About Me

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Hi, my name is Alice and I am a self-confessed bake-a-holic. My dream is to one day own a tea room full of gorgeous things, with books everywhere, vintage crockery, and of course plenty of home made cake! On this blog I plan to share all my trials and triumphs from the kitchen, as well as some of my favourite recipes and inspiration that I gather along the way.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Birthday Baking

So it's finally happened. My little sister has turned 21. Not only was this a very strange feeling (my little sister a real proper can't deny it anymore grown up?), it also meant a lot of baking for me, as official head chef for the celebrations. Fortunately another friend wanted to make her a big cake, so I was left with cupcakes, millionaire's shortbread, brownie and flapjack. Phew.

So many of you have been really helpful with your advice and ideas that I thought it was only fair to share the finished products with you (links for back stories for those of you who missed me grovelling, and recipes are at the bottom).

Chocolate cupcake with stars and gold edible glitter

Some of the 48 chocolate cupcakes

Pink iced cupcake with lovehearts

There were 48 pink cupcakes too, topped with lovehearts, hundreds and thousands discs, white cholocate mice and flying sacuers. Yes, I know my icing skills still need some practice, but they tasted good and as far as I'm concerned that's the main thing. Thanks so much for all the help and ideas with these!

On top of these there were the 32 pieces each of millionaire's shortbread (here), chocolate brownie (here) and flapjack (coming soon)

For chocolate cupcakes click here
For the pink cupcake development click here
For the basic cupcake recipe click here

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Millionaire's Shortbread


After a much longer delay than anticipated, here is the most recent blog post, in which I slightly burn condensed milk, make a mess of the kitchen, and consume ridiculously large amounts of sticky sweet stuff. All in a day's work.

Being a serious fan of that crunchy, gooey, chocolatey goodness which is millionaire's shortbread I've long wanted to have a try at making some. An internet search revealed a plethora of recipes, but none seemed to me quite right, so armed with a bunch of them, and a splash of ingenuity, I headed to the kitchen.

I wanted to strike the balance between enough crunch, the butteriness of the base, plenty of the caramel, and just enough chocolate without the taste being overpowering. The eventual destination of the shortbread was the table at my sister's 21st birthday party, so I knew it had to be good.

The recipe I've included below is the one that I adapted and used, and to me, it's about as perfect as it gets. Obviously it may not suit everyone's tastes, and I'm sure I'll have plenty who tell me it should be dark chocolate, but I decided to detail this how I like it best. The rest of you will just have an excuse to make as much as you want to get it 'just right' then, won't you?

The shortbread base

You will need:
125g butter (leave this out the fridge a few hours first)
50g caster sugar
175g plain flour

  • Preheat the oven to 190c
  • Line a small brownie tin with baking parchment
  • In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour thoroughly, until a golden colour and the bits are an even size
  • Stir in the sugar, ensuring it is evenly distributed
  • Pour into the lined tin and press down well, right up to the edges
  • Bake for 20 minutes (don't worry if it doesn't look 'done', it is)
  • Leave this to cool COMPLETELY before the next stage

The caramel topping

You will need:
397g tin condensed milk
50g butter (cubed)
50g soft light brown sugar

  • Put all of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan, and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Stirring constantly bring to the boil and then reduce heat so it simmers gently for 5 minutes
  • The mixture should be a lovely fudgy colour and considerably thicker. I found that mine burnt quite easily, but the darker specs this caused made no difference to the taste or look of the finished shortbread.
  • Pour the mixture over the shortbread base (Careful, it'll be REALLY hot)
  • Allow to cool (in the fridge) completely
The chocolate top

You will need:
200g milk cake covering chocolate

  • Snap the chocolate into a bowl above a pan of boiling water
  • Melt until smooth
  • Pour over the base
  • Allow to cool before cutting into squares and removing from the baking paper.

Yes it uses a lot of pans, and yes there seems to be loads of waiting in between all the various stages. But as soon as I took a bite, I didn't even mind the piles of washing up.


I've recently had a go at making a gluten free version of these yummy squares of goodness. The only part that actually needs adapting is the base, and I replaced the flour with gluten free flour, half plain and half self raising. I also reduced the amount of butter to 100g, and increased the sugar content to 75g. Make in the same way as described above.