Tag Archives: cake

Take Us To Wonderland

Our relaxing Sunday morning continues with more beautiful flowers. But not just flowers…we have kittens too! And…..CHOCOLATE GANACHE! I am in paradise…a paradise officially called DINAH IN WONDERLAND.

We have had a phenomenal selection of goodies from robbiesinspiration Robbie, the creator of Robbie’s inspiration, who has made some spectacular celebration cakes for her family. This was Robbie’s post describing a cake inspired by Dinah, the black cat from Alice In Wonderland:


Robbie – please don’t tell me the kittens in this cake were eaten! They are too cute to gobble up.


Our mellow Sunday morning has been wonderful…but there is still more to come. WordPress bloggers have been very busy baking and making for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC!!!

Sometimes there is just too much choice when it comes to songs!!!

Splish Splash! It’s Bath Time

Today is my first Saturday off work in over six months (maybe longer). Normally at this time on a Saturday evening, I am resting my achy muscles after six consecutive days in a row home  and drawing a bath so that I can have a good soak. But not today!!! I booked today off work to make sure I was here for the entire GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC!

So you will understand how thrilled was I when an incredibly talented blogger sent in a photo of a very impressive cake, with intricate details Jack and I have been blown away by.

Hannah, the creator of Bitches That Bake, is a phenomenal talent as you will see from her beautiful website. She created a classic Vanilla Cake with Champagne Buttercream and decorated it using fondant, which she sculpted it to form the figures. I am sure you will agree with me that some of the bloggers who have sent in photos this weekend are truly in a league of their own. Prepare to be amazed by a very special cake in the photograph below:

Bitches that Bake cake 1

Check out the amazing detail in Hannah’s close-up!

I love the painted finger and toe nails. Hannah you must have the patience of a saint to create a bake with such exquisite detail! It is gorgeous!!! Your aunt must have been stoked to see her cake!

Bitches that Bake cake 2

Wherever possible, we like to offer you a muppets version to boogie to…because, we are muppets…we love the muppets!!! ❤

Unforgettable Bakes

Last year it was Gary, aka bereavedandbeingasingleparent, who had the idea of holding a BAKE-OFF FOR BLOGGERS. Last year, Gary left us all completely speechless at his baking creations – wonderfully unique.

Gary has certainly not let us down this year! Last month Gary began his baking training in preparation for a live performance. That’s right folks…this weekend Gary is back in the kitchen and he is taking on the challenge of making something special for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF and will share the results with us before the weekend is through! It is very exciting!!!

This was Gary’s post last month as his BAKE-OFF training began:


We are so glad Gary thought of the idea of a BAKE-OFF FOR BLOGGERS…and we are especially grateful for the bakes he has contributed to THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC!

Strawberries And Cream Forever

For those of you who remember last year’s GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF, the next BAKING creation may bring back memories! Last year we asked you to create a Sandwich cake, with any flavours, ingredients or decorations you wanted. This year we know it has not been easy to find baking essentials at supermarkets, so we have a more open theme so that everyone can get involved.

But we were absolutely delighted to see what Margot Hamilton Margot Hamilton, the creator of Margot Dreams of Baking, had made. Look at her gorgeous Strawberry Cream Cake. The perfect way to celebrate summer!

Margot published this beautiful post sharing with us how she made this perfect summer sandwich cake:



Here in London, we lost a great excuse to eat strawberries and cream for two weeks when Wimbledon Tennis Championships had to be cancelled. But strawberries and cream are an absolute must for any summertime picnic and we are thrilled Margot has brought them to THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC!

For those of you who missed the tennis along with your strawberries and cream this year:

The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off Round-Up 2019

This is a reminder of THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2019.

Looking at last year’s amazing baking entries might give you some ideas.

Take a look at the posts from the bloggers who entered and it may give inspiration for your baking or posts. Please feel free to ask questions if you are not sure how THE BAKE-OFF will work.


