Our inaugural #Munchkin/ Mummy #crafternoon had some fun results! Here’s DMs #birthday cake with chocolate #decorations by Munchkin. The cake is a #Glutenfree #Chocolate #Cake with Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Swiss #Meringue #Buttercream #Frosting

Our inaugural #Munchkin/ Mummy #crafternoon had some fun results! Here’s DMs #birthday cake with chocolate #decorations by Munchkin. The cake is a #Glutenfree #Chocolate #Cake with Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Swiss #Meringue #Buttercream #Frosting

We’ve people coming round for afternoon tea. I’d planned on making a caramel slice but at the last minute changed my mind. I made a vanilla butter cake with cherry jam and cream instead. #IHopeThereIsSomeLeft #IfSoImClaimingItForBreakfast #CakeIsHealthy #ItContainsFruitEggsMilkFlourEtc #GivesYouAllDayToWorkOffTheCalories #cake #vanilla #butter #baking #glutenfree #cream #sunday #afternoontea #igers

We’ve people coming round for afternoon tea. I’d planned on making a caramel slice but at the last minute changed my mind. I made a vanilla butter cake with cherry jam and cream instead. #IHopeThereIsSomeLeft #IfSoImClaimingItForBreakfast #CakeIsHealthy #ItContainsFruitEggsMilkFlourEtc #GivesYouAllDayToWorkOffTheCalories #cake #vanilla #butter #baking #glutenfree #cream #sunday #afternoontea #igers

Today is my friend Po-Chi’s birthday.
Po-Chi is a very special gentleman I met when I started the Lausanne Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. He’s one of the best knitters I know and is my go-to guy for the times my knitting looks like macrame (he’s the reason I know I’ve been knitting ‘backwards’ all these years!).
We bonded over a love of porcelain and a trip to the Salvation Army to pick out random pieces of china for his new house. And our friendship was cemented when we discovered  mutual love of baking, alcohol containing bubbles, unusual head wear and British films.
Po-Chi makes fabulously extravagant cakes and doesn’t shy away from recipes that would have me rocking myself and sobbing in the kitchen corner after a mere read; let alone attempting them! So it was with trepidation that I went looking for a cake recipe to attempt for his birthday (we celebrated it yesterday).
I stumbled upon the Martha Stewart’s birthday cake and knew instantly that this was the cake required!
The cake uses a whopping 21 egg whites and 900 grams of butter as it consists of a vanilla sponge, brushed with sugar syrup, covered in swiss meringue buttercream with a final layer of Swiss meringue! No candles are required for this cake as it’s given a final toasting with a kitchen torch.
Inside it’s cut into four layers, two sandwiched with buttercream and one with jam. I messed up my layers a little as I had to make the sponge on Friday morning and freeze it until Sunday morning. As I was running dreadfully late for lunch and furniture shopping with my husband, I didn’t cut the layers in beforehand. Cutting it frozen was painful (I shall never attempt it again) and I wasn’t happy with the overall look inside. 
As per usual; I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I used Schar gluten free flour and gluten free baking powder, I replaced the amaretto with a small dash of Calvados, only added 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the Swiss meringue buttercream and I didn’t add any to the Swiss meringue, and finally I replaced the apricot jam with raspberry.
This was one of the richest cakes I’ve ever baked. I was very glad it co-incided with International No Diet Day! I packed off the remaining cake for others to share with their families and Po-Chi took a slice home to eat for his birthday breakfast today.
But wonky layers aside, it was a lovely afternoon full of gorgeous friends, bubbles in all colours and levels of sweetness and a very opulent cake. I finished the day a little drunk and very high on sugar!
I’m now looking forward to a sugar free week in the lead up to cake and tea in London next weekend!!

Today is my friend Po-Chi’s birthday.

Po-Chi is a very special gentleman I met when I started the Lausanne Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. He’s one of the best knitters I know and is my go-to guy for the times my knitting looks like macrame (he’s the reason I know I’ve been knitting ‘backwards’ all these years!).

