Sunday, 24 October 2010

Oliver turns 2 ! Happy Birthday Baby !

Has it really been TWO years already ? It's flown so fast. My baby is turning into a right little man and growing constantly in front of my eyes....

"Mummy - Happy Birthday cake today please ! Oliver two !"

Oliver has been asking EVERY morning for his birthday for nearly two weeks.

"Not today Oliver - soon".

The disappointment on his face :-(

Well - TODAY we had birthday cake. His birthday is actually Monday (25th) but his little friends came round today for some birthday tea - with their mummies of course.

This morning, we came down the stairs and Oliver's cake was ready waiting on him.

"Happy Birthday Cake for Oliver. Hooray !"

He was soo pleased.

"Oh Mummy - it's blue ! Dinosaurs Mummy and Number Two !"

I nearly cried. His little face was glowing and we had to sing Happy Birthday over and over and over again.. He looked at all the dinosaurs, pointed out the colours and try to count them. A few too many when we are still tryin to count to ten ! I used Oliver's dinosaur sprinkles that he likes to put on cupcakes on the number 2.

The little dinosaurs were cut from fondant using some little cutters I bought from an ebay seller in Canada specially for Oliver's cake.

I made his cake with letters from my own design Say It With Cake range of silicone bakeware moulds / molds. At the moment you can buy several word sets - HAPPY, BIRTH, DAYS and CAKE. These moulds can be cut into individual letters for mix and matching. I've done several blog posts using these. There is a guide on a recent post here.

However, all letters and numbers will be available for individual sale from early December. I've got a full set as samples that I'm playing with now.

Below is a cake I made earlier in the week for a competition Yorkshire Tea are running. This is just one layer thick - but split and filled with jam and cream. It didn't last long as I took it to work and customers seemed to enjoy it !

We then had a tiny little cake and put the big one away until his friends came later. A new toy rocket kept him amused most of the morning and all evening. He's gone to bed with the rocket....

Three little boys - all munching cake ! Everything was sticky afterwards from all those little fingers ...

Barely room to move ! Our house is only little - so 4 children and 4 mummies = not a lot of room to move !

Sarah-Jane Nash - - October 2010

Haggis Bon Bons - Party Food / Canapes

Thought I'd share some of the party food from today with you all.

These are Haggis Bon Bons. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made from sheep offal mixed with spices, oatmeal and onion. It's really really tasty - but due to being made from offal, many people write it off before tasting for some reason.

Haggis can be pretty hard to get hold of here in England - though it is starting to appear in the shops from about now until January (when Scots celebrate Robert Burns who was a very well known poet of bygone years). I didn't actually buy haggis on this occassion, I received a massive box from my dad earlier in the week containing black pudding, lorne sausage and haggis. Most of it is now in the freezer.

Haggis Bon Bons are ideal party finger food and very easy to make.

Take some uncooked haggis and roll into approx 1" diameter balls.

Roll the balls in flour and then in beaten egg before coating in breadcrumbs.

I make my own bread crumbs with the halogen oven by cooking slices of bread at a low temperature for quite some time to dry it out but also keep it pale. After cooling, I then blitz this with my Bamix into fine crumbs.

After making the balls, refridgerate until required. Shortly before you need them, heat some oil about 1/3 deep in a pan. Drop in the balls and fry until golden (about 5 mins)

If you want to make these several hours in advance to save messing around with oil later - you can deep fry and then set aside.  Pop on the baking tray into your halogen oven on top rack at about 200deg C for about 5 mins to reheat. They'll take at least 10mins plus preheating in a normal fan oven.

They freeze well too after coating with the breadcrumbs - so easy preprepared party food !

Friday, 15 October 2010

Crown Muffins - The Secret to Making BIG Cafe Style Muffins !

The best bit of a muffin is the crown - a big mushroomy type top which overhangs the stump. All too often the stump part can be a bit boring ... but I'll forgive this for a good crown.

For years I tried to make muffins with the big puffy crown and despite every attempt - they ended up a mess. I thought that you needed to put in just enough mixture into the silicone mould or traditional bakeware tin to fill it to the top. My expectation was for the mix to over-run a little and give the big mushroom top.

Despite trying many different mixes, the batter would volcano over the top and the crowns of my muffins would run and stick together. If I was REALLY lucky, I might get one or two out whole - but more often than not, I'd lose great chunks of the crown.

So - HOW DO THEY DO IT ? I wanted to be able to make those cafe style muffins like you get in Starbucks and Costas but simply could not achieve it at home.

Earlier this year, I finally had a lighbulb moment.

The secret is in the tin !

