Lime, Mango and Elderflower Cakes

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You may have gauged from my instagram feed that I’m in New York at the moment! I’ve been eating a whoooole lot of ice cream  – 4 different places in one week, and I have 3 weeks left! I swear Morganstern’s has been recommended to me at least 10 times now, so that’s my next stop don’t worry.

Meanwhile a 6th floor, walk-up apartment means that a) I double check that I have EVERYTHING I need before walking out the door (no way am I walking back up if I do forget something) and b) Tell myself that it’s therefore okay, maybe even required, that I’m eating ice cream all the time. Elderflower, Lime and Mango Cakes 145

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Individual Plum Cakes (Vegan + GF) and Plum Wood Tablespoons!

Individual Plum Cakes-1212 You might remember a while ago I posted about some lovely tablespoon measures carved by Barnaby Carder a.k.a. Barn The Spoon. Well I’ve got a restock in my shop so anyone who missed out last time can grab one. This time they’ve been crafted from English plum wood so are slightly different to the last batch which were sycamore. It felt fitting to therefore make a small batch recipe using plums to suit the wood!

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DIY Coconut Yogurt (Coyo) + Blueberry Pie Oats + Dutch Baby Pancakes + Flourless Lemon Cake (GF)

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I’ve had a few recipes up around the web recently! In the pre-and-post-birthday mayhem I haven’t had time to write about these magical birthday breakfast buns yet (photos and recipe coming shortly, though). However while you wait for all that spicy, buttery goodness why not check out my other recipes after the jump!

Flourless Lemon cake + Dutch Baby Pancake DIY Coconut Yogurt

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Flourless Chocolate & Pomegranate Mini Cake {GF}

{A Giveaway} + Valentine's Dessert: Flourless Chocolate & Pomegranate Mini Cake

Who got distracted by watching knife skill videos? I DID.
Who also decided to prep cinnamon rolls tonight for her birthday breakfast!? STILL me.

So that’s why I’m bringing the last installment of my Valentine’s meal plan a few hours later than I had planned! However, now, in all its glory we’ve got…

– Starter: Lettuce Boats with Sweet Potato, Grapefruit and Paprika Mayo
– Main: Sticky Glazed Meatballs with Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF with Vegetarian variation)
– Dessert: Flourless Chocolate & Pomegranate Mini Cake

Valentine's Meal Plan // Top With Cinnamon

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Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Whiskey Caramel {+ a Giveaway}

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Whiskey Caramel

When it comes to gingerbread cookies I’ve never been that enthusiastic. I don’t think I’ve ever made them at home and successfully made them taste gingery or spicy enough (anyone got tips!?) but gingerbread cake is a whooole different ball game. I love when it has a syrupy, dense texture with a richness almost comparable to a brownie. Last year I created my all time favourite recipe for gingerbread cake in loaf form (it has pumpkin in it which I think is why it’s so ridiculously moist) which I knew I had to put in my book because it’s just so damn moreish.

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Triple Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake {for How Sweet’s Baby Shower!!}

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Cake is a celebration food to most people – you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘a party without cake is just a meeting’ – so I thought it would be ever so appropriate to make one for celebrating Jessica from How Sweet It Is’ virtual baby shower!! If you haven’t heard of her blog somehow you know I’m going to tell you to go read it, pronto, especially if you’re in need of some serious food porn inspiration and a good laugh. Jessica is the sweetest, most upbeat person and I’m pretty sure her kid will have the happiest life ever (who wouldn’t when you get to eat the food she makes every day). Now, I’ve never been to an actual baby shower before but if it consists of a bunch of friends making hella food and eating it together, I’m game. Sounds like the only type of party that should exist to be honest.

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Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Rye Bundt Cake & a Carrot Cake

Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Rye Bundt Cake

Now that I’ve broken the metaphorical cake-seal on the blog in my last post, it seems that the floodgates have opened and all I’m making is cake. There’s this pumpkiny one (because I had yet to make a pumpkin recipe this season), a maple pecan one from Linda Lomelino’s NEWLY TRANSLATED CAKE BOOK!!!! (coming soon…) AND this carrot cake I made for Design Sponge (piccies below). It’s been advantageous for me because I usually get what I call #cakerage during these cake baking sessions. It’s always all fine up until the frosting time. Then I break down and want to give up and eat the cake with my hands, animal-style.

