Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Traditional Sultana Cake - Sweet Teabread Type Recipe

Lemon glazed sultana cake recipe. Dense crumb and not too sweet.

"Tea ?" My grandmother lifted the old metal teapot; clad in it's warm knitted cosy; and gave the tea a swirl before pouring a steady stream into the china cup.

In my mind, I can see her now. No matter who or when visitors arrived at the door - she was always prepared and loved nothing more than having family arrive and feed them her home baked treats.

There was Sultana Cake or Belgian Loaf in the pantry in a tin. Home made coffee buns or ginger snaps in the cupboard. Caramel cake (you may know it as Millionaire's Shortbread) or tiffin bar (normally both) hidden at the back of the fridge. I've shared a few of these recipes and short really log some more.

When my Gran passed a few years ago, I was given her recipe book. It was and is in a sorry state and the pages are almost all detached. The spine is broken, the covers stained and torn. Despite this and the fact it rarely sees the light of day - it is very much loved. Handling it every now and again reminds me that through me, her recipes can live on...

As you can see - she seems to have "obtained" this recipe from somewhere back in 1962 and must have used it for around 40 years.

Personally, I've never been one for baking with margerine / Stork - but my gran seemed to and if it's good enough for Mary Berry....

Well - I gave this a go and used some Utterly Butterly which is a vegetable oil based spread instead of the butter. It turned out pretty much as I remember it. This is a fairly dense type teabread and I'm sure we used to have it slathered in salted butter. However, I figured a nice lemon glaze would work well

225g of white sugar
225g of butter or vegetable oil based spread
225g of sultanas (I soaked these in hot tea for 30mins prior to use)
285g of plain (cake) flour
55g self raising flour
6 eggs

I creamed the fat and sugar together, then one at a time, beat in 5 eggs.

Sift in flours, and mix until no lumps can be seen. Stir in drained sultanas, and follow by folding in the last egg as instructed by Gran !

Put into a lined 2lb silicone loaf mould or tin . Be sure to line way up the sides - this makes a BIG cake and the entire tin was full to the top before baking .....

I baked at 150deg C (Fan oven) for 95mins and it was perfectly done.

Remove from oven and make a glaze if desired. Remove cake from pan and stand on a wire rack. Trim paper to pan level, but leave on for now.

I used 100g of icing sugar, 50mls of fresh lemon juice and a little boiling water to make a very thick paste. Spoon (and spread) on to the top of the cake. Dont worry if it makes a mess and runs down the side a bit.

Once it starts to set, you can remove the baking paper from the lower part of the cake for a nice, tidy finish.

Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.

This type of cake typically is best one or two days after baking - once it's stood in an airtight tin for a little while to mature. If you can wait that long....

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - June 2014 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tiffany Lamp CAKE - Yes .... This REALLY is a Novelty Cake that looks like a table lamp !

structural and brightly coloured novelty tiffany lamp / table lamp cake

I'm so in love with this cake. The idea of making a cake looking like a Tiffany lamp has been in my head for almost a year.... it's taken me forever to get round to making it as inevitably something always seemed to get in the way that needed my time more. 

Certainly it's lighting me up on an otherwise dull day !

Isn't it pretty ? When finished - it really looked like a proper Tiffany table lamp !

Well - last week I tried out a new madeira cake recipe I found on the net from www.cakesbakesandcoolies.com that allows you to size up a madeira cake from 6" to 12" diameter.

I've copied and pasted their chart onto this page below so I can save it in my own personal ebook, for my own use. Should you wish to use their recipe, you may like to trot along and visit their page and print out the full recipe and instructions.
I baked two x 10" dia madeira cakes. Here you can see I wrapped some strips of damp kitchen tea towel around the outside of the tins and secured with bulldog clips. This helps stop the sides browning too much / getting crusty.

My cakes had a little bit of a dome and a small amount of cracking. I baked at 170deg C - next time, I'll bake lower and for longer...

Cake was very easy to split and had a good even crumb. I usually bake only with butter, but this recipe suggested using 50% stork / 50% butter. I must say, I was skeptical - but the results were very good as was the flavour. 

After trimming, these cakes measured 75mm / 3" high. I cut each cake into 3 layers and filled with buttercream and jam between each one. I them carved the stack into a dome shape before covering in fondant. It's a pretty big cake and on a 16"square board.

