Music To Bake To

I know that for some bloggers trying to bake something for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF might be rather stressful (we don’t want you to be stressed, we want you to have fun). But for others baking is great fun. When I have time to bake, I love some music on in the background to make baking less stressful.

So to help all of our baking bloggers along…we have a playlist that will be perfect for you while baking your creation for:


Sweet Dreams

The night is drawing in over here in little olde England. I know that America and Canada are way behind England – time-wise I mean of course…but I am struggling to keep my eyes open!!

So…I think I am going to have to close my lap-top down and start getting ready for bed before I conk out here on the sofa.

If there are any bloggers who are still baking and intend to send over some cake photos – I will see them tomorrow morning when I wake up and make sure they are forwarded to Jean and are added to the cake parade. Once the last photos arrive, it will be up to Jeanne to decide who the STAR BAKER is.

We are so impressed by the cakes that have been made – and overwhelmed by the wonderful support for


Goodnight for now! Sweet dreams – I think I will be dreaming of a giant cake with a slice of every bloggers’ cake within it.

I am going to re-blog the MUSIC TO BAKE TO post later just in case any of you are still working away in the kitchen.



A Guy Called Bloke Has Tagged Me For A Friday Funday Challenge That Was Just My Slice Of Cake!

Many of you know the challenges that the wonderful Rory aka A Guy Called Bloke creates. Last year Rory very kindly put together a challenge that suited me down to the ground! It has mostly cake related questions! Please free to have a go at using the questions in Rory’s wonderful challenge. 

I am very grateful to Rory the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! who has very very kindly nominated me for a Friday Funday challenge that was much more my cup of tea than some of the others I was tagged in.  Well…I perhaps I should say it was just my slice of cake?

aguycalledbloke  aguycalledbloke, you probably already know has created some great blogging challenges and is a superb  and very kind man from everything I have seen and heard of him.

I am very proud to present my replies to the questions posed in his recent Friday Funday Challenge:

The Rules …

1] Thank the nominator

2] Answer Q1 – Q19

3] Nominate three bloggers of your choice and notify them.

4] Each selected blogger MUST answer 16 of the asked 19 questions, but also insert 3 new questions to make up the 19 compliment. Every time a new blogger is selected they MUST only answer 16 of the asked 19 questions as well as answer their own 3, and choose 3 new bloggers. Each time a new blogger sees the questionnaire it will be completely different to the next blogger along.

[Hint: delete three of the questions you don’t like or have no answer for and insert your own in its place]

5] Q20 & Q14  Must always remain intact.

[Unless you don’t wish to have your answered shared, l will reblog your answers]

Today, my questions to my 3 blogger’s are?

1] Cupcakes or Teacakes?

To look at cupcakes probably have the edge…goodness you can do a lot with a cupcake…

The possibilities are endless!

buttery toasted teacake (2)To eat…a teacake has to win…oh goodness, oozy buttery crispy fruity toasted teacake with a great pot of tea.  Oh yum!

One of my early posts was about how inferior I feel compared to other women…it was based on a letter I wrote to Goldfinch fairly early on:

I Guess I Am Your Buttery Toasted Teacake

2] Did you / do you have a pet?  Please tell us all about them:

I am not allowed pets under my current tenancy agreement. But in the past, we had pets.

frog (2)Several, mainly cats, but I used to look after our neighbours pets too while they went on holiday…the one I had the biggest soft-spot for though was the one that got away.  I found him in a pond…took him home.  He had other plans clearly…which was probably the best thing for him.  (I think it was a him).

I am talking about my pet frog.

Frogs are fascinating to me.  The variety of size and colour amongst frogs is incredible.  As soon as I learnt more about them at school I was delighted because the were amphibious…something that I wanted to be.

3] If animals had no fear of humans and we had no fear of certain animals…is there a particular animal you would love to be able to observe closely?

When I was at primary school a man used to come once or twice a year and share his slide show with the class.  I think his name was Mr Crabtree, but I might be totally mistaken.  The photographs were of his dives, mainly off the coast Scotland or Wales.  We saw seals, dolphins and whales as well as many other fish and coastal birds.

