Hazelnut Banoffee Pie

Just look at all those delicious layers YUMMM-YYYY!
Just look at all those delicious layers YUMMM-YYYY!

I promised to start uploading some goodies for you, so here’s my first post!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take step by step photographs as I really thought I’d go out on a limb here to make this. You see, my husband works very hard at work, and at home. So I only thought it would be fitting if I kindly made him this yummy twist on a classic banoffee pie. The only thing is… poor hubby asked me to make this for him during the first week of September after he casually mentioned how my banoffee pies are just amazing (well, what can I say hey?!!! Just kidding!). I think the maths department were waiting patiently enough for the first week let alone the past TWO MONTHS that I had taken in making this delicious goodie haha!

So I thought, instead of making the plain old, simple, everyday, banoffee pie. I would go and add my twist into it. You see, I am a huge fan of Oreo biscuits and if I could, I would have it with any dessert. I’m pretty sure you can make any dessert with them too. I’ve tried Oreo truffles, (which my two sisters made during my brothers wedding, so I can’t really take the credit but I will definitely be having a go at these very soon.) Oreo cheesecake, Oreo cupcakes and even an Oreo Wedding Cake which came complete with its own Oreo frosting of course. It was my love for these delectable biscuits which helped me to make up my mind on making an Oreo biscuit base for this pie… which I have done before and it tasted divine, so I was pretty sure I was off to a grand start.

Banoffee 2

My second thought came when I remembered seeing my youngest sister in law having Nutella with banana and bread several times not to mention the adverts on tv too lol!
So off I went in search for a fresh tub of Nutella. But I couldn’t just stop there, oh of course not. How can I use Nutella which is made up of plentiful hazelnuts and not have some roasted hazelnuts showered over the fresh cream topping? I searched high and low for some hazelnuts… I nearly gave up. I even saw the nut stall at the market that day and for some reason I just walked in the opposite direction knowing he would have it. I knew right there and then that I was giving up hope, but thankfully I had to pop into ASDA to get some baby food and noticed a packet of hazelnuts in the…. ermmmm… Home Baking aisle right at the far end of the store *embarrassed*. I know I know, how did I end up there lol! Its a habit, my legs take me there even if I have no need to go there, but as a baker at heart my legs just knew that there was something eagerly waiting for me. It sat staring at me and calling at me Okay, enough is enough Nel! I bought the packet and came home to finish what I had started!

Oreo layer, Nutella layer, Caramel, Fresh Cream layer... Delishhhh!
Oreo layer, Nutella layer, Caramel, Fresh Cream layer… Delishhhh!

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for…

Ingredients and Instructions:
You will need a 9″ pie dish.
1 can of Carnation Caramel

Roughly 3-4 medium ripe bananas
1 packet of Oreos 
2 tbs butter (melted)
200g Nutella (about half a jar of the normal 400g size)
300ml double cream
1 tbs caster sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp of cream cheese (optional)
Some chocolate to grate over the top
Roughly 20-25 hazelnuts
Honey
Salt & Pepper
Icing Sugar

1. In a bowl, break up your Oreos in a bag and then place them into a small bowl. Add in the melted butter and stir until it has all been incorporated into the Oreo mix.
2. Spread the Oreo mixture into the pie dish, and place into the fridge for at least 10-15 minutes, or until the biscuit base has completely hardened. (Sometimes I just put it in the freezer!)
3. Take it out and then spread Nutella very carefully over the Oreo base as it tends to stick to the biscuits and then lift them off the pie dish.
4. Open your tin of caramel. I like to get a spoon and then give it a quick mix whilst it’s still inside so that it softens which just means I don’t need to apply too much pressure on the caramel when I’m spreading it on the biscuit base.
5. Now pour the caramel over the Nutella layer and spread it carefully making sure not to mix the two too much!
6. Chop up bananas and lay over the caramel.
7. In another bowl, mix caster sugar and cream cheese together before adding in your double cream. – Whisk until it peaks. I whisked mine a little longer than I had wanted to hence why the texture in the pictures look a little ‘hairy’ lol!
8. You can either pipe it onto the the pie or just spoon it on and give a natural rustic look
9. Grate some chocolate over the top.
10. Hazelnuts: On slow to medium heat roast your hazelnuts and after about 3 minutes sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them and a quick drizzle of honey. I would say a little less than a teaspoon. (I poured straight out of the jar lol!) But just make sure it’s enough to JUST LIGHTLY coat them. Too much honey will make them get really sticky and you will find it difficult to seperate them!
Toss around for another 2 minutes or until you are satisfied that they have browned well and have a shiny glaze! Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes
11. Pop them on top of the cream, dust with icing sugar, and voila!

