lemon layer cake, dressed to impress

There are cakes… & then there are CAKES.

gluten free lemon layer cake with a strawberry cream cloud filling & white chocolate ganache exterior. Ruffle cake.

Unfortunately, it would seem that any time I invest a large amount of time in decorating a cake, I become completely uninspired to photograph it properly.

There’s a correlation here. The more time & effort something takes, the worse the photograph.

I don’t know how I manage to do this to myself every time, but it may be time to just accept it as a fact & move on.

I will say this though, there were four layers of delicious gluten-free lemon cake. Each layer was filled with a smooth, light, strawberry cream cloud filling. Then the whole cake was encased in a creamy white chocolate ganache.

Yea, talk about your layer cakes!

I love layer cakes. They always look so impressive when sliced up & served. Like, seriously impressive.

My photos don’t do this justice.

gluten free lemon layer cake with a strawberry cream cloud filling & white chocolate ganache exterior. Ruffle cake.

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champagne & strawberry cupcakes

I’m ashamed so say someone asked me to put up a recipe for strawberry & champagne cupcakes months ago….. and I’ve been procrastinating.

It would seem every time I got even close to making them, I had a craving for something else. Something different.

Then, by chance, I found a whole bunch of frozen strawberries at my local grocers & finally I found the inspiration. It first took the form of a strawberry puree, you know, the one I went on & on & on about a week ago. I don’t know why but that alone made me happy. After that, well, let’s just say I made more cupcakes than we could eat.

Let’s see, the first batch didn’t rise correctly because someone (me) forgot to put in the rising agent.

The second batch, I found mauled & decapitated by a stray cat that we’ve affectionately named Ninja… she’s decided that we belong to her on a part time basis & now insists on teasing Loki, our 2 month old German Shepherd. Yea, can’t say I was pleased when I found her on the kitchen counter with pink cake stuck to her fur & claws.

…..and then finally we made it to the third batch. The rose, I managed to save them from Ninja, and Mel didn’t manage to eat them all before I could snap a shot. Not bad huh?

They were so moist. So deliciously moist. & flavorful. I think I may need to make a cake variation. Not now though.

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lavender truffles

Here is a very good tip when it comes to making truffles….

Do not attempt to make them in the middle of summer when it’s 35C outside & you have no air-conditioning!

Take it from me, I learnt the hard way. I was a big ball of melted chocolate mess. I had to keep returning my ganache to the freezer so it would firm up, but of course my hands were so warm that when I tried to roll the filling it just melted all over my hands.

Seriously.

These are fine to make if you live in London or somewhere else that has an equally cool (if not cooler) climate. Or in fall. Or winter. Or spring.

Not summer though.

Certainly not greek summer.

Still, they were for a gift. It was worth the mess.

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dark chocolate cake with a maple caramel centre – gluten free

gluten free

Cravings. How I love& hate them all at the same time. There’s just no way around it. When that longing, that deep seeded hunger starts to form & takes over your every thought…. there is no stopping it.

I’ve been craving chocolate. You know, the really dark kind that is almost bitter. The kind that you only eat a little at a time & let it melt on your tongue engulfing your taste buds in a rich, luxurious velvety experience.

For Mel, well, he craves almond butter & maple syrup. He has this thing for the earthy flavors that I haven’t fully understood. His mouth is not my mouth though, we do not experience things in the same fashion. The only thing I can hope to do, is meet him in the middle.

The middle ground of course, is this cake. It’s completely gluten free so I can indulge all I want, and it combines Mel’s cravings & my cravings into what I can only describe as heaven.

Side note:
Originally this recipe should make a whole cake… and originally you should follow the recipe to the letter. As an after thought though, I later decided that the dark chocolate cake itself is a little bit of a pain in the tush to remove from the tin, and every time you cut into it, it oozes maple caramel. Yes, the caramel just seeps out of it & it is beyond amazingly delicious. In the words of Eddie Izzard, it’s “fantabulous”. I’ve decided that this recipe might work much better as a single serving treat so that each individual can fully indulge & no one is scrapping the bottom of the cake tin trying to take more caramel than they rightfully should. Trust me, we all do it. The second way may not be techinically correct, but what it means is that:
1. it looks better
2. every one gets an equal amount
3. it’s easy to add a scoop of ice cream
4. well, my way is usually better

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the glorious grilled cheese sandwich

For all the years I have been eating cheese and bread in different ways, this is something I have never tried… until now. For the 30 years I have been alive this sandwich has eluded me. I have actually been unaware of its existence until I saw a movie where some male hollywood actor with 16 abs and 20 biceps somehow was enjoying this without ruining his physique. So, I thought I should eat one of those too and hopefully, my body would look just like his did…. It didn’t.

For important tips on getting the best results out of this sandwich, read till the end of the recipe in order to get the crunchiest, most delicious grilled cheese sandwich possible. I am also using a nice, farmer’s style bread here for a deeper flavor.

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