Monday, 30 September 2013

Healthy Snack Alert! Cinnamon Bun Larabars

Yes, it's healthy snack time. Cakeyboi’s trousers are getting a little too snug for comfort, so I thought this healthy treat would be good – plus it gives you loads of energy.

Larabars are maybe better known as Nakd bars in the UK, and they are essentially bars of dates, nuts and some other good things, plus some natural flavours. They taste ridiculously unhealthy but are high in protein, gluten free and often soy and usually dairy free. (These have a wee drizzle of cream cheese on top, so not dairy free).

Last year I made coconut and lime flavour ones and peanut butter chocolate chip. But I have to say these cinnamon bun flavour larabars are my favourite.  I found the recipe over at a gluten free website ‘What’s for Dinner Mom?’ and tweaked it a little. The result went down very well with all my samplers and I got loads of requests for the recipe, so here it is. The only proviso with Larabars is the need for a food processor to break down all the ingredients into a sticky mass.

Yield: Approx 16 small bars

225 grams of pitted medjool dates
125 grams almonds
70 grams raisins
30 grams walnuts
40 grams cashews
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon water (optional)

Icing (optional):
1 small snap-tub of light cream cheese
1 tablespoon (approx) royal icing sugar

Place all of the ingredients – minus the water - into a food processor. Blitz for a couple of minutes until all of the ingredients are finely chopped and the mixture forms a ball. My mixture was too dry so I added drops of water until it just came together.

As soon as it forms a sticky mass, place into a plastic container about 12x16cm. Press the mixture down firmly to a smooth uniform block. Chill in the freezer for an hour and then turn out onto a cutting surface. The mixture pops out of the box very easily. Cut into bars or squares depending on what size you want.

I made a little drizzle of cream cheese frosting to give it the real cinnamon bun effect, but this is entirely up to you if you want to add it. Mix the little pot of cream cheese with royal icing sugar until it gets to a drizzling consistency then with a spoon drizzle over the top. The royal icing sugar ensures a thicker icing, but won’t set completely.

There you have cinnamon bun flavoured larabars. The dates give them a very sweet and sticky texture, and even if you don’t like dates, you will be a convert. Enjoy!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

BBC Good Food Show Scotland Ticket Discount Code and Giveaway! Plus GBBO Week 6

I’m very pleased to announce that I have been asked to be part of the official BBC Good Food Show Blogger’s Community. The BBC Good Food Show is coming to the SECC in Glasgow on the 18 - 20 October 2013.

I was there last year, had a great time, but little did I realise that I would be going this year and be able to report from a more ‘behind the scenes’ perspective.

This year the Supertheatre, sponsored by Tesco finest, will host an array of some of the nation’s favourite chefs including Tom Kitchin and Si King The Hairy Biker (Dave is too busy with Strictly)! Plus Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry will be hosting The Great British Bake Off Masterclasses and James Martin will be live on stage demonstrating some of his favourite seasonal recipes.  You can sample or buy from over 100 top brands and artisan producers like sticky toffee puddings from Burtree Puddings to venison from Seriously Good Venison in the Producers’ Village. There is also The Great British Bake Off Village in Scotland for the very first time – your one stop shop for all your baking needs this winter!

And I am very excited to announce a giveaway of 5 pairs of tickets for the BBC Good Food Show Scotland. These General Admission tickets are valid for either the Friday or Sunday of the event.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below with either a valid email address, twitter handle or Facebook address as I will need to contact the winners to arrange ticket delivery.
Your email address will not be used for any other purpose.
Entries close at midnight Saturday October 12th, 2013.

Winners will be selected using

And if you don’t win, you can still go with an exclusive Cakeyboi discount code! You are entitled to 15% off all tickets right up until and during the show via the call centre (0844 581 1362) or online. The discount code is CB15.

 Terms and conditions for tickets and giveaways for River Street Events
 All tickets are general admission excluding Saturday.
 Tickets are non refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms and conditions apply.
 Tickets will be mailed out directly to the competition holder (me) by River Street Events. I will forward    tickets to the  winners.
 Tickets do not include a seat in the Supertheatre.

Good luck!!

