might give it ago myself first before hopefully participating in a Saturday morning Lily Vanilla bread making course. My other goal is to do a baking/pastry/cooking class in another country... namely France!! But we will see.

This year I haven't baked much (so far) however I did get to visit one of my favourite restaurants in London last weekend for brunch - Ottolenghi.

It always such a treat to go here for brunch as they do a lot of the breakfast meals that I could expect from any normal restaurant back in Brisbane. Don't get me wrong I do love a good greasy spoon, however brioche french toast with cinnamon, berry compete and some Greek yoghurt really does appeal to my taste buds on a completely different level. Though I did also have food envy of everyone around me.. especially Helena's bright yellow scrambled eggs... mmm!

As always the food was amazing and I didn't hear one bad remark. What I also love about this place is they have great service and were very accommodating for our large group too which can be rare in London.

Pete protecting his food... clever boy

Of course on the way out, despite being full of brioche, I picked up quick treat for the afternoon... how could you not when the display is this amazing!

Happy Baking x

PS. Thanks again to Helena for the photos, I had a small 'incident' with my iPhone on Friday night in which I was unable to unlock it but would still 'speak' whenever I did anything... yes the lovely people in the Apple store at Covent Garden on Saturday afternoon found it funny too