By now I think everybody will know the results of


Our STAR BAKER  was Sheree Sheree the creator of View from the Back

with her wonderful Gâteau Au Chocolat Framboise Spectaculaire

which you can read more about in Sheree’s post:


2019 star baker.png

A huge thanks to all of the bloggers who took on the challenge set in this year’s GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF and to all who cheered our baking bloggers on with your lovely comments and likes.

Thank you to Gary who thought of the idea to begin with and to our special judge Jeanne. It has been an absolute delight to work along with these two on THE BAKE-OFF.

This is the round-up post where you will find the cakes that were baked during our BAKE-OFF and links to their posts on the BAKE-OFF CAKE PARADE  and links to the posts that our bloggers created themselves.


The Strawberry Queen


Queen of strawberries


Suze’s Failcake

black hole cake


The Messy Blogger’s Chocolate Cake


The Messy Bloggers Cake


Sophie’s Almond Buttercream Cake


fiesta cake


Naked Cake!



Naked Cake!


The Tiramisu Cake

Great Blogger Bake Off – 2nd Place Winner

the tiramisu cake


Ginger Lime Sponge Cake

Ginger & Lime Cake


The Gorgeous Guinness Cake


The Guinness Cake


They Won’t Forget This Birthday Cake


disaster cake


Thanks to the very talented daughter of

The Lemon Meringue Cake With White Chocolate Ganache Drip

hello and wow


The Mandarin Mocha Chocolate Sponge Cake


bob cake


The Orange Almond Sponge Cake


Orange Almond Cake


The Strawberry Mango Cake


The Tropical Cake


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




Chococcino – Caramel Style

The Crushed Caramel Cake

I Love Summer Cake



And that is the last you will hear from me about



They think it’s all over…

…it is now!

Could It Be Sweeter Than This?

Is there any sweeter way to start a Monday morning than knowing that Goldfinch is on his way?

What to bake? I am torn between the honey cake I trialled on friends at the weekend (they were all raving about it) or salted caramel brownies (I have made brownies many times for Goldfinch). Or something with caramel and apples like last time? He did eat a lot of the caramel apple cake I baked not long ago.

It is so hard deciding what to make for someone who you absolutely love to bits, but are preparing for THE BIG GOODBYE. Any disastrous bake might hasten his departure to Australia. It is way more pressure than any of the Great British Bake Off contestants face, in my opinion.

At this point, please feel free to make any suggestions of bakes that are sure to impress the most gorgeous man on the planet! I would be more than happy to add something new and delicious to my repertoire.

Is it possible for a Monday morning to be sweeter than this?

Another Perfect Afternoon With Goldfinch!

Hope you are enjoying the re-published posts about Goldfinch…I was worried it could be confusing. Right now I am in Australia with Goldfinch…but this post like the others I have published were written and originally published last summer.

20180518_134552Goldfinch flew in and flew out again. Aaaaaah! Sigh!

He was wonderful, as always.  I love being greeted by Goldfinch.  I always feel thrilled in my heart to see him, but I think I express it rather awkwardly.  He makes me feel as if he has been longing to hold me in his arms ever since the last time we parted.

Maybe that is not really the case…but the way he looks at me and gives me the biggest squeeze he can muster…and it is so uplifting to hear his words “Hey Gorgeous!”  (I have no intention of telling him to go to SpecSavers, I prefer that he remains in this deluded state of mind.)

It was another perfect day…or afternoon I should say.  I prepared lunch for him.  Lots of salad, hummus, crusty bread and  I had cooked a Persian dish with chicken, walnuts and pomegranates for Goldfinch.  I don’t know how it tasted because I do not eat meat.  But he looked very happy.  When he realized I had cooked meat for him, he said again “why did you do that?”  It’s because I love him and I don’t mind cooking meat for people I love.  He enjoys rabbit food too, which is great.

He had a bag of clothes that needed washing after he had been away for the weekend.  I jumped at the chance to do his laundry!  Surely that makes me an official girlie-friend! Doing his laundry!

