Thou shall not bake with eggs

My experience with eggless cake hasn’t been a rip roaring success, something always goes wrong;

  • The cake doesn’t rise
  • There is the bitter aftertaste of the bicarbonate that some of the recipes use
  • Just tastes awful, no accompaniment of icing, ice cream can save it

I’ve tried this eggless vanilla cake recipe from Sharmis Passions with some success, I remember it wasn’t very tall but looked like a sponge cake, needed a bit more sugar if you didn’t add any icing.

I’ve have tried this teen tiny eggless chocolate cake recipe from Cake Merchant before and the first time I made it the cake turned out perfect, it used to be my go to recipe.

Lately I’ve not been having much success with it.

It either comes out with the bicarbonate aftertaste or the cake is stodgy that it glues itself to your mouth. Am I using too much liquid, not mixing enough? Answers on a post card.

Why you are asking am I going to all this trouble to find a successful eggless cake recipe when I can knock up a decent cake with eggs? These days not everyone eats eggs due to allergies, religion become a vegan. Some of you know I have a regular biscuit stall at Kingswood Primary school fete, to be on the safe side I avoid baking anything that contains nuts and have a mixture of biscuits that both contain egg and are eggless. No parents have ever asked my if the biscuits contain egg but I just like to have a mixture just in case.

Back to my perfect eggless cake recipe quest

Eggless CakeI had some ripe banana’s and no eggs, found this vegan banana cake recipe from the Viveka Gardens which was adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe, I was pleasantly surprised.  Even people who don’t usually like banana cake liked this one.
This recipe gave me hope that I could produce something that not only is eggless but also edible!

 

Eggless Chocolate CakeFollowing my success with this the banana cake I had renewed faith that I was getting closer to finding a go to recipe. I have discovered this chocolate cake recipe from BBC Good Food. I forgot to add the 3 tablespoon of water to the glaze and it was a disaster. I then made a normal thin chocolate icing and that worked out fine. I made some holes in the cake so the icing drizzled through. This recipe was more like a brownie cake, and tasted nice with ice cream. My only criticism would be that it needed more sugar. With some tweaking this could become my go to eggless chocolate recipe.

Below is the recipe if you want to have a go, let me know what you thought of it.

Ingredients

  • 85g Butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 25g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Chocolate glaze

  • 100g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 tbsp Golden Syrup

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/ fan 140C/ gas 3 and grease a 20cm round cake tin
  2. Tip the butter, syrup and vanilla into a heatproof jug, add 300 ml boiling water and briefly whisk with a fork to combine
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, then in tip in the butter mixture. Stir until you have a smooth batter, then scrape into prepared tin. bake for 50 – 55 mins until the cake is well risen and springy to touch. Cool in tin for around 15 mins before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
  4. To make glaze, put chocolate and syrup into a small glass bowl with 3 tbsp of water, and microwave for 30secs on high until melted and smooth. leave to cool, then pour over the cake before serving.
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Basildon Baking!

This job and the different extra curricular activities of mine have definitely been keeping me busy!

My main role is reporting but of late I have been getting involved in some of the events the Patient Experience Coordinators arrange or are a part of. The most recent one was Time to Talk where it was all hands on deck and all members of the team were at various locations representing SEPT and showing our support for this excellent cause.20160203_212151[1] I was based in Basildon where the Basildon Disability Equality Forum held a bake off style event in support. I was asked to donate a cake and I could hardly refuse! My cake didn’t win but it was for a good cause so I can’t complain really. Also this baking has created some more opportunities for me.

A lady I work with asked me about making a birthday cake for her husbands 60th, nothingFB_IMG_1455440572355[1] overly fancy but nice all the same. I know not everyone likes fondant icing and buttercream icing is nice but I wanted to do something a little bit more memorable than just a simple victoria sandwich. The birthday boy’s favourite chocolates are Maltesars, he was pleased with the cake.

20160213_193510[1]I sometimes on a whim make a cake for one of SEPT’s volunteers, he out of the blue asked about a birthday cake for his niece, they had been let done by the original cake baker. I said yes as it would be a good opportunity to get back into working with fondant and creating fondant toppers. I’m not going to lie, I did panic a little bit over this cake as I really wanted to do a good job and still wanted the cake to taste good. Overall I think the cake turned out well.

