Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cakeyboi 2013 Calendar Giveaway and November Cake Meet

It's the Cakeyboi 2013 Calendar Giveaway!! I have 3 wall calendars to give away to three lucky visitors. The calendar features a different Cakeyboi cartoon each month, some old favourites and some not yet seen on the blog.

The giveaway runs until 24th December – Christmas Eve, so someone will get a great gift for the New Year (unless you live outside the UK and shipping may take longer!).

If you would like a chance to win the one of the calendars, simply leave a comment on this post.

However If you would like extra entries:

1. Follow Cakeyboi on Google Connect or Networked Blogs (down the side panel) and leave a second comment to say you have done so.

2. Follow @MrCakeyBoi on Twitter and leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.

3. Tweet the competition using (I'd love to win a #Cakeyboi 2013 Calendar! #win #giveaway) and leave a separate comment to say you have done so.

4. Like the Cakeyboi Facebook Page and leave a separate comment to let me know you have done so.

If you add everything into one comment you will only get one entry, so remember to write a separate comment for each entry. 

(Some visitors have mentioned difficulties when trying to leave comments. If you do, email me at and I'll try to help.)

The giveaway runs until midnight on Monday 24 December 2012. I'll announce the winners soon after. This giveaway is open worldwide!

 Good luck!

November's Cake Meet

Yes, it has been quiet on the cake club front recently. What with one thing and another I haven’t had the time to go along to the past two. But I made room in my calendar for this month's meeting. The theme was Petit Fours, which were right up Cakeyboi’s street.

My recent bake of Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts was a perfect take-along (especially as host Becca from Becca Bakes specifically requested them!) and luckily I managed to find a few more tins of pumpkin (In TK Maxx of all places!!).

The venue was Duke’s Corner in Brown Street, Dundee. It's a great pub, open til late with amazing food, host to lots of DJ's and gigs – I think The View started out there - and of course a great selection of drinks. We were given a cosy, shady area behind a dark curtain , which made the whole event seem even more surreptitious than usual!!

The selection of bakes was, I can honestly say, my favourite since I started attending the cake club. There were chocolate and pomegranate petit fours, almond cupcakes with amaretto frosting, macarons with chocolate frosting, lemon and peppermint creams, peanut butter truffle brownies, salted caramel cupcakes, mocha cupcakes, chocolate and caramel mini ├ęclairs, and more besides. Now, I have never tried macarons before, because I have never been a fan of almond flavour, but I am a convert. These are delicious. Made by our other host - Jac from Tinned Tomatoes blog - they were my favourites along with the salted caramel cupcakes. Disneyboi came along with me for the first time and he was stuffed to the gunnels and so was I, despite neither of us having dinner beforehand!

A fab cake event as ever, great to meet new folk ( I even met an old Uni chum whom I hadn't seen for more years than I care to remember). I can’t wait for the next!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Cartoon Time - Cakey Breaky

My youngest nephew got a bit excited on a trampoline this weekend and broke his leg!
So, this one's for him - Get Well Soon Jamie!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

I saw this recipe in the latest edition of my Everyday Food magazine and decided from the pictures that it looked too good not to try making. My annual pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner was upon us and I thought this would be a perfect dessert. I usually make Pumpkin Pie, but I think I have made plenty with that particular orange gourd this year.

For dinner my mother, Disneyboi and I sat around my dining table and dug into a meal of my cranberry and pumpkin seed dinner rolls, roast chicken (I’ll leave the turkey to mum on Christmas day), onion roasted potatoes, cornbread muffins with bacon, roast broccoli with bacon and pureed butternut squash with ginger and honey. It was delicious, even if I do say so myself!

