Thursday, 29 March 2012

Banana Loaf

Bake Thirty-One, page 112



My Apricot Swiss Cakes were gobbled up in a matter of minutes last week so come Wednesday in our house we craved a little sweet treat. Cue this lovely Banana Loaf. I am not such a fan of banana in cakes - I find it just overpowers everything else leaving the whole cake tasting of banana. With this in mind, I used just one banana instead of two as the recipe dictates. I must say it was very delicious.

I was suprised that ordinary caster sugar was used rather than light muscovado - however this was great for me as my stocks on everything were quite low last week. I'd definitely recommend this cake for lunch boxes or to have with a nice cup of tea. And unless you like very banana-y cakes, one banana was just right.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

YOUR BAKES: Apricot Swiss Cakes

I'm so pleased these received such high praise from everyone who entered this week - these Apricot Swiss cakes look as good as they taste and the colourful array of delicious home made jams in this selection looks really beautiful.
A special thanks to our generous judge Sharon Wells @smithycraft who had the tough job of deciding on a Star Baker, and of course a big thank you to everyone who took part this week.

Beccy Johnson
@beccy_johnson
"Pretty cakes, although the cases are not quite filled, they still look delicious and the jam looks generous and inviting."

The Mixing Bowl
@mixingbowlmagic
mixingbowlmagic.blogspot.co.uk
"Lovely chunky cakes, consistent size, just want to sink my teeth in.  Would have liked to have seen them displayed in their paper cases but nice looking nonetheless."
Cara Donovan
@carafreckles
frecklesfamily.com
"Beautiful little cakes, didn't quite fill the cases but some good definition in the piping and an appropriate amount of jam."
Zoe Revell
@zoerevell2
"A little difficult to judge with light shining in the jam but they look to have a really nice finish and good piping."

Self Raising Flower
@selfraiseflower
selfraisingflower.blogspot.com
"Lovely neat cakes and a good idea to make two different sizes (kids and dieters rejoice!)  Cakes fill the cases perfectly."

Lynda Williams
@lillynd_design
http://www.lillynd.co.uk/
"This one caught my eye immediately, beautiful cake, lovely piping, just the right amount of apricot jam, Mary would have been proud of this, although I would have liked to have seen a few more of them."

KW
@kasariW
soup_tuesday.blogspot.com
"Gorgeous bubbly cakes each with a very generous portion of jam and the cases filled to the rims.  I certainly wouldn’t turn one down."

Sharon Wells
@smithycraft
smithycraft.co.uk
"These are mine so I couldn't possibly comment, but I will.  The piping is uneven and they don't quite fill the cases, but I did make the jam especially for them!"

Becks
@lilmssquirrel
366recipechallenge.blogspot.com
"Lovely looking cakes, with a good crumbly bake and I love that wild dollop of jam on top. Very tasty looking."

Sue Ryan
@foldintheflour
foldintheflour.com
"Beautiful cakes, top notch piping and the well in the centre holds the jam perfectly.  They all look consistent and fill the cases splendidly."

Caroline Partridge
@carolinepartrid
"Two different case sizes I think, but who cares, it's what's in them that counts.  Not sure if these were piped as I can't seen any swirls but that doesn't stop me wanting to eat them.  Love the sugary blast on top."

Jules
@eversnanajules
juliebradhen.blogspot.com
"Pretty cakes, an excellent bake and I love the big fat splodge of jam in the middle. Could easily have a couple of these with my tea."

Sharon Butler
@shazb007
"Gorgeous cakes, risen beautifully out of the cases with a perfect dip in the centre to hold all that jam.  Superb piping too."

Rachel Leah
@bliss_vintage
blissfullyscrumptious.wordpress.com
"Absolutely gorgeous cakes, perfect piping, fills the case, and that apricot curd looks to die for - what a clever idea.  Excellent piping."

Jessica Thomas
@mrs_jthomas
bandme.net
"Love the pink display plate.  Good neat cakes, piping has lost a bit of definition but that doesn't detract from the overall beauty and such a generous dollop of jam."

Sew Appetising
@sewappetising
sewappetising.com
"Excellent consistent cakes, you can see the swirl in the piping and with two different jams they look more colourful.  They are indeed appetising."

Betty Butcher
@bettymadethis
bettymadethis.wordpress.com
"When I first saw these I thought of Jammy Dodgers.  Lovely little cakes, excellent bake and not quite so much jam as the others, probably better for the waistline."

Sadia
@bakingelements
bakingelements.com
"Beautifully defined piping swirls, what a shame they didn't quite fill the cases but I love the way they dip in the middle to form a perfect cup for the jam"

Baking Addict
@bakingaddict
themorethanoccasionalbaker.blogspot.com
"These little cakes remind me of jam tarts, perhaps that's because there’s no icing sugar.  They look tempting and delicious and I think they would melt in your mouth.!"

Tara Thompson
@tarapurple1
"Beautifully shaped cakes, nicely piped with just the right amount of jam.  I think the cases have been removed - would like to have seen the cakes in them."
Sharon
@pudseyccc
humbugshouse.wordpress.com
"These delicious looking morsels are much paler than all the others and put me in the mind of shortbread.  It’s a bit difficult to see in the pictures but it does look like there’s some skilful piping - lovely."



THE VERDICT
by Sharon Wells

"I loved all of these cakes, they were like little jewels with the shiny jam in the middle.  Personally I found them simple to make and anything that gives me a chance to practise my piping skills is a bonus.  It was a hard choice there were some super cakes on offer and I wish I could have sampled each one, but staying true to the original recipe which stated apricot jam, the ones that stood out for me and fitted the brief perfectly, but had a charming homemade look were the cakes made by
Jessica Thomas."