For now my cake baking for others has gone a bit quiet but baking for friends and family still continues, no harm in trying out new recipes when I have ready and willing guinea pigs at work!

ABC Cake; Aalia’s Birthday cake

Now I have a bit more time on my hands and there was no chance I was going to succumb to day television and the likes of Jeremy Kyle, I decided to challenge myself with my nieces birthday cake.

I have made a 3D Thomas The Tank Engine cake in the past, the amount of time I spent getting that train’s face right was an experience but I did learn some new techniques that came in handy for this cake.

I decided to make a 3D teddy bear cake, why I hear you ask? Why not, it was something I had not ever done before and now I had the opportunity to plan, practice and prepare myself for any difficulties I make encounter when it came to making the final version.

IMG_20141017_182424[1]As mentioned in my previous baking post Baking success and flops I had already looked online for tutorials and templates to get an idea of how to approach this project. My first attempt, though not considered a work of art by any means was a good way learn all the things I should do differently next time.

I opted to use a more sturdier cake, a madeira as it is more suitable for carving up than aIMG_20141027_104803[1] fluffy delicate sponge cake. I made my own templates, even with all the good intentions the templates ended up being used more as guidelines than anything else. I also had Google images up on my laptop screen to get the right ‘bear’ look. I had some of the design of the cake all planned out but as it came together I decided to add a few touches here an there, like the banner and the number 1 on the bear IMG_20141027_104541[1]feet.

Overall the final cake took about two days to make but at least two weeks in the planning and making the practice run cake. When my family and my sisters in laws saw the cake though they tried to hide it they seemed surprised I had made it, mostly because I had not done something on this scale before.

I’m thinking for my next baking challenge I may attempt a 3D car, although my sister is suggesting if I keeping practicing I’ll be ready to make a cake that resembles Pride Rock from The Lion King for her birthday next year…she’ll be 23!

Baking success and flops

I’ve been on a baking spree of late, some flops some success but then again ‘practice makes perfect’! My mum bought me an early birthday present, an all singing all dancing Kenwood mixer that comes with a processor and blender attachments. I absolutely love using this gadget, once I had worked out when to use the beater, the whisk and the dough hook I was on a roll.

I know I should have stuck to the tried and tested brownie recipe but decided to try out a new one. It wasn’t a rip roaring success, cooked through round the edges and a bit too gooey in the middle.

IMG_20141016_174835[1]My next ‘new recipe’ to try out was for iced buns. My youngest sister isn’t fond of cake, last year she had a brownie birthday cake, this year she wants an ice bun cake. This was a practice run hence the second number 2 missing a few a buns. I know there are plenty of simpler recipes to follow out there but I have a new book so followed this one. By the following day the icing had started to melt off, fellow bakers if you have a solution to this problem feel free to share.

IMG_20141017_160403[1]IMG_20141017_182424[1]My next practice run was a 3D teddy Bear cake. I made a smaller version to get an idea of what I was doing, the bear turned out looking a bit more like a monkey bear than a teddy bear. I know the icing needs a bit of work, I had started to get hand cramp, I know what areas I need to improve on it comes to making the ‘real’ cake for my nieces birthday. If you’re interested in making your own 3D teddy bear cake I originally used this template from Paul Bradford Sugarcraft School IMG_20141012_195200[2]website, there is also a video how to put the cake together. The cake itself is a trust worthy madeira cake, perfect for carving up.

Baking aside I needed some new cake designs and pictures for my baking Facebook and Twitter pages. This is my latest creation.

Have my tea, am sugar loaded; Ready to start the day!

IMG_20140822_090851[1]IMG_20140822_091135[1]There are plenty of ways to start the day but today I have gone with this ‘breakfast’. It’s sugar loaded with a hint of orange, flavouring or the real deal..does it IMG_20140822_091057[1]matter, the cake still tastes good.

A work colleague’s sister made these treats for the Ronald McDonald House Charity and had a few extras. We weren’t obligated to donate any money but I added a little glass jar near the cakes to ‘encourage’ a small donation.