But the piece de resistance was undoubtedly this unusual twist on a cheesecake. Now, before I read the recipe, I thought it would be full of spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. But I was wrong. This filling stayed very true to a cheesecake, it comprised ricotta and mashed sweet potatoes along with a wee bit of greek yoghurt. I served mines with some sweetened whipped cream – but as Disneyboi said ‘it disnae really need it’.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake
(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Sweet Potato Cheesecake Squares)
(I cheated and used a pre-made pie crust, but the recipe for one is included below)

24 Digestive Biscuits, crushed
84 grams unsalted butter, melted
55 grams granulated sugar

600 grams sweet potato, baked
42 grams butter, melted
150 grams granulated sugar
4 large eggs
125 grams fat free Greek yoghurt
pinch of salt
340 grams ricotta cheese


Preheat the oven to 200oC. Mix the biscuit crumbs, butter and sugar with a fork until well combined. Place firmly into a 9" pie dish, including the sides. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

The sweet potatoes should be baked for 1 hour in the 200oC oven. After this time the flesh should be very tender. Scoop this from the skin into a bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Reduce the oven temperature to 160oC. 

In a food blender add the potatoes, butter sugar, eggs, yoghurt, salt and ricotta. Blend this until very smooth. Depending on the size of the blender you may have to do this in two stages.

Pour as much of the blended mixture into the piecrust and place into the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The cheesecake should wobble slightly in the middle still. Allow this to cool fully and then pop into the fridge for at least an hour or overnight if you have the time.
I served mines, like I said, with some whipped cream with vanilla and Splenda added. It really is like no other cheesecake you have had before. But give it a try and you will be surprised – honestly!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Dinner Rolls

cranberry bread

Thanksgiving – a funny old time for us in the UK. We don’t have, and it’s not just Americans that do – Canadians have it in October. But I'd love the idea of another ‘holiday’. Turkey day as it’s referred to by some sounds like a day just to pig out on the big old bird, sweet potatoes, cornbread, cranberries, you name it. Oh and to give thanks too!! I always have a wee dinner on the Sunday closest to Thanksgiving which comprises a lot of the elements – chicken (leaving Turkey for Christmas), squash, stuffing, you name it. I will bring you the dessert we had this year in another post.

But this year, I wanted to make some dinner rolls. Why? Because I was looking at my recipe index and the ‘Bread’ section looked a bit neglected. And I wanted to use the nifty roll baskety thing I'd bought on holiday in Portugal. So I decided to make rolls – using dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds – my nod and a wink to the season.

Now these are not savoury, but neither are they overwhelmingly sweet. So you could really have them whenever the fancy takes you.

I cobbled some bread roll recipes together and came up with my own original cranberry and  pumpkin seed variety.

Yield: 16 rolls

400 grams strong bread flour
100 grams wholemeal flour
7 grams fast acting dried yeast
8 grams salt
1 tablespoon sugar
350 ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 grams sweetened dried cranberries
30 grams pumpkin seeds

In a large bowl, mix the flours, yeast, salt and sugar together. Add the oil and water and mix until a dough forms. Knead this dough for 10 minutes on a well floured surface. In that time it should become less sticky and more pliable. Grease the mixing  bowl lightly and place the dough back in. Cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for 30 minutes in a warm place.

After the 30 minutes, remove the dough, which should have doubled in size and knead for 5 minutes on a floured surface. Flatten the dough out and place half of the cranberries on top. Roll the dough up and begin kneading it again to disperse the berries. Flatten once more, add the remaining berries and all of the seeds, roll up and knead again until the add-ins are well blended through the dough (this is a great recipe for bingo wings!!).

Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll each one into a ball. Place on a lightly greased baking tray (or two) and cover with towels again. Let them prove for 40 minutes this time. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200oC.

After they have doubled again in size, pop into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes and enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread in your home.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. I had one still warm with some butter and it was lovely. The cranberry adds just a good amount of sweetness and the pumpkin seeds give them a nutty overtone. Delicious!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Monday, 19 November 2012

Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts with Maple Cinnamon Icing

maple cinnamon icing

Pumpkins are not just for Halloween you know! I think that is a mis-conception in the UK. As soon as 31st October has passed, there are none to be seen. But I think of them more as a sign of the autumn. Their beautiful colour (have I told you my thing for orange?) always cheers me up. The photo below I took in Toronto many years back, but I still love how the colour just stands out.