A bit more digging clarified just that. The big commercial bakeries use a tin with a rebated head. You pop in a paper muffin cake case / liner and fill it to just over the top with the batter. As the mix rises, it flows into the rebated head section of the tin and then rises some more to create the dome.

That bit established - you try finding a crown muffin tin. I've only managed to find one place on the net that stocks ones that will fit in a domestic oven. Those used for the likes of Starbucks and big bakeries are a commercial size that we "normal" people simply cannot use in our kitchens.

Until now that is. Over the last couple of months I have been developing my own. These will be available from 1st December 2010 at Don't forget - you'll find them here first in silicone as I designed them !!!!!


These are large, 6 cell silicone moulds. They take American Jumbo Muffin paper liners which have a BASE diameter of 60mm - a good bit bigger than the standard 50mm base size muffin cases generally available in stores and online. We have had a good selection of the paper cases in various patterns and colours produced too with these moulds. A lot of effort has been put in to keeping these liners / cake cases as low cost as possible..

As cafe style muffins look rather "naked" without their wrappers, we will be including a starter pack of paper cases with every one of our American Jumbo Crown Muffin Moulds.

I decided to opt for a slightly larger than standard stump part of the muffin with our own Crown muffin cake pans / moulds as tests showed that by making the stump a little bigger in diameter, the cake in this part of the form says much more moist and does not tend to have the drier nature that many of the ones from commercial bakeries do.

Being silicone, you do not have to use paper liners at all. You can choose to lightly grease with butter and then flour - tapping out any excess before filling with your desired mix. This will ensure perfect release every time. If using paper cases, it's still worth greasing and flouring the rebated head part of the mould only - or use a tiny dot of Wilton's Cake Release to run round them with the tip of your finger. If your cake mix has a higher sugar content than fat content (as is ofter the case) failure to so this in a non stick tin of any kind generally leads to sticking Cake mixes are renowned for it. This is why you grease and line or grease and flour even non stick traditional tins for cakes. Silicone is no different ! Low sugar content versus high fat content in cakes or bread generally will never stick at all and this step is not required.

These are pretty big muffins - the size and shape (but with a bigger diameter stump) of the ones you will find in the big coffee chain shops. Each mould has 6 cells. To fill all 6 cells, you require the same amount of mix as you would to fill 12 normal muffins or cupcakes. The 6 cell Crown muffin mould is almost the same footprint size as a 12 muffin mould or traditional bakeware tin - though it is about 25% taller. This is because the rebated head section takes up a lot of room !

oops - these are orange and poppy seed muffins pictured that I made tonight. Recipe will follow tomorrow hopefully as it's time for bed now...

AVAILABLE FROM 1ST DECEMBER - order from (international shipping available) or by phone on 01953 452525

Sarah-Jane Nash -
Silicone bakeware - specialists in cake pans, soap moulds and chocolate molds. Shipping worldwide.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Chocolate Brownies - PART 1 - Rubbish photo - but picture the scene !

About 2 weeks ago, I made some chocolate brownies....

I'd found what looked like an amazing recipe and had stacks of top class reviews. It was this recipe HERE from BBC Good Food . Brownies are really easy to make and a GOOD brownie will store well in a air tight container in the fridge for two weeks. I had the last bit very late last night with a cup of tea !

 Actually - I made not one but two batches of these brownies as the first lot ended up in the bin. So did some of the second lot - but that was totally accidental.

 I SHOULD have read the reviews. They may all give this recipe 5 star - but I'll warn you now THE TIMING IS WAAAAY OUT.

The photo on the link makes them look dry - but  they are actually very moist, rich and morish. The only reason there was one left is because I fogot it was at the back of the fridge ! If you like brownies - do make these. They are AWESOME - but watch the cooking time.

See how bad the photos are ?

 Well.... I wanted to try taking some arty photos like you see on other blogs and magazines of someone holding out a plate... There was only Oliver on hand. Cue a 22 month old standing holding a plate of brownies that he so badly wants to eat and Mummy won't let him until we take photos.... Duh !

Poor little sausage. I feel so guilty now ! I did only put 3 brownies on a small side plate - but Oliver did find it difficult to balance it. I sat down on the kitchen floor to try and get a photo from the right height. Oliver copied me and sat down too; so I had to get us both up again. Repeat..

Oliver really really wanted a brownie. "Please Mummy - cake Mummy !"

Oliver wobbled. The plate wobbled. The brownies rocked and wobbled some more. They tettered on the edge of the plate as it tilted forward when Oliver bent over to get a closer view of the brownies before crashing into a broken mess on the floor.

One of the three was still intact. Oliver grabbed it and ran into the living room shouting "Thank you, thank you" as fast as his little legs would carry him.

