Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Pillow Cookies.

It's been far too long! I've had a hectic few weeks, with bad grades, a weekend away, and a portfolio due in. Sorry that I've been neglecting this blog, but I have a post for you today and I'll have one tomorrow to make up for the wait!

This week's recipe is 'Pillow Cookies' which I discovered over at Bakerella! Brownies IN cookies?! Sounds good to me!

Now because I would be making brownies and cookies, I decided to cheat a little (or as Bakerella reccommends!) and bought a box mix. But, I did make the cookies from scratch from a recipe from Hummingbird (Perhaps I should venture into different baking books?)

After whipping up the brownies according to the box instructions, I baked them and then allowed them to cool. Whilst they were doing that, I made up the cookie batter. I then cut the brownies into squares. Taking a tablespoon of cookie dough, I squidged it down onto a baking tray, placed the brownie square on top and then put some more dough over the brownie.

I then repeated this step many times and cooked for around 10-20 minutes. Here's an inside look of a cookie!
Doesn't it look good? Full recipe and instructions at Bakerella's Pillow Cookies. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Afraid there's no blogpost this week. I've had a bit of a rubbish day with university so I'm not really feeling up to writing a blogpost but there will be one up on Monday!

Oh and I've recently set up a twitter account for another site I write for, so if you want to say hello please feel free to do so at @lauracraddock.

See you on Monday! 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Dinosaur Cake!

Around about a year ago, my friends and I gathered at our flat to watch Dinosaur movies on a Monday, hence the name 'Dinosaur Monday!' This Monday movie night turned into a tradition and now every Monday we gather at someone's flat and watch movies along with some baked goods. Last year the plan was to carve a Dinosaur out of brownies but as usual, the brownies were a complete fail due to our oven. So this year I decided to try again but with cake!

I used this recipe from The Caked Crusader and it was delicious! The sponge kept moist for days which was good because I had loads of cake left!

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
150ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
2. Line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.
3. Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.
4. Slowly add in the eggs one at a time.
5. Add in the flour, cocoa and the milk.
6. Spoon the batter into the cake tins.
7. Bake the cakes for around 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
8. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their tins before turning out onto a wire rack.

It's a delicious chocolate cake recipe, so if you just want a simple chocolate cake whip this up and add some buttercream to sandwich in the middle. Or, use it as a basis for a dinosaur as I did!

I got my template here! I think it's from Betty Crocker but I could also be imagining that! Simply print out and cut out the templates, and after your cake is cooled we're ready to go!

Now I must admit here that my cake was a little small for the template, so I just trimmed the template a little in order to make it fit. Then I placed the template on top of the sponge and with a sharp knife cut out my template.

I then made some green tinged vanilla buttercream to stick the head and tail to the body and also to the board before doing a crumb coat! A crumb coat is basically a thin coat of buttercream to seal in the crumbs. It was my first go at this so I was quite pleased! From my research on the web, most reccomend putting the cake in the freezer so the crumb coat sets but I didn't have enough room in my freezer and not a lot of time either, so I cleared a shelf in the fridge and left him in there for half an hour.

I then made some darker green vanilla buttercream and slathered it all other my dinosaur. I then used chocolate drops and chocolate and white buttons to decorate. 
I was really sad to cut up my dinosaur! I thought he looked quite cute! But, he had to go join his other dinosaurs in extinction...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Banoffee Cake Pie!

Okay, so it's really called 'Banoffee Cake' but somehow 'Banoffee Cake Pie' just rolls off my tongue. And it sort of makes sense! Being that Banoffee is usually a pie filling... Try saying it, I'm sure you'll agree! Anyhow, my friend's 20th birthday was last week and he loves bananas. I think he has an addiction. So I knew it had to be some sort of cake that included bananas. But I didn't want to just do a plain old banana bread, so the next thing that sprang to mind was 'Banoffee Pie' so I thought surely there must be some sort of Banoffee Cake and after a quick google,  there was!

Now, as you can see from their picture I excluded the marshmallows. Not because I have anything against them, just I was on a budget so cut out all the unnecessary bits. Also, somehow in theirs they managed to cut their cake into three layers. Along with a number of people who commented on the recipe, mine didn't rise enough to cut it into three layers so I just cut it in half. To be honest, it would have been one beast of a cake if it was three!

 For the filling I just whipped some double cream and then chopped some ripe bananas into it before slathering onto the cake. I then used a can of caramel (I am too scared to try and make my own!) and spread that on top of the cream.
 For the topping I just used more of the caramel but not a lot because I was worried about the cake being too sickly!
 It wasn't the most pretty cake but it tasted good and the birthday boy liked it - the most important thing!
 Be sure to check back next week where I make Dinosaur cake!