Christmas Cake – preparing for festivity!

With the addition of Sailor Jerry to this fruit cake you’ll have a spicy soaked fruit sensation for this year’s festivities

This year I am making my first Christmas Cake!  Exciting times I know…although a little white lie as I made one when I was in high school as a surprise for my Mum and Grandma, that was entertaining trying to buy miniatures without them knowing!  The one problem with Christmas Cake and the reason we have not united in Baking-Matrimony in so long is down to the devil’s MARZIPAN!  My mate Nic loves the stuff and yet I can’t think of anything worse…Christmas is full of the stuff…on Christmas Cake, in Stollen and even those damned marzipan fruits.  Anyhoo, I decided not to let this little hurdle prevent me from making a delectable delight which to be honest I could simply NOT marzipan.

So here is a nifty Zobird’s-Twist recipe inspired heavily by the wonderful Jamie Oliver, who I am loving with all his indulgent delights in his Comfort Food series and equally by leafing through his Save with Jamie book – in Costco for a bargainous £4.99!  His recipe you can find here or you can take a risk by trialling my interpretation below:

Continue reading »

Rocky Road to Hell

If there’s any road to hell it should be the Rocky Road to Hell

So it has been a while my sweets!  Over 6 weeks since a blog post and around 4 weeks since baking!!!  WHY?!  I hear you cry…Why indeed…Well we’ve finally bit the bullet and got our kitchen done.  It was looking tired, 70’s (and not in a good way) and was proving to be a health, not to mention sanity, risk!

Now it’s so puuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrty though…LOOK!!!

New kitchen excitement

Pastry cabinet revamped and ready for baking

What’s more the oven does what it says!  I know this seems bonkers to you all, but the old oven took a lot of getting used to…eventually I sussed that you needed to set the temperature to 20 degrees less than the fan temperature a recipe recommended, plus reduce your cooking time to around 10 mins less.  This made baking similar to a game of Russian Roulette.  This beauty however, says 170 degrees and cooks at 170 degrees…bliss!

Anyway…to the recipe!  This monstrosity of a recipe came from the need to make my gal-pal Lucy a cake for her 30th birthday which was last Thursday.  She’s not a huge cake fan but LOVES Rocky Road so I knew I needed to do my own twist on this classic…having never made it before…strangely! Continue reading »

AMAZING Chocolate Cake with OMG Peanut Butter Frosting!

 

The perfect cake for any chocolate and peanut butter fan!

Last week was a very busy week in the ZoBird Kitchen.  Besides making plenty of cakes for other people I made a delectable cake for me and Grant too, meaning I spent a majority of last week and the weekend in the kitchen baking my little heart out…madness I hear you cry…BLISS I hear me sigh!  This cake was the last of the week and was made for my good friend Mr Rigby who has only been in our Create Dept since September but is already a well embedded member of the Create family…it’s also a huge bonus that he loves cake like me! Continue reading »

Lemon & Lime Cake – Happy New Year!

A refreshingly double layered cake with zesty tones and delicious creamy frosting

Happy New Year to everyone out there…this cake is the start of 2014 and even though I don’t make resolutions, I decided that when it came to my blog I needed to make an exception…I need to blog more.  The thing is i’m baking at least once or twice a week but i’m not making the time to get it down on here…So 2014 is the year for more blogging and getting my delectable delights up on here for you all to see, try and share.

This recipe is a take on the Hummingbird Lemon Cake but with lots of changes and additions.  I love lime, as does Tiki G, so it was inevitable that a recipe which states lemon in it, would end up with lime additions or replacements.  I also wanted to make something light and refreshing after we devoured our New Year’s Eve Brisket and Broche buns courtesy of Tiki G’s BBQ-ing skills.  So feel free to alter and amend this recipe at will and to make it with or without the candied limes and lemons. Continue reading »

Mars, Snickers & Twix Cake Bars!

 

Mars, Snickers & Twix Cake Bars

Mmm cake tray bake!

So…I love my weekends and even more I love my la-ins, but it would appear that the older we get Grant and I are struggling not to wake up full of the joys of spring any time after 8am!  This morning was no exception and at 4am for him and 7:20am for me we realised that very little can happen on a sleepy Sunday morning when the rest of the neighbourhood are asleep and we are desperate to finish our garden decking.  Being the considerate people that we are and wanting to stay in our neighbours good books, I put on a load of washing and filled this morning with some baking…you lucky peeps!

This morning it’s a modified ASDA magazine recipe called Fudge Cake Bars which i’ve topped instead with Celebrations – Mars, Snickers and Twix to be precise… Continue reading »

Maple, Pecan & Bacon Cupcakes!!!!

Maple, Pecan & Bacon Cupcakes – TASTE ALERT!!!

This recipe came in a dream…I jest but you get the gist.  I love bacon, I love maple syrup and pecans go well with both so it only seemed to make sense for this concoction to come about. Equally I scoured the web for a fair while and couldn’t find anything like this which left me with a challenge!  These are delicious because of the contrasting flavours which marry so well together, what’s more they really feel like a treat and always get a great reaction.  Feel free to mess around with the recipe, suggest any changes or shamelessly devour an entire batch…Happy Baking Bacon-ettes! Continue reading »

Pumpkin Pinata’s – Happy Halloween!!!

Pumpkin Pinata’s – A spooky surprise in each one!

I was forwarded the link to an amazing blog called Handmade Charlotte, an awesome collection of handmade goodies to trial at home to keep little kids entertained.  Instantly I stumbled across these beauties and just knew they would put a smile on the grown-ups faces in my life…needless to say they did and I will never cease to be amazed how happy cakes and indeed chocolatey surprises inside cakes can make people! Check out how I made them and why not head over to Handmade Charlotte too… Continue reading »

Chocolate Orange Halloween Cupcakes

Chocolate Orange Halloween Cupcakes

Ok, ok so it’s not yet Halloween but my loving Mummy sent me these cute little cupcake cases and matching sticks which I just had to use!  Further to this I am a firm believer in using up the chocolate stashed around the house and I assure you, we have A LOT!  So digging out the Terry’s chocolate orange segments I thought to myself….Mmmmm chocolate orange…the perfect Halloween inspired flavour combo! Continue reading »