“Oreo Style” Cookies with Vanilla Bean Cream

 

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These rich, sweet chocolatey biscuits filled with a smooth vanilla buttercream were a huge hit in our July box.

We included the recipe card in the box but for those who didn’t get it we thought we’d share it here…

To make these little beauties you will need:

  • 2 baking sheets greased with butter and lined with baking paper
  • Preheat your oven to 180C Fan/Gas 4/350F

Ingredients for Biscuits:

  • 140g Butter, softened
  • 320g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 175g Self Raising Flour
  • 90g Cocoa Powder

Icing:

  • 225g Butter, softened
  • 435g Icing Sugar
  • 1tbsp Vanilla Extract

 

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Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer (or handheld mixer) for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and keep beating until it’s incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and cocoa to the mixing bowl and mix slowly until a dough is formed.
  4. Then put 15g balls of dough onto baking paper and flatten slightly with spoon or glass which has been dipped in caster sugar*
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are starting to colour.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Make the icing: beat the sugar, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
  8. Sandwich pairs of biscuits together with a spoonful of icing between
  9. Enjoy!

Please do send us a photo if you have a go at making these. You can email your photo to hello@thecaketastingclub.com or send it to us on Facebook or Instagram @thecaketastingclub

We are busy getting ready for our August bake which ships on Tuesday 28th August. If you would like to try a HALF PRICE Classic Cake box for just £7.50 including postage then head on over to the website NOW!

Frosting kisses

Vikki x

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When I became a mother..

It’s very hard to describe the utter love and joy that is present when you birth your child. It’s a crazy and all consuming love that is at times fiercely overwhelming. But at the same time you know nothing about the realities of how you will actually manage to raise this tiny screaming bundle of joy. Finally, getting through the front door and breathing a sigh of relief to be home was coupled with the “bloody hell, they have actually let us leave with this baby, despite the fact we don’t know what the actual frig we are doing” panic! It’s literally learning on the job mayhem, which coupled with all the hormones and struggles of breastfeeding; sore nipples (actually sore everywhere!) and recovering from the birth, I found really tough. Actually, quite maddening to be honest.

The birth of my first born was everything I didn’t want it to be, none of my birth plan happened; I was disappointed and felt like a failure. I had placenta previa, which meant that my placenta was so low that there would be a risk of it coming out first during birth, which would obviously be a bloody shit show for all involved (literally…too graphic?!) So I was booked in for a C-section, which is my idea of a nightmare. It was a lot better to have a planned C-section than an emergency one and for that reason I am very grateful. Despite that, it was still an incredibly scary/odd/awful experience. As it’s planned they literally just get you to walk into theatre, everyone’s sort of bustling around and it’s all very normal – weirdly normal. Like guys, I’m literally about to have a baby and this is oddly everyday. I need somebody to make an announcement or sound a trumpet or something to signify what is actually about to happen here. My baby is about to be born! I worry that it does matter how you’re born and this kind of birth was just not what I had envisioned. I hate hospitals. I know for some people hospitals bring a kind of comfort and reassurance, but not for me, they make me an anxiety-filled sweaty Betty. My baby was born so suddenly (and unbeknownst to her) to a room full of strangers with masks on and bright lights, and not being able to hold her for a few minutes felt awful. And I still hold a lot of guilt about that, I know that I couldn’t perhaps of changed the fact that she did need to be born by C-section and that if I would have attempted to birth naturally it probably would have encountered huge problems but a little part of me thinks I should have fought it and attempted a natural birth crazy though that might sound. I should have somehow been able to protect her from that harsh first experience of life. I should have been better. I should have done better. I should have fixed it. That imperfect moment in which I became a mother felt tinged with another narrative of how it should have been. And I know in the grand scheme of things it really is insignificant, that I am so bloody lucky and believe me I am so so grateful and blessed and I would never ever ever think any less of anybody else for having a C-section but I just struggle to forgive myself.