Yes - it really IS a cake as you can see in these staged shots. The board is covered in fondant and made to look like wood. The body of the lamp is modelling chocolate around moulded Rice Krispy treats.

I marked on my patterns with a modelling tool before hand painting the "glass" in. Easier said than done ! The leading is modelling chocolate, hand painted with lustre dusts.


1 bag of Wilton WHITE candy melts (melted)
118g corn syrup - warmed
gel paste colouring (if required)

For black modelling chocolate, add a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder - plus black colouring to the corn syrup. For other colours - omit cocoa

Mix the two together until combined. Transfer into a plastic food bag and allow to sit for a couple of hours to harden up a bit. Knead thoroughly and re-bag. This will be ready for use tomorrow :-)


If anyone is interested in learning how to make this cake, it can be taught as a two day class. A maximum of 6 places would be available. Cost of £225 for the two days, to include cakes and all materials.

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - June 2014

Monday, 19 May 2014

Land Rover Defender Novelty Cake - Caking With Amy.....

Amy is a keen 15 yo baker, who until recently, has only been playing around with cupcakes. Last month - she came and spent an afternoon with me and made a large fondant covered cake for the first time.

Amy's cherry blossom cake is below. Pretty and a really nice job, especially for a beginner !

Couple of weeks later, Amy asked me if she could come for a day so I could help her make a  Land Rover Defender car cake. Well - to be honest, I'd never attempted a car cake..... so this really was a bit of a challenge...

The cake itself is a dense, chocolate brownie cake (8 x 12" lined tin), cut into layers and filled with chocolate ganache. Very, very rich - but a nice cake to work with and only small servings needed.

330g salted butter
330g dark chocolate
9 tsp instant coffee
250ml water
80g cocoa powder
380g self raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
720g caster sugar
6 large eggs
50ml vegetable oil
180g buttermilk / greek yogurt

Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a pan and melt together to create a sauce. Set aside to cool.

Put eggs, oil and buttermilk in another bowl and combine. Add these to the cooled sauce.

Sieve all dry ingredients and mix together, then add wet mix and combine until no lumps are visible.

Bake in a preheated oven for 150deg C for 2 hours. 

Once cool, wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before splitting / carving.

I took a few photos along the way that may be helpful to Amy if she wants to make this cake again (or anyone else who fancies attempting a car cake)

First of all - google BLUE PRINTS and print / make a rough scale drawing of the car required.....

Here, there is a piece of foam core board, cut to shape and scale for the base. The foam core is wrapped in Baco Wrap and this board is on top of the cake drum to make it easier to move and work with.

My 8 x 12" cake was cut into 3 equal rectangles (8 x 4") and stacked. I'd already started shaping it before I thought of taking a photo. Sorry !

The bits cut of the front were kept and used later on as you'll see shortly. The cake was a little smaller than the finished size, as it still had to be coated / sealed in ganache on the outside.

Here is my rough drawing against the cake which is what I used when carving. From the picture below, I then took a slice off to get the angle for the windscreen. I did forget to angle to the roof though, and had to do that once the car was on the board.... before icing the roof. Pay to stand BACK and look !

Here you can see the front has been angled for the windscreen.

All ganched and wheel spacings cut out. Looks a bit like Postman Pat's van at this point....

Cake sat on board to get an idea of positioning. The cake scraps were roughly put in place to sit the front end of the car up - as if it is driving out of a muddy bog.

Cake off cuts ganached and on board - with a wedge to mount / raise up car.

Cake board front covered in fondant. I painted piping gel over this and covered with desiccated coconut which I'd coloured green and dried in the oven. 

The back part of the board got covered a little later in brown coloured fondant.

Side panel made out of modelling chocolate applied. There is a little strip of modelling chocolate under this along the centre line of the car to be able to dress the outer panel over and add shape.

The excess fondant for the windows was removed a little later.

A few more panels added, it's taking shape !

At this point, I then put the cake on the board and secured using a little piping gel to the fondant on the base. The front of the car roof underwent a little carving work to reshape as I noticed the error mentioned earlier.... then lights etc were added.

Hope this proves useful ! 

I certainly learnt a lot from it and know areas / ways to improve on for next time.

Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemoulds.com - May 2014

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Toffee Cake Recipe ! Large Batch Recipe, Ideal for Celebration Cakes.

Happy Birthday Hattie ! One Today !

