Sunday, 1 May 2016

AlphaBakes May 2016


Hi everyone and welcome to May's AlphaBakes. This is the last letter of our second run through the alphabet so the letter won't come as a surprise. If you haven't already seen the roundup for April's entries on Caroline's blog then do head on over to check it out. When we started this journey back in Feb 2012 we'd never have imagined the success that we have achieved and we'd like to thank each and everyone of you who have supported us in the AlphaBakes journey. Sadly all good things must come to an end and for various reasons, we have decided not to continue with AlphaBakes for now. 
We are still accepting entries for this month which is the letter... "F". 

Entry is via the linky tool below and if for some reason it's not working then please email alphabakes@gmail.com by 25th May 2016. Please note the linky won't open until May 4th as I'm on holidays but feel free to email your entries and I'll add them when the linky opens.

Quick reminder of the rules....

1. Post your RECIPE on your blog and link it to The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes, stating the relevant month's host. If you do not have a blog, email us a picture and a brief description of your entry which we will include in the round-up at the end of the month.

2. You can use your own RECIPE or someone else's RECIPE. The recipe can be sweet, savoury or a mixture! Anything goes as long as the random letter is predominantly featured in the recipe as one of the main ingredients or flavours or in the name of the bake itself (i .e . not as a garnish , or using 'flour' for the letter F!) You can also republish old posts/RECIPES but you must include the information for this challenge as stated in these rules.

3. Add the logo to your post and add 'alphabakes' as a label to your post.

4. Entry is via the linky tool below. Alternatively, you can email your entries to alphabakes@gmail.com by midnight (GMT) 25th May 2016. Please include:

  • Your name (that you want included in the round up or we will use the name of your blog) 
  • Your blog post URL 
  • RECIPE title 
  • Photo of RECIPE (to be included in the round up) 


5. You can submit as many entries as you like.

6. You do not have to participate every month to join in.

7. You may submit your entry to other challenges as long as it complies with their rules.

8. If you use twitter, please use the tag #alphabakes and mention @bakingaddict and @Caroline_Makes. We will retweet all those that we see.

9. Have fun! :)





Thursday, 21 April 2016

Chocolate Sweet Shop Cake

Kit Kat, candy cake

A really quick post today as I'm currently on holidays and will be travelling for the next few weeks. I made this for a colleague's son's birthday. Looking back, I've made his birthday cake for the past 3 years (Bin Weevils, Trash Pack, Football Pinata Cake) and they've always been a huge success.  He told his mum that he didn't want a shop bought cake, only a Ros cake! Well how could I disappoint? He initially asked for a playstation 4 cake but my cake decorating skills do not extend that far and I was really pressed for time. Instead I made this chocolate cake and decorated it with Kit Kat fingers, Maltesers, Jelly beans, Smarties and Skittles. He was absolutely delighted with the cake and wrote me a really sweet thank you note which you can see below. 



The cake and buttercream is the same as the Chocolate Easter Cake I made earlier this year and the decorations are as simple as they look here. A short blog holiday for now, see you back in mid-May!

Kit Kat, candy cake

Kit Kat, candy cake

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Toffee Crisp Cookies


These cookies are really simple to make yet extremely addictive and delicious. They are really crispy and crunchy and I love the melted toffee crisp inside. I made 2 batches of these as they were just so delicious and we couldn't stop eating them straight from the oven. J and I both took a batch to work and they disappeared in no time!

I'm sending these to Treat Petite hosted by Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from The Baking Explorer. The theme this month is favourite sweets, chocolates and biscuits which was the inspiration for this bake. I love toffee crisp bars and used to eat a lot of it when I was younger. I decided to bake it into a cookie and was really pleased with the result.



I'm also sending it to AlphaBakes hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and myself on alternate months. The letter this month is 'T' for Toffee Crisp.





 chopped up toffee crisp bars  

 adding them to the cookie batter 

 light, crispy, toffee cookies 

170g butter
80g white sugar
80g brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
250g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 bars of Toffee Crisp, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 180C. 
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Beat the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy.
  • Stir in flour and baking powder.
  • Finally add the chopped Toffee Crisp bars. 
  • I used an ice cream scoop to place cookie dough evenly spaced on a baking sheet. Alternatively drop heaped tablespoonfuls of dough on to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until light brown (centre will still be soft).
  • Allow to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

AlphaBakes 'C' Roundup


Hi all, hope everyone had a good Easter. Sorry for the late roundup but it's just been a little crazy lately. Plus Easter was really early this year and we extended the deadline to accout for Easter. Thank you to everyone who entered this month, a great selection of entries with lots of variety of C's including a savoury entry. Do click on the links to visit the entries. If you haven't already seen what letter we are using in April then do head on over to Caroline's blog to find out. I will be back hosting AlphaBakes in May which will be the last letter of round two. See you all then :) 


