Key Lime Pie

If you've been enjoying "The Great British Bake Off" on BBC2 as much as me, you'll probably recall Ryan Chong's amazing key lime pie. This pie was so great Ryan won "Star Baker" for that episode and the judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, described it as one of the best things they'd tasted in all three series of the Bake Off.

Watching it we had one of those moments when Mr Chris and I share the exact same thought... We must make Key Lime Pie!

And so we did...

Putting Mr Chris' gift to good use, I found a recipe in "Mary Berry's Baking Bible". This was really easy to make and actually required no baking so you can't really go wrong.

It's a very tasty, light and refreshing dessert. We shared it with a few friends and it went down well. As nice as it was, I still need to give Ryan's recipe a go but at least now we have something to compare it too. I think Mr Chris is particularly keen as he went out and bought me the Bake Off recipe book containing Ryan's recipe: "The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers". I think Ryan's version will have to wait until I have some more free time but if you want to give it a go you can find the recipe on the BBC Website. Enjoy!


The Cake and Bake Show

The Cake and Bake show was a two day event held at London's Earls Court. Apparently over 21,000 people attended during the two days and I can certainly believe that. I went along with my sister and our friend Verity and it was jam packed!

The first thing we stumbled across was the "Edible Beach" competition.

These were some of my favourite entries.
My poor photography doesn't do them justice but the attention to detail is incredible, I can't imagine how many hours must have been spent perfecting them.

I'm afraid my cakes would look pitiful in comparison but watch this space as I'm still learning.

Taking the opportunity to learn some new skills at the show, we joined a couple of the classrooms on offer. There were so many it was difficult to choose between them but as each class was an additional £5, we had to be selective

On a side note, I was gutted to find out Lindy had joined the show after I'd already booked my tickets :(

Rachel Hill from Rachelles
The first classroom we joined was "Hand Decorated Cookies" with Rachel Hill of Rachelles

Rachel shared her recipe for perfect cookies and demonstrated how to pipe and "flood" with royal icing. She gave us some great tips such as the 10 second rule for checking your icing consistency, and using a spray bottle to thin the icing. She also showed us several techniques to decorate cookies including icing lace and embroidery patterns.

Icing cookies is a first for me, so I'm looking forward to a future baking date with my sister and Verity to put our newly acquired knowledge in to practise.

Laura Edwards from Mamma Jamma Cakes

The other classroom we opted for was "Cake Sculpture" with Laura Edwards of Mamma Jamma Cakes.

Starting with a 10" (or possibly a 12") round Madeira cake, I was amazed at what she turned it in to.

Laura demonstrated how to make this Koi Carp fish, sculpting, covering, decorating, and air brushing it all within half an hour!

In this picture, the cake on the left is the one from the show, the one on the right is the one above, the "and here's one I made earlier" one.

I actually got to try the Dinkydoodle airbrush at the show. I did really like it but I don't think it's for me at this moment as my cakes are mostly one block colour. I imagine it'd need some practise to be able to get an even coat with the airbrush, also I'm too impatient to let it dry and I don't really have a space I can airbrush in. It could be a purchase for the future if my cakes become a little more elaborate :)

My favourite part of the show without a doubt was star speaker Mary Berry. I'm a huge Mary Berry fan. I love her recipes and I love The Great British Bake Off.

When I discovered she would be doing book signings, Mr Chris very kindly bought me "Mary Berry's Baking Bible" to get signed. Unfortunately I missed out as we were in one of our classes at the time she was signing, but I can't wait to try some more Mary Berry recipes. Expect to see some on here shortly :)

Whilst sharing funny stories and tales from GBBO, Mary whipped up a Hazelnut Meringue Roulade and the hugest Chocolate sponge cake. Both looked delicious, I was only sad I couldn't get anywhere near the front to pinch a bit.

Mary Berry in action

The Cake and Bake Show returns again next year but I'm not sure if I'll go back yet. Whilst I really enjoyed the classrooms and demos I felt the event was far too crowded. Most of the items on sale were overly priced, or at least I know I can get them cheaper on line, and there was a distinct lack of freebies. Whatever happened to the freebie? I remember when one of the perks of going to a show was all the freebies you would collect on your way round. So come on the Cake and Bake Show, when you return next year... more freebies :D


Ba-da ba-da ba-da-da-boo

Today is the last hair cut I'll have for a while as my hairdresser is off to start her maternity leave. No one else can tame my hair like she can and so I have to wait until she comes back. 

I knew this day was coming and although I had all morning, I, in classic Cheryl style, opted to sleep in and leave myself less then 60 minutes to make these. 

With the countdown tune stuck on repeat in my head, 60 minutes later and one messy kitchen, ta daaa....

Not my best work but not too shabby either. Mr Chris managed to snap this photo literally as I was running out the door.

Usually I like to make everything myself but sometimes you just can't beat some of the cake toppers available. I spotted these little baby grows on ebay. They are printed on edible wafer card and I think they're pretty cute. 

Wishing Lisa all the best as she heads off to become a Mum. I hope she enjoys these and takes it easy before the sleepless nights begin.


BBQ Cheesecake

No I haven't gone crazy and baked barbecue sauce into a cheesecake. 

Today is probably the last barbecue we'll have this year and so to commiserate, I decided to make a tasty dessert to follow the meat feast.

This is another recipe from the "The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days" book, Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake. Another first for me as I've never made a cheesecake but I'm happy with how it turned out. 

Although tasty, perhaps a little too heavy following so much meat. Fortunately Mr Chris' family was on hand to help us struggle through it.


Happy Heads Only

These cupcakes are inspired by Tankerton and made in memory of a truly amazing person, my Mum. Today it will be seven years since she died but I won't be dwelling on that. Instead I will celebrate her life with my family and remember all the silly things we got up to.

We have a bench at Tankerton sea front for my Mum. It was a place she loved to go, to walk the dogs, take us for fish and chips, or to get away from us when we would drive her crazy. This evening we all headed to the bench and kept our promise... "Happy Heads Only". 

My Mum didn't want anyone to be miserable. She told us any time we had sad thoughts, we were to remember something silly that made us both laugh, and to hold on to it. It's not always that easy. There have been times when she has been very much needed and she is missed every day, but she taught us to be strong and left us with many happy memories.
Beach huts, ice-creams and wind turbines
Funky coloured wind turbines :)
I'm sure this evening would have made her smile. My family and I, dogs included, sat on the bench and had a good giggle. We laughed at my Dad who showed his age as he got cold and wrapped himself up in the dogs towel, and we stuffed our faces with chips and cakes whilst a fitness instructor shouted commands to a tired looking group of people just metres away. I'm sure the smell of our chips only helped to motivate them :)

So here's to my Mum, Christine Thorn. I'm sending a huge hug to you today, and to Nan and to Lottie. Thank you for everything you did and still do for us. See you again one day, love you always xxxx

Tankerton Beach Huts - photo by Mr Chris


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