And a wee word on the Bake Off Week 6 - funniest moment of the week for me was Mary's exasperated tone when uber-designer Frances brought out her giant terracotta teacup - she rolled her eyes and said 'Oh, here we go!' - hilarious!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mickey Mouse Waffle Cakes

If you cast your mind back to last year, you may remember my Disney cupcakes, which were to celebrate the Disney Store in Dundee turning 15. My better half, Disneyboi, works there on Saturdays and has done since it opened. And I thought I would turn my hand to making something Disney at least once a year.

When I saw a recipe online for 'cupcakes' made in a waffle iron, I remembered a gift I had bought Disneyboi one Christmas and has gathered dust ever since (well, he did attempt to make waffles once). It was a Mickey Mouse waffle iron.

So this recipe is for cakes, which can be made on any waffle iron, should you happen to have one, not just a Mickey Mouse shaped one!

They are very quick and easy to knock up and surprisingly quick to ‘bake’ in the iron.

Yield: About 10 waffle cakes

115 grams unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
115 grams granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
75 grams plain flour
adapted from Kirbie's Cravings

Melt the butter in a saucepan and set aside to cool a little.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla until light and frothy.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix to combine. Lastly mix in the butter and mix through.

Heat the waffle iron and lightly coat with flavourless oil. When heated, spoon about three tablespoons of the cake mix into each section of the waffle iron and close to  ‘bake’. Each cake takes about 2 minutes. They are ready when the edges turn slightly darker.

Carefully remove the cakes and allow to cool before decorating (or eating). I added some red icing and mini mallows for the full on Mickey Mouse effect. You could always dip them in chocolate; add sprinkles, whatever takes your fancy.

The cakes are really good in that they have a large area of ‘crust’ which is sometimes the best part of a cake. Nothing more satisfying than the crunchy top of a cake is there? Enjoy…

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Cartoon Time - Strictly Cone Dancing

Still waiting on this year's Strictly? Not long now - Maybe this will keep you going...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Chutney, Feta and Walnut Palmiers - for Organic September

I KNOW, I KNOW – more savoury! I should change the name to Bakeyboi instead. But I really wanted to make puff pastry and the remaining ingredients in my Sainsbury’s Organic Hamper – fruit chutney and walnut pieces would be perfect in Palmiers – made with said puff pastry. Palmiers come in savoury and sweet versions and have many many different names. I have heard elephant ears, angel’s wings; in Scotland cows feet or pigs lugs are common! I call them Palmiers…My version would be savoury as I said with the chutney, walnuts and salty feta cheese to compliment these.

Pastry has been my nemesis in baking, as I’m sure I have said before. But I am slowly getting to grips with it and puff pastry is one of the more complicated ones – or so I thought.

I used a Lorraine Pascale recipe, which I found on the BBC website. I did change it a bit, but all in all, it was quite straightforward and only a little time consuming, waiting for the pastry to chill in between rolls.

I made the pastry package as instructed from flour, salt, butter and water. Formed it into a ball and chilled this. I then cut a cross in the top of the ball, pulled the corners up and out and rolled the dough into a square. Lorraine then added softened butter to her package – I used cold butter, which I beat up with my rolling pin to get it flat and pliable. I then folded the package over the butter and began rolling and folding several times. This creates the layers of pastry – when it goes into the oven the moisture from the butter steams and puffs up the pastry apparently. Follow Lorraine’s recipe!

Yield: About 20 palmiers.
Puff Pastry (from Lorraine Pascale’s recipe)
140 grams Sainsbury’s So Organic Spiced Fruit Chutney
50 grams Sainsbury’s So Organic walnut pieces
100 grams Feta Cheese crumbles


Preheat your oven to 200oC. Line a couple of baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Take your chilled dough and roll it into a rectangle, 25cm by 30 cm.

Spread the chutney all over the dough and sprinkle on the walnut pieces and feta cheese.

Roll one of the short ends into the centre of the rectangle, then repeat on the other side, so the two rolls meet in the middle. 


 Pop the rolled up dough into some clingfilm and place back into the fridge for 45 minutes to chill again.