I hope you enjoy making this, but I am pretty sure you will enjoy eating this far more as did my husband and his colleagues!

What are your favourite pies to make and eat?

Hazelnut Banoffee Pie
Hazelnut Banoffee Pie

Been away far too long…

A little something that I have been doing in the past few months!
A little something that I have been doing in the past few months!

My goodness, I have been telling myself to get back on track, sit down with a cuppa…even though I REALLY do NOT like hot drinks! Yup, that’s right, I hate em’! I wish I could fit in with all you ‘hot drink drinkers’ but I’ve always struggled to drink warm things unless I am absolutely freezing! With that in mind, I do actually have a great tutorial for you on how to make a delicious home-made hot chocolate! Hypocrite I hear you say? No, no, no! Home-made is always different, I’m sure we’ve established that hence why I bake lol!!
My youngest sister loves it so that is sufficient enough for me to conclude that it is delicious heh heh!

Anywhooooo, I did mention that I like to waffle don’t I? Well if you didn’t know, you know now!
I’ve been meaning to sit down to show you all my recent works and to tell you what I have been doing for the past say… ohhhh… 2-3 months? Wow it really has been a long time!
Well, to give you a quick brief, I’ve had the mountain task of looking after my (now) 7 month old bubba, whilst house-sitting for my wonderful mother in law for a full month whilst she, hubby, and my little sister in law went away for Hajj!!!
When they came back I had an amazing rustic wedding cake to make with a mint green theme, as well as making sure to fall extremely poorly throughout the whole half-term leaving me more or less bed-ridden for the whole holiday! Once God blessed me with good health again, I was able to make roughly 100 cupcakes for a charity event held at Holiday Inn to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital!
Guess what… I forgot to take pictures of the cupcakes *slaps forehead* arghhh!!! I managed to take some of the chocolate cuppies, but not of the rest!

Anyways, once that was over with, I had great pleasure in baking some duffins for my hubby… he didn’t like them!! I’m not sure I did either to be honest, but that day I was fasting so anything tasted like heaven to me lol!! Pictures to come don’t worry!

I’m contemplating whether to reveal my vanilla sponge recipe as I do have a lot of people constantly asking me to give the recipe… plus, I have changed it since I first started out too!
Would you like to know my recipe? If so, make sure to leave a comment below!

Just a sec….. before I go, I will be giving you my Hazelnut Banoffee Pie recipe soon as well as a glimpse into my first attempt at making lace using Sugarveil and Claire Bowen. Which one do you think I liked? I won’t give anything away just yet! Just keep your eyes peeled to find out on my blog!

But for now, I need to dash as bubba has woken up!

Nel xxx

Essentials – Anti Slip Mat

Anti Slip Mat

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Why?

1. When decorating a cake and I use my flat wilton turn-table, I place a small cut off of the mat and place it onto the turn-table so when I put my cake on top it stops it from moving whilst I do my crumb-coating and decorating!
2. Place a small cut off onto the box of the cake that you will place into it, it helps to stop the cake from moving too much.
But that’s just me, I like to take extra precautions! antislip mat edit 2

3. I also place it under the cake box when delivering the cake as I place it into the boot of the car. Obviously it just ensures that the box isn’t flying around all over the place whilst the car is moving!