Photo shoot over. Time to hoover the floor !

I cooked these in our 8" square fudge / silicone brownie bakeware pan. I did lightly butter and flour before use and it released beautifully as always.

 Like other reviewers of this recipe, I found the timing was miles out. 25 minutes was not enough. My brownies took a little over 40 minutes before they were ready. Wait until there is no wobble and DO use a cake tester. The brownie is quite thick - it will fill on baking to nearly the top of the mould.

Sarah-Jane Nash - the evil Mummy to Oliver (cake boy !) - silicone bakeware / cake mould specialists - October 2010

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Say it with Cake - Happy Birthday (to me !) GUIDE

Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me

So ridiculous to make yourself a birthday cake !!

Basically, it was just a good excuse to have a practise run for making Oliver a cake later in the month for when he turns two.

I've NEVER used fondant to cover a cake before - so there was always going to have to be a first time.....

I designed our first Say it With Cake WORD mould (CAKE) a couple of years ago - and it has proven to be very popular with our customers. You can see a guide about it here. A few months ago, I introduced some other word moulds - HAPPY, BIRTH and DAYS.

You can either put the words together to get a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAKE DAYS, HAPPY DAYS - or mix and match as I have done to make SARAH. You can easily cut the silicone word cakes up into individual letters for easier use when mix and matching.

I always knew that everyone would want "other" letters to make words and names that these four WORDS moulds cannot complete. The logistics behind producing these has been awkward and very costly.... However, it's been in the pipeline for some months now and you'll be able to get your hands on them soon !

Individual letters and numbers are going to all be available. It will work out a bit more expensive per letter than buying the combined letter sets HAPPY, BIRTH, DAYS and CAKE. Where possible, I'd suggest you might want to start with a core word, chop it up and buy the additional letters required singly. 

The individual letters and number moulds are starting to come out of production. They will not be available for sale until late November and at the moment estimated price will be around £1.50 per letter / number.

Ideal for making personalised cakes. Little effort required, as they look SUPER just dusted with icing sugar and filled with jam and cream. I'm hoping to get my hands on the first ones off production in time to make an "Oliver's 2nd Birthday" cake at the end of this month.... or something along those lines

Do be warned - you'll need to make a cake board from plywood or similar and cover it for more than 4 letters, or opt for acrylic as I've done. I've had a selection of acrylic cake boards made for my own use from Trent Plastics - who will cut to size as required. They were not expensive (this one was just £3.50). To do CONGRATULATIONS which is a really long cake, you would be best to use a 1500mm x 200mm board which in acrylic is just £10.62. Pretty good value if you ask me !

To make the above cake, I cheated a bit. I got some premix from the local commercial bakery to try - it's what they use as a genoise sponge base to make all their celebration cakes. Basically, you just weigh out the premix and add oil and water. Mix with a wooden spoon for a minute or two and it's ready.

It actually tastes great and drastically cuts down the work. I'm thinking about stocking it after Christmas to sell in pre-bagged amounts. It would be ideal for using with big cakes such as the giant muffin and the castle for making birthday cakes - as making massive batches of home made cake mix can be terribly time consuming.

I made up just enough for 6 letters - which gave me one letter to use as a practise piece.

Here is a baked letter B in the mould. Always grease (I like to use butter) and flour the mould before use for easy release.

After the cake has suitably cooled, I used a serrated bread knife and carefully sliced the domed top off to level the underside of the cake, as the bottom should become the top.

I made a template strip from a piece of card the same depth as the mould. After rolling out the fondant, I placed this on top and cut out a big long strip to use for the edges of the cake. I brushed the cake with warm jam and then applied the edges. Letter S was the hardest. I had to use a skewer and a teaspoon handle to coax the fondant into the inside curves of the S.

I then drew round the outside of the silicone letter mould and made a cardboard template of the actual letter. This could then be placed onto fondant to cut out the shape.

After cutting out the letter, I placed it on top of the cake with sides already attached. Using fingertips and some cold water in a bowl - I smoothed over the icing until the joints fused and all but disappeared.

After that, it was time for a little extra decoration with some stamped fondant shapes and edible glitter. My fondant looks a little orange peel like - but I'm sure I'll improve with practise !

 I put the cake in our spare room last night to hide it. Oliver hasn't seen it yet - but he'll love helping to blow out candles later once he gets up. As all the toddlers at nursery have been having birthdays over the last few weeks - he sings Happy Birthday at least several times a day since he's learnt the words and tune :-)

Sarah-Jane Nash (another year older !) - silicone bakeware mould specialist cook shop -

Monday, 4 October 2010

Cooking With Table Top Halogen Ovens / Cookers

Well - I've had umpteen email requests over the last week or two for some more halogen oven meal ideas.

