Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

So it's almost Easter! This means a number of different things to different people, but for me Easter means, hot cross buns, lambs, and my birthday. 

You may notice that there are no chocolate eggs on my list, that is because my parents, alas, weren't the Easter egg type.. deprived as a child, I know, I know.. (sarcasm). This doesn't mean that I've never had an Easter egg, as over time other people have given them to us, or my Mum has given in to the chocolate wanting children. But it is for this reason that my image of Easter doesn't solely involve chocolate.

My uncle has a farm and around Easter  and the Easter holidays, is always lambing time. As little people me and my sister would go and stay at my Grannies to "help" at lambing, I put this in quotations as I can't imagine how having two small children running round wanting to cuddle and feed all the lambs was even remotely helpful (?!). But it is for this reason that lambs and baby animals remind me of Easter time.

Now, this is the important one, My Birthday! My birthday is a week today and I am already exited (you're never to old for birthdays and presents)! I must also point out another reason for my excitement is that we are going on holiday for my birthday, we're going to Centre Parcs, this does also mean that I will be without wi-fi and therefore blogger. I'm afraid you'll just have to do without me for a week! (For those of you that don't know what Centre Parcs is then go here). My birthday has always fallen in the Easter Holidays so I always associate Easter and the run up to it with my birthday!

Finally hot cross buns. For me I would say that hot cross buns are the food of Easter  In the house where I grew up we had an open fire and around Easter time we would toast hot cross buns over the fire, I have many memories of being curled up in our living room in front of the fire, (don't think it's weird to have the fire going in April) this is England that I live in so, it's never really warm during Easter.

I decided I wanted to bake hot cross buns after watching a number of shows on telly, then when reading through the Good Food magazine I found their recipe for Hot Cross Buns. So, I spent today baking Hot Cross Buns! I don't bake breads that often as I find dough and yeast all rather tedious and time consuming but when I do take the time to make dough I always enjoy it. This probably means I should put my impatience aside and bake bread more often... 

What makes you think of Easter?

Much love Alex-Rose xx


Well, the observant bunch amongst you will probably have noticed that their is something new in the sidebar: The Light and Sweet button! After I nominated her for the blog award (look here) Filiz contacted me and offered a button swap. Now, this was something I just couldn't turn down, so there's her button! xx

Ps. If you have a blog that you think fits with the feel of Raining Cake and Cookies and would be interested in a button swap then comment below and I'll be in touch xx

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Dear Snow,

I admit, at first you were fun and we had a nice time. You caused chaos but that was fine because it felt like Christmas always! 

But now, oh no, you are cold and wet and windy and bloomin' freezing! Not enough for sledging but enough to make it feel like the Arctic! Except it's not the North Pole; it's England! I mean for god's sakes it's Spring, officially spring! 

So I am hoping you understand that it's now time for you to clear off, and clear of for good! I have summer/spring clothes that want wearing! Also it's my birthday in just over a weeks time, I dont want snow on my birthday; my birthday in April!

So, bye bye, ta-ta, au revoir, good day, guten tag, despidida!

Much appreciated,

A frozen English girl xx

Anyway, rant over. As you can probably see/have heard, the snow is back! Yay, (sarcasm)! But this does have one benefit, good excuse for cake! So, whilst outside it was awfully frozen I was toasty and warm baking the most delicious cake, ever, Salted Caramel Chocolate Chiffon Cake! It's just perfect. And this is coming from someone who doesn't usually like chocolate cakes. 

The recipe is from the most recent Good Food magazine and is an adaptation of John's final show-stopper bake (from the Great British Bake off 2012) the heaven or hell cake. After watching the episode (and drooling over his gorgeous cake) I was itching to bake my own one, so as you can imagine I was thrilled when Good Food released this simple-r version!

It is so good. The method isn't too difficult either, I was scared about making the caramel but that was fine! The biggest problem that I encountered was mixing the butter and the caramel to make salted caramel butter cream. I don't really know what i did wrong but it was much too runny and just would thicken, so in the end I whipped some double cream and then added the runny salted caramel butter cream to that, making a delicious butterscotch-y cream.

The bitter dark chocolate ganache on top, the light sponge and the sweet cream just make the most heavenly combination. Honestly, I could quite easily eat the entire cake (I didn't though, don't worry)!

I honestly don't think the photos do it justice because the spiked piping to decorate looks really dramatic and striking in real life; you can't really tell that well on the pictures hut you'll just have to take my word for it!

Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Exiting Stuff

Recently this week I was contacted by the lovely Cupcake Girl from My Cupcake Habit (check out her blog it is so worth a read!) to tell me that she would like to nominate me for the Versatile Blog Award! I was so surprised, and so touched! It came as such a shock as this blog is only a baby, not yet six months old. 

So I'll explain a little about the award, it's passed on from blogger to blogger, if/when you are nominated you must then do two things: firstly nominate 15 more bloggers, then tell your readers (you guys) seven facts about yourself so that they know a little more about you.