Back to me! I had my tea, had my cake and I was set to be the ray of sunshine on what started out as a cloudy day. I am nearing the sugar slump phase but that’s ok I have backup in the shape of a chocolate chip cookie.

It doesn’t take much to keep me content. 😀

I managed a badminton and one kickboxing session this week despite coughing my lungs out and feeling a tad bit on the rough side. I know, I know I should have rested, but resting is boring and I had a theory that sweating it out would do what germs were brewing inside me some good. As it so happens I coughed very little during the badminton game and kickboxing class which could mean I must be allergic to work or the air con at least! 😮

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

The baking cinnamon challenge is on!

Want to take part in a cinnamon challenge?

No, I don’t mean the stupid one where the challenger is filmed ‘swallowing a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking anything, then upload the video to the Internet. I’m talking about the baking kind.

I’ve previously mentioned the jar of cinnamon a friend bought me whilst on a recent trip to Costco. I don’t want to waste any of this spice so have decided to try and make at least one baked treat a week that contains cinnamon. I’ve kicked started off this self imposed challenge with a walnut and cinnamon muffin, and a sultana and cinnamon bread. The muffins were a 20140811_Walnut_CinnamonMuffins[1]first for me and turned out well. There bread, though pretty looking is a bit on the dense side. Every time I try to make this bread something goes a bit wrong 20140811_CinnamonBread[1]hence the brick effect this time round.

Even though my ‘bread’ did turn out stodgy and could be used as a weapon according to my taste testers the flavours were there and weren’t adverse from taking another bit. I have not given up hope of making a decent cinnamon bread, it just didn’t happen this time.

Another plus side of baking with cinnamon is  my house smelt nice and dare I say it, even a bit homely and cosy whilst the weather outside had turned nasty with wind and rain!

I really need to work on choosing ‘nice’ backgrounds for my baking pictures, in my defence it was about 9.30 and I my adrenaline levels were nearly depleted. Ok, that sounds more like an excuse but…hmm it’s the best reason I’ve got for now!

I will post the recipe I used for the walnut and cinnamon muffins at some point.

I have some cinnamon related recipes to keep me going for now I just hope I and whoever become my guinea pigs don’t get sick and tired of cinnamon or develop some kind of allergy to the spice!

I’ve already inspired a work colleague to take part in the cinnamon challenge, or I should say his wife who he texted asking for some cinnamon related baked goodies.

Do you have any go to cinnamon related recipes, don’t be shy, share! 😀

Cake bake and a bit of gardening

I had another long weekend last week, I spent some time making a birthday cake for my brother and attending a friend’s wedding.20140529_MohsinCake2014Table

IMG-20140530-MohsinCake2014It had been a while since I made a cake and it showed. On the plus side my piping letters is slowly getting better. The cake didn’t look too bad but the same couldn’t be said for my dining table.

The wedding was of a friend I met through work. It was a small event, but still fun. I took a friend as my plus one, we were a bit late as my friend got to mine late and we drove past the registry at first, it wasn’t clearly sign posted. Fortunately we made it to the registry office in time to at least hear the happy couple say ‘I do’.

I forgot to take pictures, it was one of the rare occasion I wore a skirt, nevermind. 🙂

Over the weekend my family got together to go for a meal for my brother’s birthday. Unfortunately by the time my sister and the kids got to my parents Nephew #1 was feeling unwell and was sick everywhere. We knew he wasn’t feeling well when he declined some chocolate cake, if anything he is usually the first one there waiting for his slice.  He’s on the mend now and together with his brother are back to terrorising my sister.Lawnmower

I bought a grown up toys this weekend, not those type of toys so get your minds out of the gutter! I bought a lawnmower and a strimmer! Ever since I bought my house I have been borrowing my parents lawnmower, but the time had come to purchase my own and the garden was starting to look like a jungle. I didn’t realise how exhausting a bit of grass cutting and trimming could be-my back is still dealing with the after effects, not to mention the various creepy crawlies lurking around!

I’m not a natural gardener, I’ve tried growing plants indoors and outdoors but the survival rate is not ever good. Think I’ll wait until my tenants are home next time to help out, maybe they’ll have better luck with the garden than me. 😀

The oven died!

