Month: June 2013

Mini Strawberry Pavlova recipe….well it is the Wimbeldon season!

Strawberry & cream PavlovaLast month I was asked by Achica to come up with a strawberries and cream recipe for Wimbledon fortnight. I have to say that there are few combinations that go together as well as strawberries and cream, except when you add some sugary meringues to it! Oh my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I decided that I would make some mini pavlovas, but I didn’t want them to be just ordinary ones. Oh, no. I wanted them to be pretty! So I made the meringues in Rose shapes using a rose piping nozzle. They’re dead easy to make and look so effective. I coloured my ones pink but anything goes really. You can see the feature on Achica here.


 How to make Mini Strawberry Pavolvas



(makes 12 meringues)

3 egg whites (at room temperature)

160g caster sugar

1 tea spoon cornflour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Pink food colouring

500ml double cream

2 tablespoon strawberry jam

handful of strawberries cut in half to decorate.



To ensure that your meringues will be similar in size draw circles onto a sheet of silicon paper- I used a small glass. Flip the paper over and place on a baking tray ready to pipe the meringues on.Heat the oven to 120ºC (100ºC fan)

mini pavlovas

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. You can do this by hand but it will take forever! In a separate bowl sieve the sugar and cornflour together. Add a spoonful at a time to the egg whites and beat in well. Continue adding one spoon at a time until all the sugar is combined.
Add the vanilla essence and blend further until the mixture is thick and glossy and won’t fall out of the bowl if you turn it upside down!
For a pretty two tone look to the meringues add a little pink food colour to the bowl and stir a small amount up, making sure to leave some of it white.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova
Fill a piping bag with the mixture. You can use any piping tip. I wanted to get a flower effect so I used a closed star tip no. 846 (it’s the one on the left which is available from Amazon on this link Flower Piping Nozzle), but any style tip will work.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova

Use a tall glass or jug to hold your piping bag steady and open while you fill it. You can paint some pink stripes on the inside of the piping bag for a more streaky look. I did this but I thing mixing the colour in the bowl had a better result.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova
Pipe circular shapes onto your silicon paper, using the circles as a guide. For a flower effect meringue start your swirl in the centre. Keep the nozzle close to the paper and at a right angle then keep going round and round until you have filled your circle line.

Piping rose meringues

Pop the tray into the oven for 1hr 30 mins. After that turn the oven off but leave the tray in there till the oven has completely cooled. This stops the meringues from cracking. They crack if they cool too quickly.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova
Once the meringues are completely cool whisk up the double cream so it’s no longer runny and add the strawberry jam.
Place a spoonful of jam to the bottom meringue, add cream then top off with another meringue.
Assemble with the cream on the day you are eating them or they’ll get soggy.

Strawberry & cream Pavlova




p.s. Come on Andy! 

Chocolate orange cupcake recipe – The guest post!

choc-orange-cupcake A couple of months ago I was asked if I would be interested in having someone guest post here on and to be honest I was more flattered than anything else. I hadn’t really thought about it before- seeing as I do most of the guest posting on other sites. But when the lovely team at offered me this recipe I jumped at the chance. You see I am not great at cupcakes. I think it may be because I expect the sponge to be soft and tasty and I have never been very happy with the recipes I have used… until now! This Chocolate orange cupcake recipe is really good. I mean who doesn’t love a chocolate/ orange combo?

And that’s where Heather comes in. She’s a mum of one who lives and breathes all thing cakes and cupcakes. After starting working life in the Ministry of Defence and NHS, she decided she wanted to do something more creative with her life.  After meeting her now husband, who already ran a business, she decided that she would turn her love of baking into a business and 4 years on and the Cake Decorating Store is going from strength to strength. Have you seen it? It’s got everything you need and a whole lot of baking stuff you just really, really want! Check it out. 

I can’t think of anyone I would want to be my first guest poster so without any further ado here’s over to Heather….


Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Just like Emma, I always have a cupboard full of chocolate and need a way of using it up and taking it out of temptations reach. So, what could be nicer than chocolate and orange cupcakes…..and surely this will count towards your one of your five a day? I wish! The amount of chocolate in these is obscene but that’s what makes them so delicious. This recipe also has a few extra steps, but bare with it, as the result is an amazingly moist and rich cupcake that will last for days (given the chance).

Here’s how I make them:

Cupcake Ingredients:

115g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa if possible)

85g unsalted butter, softened

175g soft brown sugar

2 large eggs, separated

185g plain flour

¾tsp baking powder

¾tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature

1tsp orange extract (try to use the extract not essence or flavoring)


Orange Frosting Ingredients:

115g unsalted butter, softened

400-450g icing sugar

1 tsp orange extract (I got mine from Lakeland)

1 tbsp milk


To decorate:

Cocoa powder

Chocolate cigarellos (or Cadbury Flakes)


How to make Chocolate Orange cupcakes

Before you start, pre-heat your oven to 170°C (fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tray with 12 cases.

Melt the chocolate in bowl over simmering water and leave to cool a little. Using a stand mixer (with a beater attachment) or hand whisk, cream together the butter and sugar. Don’t underestimate how long this will take, it will be at least 5 mins. And in my experience you can’t over beat! The mixture should be paler in colour and fluffy.

In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks together for 2 mins then slowly add to the egg/sugar mixture, beating in well. Next, pour in the melted chocolate and beat in well.

Weigh out the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and sieve together. In a jug measure out the milk and add the orange extract. (If your milk is straight from the fridge the just give it a quick blast in the microwave to warm it up). Then add to the egg/sugar/chocolate mix, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients. Make sure you beat well between each addition.