Where can you get it from?
I bought my first roll from Ebay, just to try out the quality and durability of it. It cost me about £1.29 including delivery. However, I did come to find that many pound shops sell them for… you guessed it, a pound! Same length and width, so I would definitely check out those pound shops first before trying Ebay. I did find that Wilkinson’s sell it too but it’s quite expensive in there if you’re going to be using so much of it!
If you don’t have much time to go out to search for them, click here to purchase it form Ebay. If the link stops working then type in ‘anti slip mat carpet’ into the search bar.

antislip mat edit 3What do you use to keep your cakes sturdy when delivering? Have you ever used anti slip mats? If you have what do you think, and if you haven’t then tell me what you think if you get the chance to try it!

Paisley Cake Tutorial – FINALLY!

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Phewwwww! After spending a little time editing these pictures, I have finally sat down to get this tutorial ready for you.

I will keep it short and simple as I am sure you don’t want to be sitting here reading me waffle on and on like I normally do!

1. The Wilton Paisley Cake Tins, as you can guess, do not have their own specific cake boards made for them. This just meant that I had to go out and purchase thick cardboard to cut around the shape of the tins and then cover with either aluminium foil or silver board cover.

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Cover the cardboard in aluminium foil or silver cake board covering.. (
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Using an edible ink pen, draw around your cake tin onto the cardboard and then cut out.

2. Once cake has been baked, let it cool for about 10 minutes before attempting to turn it out. Then when the cake has cooled down, start to level it. You can do this free-hand, by using a leveller, with an agbay, or by using the cake tin. To use the cake tin method, you can view my amateur (lol!!) video tutorial here. (This was a very old video, so I will be making a new one very soon!)

Very slowly, cut through the cake using a serrated knife.
Very slowly, cut through the cake using a serrated knife.
As you can see, there's very little that has needed to be cut off.
As you can see, there’s very little that has needed to be cut off.
I like to use a spirit level to check every angle of the cake to make sure that it is as level as possible.
I like to use a spirit level to check every angle of the cake to make sure that it is as level as possible.
Voila, spirit level in the middle :-)
Voila, spirit level in the middle 🙂

3. Now you need to start assembling your layers on top each other by filling them with your desired filling.

Using your buttercream or frosting (I used frosting here), make a dam to keep the filling from spilling out,
Using your buttercream or frosting (I used frosting here), make a dam to keep the filling from spilling out.
Many cake decorators like to pipe on their dam, but it doesn work well for me as I just found that the jam used to push the dam off! So I now scrape it on using my spatula.
Many cake decorators like to pipe on their dam, but it doesn’t work well for me as I just found that the jam used to push the dam off! So I now scrape it on using my spatula.
Fill your dam with jam or whichever filling you desire.
Fill your dam with jam or whichever filling you desire.

4. When you place your last layer on top, make sure to lay it on with the bottom of the cake so that it is facing the top. This is because it is the most flattest and will help you to get a lovely smooth finish when doing your crumb-coating and when laying over the fondant.

5. Start to do your first layer of crumb-coat using buttercream/frosting.

After levelling, making a dam, and filling all your layers. Do your crumbcoating.
After levelling, making a dam, and filling all your layers. Do your crumbcoating.

6. Smooth it over using a stainless steel scraper, spatula, and hot water (video tutorial to show this very soon!).
And just wanted to tell you guys… WOW. Just plain WOW!! This product alone has made a huge improvement to how my cakes are decorated you seriously need to get one now!! Honestly, I don’t know how I have coped so long without this product in my life! I will be putting it onto ‘My Essential Cake Items’ page. In the meantime, you can purchase it from here.

7. Place it in the fridge until the frosting has become somewhat hard. So when you touch the cake lightly, the frosting does not come onto your hands.
Do another layer on crumb-coat just to make sure it is completely level on the top and around the sides. Leave it in the fridge once again to harden over. (But not too long!)

