My youngest sister is currently working her way through her mock A Levels. She has been working her butt off with revision and like so many other children her age, has been feeling very nervous and apprehensive about the exams.
When I took my exams I remember feeling a similar sense of worry, alongside a determination to prove myself. I use to find exams extremely difficult, no matter how hard I revised. I think my nerves got the better of me. Luckily back then course work was a large chunk of the A level and this always brought my final grade up. Sadly this isn’t the case anymore, which I think is very sad.
I’m a teacher myself and I understand that exams have a valid place in the educational system. That said, I believe different factors should be used to assess a child’s knowledge, understanding and skill in an area. We are all unique and learn in different ways. Some people find it extremely hard to recall their revision whilst sat behind a desk in complete silence. The echo of a school hall, the clicking of pens and the sound of passing footsteps is enough to put anyone off!
I wanted to make my sister a little pick me up during this hard time. I couldn’t do anything about the revision or exams but I could make her smile after a tough day. She loves chocolate (it runs in the family) so I used this as the basis of my invention! I made a basic chocolate muffin recipe which I found online and then added my own flare to it!
As you have probably gathered, I am a chocolate girl through and through. It is my go to ingredient when baking and I will always chose it as a treat. But if I’m trying other styles of cake, I want them to be full to the brim with flavour. I’m talking extra buttercream with tangy jam or toffee sauce that oozes all over the plate. I’m not one for plain bakes. I want something that tastes incredible with every bite.
I had a go at making a lemon drizzle cake a few months ago. It was successful in that I didn’t burn it and people nodded with satisfaction as they took their first bite. I didn’t have anyone saying ‘ummm’ or ‘oh my god’ as they worked their way through their slice. I enjoyed a few bites but wasn’t fussed about eating anymore. Why? Because it didn’t make my taste buds do the macarena in my mouth. Therefore it wasn’t worth the calories!
I made the decision to give lemon another go – I owed it that! I do enjoy the flavour but I knew I needed to kick it up a gear. So I added lemon curd, lemon buttercream, and lemon icing to the equation. The cupcakes were delicious! A whole lot of tang and a sprinkle of sourness. The perfect mixture for my demanding taste buds!
I love cheesecake and the more toppings it contains the better. I had lots of sweet and chocolates left over from halloween. I always misjudge the amount of trick or treaters we are going to get! So I decided to put the left overs to good use.
I made the base with the remainder of my biscuit tin. I thought it was pointless going out to buy digestives when I had biscuits going stale in my tin! It worked really well and I actually prefer this base to a normal digestive one. It’s far more interesting to taste and it’s great when you get a chuck of chocolate chip!
I then simply added the cheesecake mixture (see video for recipe) and then went crazy with the chocolates! I didn’t hold back as you can see! To top it all off I drizzled some melted chocolate over the top. It was delicious and tasted better than expected. Give it a go!
Every year I teach the children in my class about Guy Fawkes and bonfire night. We discuss the history and how celebrations have been inspired by it. The children always love to talk about fireworks and bonfires, so we always touch on safety and the importance of taking care of wildlife.
This year I decided to use these lessons as my inspiration for baking. I had a lot of positive feedback about the cupcakes and they were very simple to make. They were also delicious to eat. Who doesn’t like chocolate on chocolate!
This Christmas I decided to make some unique gifts for my nieces, nephews and godson. Don’t worry I also got them a present from the toy shop – I’m not that stingy! But I did think it would be quite nice to make them something to do after the Christmas rush is over and that sad, deflated feeling kicks in. So that’s when I decided to make cookie’s in a jar. They simple had to add a few extra ingredients to the mixture and then presto, cookies in less than 20 minutes! It was positive feedback from the adults – “It kept the kids amused and I got a yummy cookie with my cuppa!”
A family friend was turning 10 – the big double figures! I volunteered to make the birthday cake and then felt the pressure to step up! I did lots of googling and fell in love with the cakes that contain a surprise middle. I decided to try one out with Smarties and the cake developed from there. It was a big success and I’ve had a few requests since then! I plan to stock up in the chocolate aisle next time I’m out
In the lead up to my daughter’s birthday, I decided I would have a go at making her cake. It was something I had always wanted to do but I didn’t know whether I would have the strength at the time. I spent a few weeks practising and developing my skills – YouTube became my baking guru! I got there in the end and all of the time and patience was worth it.
This cake is my proudest bake to date and I’m looking forward to making many more in the future 💗
This is my spin on a rocky road biscuit. I filled them with lots of delicious treats. The inspiration for this bake was to surprise my friend who has been incredibly tough and brave whilst on her own ‘rocky road’. ❤️