The Make Lounge - Christmas Cookie Decorating

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!

So while Pete is out doing some last minute Christmas shopping I thought I would put up the photos form my recent Christmas Cookie Decorating class at the Make Lounge. 

I've never been good at decorating, writing or any kind of art that needs an eye for detail and I thought this might be the perfect way to learn a few simple skills. As it turns out though you don't really need to be good at any of these things to make some very cute decorated cookies.

I went along with a few of my baking buddies. We had a relaxing saturday morning learning and testing out our skills... and eating the disasters. 

First we learnt the basics, making a piping bag out of parchment, which of course I struggled with being left handed, making me the only one who had to be handed a pre-made bag by the teacher. I later Googled how to make them, practiced at work with some scrap paper and (which I later realised were my boss' notes... oops!) and got the hang of it.

Next we were let loose on decorating the real cookies, outlining and filling

Miss Kate proud of her cookies

Next we learnt about covering the cookies in ready rolled icing, which is so simple I don't know how I didn't think of it.

With all the trimmings

Miss Kate & Miss Katie pleased with their snowmen.

This one was one of my favourite, simple but so effective.

Then we finished off the holy with some glitter, everything needs glitter at Christmas time.

My other favourite was the snowflake, I was attempting a pattern with the dots and got sidetracked. It doesn't quite show in the picture but it has a simple shimmering glitter.

The girls show off their take home box of treats.

And my box of creations... no photo of me as I had biked it and definitely wasn't getting in front of the camera, plus these are much cuter to look at.

Merry Christmas, happy baking and bring on 2013 x

Chocolate, Chocolate Cake

Just a quick blog entry today as its that time of year where I have the last minute dash to Oxford Street.... eek! Kill me now!

I was asked to do a cake last weekend and the request was it just had to be chocolate... all chocolate, with Happy Birthday Leanda across on top. This seemed like a simple order, however I was a little bit worried about doing the lettering as I have terrible handwriting. Luckily I stumbled across these chocolate letters in Sainburys by Silver Spoon which saved me the embarrassment of my left handed handing scribbled across the cake.

The cake was delivered safely to Volupté in central London after a very hectic day which included the morning at the Make Lounge... more on that later. 

Happy Baking x

Jade's Birthday Cupcakes

About 6 months ago I moved departments within my company and I've been non-stop ever since... with their baking orders.
They seem to have a few favourites and for Jade's birthday she decided to order the top two; carrot cake with cream cheese icing and chocolate Guinness with cream cheese icing. I'm starting to see a pattern here...

You just can't beat good carrot cake and this recipe is my favourite, its perfectly moist without being soggy and I don't like to over do it on the icing*.

*unless the cakes are for Lulu, then its cream cheese Everest! 

And not far behind is Chocolate Guinness, which is rich without being over the top on the chocolate, which again is why the cream cheese icing is a perfect match.

Also do you like my simple stars? I made them from my very own chocolate modelling paste. I've surprised myself with the skill I have learnt this year and some of this stuff is so easy I don't know why I haven't done it earlier. Bring on 2013!

Happy Baking x

Reese's Pieces Blondies

Its nice to be back blogging after a couple of weeks off, but I now have a bit of catching up to do. I also had a few technical issues as I ran out of photo space. But I am now back up and running and have lots of baked good to share.

This recipe I had saved in my "must bake" list since I saw it on Dozen Flours in October. I have an obsession with anything peanut butter and the recipe was so very simple to make and it was devoured by my workmates in a flash. My only problem; which is not a reflection of this recipe but all US recipes; is the use of cups instead of weight!! Okay I might just be me who find its frustrating, but its so much easier to bake with weighted ingredients - and less washing up too! I also found that I was unable to judge how many packets of Reece's pieces it would take to fit 3/4 + 1/3 cup and therefore I was left short for the top of the blondie - or was it that I ate to many of the "spares". I would never do that.

Nevertheless, they were delish and will be added to my "must bake many times again" list.

Happy Baking x 

Recipes by Dozen Flours can be found here