Bake Off Jewel Box Cake

Fruity, Give It A Go, My Sweet Adventures

Only 6 sleeps until The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens… excited is an understatement!!! To celebrate the occasion, my friend and I attempted a bake from the series three cook book – the Showstopping Jewel Box Cake. Don’t be fooled by it’s appearance, this cake is actually pretty easy to make. It is simply a  white chocolate sponge cake covered in jam, decorated with raspberries and wrapped in a white chocolate bow.

If I’m being completely honest, the bow is fairly challenging. We found the chocolate modelling paste a little crumbly and therefore the bow loops kept falling apart; hence the improvised ribbon stuck on top 🙂 If I was making this cake again I would suggest buying ready to roll white chocolate icing such as this one. Not only does it taste nicer but you’ll also save your self a lot of time and effort.

All in all though, this cake is 100% achievable and I’ve tried to adapt the recipe to make it as easy as possible, so why not challenge yourself this week and attempt this cake for yourself? Besides,  the white chocolate sponge is so delicious that if you only manage to bake that and cover it in jam it’s still worth it!

My attempt:

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

How it’s meant to look:

jewelbox_s1500x0_q80_noupscale

Close enough! 🙂

Ingredients (for the cake)

150g white chocolate, chopped
250g unsalted butter, soft at room temp
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature beaten into a jug
250g self-raising flour
pinch of salt

Method (for the cake)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23x23cm square baking tin with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate for the sponge and leave to cool until needed. In a separate bowl beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Now add the vanilla and beat until the mixture is very light in colour and fluffy in texture.

Gradually add the eggs, adding a tablespoon of flour with each portion, beating well after each addition. Sift the rest of the flour and the salt into the bowl and fold together using a large metal spoon. Now pour in the cooled white chocolate and fold together until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out into an even layer. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool for about 30 minutes before tipping the cake out onto a plate, ready for decorating.

Ingredients (for the bow and decoration)

4 tbsp raspberry jam
500-600g fresh raspberries
1 pack ready to roll white chocolate icing (e.g. Renshaw)

Method (for the cake)

Using your hands, roll the icing into a ball to soften it. As soon as it feels smooth, shape it into a sausage. Place the sausage between two long pieces of baking paper (one sheet underneath and one on top) and using a rolling pin, roll the sausage out into a long, flat sheet. Peel off the top piece of paper.

To make the crossed ribbons, cut out two ribbon strips about 30 x 2.5cm using a long, sharp knife to get a sharp edge, peel back the paper and leave on the side. Now warm the raspberry jam in a saucepan on a low heat until melted. Brush the jam over the top and sides of the cake. Now gently press the crossed ribbons on to the cake — across the top and down the sides — to resemble a parcel. Starting with the top of the cake, press the raspberries (pointed-end up) on to the sponge in the squares between the ribbons, so the cake is covered, top and sides.

Return to the white chocolate dough and cut out:
2 strips 11 x 2.5cm (bow ends)
2 strips about 14 x 2.5cm (bow loops)
1 strip about 10 x 2.5cm (bow centre loop)

Snip triangles out of one end of the 11cm strips using scissors and remove the paper on the back. Position the strips in the centre of the cake as shown above. Now remove the paper from the 14cm strips and shape them both into loops pressing the ends together.

Peel the paper from the 10cm strip, then wrap it around the centre of the 14cm loops in a ring to hide the join; press the ends of the bow ring to seal. Position the bow on top of the bow ends in the centre of the cake, use a dab of jam to fix it in place. Reshape the loops and bow carefully until you are happy with them.

 

Hawaiian Theme Cake Display

My Sweet Adventures

What does every party need?

That’s right, you got it… CAKE! And lot’s of it too.
So when my two best friend’s decided to have a joint Hawaiian 21st party, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to whip up some extra special birthday treats.

P1050142

So what was on the menu?
Birthday girl No.1’s cupcake: My Double Chocolate Cupcakes – super moist, fudgy and extra chocolaty.
Birthday girl No.2’s cupcake: The ever so incredible Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes – creamy, rich and just damn good.
My Victoria Sponge cupcakes, to add a little fresh fruitiness to the display.
And finally, an all time favourite, my White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies.

Add a couple of tropical umbrellas, edible flowers and coloured sprinkles and you have a deliciously tropical cake table.

P1050145

P1050147

I made this little menu as well, cuteeeeeee!

