Friday, 30 August 2013

well well well.

Well... what can I say... Its been a while hasn't it?

Over the past few months I took a break from blogging but recently I was missing it and decided I wanted back on the blogging train! So here I am -actually no, not here.

I decided that I needed a fresh start and a new blog to take me in a new direction.

I suppose this is a goodbye to Raining Cake and Cookies... So, ta-ta for now you lovely people hopefully I'll see you soon over at the new blog, and if not then thank you for being part a wonderful part of this blog.

Much love,

Alex-Rose xxx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

A Grand Day Out

Barter Books, it is Amazing! For those of you who don't know it's a gigantic second hand book shop inside the old Alnwick railway station. Its so full of character and the staff are super friendly, you can even take dogs inside, plus there's a cafe which sells beautifully delicious home made cakes. Honestly its just  jaw-dropping-ly Amazing... 
So recently we took a trip put and I took some (actually rather a lot) of pictures and I thought I'd share them with you!

Then off we popped to the beach!

The weather was wonderful and what had actually been a spontaneous trip out, turned into one of the most amazing days. I think there the best sort of good days; the spontaneous ones.

What do you think?

Much Love,
A slightly tanned Alex-Rose xx

Just to confirm this is not a sponsored post, I just think that Barter Books is Amazing.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Apple and Maple Cookies

This recipe originates from one in the Great British Bake off cookbook (sticky maple and apple tray bake). It is absolutely divine! Recently I was looking at that recipe thinking,
"hmmmm should I make this again?" but then I saw a recipe for cookies in the latest Good Food magazine and that made me think again. I really wanted cookies... So I use the maple and apple flavours with the cookie recipe.

The cookies themselves just have apples in them and it is the icing which is used to stick them together that gives them the maple flavour, much like the tray bake where the icing is the only maple flavoured component.

Before I made them I was a little worried about whether or not apples would actually work in cookies and I can confirm that they do! But first you must cube your peeled and cored apples then sauté them in butter and brown sugar. This gives them a lovely butterscotch-y coating and cookies them through a little, taking away the bite that raw apples have. This means that when your cookies are finished the apples are delicious and soft just adding little sprinkles of extra flavour and texture throughout the cookie.

My only complaint would be that the icing needs to go in the fridge if you are keeping them, but generally I would say try and eat them all on the same day as baking. What am I saying!? "Try and eat them on the same day" I'm sure you'll have no issues!

Hope your all having a nice week? On the plus side its half way to the weekend! *Woop woop*

Much Love
Alex-Rose xxx

Monday, 6 May 2013

"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?"

Well, what gorgeous weather we're having! More about that later, but first I better address the big subject... Where have I been?

Where have I been... I am terribly sorry for my absence and hoped you survived without me, but blogging had to take the back seat in the last couple of weeks. Shameful, isn't it? But it was necessary as I had a ridiculous amount of assignments due in and exams, as well as a number of other events! All in all culminating in a very stressful week. More importantly it meant I had no time to blog, bake or for that matter do anything other than write essays and revise... So Dull!
But, this weekend I decided to hop back into the swing of things and so got out my camera and took a few snaps in the garden. I was rather pleased with them if I may say so myself, so I thought I would share them with you lot!

That brings me nicely onto the next subject, Sunshine! It was almost 20 degrees on Saturday!This may not sound like much to some of you but here in the north of England that's about as good as it gets! Finally it feels like summer, and I'm loving it. I love it when its warm and sunny because it makes the day so much better. When its sunny you can where dresses and prance about for no reason at all, but not feel silly because its so sunny. You can go to the beach and splash in the sea even though its stupidly cold. You can have barbecues and eat outside. Everyday feels like a holiday.

More than anything this little snippet of sunshine has made me so exited for the summer. I am most definitely a summer sort of person.

Are you a summer sort of person?

Much Love,
Alex-Rose xxx

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet XVIII: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? by William Shakespeare

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Doughnut Cupcakes

Well, it's been a busy day and so this is a little rushed but I thought I better pop these lovelies on. They were so popular with everyone! I don't really know what it is about them, as all they really are is cupcakes with jam in the middle and sugar on top but, they are divine! Although, the texture of the cake it's self isn't totally cakey, more of a cake, muffin and doughnut mutation.
Not too sweet but plenty sweet enough, soft and crumbly with gooey jam. The only thing I will say is they are a tad messy.. sugar gets everywhere!