I must admit, I've got rather lax in this area. I use my halogen oven most days (unless I'm doing lots of baking for work or need a full size oven). It's just that when I get home from work with a hungry toddler and a husband arriving in not long after - I simply forget to make note or take photographs. Not surprising really I suppose, and I'm sure few of you rarely take photos of your dinner !

Well - first up is some stewed plums with greek yogurt. Plums and apples are in season right now and both of these autumn fruits are a real delight to eat. These were some of the last of the year's victoria plums which were halved and stones removed. Sprinkle well with some cinnamon (if you wish) and some granulated sugar. Leave to sit for around an hour for the juices to start to come out the plums. Generally works well if you prepare this before cooking and eating your main meal.

Pop in the halogen oven in ramekins for approx 10mins at about 180 > 200deg. Serve hot with a dollop of greek yogurt for a healthy and tasty pudding..

Fat and juicy butchers sausages. These sausages are from our local butchers - Tony Perkins. Tony's shop in Attleborough, Norfolk has had a total overhaul and is really fab. Go and check it out if you are local.

I cooked these sausages in my Sarah-Jane's Halogen oven on the baking tray upon the top rack. As I like to grill them, I tend to set the temperature to around 225deg C and cook for about 10mins.  I never bother turning them. They are beautifully browned. Serve with some hot english mustard in a crusty roll or chopped up and thrown in a pasta bake - there is a multitude of things you can do with them ! Best of all, no smoke alarm going off - easy cleaning up and no burnt bits :-)

You'll see there is barely anything comin out the sausages - that's cause they are so darn good !

Next up is my chicken calazone. Even the bread bit is home made.

First of all, make up a batch of bread dough. You can use a 500g bag of premix for a bread maker and knead it by hand. Alternatively, 500g strong white bread flour, a sachet of bread maker yeast, teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Add approx 300ml of warm water to it and bring together in a bowl. Feel free to add in some chopped fresh herbs, chopped olives, bits of sundried tomato, etc

Tip on to work surface and knead for approx 5 > 10 mins until becoming elastic. Leave aside in a cling filmed bowl for about 15 > 20 mins. I don't want this to rise much as it is for flat breads - but it gives me time to get on and cook a couple of bell peppers in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil..

When the peppers are done, put aside in a covered bowl.

I've got two lemon pepper chicken breasts here - again from Tony Perkins - which have been butterflied. Tony will happily coat them in lemon pepper coating or a multitude of other things he offers in his shop. Lazy, but ideal for a quick dinner ! I cooked these in the halogen oven on the baking tray / top rack at approx 200deg C for 12mins. Then I added the peppers to reheat for another 3 > 4 mins

Whilst the peppers were cooking, I cooked the flatbreads. Divide the dough into approx 6 balls and roll each out into a large, thin circle. Pop into a dry, hot pan and cook until bubbles rise on the surface.

At this stage, they are ready to flip over.....

Once both sides are done - you end up with these : 

Put them on a plate and cover with tin foil to keep warm. I had a load exttra left - which is fine as they reheat great the following day..

Here's the sliced lemon pepper chicken breasts. You can see how wonderfully moist and juicy they are !

To fill, I just microwaved **CHEAT ALERT ** a jar of tomato and chilli sauce..

Add some of the tomato chilli sauce, 1/2 a sliced lemon chicken breast, a few slices of bell peppers, some black olives and crumbled feta. That's it ! One chicken breast can easy serve two people and this is not a skimpy dinner by any means despit the fact it's fairly frugal and low budget :-)

Sweet potato wedges, bokwurst german sausage and fried onions

A fast and easy weekend meal - ideal for when my stepson is staying over.

First of all, chop up some sweet potato into wedges. I tend to leave the skin on. Toss in a little olive oil and season well. These are in a 10" silicone cake baking mould , on top of the tray and on the bottom rack. I use that mould a lot in the halogen oven for loads of different things. It's great for containing stuff and stops me flipping wedges over the side of the tray when I want to turn them over !

These were cooked for about 15 mins on the bottom rack at 225deg C.

After that, I popped the top rack in.

Bokwurst went on the top rack at approx 200deg C for about 5 mins or so. These bokwurst weere from Lidls and already cooked - so only need heating through. I like them done long enough that the skins start to split open. Doesn't make them too attractive - but they taste good ! There isn't any fat, water etc comes out of these - they taste as Bockwust should.

The fried onions were the only thing not cooked in the halogen oven

This is a 1kg cheap gammon joint from Lidls. The sort I would normally boil for hours and hours on end.

