Bananas are my favourite fruit. I love all fruit but these bright and convenient fellas are just the best! Similar to my 2nd all time faves, avocados, the window of yummy squidgy perfection is so tiny. I can regularly be found on Sunday mornings whilst on my brunch ingredient hunt, gently squeezing all the avos in Waitrose (I really wanted to type Asda there but who am I kidding?! This is gentrified London) to find the spot on amount of softness so I can mash it and top my toast (artisan sourdough, obvs). And bananas need that hue of yellow, for all signs of green to have just about faded away and the brown spots have yet to appear. That is banana bohemia! Anything older is too sweet and anything less has that weird bendyness and slight bitterness. I doubt there are many things worse in life than under-ripe avocados (in fact, I cried once when I found my avo was past its best. It had been a long day…) and bendy bananas. But rejoice! For those who find their ‘nanas have gone a bit dodge, here is the recipe to save the situation!
I created this three-tier naked cake for Nick and Sophie’s wedding in October. Sophie is celiac so she wanted the whole cake gluten-free so she could enjoy each flavour! The bottom is carrot cake with plum liquor soaked currants, the middle is courgette and coconut filled with homemade raspberry jam with the final top-tier a rich chocolate and almond torte. It was all sandwiched together with Mexican vanilla buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers that matched Sophie’s bouquet and table decor. Please contact me for any enquiries or to book your own celebration cake with Hollylovescake!
I am an absolute cookie monster but I won’t accept any old cookie. I am what you might call, a cookie connoisseur! It has to meet my certain criteria or quite frankly, I shan’t waste the calories on it (my waistline is becoming much more susceptible to soaking up excess podge in my old age to allow a bad biccy to destroy it). I have preached many a time about the qualities of a good cookie, crunchy on the outer rim then getting chewy, almost fudge-like near the middle (hell, I even prefer mine to be under baked so they still have a ting of cookie dough about them. I’m sure it’s not health and safety friendly but what the heck?! I’d risk food poisoning for cookie nirvana). I had yet to find a perfect texture when using spelt flour as it doesn’t get that crunch or chew that I was searching for…. UNTIL NOW! I like spelt, it has much more flavour than regular flour plus it has some health benefits apparently to kind of balance out the sugary naughtiness.
Happy Easter everybody! I am currently sat in the kitchen working my way through a pile of hot cross buns and a slab of butter (cue Homer Simpson style drooling). I obviously had extensive high activity plans for today but sadly, its raining which has forced me inside with said plate of buns. What else is a girl to do?! Plus being Easter limited edition specialities, I must eat as many as I can before they disappear from the shelves for another year. Gotta make the most of them, y’know? By next week I will be back on the kale and lentils, promise (I sometimes wish I could use emojis in my writing, I would insert that little dude with the rolling eyes right about here). My favourite treat is slightly stale left over buns, slather in butter, then golden syrup and lay them into a deep baking dish with them slightly over lapping, pour over a tin of Ambrosia custard and bake in the oven on 180 degrees until the edges of the bread are golden and the custard is bubbling. Actually life changing.
Some days I love to spend the whole day in the kitchen working towards a sugary sweet beast of a cake. Some days I just want something there and then, without sacrificing my day (Not that my days revolve around much anyway, looking at dogs in silly outfits on Instagram, reading Daily Mail online gossip column in secret… whoops!). These little treats are the perfect throw-together-in-10-minute yummies. I have to admit I have worked my way through quite a few coconut macaroon recipes trying to find baking bohemia, the crispy outside and the slightly soggy sugary innards. Hurrah! I have achieved it here! The top tip is condensed milk. Any excuse to use condensed milk is a winner with me (I licked the lid clean and now have a cut tongue to prove it. It is like crack in a tin.). A mix of coconut flakes and desiccated coconut gives the best texture too. If you don’t have limes, you can leave them out. Feel free to swap white chocolate for dark or milk too, go crazy. They are also a great option for the gluten free of you out there.