P1050146

 

 

Birthday girl No.1 and myself after one too many Pornstar Martini’s…

P1050240

Birthday girl No.2 looking gorgeous…

P1050167

 

Special mention to Thomas Colombo for this fabulous Mambo Bar cocktails, if you haven’t heard of him before have a read of this post for more details! He is the perfect addition to any party.

P1050159

If you fancy trying any of these bakes then click on the links above for the recipes, or if you think a JessieCakes display would be perfect for your party then scroll up and click on the Facebook icon at the top of the blog and drop me a message on there.

Scones and more scones

My Sweet Adventures

IMG_6548I have just returned from a fabulous trip to the Isle of Arran in Scotland, where we explored the beautiful countryside, skipped stones, toasted marshmallows on the fire and of course eat!!
Whilst away I set myself the challenge of finding the best Scone on the island, so that if you ever decided to visit Arran (which you definitely should) you can taste the best of the best.

In 4th place: Janie’s – Too dry and the cream wasn’t freshly whipped. However the little jam pot is cuter that cute!

IMG_6577

In 3rd place: Coast – A good scone with fresh whipped cream, however not enough jam.

IMG_6569

The runner up: The Coffee Pot – A very buttery scone with a generous helping of velvety whipped cream. Definitely worth trying!

IMG_6587

The Winner: Machrie Bay – Arrive early for a fresh out of the oven warm scone, with fresh cream and a dollop of sweet jam. Crumbly perfection. Head down to Macherie Bay and you will not be dissapointed.

IMG_6572

Janie’s
Brodick , Isle Of Arran , KA27 8DD

Make sure you try Janie’s Billionaires shortbread and Lemon & Blueberry cake… gorgeous!

P1040194

Coast
Shore Road, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran, KA27 8PR

The Coffee Pot
Shore Road, KA27 8QL

The Cherry Pie & Chocolate fudge cake are also a must!

P1040250 P1040251

Machrie Bay
Machrie Bay, Isle of Arran, KA27 8DZ

You cannot miss out on quite possibly one of the nicest cake’s I’ve ever eaten! 3 layer white and dark chocolate fudge cake…. i’m going to recreate this cake, so watch out for the recipe.

IMG_6573

MJ’s 60th Gatsby Party

My Sweet Adventures

You may not know who MJ is so let me start by introducing you to the most fabulous woman in the word… my mum Jenny… otherwise known as MJ. Slightly off topic but if you like meringue check out her chocolate and balsamic meringue recipe here!
Anyway, 28th of December my step father organised the most beautifully bonkers surprise Gatsby party for my mum. Imagine lazer sky lights, singing waiters, Canapes, 5 course menu, Pornstar Martinis, flappers, Tommy guns and an endless amount of champagne.
So why am I telling you about this? Well I was in charge of the cake!!! With only 3 days after Christmas to prepare 80 cupcakes, 3 different flavours, 40 sugarpaste topper’s and a whole load of decoration; I was definitely feeling the pressure. However, it all came together in the end and I was so pleased with the result that I had to share it with you.

1506766_10151885340966025_1958565712_n

The cakes – Red Velvet, Vanilla, Milk & White chocolate, Dark Chocolate & Popping Candy.

P1040022

P1040030
1483333_10152198292189175_1706673865_n

New York Skyline

1004810_470332016410896_1616834141_n
P1040042

The entrance

1545211_470332109744220_1477283046_n
1525106_10151885343771025_1633970461_n
P1040051
P1040050

Me, my mum and my gorgeous sisters

P1040062

And the man himself!

P1040035

If you are having a cocktail party, then you need Thomas Colombo. He’s very Italian, very funny and makes VERY good cocktails!
Check out his website  http://thomascolmbo.com/

If you are in need of an amazing chef for dinner party/event then I highly recommend Thomas The Caterer. At the party we had a new type of catering called bowl food, mini portions of lots of different dishes served in bowls – I am still dreaming about his Butternut Squash Risotto and NYC sliders.
You can find him here http://www.thomasthecaterer.co.uk/

Liebster Award!

