Sky Blue Chocolate Cake

“Whoever said blue was just for boys, was wrong.”

A cake I wish I could swim in.. well it wouldn’t be a first I guess, but it’s mostly due to the dreamy azure shade of blue that  reminds me of a warm tropical ocean.

Okay enough of the romantic metaphors..

I whipped up this dark chocolate cake at 10.30pm the night before my mum’s birthday and frosted it whilst she was at work on the day. A little last minute due to a busy week, but how could I not bake her a birthday cake! She asked for a chocolate cake and said she fancied a teal or turquoise shade of buttercream.. a brief I ran with! I really hope she enjoyed the finished product. I loved the expression on her face as she walked in from work to find a table full of presents she never expected, and even two bunches of flowers from Dad, whilst my little sister and I sprung up from our hiding place behind the table and shouted ‘Happy Birthday!!!’

I adore the contrast between the rich chocolate-brown and the fresh bright shades of blue. The type of colour scheme you would find in the brochure of a luxury interior designer. I had attempted to create an ombre effect with the different shades of blue, like that of the gorgeous Sweetapolita, but was a little disappointed as I soon realised that my cake was not tall enough at the side to create the full effect, and even more that my colours were not distinctly different enough, and they really did just blend into one. Although hopefully you can notice a light change in tone in the first photo, and appreciate my feeble effort. However, this is a technique I shall most definitely try and master next time, perhaps with pink or purple! Hmm.. imagining a cake already!

For this yummy cake I used my new favourite birthday cake recipe, the super easy One Bowl Dark Chocolate Cake from Sweetapolita, and frosted it with my classic Vanilla Buttercream.

These two weeks spell birthday season, with first my mum’s and then mine within a week of each other. This calls for much cake, presents and our usual girly shopping trip. It’s a time that is also of course, the time to head back to school, and this year for me, it means a whole new school and a whole new beginning…

I am excited, and of course a little nervous. I start a school which over a year ago I would never have though of attending, one which I had stroked off in my head for a number of different reasons. Yet after actually visiting the school,      the warmth and welcome I felt drew me in, and I suddenly had a complete U-turn. I knew that this was where I wanted to go for Sixth-Form. Now  a year later, after thankfully being offered a place, I start my first day tomorrow!

I purposefully and bravely I guess, decided to go the opposite direction to all my friends. And I mean ALL. There is one other guy from my previous school joining me, and that is it. I knew for a while that I wanted to find my own way, break off from the crowd of old familiar faces, meet new people and find a change of scenery. Yes, of course I will miss my old friends, and I am most definitely not waving goodbye to my closest girlfriends, but I am excited at the prospect of new starts and new things ahead.

Butterflies will fill my stomach, I am certain, as I walk through the door to a crowd of strangers, who all know each other, but not me. Yet I have confidence that everything will be fine.. I’ve done something much more scary!

Last summer I stepped on a bus at 4.30 in the morning, with a bunch of new people I had never met, bound for an international conference in Canada, where I would have to meet another 200 new people from all corners of the world. Scary biscuits! Yet this was one of the most exciting, memorable, amazing experiences of my life! You know why? I learnt that underneath it all, we’re all the same. We all have the same fears, the same worries and more things in common than we can imagine. I met a girl from New York who seemed to be like my long lost sister, and we became inseparable. Crazy right?

So although it will be tough for the first few days, and even weeks, I know that things will be alright, and I’m excited for my future at this new school!

Oh, but lastly, I have some sad news..  As I am now going back to school, and the world of studying, exams and homework, the cupcakes might not just be so frequent, nor the cakes or bakes. But I promise, in the sweet name of macarons, that I will try my best to keep you all updated with all that I learn and get up to, in and out of the baking bowl in these coming months.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me.

Amy xox

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Buttercream Cake

 

A decidedly grown up cake. Raspberry buttercream layered between sticky, sweet chocolate cake, and covered in a deep dark chocolate ganache? The perfect cake to say Happy Birthday to my lovely Dad.

On a rare break from watching the Olympics, yes I am engrossed, and spend every moment I can soaking up all the action.. I baked this delicious cake for the main man in my life. Daddy! He adores a big bowl of fresh raspberries and cream when he comes home from work, so I knew his cake needed to have raspberries in it somehow. Paired with his love of chocolate, and I knew it called for only one thing. This yummy recipe from Sweetapolita. I played about with it a little, especially the buttercream, but I hope I did it justice. She was so kind to reply to me on Twitter when I tweeted her a photo of it! I was thrilled, and it definitely made my day.

This is by no means a perfectly executed cake, it’s a little rough around the edges I know. But I feel that’s part of its charm, it’s approachable, and it certainly makes up for it when you take a huge bite! Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

August have arrived, and that means only one thing.. the holidays are half way over and the new term of September looms even closer. Right now I don’t really want to dwell on that thought as I am perfectly happy where I am right now, and loving every minute of the time I have to relax and enjoy summer. At the beginning of every holidays, I always draw up an imaginary list of all the things I would like to have done, or feel I should have completed by the end of summer. Things I will look back on and remember, make it stand out, make me feel it has been a memorable summer. I never manage to complete that imaginary list, and yet I never feel that the summer has been wasted.Yes it may have flown by, far too fast for my liking, but so far I still have very fond memories of all my summers. Perhaps the need to feel I have achieved something, or done something out of the ordinary overrides the simple need to relax, unwind and enjoy a peaceful vacation.