I cannot tell you how much it means that I have been able to wash, dry and then iron his clothes.  I folded items so neatly except for shirts that needed hanging.  My daft heart swelling with pride that he allowed me to.  He did laugh that I had ironed his underwear though.  Was that a bit over the top?  I iron my own cotton underwear…some of my underwear would melt if an iron came near it…why am I telling you anything about my underwear?  Just imagine thermal vests and long-johns – don’t think anything else. Yeh…best not to imagine at all.


Back to Goldfinch…We went for a walk, hand in hand.  I love the feel of his hand in mine – it feels so right.  It’s as if our blood is the same temperature.  I can let my hand linger in his for hours without feeling I want my hand’s autonomy back. Bliss!  We headed for a nearby park and then took a path into the woods. Lush green foliage with golden rays gleaming through. Aaaah!  Such a lovely scent of greenness.  I love summer, I live the knowledge that life is throbbing intensely everywhere I look.

The path led to a pond with some ducks who swam over to us as soon as we arrived.  We had not brought anything to feed them.  Goldfinch told me you should not really feed ducks bread (so my rustic olive ciabatta from Gail’s Artisan Bakery was safe) but he had read that frozen peas would be better for them.  Next time we go for a walk together I will remember to take frozen peas for any duckies.

He embraced me again as we looked out at the pretty scene.  With a serious expression on my face I said to Goldfinch, “You know I don’t really like ducks!”  He looked at me with surprise.  He asked me why I don’t like ducks?  I replied, “Because they are quackers!”  (Boom boom!)  Oh he did seem to like that one…he gave me another huge squeeze.

After our lovely walk together, we headed back to my little abode.  I had not had time to bake anything, but I did nblack-forest-cake.jpgot want to disappoint Goldfinch.  So instead I had bought a Black-Forest Gateaux, which I hoped he would enjoy.  He enjoyed it…but he said something that just shows what a very fine specimen of a man he is.  He told me that it was not as nice as some of the cakes I have baked for him.  Which reminds me…next time he comes I am going to make one of his favourites.  It is a double chocolate cheese-cake.  It is such a gastro-hit with foodies and anyone I have made it for…I will perhaps prepare a whole post about my crowd-pleasing pudding.  Recipe stolen from Charlotte from Shaftesbury in Dorset.

He is a good man is he not!  He knows all the words!  My heart is in his hand and it is just melting all over him.  Why should I not lap it up while I can?  Some men nowadays have no idea how to woo a lady.  Goldfinch has read the book!  I have a sneaking suspicion he was the one who wrote the book!!

Aaaah!  I will miss my lovely Goldfinch when he leaves England at the end of this year. In fact, I spoke to him about how much I will miss him and became very tearful.  He staid my tears commenting, “There is nothing to miss!”  I shook my head in disagreement.

I am sure you realize I will miss Goldfinch, no matter what he says.  He knows it really.  I don’t want him to worry.  I want him to be free…just life a real goldfinch…he should be able to fly away when it his time.

Until then.  I am going to make the most of every moment with him.  I hope for many more perfect days with my lovely Goldfinch.

A Treat For Goldfinch – Triple Chocolate Cheesecake And A Trio Of Love Lullabys

All because the Goldfinch loves milk and dark chocolate…


By the time you see this post…I will be on my way to meeting my beloved.  Look what I am taking with me.  It might not look great in the photo, but this simple make (it’s not a bake, because it is a chilled cheesecake, rather than a baked one)  is one of the most popular desserts I serve at dinners (I normally make individual mini-cakes for posher dinners served with a berry coulis).

Everyone loves it.  More importantly, Goldfinch loves it!  So he is getting it!  He is getting lots of treats from me because it is at least three weeks since I saw him last.  Oh yes he is!

Three weeks is way way too long!

It has put me into an utterly romantic mood…so I am going to revvvv up the romance even more with three numbers for all the love-birds out there who are separated by distance.  Two soppy songs and one that takes me an awful long way back…I am showing my age!




He Is Going To Love Me!!!