Apricot Swiss Cakes

Bake Thirty, page 71


As good as they taste - these were truly arthritis-enducing cakes to make! My hands were so sore after piping them. The idea is similar to Viennese whirls, but instead of a piping pairs of swirls to make a sandwich, the 'short' cake mix is piped into fairy cake cases, lightly baked and finished with apricot jam.

I found the dough for these cakes was quite dry and as a result it was very difficult to pipe it through the star nozzle. It could be that the butter I used wasn't soft enough, however I did take special care to properly soften it. I topped mine with apricot jam, raspberry jam and my own home made kiwi marmalade.

As you can see my piping leaves a lot to be desired!


Monday, 19 March 2012

YOUR BAKES: Lemon Yoghurt Cake

28 cakes - I am absolutely stunned! There is such a beautiful array of Lemon Yoghurt Cakes this week, all with their own little personal touches and quirks. I'll put the amazing participation down to Mother's day yesterday, with a lot of the entrants baking this cake for their lucky mums and mums-in-law alike. Thank you to everyone who has entered, and good luck to you all. A special thank you to our wonderful judge Jan @janbagnall who took on the mammoth task of judging these beauties for us.

My personal favourite has to be this unofficial entry from John's son (@jboylie), I bet his mummy felt very special indeed!

Cara Donovan
@carafreckles
frecklesfamily.com
Jan says: "Looks lovely, great amount of icing, lovely!"


Sue Ryan
@foldintheflour
foldintheflour.com
Jan says: "Looks like a great sponge, rich colour, and a beautifully glossy icing, wonderful."

Sarah Plant
@tillymintboutiq
tillymintboutique.wordpress.com
Jan says: "Shame I can't see inside the cake but the icing looks great."

KW
@KasariW
soup-tuesday.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Cake looks great. Is the icing a bit thin? Looks great nonetheless, generous amount of lemon on top too!"

Jen Price
@bluekitchenbake
bluekitchenbakes.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Very pretty decoration, shame I can't see inside to see if it looks equally as yummy!"

Paul J White
@tarb2010
pjveggie.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Cake looks fab, and the icing is nice and shiny!"


Jessica Thomas
@mrs_jthomas
bandme.net
Jan says: "Mmmmmm, cake and icing both look wonderful, made me want a piece with a nice cuppa!"


Emma B
@I_like_cake
craftygardenhoe.wordpress.com
Jan says: "That cake looks fantastic, can say no more!"


Helen Hargreaves
@helhar84
Jan says: "Cake looks light, icing perhaps needs a bit more icing sugar but looks nice and I like the piping."


Sharon Wells
@smithycraft
smithycraft.co.uk
Jan says: "Cake has great height, lovely icing too."


John Boyle
@jboylie
jboylie.wordpress.com
Jan says: "Mmm, yet another wonderful looking cake, just made me want a piece."


Caroline Partridge
@carolinepartrid
Jan says: "This looks fab, and beautifully decorated too."


Rachel Leah
@bliss_vintage
blissfullyscrumptious.wordpress.com
Jan says: "Great looking cake, icing a bit thick for my taste but I like the further decoration on top."


 Claire Patterson
@littlepatts
thepursuitofdomesticgoddessness.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Generous amount of icing, cake looks tasty."


Caroline Cowan
@cascowan
keepcalmandgrowveg.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Cake has lovely light colour, looks a bit dry but beautifully decorated."


Self Raising Flower
@selfraiseflower
selfraisingflower.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Wow! Fabulous looking cake, great height, love the icing dripping over the side, mmm."

Zoe Revell
@zoerevell2
Jan says: "This is so pretty! It looks great but adding the flowers has made it extra lovely!"


Wild About Baking
@wildaboutbaking
wildaboutbaking.wordpress.com
Jan says: "Great colour on the cake, beautifully glossy icing, looks perfect."


Nicola
@nicsnotebook
nicsnotebook.com
Jan says: "Another fabulous cake, perhaps needs a touch more icing but still looks delicious!"


Jaime James
@JaimsKitchen
jaimeskitchen.blogspot.com
Jan says: "I love the pretty flower! Cake and icing both look great, yummy."


Karen Cunningham
@marthamini
Jan says: "Both cake and icing looks great, cake perhaps a tad dry, but those fruits on top remind me of my childhood, just loved them!!"


Teresa MM
@kibibidesigns
kibibidesigns.co.uk
Jan says: "Great looking cake but more icing please as it looks lovely!"


p0we
@p0we
Jan says: "Can't see much of this cake but it looks yummy and a great glossy icing."


Tara Thompson
@tarapurple1
Jan says: "This cake looks perfectly light and I particularly like the piping work."


Jules
@eversnanajules
juliebradhen.blogspot.com
Jan says: "Looks good, icing looks quite creamy, very nice."

Sharon
@pudseyccc
humbugshouse.wordpress.com
Jan says: "Cake looks nice, icing could be thicker but it still looks delicious."


Sharon Butler
@shazb007
Jan says: "Oh wow, perfection! Cake, icing and decoration all looks wonderful."



THE VERDICT
by Jan Bagnall

"As I type this, my copy of the book has been flung across the living room by my 14 month old. She's now sitting on it.
Winner - Sharon Butler - like I said, perfection across the board here. Any left?!
Runner up - Sue Ryan - again, fabulous looking cake."