Can't believe that it's already a year since my best friend had this adorable little munchkin..... 

Of course, a cake was required to celebrate and I made this two tier teddy bear cake. 

The teddies at the top are hand stamped using alcohol, food colouring and rubber stamps. We keep a large selection of craft stamps on our website.

I'll be making a tutorial video on stamping fondant and hand painting next week. You can find all our current tutorials on my Youtube Channel here.

Toffee Cake Recipe Tutorial - Free Recipe guide from http://www.siliconemoulds.com/Like it ? Share to your page to find again later ! Please leave me a comment or share your photos if you enjoy it or make some tweaks 

Makes 3 x 6" VERY DEEP cakes, 2 x 8" Deep or 1 x 8 x 12" rectangular cakes. Ideal for celebration cakes. Cooks long and low heat. Easy recipe to half if you only want to make one 8" cake.


330g salted butter
240g water
200g of white chocolate
150g of milk chocolate

440g of self raising flour (or use normal flour plus 6 tsp of baking powder)
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
500g of light brown soft sugar or golden caster sugar

6 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 tin of condensed milk (normal is fine - bought light this time by accident !)
2 x pots of Activia Intensely Creamy Vanilla Yogurt (or 240g Greek yogurt)

330g salted butter
240g water
200g of white chocolate
150g of milk chocolate
440g of self raising flour (or use normal flour plus 6 tsp of baking powder)
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
500g of light brown soft sugar or golden caster sugar
6 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 tin of condensed milk (normal is fine - bought light this time by accident !)
2 x pots of Activia Intensely Creamy Vanilla Yogurt (or 240g Greek yogurt)

330g salted butter
240g water
200g of white chocolate
150g of milk chocolate
440g of self raising flour (or use normal flour plus 6 tsp of baking powder)
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
500g of light brown soft sugar or golden caster sugar
6 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 tin of condensed milk (normal is fine - bought light this time by accident !)
2 x pots of Activia Intensely Creamy Vanilla Yogurt (or 240g Greek yogurt)

Lovely recipe for making split and filled / fondant covered cakes. Check out the full photgraphed recipe guide on our facebook page here

Put the chocolates, water and butter in a large pan. Melt and set aside until cool.

Whisk together all wet ingredients and then add to cooled mix from above.

Sift dry ingredients together and then combine with wet ingredients. Use a hand mixer to combine until there are no visable lumps.

Pour into lined cake tins. Makes 3 X VERY deep 6" or 4 x normal depth 6" or 2 x deep 8" or 1 x large 8 x 12"

Note the height of the paper lining on these tins. On the 6" cake (if making 3), The mix will rise almost to the top of these collars !

As these cakes cook at a low temperature for a long time, there is no need to wrap the outside of the tins with newspaper. The cakes when cooked with be soft and moist with a very thin crust on top and no crust on the sides.

Bake at 140deg C / 280deg F for 1hr 45 mins (for 3 x 6" or 2 x 8") and 2hrs 10mins for a 8 x 12". Cocktail stick will come out clean.

Allow to cool in tins. Refrigerate overnight before torting (splitting) and filling.

Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemoulds.com - March 2014

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Chocolate Shoes ! Yes, Life Size, Belgian Chocolate High Heeled Stiletto Shoes

At last, our new website - www.chocolateshoefactory.co.uk is live !

My chocolate shoes are a life size ladies size 6 and are hand made in delicious Belgian white, milk and dark chocolate. Most are supplied gift boxed in luxury, magnetic keep sake boxes which are gold foil blocked with our logo - The Chocolate Shoe Factory. This gives them the look and feel of something bought in a top end London boutique.

Our chocolate high heeled stiletto shoes are bound to impress. What makes these so special  ? They are different from most chocolate shoes you will be able to find as these actually LOOK like real shoes you could slip on your feet....

After all , what woman doesn't love chocolate AND shoes !

Louise, photographed with her lovely Lilac Glitter white chocolate high heeled shoe. Yes - it really is life size ! Each shoe is an average weight of 350g. As they are hand made, the weight of each shoe can vary from 300 to 400g, but most are around 350g. That's quite a lot of chocolate ....

Our chocolate shoes make an ideal gift, whatever the occasion. Ideal for birthday presents, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Valentines Day, engagement. This is the gift with the ultimate WOW factor.

Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemoulds.com - March 2014

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Awesome Honeycomb / Puff Candy Recipe - Fast and Easy !

