Sorry my posts have been so sporadic recently! It pretty much sums up my life at the moment. I have to remind myself what day it as! Wedding prep is in full flow. Simon is excited, a lot more than I thought he would be! We have our final date night as boyfriend and girlfriend on Friday so I shall tell you all about that! The past weekend was pretty stressful for me as I was part of the 'organising committee' on not one, but two surprise events! The first being Simons (second - lucky boy) stag do on the Saturday where I spent all day trying to pack him a going out and overnight bag without him realising his stuff was going missing and the second being a baby shower for my lovely bridesmaid to be Louise. It was for this baby shower that I also spent a large amount of my Saturday preparing her cake. Im really not keen on these baby bump kind of cakes. I mean call me weird but the idea of tucking into a mock up of a mothers pregnant belly and boobs and in somecases abnormally large baby's foot really doesn't rock my boat... So looking for another baby shower type cake I could have a bash at I found this image on pinterest. I did do a practice run at this first...which actually made me more worried about doing one for Lou's shower as, although Simon's birthday cake tasted delicious...it wasnt exactly what you would call 'cake shop perfect.' Yep I covered it in grated chocolate in an attempt to make it look like a cupcake (I just wrote cocktail instead of cupcake - looks like I need one!) So determined not to massively cock up on Lou's baby shower cake I found a new recipe and had another bash. This recipe I found on CakeBaker's Facebook page. (I will apologise now for not having any pictures during the cake making process, it kind of shows how stressed I was at getting it all perfect!) Ingredients : 275g (10oz or 2 cups) quality self raising flour 275g (10oz or 1 1/4 cups) caster sugar 275g (10oz or 1 1/4 cups) stork margarine (I used unsalted butter) 50g (2oz or 1/2 cup) good quality cocoa power (optional) 5 free range eggs 30ml (1fl oz or 2 tbsp) whole milk 15ml (1/2fl oz or 1 tbsp) vanilla extract * Chocolate lovers can alter the recipe slightly using 8oz flour and 2oz cocoa power. Adding the cocoa to the mix at the same time as the flour. (Ive only just seen this as I write it up now! I didnt do this and just added the 10oz of flour then added the cocoa - oh well!) Method : 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan assisted oven 160°C / Gas Mark 4). 2. Take your silicone giant cupcake mould and apply a fine layer of cake release spray, making sure you cover all areas well. (I used frylight and it worked just as well) 3. Place the caster sugar, stork margarine (or butter) and vanilla extract into a large clean bowl and mix until pale and creamy. 4. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Sieve in the flour (and optional cocoa) then add in the milk and mix again until thoroughly combined, the mixture should be light and fluffy. 7. Pour the mixture into the base mould to just slightly over the half way mark, and place the indentation lid on the top (this gives space for a filling). 5. Pour the remaining mixture into the top mould to just over half full - do not press the mixture down, it will find it's own level when baking. 6. Carefully place both moulds on a baking tray on the middle shelf on the oven and bake for 25 minutes. 7. After 25 minutes turn the oven temperature down to 150°C (fan assisted oven 130°C / Gas Mark 2) and bake for a further 25-30 minutes or until risen and springy to touch. You can test that they are cooked by inserting a clean cocktail stick into the centre of each cake, if the cocktail stick comes out clean they are cooked. 8. Leave to cool completely in the silicone moulds before turning out. This is how it turned out after baking and I have to say, the baking times CakeBaker gives are perfect. My other cake, although delicious, took ages to cook through the middle while the edges began to burn. This cake was cooked throughout yet still moist - perfection. I then froze my cake as I made it on Thursday. This was another thing I was a bit worried about as I have never frozen a cake before! I popped the cakes back in their silicone moulds to help keep their shape and double wrapped each cake in freezer bags. Come Saturday (icing day!) I popped them out of their bags and left them to defrost on a cooling rack for at least 3 hours. Then came the icing!! I used the humming bird vanilla icing from their HummingBird Bakery Cookbook. Vanilla frosting 250 g icing sugar, sifted 80 g unsalted butter, at room temperature 25 ml whole milk a couple of drops of vanilla extract Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes. I used my favourite gadget my food processor to avoid the icing sugar going everywhere! Once the frosting was done I used 2 packets of white chocolate fingers (which I chilled in the freezer as it was a very hot day) and applied a little of the icing on the flat side of each finger and then secured around the base. I filled the cake cavity with chocolate covered marshmallows and sealed the cake top on with more icing. Then used a 6 point icing nozzle to decorate the top with roses. I then filled in any gaps with a star of icing and used Tesco's ready made sugar flowers (£1.60 for 12) to decorate. And there you have it! A combination of trial and error of different recipes so you don't have to! Enjoy!