So lets get started, the fifteen bloggers that I am nominating are:

  1. Being little -by lyzi
  2. Sprinkle of Glitter -by Louise
  3. Ella -by Ella
  4. Ruby Ruby Slippers -by Lianne
  5. Sally Tangle -by Sally
  6. Frikken Duckie -by Duckie
  7. Light and Sweet -by Filiz
  8. Amour La Fille -by Leah
  9. Zoella -by Zoe
  10. 'Amy Valentine -by Amy
  11. Bonjour Cupcake -by Amy
  12. Charlestown Vintage -by Charlie
  13. From Gem Love -by Gem
  14. Spoon Fork Bacon -by Jenny and Teri
  15. The Briar Rose Blog -by Megan
Now for seven facts about me:

  1. I have one older sister, two older step-sisters, one younger step brother and one much younger half brother; lots, I know!
  2. I currently have a bouncy dog called Barney (spaniel and collie cross, 1 1/2 years old) and a lazy but cuddly tabby cat called Titch. 
  3. I used to play the Oboe, but I quit...
  4. I started this blog 5 months ago because I love reading other peoples blog and was encouraged to start my own.
  5. The first blog I ever read was being little by Lyzi
  6. I am grade four in Tap, and also do contemporary.
  7. When I was little my favourite toy was a red cow called "cow", I was such an imaginative child... (sarcasm)
Hope you've enjoyed this,
Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Maple and Pecan Scones

Well, I had a bit of a baking disaster... I'll explain. I was reading the Olive magazine when I saw their recipe for macaroons and though "Ooooooh, don't they look lovely, I'll bake them" So I started baking but then realised we didn't have all the ingredients and had to dash to the shops.  I just wasn't concentrating because it was only when I was piping little pink circles onto the tray that I thought "This doesn't have much almond in it, how odd?" I put the first tray into the oven regardless and then when I was cleaning up I found the bowl of ground almond and icing sugar... I hadn't sieved it all in... in fact I had barely sieved a quarter of it! The macaroons were not actually macaroons and didn't work so they were scrapped...

But, I didn't want to give up entirely so I decided the best thing to do would be to just bake something else, something simple, some scones! I've made these maple and pecan scones before and they are absolutely delicious, so yummy warm with a little butter in the middle.

Scones are delicious but I definitely prefer sweet to savoury when it comes to them. I can just a bout manage a warm cheese scone but cold, urg. no, no, no! Sweet scones like, fruit or chocolate on the other hand I love, so simple yet so scrumptious!

What do you prefer, sweet or savoury?

Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers day, I hope you're all enjoying a lovely day. So, today's mothers day and today's a bit of a weird year as it's snowing; no I am not joking, it is snowing. In March. On Mother's Day, it is snowing... I woke up this morning and my initial thought was "oh no, I've slept in", we wanted to do breakfast in bed for Mum and she gets up ridiculously early, but it was Ok because she slept in too! Phew! But my second thought as looked out the window was "What on earth, SNOW! Oh my god... why is it snowing?" I haven't really been watching the weather forecast all that closely but there had been rumours of snow. I thought someone was joking, turns out they weren't... we descend into the ice age once more. Its not all bad though, the dog loves it,  it's very pretty, and sledging here we come!

Anyway,back to the real topic of this post, mothers day. I honestly never do enough on Mother's day, my Mum deserves so much more than breakfast in bed. Mum, I love and you are the best, we don't thank you enough so, thankyou, lots of love and hugs too xoxox

In the pictures is the cake I made for Mother's day it's iced with vanilla butter cream and there's jam inside. It's not that fancy but there's a surprise inside, it's striped! But I haven't cut it yet so you'll have to wait for pictures of that.

Happy Mother's day, whatever you're doing!

Much Love Alex-Rose xx

Friday, 8 March 2013

Lemon Biscuits

*sigh* The weather is feeling so cold again; cold and drizzly... This is such a sad face, because I was really enjoying our little teaser of warmness! The weather was finally warming up and for a tiny moment I thought that maybe we would be saying farewell to the fog, drizzle, and cold mornings of winter; but no, this is England that I live in, so I suppose that was wishful thinking.

Anyway, on a less depressing note, to cheer myself up I decided to bake something lemony! Lemons are so juicy and tangy and just generally remind me of summer, so they seem the perfect thing for a grey day in a chilly March. 

So my little bake of (wishing it was) summer are crisp lemon biscuits from the blog Whisk Kid (link at the bottom of the page). This blog is beautiful and full of tasty recipes!

At first I wasn't sure whether the biscuits were working because they didn't look like biscuits at all; more like Madeleine's when I took them out they looked a little more biscuit like but still very cake-y? But once they had cooled and I tried them they were delicious, soft and cake-y in the middle but crisp on the outside, the lemon flavour comes through really well and with a bit of chocolate drizzle they are just perfect!

Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Whisk Kid:

Monday, 4 March 2013

To round things up.

So, this is sort of a tying things up post, if you haven't a clue what I'm going on about at any point then just read the post before and things should make sense!

