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Beautiful Georgia

I don’t have a recipe for y’all today, I have a wonderful recipe to share with you on Friday though so I hope you can forgive me for the lack of one today!

This year I am spending Christmas over in the US, I do this every other year – to spend the holidays with my best friend, Leah, and my second family. It sucks being away from my mum over Christmas, but that’s the problem with the two most important people to you living 4000 miles apart, you’re always going to be away from one of them! Alternating each year is the best way I can do it. Leah normally lives in the city (Atlanta) but recently she moved back in with her mum to save for a house. So we’re up here in the ‘burbs and as much as I love the city, it’s just beautiful up here. She has a beautiful house surrounded by woods and other beautiful houses, so I thought I’d share some photos with y’all because it really is just lovely 

Let’s start with the outside shall we

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The front of the house is gorgeous even in the winter when all the plants are sleeping. But to show you how lovely it looks when everything is green, here’s a photo from earlier in the year

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Photo by the home owner herself!

The back of the house is perhaps even more beautiful

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I don’t know if you can get any more festive than an outdoor fireplace draped with Christmas garlands!

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There used to be a lot more woods out back than there is today, but it still looks and feels pretty secluded, like there isn’t another house for miles. 

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A photo of one of the Japanese Maples out the back, taken by by the home owner herself earlier this year (just fyi, I am currently sitting writing this post on the other side of those windows!)

Now for the inside, it’s a beautiful house to begin with but it’s even nicer when decorated for Christmas! 

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Iran Flag Vanilla Cake with Strawberries and Kiwi

Iran Flag Vanilla Cake with Strawberries and Kiwii

Okay, I have a confession to make. This post is going to be a cheat’s post! I wanted to post a recipe for you all last night and I’ve been trying to write it for a couple of days, but to be honest the fatigue part of Lupus has been kicking my butt this past week. I’ve done nothing but sleep and force myself through work, I haven’t baked for a week which is a long stretch of time for me! And I guess writing a post was just too energy draining for me. 

Iran Flag Vanilla Cake with Strawberries and Kiwii

But enough of my whining, I’m coming out of my hole to share this Iran flag vanilla cake with you all. And while I don’t have a recipe to go with it, I do hope that you appreciate it. I don’t make celebration cakes much anymore, but a friend asked me to make this for her friend’s birthday and I’m glad I did. It’s one of my favourite cakes that I’ve made – the overall result looks awesome and it’s really simple to achieve. She asked for a vanilla cake with chocolate filling, and told me that her friend was from Iran and very patriotic – and this is what I came up with. I hope I get a chance to make some more flag cakes decorated with fruit, because I think the result is quite stunning.

Iran Flag Vanilla Cake with Strawberries and Kiwii

I’m glad it was the Iranian flag too, because it’s a really pretty flag with bright colours so it was a lot of fun to decorate. Plus the fruit add extra flavour, rather than it just being more sweet frosting or fondant. There is one thing that bothers me about this cake though and that’s that I put it on the cake board slightly wonky! I didn’t notice until it was too late to do anything about it, I still cringe about it when I look at these photos! I just want to reach in and adjust it haha! 

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Iran Flag Vanilla Cake with Strawberries and Kiwi

 

For reference, here is the Iran flag

Image from: http://flaglane.com/download/iranian-flag/

Image from: http://flaglane.com/download/iranian-flag/

For the cake I used this recipe which is a really yummy vanilla cake recipe. 

 I hope you enjoy this cake, and I promise I’ll have a recipe up for you soon!

Sharing with…

Time to Sparkle, Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Project Parade, Inspire Me Wednesday, Create it Thursday, Foodie Fridays, Fiesta Friday, Show Me Saturday, Super Saturday, Scraptastic Saturday, Inspiration Monday, Pure Blog Love, Sweet and Savoury Sundays

 

Family Baking

I am the baker in my family (shocking, I know!) but I got the flair from somewhere and I plan to pass it on too!

