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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coconut & lemongrass cake

Something is well & truly wrong with me.

At the time I made the cake, it was the only thing I could do to appease the god of cravings. The urge to consume coconut in the form of a dense, moist cake with a light island like flavor was just overwhelming.

Now?

Now that I have to recount the story of the cake, the only thing I can think of is my small kitchen, my little Sushi who liked to sleep between my feet whilst I worked away, and Mel, my monster of a man who undoubtedly would devour every crumb that was left in his path. I miss that. I miss them.

I wonder if making the cake again now would bring my boys here to me, or maybe even transport me back to them.

Oh I’m such a sap sometimes.

Seriously though, when I say I had cravings, I mean my taste-buds had full on pledged war against me until I gave them what they wanted. I wasn’t allowed to enjoy anything else until I broke down & wrote this recipe.

It was worth it. It was totally worth it.

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The Body Shop cupcakes

Today is not for a recipe, today is for bragging. More specifically, ‘The Body Shop‘ launched a new line of products called ‘Chocomania‘ in Greece & I (the Toni Martin Bakery) got the honor of putting together their cupcakes. Want to see? Of course you do!

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The plaques were made out of white & dark chocolate using a very fine lining tip on parchment paper.

The cupcakes were chocolate, and the icing was just a simple chocolate ganache & white chocolate ganache:

Ingredients:
– 300g white chocolate
– 300g heavy cream
– 20g unsalted butter

Directions:
1. melt the ingredients together either over a double boiler or in the microwave. Make sure to check on them & stir during the process so as the chocolate does not burn.
2. place the mixture in the freezer until it is cold to the touch.
3. beat the mixture on high speed until it thickens & lightens in colour, it should be thick enough to retain its shape when piped or iced by hand. Be careful not to over beat as the cream will start to turn to butter.

chewy gingerbread & white chocolate cookies

We’re back to cookies. What can I say, they are completely & utterly comfort food, and man, do I need something comforting.

I’ve been back in Athens for a week & a half now, almost two. That’s 13 days. 312 hours. 18,720 minutes. I wont tell you the seconds, that’s far too obsessive (1,123,200…. in case you were wondering). Yea, I’ve been counting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Greece. Like, I love Greece. We’re involved. Right now though, right this very minute, I think it’s falling apart. You know, just like a force of destruction caving in on itself. Not to mention that I’ve been away from my sisters for one million, one hundred twenty-three, two-hundred seconds. Give or take a few thousand.

What can I say, I’m lost without them.

Still, there is always a positive side. There’s Mel(anie). There’s my fantastic job where I make things that taste incredible & look even better. Of course, there’s also mountains, sea-side, islands, and as of late, extreme weather conditions. So yea, Greece and I have a long lasting love affair. I’m just home sick for my sisters.

In times like this, I do what the rest of the world does. I turn to DIY projects & cookies right out of the oven. Chewy cookies. Warm, chewy cookies. Warm, chewy, gingery cookies. Oh my days… cookies. Sorry, I’m getting carried away. A recipe is in order, perhaps.

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white chocolate, cranberry & pistachio bars

Let’s be honest, as soon as you know you’re going on holiday, you slack off. Whether it’s work, chores, to-do lists….. we all do it.

This is a recipe that I’ve been sitting on since before I left for the States. I’d had every intention of uploading the pictures & posting them upon my arrival…. but clearly seeing as I’m now back in Athens, that plan failed. What can I say, I’m only human after all.

These bars are really easy to make & will keep for a couple of weeks as long as they are stored in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container.  Continue reading