We all sat together as a family, (a rare occasion) and enjoyed this 3 layer delight. Dad’s first exclamation of “Mmmm!” was enough to convince me it was all worth it and it had been a success. The sharpness of the raspberry takes away a little of the ultra sweetness of the buttercream, whilst the rich dark chocolate on top makes an amazing partner for the fresh raspberries and moist chocolate cake. An all-round crowd pleaser.

I wouldn’t want to take any credit for this delicious recipe, and to be perfectly honest when it comes to the buttercream I can’t remember the exact recipe I must have used in the end, as I played around with the flavour and texture for so long! (I have began to bake by instinct now I reckon) and also, I forgot to add the vanilla extract into the cake, oops! So if you would like to make your own Chocolate and Raspberry masterpiece, then please head on over to Sweetapolita, and give it a try:

Dark Chocolate Cake

Swiss Meringue Buttercream  

(though as I mentioned, I didn’t like the texture of how mine turned out, and added icing sugar and whipped until it was more like regular buttercream.)

Dark Chocolate Ganache 

This turned out PERFECT! Give it try!

Once again, thank you so much for stopping by Snazzy Biscuits, your continued comments and support means the world, and I can’t wait to share more yummy bakes with you!

Amy x

 

Butterfly Pops

Finally I am free!

Today I put on my high school uniform for the very final time. Yesterday was my very last exam before summer.. geography. Human geography. A heck of a lot of facts came flowing out of my head, to my amazement, so thankfully the time I spent in between blogging and baking may just have been more productive than I thought!

And how did I spend my first few hours of freedom and unadulterated bliss? Browsing the cookery section of my small town’s surprisingly large department store of course!  Baking on the brain..

They say school days are the best days of your life.

I guess I sort of half-believed my English teacher when she chirped that every Monday morning.. but not so much when it was raining, or snowing, or so windy I looked like I’d fallen backwards through a bush on my way to class. On those many occasions, I’m sure I could have found a million other ways to better spend my days.

Yet she was right. It’s only now, as it finally dawns on me that people I have spent every single day with, shared the smallest and biggest moments together, stood by each other and held one another up, we won’t be together for very much longer. Because it’s not the cold dingy classrooms I’ll miss, or the mind-numbingly boring assembly, and most definitely not the assessments which stripped me of my social life for weeks on end.. oh no!

I’ll miss the smiles, the faces, the warmth, the family. We may have started to drift apart, or see each other differently as we grew. Innocent little girls can become seasoned gossipers and relationship ruiners. Guys can become, well jerks lets be honest! Though the bond you share with your high school year is a bond that is something very special, something worth savouring and holding on to.

So it’s with a smile, and a giggle and just a small tear I guess, that I wave goodbye to this high school, and I look towards  the next two years of my journey.. I will soon be spreading my wings.

(Please excuse the awful pun, and lets get onto those pops!)

These were my first encounter of the cake pop kind, and I guess I’m pretty happy with the outcome!

Relatively simple to make, though I’m afraid these little bites never come out as perfectly rounded and smoothly coated as the recipe books suggest, as is the case for most things I’ve found! But definitely worth trying, these little pops had my little sister and her friend standing in amazement and licking their lips.. Setting up this shot with so many pretty pink girly delights also had me quite excited too!

I recently came across flavoured chocolate buttons, the British equivalent to candy melts I’m guessing. Though I’ve heard they can be tastless? Well, let me tell you, these chocolate buttons were the yummiest type of chocolate I think I’ve come across!

Pink buttons = sweet strawberry flavour

Orange buttons = tangy orange flavour

They were simply scrumptious! Found myself eating a little too many before they made it to the melting stage.. woops! But i would definitely recommend you try and find some like these, a big sticky thumbs up!

If you would like to make your own Butterfly Pops you will need:

1 layer cake, cooled and crumbled

frosting (i used whatever i had leftover.. whatever takes your fancy!)

candy melts, or flavoured chocolate buttons for my British friends!

sugar paper for wings

I roughly followed this recipe from Bakerella

1. Mix cake crumbs and frosting in a large bowl until it starts to come together.

2. Get your hands messy, and start to bring the mixture together. Roll into small balls in the palm of your hand.

*mixture needs to be moist, but not TOO moist, or it will start to fall apart and come away from the stick.

3. Melt some chocolate, dip the end of a lollipop stick in it, and gently slide it into the cake pop, just under halfway.

4. Put in freezer to harden for a while. Then when firm, melt coating and swirl your cake pop in gently, coating all sides.

*chocolate will harden very quickly as pops have been in freezer!

5. I used a pencil to draw wings onto sugar paper, cut them out with scissors and scattered with sparkle dust.

6. Attach wings to cake pops using a small amount of extra chocolate.

Et voila! Hope you enjoy!