Novelty Cakes (2nd of 2 Parts)

As mentioned here I learned baking and cake decorating techniques without going to a culinary school, and I have included here some of the kid’s celebratory cakes I’ve made in the last two-three years. Continue reading

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No Bake Napoleon Cake

Every first Sunday of the month we celebrate the birthday and anniversary of our church members and regular attendees, and baking a cake for this occasion is part of my ministry.  On Saturday morning I was on Pinterest trying to find a no-bake cake recipe (the oven is broken), and found this Napoleon Cake.  I made a few changes though; for the biscuit (or cookies) I wanted to use Graham Crackers but the American Food Shop in our neighbourhood didn’t have any.  I then decided to go to Portobello Market to find Graham Crackers but for some reasons, all the shops I went to didn’t have it so I settled on using a similar biscuit called ‘Maria’ after I saw them at Garcia’s, a Spanish food shop on Portobello Road.  In the Philippines this biscuit is called ‘Marie’ and I grew up eating them.  Haven’t had them for ages actually, and seeing them again after so many years certainly brought back a lot of fun memories. 🙂  Continue reading

Not Tired of Eating a Fruit Shortcake

Prompted by a sweet looking fresh strawberries, raspberries and other fruits I picked up at the Farmer’s Market, I’ve been eating shortcakes with various fruits. Yesterday I made my favorite shortcake recipe (Nigella Lawson’s), and had two biscuits worth of mixed berries and whipped cream. I garnished with some fresh mint and that added a delightful touch. Today I had biscuits left, but no more fresh fruits so I took some frozen blueberries (I always keep a big bag in the freezer reserved for smoothies), thawed them and tossed them with a bit of sugar. What do you know?! Blueberry shortcake is pretty delicious as well. Continue reading

Gingerbread Tower Bridge

This should have been posted a couple of months back, around Christmas time, but life gets in the way and other plans happen. Over the years I try to make different gingerbread figures based on some iconic buildings in London like Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, etc.

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A Baking Life

I recently had a chat with a friend of mine back in the Philippines who is a public school teacher. After exchanging pleasantries, we talked about our parents, and because we haven’t talked nor seen each other for years, the conversation just naturally turned into sharing stories that made us both laugh in reminiscence of the good old days of our childhood. I then asked about her job, and she went on for a good fifteen to twenty minutes telling me about her lesson plan for the new school year, her boisterous students, and her classroom walls filled with maps, student work, pictures of far-away places, and large sheets of colored paper with quotations and proverbs. Continue reading

A Life in Food

This is a beautiful coffee table book written by Ms Bea Tollman, the founder and president of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection (composed of thirteen boutique hotels). It is an enjoyable read with captivating stories about the author’s modest beginnings in South Africa to becoming a very successful hotelier.  Continue reading

A Milestone and a Tale of Cake Disaster

Last week I was able to luxuriate in baking and cake decorating.  Lara, a church mate of mine, asked me last summer if I could do a cake for her Mum’s 80th birthday. I adore her Mum so, of course, I was happy to do it even if I am not good at baking or cake decorating. Continue reading

Oreo Chocolate Cake

I woke up this morning asking myself, “What’s going on in the world? I mean, in the political arena alone it seems like the world is going crazy. 🙂 And from whatever angle you look at it, the fanatical hype of political extremism abounds. I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of all the political chatter on social media so I’d rather talk about food right now — about cakes, soups, comfort food — anything but politics! Continue reading

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake (aka Swiss Black Forest Gateau) is my number one favourite cake. And it’s on top of the most delicious cakes I have made from scratch, better than any bakery or patisserie made. I found a recipe from The Cake Bible by Rose Beranbaum, award-winning American baker and cookbook author, and her version of this classic German cake was inspired by Confiserie Tschirren in Berne, Switzerland. They brought the recipe from Germany after World War II, and it has since become the national cake of Switzerland. In Rose Beranbaum’s words, “the Swiss version is far lighter and more delicate than the original German one, which also includes buttercream.” Continue reading

Celebrations and Cakes, Once Again

Consider this a mere placeholder.  Suffice it to say that I did bake these cakes last month for kids at our church. Three of our young people, Angeli, Heather and Tobi, graduated from high school and started junior college, and three small kids, Aaron, Kelly Mae and Zaye, celebrated their birthdays. I’ll come back and fill in this post with some details, and hopefully a recipe and more photos. PrincessCake.JPGAirplaneCake.JPGPoliceCarCake.JPGgraduationcakeAngeliTobiHeather.jpg