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My mum’s birthday was this week and we went out for a birthday meal on Thursday to celebrate, I asked the pub ahead of time if I could bring a cake which they agreed to. My mum loves Caramac bars so I decided to make her a vanilla and chocolate swirl cake with Caramac decorations.

The most challenging part of this cake was finding a lot of Caramac at a reasonable price, with supermarkets wanting £1.50 per bar and shops online catering more to wholesale (I didn’t need 25 or 50 bars of Caramac!). I eventually found the bars at 3 for £1 in our local pound shop. 🙂

The meal was lovely! They were holding a grill and steak night, I had roast garlic chicken breast with peppercorn sauce and chips. There was also garlic bread and salad to share as sides. My mum had cumberland sausage (pictured below) and dad had a steak. My sister and her friend came to the meal and Ryan joined us all later after work. It was a really good evening. 🙂

For the cake, I used the same recipe as the Star Trek cake I made for my dad’s birthday in July, you can find it below. Along with how I decorated the cake.

You will need

For the cake:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon water
  • 35g coca powder

For the frosting:

  • 2 cup unsalted butter, softened (but not melted)
  • 5 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons water

To decorate:

  • Caramac bars
  • Salted caramel

Method

For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 180ºC

Combine together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the butter and beat until creamy and smooth.

Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and water until smooth and creamy.

Remove 8 tbsp of the mixture and place in a smaller bowl and set aside.

Pour the cake batter into your cake pan.

Combine the coca powder with the mixture you set aside and stir well. Then spoon this into the mixture in the tin and using a rounded knife, gently swirl through.

Note: You can also swirl it in the bowl itself but you’ll also need to re-swirl once it’s in the cake pan.

Bake until the cake is lightly golden and slightly firm, for about 30-40 minutes.
Leave to cool then transfer to a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter until creamy.

Add the confectioners (powdered) sugar into the mixing bowl and stir well.

Frost the cake (I used a pallet knife) and smooth over it. I used two coats.

Cut up the Caramac bars and place around the edge of the cake, I used 28 in total.

I had thought to melt up the remaining Caramac bars and use that for the drizzle, however after speaking with Ryan agreed with him that this may have been too overpowering. So we used salted caramel and broken pieces of Caramac and grated Caramac on top, afterwards we decided to melt up some of the Caramac and had a little Caramac drizzle too.

Viola!

Mum really liked it.

On Saturday we should be out for more celebrating as most of us were at work on the Thursday. 🙂



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Drive-in or outdoor movie screenings aren’t common in the UK, I wish they were! I have never been to one (well, until now that is). I’ve only heard of one company that offers outdoor movie screenings and that’s
Lunar Cinema.


Lunar Cinema
screen movies across the UK using pop up cinemas, so they’re not solely in one location and this weekend they were showing two movies near us. Grease on Saturday evening and Back to the Future on Sunday evening.

Ryan and I are fans of Back to the Future so booked tickets as soon as they were available online for the outdoor screening. There’s also the opportunity to buy blankets and back rests as well as pre order food and drink online but they also encourage you to bring your own blankets or picnic chairs to sit on and you can bring your own food and drink (all drinks must be consumed in plastic cups for health and safety reasons). We decided to bring our own and packed a picnic for the evening.

As well as a picnic we packed a couple of lidded cinema cups, blankets, picnic chairs and my penguin print power bank (portable electronic charger).

While waiting for movie to start the organisers had a game of “pass the parcel”, where we chucked around two large plus doughnuts around to music and when the music stopped the person or people holding the doughnuts won a prize. I managed to catch one when music stopped and won some fudge. 🙂

There was also a Twitter selfie competition to win V.I.P. seating on a bed with a free mini bar! We didn’t win which was just as well as the bed looked too comfy we may have fallen asleep in it! Lol.

The whole experience was great, we loved the atmosphere and watching a film under the stars and will definitely be looking at going to another Luna Cinema screening in the future. We had a lot of fun at this one.

I’m hoping they do a screening of Grease neare us again as some of us were singing along to Johnny be good at the Back to the Future screening, so a Grease sing-a-long would be great. Or I’d love to see Jurassic Park.

Next time we’re packing hats, gloves and a blanket for the ground as our feet began to get damp from the dew on the grass, just in case. I’ll probably also pack a Summer scarf.



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My partner, Ryan, will be doing a 10k run this Sunday 14th August with Race4Men Gloucester to raise money for Cancer Research UK. 

While us ladies have the well-estbalished, long running Race4Life charity runs, Race4Men is relatively new. It is aimed at men and was started in 2009 by a Gloucester man when one of his friends was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

This year’s charity event takes place at Plock Court, Longford, Gloucester and the race starts at 11am onwards. If you’re in the area, please come and support the racers or if you could please spread the word.

As well as the race, there will be live music, a bar, food stalls, a bouncy castle and fairground games.

Ryan has chosen Cancer Research UK and the Race4Men charity event as the charity is very close to him, as the disease has affected some of his family members. Please help out by donating whatever you can or spreading the word.

Ryan is raising mone offline with a sponsorship form and online through his JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Hope to see some of you there! 🙂