Ah - so who was it wanted this recipe again ?
Let me see...... I think it was almost all of out on our Facebook Page !

Sorry it's taken me so long. Time to get this little blog back up to date.

In the UK, we call this stuff honeycomb, hokey pokey and even puff candy. You'll know the stuff - it's like the inside of a Crunchie Candy Bar. However, if you have ever made it at home, you'll find it's never quite like the inside of a Crunchie bar.

The biggest differences are that the air bubbles in the home made stuff are normally much bigger.
It really sinks in the middle of the pan.
Impossible to score into chunks and shatters into crumbs or millions of pieces.
Sticks to your teeth and your jaws lock together.

Well - this recipe sorts out almost all of the problems. I say ALMOST as it's still a devil to cut.... but as long as you score and then snap, it's an awful lot better than the way most people make it.

I made the pretty Bird house gift box using the Crafters Companion Sweet Treats boards  - which lets you make loads of cute gift boxes in various shapes such as milk cartons and takeout boxes very simply with A4 card stock. Even better - currently comes as a bundle with a DVD.

You should be able to see from the photos that the air bubbles are tight and close together than when golden syrup is used. For this recipe, you DO need corn syrup - otherwise the texture and bite is very different. Most larger Tesco's now stock it in the American section - or you can buy it on Amazon.co.uk

This honeycomb candy will store for a few days only in an airtight jar - but if you dip (totally) in tempered chocolate, it stores well for a couple of months... if you can resist it that long.

1/2 tsp gelatin granules 
1 tsp of water
1.1/2 cups (375mls total measure in a jug) of white, granulated sugar
1/2 cup / 125mls corn syrup
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 cup / 125mls water
1.1/2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (sifted)

Preparation is key here. Get everything ready before you start and have it all to hand.

Mix the gelatine granules and 1 tsp of water together and set aside.

Sift the bicarbonate of soda and set aside.

Keep both of these very close by you - along with a whisk !

Put the corn syrup, honey, sugar and water in a large heavy based pan. Give a little stir to combine and then put on heat and bring to the boil. DON'T STIR !

Brush the sides of the pan down on the inside with a wet pastry brush to make sure no sugar is crystallizing in the pan.

Using a candy thermometer, take the temperature up to around 146 > 148deg C. The syrup should be a mid honey colour.

Remove from the heat and let it sit until it stops bubbling. Whisk in the soaked gelatine granules until they melt - it's going to bubble up..... and put back on a medium heat.

The mix will start to loosen up again very quickly. Dump in the bicarbonate of soda and give it a good whisk. It will foam like a volcano. You need to mix in all the white powder - but it's critical to only just mix it in and no more. Whisk too much and the whole lot will go flat ! It only takes about 20 seconds.

Tip the whole lot out in one swift move into the 8" pan. It will rise a bit - probably above the pan - then fall back some.

Set aside (don't move it) for 3 or 4 hours to cool and harden.

Score with a serrated knife and snap into strips. You can then score again and snap into chunks.

Any left over rubble like chunks are awesome sprinkled over ice cream.

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - February 2014

Chocolate Baileys Salt Water Taffy Candies / Chewy Sweets

My poor blog is feeling somewhat ignored these days. I'm really sorry - but sometimes life takes over and other things get in the way ! Time to show you a few things I've been up to and share some recipes.

I created this Chocolate Baileys sweets just before Christmas. They've kept amazingly well and are still fresh as a daisy. These are verging on hard candies. They're not chewable - more like boiled sweets and last ages and ages in the mouth. If you want chewy, drop the temperature a few degrees.

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup of corn syrup
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons of corn flour
1/2 cup of good cocoa powder
1/3 cup water
1/2 a cup of Baileys Irish Cream Liquer

Combine all the ingredients in a large, non stick pan and stir to make sure there are no lumps.

Put on the heat and boil until temperature reaches 260deg F / 126 deg C

Pour out on to a well buttered / greased pan or on to a massive silicone work mat. Leave it for 5 mins to cool a little.

Put on two lots of vinyl gloves and grease your hands well with favourless oil or butter.

Pull and twist, pull and twist into ropes for about 15 minutes - until you can pull no more.

Cut into 1" long pieces with oiled scissors and allow to fully cool and harden before wrapping in silicone baking paper.

Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemoulds.com - February 2014