Baking for Therapy, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, chocolate, Inspiration, Learning, Love, Recipes, Sugar and Crumbs, Valentines

Valentine’s Day Ideas

I have to admit, I don’t get asked for Valentine’s treats so much, which is a shame as there are so many great ideas out there ❤️

I love the idea of these cake filled chocolate geometric hearts ♥️ They could be given as they are in some pretty packaging, or as part of a treat box with other items, like decorated cookies, cupcakes, fudge, marshmallow, brownies, home made truffles etc

A lovely soft Fudge can be made in the microwave, coloured red or pink and cut with a heart shaped cutter. You could even make it more decadent by covering it in chocolate! Make sure you use a chocolate friendly colouring medium though!

Home made marshmallow is nothing like shop bought, and can also be cut into a heart shape! See tutorial below for recipes for home made fudge AND marshmallow 😋

For cookies you can’t go wrong with a delicious shortbread recipe, which you can then decorate with royal icing, sugarpaste, glacé icing and sprinkles! If you’re good at piping you could even write a message!

Or what about melt in the mouth Viennese Whirls? The following tutorial uses moulds but there’s no reason you can’t use a heart shaped cutter ☺️

Macarons can be made in any shape you like and are always a favourite. Pretty them up with some edible lustre dust for extra bling!

Chocolate lollipops are easy to make if you follow the next tutorial from ‘Oli the Choc’

As are meringue lollipops, as shown here

How about delicious, squidgy in the middle chocolate brownies? Rich and decadent and oh so easy to make 😀

And we can’t leave out the humble cupcake can we? So easy to make and decorate with a Valentine’s themed sprinkle mix, or if your piping skills allow, give as a beautiful cupcake bouquet 💐

I learned how to make and put together cupcake bouquets in this class, which is still ongoing so amazing value! The next class starts on 17th February and is the first of this year’s series

A simple ganache truffle is absolutely delicious on its own, but can also be dipped in chocolate and decorated 😋

And did you know you can make boozy ganache? Check out Oli again below for vodka truffles, how to make a chocolate ‘Holy Grail’ bark, and some great tips on tempering your chocolate easily, just using the microwave!

Of course, you can always make your loved one a Valentine’s cake all for themselves. There are some lovely examples below ❤️

And if you have leftover cake, don’t let it go to waste, it can still be made into delicious treats!

So, there’s plenty here to give individually or to make up a delicious treat box. And I think we all need a treat don’t we? The option for a romantic evening out may not be there this year, so bring the romance to you!

I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about and that you’ll try a few of the ideas for yourself. If you do, please tag me on Facebook and Instagram, I’d love to see the results ❤️

You might find the following links useful too:

Whipping it up multimix:

Cookie moulds:

Lollipop sticks:

Cupcake cases:

Cupcake, cake, macaron boxes etc:

Have fun, love and take care of each other, and, as always

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

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Baking for Therapy

If baking is my happy place…where have I been?

Well….. not in a very happy place!

On the evening of Saturday 3rd of August, I received a phone call from my sister, whose first words were ‘Don’t panic, but….’ Not what you want to hear at the beginning of any conversation!

My brother Mark, who lives in Devon with his fiancée, Denise, had been rushed to hospital suffering from a major heart attack. He’s just 54 years old.

He’d been complaining of ‘indigestion’ all day, and being a health worker himself, didn’t want to waste NHS time! Thankfully, he was overruled and persuaded to call 111…..not 999 mind you! Anyway, I gather things moved rather quickly from then on, resulting in a blue light ride in the ambulance and surgery to put in 6 stents. (Apparently, the first thing Denise said to him after surgery was ‘indigestion my arse!’)

Even so, on Sunday morning, just as we were preparing to make the journey from Lancashire to Devon, she was advised to get to the hospital as he was in critical condition. Thankfully the crisis was averted, but he spent a further 10 days in hospital trying to stabilise his liver and kidney functions before he was finally allowed home. The consultant said that there were no lifestyle indicators for why he’d had a heart attack, and after taking family history into consideration (our Dads 3 siblings and his father all had heart problems) he advised us all to have regular cholesterol checks.

He’s recovering very slowly now, but it’s going to be a long road. But slow and steady wins the race. Absolutely no ‘haring’ about, he’s the tortoise in this scenario! As long as he’s fit enough to walk down the aisle next May, there’s no rush! The wedding plans are in full swing, and if he thinks he’s doing me out of making his wedding cake, he’d better think again!

The day he had his heart attack was actually my daughter’s birthday. We didn’t tell her until 2 days afterwards, but Mark has said he will now be sharing his rebirth-day with her!

But all joking aside, he’s been very lucky considering the extent of the blockages they found. The cardiac unit at Torbay hospital were absolutely wonderful, there aren’t words to describe how grateful the whole family is for their care. They are a shining example of how amazing our NHS really is.

We had to come home for a week, but whilst we were at home, my Mum, who stayed in Devon had been shopping and presented us with some rather special T shirts. Fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ will also appreciate the sentiment on the shirt modelled by Mark in the second photo!

Also, on our second trip I made sure I took some prebaked cake, and my decorating tools, and made the staff a chocolate honeycomb cake to share (not with the patients obviously!) I was a bit worried that it was an inappropriate gift for a cardiac unit, but Mark approved, and the staff were delighted 😀 Taking photos wasn’t high on my priority list though, so I’m going to recreate it in my next post, and make it into a tutorial.

A return to my happy place is imminent! Panto rehearsals start shortly too – my other happy place – and I’m sure they won’t object to eating the results!