My second birth was the complete opposite, and I really fought for it to be that way. I wanted perhaps to alleviate some of the guilt from my first birth, and to prove to myself that my body really could ‘do it’ and give birth, what is perceived by many to be ‘normally’ I guess. I planned a home birth despite some concern from my healthcare providers (after having a C-section there is a very, very, very tiny risk that  the scar could rupture during contractions) and went so far over that I almost had to have an induction and not have my beautifully planned home birth. But I did manage it and, after almost 36 hours of labor, my second little girl (actually big girl..8lb 9!) was born into the water and it was so lovely and peaceful. Except that after all those hours I was so emotionally and physically frazzled that I forgot that it was actually my job to pick the baby up out the water and not just hope that she perhaps might swim to the top… ha! Step in the midwife who swooped her up into my arms, bliss!!

I can look back now and realise that both births, no matter how different, were what they were meant to be and I can now start to accept that. I cannot change the past, the only moment we have is the present, the here and now and I can only continue to mother my children in the best way that I can, and that is enough – I am enough. #Selflove is something I struggle with and I think that feeling like a bad/not good enough mother is so common and really needs to be talked about more. Only by sharing stories and supporting each other as women can we really make progress and affect change. Having struggled mentally and emotionally over these last 3+ years I only really feel now that I am coming through the fog and actually able to reflect and attempt to process myself as a mother and perhaps even accept myself as a mother. Three years of no sleep really can send you a bit higidly pigidly, hey?! Anyway big love to everyone reading this, and if you take one thing away from this brief, messily written scrawl on motherhood I wish it could be this: Love yourself, you are enough, give yourself a break and if it’s hard right now just know it will get better. You can do it.

XXXXXX

 

‘You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!’

John Lennon

Cookie Bars

In February we featured these delicious cookie bars on our recipe cards – crispy, gooey and chocolatey finished off with delicious salted caramel – Winner!

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To make your own cookie bars you will need a 20cm/8in square cake tin greased with butter and lined with baking paper and your oven pre heated to 180C/Gas 4/350F.

Ingredients:

350g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
295g Butter
500g Dark brown soft sugar
4 Free-range Eggs
2 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
150g Dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp Salted caramel sauce

Method

  1. Using a free standing mixer or hand held whisk cream the butter and sugar together for around 5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder and mix slowly until combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared tin.
  6. Drizzle over the salted caramel sauce and swirl into the cookie mix.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in tin before cutting into bars.
  9. Devour!

Here at Cake HQ we love to chat cake, please do remember to share your photos with us over on Facebook and Instagram.

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We hope that you enjoyed your cake delivery in February, if you haven’t joined us at cake club yet then why not try your first Classic box for just £7.50.

Keep it cake,

Vikki x

 

 

Classic Victoria Sandwich

This month we have chosen a classic Victoria Sandwich. Light vanilla sponge filled with lashings of buttercream and delicious raspberry jam.

Vic sponge recipe

Thank you for all your lovely feedback about our January Cake Boxes. We love hearing that you have had a go at one of our bakes so please do send us a photo.

Thank you to @heyimjasmineh on Instagram for sharing your photos. Your cake looks awesome and it looks as though you had some great helpers!

Here at Cake HQ we believe that Victoria Sandwich is a classic for very good reason. Also, once you have mastered the perfect sponge you can apply those skills to so many other great cake recipes.

We grew up baking with our mum’s and still believe that the “creaming method” is the way to go. However, if you are new to baking then Mary Berry’s “all in one method” is super easy and always produces great results.

When baking our cakes for our subscription boxes they are still done one at a time as you would at home, although they are slightly larger! We have scaled our recipe back down to make the perfect 8″ cake for you to enjoy at home.

