Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you’ve had a love filled day. Whether that’s with a loving partner, a friend or your family ❤️

My day started with a beautiful card (I nearly cried reading the verses!) flowers and chocolates 💕

I had tried unsuccessfully to find a card that said what I wanted to say, so I made one instead 😀

And then obviously I made a cake. And no sooner did I pronounce it finished, we cut into it…..it looked so yummy 😋

But I didn’t get a picture first! So I made do with an ‘after picture’. While I was cropping it on Photo Director, I found a sticker that probably sums us up…..greedy little piggies that we are……so I used it to cover up the sticky (but yummy) blob of ganache I had used to secure the cake to the board lol 😝

So, as you can see, it was a chocolate cake. It’s the most wonderful soft moist texture, and the recipe comes together really easily. It’s just two layers with ganache and sliced strawberries in between. Then a generous coating on the top and sides. I used a cake comb on the sides, and white chocolate shavings, milk chocolate curls, and halved strawberries to decorate. Simple but heavenly!

This weekend our daughter and her boyfriend who went to teach in Romania last August, are back for a few days 😍 so we are having a family get together on Sunday. I can’t wait to see them, and maybe make plans to visit them soon! I haven’t been outside the UK since my accident in 2012, but when Katie went to work in Romania last year, we renewed our passports. They plan to work abroad for at least three years, so a visit in the near future is top of my ‘to do’ list!

Well my lovelies, I shall leave you for now

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Chocolate cake recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, two – 9 inch (23 cm) cake pans*. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. * I used this mixture to make two – 6 inch layers, and two – 5 inch layers as I was making two smaller cakes.

Ingredients:

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar

1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup (240 ml) warm water or coffee

1 cup (240 ml) milk

1/2 cup (120 ml) corn, vegetable, safflower or canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, water (or coffee), milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. (The batter will be quite thin.) Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 27 – 32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake just comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from their pans and cool completely on a greased wire rack before frosting.

Ganache:

400g milk chocolate

200g dark chocolate

25g Butter (optional)

250ml double cream (heavy cream)

Melt everything together over a double boiler. Leave to cool and thicken before using to fill and frost the cake. The strawberries are an optional addition, you can decorate the cake anyway you like, it’s very versatile.

Have fun!

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