Almost done! The last step is to add the egg whites which you will need to whisk together in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks. Using a metal spoon, gently fold your egg whites into the batter. Fold till they are just combined and that no egg white is visible.

Spoon your mixture into the cases, filling about two-thirds full. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for approx 20-25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Once cooked, leave in the muffin tray for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting combine all the ingredients and beat together until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You may need to add a little more sugar or milk to achieve the correct piping consistency.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, decorate however you wish. I used a large round piping tip and piped two circles of buttercream then simply dusted with cocoa and topped with a cigarello. But you can use Cadbury flakes, grated chocolate….anything goes really. As long as it’s chocolate!

Hope you enjoy them,

Heather x 


Hello, It’s Emma again.

If the recipe wasn’t enough encouragement for you to make these delicious cupcakes, has given me some of the essential items needed to make them to giveaway worth £19.98. Here’s what you can win:

Dark chocolate cigarellos & Cupcake piping set with 3 nozzles & Cupcake cases as seen below with the finished cupcake! 


To win the set all you need to do is share this recipe on Facebook or twitter and leave me a comment below letting me know that you have done so. Simple as that! A random number generator will select a number from the comments on Friday at 20.00 GMT so get your skates on bakers. It’s time to get sharing and commenting.


Good luck and thank you Heather.


p.s. Just in case you didn’t know – you can link and post a Tweet/ Facebook share / share a pin by clicking on the icons below! Good luck x

Rose Chiffon Cake recipe

Rose Chiffon Cake recipe

Rose Chiffon Cake Recipe

A Chiffon cake is a seriously light and fluffy cake which originates from America. Traditionally it’s made in a ring tin, but I decided to make it in a 9” round cake tin and it turned out beautifully. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour so I added some Rose essence to mine which gave it a lovely sweet taste. It doesn’t taste of roses – at least it doesn’t taste how I think roses taste. I haven’t actually eaten any. Have you?

I’ve never baked with rose essence before but last week I was on a shoot which had a catered lunch (this is a rarity- believe me. Normally it’s sandwiches and a packet of crisps!) and one of the puddings was this fantasticly large domed cake with dried petals on top. It was really light and had a rose syrup soaking up the bottom. I was looking to recreate that but I didn’t think that this cake needed any syrup and I was right. It’s fine and dandy just as it is…. well maybe with a little strawberries and cream!

Rose Chiffon Cake RecipeI made this Rose Chiffon Cake yesterday to take along to my in laws for lunch. It was father’s day and on Tuesday it’s Tim and his mum’s birthday so it was the perfect time to have all the family together. I love a proper catch up! Don’t you?


  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 plain flour (sieved)
  • 300 g caster sugar (sieved)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (yes tablespoon!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 120 ml sunflower oil
  • 180 ml rose water (Measure 1 tablespoon of Rose essence and make up the rest of the volume with water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar to decorate


How to make a Rose Chiffon cake

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170ºC (150ºC Fan) Oil and line a 9” cake tin or a ring shaped tin. This cake rises very high so make sure that your baking paper is taller than the side of the tin.
  2. Separate the egg whites and yolks.
  3. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl (keeping 50g sugar to one side)
  4. Add the oil, egg yolks, rose water and vanilla essence to the flour and beat until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until you have soft peaks (that means that when you lift out the whisk the peak of egg whites just flops over and doesn’t stand to attention. Then whisk in the last 50g of sugar.
  6. Using a metal spoon carefully fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Do this in three stages so that the cake will remain light and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix as you will bash out all the air in the eggs which is what makes the cake’s texture so yummy.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the cake comes away from the side of the tin.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool whilst in the tin. The cake will be very puffy when it comes out and will deflate and wrinkle back into the tin as it cools. Don’t worry- it will still be light as a feather.
  9. Remove from the tin and sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.
  10. Enjoy with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of cream


Rose Chiffon Cake Recipe

Chocolate Courgette Muffin recipe and an apology!

I wanted to start this post with “Is it the 10th June already?” Or “Boy I’ve had a crazy week….make that two… make that three!”  But I decided that everyone is mega busy and having crazy weeks at the moment! What I really want to say is I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in over a week. I haven’t missed posting at least once a week in over a year and I hate that. I have missed you guys. Honest!

I’ve just had three big interiors shoots in four weeks (with cakes and cookies and believe it or not two christmas puddings to make for the shots) and keeping up with two cake posts a week has become practically impossible. So I have come to a decision. From now on I am aiming for one quality post a week as I think that’s better than two lesser ones. Don’t you agree?  I think you do???


Courgette muffin recipe

One of my shoots was for Procter and Gamble’s website. Have you seen it? It’s fantastic! You sign up/join and can then download loads of money off vouchers not just for cleaning products (don’t get me started on Fairy Platinum. I’ve just written 5 blog posts about the stuff and I am totally obsessed with it now. It’s the only serious de-greasing washing up liquid that doesn’t wreck my hands – whilst removing grease without scrubbing. REALLY!!!) there are also vouchers for loads of big name beauty brands too!  You can save loads of money. It’s a big lifestyle website with tips, advice and all sorts of great stuff.

Anyway, I am guest editing over there for the next few months and for the shoot for the June posts I have written I shared my courgette muffin recipe. You can get it here. The plain courgette ones are good but the chocolate courgette ones are divine! Really moist and moreish.

I set this shot up whilst finishing off one of the other ones and I hadn’t even turned my back for two seconds when a cheeky squirrel appeared out of no-where ready to pounce and grab the muffins. Luckily, Harry the photographers assistant caught him at it. Did he scare it away? No. He got out his phone and started taking shots!

Needless to say the muffins stayed intact…if only till the last shot was done. Then they were devoured!

Hope you all have a fab week. Happy baking.





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