Mr Crabtree used to ask the class if we had any questions…some were a bit shy, so to help get the ball rolling my hand would shoot up, and I would ask the same question as I had the time before, and the time before that…”What is the biggest creature in the sea?”  Mr Crabtree would smile and tell me it was the blue whale.

blue whale.jpg

Since I was five years old and first heard this wonderful information about the blue whale, I have been in awe…I can’t convey the excitement in my bones at the thought of being close to a blue whale.

I would love to spend years out on boats studying them.  I am pretty mesmerised by the idea.

4] What is the biggest audience you have ever faced? (school plays, karaoke, speeches or any other kind of situation where all eyes and ears were on view?)

Actually, I was on stage in front of an audience of 15,000 at an arena.  I have been in front of lots of smaller audiences – more around 1000.  But being at the arena was terrifying because of the way the sound system works.  It kind of echos around the speakers, so I could hear my own voice bouncing back at me…so strange.  You have to ignore what you can hear and carry on.

5] What is the alternative name to the film ‘Too Many Chefs?’

I have never heard of it…but Google says: Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe?

6] Do you have a favourite flower?

Uh….I would love to say daisies…like Meg Ryan’s character in “You’ve Got Mail”…yes I think they are the friendliest flower beyond doubt!

I used to have a massive thing for sunflowers – except that they can become such giant monstrosities can’t they!

wild flower bouquetAfter reading “Villette” by Charlotte Bronte I went through a phase of claiming I would not want to receive flowers as a gift because Lucy Snowe said: “I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me.”

Then I realized I was being obnoxiously profound, and I should be heartily grateful for any flowers that came my way!  The most romantic and poetic choice for a bouquet has to be wildflowers.

7] Favourite muffin flavour?

salted caramel muffinI am not really allowed muffins on my strict new “ONCE ON THE LIPS FOREVER ON THE HIPS” food regime.  |But knowing me, if I was going to give into temptation it would not be for a skinny lemon and poppyseed muffin.  I am much more likely to break my diet with a full on calorific uber-delicious sweetest treat available.

It has to be a salted caramel surely.  I love variety and I try new flavours and love them, but goodness if you are going to have a muffin, it’s best to just get the stickiest, oooey goooeyest muffin on display is it not?

8] What’s the best cake you have ever baked? Why?

blondies.JPGOooooh…goodness, I have baked so many many cakes.  I know which are my own favourites, but what matters is how much others like them.

I remember making around one hundred white chocolate and hazelnut blondies and taking them down to a construction project.  Ooooey, goooey, nutty and sweet.  The volunteers loved them…they were the perfect boost for exhausted limbs.  I had requests for them for several years afterwards.

9] Where did the term ‘Royal Icing’ get its name from?

I don’t know to be honest, but this is what Google told me:

There is a myth that it was named royal after it gained widespread publicity when images of Victoria and Albert’s bride cake (wedding cake) were circulated, but this is untrue, not least because the real boost came when images of their eldest daughter’s wedding cake were published in papers such as the Illustrated London News (not founded until 1842), by which time the name had been in use for over 80 years.

I have no idea if this is true…only t’internet thinks so.

10] What is your favourite colour of the rainbow?

I love anything between green and blue.

Sky to sea to grassy meadow…aaaah!  Love this end of the spectrum.

11] If you were a Mr Men or Little Miss character which one would you be?

little missI guess Little Miss Sunshine seems most appropriate overall.

I guess it’s a natural part of me to try to brighten someone else’s day if I possibly can.

Yup…I just looked through the list of Little Miss characters…and it’s pretty certain, that’s what my friends would say.

12] Coffee and biscuits, tea and cake or beer and crisps?

I am going to admit…I happily could do any of these depending on the company I was with.

But if I was on my own it probably would be coffee and biscuits.  I discovered their delicious combination when I was about seven and my mother had to ban me from drinking coffee because I was becoming an addict to caffeine!

I was convinced that biscuits made me swim faster. So I would gobble around six custard creams (dunked in coffee preferably) and then it felt as if I had an extra edge in the swimming pool when I was racing.

peter kayI am reminded of a certain Peter Kay sketch about Rich Tea v HobNobs and their dunking merits.  I am not recommending it because of the bad language…but except for the colourful terms, it is hilarious.

