I was recently asked to try a Baker Day's letterbox cake. I have never been known to turn down an offering of cake and I was intrigued, could they really send me a perfect cake through my letterbox?
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I decided to order a cake for Stuart and let it be a surprise. When it arrived, my initial impressions were very good. The cake was packaged in a box and sealed in a tin within the box so could pretty much take whatever the Royal Mail could throw at it. The cake even came with instructions for how to remove it from the tin.
Once I got the cake out of it's packaging and onto a plate, I was sadly disappointed. The cake was very small (the picture on the top of this post is the cake on a side plate.) I was not expecting a massive cake to come through my letterbox but thought the cake might be slightly bigger. The decoration on the cake was excellent. However, the sponge was average and very dense in texture for my taste.
Overall, I like the idea of a letterbox cake but think the idea needs some refining. I am sure that many people will enjoy the novelty of having a cake posted to them but think the actual cake, especially for the price you pay (£14.99) needs improving.
Disclosure: I recieved a Letterbox cake to review. All opinions are my own.
As it is the new year and everyone has lots of resolutions to drink less, eat healthier and get fitter, I decided to do the complete opposite of that and share with you, the best and the laziest brownies in the world recipe. These brownies are so good and so easy to make, I am sure they will counter any back to work/school January blues!!!
I originally discovered this recipe through Twitter/Instagram where a couple of blogging friends were discussing something called 'Slutty Brownies'. Even the name seemed intriguing to me and I knew I had to find out more. I was pointed to the apparent source for the original recipe on The Londoner blog. The recipe only contains three ingredients; chocolate cookie dough mix, chocolate brownie mix and Oreo cookies. Anyone can make them as they are so easy. They are called slutty as they are made with ready mixes/packages but I am sure you could make your own brownie and cookie dough mix if you like. My version of the recipe is below. For other versions, please see my fellow blogging friends:
The Boy And Me
- 1 packet of chocolate brownie mix
- 1 packet of cookie dough mix
- 1 pack of Oreos
- Eggs or water to make up packet mixes as described on the packet
- A greased foil tray, a normal tray lined with tin foil or a greased silicone tray (The Boy And Me used a loaf tin which I think I will do next time)
- Make up the cookie dough mix and chocolate brownie mix as per the package instructions
- Put the cookie dough as a thick layer at the bottom of the tin
- Top with as many Oreo biscuits as your tin allows
- Pour the chocolate brownie mix over the top and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 20-30 minutes
- Eat and enjoy!!
I really urge everyone to give this recipe a go. It is so easy and delicious. It really feels like a treat which is perfect to sort out any case of the January blues!!
Unless you have lived under a rock for the last month, you cannot have failed to notice that the second series of Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard is currently in Channel 4 on weekday lunchtimes. Before the series started, I was lucky enough to be given a sneak preview of some of the recipes from this series and have the opportunity to make one myself. I chose the toffee and apple sauce muffins as I do not usually make muffins and these sounded super yummy!
The series is sponsored by BakingMad.com, an online community of over 100,000 members sharing a wealth of information, recipes, hints, tips and advice on baking. They very kindly provided me with some of the ingredients to make the muffins. I only altered from the recipe once as I saved the caramel that the apples were cooked in and poured it over the warm muffins to serve. The ladies at my work loved them when I visited with Thomas a couple of weeks ago! :-)
Toffee and Apple Sauce Muffins
Ingredients (makes 12)
- 275g plain flour
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 75g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 125ml whole milk
- 100g fudge pieces
- Approx. 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar (2 tbsp light muscovado sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
For the apple sauce
- 300g Bramley apples (approximately 2 medium apples)
- 150g light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp calvados
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas mark 6. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin papers.
- To make the apple sauce, peel and core the apples and cut into small cubes. Place the diced apple in a saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon, calvados and 1 teaspoon of water. Cook over a low heat until the apples are tender and of a compote consistency. Drain the apples and leave to cool.
- Sieve the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the butter and eggs together then add the milk. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just incorporated and smooth. Put on a high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until light. Finally, add the fudge pieces and mix.
- Spoon half the mixture into the muffin cases then spoon over the apple sauce. Ensure that the sauce is the same consistency as the batter so that it doesn’t sink into the cakes. Cover with the remaining muffin batter and sprinkle with lots of cinnamon sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes then cool on a wire rack and serve.
Hello everyone. I am back. Did you miss me? I missed you all. Thomas is doing fantastically and I am loving motherhood. You can follow my progress as a new mum on my sister blog Jo’s Nursery. I have a backlog of posts to get through so I will do my best to post regularly from now on, however please bear with me if I do not. A 4 week old can be quite demanding!
Today I would like to tell you about an amazing new coffee I have discovered. It is called Kenco Millicano and is the best tasting instant coffee that I have ever found. The reason it is the best tasting instant coffee is because it contains 15% finely milled roast and ground coffee, making it taste like freshly brewed coffee. With a newborn in the house and a distinct lack of sleep happening, a good cup of coffee to get me going in a morning is a must. Since finding Kenco Millicano, I have not looked back and I highly recommend it.
Kenco Millicano have spoken to over a thousand women across the UK to find out what the hottest trends for 2011 were. One of the most interesting trends for foodies is the ‘retro recession’ with people trying to be more cost conscious and frugal with their food purchases.
The report features the biggest upcoming trends for food such as:
- Scandi-Style: There’s a new interest in the clean, fresh tastes of Nordic cuisine, with herring, lingonberry jam and Västerbottensost cheese enjoying a surge in popularity
- Olde worlde recipes will continue to inspire nostalgic cuisine. Heston Blumenthal’s new venture, Dinner, interprets dishes from as far back as the 14th century, likewise at Marcus Wareing’s Gilbert Scott the menu features old school offerings like Mrs Beeton’s snow eggs with Everton toffee. 17th century grog cocktail anyone?
- Inexpensive but tasty food: Jay Rayner’s latest discovery BBQ Shack smokes brisket and pork shoulder over hardwood pits for 18 hours, transforming the taste and texture. While stocks of salmon and cod dwindle, so too does our appetite for them, but coley and pouting will surge in popularity.
As part of the inexpensive but tasty food trend, Kenco sent me a frugal fruit cake recipe to try. I was really impressed with the recipe. It is delicious and you can hardly tell it is frugal at all. It smelled so delicious I would of eaten the cake mix uncooked if I had not of been pregnant when I made it.
Frugal Fruit Cake
- 150 ml (¼ pt water)
- 100 g (4 oz) sultanas
- 125 g (5 oz) caster sugar
- 113 g (¼ lb) butter
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150 g (6 oz) plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- First grease and line a 1 lb loaf tin, then grease the paper.
- Take a large, thick based saucepan and put in the water, sugar, sultanas, butter and bicarbonate of soda. Place pan on a medium heat, stir ingredients together and bring to the boil, then boil for 10 minutes exactly, but don’t go away – if the temperature isn’t controlled it may boil over.
- When the 10 minutes is up remove pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool. Then add the beaten egg, and the flour and baking powder, sifted together. Mix well then place in prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf for approx 1½ hours.
- This dark and sticky cake is a family favourite and gets even better if kept for a few days.
Many thanks to Joanna for sending me the coffee to review and the fruit cake recipe. It is much appreciated :-)