We bonded over a love of porcelain and a trip to the Salvation Army to pick out random pieces of china for his new house. And our friendship was cemented when we discovered  mutual love of baking, alcohol containing bubbles, unusual head wear and British films.

Po-Chi makes fabulously extravagant cakes and doesn’t shy away from recipes that would have me rocking myself and sobbing in the kitchen corner after a mere read; let alone attempting them! So it was with trepidation that I went looking for a cake recipe to attempt for his birthday (we celebrated it yesterday).

I stumbled upon the Martha Stewart’s birthday cake and knew instantly that this was the cake required!

The cake uses a whopping 21 egg whites and 900 grams of butter as it consists of a vanilla sponge, brushed with sugar syrup, covered in swiss meringue buttercream with a final layer of Swiss meringue! No candles are required for this cake as it’s given a final toasting with a kitchen torch.

Inside it’s cut into four layers, two sandwiched with buttercream and one with jam. I messed up my layers a little as I had to make the sponge on Friday morning and freeze it until Sunday morning. As I was running dreadfully late for lunch and furniture shopping with my husband, I didn’t cut the layers in beforehand. Cutting it frozen was painful (I shall never attempt it again) and I wasn’t happy with the overall look inside. 

As per usual; I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I used Schar gluten free flour and gluten free baking powder, I replaced the amaretto with a small dash of Calvados, only added 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the Swiss meringue buttercream and I didn’t add any to the Swiss meringue, and finally I replaced the apricot jam with raspberry.

This was one of the richest cakes I’ve ever baked. I was very glad it co-incided with International No Diet Day! I packed off the remaining cake for others to share with their families and Po-Chi took a slice home to eat for his birthday breakfast today.

But wonky layers aside, it was a lovely afternoon full of gorgeous friends, bubbles in all colours and levels of sweetness and a very opulent cake. I finished the day a little drunk and very high on sugar!

I’m now looking forward to a sugar free week in the lead up to cake and tea in London next weekend!!

There are some benefits to having a husband who does international travel for work. Whilst I often complain as he flies off. I’ve usually wave goodbye and promptly take a book and a glass of wine for a long luxurious bath and enjoy not having to cook for two.

But occasionally I get to go along too and for the price of my ticket and an extra night or two of accommodation we get to spend weekends in wonderful places.

So when Husband had a conference in Amsterdam last month, I promptly booked my ticket and arranged to meet him there on the Friday afternoon. We’d been to Amsterdam previously, had loved it and wanted to go again.The last time we went it was at Christmas and so very cold, so this time we were looking forward to a time when we could wander around comfortably and enjoy the fleeting moments when the sun came out.

When in a new city husband and I tend to grab a map, pull on a pair of comfortable walking shoes and go for a wander; only using the map when we get very very lost or as a guide to get us back to the hotel.

Whilst we were wandering this time we stumbled upon the Pompadour Patisserie. This was perfectly timed as I’d just started to complain about sore feet and we needed an energy boost before we made our way back to the hotel (to collect our luggage and head to the airport for our trip home).

The 18th-century interior is exquisite and apparently imported from Antwerp. They sell an amazing array of handmade chocolates, cakes and desserts for consuming within the tea room or taking away.

Not expecting to be able to consume anything but in desperate need of a cup of tea we entered and rest our weary feet. But we perked right up when advised that they had a gluten free dessert available. An unbelievably rich, creamy chocolate mousse surrounded by sticks of chocolate macaron and dusted in cocoa. My husband and I shared it along with a pot of peppermint tea (a lovely light contrast to the very heavy dessert).

It was a wonderful pit stop on our trip. So if you find yourself wandering around Amsterdam… I suggest heading towards the Pompadour!

Last weekend shall from hereon in be known as ‘the (stupendous) weekend of cake’.

In a feat of uber-decadence, after the fabulous lemon meringue cake and brioche from Sonja in Cully (blog here) I went home and made a cake.