My Sweet Adventures
liebster_award
I’m super excited to tell you that I’ve been nominated by the fabulous Fi’s Mutterings and Mumblings for the Liebster Award! Fi’s blog is not only hilarious but very inspiring, from lists of challenges to fundraising and fitness, you have to check it out and follow her.
So, I bet you’re wondering what on earth Liebster means? Well, it is the German word for all things sweet and lovely. How cute is that… someone actually thinks my blog is adorable! 🙂
The Liebster award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers to help their blog receive more views.
The rules of this award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3. You must nominate 3-10 of your favourite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination.
4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
Time to answer Fi’s questions…
  1. What do you do to relax?
    Bake, cook and listen to Beyonce. Preferably all at the same time! Oh and I also love having a bath.
  2. Do you do exercise?  If so, what is your favourite exercise?
    I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I love going on runs outside, but only in the summer. My favourite exercise is definitely horse riding – particularly show jumping.
  3. What is your dream holiday?
    A year travelling… does that count? Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, South America & South Africa.
  4. What is your favourite recipe?  If you don’t cook, what would you like to be able to cook?
    Sweet: My Malteser Brownies (gutted that I’ve given up chocolate for 1 year!).
    Savoury: Anything with Puy lentils
  5. What is your favourite food or meal?
    It has to be a ‘proper’ gourmet burger with sweet potato fries. Check out Shake Shack and MeatLiquor…. best burgers ever! Oooo and with BBQ pulled pork too!
  6. What are 3 tv programmes you don’t like to miss?
    Dexter! My boyfriend and I are totally obsessed with it. Sadly we only have 7 episodes left of the final series.
    Made in Chelsea…. guilty pleasure
    and I hate to admit this but this years Celeb BB, terribly addictive! Eurghh.
  7. Describe yourself in 3 words
Adventurous. Loyal. Happy.
8.  What makes you laugh?

My crazy dogs and my boyfriend, friends and family – they are all insane and hysterical.

9. What was your least favourite subject at school?

Geography. Just no.

10. Where do you write your blog?

Wherever I have access to a computer. At home on my laptop or at Uni on the computers (procrastination at it’s best).
Now for the exciting part… my nominations for the Liebster Award:
clean eats
Eat Sleep Bake Repeat
Sweet Dash of Sass
An Ashford Girl in a Big City
my cheshire life
all truly wonderful blogs and certainly deserve more recognition.
and my questions for you are:
  1. What is your most favourite city/country/place in the world and why?
  2. Who is your favourite actor or actress?
  3. Who is your favourite chef?
  4. What is your ultimate fear?
  5. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  6. What is your favourite song?
  7. What is your favourite film?
  8. Fruit or Veg?
  9. Why do you like blogging?
  10. Describe yourself in 3 words

    Good luck!

Tamper:Coffee

My Sweet Adventures

Want to know a secret? Thought so, well here it is… I’ve found the best coffee shop in Sheffield!

Located in the city centre is the most perfect cafe full of every flavour coffee, caramalised French toast, cinnamon swirls and maple bacon. I first discovered it a few weeks ago with my girlfriends and we fell in love, after spending almost 3 hours drinking tea and coffee, eating Nutella tarts and gossiping, we made a mutual pact to come back asap to test out their breakfast menu.

When the morning arrived for our Tamper feast we were all overly excited and had already studied the menu religiously. The girls opted for Eggs Benedict, but I just couldn’t resist trying the French toast. Having a sweet tooth means eating deserts any time of the day is acceptable. Let me justify eating this sugar overload at 9am by describing it to you… imagine sweet brioche french toast, topped with caramalised bananas, strawberries, coffee infused maple syrup and crispy bacon. Be honest, could you resist? I thought not! Check out my snaps below and get yourself down to Tamper:Coffee asap…

‘Malteser’ Coffee

P1020724

Nutella tart. Drooooooooooooooool!

P1020733

Best cinnamon swirl ever!

P1020729

Look at the cute mini milk bottle

P1020721

Had to take another picture… seriously look at it!

P1020737

Eggs Benedict with Roasted Winter Veg

P1020834

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

P1020837

The star of the show… French Toast

P1020839

Literally smelt like Christmas. I finished the whole lot and did not feel one bit guilty. Heaven.

P1020841

Visit their website here
Tamper have two locations…

For breakfast/lunch/coffee/treats
Sellers Wheel
149 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
0114 2757970
ask@tampercoffee.co.ukFor coffee/treats/light lunch
Westfield Terrace
9 Westfield Terrace, Sheffield, S1 4GH
0114 327 1080
info@tampercoffee.co.uk

 

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea

My Sweet Adventures

For my 21st birthday my lovely sister Alice, coincidentally, bought me a very special pressie… Afternoon tea eeeek! However this wasn’t just any ordinary afternoon tea, oh no it was SO much more than that!
Imagine a ridiculous amount of sweet and savoury naughties, an Alice in Wonderland theme, the London Sanderson hotel, a magical heated outdoor garden, hot apple pie tea, popping candy and a drink me potion. What are you thinking? Pretty awesome right!?
Everything about this experience was perfect so it would be insane not to share it with you, especially before Christmas as this would make a fabulous present for someone special (plus you get to go as well… bonus!).
So grab a cup of tea and prepare yourself to feel super duper hungry! If you wish to book your own Mad Hatters tea party then see the bottom of the post for further information.

