Happy Birthday Mr Makes

IMG_5535This year, I had two reasons to look forward to the Easter weekend, as well as the obvious four-day weekend, we would be celebrating a birthday in the Makes household, and not just any birthday, a 30th! Mr Makes turned 30 on Easter Sunday, and it was definitely a birthday to remember for all the right reasons. Continue reading

Signature Bakes: Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Loaf

IMG_1584I’m a firm believer that everyone should have at least one signature bake. That thing which you always get asked to make by your friends, family, or colleagues whenever a cake is needed. I’ve got a few signature bakes, but one of the most requested is a lemon loaf cake from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

The first Hummingbird Bakery cookbook is my go-to for cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and of course lemon cake. Easy to make, these recipes always deliver. I’m yet to find another cupcake recipe which works as well! When I was asked by a friend to help with a bake sale at work, my lemon loaf cake was the first that came to mind. It’s easy to make, tasty, and it produces a LOT of cake, meaning more money for charity (hopefully).

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The recipe is simple to follow, and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Aside from lemons, all of the other ingredients are store cupboard/fridge staples. The process is simple, begin by mixing together sugar and eggs. Next, alternate adding flour mixed with baking powder, and milk mixed with vanilla essence. Add your lemon zest, and finally mix in some melted butter.

I’ve made this with both a handheld mixer and my Kitchen Aid and it works well with either (although the Kitchen Aid makes it a lot easier!). It’s worth noting that although the prep time is minimal, it will need 75 minutes in the oven, so you can’t whip this up at the last minute!

In the last 15 minutes of baking, you’ll need to make a simple lemon sugar syrup is made using sugar, lemon juice and water. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, this is drizzled over the cake.

Once cooled (it’s a hefty cake, so it will take a while), slice and store in an airtight tin. Due to the lack of icing, this cake is best served with a big mug of tea/coffee, or warmed slightly with some cream. Having said that, I promise you that it tastes great.

I’m going to look at giving this a go with gluten free flour next time, but I’m pleased to say that this one went down a storm at the bake sale!

Top tips

  • You don’t need greaseproof paper for this cake. I’ve got a non-stick tin, which I greased with melted butter and then sprinkled with flour. Although dubious at first, it works perfectly! Take the cake out of the tin while it is still slightly warm.
  • Freeze your leftover lemons. This recipe requires a lot of lemon zest, but not so much lemon juice. I tend to cut the leftover lemons into wedges and freeze to use in drinks.
  • Make the most of your lemon drizzle! Before pouring over the lemon syrup, make some holes in the cake using either a skewer or sharp knife, otherwise the syrup just runs down the sides. I also use a pastry brush to apply the syrup to the top of the cake, which gives it a nice shine.

Recipe Review: Madeleine Shaw Choc Chip Cookies

IMG_0402I’ve been gluten free for around 6 months. I’m not here to give diet advice, or try to convince you to eat a certain way, but for me it’s been great. Going gluten free hasn’t always been easy, surprisingly bread was fairly easy to give up, but what I truly miss are biscuits. I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, possibly more than any other treat. I’ve tried a few different gluten free varieties from the supermarkets but they haven’t managed to fill the biscuit void in my life.

I bought Madeleine Shaw’s new book, Ready Steady Glow, a couple of weeks ago and saw a recipe for cookies, which Madeleine says will taste the same as traditional cookies. I instantly knew that I had to give these a go, and a few hours later, I was already baking my first batch. Continue reading

Easter Crafting

Happy Easter! Easter is one of my favourite times of year. Not only do we get a super long weekend, lots of chocolate, and hot cross buns, but the days are getting longer, it’s generally a bit warmer, and everything seems, well, better.

It’s our first Easter in our new home, and I wanted to make some nice things to decorate the house with, and of course treats to eat!

IMG_2828In the last year, I’ve gone pretty much gluten-free. ‘Pretty much’ in that I know it makes me feel really yucky, but I still have tiny amounts now and again. I used gluten-free cornflakes to make these cornflake cakes. Nothing too complicated here, melted some chocolate, threw in some cornflakes, and popped them in cute polka dot cases. Of course, they had to be topped with Mini Eggs. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that are the most effective, and these were yummy! Continue reading

Birthday Biscuits!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, real men craft. It was recently Mr Makes and Bakes’ birthday. We usually spend a day shopping in London for this occasion, however this year he wanted to do something a bit different. When looking for birthday presents, I stumbled across the Biscuiteers website and saw that they offered biscuit decorating classes at their Notting Hill store. Mr Makes and Bakes loves baking (although more bread than biscuits), and he loves eating biscuits, we were onto a winner! Continue reading