Please keep my brother in your thoughts and prayers, and, as always

Stay safe and healthy,

Debbie ❤️

Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Love, Valentines

Love is in the air ❤️

Hello lovelies,

It can’t have escaped your notice that it’s Valentine’s Day next week, with the shops full of all sorts of gifts. Candles, Teddy bears, Chocolates, Flowers and lots of jokey ones too. I saw men’s slippers with dusters on the bottom to clean the floor whilst walking round the room 😂

We don’t make a big thing out of it in my house after being married for 33 years, but I do always make a cake, hubby always buys me a little gift, and cards are exchanged.

Here’s a cake I made a few years ago before I changed my ‘name’

It’s a bit rough round the edges but I was just beginning my cake decorating journey back then!

Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be the usual plethora of Valentines cake tutorials flooding YouTube this year. There are some of course, but not as many as I expected.

So some of these aren’t from this year, but I hope you find them helpful

This lovely ombré effect cake is from Cupcake Jemma of Crumbs and Doilies

And this is from a YouTube channel new to me called Sweet Valley Creations, which looks quite easy to achieve

This next one by Yolanda Gampp of ‘How to Cake it‘ is inspired by conversation hearts (love hearts) and doesn’t even have to be for your other half. Because you can personalise them, you could give a Valentine treat to Mum, Dad, your best friend…anyone really 😀

Also from HTCI, is this fabulous heart shaped chocolate box ( much more advanced than my effort above) You would need chocolate moulds (See example below) but it could be made on a smaller scale and still look amazing!

And if you fancy trying something a bit different, how about these?

Sweet Otters Valentines Cake by The Lovely Baker

Love flows by Rosie’s Dessert Spot

Valentines Dog Cake by Koalipops

Happy baking, I’ll be back with my own Valentines creation soon!

Until then

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Chocolate moulds

Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me

A very unique wedding cake

Hi from a very rainy Lancashire England!

A few weeks ago, my niece recommended me to a friend who needed a small wedding cake. I subsequently met with the lovely Carole, after sending her a mountain of Pinterest images of single tier cakes! Carole is a very bubbly character, and soon picked out a heart shaped cake… purple! Now, although I confess that purple is my favourite colour, I hadn’t ever visualised it on a wedding cake, unless it was a steam punk or goth type affair. Carole definitely didn’t fit in either of those categories 😝 but her theme was purple, also her favourite colour, and gold. So why not? In my opinion, you should choose whatever you want on your wedding day 💜 After chatting, she also asked for some pink peonies with gold edged petals, chocolate cake, which was her groom to be’s favourite, and left the rest to me! Yikes! I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Carole. She’s the sort of person you like instantly. Bright, bubbly, like a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. Well she brightened mine anyway 😊 I sent her off with a sample for the groom to try, and once that got the thumbs up, I started thinking about creating a unique cake for this unique lady and her chocolate cake loving man! 💑 This is the recipe I used. It’s lovely and moist without being too dense. How to Cake it is one of my favourite YouTube channels 😊

I wanted to do something special, while sticking to the remit. Ages ago, I’d bought a silicone lace mat, which had never been used. It features hearts so it was perfect. I found a YouTube tutorial on how to make the ‘lace’ coloured it purple, and set to. It was actually very easy, I had all the ingredients already, and I was really pleased with the finished product. This is how I made it 😊

I used this 2 ingredient chocolate frosting to fill the cake after creating three layers. It is soooo good. I had to stop myself from eating it out of the bowl. And no icing sugar! My Cupcake Addiction is another favourite 😊

After carving the cake into it’s heart shape, I then ganached the whole thing, and popped it into the fridge. All good so far 😊

The following day, (Thursday) it was time for covering the cake with that lovely purple fondant. That’s when the problems started 😖 Stupid fondant behaving badly again! Has anyone else noticed that the darker colours are always softer? Black, red and purple specifically? Of course it was a scorcher of a day too, which didn’t help. No matter how thick or thin I rolled it, as soon as I tried to get it on the cake, it ripped…..well fell apart would be more accurate. After a minor panic, I decided to add just a little Tylose to firm it up, rolled a long strip to go round the edges, and a heart shape for the top, and panelled it instead of trying to get it all on in one go! Heat and humidity are pure evil when working with fondant! 😈 After that I applied the lace hearts, dusting them randomly with gold and hologram white lustres, added a purple ribbon round the top edge with diamante pins sterilised with vodka, then the gold ‘bling’ sequinned ribbon round the bottom edge. Another hairy moment transferring it to the board (there’s always that moment when you just have to let go!) And then I placed the peonies and the lettering.


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‘Roy’ having only 3 letters, one side looked a bit bare, so I placed a small wired peony on that side. The butterfly was a last minute touch just because it was pretty ❤ Carole had supplied her own topper which was you to me bride and groom bears. I gave the groom a purple cravat and waistcoat button, and the bride a gold ‘dress’ and small fondant posy. I left a fondant shelf edged with gold on the back of the cake for them to sit on 💑

I have to say that I’m so grateful to Carole and Roy for trusting me to make this cake for their special day. I got the chance to put into practice the techniques I’d ‘learned’ on YouTube. Making a quilted board, peonies, cake lace etc, and if it hadn’t have been such a hot day on Thursday, it would have been a 100% pleasure. Still, it’s not the first time it’s happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last! Darn unpredictable weather! If there are any ‘cakers’ out there reading this, what do you do? Are there any brands which are better when working in heat or humidity? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter 😮

Anyway, many congratulations to Carole and Roy. I hope you had an amazing day, and a very happy future together.

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