I did get…a bit angry…maybe…when the frosting for my carrot cake starting melting after the sun came out to say hello 😐 ugh of course. Then I learned that if you put desiccated coconut on the edges of cakes it doesn’t matter if it’s messy as heck cos nooo one will knoooow shhhhh. The whole process went a lot smoother for subsequent cakes so I have a bit less hate in my heart for making layer cakes now!

Carrot Cake Carrot Cake

I made this Chocolate chip, Pumpkin and Rye cake for the GB chefs blog so if you want to surf the cake wave with me, stop over there to check out the recipe – or just look at the snaps here and feel all cosy and autumnal. Then go get yoself some hot chocolate just because.

Meanwhile I’ve got a cookie recipe and two savoury recipes (lasagne and soup! because right now I want all of that kind of hot, curl-up-with-a-blanket food to eat whilst catching up on Homeland) that are also in the pipeline for el blahg so stay tuned, chickies :*

Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Rye Bundt Cake

Small Batch Lemon Cakes {Gluten Free, High Protein}

Small Batch Lemon Cakes (Gluten Free + High Protein)-2

 

Hello lovelies, I’m up in Leeds this week living the pretend-uni-life in my friend’s halls (she actually is at uni here though). I’ve got spag bol simmering on the stove and Swedish chocolate cake batter ready to go into a cake tin – I’m totally ready for this semi-adult life.

I thought it was about time I posted a cake recipe on my blog though, I mean it’s been a really long while since I’ve made anything cakey on TWC. I did have a gluten-free Swiss Roll recipe up on GB chefs last week but you probably didn’t see that SO I made some mini loaf cakes!

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Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake {GF}

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Cake // Top with Cinnamon

Three years (..and two days) since starting my blog. Man, I’m not really sure what to say!

It’s weird enough to think that I’ve been on here for 1/6 of my life when it barely feels like a few months have passed. Now I kind of wish that I’d written one of those ‘futureme.org‘ emails when I’d started TWC because I can’t really remember what July 2011 was like and I’d feel WAY too awkward going back and reading my posts. Plus I always love the idea of time capsules/surprises (I went through a phase of leaving £1 in all of my coin purses that I’d forget about, so that when I eventually decided to use it again I’d discover the money and be all ‘awww yeah let’s go buy some bubble gum’).

Dunno if I’ve said this already but I told literally no-one, except my best friend, about the blog when I started it. I think it took about two or three weeks of me ‘sneaking’ around, taking photos of cakes with the crappiest camera ever before my mum eventually asked me what I was doing. I like to think that I was being subtle but evidently I really really wasn’t.

It’s all right now, the fam is in the loop. Wouldn’t that be strange though if this whole time my family didn’t know I had a blog? Wow. They might just think that I enjoyed collecting single plates and planks of wood for fun (?) and was very particular about the amount of time that they had to wait before eating anything I’d made.

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Cake // Top with Cinnamon

Food blogging is kind of peculiar…and addictive and fun! I get to bake cake and pretend there’s more of a motive than me just really wanting some whipped cream.

I made this cake for a roundup that Saveur asked me to contribute to for their 20th birthday! I figured that I might as well use it to celebrate my 3rd bloggaversary too as it’s suitably celebration-y and this way I can also give you the recipe! It’s not too difficult to make because it’s just meringue disks stacked up with ganache, whipped cream and cherries but you do have to have the oven on for over an hour (at a low temp) to dry out the disks sufficiently. So if you’re boycotting the oven for the time being (thanks July heatwave 😐 ), you’ll probs want to avoid making this cake right now and just look at the pictures instead.

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Cake // Top with Cinnamon

  Notes:

To make the top meringue layer I filled a wide, plain tipped piping bag with the meringue mixture and piped little blobs in concentric circles.

– There are two possible ways of serving this cake: You can either attack it with a sharp knife and a spoon, serving it in a messy pavlova style OR freeze the cake for an hour and then slice neatly with a sharp knife which is what I did for the pics of the slices (note that freezing changes the texture of the cherries though)

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake {gluten-free}
5 egg whites
10 oz superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
16 oz cherries, halved and pitted
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, plus extra for grating

Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until you get soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar whilst you continue to beat the egg whites until the mixture is glossy and you get stiff peaks. If the mixture is rubbed between your fingers there should be no sugar crystals - if the mixture still feels gritty keep beating it until smooth, then finally beat in the vanilla extract.