8. Your cake is now ready to be covered.
Measure the dimensions of your cake and make sure that you roll out your fondant wide enough on every angle so that it is covered! I had to roll mine out twice as the first time I didn’t even think about measuring it!

Cover with fondant and carefully smooth the sides down.
Cover with fondant and carefully smooth the sides down.
You can tell I did this tier at night can't you lol?!!
You can tell I did this tier at night can’t you lol?!!
Using a sharp knife, cut the excess fondant off.
Using a sharp knife, cut the excess fondant off.
Using some smoothers, make sure that the sides and the tops are nice and smooth with no odd bumps. If you get air bubbles, just carefully pop them with a sterilised pin.
Using some smoothers, make sure that the sides and the tops are nice and smooth with no odd bumps. If you get air bubbles, just carefully pop them with a sterilised pin.

9. After they were covered and smoothed over. I let them rest for a couple of hours to let the fondant harden as I knew I would be doing a lot of piping work and didn’t want to take the risk of leaning onto it and leaving marks! Arghh! Just thinking about the possibility of that happening makes my stomach churn!

10. Make your royal icing for the piping. Now, really you are supposed to use egg whites when making royal icing to pipe. But I have made it in the past without it and got the consistency correct to work with. Plus I am a little funny about using raw eqq whites. I did once buy some imitation powdered egg whites but just didn’t like the results that I got from it!
As I was saying! I made the royal icing with icing sugar, water, and Sugarflair “Autumn Leaf” colour paste. I can’t give you the exact recipe I’m afraid as it’s a secret recipe! Joke! As if! Pffffft!
On a serious note, I just kept adding water and icing sugar until I thought I had the right stretch! Next time I will definitely keep note of how much I am adding so we can all benefit from it hey?! :-p

11. Draw on your desired henna pattern directly onto the cake tiers. You don’t have to do this part if you feel you are confident on piping freehand! My cousin who is a make-up artist can do freehand as well as one of my husbands’ cousin. You must see their work it is just stunning! I have no idea how they can do it so fast! My hubby’s cousin does half an arm within a matter of minutes, it’s just crazy talent!
I used Sugar Art Pen in “liquorice” to draw on my designs. I didn’t use one design, I actually gathered inspiration from a selection of designs that I found on Google Images!

Take your time drawing the design! Seriously! Don't take the risk rushing, it's not worth it!
Take your time drawing the design! Seriously! Don’t take the risk rushing, it’s not worth it!
I'm sure you can tell which design I used from here?
I’m sure you can tell which design I used from here?
I used this one more on my green tier.
I used this one more on my green tier.
one of the final images.
The final image.

And of course, I MUST give credit to where it is due!

My customer gave me a design to work with and it didn’t have any watermark on it so I just couldn’t figure out who the original cake maker was. But last night whilst I was on Instagram, one of my favourite cake makers based up north in Liverpool called Sprinklez Liverpool… (Check her work out right now! Do. It. Now. It is a must! You cannot leave this page until you have seen her work. Your jaw will drop just like mine does every time some new material is uploaded. It’s not just her amazing cake artistry, but her photography is mind-blowing!) As I was saying, she shared a page called Say it with Cakes. I was admiring her beautiful work when I saw the paisley henna cake picture that my customer gave to me! Woohooo! Success!
So here it is, the original cake that inspired my own paisley cake!

Say it with Cakes Mehendhi Paisley Cake. https://www.facebook.com/SayitwithCakes
Say it with Cakes Mehendhi Paisley Cake.
https://www.facebook.com/SayitwithCakes

12. Okay, Pipe the royal icing on very slowly and once it has hardened, go over it using Rainbow Dust’s Click & Twist Pen in ‘Metallic Light Gold’.

13. Place some buttercream on your covered cake board where you have decided to place your cake tiers.

Buttercream smeared into position for the first cake tier.
Buttercream smeared into position for the first cake tier.