Then, slice the roll with a sharp serrated knife into 1 ½ cm thick pieces. Mines needed a bit of tweaking back into shape as the 45 rest meant one side was a bit squashed. Place the slices on the baking sheets spaced well apart and pop into the oven for 12-25 minutes, or until they have turned golden brown. I didn’t give mines an egg wash, but they still came out a good colour.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes, before carefully peeling them off the paper. They are best eaten warm. If you are eating them later in the day, place them in an oven at 150oC for 5 minutes to warm through.

The spicy sweetness of the chutney works well with the creamy saltiness of the feta. And the walnuts give a good crunch. Oh and my puff pastry was a success! I was so happy seeing all those delicious flaky layers…enjoy!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Not National Cookie Week and GBBO week 5

After last week’s walk down cupcake memory lane for National Cupcake Week, I thought it might be nice to do the same with some of the cookies I’ve made over the past year and a bit. It’s not National Cookie Week where I am, but it maybe is somewhere in the world!!

When we think of cookies in the UK, we tend to think of chocolate chip cookies, American style. But the Americans seem to class lots of different treats cookies, including meringues!

First out of the gate are my Butterscotch Cinnamon OatmealCookies. It’s funny to look back on this post as I’d only been writing the blog for less than two weeks. The butterscotch chips are an American product, which I picked up in Glasgow, but since then I have seen butterscotch pieces popping up in our supermarkets.

Secondly we have my Double Stuff Custard Creams. I love Oreos, but even more than Oreos, I love Double Stuff Oreos. Double the filling is very indulgent and I thought why not try this twist on classic British Custard Creams?

My Caipiroska Cookies are based on a drink that we have when Disneyboi and I go to Portugal. The ingredients of the drink are vodka, brown sugar and lime. Of course I had to try and use these in cookies and the results were pretty darn tasty! Please eat responsibly with these!!

At Halloween time I made these cute blueberry and white chocolate cookies, which I christened Booberry and White Shockolate Cookies, The cookies themselves were good, but ghost mallows really topped them off!

At Christmas time I was asked to write a guest post for a fellow food blogger – Stephanie over at Kitchen Frolic who was hosting a Christmas Cookie Advent Calendar for the season. I was thrilled to be asked and made my Gingerbread bois. They were supposed to look like Cakeyboi, but truth be told I was a tad disappointed in the result. Maybe something to dust off this Christmas?

Valentines day was around the corner and I wanted to come up with something pink and garish. These Strawberry Chocolate Chip cookies were certainly that. And what was even better was the fact they were made from boxed cake mix! Boxed cake mix is very versatile and has way more uses than just cake.

At Easter, I came up with the idea of baking a Crème Egginto a cookie. When I saw Crème Egg Splats in the shop I thought these would be ideal as they were flat with all the taste of said egg. They were good, but I wished now I had stuffed a mini crème egg in there instead – this would’ve been even better!!

 And now we are half way through GBBO, there is someone sticking out for me, for all the wrong reasons. Sadly, I think time could be almost up for Frances. Her designs look pretty enough, but the outcome doesn’t always taste impressive enough from what the judges are saying. Even kindly Dame Mary of Berry has been less than her usual diplomatic self. Flavour first, looks second I think is the message!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Cartoon Time for Cupcake Week

No explanation required...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Carrot Cake Swiss Roll

It was my mum’s birthday recently and she came around for her dinner a day early – on the Sunday. Cast your mind back to last year and you may remember that it’s a tradition that I make mum a carrot cake for her birthday every year. It’s her favourite dessert, and I try and make it a bit different every year. Last year’s was a loaf cake.

This year, I toyed with a few ideas, carrot cake bars, cupcakes, but I settled on a carrot cake swiss roll. I had never made a swiss roll before and really wanted to give one a go.

I found a recipe over at Crazy for Crust. It looked daunting at first but it was much, much easier than I anticipated.

3 eggs
150 grams granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
75b grams plain flour
2 medium carrots
Icing sugar (for rolling)
Adapted from Crazy for Crust

170 grams, full-fat cream cheese, softened
55 grams unsalted butter, softened
250 grams icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Adapted from Crazy for Crust

Preheat your oven to 180oC. Line a large (10”x15”) baking sheet with edges, with greaseproof paper. Grease the sides of the sheet. Grate your carrots and set aside.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugar and oil until the mixture is pale, slightly thick and creamy. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined and then stir through the carrots. Spread the entire mixture on the baking sheet. It is a sticky mix, so an off-set spatula really helps to push the mix right into the corners.