Beautiful place settings

P1020694

Our menu was hidden inside a vintage Pride & Prejudice book

P1020695

What was to come…

P1020699

Interesting tea options

P1020697

My gorgeous sister looking very excited about her apple pie infused tea

P1020701

Pouring my mint choc-chip tea

P1020702

Our sugar cube music box

P1020696


And here is the star of the show

1477818_10152104890119175_562890733_n

Sweet and savoury scones

P1020703

Green tea & white chocolate mousse served in a chocolate tea-cup anyone?

1458870_10152104889394175_766004412_n

Never underestimate a quiche… delicious!

P1020713

Sandwich heaven

P1020707

‘Drink me’ 3 layer passion fruit potion

1420209_10152093755274175_1652541956_n

Tick-tock Traditonal Victoria Sponge

P1020705

Cheesecake with a mango surprise center

P1020715

Drooooooooooooooool

P1020716

Carrot Meringue & Strawberries and cream marshmallow mushrooms

P1020704

And just when I thought I was going to explode, this little beauty came out.. would be rude not to really

P1020717

P1020718

It truly was an unforgettable experience and I cannot recommend it enough, so thank you Alice for giving me such a gorgeous birthday gift.. and also for making me gain about 4 pounds, it was SO worth it!

If you are interested in booking an Afternoon Tea then click on the link below:
http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/oxford-street/sanderson-hotel/

Rosewater & White Chocolate Macaroons… well sort of!

Always Room For Error, My Sweet Adventures
I recently went to visit my sister Lucy in Cheltenham for a weekend of watching films, eating, drinking tea, staying in your PJ’s and of course BAKING! Apart from all the cutsie bits and bobs in Lucy’s kitchen, such as a million baking tins, adorable measuring cups and cookbook after cookbook there is one thing that stands out… a bright red Kitchen Aid! Now, if you’re not sure what a Kitchen Aid is then you need to Google this bad boy piece of equipment because they are amazing and one day I will own one… hopefully! If you have a Kitchen Aid what better thing to make than meringue? Or what we attempted… Macaroons. I say attempted because they didn’t turn out as we thought they would, we pictured those perfectically round equal in size macaroons that sit in Selfridges, stare at you and whisper ‘eat me pleaseeeeeeeeee’.
Although they look absolutely ghastly they didn’t taste too bad at all! We might of over done it on the rosewater essence and may of forgot to colour the ganache centre but we definitely gave it our best shot. I thought I would share the photographs with you but not the recipe as it is clear I definitely need to work on my macaroon skills!

P1020170

P1020159

P1020113

P1020116

P1020126

P1020120

Apart from macaroon’s we also baked Honesty Healthy Coconut Bread, Christmas Tree Decorations and Fig & Cranberry Chutney. Click on the clicks to take you to the recipes.

Chocolate Alchemy Ltd Workshop

My Sweet Adventures
‘Chocolate Alchemy Ltd’ can only be described as a sweet paradise, so when the opportunity arose to attend one of their workshops I just couldn’t resist. It was an amazing experience and I cannot recommend booking yourself into one of their classes enough (details at the bottom of the post) but for now relax and enjoy reading all about it.*
*Warning: I suggest you have some chocolate at the ready, huge cravings are about to commence.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Seriously…. how could anyone resist this!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The lovely Dan (manager & director) and I

As I walked in, the wonderful aroma of melted chocolate filled the air and I was greeted by the sights of freshly baked chocolate cakes and cookies, slabs of heavenly chocolate and delectable truffles. Lloyd, my chocolatier for the afternoon, greeted me with a big friendly smile and offered me a drink before we moved on upstairs to the workshop where all the chocolate-making fun happens.
The workshop began with a short lesson about the production of chocolate (starting right back to the cocoa pod!), where it comes from in the world and what ingredients are needed to create pure, organic, good quality chocolate.  I have always wondered about how chocolate is actually made, therefore I found the whole thing very interesting and it certainly made me appreciate how much work goes into making just one bar! I was totally impressed with my chocolatier who knew literally everything about chocolate and who kept the whole lesson fun, exciting and very enjoyable.
I then sampled chocolate from all over the world which obviously I LOVED! My least favourite being 100% dark chocolate (eeek) and my favourite being the 71% dark chocolate from Ecuodor (mmmmmm).