1. Chocolate Cupcakes by Jacqueline, Caroline's mum.
2. Butterscotch Cow Cookies by Caroline from Caroline Makes
3. Clementine and Almond cake (gluten free) by Clare, Caroline's sister
4. Chocolate flower shape bundt cake by Jacqueline
5. Coconut sponge with jam in the middle by Jacqueline
6. Chocolate hot cross buns (gluten free) by Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist 


8. Creme Egg & Malteser Chocolate Tiffin Bundt Cake by Karen from Lavender and Lovage
10. Apple and Cinnamon Caramel Cake by Corina from Searching for Spice
11. Chocolate Coconut Cannellini Cake by Choclette from Tin and Thyme
12. Easter Creme Egg Mousse Cake - gluten free by Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist 



13. Lemon, Coconut and Cherry Loaf Cake (Dairy Free) by Suelle from Mainly Baking
14. Peanut Magic Bars (gluten free) by Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist 
15. Chocolate Meringue Easter Nests by Kat from The Baking Explorer
16. Chocolate Easter Cake by Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker
17. Creme Egg Double Chocolate Muffins by Sarah from Plate To Pen 
18. Raw Cacao Easter Cupcakes by Elizabeth from Elizabeth;s Kitchen Diary 




19. Chocolate Easter Cupcakes by Caroline from Caroline Makes
20. Easter Caramel Meringue Nests by Laura from How to Cook Good Food
21. Broken Easter Egg Brownies by Dom from Belleau Kitchen 
22. Homemade Hand-Decorated Easter Eggs by Caroline from Caroline Makes
23. Easy One Tray Roast Chicken by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen 



25. Apple and Calvados Terrine by Jean from Baking in Franglais
26. Vegan Friendly Giant Jaffa Cake by Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen 
27. Marzipan, Cherry & Orange Blossom Sweet Soda Bread by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen 

That's the end of the C round up. Till next time.... 












Sunday, 20 March 2016

Chocolate Easter Cake




Can you believe it's a week till Easter? I know it's early this year but it still seems to have come out of nowhere. I have great plans for Easter baking but I'm not sure if I'll get round to all of it! Thankfully I have an Easter themed cake to share with you today and will definitely be baking a few more in the next week! This cake is a chocaholic's dream and is sure to impress both adults and children. It has a light chocolate sponge sandwiched with chocolate buttercream, surrounded by Kit Kats and is topped with mini eggs and a chocolate bunny and a chocolate duck made from Belgian chocolate. I bought the chocolate figures from my recent trip to Belgium and they taste as good as they look. For my cakes next week I'm going to use Lindt chocolate bunnies, Cabdury milk bunny and a Cadbury Chick. 

I'm sending this to several blog challenges this month.

AlphaBakes hosted by myself and Caroline from Caroline Makes. The letter this month is C for Chocolate. 



We Should Cocoa guest hosted by Linzi from Lancashire Food on behalf of Choclette from Tin and Thyme. The theme this month is eggs. There's real eggs in the cake and chocolate mini eggs in the decoration! 


Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. As mentioned there are real eggs in the cake and lots of mini eggs on top! 


Tea Time Treats hosted by Janie from The Hedgecombers and Karen from Lavender and Lovage. The theme this month is Easter.


#FoodYearLinkUp hosted by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen. This cake is definitely for Easter!



  Chocolate cakes, chocolate frosting, Kit Kats, mini eggs and chocolate figures 


 Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of the cake 

 Add another layer of cake on top and cover the cake - top and sides with frosting. Don't worry if it look messy as it will all be covered in chocolate candy. 

 I love these Chocolate figures I bought from Belgium - so cute! 

 Add Kit Kat Bars around the edge to form a fence. Place the chocolate figures in the centre then scatter mini eggs on top making sure to cover all the gaps and finish with a ribbon round the cake! 


 delicious! 