So firstly, I would like to say that yesterday was a massive success, we had a lovely time and ate WAY too much cake, we still are actually! I think I went a little OTT with the chocolate crispies... they're lovely but there's a lot. The cupcakes went down a treat and I was pleased with how the colours went together and all the veggies/fruits in the jars looked. I would say the only thing that wasn't scoffed in super quick time would be the sandwiches, but you've got to admit it, who wants sandwiches when there's chocolate and cake on offer?
Everyone loved it all and I got a lot of compliments for it(woop woop); not to be big headed...

The day before yesterday me and my mum went out as it was a lovely day, we even broke out the sunglasses! ...not that they were really needed... Anyway, we ended up buying quite a bit, especially from the cook-shop which is just AMAZING! It's the sort of shop that you go into and think "I-NEED-EVERYTHING-HERE!", or is that just me? I bought, a number of different sized cupcake cases, some cup measuring spoons (so I can bake American recipes, yay!) the mini 1/3 pint glass milk bottle (featured in the last post), a really cute little teal coloured bowl (Of course I needed that!?) some lolly-pop sticks, and a tea-pot! Some how we ended up in the sweet shop buying decorations for the cakes and just general treats, it was definitely worth it! The weather held out but eventually it started to get a bit nippy so, after spending a long time and too much money we went home and the baking began!

The recipes are here too, just to note, these are rather simple and some things a bit cheaty but they make great party food and remind me of my childhood. You probably know how to make most of them but I thought I would put it all on just in case! xx

"The Shop"

Much Love Alex-Rose xxx

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Special Day

Well, today is a very special day, it's my lovely sister's (Eleanor) birthday! She has helped me so much with this blog, and was actually the person who told me I should start a blog! So as you can imagine I have a lot to thank her for.

As part of her birthday, we had a tea-party, no she isn't six... but tea party's suit any age, even oldies. So yesterday, I went out and bought all sorts of nice things for it and then baked numerous lovely edibles, mini, medium and big. I'll post about yesterday another time, I can't just yet (in case she reads my blog). In true birthday style all this was only decided on Friday and I didn't wrap her present until 11pm last night... nothing like last minute!

At the tea party we had: Alphabet and gummy bear cupcakes (of all sizes), sparkly crispy cakes (they never get old!), chocolate dipped marshmallow pops, magic wands (White chocolate finger with magic stars on the ends. Our mum always made these for us as little kids and I thought it would be a cute little addition, plus they taste great) mini tomato pizzas, puff pastry numbers (we used to make these when we were little because Eleanor was too fussy for sandwiches) and mini sandwiches of different flavours! I can't wait; I swear I was more exited then she was...! I'll put the recipes on another day, but there's pictures below.

I really hope she liked it and has a great day because Eleanor, although we might not always agree I love you heaps and think you're "super amazing". Enjoy being three years older than me, but not for long, HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU OLDIE! xxx

Present for the birthday girl xx


Alphabet Cupcakes

Marshmallow Pops- in the cutest little milk bottle ^_^

Gotta have crispy cakes!

Tea pot!

Gummy Bear cupcakes

Magic Wands!

Quite the party

I wanted to make this little tea-party full of our childhood foods and memories; I think I succeeded.  I forgot how much I loved so many of these things, they never get old! xx

What are your childhood party foods?

Much love Alex-Rose xxx
Ps. Only a month until my birthday now! :)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies

Well, sorry for being so unfaithful to you blog land but other things were on my mind and I was just totally stumped for ideas, but here I am back and fresh with ideas!

So today I decided to bake some cookies, using the recipe from Claudia Winkleman's Great Comic Relief Bake-off cookies. The only problem being that I didn't have all the chocolate that was required (what is my life coming to)! So had to substitute 450g of dark chocolate for that of Cadburys Whole Nut a decision that I actually am semi glad of as it did make the cookies a bit different but I don't think Milk chocolate works all that well in them as it isn't strong enough. But, my worst troubles were still to come... After following all the steps using the right amount of everything I began spooning the mixture onto my prepared trays, it did cross my mind that the mixture was very runny (just like brownie mix to be more precise?!) this not only meant that it was hard to make the cookies the same size but also when I was cooking them they didn't need anywhere near the time suggested so they stuck to the tray! Something was wrong... before lobbing in more flour I checked the episode on you-tube and sure enough Claudia's cookies looked nothing like my odd runny wafer thin biscuits. The first (tester tray) was binned and I decided to edit the mix, I added a shed load of flour (no joke, loads was needed) and then spooned heaps of the new mix onto a couple of trays and they went into the oven. The new thicker mixture seriously improved the cookies, they rose up and turned into beautiful (rather big) golden cookies, I left them to cool then dipped them half into melted milk chocolate; they are delicious! So, what started out as a terrible failure turned out to be a great success  xx

Much love Alex-Rose xxx

Ps. Anyone got any ideas as to why mine (before changing them) were so runny and unlike hers!? Could it have anything to do with the change in chocolate as that was the only thing that I change, seems unlikely, but I can't think of anything else? xx