SONY DSC

The chocolate testing box!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Up next it was chocolate making time and with the help of my chocolatier I first made devilish dark chocolate truffles. Lately I have become a big fan of dark chocolate, not only because of its bitter rich taste but also because of the healthy benefits linked to it. For example, it can help prevent heart disease, it is full of antioxidants and can even aid weight loss – yes really!!! Anyway, more importantly I present to you the making of my ‘Dark-choc Truffle Bombs’…
Take one block of hardened dark chocolate ganache and cut it into small chunksSONY DSC
Roll chunks into truffle balls and sprinkled with cocoa powder. Leave to harden in the fridge for 10 mins, remove and coat in melted dark chocolateSONY DSC
 Roll around in more cocoa powder… et voilà!SONY DSC
After I had mastered the art of truffle making, Lloyd taught me how to create my own chocolates. I’d always thought chocolate making would be time consuming and difficult, but actually it was incredibly simple and the result was amazing! Recently I have become a little obsessed with chocolate orange, so when it came to deciding upon flavour it was a no brainer. I chose a simple orange oil natural flavouring to create (what I like to call) ‘Milk choc-orange Jessie Bites’ deeeeeelicous.
Start by melting organic milk chocolate….
SONY DSC
Fill a chocolate mould with the melted chocolate…SONY DSC
Use a scraper to remove any excess…SONY DSC
SONY DSC
Tip the mould over and tap lightly until the chocolate stops dripping out…SONY DSC
Place the chocolate shells in the fridge to harden…SONY DSC 
SONY DSC

Recipe for my ‘Milk Chocolate Orange Ganache’:

3 parts Chocolate Alchemy Milk chocolate*  to 1 part heavy cream (3:2)
*buy it here
Break chocolate into chunks and put in a heat resistant bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan until piping hot. Remove cream from the stovetop and add it to the chocolate. Stir to combine until all the chocolate is melted. Stir in a few drops of orange oil and leave to cool at room temperature before transferring to a piping bag.
Pipe the ganache into your hardened chocolate shells leaving a few millimeters gap from the top.SONY DSC
SONY DSC
Place back in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool. Finally, to cap the chocolates fill the mould again with melted milk chocolate and scrape of any excess. Leave to cool in the fridge. Once chocolates are hard tip the mould upside down and lightly tap to release chocolates. The result….
SONY DSCWhilst my chocolates were cooling I was offered even more to eat! Thankfully I had been to the gym in the morning because it really was a chocolate feast. I chose two chocolates from the counter downstairs (this took a long time as they all looked so tempting) and indulged in drinking a ‘Ciocchino’ – a thick, silky smooth, luxurious sipping chocolate.

Peanut Butter Cup & Sea Salted CaramelSONY DSC

The ‘Ciocchino’ SONY DSC

Me thinking ‘this is ammaaaaaaaaaaazing’. If you haven’t yet tried a Ciocchino then you are seriously missing out!SONY DSC

After I had bagged, boxed and wrapped my chocolates it was unfortunately time to go home. The whole experience was flawless from start to finish, all the staff at ‘Chocolate Alchemy Ltd’ are friendly, welcoming and extremely passionate about making each customers visit special and personal.
I walked home carrying my handmade chocolate delights feeling happy, educated and 10 pounds heavier. Thank you ‘Chocolate Alchemy’ for a fabulous experience I will be seeing you again very soon!

SONY DSC

For further information about workshops and prices visit:
http://www.chocolate-alchemy.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chalchemy?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chocalchemy
Chocolate Alchemy Ltd
5 Churchgate Mews
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE11 1TZ
01509 238113

Sugarpaste Experiment

My Sweet Adventures
I’m not at all familiar with using Sugarpaste (also known as Regal icing) so I decided to have a little play around and use my cake decorating tools to make some cupcake toppers. I invited a few friends round and we got stuck in, using glitter, shimmer dusts, food colouring, embossers, stencils, cutters and probably a million other things which I can’t remember. I’ve posted a few snaps below of the outcome…

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC