Biscoff & Chocolate Cupcakes

Biscoff & Chocolate Cupcakes - a bit of a mad medley!

Biscoff & Chocolate Cupcakes – a bit of a mad medley!

So, this is WAY overdue but Happy 2016 baking buddies!  I have been particularly crap as of late…When checking my blog today I realised my last post was October 2015 (?!?!!) in which i’d planned to blog more…hmmm that kind of didn’t really happen did it?!

Anyhow, not dwelling too much, but it’s been a mental few months at work and so to be honest there has been much more pressing issues at hand than blogging.  But no matter how sad that is, I keep trying to remind myself to find more time to do cool stuff like this…lord knows how many of you read this or even use this, but I like to catalogue some of the crazy ideas I have and this seems the perfect forum for that!!

So, today I decided to share the wonder that is BISCOFF SPREAD!  This stuff is like a drug!  For those of you unaware of what Biscoff is;

  • Firstly where the hell have you been?!
  • Secondly, watch this video and excuse the rude words but it’s hilarious…and sums up the taste sensation of Biscoff perfectly…
  • Thirdly “It’s like peanut butter but made out of COOKIES!”
  • Finally

I’ve baked with Biscoff spread before and it drove people wild…i’m not even joking!  The frosting in particular is amazing and Grant goes all gaga-eyed when I mention Biscoff frosting :) Which is where this recipe came from.  I had Hershey’s chocolate spread and chocolates to use up and any of you who know me, are aware that my baking is powdered by the need to NOT WASTE FOOD.  That’s also generally why cakes I make are topped, filled and crafted around fruit, veg, sweets and chocolate that needs consuming.

If you do anything after reading this post…GO BUY BISCOFF SPREAD and eat it from the jar, or on toast, or on ANYTHING! Continue reading »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Dino-Bourbons RAWRRRRR!!! *Not to scale*

Beware of the DINO-BOURBONS!

DINO-BOURBON ASSEMBLE!!!!

This is a bit of a random post and I must ensure that I outline why I have made bourbon dinosaur 3D cookies…some of you may be thinking ‘Why not?!’ to those of you hoorah, for the rest who are still puzzled this is why:

I have a wonderful Year 11 Drama class…or I should say ‘had’ :( they are now on their merry way either to college, in to 6th form or have left school.  On my birthday this year they swamped me with some wonderful gifts wrapped in awesome mustache paper and delivered with smiles and excitement.  Besides an AWESOME rubik cube mug and some nifty VW camper hand warmers they bought me this unique and quirky cookie cutter set of Dinosaurs.  Now the reason this made me so happy was for a variety of reasons

  1. They are SO thoughtful!
  2. Dinosaurs were my obsession when I was younger
  3. They know how much I love baking

So without further ado this blog post is dedicated to Harry, Becca, Charlotte & Nicole…DINO-BOURBONS of deliciousness. Continue reading »

White & Nerdy Shortbread

Delicious geeky morsels for your nerdy friends!

So these beauties were created for a variety of reasons and I shall proceed to outline them, much to your bore and my delight:

  1. I LOVE Nerds…not just the one I am engaged to but also the tasty crunchy candies from Wonka that you either pay a fortune for in an Americandy shop OR if you’re lucky get HUGE boxes for at a fraction of the price in Poundland!
  2. I was going to the Zoo…A planned Edinburgh Zoo trip meant picnic edibles had to be created for Grant, Becca, Daz and me whilst we gallivanted around the Zoo on a Sunday.
  3. \I enjoy putting random twists on normal recipes
  4. My mates love Nerds…especially JoJo at school who loves my Nerd cupcakes.
  5. This recipe gave me the chance to make shortbread which I used to make every weekend at my Dad’s when I was little because it was the only thing I could make…
  6. As a result reason 6 has warranted it’s name…My Dad is a fan of Weird Al Yankovich…if you haven’t heard him, you should, he’s funny and provides pastiche takes on songs; one being White & Nerdy which you can watch here and giggle at whilst eating these…

So enjoy putting this tasty traybake together and put your own twist on it! 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 »

Cherry Chocolate Marbled Cupcakes

Cherry Chocolate Marbled Cupcakes

These little beauties were created for the same reason many of my cakes are, Asda had loads of fresh cherries on sale and they needed devouring.  It would appear that like most food, fruit becomes way more delicious once drenched in dark chocolate!  For that fact alone I decided to concoct these cakes around the sole purpose of topping them with chocolate dunked cherries…Besides munching around the stone they were a hit at work and besides infusing cherry flavours in to the icing next time, there is little i’d change if I made them again. Continue reading »

Caramel & Chocolate Ben & Jerry’s style Ice Cream…Ooooh served with caramelised bananas!

Ice cream a la ZoBird!

I LOVE ice cream…anybody who knows me, knows that besides cake, chocolate and various other sins ice cream is my ultimate indulgence.  Much to Di Meos delight in Whitley Bay; especially during the summer months, I frequent their establishment consuming all double creamy, frozen goodness until I feel sick with my bestie Ollie…Believe me it’s embarrassing when the whole Di Meo family know you!!!  Anyhoo…I went to Urban Outfitters and found the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.  Originally published in 1987 (so we’re talking pre-Caramel Chew Chew and pre-Phish food) this book is like every ice cream makers dream.  I will hasten to add that I would never refer to myself as an ice cream ‘maker’ passe, but now that I have made my first batch I believe that I should at least continue to produce such delicious delights and in turn be able to coin the term – ZoBird’s Ices…now that does have a ring to it, doesn’t it?!

So read on if you are brave and would like to trial out some Ben & Jerry action…IMPORTANT NOTE…this is a very easy recipe, you DO NOT need an ice cream maker and consequently may end up with an ice cream addiction paired with an ever-increasing waistband….Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  Continue reading »