Its been a hectic few days, I’ve been busy sorting out Operation Fort Knox, it was Operation Thomas Cake this weekend gone and to add to the list I have some sad news. I would like us all to take a moment to remember Cookermy oven that is sadly no longer with us. 😦 The cakes, some good some bad, the yummy biscuits, alas no more shall she cook. Plus side, after weighing up the pros and cons of getting the oven repaired I settled for getting a brand spanking new cooker instead! 😀

Operation Fort Knox is underway, it is costing me approximately two arms and a leg but the end result will be worth it. When it came to alarm systems I was getting so confused about hard wire, wireless and listening to too many people instead of thinking for myself. I had to take a step back then made my decision and am happy to go with the company I have chosen.

I hate how this whole experience has made me and my tenant feel like we’ve been backed into a corner like scared rabbits. I am fortunate enough that my tenant was home and that the muppets burglars hadn’t managed to make it into the property but until the house is secured the way I want it to be, me and my tenant are extremely cautious about everything and everyone.

I swear last week was not my week, a bit of sun and I should have known I would end up sitting in traffic. Wednesday night after sitting in another traffic jam I thought I would cheer myself up with a cake, that’s when I discovered that the oven has gone kaput. I was not an impressed bunny especially as Operation Thomas cake was to begin on Friday.

20140301_ThomasCakeFront[1]Cake crisis was averted as I descended onto my parents to use my mums 20140301_ThomasCakeSide[1]kitchen. It was a long day with a few hiccups here and there, nephews recognised the character so overall I would say Operation Thomas Cake was a success.

For my first 3D cake it wasn’t a bad attempt, next time it will be better. 😀

For now kickboxing has been put on the back burner, where I had been sleeping at stupid o’clock then having to get up early my energy levels were all over the place. We’ll see how this week goes. A friend from kickboxing messaged to find out where I had been hiding, as I off loaded all my drama’s to her I found out that just before Christmas she bought a dog because a number of houses in her street had been burgled!

With everything underway by the end of March I will be penniless but living in a more secure house and fingers crossed baking some more delights with the aid of my new oven 🙂

My Week; Practice Train Cake & Training

boxing-gloves-159920_1280I’ve managed to get through the week in one piece. My body aches but fortunately no bruises that I know of 🙂 Last night’s kickboxing class was good, I slogged my guts out but once I caught my breath back I felt energised. At the beginning of the year there were quite a lot of newbies with the fitness bug. As predicted that number has gradually shrunk with the ones that enjoy the class and are coming regularly. So last nights class focused on punching, blocking.

I am a bit worried about my wrist as it is taking some time to heal completely. At some point I can feel my wrist is healing and will be fine then I’ll go to a class, get a bit over zealous with the punching (when you’re in the zone you just want to give your all) it’s the next day I start to feel it. I still wrap my wrist up for training, as far as I can tell I haven’t broken any bones. I’ve spoken with my trainers who have shown me some exercises to strengthen my wrist joints (I have freakishly small wrists). At the moment I’m trying to avoid going to the doctor but if my wrist doesn’t get better soon I will have to go of my own accord or face being dragged by my parents. I maybe in my 30’s but it doesn’t matter what age you are your parents can still drag you to the doctor!

20140209_PracticeTrainCakeSponge[1]As mentioned in my last cake related blog, 20140209_PeacticeTrainCake[1]I did make a practice Thomas the Tank Engine cake. Some mistakes were made but hopefully I can sort them out when it comes to the actual cake. I’ve only decorated part of the cake, it was a practice run to try and shape the cake into something that resembled a train, I will put more effort into the final version. I found some tutorials online (find these at the end of the post) to help me out then winged it!

20140209_SconesUncooked[1]I’m trying to expand my baking repertoire and attempted to make some buttermil20140209_SconesBaked[1]k scones. This was the first time I’ve ever made any type of scone, I can just see the report card now, ‘Must try harder’. They tasted OK but I would not call them scones.

The UK is about to face some serious weather trauma over the next few days, more wind, rain and to top it all off snow in some areas! :-O Weather permitting, I’m going to be keeping my sister company this Saturday going with her to a 1st birthday party, her husband is working. I think she wanted a babysitter to help with her 3 demonic bundles of joy. I don’t mind but the question is who will look after me from the little darlings?

