Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Clandestine Cake Club - November 2011



For those who have never heard of the Clandestine Cake Club head on over to the website to read a bit more about how it got started and how to take part.

Last Wednesday I attended my first ever CCC meeting. I was a bit afraid to take a cake along so was luckily invited as a guest. Lisa who runs the Newcastle CCC put a plea out on twitter looking for a guest (as hers had dropped out), needless to say I jumped at the chance! A night of free cake and a chance to meet fellow cake lovers of Newcastle? Yes please!

The club was held in Fenwick's this month and I had a fantastic time, eating cake and meeting new people. There were some amazing cakes to try, some are pictured above. (from left to right)

Top left: this was a deliciously decadent chestnut and rum cake, it had a really dense and unusual texture but the chestnut flavour was amazing!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

And the winner is...

Happy Tuesday lovely people!

As some of you know I had a rather exciting day yesterday! I will be blogging all about it this week, so watch this space!


Last week I hosted my first ever product review and giveaway thanks to the lovely Hotel Chocolat and Beth at Jam and Cream PR. I was blown away by the sheer number of entries! I had planned on writing down the entrants and pulling a name out of a hat, but at 112 comments my hand ached at the mere thought of it! So I instead turned to Randomizer.org to help me pick a number between 1-112.

And the winner is... Number 71!

Congratulations to Emma H.
I will contact you shortly to sort out address details etc...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Pie


Well since today is Thanksgiving for our American cousins I thought I would post my recent attempt at an American classic; Pumpkin Pie.
I have only ever had pumpkin pie once before and that was at University when one of my housemates wowed us all with it at Christmas one year. Ever since then I have been determined to try baking it myself but have never actually got around to it.

When I spied the recipe in Edd Kimber's new book I knew I had to give it a go...

Jamie at Home Funsies.


I just want to start by saying that I have in no way been paid to write this post, I simply wanted to share my gorgeous new cake tins with you!

A the beginning of the month I was invited to a friends house for a Jamie at Home party. I had never heard of Jamie at Home before but was told it was like a tupperware party only jamie-r.

I am not normally a fan of Jamie's food shows or recipe books as a rule (not enough cake and sweets for me), but I went along to support a friend and hopefully have a fun wine-filled time.

The second the Jamie consultant started setting up the table I spied these beautiful cake tins. I hadn't intended on buying anything but the moment I set eyes upon these beauties I knew I had to have them. Some of the Jamie products were pretty pricey but I felt these were a steal at just £23.50. Plus they are much deeper that regular cake tins, so great for transporting lots of baked goodies...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hotel Chocolat - Recipe and Giveaway.


Christmas is just around the corner and I was delighted when Hotel Chocolat approached me and asked if I wanted to do a review of their decadently delicious Christmas collection and also host my first ever giveaway! I adore Hotel Chocolat so without hesitation I accepted.

I have never done an official product review on this blog before but I was keen to do a little more than just talk about how amazing the product is (which in case you are wondering; it is).
As I perused the Hotel Chocolat Christmas Collection I soon clapped eyes on the Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Almonds, as soon as I saw the name of the product I was sold. I could almost taste them on my tongue and I immediately started thinking of recipe ideas incorporating these quintessential Christmas flavours.

When I was little we always got a selection of nuts in their shells at Christmas, it was tradition. Inevitably there was always loads left after Christmas as no one could be bothered fighting with the nutcracker or cracking a tooth when accidentally biting into a bit of shell. These chocolate covered cinnamon roasted nuts would be the perfect update on the tradition for me. (Although they wouldn't last long in my house)...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mini Jammy Cakes


A great big jammy thank you to Amy from the Weekly Bake Off for recommending these little beauties. One of the easiest and yummiest little treats I have made for a while.
The real thank you of course goes to the wonderful Mary Berry for the original recipe.

The method for making these lovely little cakes is not dissimilar to scones, in fact when I was making them I did do a bit of a double-take to make sure I was on the right page! They actually taste a little scone-like too, only smaller, sweeter and jammier!
I made these one morning when I had some family coming over, I wanted to make something traditional yet appealing to kids and these fit the bill perfectly.

Anywhoo, on with the recipe...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Getting experimental with cupcakes...


Last week I was poorly, if you follow me on twitter I may have mentioned it (a few hundred times). In my opinion sympathy is the best cure for any minor ailment or illness so I like to whinge and whine to get maximum sympathy and therefore get better faster!

One thing that did make me feel better last week was escaping to my kitchen and playing with some delicious recipes. One of my experiments turned into a big success so I thought I would share.

I started out wanting to make my dulche de leche brownies. I had been given one of those box mixes for brownies (which I normally don't use but was poorly and really wanted some brownies) so I quickly added milk as instructed and made the batter. Which, by the way looked nowhere near as good as my homemade brownies; lesson learned.

However, once the batter was made I quickly realised that there wasn't nearly enough batter to layer it up with the caramel! So my fever riddled mind devised a cunning plan...

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Great British Baking Club



This post is probably about 2 weeks overdue but I blame the nasty chest infection that rendered me brainless for an entire week.

I have been up to a few exciting things recently, but one of THE most exciting was the launch of a community blog/forum for fellow bakers. Me and some lovely fellow bake-enthusiasts decided we wanted to create a place where we could chat about all things cake and bake-related and not be afraid of boring the general populace and a place where we can share recipes and offer/receive advice on how to improve and become a better baker!

And so the Great British Baking Club was born!

So if like me you are a little obsessed with baking, or if you just want to find a little recipe inspiration head on over to the GBBC and take a peek. Also follow us on twitter, and like us on facebook!

A great big thank you to my fellow GBBC founders; Amy, Steph, David, Beckie, Ros, Jules, Urvashi and Natalie.

We have lots of exciting things up our sleeves, from giveaways to challenges. Hope you love it as much as we do.

Weekly Bake-off: Marble cake


This weeks weekly bake off bake is the impressive looking vanilla and chocolate chip marble cake. The recipe was so easy to follow but wielded pretty lovely results...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Weekly Bake-off: Chocolate Fudge Cake


This weeks weekly bake off cake is Mary Berry's very best chocolate fudge cake, it has a rather ambitious name, does it live up to it?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

New look


Hello there lovely readers.

Well, I bit the bullet and bought my domain, I decided for a bit of a re-brand and changed from "Life, dreams and Cupcakes" to "Nelly's Cupcakes".
A lot of people thought the old name was a bit long winded for a domain and I liked the idea of my blog name matching my twitter name.
Rest assured though, there will be a lot more than just cupcakes on this here blog!


I have also been having a bit of a spring clean and redesign over the last few days.
I would absolutely adore some feedback, do you like?
I am a notorious perfectionist when it comes to design, so if you don't like something for have any suggestions, just drop me a comment below.

Thanks
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