If there was a video clip of his biscuit sketch available without the bad language I would have added a link here, but I can’t find one.

13] What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done?

embarrassed.jpgI seem to be very good at embarrassing myself…only now I have reached the stage that I can brush it off so much more quickly!

I have written a few posts about occasions I was deeply embarrassed or felt incredibly awkward and have a hundred more stories  I am sure.

Where do I begin?…

  • Was it flashing the finance director when I was 18?
  • Was it when strawberries leaked all over my white skirt and I had a big red patch on my skirt (would be with the young man I had a major teenage crush on)?
  • Was it when I was grabbed by a haystack and dragged up on to the stage at a theatre and made to dance with the other characters?
  • Was it when Buttons dragged me up onto the stage during “Cinderella” at a theatre?  I am sure that was not in his script – I blame my friends.
  • Was it the first time I dived off a boat into water and lost my bikini briefs?
  • Was it deciding to jump of the boat instead of diving and losing my bikini top?
  • Was it being dragged by a team of waiters onto a stage to try to get the karaoke night I had suggested going…and singing for over an hour in front of an audience of hundreds of holiday makers?
  • Was it when I had to take my bosses dog to the vet and something (I think it was an abscess) inside the poor hound burst splattering the vet with (I won’t go into detail) all over her face?
  • waitingWas it standing outside a train station for almost three hours waiting to meet a man who had been sending me love-letters for a year….and he never showed up?
  • Was it doing a cartwheel and landing on the wall of our friend’s paddling pool and splitting the plastic so that all the water gushed out?
  • Was it turning up at a training session for around a thousand people involved in an event and as soon as the training video started seeing myself on the big screen (we had filmed it a couple of years earlier and I had absolutely no idea it would be used at an event I would attend as a trainee)?  Can you imagine the reaction of everyone who was around me!

14] Which 3 questions will you be deleting to add your own in?

3, 4 and 6

(Rory I tried to ask Google for some help with that #3…and I was baffled, absolutely baffled!

15] Can you do any impersonations, if so who?

I can beat-box…I am on a video with scores of other unlikely beat-boxers…in fact, I think I am the grand finale.  We were impersonating a celebrity.  It was a surprise for his engagement party.

muppetsI can impersonate several of the muppets.  Who else?  Erm…I am sure I have done impersonations in the past, but not for ages.

I  have a friend who is brilliant at impersonations but he is always upsetting our friends by impersonating them and causing anger!  He is not exactly flattering.

16] What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Besides Goldfinch?…hmm….

Tyrell’s vegetable Crisps.

17] Uh oh, you have gone to a dinner party and the dessert is diabolical, what do you say to the host when she/he asks for your honest opinion?

I am a master of tact.  I have been in that position many times and am incredibly careful in my choice of words.

“This is such an interesting combination of flavours.  You must give us the recipe later.”

I have travelled all over the country on voluntary projects and have enjoyed a lot of very delicious home-cooking.  But every now and then we were presented with something that was “challenging” to enjoy…but we were over polite and gracious.

18] If you could kill off any one character from a TV show who would it be and why?

I didn’t have a TV for over ten years, so I am fairly new to TV.  My Dad recommended the BBC’s “Poldark” to me.  I have to admit George Warleggen is really getting on my nerves.  What on earth is his problem?

He has lost the plot!  That is not normal behaviour and I think he needs to sit down with a big glass of milk and a plate of cookies and talk about his issues with someone.  I am surprised he is not bent over with pain – he is such a misery guts.  I just wish he could be genuinely happy and drop his obnoxiousness!

19] If you were a fancy piece of jewellery what would you be?

I think I would be a pair of earrings…something simple but sparkly, like a little pair of diamond studs.  They don’t get in the way, they just sit unobtrusively and and make someone else look classy.

I am not keen on jewellery myself…except for a simple pair of earrings.  I often break or lose anything else…or fiddle with it all night, and just generally annoy myself.