Remove from plastic and put inside a roasting bag, with a couple of little slits on top. This went on the tray and on top of the bottom rack in my halogen cooker. With it, I put in some hatched baking potatoes. I prefer to hatch (cut) baking potatoes on both sides as they cook much quicker.

This was a while ago. I THINK I cooked it at about 200deg for 1hr 10mins approx in the table top halogen oven. All the juices stayed in the bag - you can see how juicy the meat was. The joint lasted us several days as I used some for sandwiches and later what was left with the reserved juices for a pot of soup.

Enough for now - it's 2am and time for bed ! Hope this helps some of you new halogen oven owners out there.

Happy cooking !

Sarah-Jane Nash - on table top halogen convection ovens  - October 2010

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Customers Creations ....

These little celtic cross cakes were made using this mould by Inese. Pretty - aren't they ?

Inese also made these stunning cookies and moulded them will our mini cakelet / petit fours mould.

Also from Inese are these little filled pastries - made using our mini crystal / gemstone silicone baking mould tray.

The photos in this post are all used with the kind permission of their creators and credit has been given (unless specifically requested otherwise). Links to websites are also there if they have been provided.

Photo by Zurin - from - chocolate mud cake using our Say It With Cake words moulds.

I am a cake decorator and these are the first things I made using these moulds - piccy attached. I have plans for other things to make from these , and will update you as I create them. These are lime and coconut cake with lime buttercream , covered in 2 different colours of sugarpaste. Jill The Cake Maker -

Jill has used our 6 cell 1/2 round (semi sphere) silicone baking mould. These are very seasonal and I'm sure any kid would be delighed with one of these pumpkin / lantern cakes !

My daughter asked me if I could make round wedding cakes.

I bought 4 of your molds last year and did a couple of practice runs. They made great Christmas baubles!

I eventually decided Madeira cake worked best. I made 36 for the reception cake and a cake tower for the evening party.

I just had to let you know how good they were and show you the pictures.

Regards, Mary Tornabene

Aren't they absolutely amazing ? Mary used the 6 semi sphere silicone bakeware mould.

Talented Edhouard has been busy with his creative take on lemon meringue pie using our 6 semi sphere silicone bakeware mould too !

please find enclosed my last realisation with the Semi Sphere / Half Round Silicone Soap Mould:

1/2 sugar crust pastry (not sure about the english term)
1/2 meringue
Lemons (green & yellow) - orange blossom cream
Lemons whipped cream

You can of course use the pictures for the website !!

 A towering tiered stand of layered cakelets made by Sara Bear of Bear Neccessities Cake Company for Andrew's 30th birthday party last year.

A pretty chocolate rose party cake - also from Sara Bear !

sesame seed cookies made using 16 oval silicone mould - ideal for lovely little tasty treats - including mini friands. from Cosmic Goddess -

Unbaked, raw food creations beautifully and lovingly made by Cosmic Goddess of - I could eat the lot just looking at the photos ! Strawberry tart is using the large black heart silicone cake mould.

Here is a picture of the final birthday cake for my daughter's party. Hardly of a professional standard but I was immensely proud that I could make this - so apologies for the urge to share it with you!I have never considered myself a cake baker as such but this has totally inspired me and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
Thank you for the service,recipe s& advice! Hopefully contact you again in future for further purchases now the baking bug has bitten!

Love from Glasgow, Hanlie.

Hope you enjoy - we certainly enjoyed the cakes !!!!  Hayley

Hayley used our mini victoria sponge mould for these little beauties ...

Jill of has made some really lovely fondant filled chocolates - and some awesome boxes to match. You'll find various ones if you trawl her blog !

Jill used our 15 flower chocolate silicone bakeware mould for the above chocolates.

Janet White made these pretty white, milk and plain layered pyramid chocolates with our 15 cell pyramid chocolate mould

Hana Trundova at a coffee shop in Norwich (name withheld) has been using our 40 cell extra deep mini muffin mould in their small commercial oven.

Another stunning cake creation from Zurin at - this time carrot cake with a cream cheese icing. Made using our C A K E word mould.

Rustic Pistachio cake above is from Zucchero e Farina - see blog here

A chocolate and vanilla marble cake from Gordon ... made in one of our silicone bundt rings and baked in one of our halogen ovens

Last but not least - a seaside castle cake made by Lorraine for her kids. Love the little people !

Many thanks everyone for allowing me to show off your photographs. If any other blog readers have photos of things you have made in our silicone moulds and are happy to let us show off your photos... please do let us know. It's fantastic seeing all of your creations !