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Orange sponge cake fingers on sticks with melted white chocolate, various sprinkles and Cadbury Flake pieces.

I hate leftovers so today decided to use these off cuts of cake to make some cake fingers with the kids. It was great to get the kids involved in baking and decorating. My youngest helped whisk the sponge mixture but got a little annoyed when the mixture stuck to the whisk and managed to flick it all over herself. Both kids were a little less messy when it came to adding the sprinkles and seemed to add more sprinkles to their mouths than the cake.

The funny thing is, we spent so much time with the off cuts of cake and made so much of it I never got around to making the cakes I was planning on decorating today, instead I had to freeze the main cake so I can continue with my original plan another day.

Cake Recipe


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Rich chocolate and Nutella sponge baked in old Nutella glass jars, topped with vanilla butter cream and caramel sprinkles. The sponge and butter cream is gluten and dairy free.

I have a real obsession with glass jars at the moment. Firstly I made a 2013 memory jar where every time something good happens i write it on some paper and add it to the jar so at the end of the year can see what good happened. Second I re planted some house plants into glass jars. Finally while washing up yesterday there was an empty Nutella jar in front of me in the window which made me suddenly think "I must make a Nutella cake in the glass jar" and today that is exactly what I did.

Chocolate cake recipe, flour substituted for gluten free flour.


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Sneaky cookies you ask? Well these were going to be chocolate chunk cookies but my youngest decided to open a bag of raisins and throw them into the cookie dough when i wasn't looking so sneaky cookies they became.
I had a busy weekend so wasn't even going to take photos for this but I just had to have a bit of sneakiness in my gallery.

BASIC RECIPE


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Rich chocolate sponge filled with vanilla whipped cream covered with milk and white chocolate ganache, finished off with Lindt Lindors and chocolate coated oreos.

Chocolate cake recipe [link] chocolate ganache recipe is in the topping ideas for my basic cake recipe [link]

I have been baking with Oreo's long enough to know that once you start adding them on top of cakes and things they go soft very quickly so I decided to cover them in chocolate to try and slow that process down as it needs to stay good until tomorrow afternoon at least. It was fun but very time consuming, it took as long to decorate to oreos and Lindors as it did bake the cake and make the ganache! It still makes me laugh making such beautfil and cute things while listening to such bands as Marilyn Manson and Metallica!

It's been a very long time since i have got to make my rich chocolate sponge, the last time must have been my youngest daughters 1st birthday 1 and a half years ago so i felt a little rusty making this so I ended up making two, a trial cake for the family to try and approve (which they loved by the way!) The other for the girlfriend of an old friend i went to college with 10 years ago whose birthday it is tomorrow. I felt very honoured being asked to make this cake as i haven't really seen George since we all left college all those years ago, just the odd time we see each other in town and chat on facebook so i was very pleased he trusted me enough to make this for him after him saying he has seen all my food creations on facebook and thought it about time he try some of my creations himself.

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Shortbread cookies sandwiched and decorated with white chocolate ganache for my eldest daughters lunchbox tomorrow.
Using up leftovers again! Today using up some butter and cream as i want it all out of the house and replaced with dairy free items. You can probably tell i got my inspiration from yesterdays star cake.

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After the naughtiness that was the S'mores cookies I thought the next treat for the kids should be something a little healthier! I could have just given them a banana in it's skin and a strawberry yogurt in it's pot but they always have things like that so I wanted to make fruit exciting for them once in a while. This they loved getting stuck into, sharing together.

Silly me forgot to change the ISO setting on my camera today in my rush to take photos before the banana discoloured!

EDIT: I'm surprised to see so many others who like me, can;t really eat bananas! I haven't eaten them for years as they make my mouth and lips itch but everyone always thought that was strange, I never knew it was common.

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Vanilla sponge cakes smothered in dark chocolate and topped with Cadbury Mini Eggs.

It's that time of the year again when everyone gets far too many chocolate and chocolate eggs to know what to do with so here is some inspiration! Most of my creating comes just after Easter with all the leftovers but I love Mini Eggs so just had to get one bag when first seeing them in the shops.

