It's been a while since I updated on the kitchen of my abode, but there has been a lot going on in there behind the scenes. It's that time of the year again when all the birthdays come in quick succession, so I have been in the kitchen botching up cakes all over the place. Pinterest dream I am not.
The first work of art (ha!) was for my Mum's birthday. When we were kids mum designed and decorated us a plethora of cakes to show off our favourite Disney characters or passions at the time, and they were the best thing about birthdays. We used to wake with excitement on what would be on our cake this year, and Christmas was the same.
So I thought it only fair to do the same for my mum. I first spotted this cake on Pinterest, and after doing some research, I designed my own. My Mum's birthday cake: vegetable patch complete with rabbit (or rat, as the boyfriend thought) minus aubergines, as they kept coming out lilac, which was not what I was going for!
The second was a gluten-free cake for my visitors birthday. I had never tried a gluten-free cake before, and to be honest, the actual cake wasn’t the best example of baking! However, I freestyled a lighter frosting and decorated with fresh fruit, and the results were quite delicious, despite the below par sponge in the centre.
And the third – Snickers Brownies. My friend Siobhan had requested these instead of a cake this year, as she was the recipient of the Pinata cake last year, and I happily obliged. I'm pretty good at brownies, and these ones are failsafe! So good that I have posted the recipe below, so you can wow your friends and be the Nigella of brownies. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 12
- 125 g butter
- 125 g dark chocolate, chopped
- 200 g brown sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 50 g plain flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 0.25 tsp baking powder
- 180 g cream cheese
- 40 g caster sugar
- 3 snickers bar, or similar chocolate. I actually don't like peanuts but have used rolos before.
- Combine butter, chocolate and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs.
Add flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir until well combined. Pour into a greased and lined 18 cm x 28 cm rectangular tin.
Beat cream cheese and caster sugar until smooth and creamy. Spoon randomly over chocolate mixture and swirl with the tip of a knife. Bake at 180 °C, Gas Mark 4 for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Add snickers slices.
What's your go to crowd pleaser in the kitchen?