Cake ingredients:

  • 225g butter – softened
  • 225g golden caster Sugar
  • 4 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract

For the filling:

  • 125g butter – softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
  • 1/2 jar good quality strawberry/raspberry jam

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy – this really needs to be done with a hand held beater or stand mixer. It will take a while so do be patient.
  2. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla paste/extract.
  3. Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar gradually with a little flour*.
  4. Gently fold in the remaining flour.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two lined tins and level the surface.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 mins.
  7. It’s ready if it springs back when pressed in the centre and the edges are coming away from the tin.**
  8. Cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack
  9. Make the icing – beat the icing sugar with the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy***
  10. Assemble the cake! Top one cake with jam and the base of the other with icing
  11. Then sandwich together and dust the top with icing sugar
  12. Take a photo and send it to @thecaketastingclub over on Instagram or Facebook.
  13. Pour a cuppa and gobble!

 

Remember, we’d love to hear how you get on if you make the cake. The best place to find us is usually over on Instagram but you can also find us on Facebook or just drop us an email.

Happy baking!

Vikki x

TIPS

*I add a third of the beaten egg mix with a tablespoon of flour, beat until combined. Then repeat this twice more until all the egg is added.

**A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached.

***Make sure you cover the mixer and start slowly otherwise you will disappear in a cloud of icing sugar! I also make the sure that the butter is very soft.

So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety nine!!

So, it’s my birthday coming up in approximately 12 days, 2 hours and 54 minutes…can you tell I’m excited?!  Yes I’m getting massively older but I still love a good birthday. This is the prequel to the big 3.0. so I am planning to party like it’s 1999…haven’t been out in about 3 years so not even sure if that’s still the lingo.. anyway going to paint the town red and all that (am I ninety?!) which means a night off from getting the baby to sleep hoorah! The best bit for me about my birthday is the cake hands down, my husband (who isn’t at all keen on baking) always bakes me my birthday cake and now the toddler loves helping him so it’s really sweet (if a little mangled, and I sooo wouldn’t have frosted it that way but w/e…. #controlfreak) I just love it ❤ Second best bit is defo the birthday wish, it’s like one a year so you really gotta go for it and wish for something real special. Don’t waste it!

Birthdays are just bloody special right? I get a real happy vibe from dressing up birthday orders that come in with special confetti, a birthday balloon, and most importantly a golden candle that you can put in our fresh homemade cake, light, and make your ONE WISH OF THE YEAR ❤ It’s gonna be a great day! Happy Birthday! Also if anyone is my birthday twin and is also born 12 days, 2 hours and 52 minutes from now please do get in touch, love a birthday twin!

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So yeah Birthdays are the best day ever. If you need a special present everyone loves cake and we love jazzing up your box and writing your cutesy messages so drop us a line, we gotcha back babe! Our classic box contains a huge slab of cake, two pieces of brownies and a bag of cookies/biscuits, it’s a real treat and perfect for any celebration. Or just a Friday night treat for yours truly, go on you know you deserve it; the kids have been driving you loopy drawing on the walls with your best eyeliner, the cats done a poo behind the t.v., bloody Barbara at work is up to her usual tricks and your socks have holes in, WE GET IT. Take a look at happiness here.

 

Peace out kipper xxxx

The most wonderful time of the year/day drinking becomes acceptable hooray..

 

First things first.. are you one of those organised people who have all their Christmas presents bought and wrapped in July or are you starting to panic at the lack of presents/lack of time/increasingly sweaty, busy shopping center situations?! I am actually more organised than usual, I’m normally a bit of a last minute Larry but I think my fear of having to face the busy shops with two small unpredictable children have given me some extra..motivation. I think the rest for sure will be purchased online because I cant take any more stress.. and for anyone taking part in the elf on the shelf chaos please tell me how you have the TIME! My eldest didn’t go to sleep until 9:30 last night…9:30!! So im sorry but elf on the shelf would pretty much send me over the edge.. Today we are taking part in small business Saturday giving  a 15% discount with the code SMALL and as part of that I would love to just highlight a couple of family run businesses we just LOVE.

