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Mum’s birthday is next week but we’re celebrating this weekend with breakfast out, a bit of shopping and an evening meal. My job is to bring the cake!

Mum loves The Magic Roundabout, especially the characters Brian and Zebedee, so I decided to make cake themed around that. I decided on a flake cake because 1. She likes flakes and 2. I’ve done similar cakes to this (with chocolate fingers) before and she says she loves them.

I used a 8″ round cake pan and a lemon cake recipe (her favourite). sheet pan and used a vanilla sponge receipe for the cake itself. Again, i used the Wilton cake release and it popped out easily.

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To decorate, I used vanilla buttercream tinted green to resemble grass. As always, I started with a crumb coat and left it in the fridge to set for approx 20 minutes.

Next I added a thicker layer of buttercream and smoothed over with a pallet knife.

I cut the flakes in half and stuck around the cake (see photo), the buttercream held them on well. I needed 18 flakes cut in half to cover the whole cake. It was difficult putting the flakes around the cake as they kept crumbling.

Put the cake in the fridge again to set for approx 15 minutes until the icing is firm.

I opted for Brian to go on top of the cake (sorry Zebedee), I’m a beginner at fondant figures and thought he would be the easier option, plus my mum recently got a tattoo of Brian on her leg so it’s fitting.

Here’s Brian!
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I’ve very pleased with him for a first attempt. :-) The hat and antenna were the most challenging parts, in the end I used spaghetti with a fondant ball on top for the latter!!

The finished cake:
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I haven’t done much new on the cooking front lately, I’ve been busy, also London Film and Comic Con was last weekend – tiring (!) but amazing. :-) This week I made this Chilli con carne with rice and cheesy naan bread.

You will need
300g mince meat
1 cup long grain rice
1 tin of 420g kidney beans, drained
1 tin of 400g chopped tomatoes
1 cup of cold water
Grated cheese (optional – for the naan bread)
2 naan bread (I admit mine were store bought)
1 packet mix of chilli powder (I used Schwartz hot chilli con carne)

Method
Add rice and a pinch of salt (if required) to a large pan of boiling water. Stir once then reduce the heat, cover and
simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Drain in a sieve and set aside.

Pan fry the mince meat in oil on a medium heat.

While the meat is browning, drain the beans and add to a sauce pan with oil. Add the tomatoes and chilli powder mix with a cup of cold water and stir.

Once the mince is cooked add this to the beans and tomatoes, mix well and leave to simmer. The aim is to evaporate most of the water.

Add grated cheese to the naan bread (optional) and oven cook according to the pack instructions.

Serve and enjoy!



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My dad’s birthday was this weekend, he really enjoys the Despicable Me films so I decided to bake him a minion cake.

My first ever character cake!

I used a 9″ x 13″ sheet pan and used a vanilla sponge receipe for the cake itself. The one I use is designed for a 7″ round tin but it worked well for this – no batter spillage and baked well! Yay!

Wilton cake release is a God send – the cake popped easily out of the pan! I buy mine from Lakeland.

I added round sprinkles for a ‘funfetti’ cake and chocolate curls

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To make the cake look like a minion cake, I followed this image from Pinterest as a guide (after making the cake I found Betty Crocker actually has a full tutorial! There method is a little different):
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Here’s how I did it…

Make sure to let the cake cool completely before cutting or decorating!

Cut the edges of the cake to make an oblong shape.

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Trim one end flat – this will be the bottom of the cake where the top of the minion’s trousers will be. I cut approx 2″.

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For the frosting I used store bought vanilla and tinted approx 3/4 of it yellow.

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Add a crumb coat to the cake with a thin layer of frosting and leave in the fridge to set – I left mine for approx 20 minutes.

Next add a thicker layer of frosting and smooth over with a pallet knife or spatula. It took 3 coatings to cover my cake but this was probably due to the funfetti sprinkles showing through. I suggest at least 2 coatings.

Put the cake in the fridge again to set for approx 15 minutes until the icing is firm.

For the blue trousers and facial features I used blue, black and white rolling icing and a blue edible pen for the details.

Using the black icing add an outline to the blue trousers and roll thin sausages shapes for the mouth and hair.

Cut out a circle from the white icing for the minion’s eye and add to the top centre of the cake, I used a small black circle for the pupil and a thin sausage shape for the outline. You will also need to roll 2 thick sausage shapes for the straps of the googles.

Add the mouth and hair prepared previously to the minion and add details, as required, to the trousers.

The finished cake:
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Not perfect and there are a few things I’d do differently if I tried this or a character cake again but I’m really pleased with it. :-)