20] The three bloggers you are nominating are?

    Cadie Mclendon

Violetta Sochka Khamis    Violetta Sochka Khamis

A huge thank you to Rory…and I hope these three fantastic bloggers have as much fun as I did with this week’s Friday Funday Challenge!

via Awkward — Word of the Day Challenge

The Orange Almond Sponge Cake

Our next brilliant blogger rugby843 rugby843 – The Bag Lady  has created a phenomenal cake with her grandson. They have made an orange almond sponge cake.

Cheryl sent me a message earlier this week saying she had never made a sponge. I don’t want to make Gary feel bad…but, Cheryl has made a terrific cake and I am amazed she has never made a sponge before.

Take a look at Cheryl’s wonderful post for more photos and the story behind her cake’s creation:

Orange Almond Cake

Cheryl – I was trying to think of a song to link to your orange almond cake – and for some reason my favourite orange cartoon character came to mind! I am not in any way teasing Gary!


Gary, Jeanne and I are thrilled with the response from everyone who has been involved in THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF today.

Thank you also to everyone who has supported the BAKE-OFF with views and likes and comments to cheer on the bloggers who took on the BAKE-OFF challenge.

Puman published this brilliant poem earlier this evening – I absolutely loved it and asked if we could re-blog it and she said yes!

I am so glad to present to you her wonderful BAKE-OFF poem!!!


I rummage the pantry frantically

looking for the ingredients

I search all the closets

all I find is mostly

empty shelves and paltry supplies

I feel faint and a scream

rises up my throat

frightened by my own voice

I wake up with a start

and realise there is no upcoming feast

it is the bake off

that is giving me nightmares!

View original post

The Gluten Free Dairy Free Summer Fruits Ginger And Lime Sponge Cake Smothered With Dairy Free Chocolate

So this is the cake that we have all been waiting for! The idea of having THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF came from bereavedandbeingasingleparent Gary – bereavedandbeingasingleparent and I am delighted that he had the idea – because it has been so much fun!

I was just reading Gary’s post about with the story behind his cake creation. Please take a look and read how this:

Gary's cake

…became the cake below!

Gary's cake 1

Gary – thank you for coming up with the fabulous idea of THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF!!! Keep calm and carry on baking Gary!


Gâteau Au Chocolat Framboise Spectaculaire

Our next sumptuous cake is from the lovely Sheree Sheree – View from the Back, who is a spectacular cook and baker and regularly publishes posts featuring the outstanding the cuisine of France.

Sheree’s cake had three layers of genoise sponge soaked in Framboise liqueur. It was filled with rich chocolate meringue butter cream and topped with fresh raspberries and surrounded by chocolate curls.

This spectacular cake was baked for the celebrations of a 6oth Birthday fro one of Sheree’s clubmates. Have a look at Sheree’s own wonderful BAKE-OFF post to read more about her creation:

chocolate and raspberry cake

Nobody can quite make their cakes look as romantic and taste as exquisite as the French can they!

Here is to everything the French have brought to our plates and to baking!

The Mandarin Mocha Chocolate Sponge Cake


bob cake.jpg

This is also the first cake from a male baker, although I know there are more who have pledged to bake for us! Come on boys! Can you meet the standard set by Bob?

The Lemon Meringue Cake With White Chocolate Ganache Drip

There are some very talented baking bloggers who publish amazing baking posts regularly. Last year I discovered shellteacup shellteacup – Teacups and Sugar Lumps who took on the actual challenges set for the contestants in the 2018 series of The Great British Bake-Off.

Well this weekend is a very busy one for Shell as you can see from her post below:

I am thrilled that Shell has sent us a photo of the cake her daughter made to celebrate her special birthday. It is a lemon meringue cake with white chocolate ganache drip. I tell you what it is – it is simply stunning!!! As soon as I saw this photo I thought WOW!!!

hello and wow.jpg

It is quite clear that the baking talents run in the family. Shell – we hope you have an amazing weekend with your nearest and dearest – and I am not going to even ask if there is any cake left for us bloggers – that would be a very silly question!

Cakes like this make me so glad to be human! If that makes sense!!!