13. Place the ribbon on around the cake using either piping gel, water, or edible glue. And then use some double sided sticky tape which you can buy from most stationary shops for cheap. I bought mine instore from Hobbycraft for 50p for 50 metres!

place double sided tape on first.
Place double sided tape on first.
Now place the ribbon on.
Now place the ribbon on.

14. Add on any finishing touches that you would like to add such as lettering, any extra flowers around the board etc… and VOILA! Finished!!

Now sit back, and admire your work. Or if you’re anything like me, keep looking for flaws to attempt to fix/hide/cover!

Birds-eye view of the finished cake.
Birds-eye view of the finished cake.
From an angle
From an angle.
Angle from the mustard yellow tier.
Angle from the mustard yellow tier.
Close up on the work done on the mustard yellow tier.
Close up on the work done on the mustard yellow tier.
Close up on the green tier.
Close up on the green tier.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did making it for you. I know there are probably many more things that I have missed out on which you would like to know about so please do ask! This is my first tutorial so go easy on me 😉

Nel xXx

Paisley Henna Design Cake Tutorial…

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Ok, so, its 01:12 GMT and I am absolutely shattered after making one huge momma of a cake! Alright, alright, so it wasn’t really THAT big! It was the cake board which was big. 20 inches by 14 inches to be exact. But who cares about the cake board when you’re making a new cake design for the first time hey? I forgot to take a picture before placing the buttercream on it to place the green cake on lol!

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I had a mighty task of baking 2 cakes for a henna party for today. The only element which made it a difficult task was that I needed to decorate it in henna decor. Sheeesh! I used to love adorning my hands with the dark brown sludgy mud for it to then leave a beautiful dark orange to brown stain which would last for up to a week if the hands were looked after well. But that was over 10 years ago! Since then I have had very little time to myself let alone sit for a few hours to be decorating my hands… you know with finishing my degree, deciding that it wasn’t the career I really wanted so changed career plans, getting married, having kids, finishing my PGCE, and then teaching myself to decorate cakes in between… I’m pretty sure trying to fit in henna art would’ve pushed me over the edge as I just didn’t enjoy it like I used to.

ANYWAYS – I seriously need to remind myself not to waffle too much as I might just end up telling my whole life story haha! As I was saying… I sat down with my brand new Paisley Wilton Cake Pans, Cake Stuff Couture Icing, and a bunch of nerves to set me off!

I thought I would document the whole process so you could see how I made this cake and maybe try and attempt it yourself so I can see your wonderful creations too!

Here is the finished product. Once I have finished cutting and cropping and all the other bits and bobs that need doing to all the pictures I will upload the steps asap!

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Anyways, gotta go catch some sleep before bubba wakes up!

Much Cakey Love
Nel xXx

Welcome!!

Helloooooo everyone!!!
It’s been a veryyyyy long time since I had initially planned to start a blog and now I have finally started on my journey… Woohooo!!!
First things first, thank you for coming to my page and for your support. I could not have come this far without you all, not forgetting the Almighty of course 😉
I hope to start making and creating new cakes and cupcake creations which will wow you all and also to hopefully give you an opportunity to try things out at home!
My cake venture started when I was very young as I have always enjoyed uh hummmm eating cake *covers face* and making cake too! I had never really thought about decorating them until I got married and my sister in laws kept telling me to learn. So off I went, searched high and low, and to my delight I found hundreds of tutorials on YouTube. It was just amazing the amount of techniques I learnt from that one site alone! However, I did find that some things just weren’t covered on YouTube or even in books, and some cake makers just weren’t willing to give me the lowdown on how to do specific things such as how to avoid elephant skin and ripping when covering a cake! After asking many people and extensive experimenting I finally found something that works for me! (I will be doing a blog post post on this soon!)
That’s when I decided to make my own page to help others as well as try out new things!
After learning these new skills that’s when I started to sell to the public and you can view my personal Facebook page here

Soooooo… I hope you enjoy my page as much as I will enjoy blogging, experimenting, caking, eating, and just getting dirty with all the mess!!

Much Cakey Love
Nel
XxX

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