First up is Stanley and Maud, if you don’t already know about the incred jewellery Dotty makes then get involved here My husband bought me this absolutely beaut bracelet with our children’s names on and I returned the favour by getting him a personalised cord braclet. We both wear them every day ❤ Thanks Dotty!!!

Don’t buy her flowers founder Steph has just had her third baby Frank, huge congrats Steph sending you all the love! Checking your feed daily as Frank is too cute! Their website has basically every gift package you can dream of, chock full of personal touches and delicious drinks (yes gin!) and treats it has the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Also you can add one of our cake boxes on to any of the packages, hurrah!

If you are looking to get a self-portrait or any funky artwork created check out Polina, she is so super super talented! Check out her insta here:

And finally if you love candles (who bloody doesn’t?!) check out The Nottingham Candle co. Anna creates the most beautiful scents and fragranced candles in recycled jars by hand.

 

 

We have been loving seeing all our our November boxes out in the big wide world, thanks so much for sharing photos with us! This months line up was an absolute treat, we had:

  • Sticky toffee cake- dates and hazelnuts toffee sponge filled and topped with vanilla bean frosted swirled with toffee sauce
  • Apple crumble brownie – tangy homemade apple sauce surrounded by buttery cinnamon crumble on a bed of gooey brownie.
  • Chocolate orange brownie- Dark gooey brownie topped with Terrys chocolate orange slices.
  • Outrageous chilli chocolate cookies- Chocolate cookies made with Motezumas chilli dark chilli chocolate stuffed with chocolate chips.

 

Phew! What a cheeky line up to warm you up this chilly November. Keep your comments coming we love all the feedback. Next month we have a delicious Christmassy line up with flavours such as almond, lemon and brazil nuts so do make sure to place an order over on our website now. For Christmas gifts you can purchase a subscription HERE and we will send a gorgeous complimentary card just before Christmas to explain the gift to follow in Jan. Christmas sorted!

 

Have a lovely few weeks kippers and enjoy the festive spirit!

 

Love to all xxxxxx

Bat out of..oven, i’ll be iced when the morning comes..

Anyone benefit from the clocks going back? Nope, us neither, up at 6:00 instead of 7:00 hooray… *sleepily reaches to turn Lasquisha the coffee machine on* Despite that I am still loving autumn: crunchy leaves; hot chocolates; more excuses to eat coffee and cake – yum yum. We went to choose our pumpkin for Halloween last weekend and I tried to get the #perfectfamily insta photo but unfortunately my 1 year old and 3 year old didn’t get the, ‘stay still while mummy gets a super cute photo of you looking adorable with these pumpkins’ memo. This is after arriving and discovering said 1 year old in the back car seat with her face covered in Chocolate..or is that mud off the bottom of the shoe you have managed to get off your feet, lovely! At least it wan’t poo..

It is Halloween tomorrow and our October box was a spooky delight with an array of frightful treats for you to enjoy! This was the fearsome line up this month:

  • Pumpkin and chai spice cake- Spicy sponge with sweet pumpkin, matched with buttery frosting and chai tea accents
  • Blood and guts brownie- Zingy raspberry coulis and fruity cherry swirled through gooey dark chocolate brownie
  • Spooky eyeball brownie- Pure gooey chocolate brownie, topped with a hand crafted sugar eyeball
  • Hand-iced bat biscuit – Ginger bat shaped biscuit, lovingly iced by hand

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Thanks for all your lovely snaps of the box, props to you for managing to grab a photo before gobbling the lot, not sure I would have your restraint so well done!

Quickly just need to mention the C word, yes Christmas (or cake.. cakey Christmas?!) we all know cake is the perfect gift and a subscription to The Cake Tasting Club is the gift that keeps on giving! Gift vouchers are live on the website now; you can choose the length of subscription and we can send a card with a gift message to your loved one just before Christmas letting them know of the exciting gift to follow. Just add your gift message at checkout! 🙂

 

Thanks for reading kippers!

Keep it cake and peace out ❤ xxx