This was as I was to attend the inaugural Lausannoise Cake Society meeting on the Sunday. The event was organised by a lovely lady I met whilst eating British cheese and quaffing red wine and port in Church in Switzerland (yes, it was as surreal and fabulous as it sounds). Anne had seen something like it on a documentary and so decided Lausanne needed one too.

There were only a couple of rules. The first rule is ‘You do not talk about Cake Club’. No I’m joking, the entire premise behind the society is to create an environment for people to meet each-other, share baked goods and to keep the doctor’s and dentist’s children in school.

The actual rule was as follows: Each person was required to turn up with a cake they had baked. Absolutely no tarts, biscuits, muffins or cupcakes were permitted (there are ongoing discussions about cheesecake and it’s eligibility if it is baked).

We met in a bar/ cafe where we proceeded to consume coffee and to taste everyone else’s cake. And after we’d all put ourselves into cake overdose induced comas; to divvy up the remaining cakes so that everyone went home with a mixed plate of decadent desserts.

Having me at these things is a pain in the derriere because I can’t eat ‘normal’ cake due to an insanely frustrating allergy to gluten. So I attended fully prepared to take my cake, eat a nice sized piece of it and to depart with my cake or a selection of cakes for my husband to take to work the following day.

I was overjoyed when I’d discovered that two fabulous ladies had made gluten free cakes! My gorgeous friend Clare had baked a gluten free sachertorte and there was also a carrot and apple cake I could eat. So I had three cakes to sample! 

We had (in no particular order):

  • A strawberry sponge.
  • A homegrown rhubarb, crumble cake
  • A cake that shall be known only as ‘the imposter’ as it broke all the rules but shall be forgiven as it’s a first offence and there were extenuating circumstances.
  • A carrot and apple cake (gluten free)
  • A chocolate marble cake
  • A sachertorte (gluten free)
  • An apple cake
  • And my gluten free almond, pistachio, rose-water and lemon drizzle cake
It was a glorious afternoon and one I look forward to repeating in 2 months! Thanks Anne.
I am now abstaining from all baked goods and sweets until I make a cake for my friends birthday next week.
My gluten free pistachio, almond, rose water and lemon drizzle cake for today’s Lausannoise cake society meeting.
I tweaked this recipe to make the cake shown above.
The cake turned out a complete success! It did take a bit longer to cook (about 55 minutes) but was still fabulously moist and delicious. It was a hit at the inaugural Lausannois cake society meeting and I thoroughly recommend this recipe.
Ingredients
100g Schaer Mix Pâtisserie - Mix C
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
150g pistachio kernels, ground
150g almond meal
250g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 eggwhite
125ml extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp rosewater, plus a few extra drops
250g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 tbs lemon juice
25g of chopped pistachios for decoration
Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan with baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the pistachio and almond. Place sugar and whole eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 4-5 minutes until thick and pale. Beat in olive oil, zest, butter and rosewater, then fold in the flour mixture. Spread into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cool, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add lemon juice and enough warm water to make a smooth dropping consistency. Stir in a few drops of rosewater to taste. Pour the icing over the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. Garnish with chopped pistachios.

My gluten free pistachio, almond, rose water and lemon drizzle cake for today’s Lausannoise cake society meeting.

I tweaked this recipe to make the cake shown above.

The cake turned out a complete success! It did take a bit longer to cook (about 55 minutes) but was still fabulously moist and delicious. It was a hit at the inaugural Lausannois cake society meeting and I thoroughly recommend this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 100g Schaer Mix Pâtisserie - Mix C
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 150g pistachio kernels, ground
  • 150g almond meal
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 eggwhite
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 tsp rosewater, plus a few extra drops
  • 250g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 25g of chopped pistachios for decoration

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan with baking paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the pistachio and almond. Place sugar and whole eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 4-5 minutes until thick and pale. Beat in olive oil, zest, butter and rosewater, then fold in the flour mixture. Spread into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add lemon juice and enough warm water to make a smooth dropping consistency. Stir in a few drops of rosewater to taste. Pour the icing over the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. Garnish with chopped pistachios.