Spread the mixture out on two lined cookie sheets to form four, 6-inch diameter disks (see notes). Bake for one and a half hours in an oven preheated to 250 F (120 C) then switch the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven for a further hour.

Melt the chocolate and stir in 1/4 cup of the cream.

Whisk the rest of the cream until just thickened.

To assemble: take one meringue disk and spread a quarter of the chocolate mixture over it. Spread a quarter of the cream over this and then scatter over the cherries. Top with the next meringue stack and repeat the chocolate, cream and cherry layering until you've stacked up all the meringues. Grate a little extra chocolate over the cake for a finishing touch.

Serve immediately or freeze for an hour before slicing for a cleaner cut (see notes).

http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2014/07/three-years.html

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

This week has gone by so ridiculously fast! It’s been a good week – a celebration week:

– my cookbook announcement (thanks everyone (again!) for all the super nice comments and tweets. You’ve made my face hurt from smiling all week). Oh and a sneaky a little bit of info: it’s 75 recipes – sweet and savoury (all the courses, you know it!!). Of course there are some vegan and some gluten free recipes in there too.

– it’s the end of this half term! hoollliiddaaayyy! It’s only a week off but at least I get to sleep in for like 5 of those days.

– I kind of, sort of turned 18-years-old. Heeeyy provisional licence! (but also heyyy I’m legally an adult now. This is awkward seeming as I’m wearing slipper socks, drinking hot chocolate and singing Sound Of Music songs).

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

So because of all the things that have been going on, I thought we needed a cake.

A big, chocolate cake. Super indulgent with extra EVERYTHING.

It’s rare for me to make massive layer cakes because my cake layers always turn out domed so I have to level them and lose about 1/3 of the cake :( Losing that much cake makes me sad (although Cynthia pointed out that those cake tops are basically made for ‘cake frosting tacos’ which is a very good point)

But this 8-layer, two tiered monster was appropriate. Cake scraps and all.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

It took me a while to come up with the whole concept of the cake because there are so many variants in the land of layer cakes: flavour of the cake, flavour of the filling ,flavour of the frosting,

how many layers? tiers?

frosted sides? ‘naked cake’ style? drippy frosting style?

other décor???

So I stood in the kitchen on Friday for about an hour freaking out and living an ALL CAPS life until I’d figured out everything. I was going to do chocolate, peanut butter + pretzel. Then my mum chimed in and was like ‘Noooo you need to do POPCORN.’

I was game. I’d made caramel corn before so knew I could do it pretty easily.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

That is, until I burnt 2 batches of the stuff  (a.k.a Izy stop trying to use brown sugar when the recipe says white sugar. Brown sugar doesn’t work. No. Stop trying the brown sugar again, it didn’t work the first time so it’s not going to work now. Also no you don’t need to brown the butter. Stop browning the butter. Stop it. Browned butter caramel doesn’t work.)

Finally after I actually followed the instructions (insert guilty slanty-face emoji HERE) it then worked.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

I took the photos of the cake but then de-stacked it so I could transport it (on the TUBE) to my friends house for dinner. In doing this I accidentally made the discovery that caramel popcorn is like edible packing peanuts for cake! So cool.

The WHOLE cake managed to survive a 40 minute journey, being carried sideways in a tin – even when I got crushed against the glass panel in the tube carriage by the 5pm hoards of football fans.

P.s I totally yelled at the guy who was crushing me. YEAH. Empowerment rush, boom. Utter Beyoncé moment.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

It’s a superstar cake. Especially because if you utterly mess up the glaze on top, you just get to cover it all up with popcorn and nobody eeeever knows….

Pro tip though, if you’re going to make it – decorate with the popcorn like an hour max. before serving because the moisture tends to make the popcorn go chewy after a while.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

 

(Oh and side note:  My friends made a Llama cake with a cinnamon-stick cigar for me. It took 4 guys to make this masterpiece:

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Amazing)

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