I still had a can of pureed pumpkin left in my cupboard and I was itching to use my new doughnut cake pan I had bought. I found a great recipe online for pumpkin cake doughnuts that I wanted to try. I am not a huge fan of doughnuts per se. Well, the fried type I mean – they are just too greasy for me. But I like baked doughnuts, which are just round muffins really!

Recipe for pumpkin puree can be found at Smitten Kitchen, but is widely available online.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Yield: 18 Doughnuts (or 15 muffins)

Doughnut Ingredients:
125 ml vegetable oil
3 large eggs
300 grams granulated sugar
340 grams pumpkin puree
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
230 grams plain flour

Icing Ingredients
190 grams icing sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon milk

Preheat your oven to 180oC. Grease your doughnut pan or muffin pan, which ever you are using.

In a large bowl, with a whisk, blend together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and baking powder until smooth. Sift in the flour and stir until just combined. 

If you are using a doughnut pan, I filled mine by placing the batter in a disposable icing bag and piping it in. 

Spoon it into the muffin pan, if that’s what you are using. Bake in the oven, 12 minutes for doughnuts or 15 minutes for muffins. They will turn a deeper colour and a toothpick will come out clean when they are ready. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan and placing on a cooling rack, allowing them to cool thoroughly.

To make the icing, in a bowl I whisked together the icing sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and milk until smooth. It is quite a thick icing, which clings well to the doughnuts. If you want it a bit looser, add a drop more milk. I simply drizzled the icing over the top with the whisk for a somewhat 'random' look! Allow the icing to set and they are ready to share.

These are deliciously moist with the pumpkin, as well as a bit spicy from the cinnamon et al. The icing on top is great if you like your maple syrup as much as I do.


maple cinnamon icing

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cookies for Movember

What is Movember? Where have you been? Every November, Movember is why you may see lots of men in the UK and all over the world, sprouting hair on their upper lip. It’s all in the name of charity and is to raise funds for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancers.

Now, as much as I would love to grow a moustache for the month, I cannot. I already have a full beard you see. And I wanted to show my support for this good cause in some way. And why not the Cakeyboi way I thought?

I looked online and got myself some nifty moustache cookie cutters and decided to make some cookies to sell and raise funds for the cause.

I used a recipe for chocolate cookies from All Recipes and whipped up a few batches. I took them into work and my hungry co-workers wanted to dive in, until I told them they would have to have their photograph taken (as well as pay, of course). But they were more than happy to oblige.

So, I have made a little collage of some of my colleagues displaying their support (and insanity in some cases) for Movember.

To find out more about how to get involved or to donate go to Movember.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cartoon Time - Pound Cake

It's Wednesday, so it must be cartoon time!
A big thanks to Cakeyboi reader Katie T for this idea.
Remember if you have a cartoon idea, drop me an e-mail and I'll give you a shout out!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Salted Caramel Cookie Bites – with Mo’s Cookie Dough

caramel shortbread

Remember I used the brilliantly time saving cookie dough from Mo’s Cookie Dough recently?

Well, I had another roll in the fridge and wanted to do more with it, other than make another batch of cookies (not that there would have been anything wrong with that!).

I had just finished a Twix bar and thought this might be good inspiration. And with salted caramel being all the rage, I decided to try and concoct my own salty Twix bars.

I took the cookie dough from the fridge and allowed it to come to room temperature before I placed it in a lined and greased loaf pan. (I measured the pan, but the top was 9”x 5” and the bottom was 7.5” x 3.5” – take your pick…). I pressed the cookie dough into the pan, into an even layer and popped it into an oven pre-heated to 180oC.

I removed it when it looked lightly brown around the edges, and golden in the middle. I let this cool completely, before setting about making the caramel to put atop said cookies.

