PB & Grape Cupcakes – A USA jet-lagged brainchild!

PB&Grape Cupcakes for a true American flavour kick!

PB&Grape Cupcakes for a true American flavour kick!

I must firstly apologise on this post as it has been about 3 months since my last post.  I have been been baking, I promise, but finding an hour to sit and blog seems beyond me as of late.  Despite that though I have been making various combinations and a successful one as of late has been the beetroot brownie route which has kept my mate Nic very happy…especially her paleo carrot cake which I made.  Anyhoo, back on to more pressing matters, namely this post…inspired by my total love for peanut butter and my obsession with American Grape flavour.  I am sat here blogging, still jet-lagged after a speedy 1 week trip to Vegas for Viva Las Vegas, which was AWESOME but for some reason I am seriously feeling the effects more so this time around.  I managed to grap a few bags of these nifty Welch’s PB&J snack sweets at a gas station and this is where my already much appreciated Goober came in to play.  Add to that me bringing back about 10 sachets of KoolAid at only 20c each and you have a rather exciting PB&Grape Cupcake.  This is a new recipe, based on my basic core recipe and is really a trial and error, some may love this (peanut butter-aholics) and some will grimace in horror (Grant) but it seemed as good a chance as any to get a new post up and to try something a bit different.  Enjoy!

PB&Grape combos ROCK!

PB&Grape combos ROCK!

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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:

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Frosted Nutty Courgette Brownies

Deliciously moist and not that naughty…I promise!

These little beauties are a Zobird’s twist based on a post on my new favourite blog Yammie’s Noshery!  Her nblog is amazing…mostly because she does lots of naughty treats, totally indulgent and off-the-calorific-scale!  Something I hugely approve of!  Yet she posted this up recently and I thought ‘Why not?!’ Tiki G is a firm believer that vegetables shoudl not be in cake and as a result has a total aversion to carrot cake…much to my dismay!  However I was determined to sneak some some manner of vegetable in to cake and prove him wrong.  My school buddy Nicola has been declaring her love for courgette based edibles for a while so this seemed the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. 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 »

Sticky Cinnamon and Maple Syrup Buns

Sticky Cinnamon and Maple Syrup Buns

 

This delicious Sticky Cinnamon and Maple Syrup Buns are a direct rip from the GoodFood Website and can be found here.  I have made a few tweaks but otherwise they are based on this recipe solely.  A delicious indulgent treat with a hearty American twist of sweet maple syrup, these are definitely a one-off when you see the calorie content!  However I am a firm believer in making the most of the good things in life…and that usually focuses around the topic of food but everything in moderation and one of these little beauties will keep your sweet tooth and tummies happy for a fair while! 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 »

Cranberry & Mince Pies

Mmmm a true festive treat…with a little additional fruity twist…cranberry sauce!

Now anyone who knows me, is aware of the fact that I LOVE a good bargain! From my school frocks that total £3.50, thank you ASDA, to the various ‘whoops’ items in the chilled cabinet and the Christmas decorations I now buy on Boxing Day for the following year at 75% discount.  Old?! Me?! No! Just wise hehe!  Anyhoo…the way this tenuous rant links to mince pies is simple.  Sainsbury’s like to sell off mincemeat after Christmas for silly prices as they’d rather not have it sat around.  Surely it’s out of date soon you cry!  Nope, this massive tub I purchased for only 40p last December (2012) doesn’t run out of date until May 2014!!!  What’s more, being the amazing product it is, it lasts 6weeks once opened, so as a result I didn’t even open it until 2 weeks ago at the Tynemouth Christmas Shopping Night where I baked Mincemeat Macaroons for charity at Ruby & Frank and still had SHED LOADS of the mincemeat left. Continue reading »

Banana, Pecan & Maple Syrup Cake

A cake for banana fans…and blooming lovely with a cuppa coffee!

I’ve made lots of other banana related recipes and this is largely due to the fact that Grant pretty much only likes bananas and in turn we end up with a glut of them by the time the week is out.  I’ve trialled many recipes, but this little beauty is adapted from a gluten-free recipe in the ASDA catalogue.  I know I go on and on about the catalogues I pick up for free but seriously, give them the time of day, the recipes are quick, simple and fail-safe! Continue reading »

Spiced Pear & Ginger Cake

Spiced Pear and Ginger Cake – Moist, light and gingery!

I have been raving about wanting to make this cake for AGES! At the start of the summer Cathy, Nic and I went to The Wild Trapeze in Heaton, Newcastle.  It’s a fab, quirky little joint and does some amazing cakes.  I spotted this cake and knew I had to try it…a beautiful mix of spices, moist cake and tangy cream cheese with the amazing kick of fiery ginger.  Even though the chef was very cagey about his recipe I was determined to try and replicate this.  It is a work in progress and the pear flavour; being quite a mild fruit, is hard to get through, so I have plans to remake this with a middle sliced tinned pear layer…Mmmmm!  Despite that this works really well and if you fancy something to couple with a coffee, this is the cake to make…it also lasts a couple of days and reaps many slices…you will need a fork to eat it with though :) Continue reading »

Banana & Chocolate Loaf Cake

A mouthwatering, moist and filling cake…plus it’s got banana in so surely this is 1 of your 5 a day :)

This is a staple recipe of mine which I tend to make when we have loads of bananas left over.  Grant loves bananas but we frequently over-buy them and I end up going in to mass-banana-bake-off!  This recipe is good because it is versatile and you could replace the chocolate with something else or maybe mix things up a bit…peanut butter, banana and jam maybe?! Continue reading »