Goldfinch is coming to visit again!  Yippee!  Happy times ahead!!!  He is on his way back from the mainland.  I love that he calls Europe the mainland.  Don’t you think that is gorgeous!  It is one of the many things I love about Goldfinch.  In all my life, I have never heard anyone else call Europe the mainland.  He has been to three different European countries over the past few days, so as he has been doing lots of travelling, he may be tired and I intend to use that as an opportunity to spoil him!

I am have been preparing a delishy dishy…yum yum yum!  And for a naughty pudding I am making this fruity-licious showstopper!  (Courtesy of a Waitrose recipe card.)  He is going to love me!!!  Seriously!


It is often said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  How much truth to that saying there is, could be a lively subject for conversation.  Truth be told, not many of my male family members or friends would disagree.

I want to tell you a story about a married couple I met a few years ago.  I have only ever met them once.  Sadly I have forgotten their names completely.  We were guests for dinner at the home of a mutual friend.  I have not forgotten the impression they made on me though, nor the story of how they got together.

They really did seem like best friends.  They were both slightly “quirky”.  They both wore odd socks.  They were both a bit plain physically…I don’t mean that unkindly.  They just were both as normal looking as you can imagine.  Neither would stand out in a crowd.  Both had mousy coloured hair.  Both had plain faces, both wore spectacles that didn’t particularly suit them.  They both had a rather plain style of dress and wooly jumpers with “patterns” – you know the type I mean don’t you!  They looked comfortable rather than stylish.  They both had the same funny mannerisms.  I was thoroughly entertained by them.

The way they communicated was gorgeous to watch.  They had merged into a single entity I felt.  One starting a sentence and the other finishing it.  One starting a story and the other taking over and then passing different parts of the tale back and forth to each other.  Their continual glances and smiles to each other.  The nudges and winks they shared.  They had been married for seven years.  She seemed quite young to me.  They confirmed she was eighteen years of age when they married.  As is often the case with an obviously happily married couple, someone in our dinner party asked the question, “How did you two meet?”

Allow me to relate what I can remember as they told their tale in tandem.

He was living all the way down south in Penzance…right down at the tip of the toe of England.  She was living way up in the north, near Inverness, almost as far away as you can get from where he was.  He went on holiday to stay with a friend he used to work with…that friend was living in Scotland.  His ex-workmate was a friend of Little Miss Inverness’ brother.  Her brother invited his friend and Mr Penzance to their family home for dinner with their family.

Little Miss Inverness was not with her family for dinner that night.  She had arranged to go out with one of her own friends.  They were going out to the cinema to watch a film and then she would sleep at her friend’s house.  So she missed him completely.

The following day was a Saturday.  Little Miss Inverness came home and went up to her room with her bag.  Then she came down the stairs of the family home and low and behold, there he was – Mr Penzance!  She had no idea who he was.  She told us that the moment she laid eyes on him she just knew she was going to marry him.

Mr Penzance explained to us all that the night before when he had been there for dinner with her family he had forgotten something…I can’t remember now whether it was his wallet, or phone, or his jacket.  But whatever he had forgotten had caused him to return the following day.  He was sitting on a sofa in their living room waiting for her brother.

So they met, they chatted.  Nothing happened.  He want home to Cornwall.  He did not think of her.  She thought of him though.  But she did not do anything about it.

A year later, Mr Penzance moved to Inverness.  He moved because he had been offered great job and his ex-workmate said he could share his accommodation, that it would be a help actually to have someone to share the rent with.  He certainly did not move to Scotland on account of the brief meeting he had with Little Miss Inverness.

Well, as soon as she found out that he was living in Inverness, she wasted no time.  She said she did everything she could to make it clear she liked him.  She frequently made sure he was invited round for dinner with her family.  She would dress up and wear make-up. She would douse herself with perfume and spend hours on her hair.  She bought him gifts, she wrote him cards, she knitted a scarf for him, she baked cakes and shortbread and brownies and gave them to him.  She said she was unashamedly determined to catch his eye.  She did everything she could to win him.  He was very pleased with all of the gifts he received and always thanked her for these kind acts…and yet he did not seem to be responding.  He did show any signs of having more than a usual friendliness towards her.  There was no sign of any romantic feelings developing.  He never asked her out.