Now, I am useless at making things like fudge, tablet, anything that requires boiling sugar to a certain temperature. In fact I have a sneaking suspicion that my sugar thermometer may be telling me fibs. But I found a recipe for salted caramel and decided to persevere anyway. The recipe was from Inspired Taste and looked easy enough.

And to my amazement the caramel looked as though it had actually worked. I put a little on a cold plate to let it set and it held together and was nice ‘n’ chewy. Hurrah at last, I had made caramels. I might give my sugar gauge a reprieve for now.

Anyway, I placed the baked cookie, still on it’s greaseproof paper, back into the loaf pan and poured the caramel on top. I sprinkled some more salt on top and allowed this to set for a few hours.

When it looked good and set, I removed it from the pan and set about chopping it up into fingers, a-la-twix. But I soon realised that they would be like Twix fingers for Hagrid and had to scale down my expectations. I chopped the fingers in half. Still too big! So, I ended up with a quarter of a finger and my salted caramel cookie fingers, became bites. 

I melted some plain chocolate and poured this over the top of each bite, letting it drip down, exposing some of the cookie and caramel. I finished with another small sprinkle of rock salt. Once the chocolate had set, I placed in a box and took them to my work, where my colleagues ate them very quickly. The cookie base was just as delicious as before and made an ideal ledge for the deliciously rich, chewy and creamy salted caramel. The crack of chocolate when biting in just finished them.

So, Mo, your cookie dough is ideal for even more than delicious round cookies and I am thinking up even more ways to use the it.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Bedrock Bars - I Love The Flintstones!

Where do I begin? Probably the start would be a good place.
I have always loved cartoons, animation, that sort of thing. And my absolute favourite toons were not Disney (shhh – don’t tell Disneyboi!) but Hanna Barbera cartoons.

I grew up in a halcyon haze of Hong Kong Phooey, Captain Caveman, Great Grape Ape, the Hair Bear Bunch – the list is endless. But probably the one HB cartoon I have most affinity with is The Flintstones  Look at this photograph for example…

...4 years old, visiting Aunty Mary in America and I was so excited about being able to talk to Fred and Wilma on the phone ( I was 4, I didn’t realise it was a prerecorded message!). The theme park we were in – Kings Dominion - had ‘The Happy Land of Hanna Barbera’ in it and I still remember walking through Yogi’s cave, getting my photo taken with Dynomutt and being on the Squiddly Diddly ride.

Through my childhood, I drew cartoons endlessly, creating my own characters and collecting Hanna Barbera toys, books, you name it. I still have these and below is a small selection of my items (or crap, as some family members refer to it!!)...

Where is all of this going? Well, on a recent visit to Glasgow I popped into an American food store and picked up a box of Marshmallow Pebbles cereal. I have seen these before, but for some reason it just struck a chord that day and I had to buy them. But instead of eating them as plain cereal I wanted to make the recipe from the box and website, for Bedrock Bars…(I have tweaked measurements and ingredients)

110 grams melted butter
135 grams crushed digestive biscuits
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
100 grams white chocolate chips
80 grams chopped hazelnuts
500ml cereal (measure in jug up to that level)

Preheat your oven to 180oC. Grease and line a 13”x9” baking pan.
In a bowl, with a fork mix together the digestive biscuits and melted butter until combined. Place into the baking pan and smooth out into an even layer, covering the base of the pan.

Next empty the can of condensed milk on top of this and spread out until it covers the entire base of the pan (I just tilted the pan and let it run naturally). Then sprinkle on top the chips and nuts and lastly the cereal. With a piece of greaseproof paper smooth over the top, pushing down lightly so the toppings are embedded into the milk.

Pop the pan into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cereal begins to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before chopping into squares. I found them to be quite crumbly the same day (although my cousin Leigh tried a warm one and loved it) but the next day they seemed firmer and easier to handle. They are very, very sweet, but the hazelnuts provide a nice contrast and crunch along with the biscuit base. I used hazelnuts instead of almonds, but any nut would probably work as would any cereal (coco pops would be very yummy!).