For us Easter is all about chocolate and family, the best things in life! We are not religious so use this time as a great excuse to spend time with family and friends during the two weeks Easter holidays here in the UK. It's also a great time for baking with leftovers.

Recipe for the sponge used


Last years treats


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For this months recipe challenge over at :iconstill-life-stills: the subject is :iconmaytel: nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies. More info and recipe can be found here [link]

I have been following and chatting Maytel for a long time now so have been wanting for a long while to make one of her recipes, I just could never decide which to start with until noq! I must say these were a lot of fun to make and very tasty. The smell of Nutella baking at 7:30am on a Saturday morning, divine!
I made a few alterations to the recipe. I didn't have any chocolate chips so instead i chopped up two lines of a bar of milk chocolate to make chunks. I made them with gluten free flour so i could have some too. Thanks to :iconmelijan: who has also made her own version on these cookies for the challenge i was able to make just a quarter of the recipe using my preferred system of measuring of grams instead of cups [link] Finally i didn't flatten the cookies very much as i love the cracked look when stuffing cookies with a filling of them finding their own natural shape.

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Banana and nutella mixed with melted chocolate (the kids don't like Nutella too rich so adding chocolate I can get the perfect balamce) on crisp, warm baguette bites (using up leftovers from Christmas again)
Gluten free people out there, if like me you don't like gluten free bread then use some gluten free cake as a base instead.
Nut issuse? Just use melted chocolate instead. Once you add the banana these bites need eating up straight away before the banana starts to discolour so you don't need to worry about the chocolate being too hard as it will still be melted or at least only semi set at that point.

Nutella and banana combo inspired by my crepes


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A sweet chocolate gluten free sugar cookie tart with a rich and smooth chocolate ganache filling.

A bitesize slice of the cookie tart I made, I just had to show you the inside. The slice is presented on a saucer from an espresso cup to give you another idea on the size.


Please note for the following recipe, I often do not take note of quantities whilst baking as I am constantly adding more or less as I go so don't be surprised if the quantities are a little off. You will almost certainly have some leftover cookie dough. For left over cookie dough, place in a zip lock bag and freeze for up to one month to use for other things or in the fridge for 24 hours before it must be baked. Leftover ganache can be used as little chocolate pots.

RECIPE
Make 4 tartlets or one big tart
INGREDIENTS

Cookie Dough
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
275g plain/all purpose flour or gluten free flour
25g cocoa powder (not hot chocolate powder!)

Ganache Filling
150g Dark/Plain chocolate
150g Double/Heavy cream
25g butter
Extra flavour ideas for filling
Orange zest
peppermint
nuts
fruit
white instead of plain chocolate.

METHOD
1. Make your cookie dough by creaming together the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and egg before mixing in the flour and cocoa.
2. Using your hands make the dough into a ball, the heat of your hands will help bring the dough together which may still feel crumbly and hard to manage at this point. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 10-15minutes as the dough can get a little sticky.
3. Preheat your oven to 180/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease your tartlet or tart cases before rolling out your cookie dough on a floured surface to around 4mm thick.
4. Cover your tarlet/tart cases with the dough, filling in any tears or holes with excess dough. Use a knife or your fingers to remove any excess dough from the tops of your cases.
5. Prick your cookie dough bases several times, cover with greaseproof/wax paper and fill with baking beans/marbles or dried rice, pasta etc.
6. Blind bake for about 10 minutes for small cases, longer for a large tart before removing the paper and beans and placing back in the oven for a further 5 minutes or so to cook the base through thoroughly. It can be hard to tell with a chocolate dough sometimes when it may be ready so keep an eye on it, you don't want the base to look wet and once touched is a little firm but still springy. Leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
7. To make the ganache filling, firstly heat the cream in a pan until it starts to boil slightly. Turn off the heat, add the butter and chocolate broken into pieces, the heat from the hot cream should be enough to melt the chocolate and butter.
8. Mix in any added flavours to the ganache before pouring into your tart cases. Refrigerate for at least one to two hours until set. The tart can keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
9. Gently remove tarts from the cases and decorate how you like shortly before serving, I simply sieved on a little icing sugar and added some chocolates. Serving with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream would finish it off nicely.
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