Eventually, someone had a word with him.  I cannot remember now who it was.  It might have been her Dad, it might have been the the flatmate he was sharing the rent with. Someone spoke to Mr Penzance and asked him what he was going to do about Little Miss Inverness.  He said he was rather confused.  He had not thought of her at all romantically.  Neither was he thinking of anyone else romantically at the time.  He was just kind of floating along.  He felt as if he was still settling in to life in Scotland.  Mr Penzance told us that he had really just thought she was a nice girl and her family were also kind and hospitable.  He was grateful for all the help after moving across the country and being so far away from his own family.

It was a surprise to be told that he could not let her go on giving him all these delicious bakes and other tokens of her affection without responding in some way.  If he felt he could not return the interest she was expressing in him, he should let her know in a kind way, so that she did not feel too much disappointment after all of the gestures she had extended to him.  Or, if there was a possibility that he might be able to develop a fondness for her, well, he should take some action.

Mr Penzance told us he felt like a bit of an idiot now that what was glaringly obvious to everyone else was pointed out to him.  It made him feel he ought to pull his socks up a bit.  So, he spoke to her Dad and cautiously mentioned that he thought perhaps Little Miss Inverness might be sweet on him.  Her father laughed heartily confirming that Mr Penzance was all that his daughter seemed to think and talk about these days.  Her father indicated that it would be fine for Mr Penzance to ask his daughter out.

So, he asked her out.  Where did they go on their first “date”?  They went to the cinema to see a film.  I might be wrong but I think it was the film “Chicken Run”.  How romantic!  “I don’t want to be a pie, I don’t like gravy!”

Chicken Run

So that was the start of their courting days…and it was not many months before a wedding was planned.   Little Miss Inverness became Mrs Penzance.  Cute hey!

By the time I met them at the dinner our friend hosted that evening, they had lived a few years in Scotland and a few years in Cornwall.  Now they were in London and they loved it.  I was sorry I didn’t cross paths with them again.  I often asked my friend about them and she said they were still very happy in London.

Well, every couple has their own story…that was their tale…and I found it charming!

There are so many sources of advice which would tell you never to do what she did!  I have friends who have analysed all of the glossy magazines and websites on how to make a man fall for you…I am sure they would be horrified if they heard that she contradicted all of the tips from these sources.   Her attempts to win his heart were juxtaposed to all of the advice published on catching his eye.  Love it!  (Apologies for another desperate attempt to be in one of the last Daily Prompt line-ups!)

But for Little Miss Inverness, it was the obvious thing to do…to leave him in absolutely no doubt how she felt.

I am going to make sure my Goldfinch is in absolutely no doubt how much I adore him!  He is a prime specimen of a man, he has a wonderful heart, and he also he has a stomach that loves my cooking and baking…I am going to head for his heart by going straight for his stomach!  Unashamedly in love!!


No Cake Please

cupcakesI have been so encouraged by my almost effortless slimming down (due to having a very tight budget for food) that I declared myself a vow this week.

I have been offered cake several times this week…and I graciously declined with the words “No cake for me until after I come back from Australia”.

Oh I how I am longing to be in Goldfinch’s arms. I cannot explain how hard it is waiting and waiting for the time to pass. I am busy, crazy busy – but is the time going more quickly? No it is not!!

Aaaaaaaaagh! Still can’t believe I will be with him again! I cannot wait!!! I have moved my suitcases out of my storage room and in to my bedroom. They are in a corner where I won’t trip over them. I wish it was time to start packing – but I am going to wait until 1st June!

When I am paid my wages I am going to buy some new lingerie and I think I need a fitting because I have slimmed a little (not a lot, just a little) so I want it to fit properly. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!

I won’t be eating any cupcakes until I am back here in England – when I will be sulking having had to say good bye to him again…and I think at that time, a bit of indulgent comfort eating will be in order.