My old granddad was a huge fan of the Flintstones too and use to be in fits of hysterics at the end when Fred is shouting ‘Wilmaaaa!'. I’m sure he would have loved these. And what a perfect time to share with you again a very apt Cakeyboi cartoon…


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cartoon Time - Piping Bag

This cartoon is dedicated to my nephew Ross. He's just about to turn 11, and is already an accomplished player of the pipes. We are all very very proud of how much he has achieved already!

Monday, 5 November 2012

{REVIEW} Mo’s Cookie Dough

As you may remember, recently I visited the BBC Good Food Show at the SECC in Glasgow. There were dozens upon dozens of stalls selling and promoting their products.

One that certainly caught my eye, was Mo’s Cookie Dough – a compny selling freshly prepared cookie dough, ready to slice and pop into the oven.. I ventured over and helped myself to a sample of the freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies. They were delicious and I cheekily took another sample (or two!).

I discovered that the concept of Mo’s, is ‘Slice-Bake-Enjoy!’. The brain’s behind the operation is a woman called Morag Pavich, who was raised in the US of A and was apparently weaned on cookie dough (sounds like my idea of heaven). She wanted anyone to be able to bake great tasting cookies in no time at all, with the aid of American style pre-made cookie dough – but using high quality Scottish ingredients.

Well, although I am not averse to making my own cookies, I certainly thought that having a couple of rolls of dough in the freezer was a great idea and bought some of the Chocolate Chip. Oatmeal Raisin was also available and I wished I had bought some of that now!

Anyway, I got home, I sliced up the cookies and placed them on a cookie sheet, lined with greaseproof paper. I popped them in the oven for a little under the suggested time ( as I like my cookies a little on the underdone side of things). I removed from the oven, waited as long as I could and devoured half the batch. I finished the rest the following night, they were that good. Tender vanilla cookie jam packed full of choccy chips!

 I would definitely recommend Mo’s Cookie Dough to anyone who is short of time, or just not very confident at baking – as Mo says – Slice-Bake-Enjoy.

And to make things even sweeter a percentage of the profits from each roll sold goes to local projects supporting vulnerable children.

I have used the second roll already, in another recipe which I will be sharing very soon…

I've been in touch with Morag who asks for anyone wishing to purchase or find out more to contact her by e-mail or like her page on Facebook.

Disclosure Statement: I purchased the ingredients myself and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Easy Chilli Mocha Latte

‘The nights are fair drawing in’  - an expression which isn’t probably heard too many places except for Scotland. But it is safe to say, the dark nights are here and it is feeling nippier out there.

And I wanted something very easy to prepare to warm me old cockles. I looked through the cupboards and in the fridge and came up with this easy peasy idea for a spicy cocoa type drink. Chilli and chocolate are all the rage of course!

All you need for two mugs of Chilli Mocha Latte is;

One sachet of instant coffee (I used Millicano)
One sachet of instant hot chocolate (I had Options Belgian Choc)
One red chilli pepper
Two mugs worth of milk (any type, I used soya)
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pour the milk into a saucepan. Split the chilli in half, length wise, and add to the milk. Stir in the cinnamon, coffee and hot chocolate. Put the pan over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, without letting the milk boil.

After the time is up, using a strainer, pour the milk into each mug. In those 10 minutes, the spiciness of the chilli has infused into the milk. The cinnamon, adds another element of spice, and the mix of coffee and cocoa is delicious. Of course, if you are about to hit the hay, I would just use two sachets of chocolate and omit the caffeine. Or if you do want the coffee hit, remember and use a fairly bold coffee, so the taste isn’t lost with all the other layers of flavour happening.

There we have a very simple and cosy drink, for those impending wintery nights. Snuggle up and enjoy!