GermsDespite the amount I exercise, my diet could be better, my immune system is a bit lax at the best of times. Being surrounded by a number of children, who knows what concoction of germs I will pick up. I don’t think it would be polite to walk around with a mask covering my nose and mouth or a bottle of antiseptic hand wash. I’ll soldier on through and run around with the kids until me, the kids or both of us are worn out 😀

Thomas the tank Engine Cake Tutorials

http://facefullofcake.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/thomas-the-tank-engine-cake/

http://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/thomas-train-cake/

Baking highs and lows

This weekend was a mixed bag.

I spent most of Saturday at my sisters catching up with some mutual friends. It seemed at one point someone else took over entertaining a child whilst my sister got on with other things or prepared lunch / dinner for us all.

Those kids are like volcanic eruptions, they get a burst of energy followed by a few minutes of silence before the next explosion. The latest edition didn’t want to be left out, she was happy to grab the attention of anyone really, have a bit of a chat, a few smiles (they weren’t caused by wind) then want to be picked up.

20140125_154352_RedVelvet[1]We all brought a few things, I make some ice cream cone cakes for the kids.20140125_170305_IceCreamConeCake[1] The nephew #1 actually ate the cake and not just the buttercream icing! Another friend brought some biscuits and puff pastry mince pies. It was a pig out session, lots of catching up with copious amount of tea 😀

My sister and one friend are married whereas myself the other friend are single. The topic moved onto my friends thinking about creating a profile for me on the dating site ‘mysinglefriend.com’, the married friend has already been doing a sly search. What can I say my friends care lol We’re trying to broaden my ‘criteria’ as so far what I’ve been doing hasn’t worked, they could find some complete weirdo’s for me but at least I can then say it was their doing and not mine 😉 One of our friends works in PR / Marketing so not doubt will write a glowing profile whilst skating over my less than charming traits ;-), if we decide to go down this route.

The married friend wants to try climbing, her and her husband are coming with me on Saturday. I am looking forward to it as I normally go with my brother (s), my brother has bailed out on my and is leaving me to play climbing mentor.

Went climbing Sunday morning, good as always. Then came the rest of Sunday.  If you’re a Lloyds / TSB customer you will share the misery I went through with them that day. I was at the till of a supermarket all ready to pay for my shopping only to discover my debit card was not working. Thinking maybe I had inputted the wrong pin number tried again. My card still wasn’t accepted. I didn’t have another method of payment so had to leave my shopping. There was a queue at the cashpoint, so tried to phone the bank as by now I was worried my account had been hacked. Tried to phone the bank to greeted by an an automated message saying it would be over 20 minutes wait before I could speak to someone, bearing in mind this was an 0845 number and I was on my mobile, I put the phone down I went home and tried online banking. there was money in my account. Then I found out online that all Lloyds & TSB customers cards were not working due to a problem with their systems! Fortunately I had a credit card floating around at home to go and buy some food or I would have had to get a food package from mum’s restaurant!

20140126_202648_SugarlessMuffins[1]Think that would be the end of my headache? Nope. I decided to make some peach muffins, but I made them so healthy I forgot to put the sugar in. They looked good but tasted awful.

It’s my nephew’s birthday next month and my sister has asked me to attempt a 3D Thomas the Tank Engine cake. I’ve not ever made a 3D cake of anything so this will be a challenge in itself. 20140126_202002_EvilThomas[1]I have been practicing making the main characters face out of fondant but at the moment he’s looking more creepy than cute 😦 I showed my poor attempt to the guys at work and it cheered one person up who had a case of the Monday blues. At least it was good for something, I’m going to need some more practice. If anyone has any advice and tips feel free to share as I think I’m going to need all the help I can get!

Worst case scenario I attempt a Fireman Sam cake which could possibly be easier. I’m going to make a smaller version of a Thomas the Tank Engine cake as a practice run and see how that turns out.

I sorted out business cards for my baking this week so they are on order. I may have some interest from a potential customer who would like some cupcakes. Fingers crossed. 🙂