Place into the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile dust a clean tea towel with plenty of icing sugar. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven invert the sheet onto the tea towel. Remove the sheet and greaseproof paper (carefully). Lay new greaseproof paper on top of the exposed part of the cake.

Starting with the short end of the cake, roll it very tightly within the tea towel. Leave it to cool completely, at least one hour.

Meanwhile make your filling, beating together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla and cinnamon, mixing through. Lastly, add the icing sugar and stir it until dissolved. Place this into the fridge to firm up slightly. I didn’t do this part, and the frosting was too sloppy. Hey ho, live and learn!

When the cake is cooled, unroll and remove both the towel and greaseproof. Spread the filling all over the inside of the roll, and then carefully re-roll. You will probably get some cream cheese leakage, so don’t worry. Just scoop it up and enjoy later!

Transfer the roll to your plate or board, seam side down and dust more icing sugar over the top. There you have carrot cake swiss roll! I cut mines with a serrated knife and then served it with some skooshy cream (as we call it here).

Mum was very happy with her dinner and particularly the swiss roll. Any suggestions for next years variation of carrot cake will be gratefully received!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

National Cupcake Week and GBBO week 4

16-22 September 2013 is National Cupcake Week here in the UK. National Cupcake Week aims to promote the popularity of cupcakes and it supports Clic Sargent, a charity for children with cancer.

I’m not making any cupcakes this coming week, but I thought I would share a few of the cupcakes I’ve made since Cakeyboi started – one for each day of the coming week.

Firstly, one of the first cupcakes I made here on Cakeyboi – Chocolate Cola Cupcakes. The flavour of cola really works well with chocolate, especially in these cupcakes and their frosting. Always go for full-fat cola (as I call it) when making these.

Second up and it’s my Disney or Mickey Mouse Cupcakes. These were for the Disney Store in Dundee’s 15th birthday. They were vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting on top, dyed red(dish) and two mini mallows plonked in. The chocolate cookies in the shape of Mickey ears really topped them off nicely!

mickey mouse cupcakes

Halloween is coming soon, so these Wicked cupcakes are a must for that time of year! The cupcakes were chocolaty with mint flavoured marshmallowy frosting piped high. I then made a witches hat from a Hershey Kiss, a chocolate disc stuck to it – then added a mint matchmaker to look like the witches broom. And if you haven’t seen the musical Wicked – you must!

witches hat cupcakes

My Red Velvet Snowball cupcakes are different to most red velvet cakes, as they contain no cocoa. This makes the red VERY vibrant. I topped these with marshmallowy frosting and dipped them in coconut, just like a Snowball treat. They are very festive and great for Christmastime.

Another chocolaty cupcake, but this time flavoured with Guinness. These were for St. Patrick’s Day. The Guinness really adds a depth of flavour, and if you aren’t a fan of the drink, don’t worry, you can’t actually tell it’s there! And the salted caramel frosting is great on any cupcake!

My Disco Bunny cupcakes were a bit of fun for Easter and were a plain vanilla sponge with rainbow sprinkles mixed in, topped with, you guessed it – marshmallow frosting! I dunked the frosted cupcakes into Rainbow Drops, bright coloured little puffs of sweet rice, You could used crushed Froot Loops too here. And I stuck in some foam bananas to look like rabbit ears!

Last, but certainly not least, my Salted Fluffer cupcakecones. They were inspired by an ice cream treat I had whilst on holiday in New York, called a Salty Pimp. They are vanilla sponge, baked in wafer cone cups. I then piped marshmallow frosting high, swirled this with caramel then dusted the top slightly with salt. The cupcakes were then dunked in a chocolate bath, before being popped in the fridge to set. The crack of the chocolate when biting in is very satisfying!

I hope you have enjoyed my wander down cupcake memory lane for National Cupcake Week!

 And my Great British Bake Off thought of the week; Ali didn’t have a good week, but I think what let him down mostly was the fact he looked like he was trying to be Benny from Crossroads with that green woolly hat on his head! This reference probably doesn’t mean much to any of you under 40! So go and Google Benny from Crossroads now!!