Two weeks ago, it was my boyfriend’s birthday, so of course I had to bake him a cake – it’s what I do! It was also my first time baking in the new kitchen, which has lots more space and has a dishwasher (I’m still not over this – I love it so much). Naturally, I always love baking. But it’s so much more fun when I actually have the space to do it! I predict loads more recipes in the near future…
Back to Willem’s birthday cake, though! He asked for something with chocolate and red fruit, and that’s what he got. I got out my chocolate bible (it’s actually called that) and eventually came across the perfect recipe. A two-layer chocolate cake filled with strawberry jam, whipped cream and strawberries. Yum!
I made a few adjustments to the cake recipe itself and, to make it even more chocolatey, decided to cover the entire thing in chocolate ganache and add some more fruit on top. The result was delicious. The cake is lovely and light, the strawberries and cream filling is the perfect combination of sweet and fresh and the dark chocolate ganache adds that extra chocolatey kick.
And what’s even better: this cake isn’t difficult to make at all! Because it has three different components the recipe might seem long and it will take a little bit of time. But, really, the three components are all very easy to whip up. It’s the perfect birthday cake!
Remember when I baked this mango tart for my father’s birthday a few weeks ago? That wasn’t enough to feed my entire family, so I had to think of a second cake to bake. The decision was easily made — I had never made a Victoria sponge cake, and figured it was high time I did so. Every baker should have a Victoria sponge in repertoire, I think. Now I finally do!
A classic Victoria sponge seems to use buttercream for the filling, but I’m not very fond of buttercream (way too buttery and creamy — the name kind of gives it away), so I decided to just use whipped cream instead. It worked perfectly! It does mean you shouldn’t make this cake too far in advance. I also added an extra little touch to the usual cream-jam combination, namely some fresh strawberries. The cake does fine without them too, but strawberries make everything better, so why not add them?
I used this recipe from BBC Good Food as the base for my recipe, but made some changes to make it my own (especially to the filling).
Okay, you’re probably thinking: Healthy cocktails? There is no such thing! While that’s probably true, these cocktails include some very healthy ingredients in addition to the obvious alcohol. They’re smoothie-cocktails, or smocktails, as I have dubbed them (still not sure I like the name, though).
I hung out with two of my best friends yesterday, and we decided to make our own smoothie-cocktails instead of going for good old wine as our drink of choice. That’s when these two delicious smocktails were born. Especially the first one (left picture), the Blueberry Banana Smocktail, is sooo good! But the Strawberry Smocktail was delicious as well. I didn’t plan on writing a blogpost about these, but they turned out so great that I couldn’t not share them with you. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera with me to my friend’s house, so these pictures were taken with my phone. You can’t see the colours very well, sorry about that! Trust me when I tell you they’re amazing, though.
Now, onto the recipes! I’m afraid the measurements aren’t extremely precise since we just threw some stuff together (or, my friend threw some stuff together and we watched), but that shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Oh, one more thing: you’ll need a blender for these recipes.