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We were all very excited for chocolate week on the GBBO, its got to be one of our favourite things to bake with in our house. And even better, the babka was a perfect treat for breakfast at the weekend. So on Friday when Emily finished school, we headed home and made the chocolate fill and the dough. Click here to see how we got on.

Once the chocolate filling was made and cooling down in the fridge, we make the dough, it was very sticky, but I kept the mixer running and amazingly it all came together to make a super soft lovely dough. Once done, I rolled it out and Emily helped sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top, before I rolled it up, cut it and plaited it. It was actually relatively easy to do.

I then left it to prove, but even after 3 hours there was barely any change and I was running out of time before going to bed, so I just bake it anyway. Luckily it rose a bit, not as much as I had hoped, but when we cut into it for breakfast on Saturday morning it was beautifully soft and light and the chocolate filling was so super rich and sugary, we all loved it!

Emily was super excited about making rainbow bagels this week, she loves rainbows and her favourite breakfast is bagels! We eat and bake quite a lot of bagels in our house, so this challenge was perfect for us. Click here to see how we got on.

We planned our bagel making around Sunday lunch time, so they would be fresh out of the oven in time for lunch. Paul’s recipe can be found here. The recipe was straight forward and the girls enjoyed kneading the dough, Chloe kept trying to eat it again, can’t imagine it tasted too good! I managed to knead in the food colouring in while Emily and Chloe kneaded some of the other bits of dough, so luckily avoided getting their hands coloured too.

Once it had proved I rolled it out while the girls watched and then Emily did a little bit of helping to roll and twist them. They both stood and watched eagerly while I boiled them before they went in the oven.

The end result was super and we really enjoyed them with some cream cheese on for our lunch, delicious, warm and chewy, they definitely put a smile on our faces!

Emily was very excited again this week to watch the bake off when she got back from school on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and couldn’t wait for Saturday morning to make the technical challenge. Coconut macaroons are one of Rich’s favourites, so he was pretty happy too! Click here to see how we got on this week.

Luckily we had all the ingredients and even had some frozen mango which I cooked with some lime juice and zest to make a purée. The recipe for the macaroons can be found here. I used desiccated coconut instead of coconut flakes as that’s all I had, but they seemed to work ok. The mixture was far too hard to pipe for the mango curd filled ones, may be due to the desiccated coconut absorbing some of the moisture, but I shaped them into little nest shapes with a teaspoon and my finger instead. 

We had a few problems with Chloe eating the chunks of chocolate before we managed to put them in the centre of the coconut mixture as captured in the photo and then picking at the coconut mixture too! Cheeky monkey! 
The final macaroons were a decent size and we enjoyed trying them with a cup of tea on Saturday afternoon! 

It’s been quite a while since either Em or I updated anything on here and the Great British Bake Off being back on has kicked me into action again! It’s not because we haven’t been baking, just that we have both been so busy we have struggled with finding the time. So this week having watched the first episode in this weeks series of GBBO I thought it was about time I wrote something. Emily was super excited to be allowed to watch the bake off when she got back from school last week and even more excited to actually have a go at making the technical challenge. This year Chloe is joining in too as she just wants to do everything her big sister does. It’s going to be a messy few months in our house! Click here to see how we all got on with the first technical.

I think one of the main challenges this year will be making sure we have the right ingredients without having to make loads of extra supermarket trips, something I am keen to avoid. I generally have a well stocked baking cupboard, so hopefully we can get by. The recipe can be found here. The recipe was pretty easy to follow, although I did take my eye off the sugar and burnt the first batch of caramel. Emily loves cracking eggs into the bowl and Chloe is enjoying helping to hold the bags of flour and sugar as we weigh things out and generally causing havoc by pressing the buttons on the scales half way through weighing things out!

Luckily we managed to weigh things out correctly and even made the custard too. Although the timing wasn’t great and I found myself juggling stirring custard, caramel and the girls tea all at the same time! By the time they were cooked and cooled down enough for the girls to try them unfortunately neither of them ate more than a couple of mouthfuls as both were too full up and tired to want any more! Although the following day Emily demolishing a whole one for pudding!

Elephant Biscuits

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I love making and baking things to give to people as gifts and biscuits are perfect as they have a longer shelf life than cakes and they tend to travel better too. I bought this elephant cookie cutter a few years ago and it really does make the cutest shaped little elephants, whether it’s for a cake or some biscuits. Click here to see how these little elephants are made.

Campervan Cake

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I’ve been looking through more of the cakes I’ve done over the last few years again this week and found this campervan cake that I made for one of Rich’s work colleagues. I love being able to personalise cakes, so it always makes it a nice challenge when someone gives you some photos of something they would like re-created on their cake. Click here to see some more pics of this cake.

Harry Potter Cake

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I still have a big backlog of cakes and bakes that I have made that I haven’t uploaded on our website yet, so over the next few weeks I’ll try and add some of these, especially as I’m not getting enough time to do much baking at the moment. I created this Harry Potter Birthday cake for one of Rich’s friends at work and really enjoyed making it – I can’t wait to read the books again when the girls are a bit older! Click here to see some more pics.

Marmalade Gingerbread Squares

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It wouldn’t be Christmas with out something gingerbread flavoured! It’s one of my favourite Christmas flavours, so I was really keen to try this recipe from Octobers Sainsbury’s Magazine. Click here to try this yummy recipe.

Penguin Christmas Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just love making and decorating Christmas cakes, so as a Christmas pressie this year for our friends Matt and Beckie and their 2 kids I decided to make them a cake again! While we were away with them in the Peak District I was looking at pictures of Christmas cakes on Pinterest and Freddie and Ellie loved all the penguin ones, so I thought that’s what I would do. I found a few designs and picked my favourite bits to design this cake. Click here to see some more photos and info on decorating it.

PC177229.JPGOne of Rich’s favourite treats is rocky road, we even had the bottom tier of our wedding cake made from rocky road! So making a Christmas version would definitely be popular in our house. I cut this recipe out of Olive Magazine last Christmas but never got round to making it, so this year when I was looking through my recipes I added this one to the list. Click here to give this a go.