Some news!

Due to some stuff going on in my life right now, I’ve decided to put my baking challenge on hold.  At least I was on track with my bakes, though, so that’s something?  I’ll probably continue baking some of the things in the book (and posting about them on here), but I’m not aiming to do it within a year anymore.  I’ll probably do Cake Number 20 within a couple of weeks, just so it’s a nice, even number 🙂

In other news, I’ve started to sell macarons!  So, instead of posts about my baking challenge disasters, I will now be posting my macarons and the recipes for them.  I hope you enjoy!


(I am planning on eventually selling them online – but it would only be in the UK, to keep them fresh – and I will update when I plan on doing that 🙂 )

Cake Number 19: Accra Banana and Peanut Cake (Ghana)

Accra Banana and Peanut Cake1

Admittedly, I thought this cake was going to be a disaster, as it just would not bake.  But, a bazillion hours later, it was finally cooked!!  As the title suggests, this is a banana and peanut cake (more like a banana and peanut loaf), but it has also got toffee inside it and it is delicious.

Accra Banana and Peanut Cake3

The dried bananas on top give it a nice crunch – and I’ve now got a bag of dried bananas that I can enjoy 🙂  I’ve no idea why I added the peanuts because I despise peanuts, so I might give them a miss next time (I ate some but picked most of them out).

Cake Number 18: Bienenstich (Germany)


I managed to bake something and have nothing go wrong (if you don’t count the fact that I dropped the flour, which caused the bag to burst and flour to go everywhere, and the fact that I managed to slice my finger open with a bread knife.  But they didn’t affect the final result!).  I am so pleased with these!  They are lovely little brioche-y type cakes/bread topped with a sugary/honey/almondy mixture.  And the outside is so satisfyingly crunchy!  When I cut these in half to add the vanilla custard (resulting in the sliced open finger), they made such a nice crunch noise!


Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of nuts and I did try it with them – but I think I’ll probably scrape them off the next one I have.  I seem to be the only person in my family who doesn’t like nuts (or mushrooms.  Ugh….).  Strangely enough, though, I like macarons and they are made almost completely from nuts (but the sugar helps!)


Cake Number 17: Macarons (France)

Macaron Cake1

I’m gonna be honest here – the recipe in the book calls for individual macarons.  But I’ve wanted to make a macaron cake for so long, so I thought that this would be the perfect time to try!  And I love it!  Admittedly, it doesn’t have feet (I don’t think I whisked my egg whites enough.  Sigh.  There’s always next time, though!)

And this is the first time I’ve flavoured my macaron shells (I know, I know – I shouldn’t just make plain ones but I’m still trying to get them just right, so I’m not really into fiddling with them too much just now).  I ground up some pistachios and added them to the mixture and they taste amazing (and I’m not even a fan of pistachios!)

Macaron Cake4

For this cake, I made one big disk and a big ring, as I wanted some fruit to go in the middle and I thought it might look weird if they were all piled on top.  Piping the cream onto the disk and them topping with the ring creates a nice well in the middle for the fruit to sit 🙂

Now, I just need to wait for my Mum to come home from work so that I can cut it (I can’t cut it before as many people as possible have seen that I can sometimes bake pretty things).

Macaron Cake6

Cake 16 – Barmbrack (Ireland)


Two Irish cakes in a row!  Admittedly, I also made this cake because it’s quick (I’m studying but I need a baking break!).  And who can go wrong with fruit loaf, where the fruit has been soaked overnight in tea?  Yum yum!


The tea in this really helps to avoid ending up with a dry loaf.  I don’t normally eat fruit loaf (there’s usually other, prettier cakes to choose from), but this is really nice – especially with butter and a nice cup of tea!!  (The more tea, the better!)