For the cake
220g plain flour
300g caster sugar
85g cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
1 cup/250mls milk
1/2 cup/ 125mls vegetable oil 
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water, slightly cooled 

For the icing
150g butter
160g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
115g dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons double cream (optional)

For the decorations
Approximately 38 Kit Kat fingers
250g mini eggs
Chocolate figures


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Grease and line 2 x 18cm sandwich tins. 
  • Mix all thedry ingeredients for the cake in an electric mixer. 
  • Add in the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  • Beat well then add in the boiled water. The batter will be very liquid - don't worry!
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake tins and bake in the pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth. 
  • Add the cocoa powder and mix well.
  • Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
  • Finally add in the cream if using. 
  • To decorate the cake, place a small dab of frosting in the centre of a cake board.
  • Place one cake bottom side up on the cake board.
  • Spread a generous layer of frosting and even the top with a palette knife.
  • Place the second cake on top and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
  • Don't worry if its a little messy and you get cake crumbs in the frosting.
  • Use the Kit Kats to create a fence around the cake as shown. 
  • Place the chocolate figures in the centre or wherever your choose and press down gently.
  • Scatter the mini eggs on top, pressing lightly to secure them to the cake. 
  • Finish the look by tying a large ribbon around the cake. 


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Ham and Cheese Pizza Pinweels


It's British Pie Week this week 7- 13 March and I've teamed up with Jus Rol Pastry who are the founders of British Pie Week to create a simple recipe. The inspiration for this idea came from wanting to use up some Serrano ham as we got a whole leg of Serrano Ham for Christmas and only unwrapped it late in January. There's a lot of ham to use up so I've been creating different recipes incorporating Serrano ham. We were invited to a get together at our neighbours and wanted to bring party food to the table. These pizza pinwheels are perfect as they are quick and easy to make and tastes delicious! All you need is a sheet of Jus Rol puff pastry, tomato puree, dried herbs, slices of ham and grated cheese. You can make this vegetarian by omitting the ham and adding in slices of courgette or have it with cheese, tomato and herbs. 


 spread tomato puree on top of the puff pastry 

 add a sprinkling of dried herbs if using 

 add a generous amount of grated cheese, followed by slices of ham. Roll into a sausage and slice with a sharp knife

 Brush with eggwash before baking 



Ham and Cheese Pizza Pinwheels

1 box Jus Rol Puff pastry
1 tube tomato puree
150g grated cheese
dried herbs (optional)
Ham slices - enough to cover the pastry
1 egg for egg wash


  • Preheat the oven to 200C. 
  • Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a non stick surface.
  • Spread a generous layer of tomato puree and smooth with a palette knife. 
  • Add a sprinkling of dried herbs if using.
  • Add the grated cheese then the ham slices, covering the whole pastry sheet. 
  • Starting from the shorter end of the pastry, roll into a sausage. 
  • Cut into slices and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Beat the egg in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of water. 
  • Brush the pastry with the eggwash.
  • Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes but watch closely after 18 minutes or so to make sure it's not burnt. 
  • Serve warm or cold.


Disclaimer : I was sent vouchers from Jus Rol to buy the pastry. I provided all the other ingredients. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

AlphaBakes March 2016


Welcome to March AlphaBakes. It's officially the start of spring and Easter is in March this year so lots to look forward to. If you haven't already seen the Yummy "Y" Roundup on Caroline's blog then do head on over and check it out. For this month the random letter generator has been kind to us and we have a really easy letter which will fit in nicely for Easter as the letter is ...

As Easter is at the end of March and you may well want to enter your chocolatey Easter creations, we are extending the deadline for March until 30th March 2016. The roundup will be posted a few days later and Caroline will start the next challenge on 1st April 2016.  Entry is via the linky tool below and if for some reason it's not working then please email alphabakes@gmail.com by 30th March 2016.

Quick reminder of the rules....

1. Post your RECIPE on your blog and link it to The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes, stating the relevant month's host. If you do not have a blog, email us a picture and a brief description of your entry which we will include in the round-up at the end of the month.

2. You can use your own RECIPE or someone else's RECIPE. The recipe can be sweet, savoury or a mixture! Anything goes as long as the random letter is predominantly featured in the recipe as one of the main ingredients or flavours or in the name of the bake itself (i .e . not as a garnish , or using 'flour' for the letter F!) You can also republish old posts/RECIPES but you must include the information for this challenge as stated in these rules.

3. Add the logo to your post and add 'alphabakes' as a label to your post.

4. Entry is via the linky tool below. Alternatively, you can email your entries to alphabakes@gmail.com by midnight (GMT) 30th March 2016. Please include:
  • Your name (that you want included in the round up or we will use the name of your blog) 
  • Your blog post URL 
  • RECIPE title 
  • Photo of RECIPE (to be included in the round up) 

5. You can submit as many entries as you like.

6. You do not have to participate every month to join in.

7. You may submit your entry to other challenges as long as it complies with their rules.

8. If you use twitter, please use the tag #alphabakes and mention @bakingaddict and @Caroline_Makes. We will retweet all those that we see.

9. Have fun! :)