They were dead simple too and took no time at al. You definitely don't need to leave them to cool as I would say they are best eaten warm; Not that you'll want to have them any other way they smell and look gorgeous!

Moving on as you can see I've had a bit of a change about, again... I had been wanting to do something different and I can't decide whether or not this design is right for the blog? Give me your opinions, is it easy enough to read?

Sorry for such a short post, hope you've all enjoyed your weekend?

Much Love Alex-Rose xxx

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Swirled Cookie Pops!


Well, I hope you're all coping with the end of the holidays! I am most definitely missing them... 7 AM is just way too early for waking up!

But on a more positive note, I don't know about you but we are having some gorgeous weather at the moment. Bring on the sunshine, shorts, Holidays, and dresses! Or maybe not dresses as it's been mad windy round here recently.
It's weird to think that only a few weeks ago some places were buried under drifts of snow?!

Anyway, back on track, the bake. These were my fist ever try at cookie pops, and like any first attempt it had its fair share of mishaps... The major issue being that on my first "tester" tray of cookie pops I put them in the oven with their PLASTIC sticks inserted... Clever move on my part I know, so yeah as you  can Imagine it didn't take long before I realised that the sticks probably shouldn't look glossy and wet and be wilting in the oven... So I took them out and scrapped that tray. So disaster averted I decided to put the cookies in the oven with a hole already inserted in them, but no stick, and bake them before putting the stick in once they were cool. I glued them in place with melted chocolate. This was until  came across some wooden lollipop sticks and decided to try those out as well, for anyone who is interested I can assure you that the best thing to use for cookie pops are most certainly using wooden lollipop sticks. Bake them with the wooden sticks already inserted, Not plastic ones... That said in the pictures mine have the plastic sticks as most f them were done that way. But aside from that minor disaster all went fine and the results were delicious! 

The recipe was an adaptation of one in the book Make Me Cake and Cookie Pops and I will be trying other recipes from this book for sure as there is some very cute ideas. Also, expect to see a lot more "Pops", of all varieties, as I now have a few different Pop books and am planning to do a review of them all at some point in the future.

Only two more full days until the weekend!

Much Love Alex-Rose xxx

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Salted Caramel Millionaires Shortbread

Hello again, it feels like I've been writing lots of posts over the last week (not that that's a bad thing!) but anyway here's another, Salted Caramel Millionaires Shortbread!

After being inspired by my recent creation (salted caramel chocolate chiffon cake) and new love of salted caramel, I really wanted to try something else using those flavours. Only problem, I wasn't sure what... Then I got a lovely comment from Obsessive Compulsive Baking Disorder about her love of salted caramel and how she had made some salted caramel brownies. These to me sounded like heaven and it got me thinking about salted caramel in tray bakes and the first one that struck me was to sound just yummy was Millionaires Shortbread. It already has the caramel in it so surely it would be easy to change: just add the salt? And I'm so gl;ad I did because the end bake is simply gorgeous, the salted caramel and dark chocolate go so well together. Not too sweet but not too bitter; a little slice of heaven.

I have to say they were quite time consuming but in a "little by little" kind of way(?) so you can do other things around them. Each layer in its self didn't take long to prepare, but you have to wait for the previous to cool before adding it so it does take a little longer than you would expect, or maybe I was just unrealistic; probably the latter...

All in all the result was how I'd wanted it although, if I'm being fussy I'll mention that I would have liked it if my caramel had been a little firmer so it didn't squidge out the sides when I sliced it up... but you cant have everything!

Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Friday, 12 April 2013

A Day In The Life.

This post is a bit different, after seeing this on many other blogs I decided to give the "photo an hour" post a go. It turned out to be more difficult than I had expected so I'm very sorry that I missed out a couple of hours... I would have liked to have uploaded this yesterday but by the evening I was too busy drowning in essay notes... But anyway, here's what I did yesterday!

9:00 Breakfast! Chopped fruit with yoghurt, granola and a hot chocolate on the side because I can't stand tea or coffee!

10:00 Ready for a dog walk! Doc. Martins, I love them <3
11:00 Dog walking with Barney, or more dog swimming... 
Ok, ok so it was meant to be one photo an hour, but he's just too sweet...
And another... but just look at the ears!
12:00 Quick stop for another hot chocolate...

