Friday, 27 July 2012

French Toast Cake

French Toast is a tradition in our Family.  It's such an indulgent treat I reserve it for special occasions like Birthdays and Christmas Morning Brunch.  I don't exactly have a recipe for French toast.  I'm more a throw it all together till it looks yummy kinda gal.  For my french toast I mix, egg, milk, almond extract and cinnamon.  Coat the bread until it is nice and eggy and fry in a bit of butter until it is nice and golden.  Then top with a sprinkle of icing sugar and drizzle with Maple Syrup.

I got to thinking about the yummy Cinnamon, Maple and Almond flavours in my French Toast and thought it would taste lovely as a cake.   So I decided to have a go at creating my own recipe.  I think it came out lovely and incorporates the essesnce of French Toast perfectly and hope you will enjoy it.

What you'll need:

680g (3 Cups minus 6 tablespoons) All-purpose Flour
57g (6 tablespoons) Cornflour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
250g (1 Cup) Butter softened
454g (2 cups) Caster Sugar
7 Large Eggs sat at room temperature for 30 minutes
226g (1 cup) Good Quality Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons almond extract
120g (1/2 Cup) Double Cream

For the topping:
75g (1/4 cup) Butter melted
454g (2 cups) Icing Sugar
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
Milk (about 6 tablespoons)


Grease and Flour a Loaf Tin or Bundt Tin and set aside.  Do not pre-heat the oven.

Sift together Flour, Cornflour, Salt and Cinnamon several times untill well incorporated.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed  until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Will take about 8 minutes with a hand mixer.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Then add Maple Syrup and Almond Extract.

Reduce Speed to low and add half the flour mixture.  Mix well.  Add all the cream.  Mix well.  Then add the other half of the flour mixture and mix well.  Scrape down the side of the bowl and then beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.

Pour into prepared Tin.  Place tin in cold oven on middle rack.  Turn oven on to 175C (350F) and bake for approx 1 hour 15 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 30 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze mix all the ingredients together until a thick but slightly runny consistency add more milk if needed.  Pour over cooled cake and serve.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

As my pint of Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough sits melting on the counter I admit part of me feels a bit nervous about this experiment. I woke up today with an itch to try something new.  At the weekend I had bought a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream and a box of Sainbury's Chocolate Fudge Cake mix. 

And I've just got to thinking what would happen if I mixed the two together?  Well we will soon find out..........

For my cake I first, as stated above, melted a Pint of Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream.  I left it on the counter for 30 minutes in the tub then tipped the contents into a mixing bowl and left for a further 30 minutes.  

I gave the Ice Cream a good stir then tipped in a box of Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix.  I happened to have the mix in my cupboard so this is what I used, but I would think if you have a favorite from scratch cake recipe you could use the dry ingredients to achieve similar results.  I'll try this and update the post in the future, but for today we are using a box mix.  

Then I added 3 eggs to the mix.  You don't need to add any liquids or oils as there is enough liquid and fat, etc in the ice cream. 

 Gave it all a very good mix and then scooped into my muffin cases and baked for 20 mins at 160C.

 I topped with Chocolate Buttercream Icing and a few Chocolate Chips and they came out absolutely delicious.  

I think my favorite thing about this experiment is the possibilities are endless.  I've used Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream and Chocolate Cake. But what about a fusion of Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Cake, or Cherry Garcia and a Vanilla Cake or Strawberry Cheesecake and Vanilla?  Why not have a go with your favorite flavour combination? 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Pirates and Princesses for a Preschool Party

It seems like just yesterday I was signing my little girl up to Pre-School.  She was 2 1/2 and to be honest I hadn't even considered that she might be ready for pre-school until a cousin mentioned to me that the deadline for registering her for the Council Pre-school program was just past.  Then I thought about it and realized she was such a bright energetic girl, pre-school might just be the best thing for her.  

So I started visiting the private Pre-Schools around our area and was lucky to find one I felt was a perfect fit for her.  They had a large Garden area and I could just picture her playing outdoors with the other children in her element.  I remember the first day driving her there I was nervous about leaving her, she sneezed in the car and we had a major snot attack, LOL.  I had to pull over to help her and pull myself together.  But she was fine.  Always the confident and social one.  I don't know how I've been blessed with such a child and so different from myself.  And her experience in Pre-School has helped her to grow and be even more confident and independant.  

Now I find myself the parent of a child about to start Reception.  How has the time gone so fast?  I took her yesterday to the Open day at her new school.  She played with the other children in the playground.  She found a tub of animals and picked out all the Elephants to make a Elephant family.  She wanted another child to play with her with the Elephants so she ventured over to a group of girls and I watched in the distance as she chatted to them and pointed back towards her Elephant family then started showing off her new shoes, a pair of Skechers Twinkle Toes her Dad bought for her last week.  I stood in awe of her and the beautiful person she is becoming.  

After the Open Day we went to her end of year Pre-School Party.  I think the Bouncy Castle was the hit of the party.  And it was something akin to a miracle that it did not rain for once this summer.  They had a beautiful time outside all afternoon and she enjoyed her time with her friends.

And of course I made cupcakes to celebrate the day.  Pirates and Princesses.  

My Little Princess at her Party

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Toy Story Alien Invasion UFO Spinning Musical Carousel Birthday Cake (try saying that 10 times fast. LOL)

I'll keep this post short but sweet.  It has been a long day, a long couple of days really. Getting ready for my children's Birthday parties is always a bit stressful for me.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE IT, but it is hard work.

For Evren's 2nd I decided on a Toy Story theme a few months ago and got stuck in my head the idea of having a spinning carousel cake.  Below is the result.  I am pleased with it.  I thought of doing a tutorial but it was trial and ALOT of error on my part getting this one together so tutorials will have to wait for next time now that I've learned my lessons.  My daugther turns 4 next month and I can foresee another spinning cake idea in the future.  Meanwhile I hope you like this one.........