#2: Poker cake – how to do it.

Possibly the most ambitious cake I’ve ever made! This was for my fella’s 30th birthday – as a poker player and avid cake lover, it was the perfect cake.

It’s a chocolate cake with lemon buttercream and fondant icing. If you have tins and basic equipment you can make this without buying loads of fancy stuff (I used a wine bottle top to cut out the chips and a cassette tape box to measure the cards!)

I did a lot of research for ideas, sketched my design, did a lot of bad maths for dimensions then just went for it!

Here’s how I did it.

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Making a meal out of procrastination

Hello. Sorry for the delay.

Putting it off

This blog became a bit of a source of shame due to the lack of updates – the more I thought about it, the more embarrassed I was about not updating it so kept putting it off.

No good reason really, except I did sort of move jobs (same company, different hours – no longer getting up at 5am on weekends so started going out till 5am instead! Hooray, socialising).

With less than 3 months to go until 30 I’ve realised I’m not bothered about doing everything on the list. Continue reading

My Big Fat love of Gypsy music

In just over 3 months, the most popular post on the blog so far is clementine cake. I’m thrilled – re-discovering baking to complete the 30×30 list has been a joy, especially as others seem to like it. But sometimes even something that’s fun is really procrastination, taking away energy from one of the things I love the most: music.

If you live in the UK you’ve probably read and heard some of the debate around the Channel 4 show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. A lot of it centres around whether the show represents the Traveller community in a poor light by focusing on big wedding dresses and over-sized cakes.

There’s an interesting piece in the Guardian here as well as a discussion between a Traveller and one of the series producers.

Whilst I can’t claim to have a particularly in-depth knowledge of the issues faced by Travellers and Gypsies, I do have a longstanding love of gypsy music, particularly Balkan, which has led to Continue reading

#2: Clementine cake

Ever put 5 whole clementines in a blender?

It sounds insane. But it tastes delicious.

Clementine cake with vanilla ice cream

Here’s my attempt at clementine cake, which does indeed call for whole clementines. I think it’s originally a Nigella Lawson recipe, but I used a simplified version of this one from Celebrity Masterchef. Takes a while but totally worth it, as it’s light, zesty and flour- and (almost) butter-free so a second slice is totally acceptable! Continue reading

2011: A summary in numbers

Since my last post (not including the one today) I actually managed to make some headway into some of the things on my 30×30 list:

#2: Make or taste 30 new things.
I’ve made Candied Citrus Peel and Panforte from the excellent Gifts From The Kitchen book (here is my rather posh-looking wrapped panforte).

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