I tend to find a new favourite decorating technique and use it again and again until I get bored. I was really digging using brittle to top my cakes with until someone offered me a flying saucer the other week. Its brightly coloured, edible and your can mould it into any shape you like, WIN. So when I had a commission the other week, I knew I had a chance to experiment with it (so long brittle!). I tried a few different shapes but triangles really worked well on top of this rose and white chocolate cake, I love the angular shapes against the wild flowers, I hope you do too.
It’s pretty obvs that I love cake. It’s probably not surprising that I love baking as long as it doesn’t involve marzipan (If I was ever on Saturday Kitchen it would deffo be marzipan. Or celery. Celery wrapped in marzipan… Ultimate nightmare). So today to be a bit crazy, just for today, Hollylovesbiscuits! These hobsnobs are the best sellers on my market stall. They are buttery, chewy, chocolatey, crunchy and perfect with a cuppa. You can mix things up with these depending on what you have in your cupboard, spelt flour would work just as well in this recipe. If you have no honey, golden or maple syrup can work too. Perhaps experiment using a mix of jumbo and fine oats? I have used dark chocolate on these hobnobs but I have used milk, if you are feeling really mental, why not try white chocolate! Heck, every throw in a spoonful of cinnamon. I stress it is important you use a good quality salted butter in this recipe as the flavour really comes through and the salt balances out the sweetness. Take a box of these with you next time you get invited round for dinner, you will be super popular and everyone’s new BFF.
Every third Sunday of the month I have my Hollylovescake market stall at Ascot Farmers Market and yesterday was my second appearance. I had been busy in the kitchen all day Saturday, I had baked gluten free mud cake, gluten free pistachio and carrot buns, peanut butter and jam cupcakes, carrot cake, rye and honey hobnobs, white chocolate and coconut cookies and my special of the month, sticky ginger cake. The weather had been windy and rainy all day Saturday, perfect for creating chaos in the kitchen but not so great for a market stall so my fingers were crossed the rain would disappear! The rain did subside over night, however, the wind was still gusty (which broke my gazebo resulting in me throwing a bit of a strop). Thankfully it didn’t stop the shoppers coming out, it was another successful market day chatting to lots of lovely locals and plenty of cake nibbling. I took a look around and there are lots of other great stalls offering great produce, its a perfect way to start your Sunday morning and support your local producers. I will be there on the 20th December for a super special festive market!
Just ONE week to go until Hollylovescake launches at Ascot Farmers Market! Could I BE anymore excited?! I have spent this weekend baking and creating a photo shoot for my business cards and flyers. This involved 36 hours of baking and buttercreaming 3 cakes and 6 cupcakes (plus one huge jam based disaster), three hours rearranging the front room to put the set together and an evening (plus the next morning) spent by the BF on Photoshop optimizing the pictures and getting the flyers ordered. Phew! The 18th October is the grand launch day and the 17th is my birthday so I will be chained to the kitchen (although I am now of an age where I don’t do celebrating, I will eternally be 30) on my special day(to be honest, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day than being surrounded by cake. Plus no one ever brings me cake on my birthday on the assumption that I will bake my own. I won’t. BRING ME CAKE.) Dedication. I will be baking everything from a seasonal Victoria sponge (this will change monthly depending on what fruit is in season) to gluten free courgette and coconut cupcakes and homemade Hobnobs. Its been great fun finally putting together something which you have dreamed of for so long and so many people have been so supportive. If you are in the area it would be amazing to see you!
This weekend I had the honour of doing the cake of a friend of mine to her long term beau, Amber Waterfield and Nathan McAllister. They had an alternative wedding day that really suited them, the ceremony took place on a bandstand on Brighton beach with the food and drinks at a local restaurant, Silo, which prides itself on using local ingredients and creating no waste (I even had to take my cake boxes home!). The weather was amazing, not a cloud in the sky! You can see from the photos how achingly cool they looked with Nathan rocking a pink blazer and boat shoes, Amber in her charity shop dress (a girl after my own heart!)…