1:00 Lunch! Vegetable soup with tomatoes and toast.
2:00 This cute thing, Titch our cat and resident pillow stealer, came to visit me.
And another, if you haven't noticed by now I kind of have a soft spot for the pets. They're just too cute...
3:00 The final layer of the millionaires shortbread I was making is added.

Terribly sorry as at 4 and 5 O'clock I totally forgot to take any pictures so we'll just have to skip straight to 6 O'clock.
6:00 I was making tea at this point and the picture shows some of our roasted peppers as for tea I was making roasted peppers with chicken goujons and spicy couscous. Delicious!

7:00 Taking pictures of the finished Millionaires Shortbread, and I can confirm that it is absolutely gorgeous! 
8:00 Snuggled down with the laptop to continue essay writing... and getting distracted... again. 
This isn't really anything to do with baking but I want to incorporate more of a lifestyle element to the blog and this felt like a good thing to start with. I hope you've enjoyed this little nosy into my life and I promise that I do actually leave the house for more than just a dog walk on a daily basis it just happened that today I ended up spending a lot of time as a house slug! Do let me know if you would like more posts in a similar style to this? 

Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Banana and Raspberry Smoothies


This is an unplanned post as I hadn't really intended to bake or make anything today but found myself making smoothies... Does this happen to anyone else, or is it just me? Whilst trying to avoid doing boring things I end up spontaneously making something? 

I must admit though, I'm very glad that I did as smoothies are one of my all time favourite things and are just so easy to make, but the result is Amazing! With a sprinkle of oats on top Raspberry and Banana smoothies are like heaven in a glass... or milk bottle!

I found this cute bottle in the local Cook Shop a couple of months ago and it looks just too adorable in these pictures, but its one of those things that I own but just never know what to do with? 

I have so many cute jars and bowls and tins that would be lovely ways to present bakes but I just can't get them right... Oh well, I suppose that practise is a good excuse for baking more! 

This smoothie is Banana and Raspberry flavoured but smoothies are so versatile that you can swap the flavours around to suit what fruits you've got in the house. All you need is, a good handful of chopped fruit or berries, one banana, two tablespoons of plain yoghurt, a blender and oats to serve it with. Throw the fruit and yoghurt into the blender and blitz until smooth them pour into a glass and top with oats! 

For a twist on smoothie you could add ice cream and then lemonade to form what as a child we used to call "Foaming Volcanoes" I'm sure they have an actual name but that's what we used to call them. Putting Ice cream and smoothie with lemonade sounds like a disaster but trust me its delicious. *WARNING* Your Volcano will foam and froth quite a lot so make sure your glass is plenty big enough!

What do you do to waste time when you have something boring to do?

Much love Alex-Rose xx

Monday, 8 April 2013

Hot Chocolate Tea-Cup Cakes

Well hello there,

I have returned to the land of blogs! After a week or so away I have so much catching up to do and feel very out of the loop. It seemed like I chose the busiest week (in blogland) to go to a little forest with no wi-fi! It was this week that my first button swaps went, mostly, up and running(!). 

I must thank and apologise to the lovely bloggers who've swapped. Thank you for helping me sprinkle my love for baking, a little wider, around the blog-O-sphere and sorry for being a tad scatty! 

Now would seem a good time to point out the new buttons in the side bar: Me + The Moon, Amour la fille, as well as Light and Sweet. I seriously encourage you all to go check out these wonderful blogs, these lovely spaces of web are such good reads and some of my many favourites!

Anyway, on to the bake, the idea for this was inspired by my holiday in general as I drank bucket loads of hot chocolate over the last week. I literally live on a diet of marshmallows, cream and hot chocolate when the weather gets colder so when I was given these adorable "cup"cake cases (for my birthday, thank you very much lovely older sister) I knew I wanted to bake hot chocolate themed cakes!

The cases themselves were from Lakeland and can be found here. Although, I'm sure you could find others from different shops, as they are such a cute idea! You bake the cake inside the tea cup so it holds the shape and they come with adorable matching saucers; what's not to love?

I've topped my chocolate cakes with plain butter icing, mini marshmallows and a sprinkling of cocoa powder. They are designed to look like hot chocolate but if that's not your style I'm sure you could remodel it to fit other hot drinks!

I'm thinking up an earl grey cupcake recipe for one of my sisters birthdays, and will be using these cases for definite!

Anyone ever used other shaped silicone cases before?

Much love Alex-Rose xxx