I don’t have kids and I’m not sure I want to have them any time in the future, so I will be passing on my baking knowledge to my nephews and niece where I can. But first, I want to talk about where I get my love of baking from. I have to admit I always thought it was from my grandmother on my dad’s side, she baked a lot as is pretty normal for that generation but she wouldn’t ever call herself a baker I don’t think. And then she told me about her father, my great grandfather. He died when my grandmother was very young so I never met him but she recently told me that he was the head pastry chef at Cumberland Hotel in London. Which was extremely exciting for me to find out! And not only that, he once constructed an 80lb scale sugar model of Westminster Abbey! She sent me photocopies of the article and photos and I will share them with you now

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The article reads: “This scale model of Westminster Abbey, made entirely from sugar, was awarded first prize and gold medal in the Pastry Village Section of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Exhibition, at Olympia, last month. Pastry-chef Charles Cloet, of the Cumberland Hotel (on left with M. Bregeon, Head Chef), made the model. It weighed 80lb. and took more than 250 hours- over a period of four months – to construct.”

 

 

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The model

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My great grandfather – Charles Cloet

Apologies for the slightly warped photos, I don’t have scanner! 

As you can imagine, it was a really amazing thing for me to discover, as I knew nothing about him before I found out about this. I did contact the hotel to see if I could get more information on him but unfortunately with so much time having passed and management changing multiple times they weren’t able to find anything. It’s great to have these photos though. My grandmother also told me about the “cake” he made her for her 2nd birthday – it was actually a shoe made entirely from chocolate and intricately decorating – she told me about how much she loved it and had tried to wear it! 

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Happy Monday guys!

This is a non recipe post but a very exciting one because last week I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Which really means a lot because that’s pretty much my whole reason for starting this blog, I want to inspire people with my baking and just share my adventures. I’m really grateful to all of you who read my posts and take the time to leave nice and encouraging comments! 

The lovely Sarah of Sarah’s Kitchen nominated me for this award, which is amazing because I love her blog! If you haven’t checked it out yet you definitely should, because she makes a delicious looking Banoffee Pie which is my favourite ever dessert and oh my god, just look at these brownies I’m pretty sure they should be illegal! And that’s just the tip of the delicious ice berg!

So, thank you so much Sarah! 

 

The award!

The award!

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Cadbury Chocolate Fingers Birthday Cake!

Cadbury fingers make the best kind of birthday cake!

40th Birthday Cadbury Fingers Cake

 

A friend asked me to make a cake for her friend’s 40th birthday and after some discussion we decided on a cake covered with cadbury fingers. Naturally I was super excited to make it because I LOVE cadbury fingers. She also asked for it to be elegant, and what’s more elegant than roses am I right?! So with the party’s colour scheme in mind I set about creating this cake! It was actually a lot of fun to make and I’m really pleased with how it turned out

40th Birthday Cadbury Fingers Cake

That cake itself is vanilla, filled with fresh whipped cream and strawberry jam. It’s then covered with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, surrounded by the all important cadbury fingers and decorated with fondant roses and flowers! I am sure you’ve seen similar designs many times before, it’s still one of my favourite ways to decorate a cake though! As soon as I can get my hands on a marble slab somehow, I will definitely make a similar cake with chocolate cigarellos. Cigarellos are no match to cadbury fingers in taste, but they definitely have a more dainty, elegant look!

40th Birthday Cupcakes

I also made 60 cupcakes to match, Nasa obviously has a lot more friends than I do! They were all vanilla cake with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, then decorated to match the colour theme of course. The cupcake toppers were definitely a labour of lover, but they were fun to make and they turned out pretty much how I wanted them too which is always a bonus!

40th Birthday Cupcakes

40th Birthday Cadbury Fingers Cake

40th Birthday Cupcakes

As you may have noticed, this is another post without a recipe attached. I am sorry, I will get up the recipe for the ferrero rocher cupcakes soon, I just wanted to share this cake with you while I don’t have time to write up a recipe or do any baking (“don’t have time” in Michelle language normally translates to “don’t have the energy/am too sick”). I do have plans to bake some chocolate pudding cookies and macarons so maybe I’ll get those up soon too! In the meantime I do hope you enjoy these cakes even if the photos aren’t great!

 

 

Have a fab week y’all