California-Sweet-And-Simple-Wedding-Cakes

Dark Cake Trends 2016

Dark Cake Trends 2016, fashions come and go but when it comes to baking 2016 is all about the dark and mysterious, the rich and decadent. Here are some of our favourites for our little corner of North Norfolk for the up and coming year, it’s darkly fascinating.BlackCherry

When you think of cake for weddings, birthdays or other celebrations a dark cake maybe isn’t neccesarily a first thought. Maybe nice old chocolate cake might hit the spot, but move over Mr Hum Drum Chocolate cake, reveal centre stage a rich dark fudgey chocolate cake made with a hint of coffee, or a delectable Guinness cake resplendent with a dreamy cream cheese topping. More often than not my special celebration orders are requests for my gingerbread cake and cinnamon frosting which has been a favourite for the past couple of years, along with new pal Salted Caramel and its glorious cascade of molten caramel with crunches of sea salt.  They’re partnering up on some occasions too – nothing says we’re having a party like calorific abandonment and pure cakery hedonism!!

sweetie cake

To whet the appetite we have firstly have a couple of cupcakes and big cakes after my own heart, we’ve added caramel popcorn, halved Maltesers, crunchie bars, fudge and other sweet treats with a good glug of caramel on a caramel cake and matching buttercream.

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Smartened up these topped cakes can be simply stunning with some precise dribbling and piping, crowned with buttery crumble on a sticky toffee inspired cake.

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A meeting in the middle from the naked cake fascination that still holds true and cake tables is a pudding cake.  Think of your favourite comfort puds and pile ’em up with Chantilly cream and beautifully shiny toffee sauce.  something for everyone, it’s a sure-fire winner!

California-Sweet-And-Simple-Wedding-Cakes

If there are no allergy sufferers amongst your number (of which we could cater for undoubtedly) there’s a rather smashing peanut thing going on out there. Peanutty hot drinks have been hitting the shops and Reese’s Peanut Cups are over here and have no fear. We love ’em.  Perfect for your fellow nut lovers out there.

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More dark and brooding naked cakes, there’s plenty for everyone to whet all appetites.

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If cultured and swish is favoured how about this immaculate black fondant covered cake with our favourite gold leaf technique on the base cake, simply stunning.  Evergreens compliment the black and gold to perfection. Adorable.

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Still comfortably in its groove is the faithful naked cake of 2014/15.  It’s a look that’s still going strong as a tall, dark silhouette adorned with seasonal fruits and blooms.

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If these or any of the other cakes on our site or blog have captured you imagination contact us on 07932 874576 or email us on bunsoffun@hotmail.co.uk.

 Winner of Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas 2015 ‘Gingerbread Lighthouse’ as_seen_on

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Christmas Treats

Christmas Treats are our #1 pastime in the kitchen at this time of year with so many spices and rich smells coming out of it. Particularly the wafts that create watering mouths, namely orange zest and dark chocolate, peppermint and vanilla. Homemade treats are something we get stuck into with the boys every year and it’s lovely to share with their friends and families. Christmas comes but once a year, with all that comes, we bring foody cheer!

Christmas mini-muffins

Make 24 mini muffins in cute individual cases – perfect for Christmas canapés or as a daily advent calendar-style treat.

mini-xmas-pudding-muffins

Ingredients

200g/7oz self-raising flour, sifted

100g/3½oz golden caster sugar

100ml/3½fl oz sunflower oil

75ml/2½fl oz milk

1 large free-range egg

50g/1¾oz qood quality dark chocolate, chopped

1 heaped tbsp high quality mincemeat

50g/1 ¾oz good quality white chocolate, chopped

50g/1¾oz dried (or fresh) cranberries

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and put 24 mini-muffin cases inside a mini-muffin tin.

Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, then make a well in the centre. Whisk together the oil, milk and egg and slowly pour into the bowl, stirring gently. Divide this mixture between two bowls. In one bowl add the dark chocolate and mincemeat. Add the white chocolate and cranberries to the other bowl. Stir very gently.

Divide the two mixtures among the 24 muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and risen.

Remove the muffins to a wire rack and eat warm.

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Bite-Sized Party Bark

You can have this party bark done from start to finish in an hour or less – about 15 minutes of prep, and the rest of the time for your bark to set.

With the help of a set of shaped ice cube trays or candy molds, a simple recipe like chocolate bark looks so much more festive.

What you will need:

White Chocolate to melt or use milk chocolate just as easily.  If you do, make sure you are using something that’s designed to melt easily.  How do you know?  Check to see what the melting instructions on the package are.  Avoid anything that doesn’t have melting instructions or it could go claggy…a technical term there for you.

You will also need something salty, something crunchy, something chewy, and something with nice color for a good recipe.  You don’t need to follow my recipe exactly – check your cupboards!  You probably have ingredients that will work.

What I used for 2 trays of treats (28 pieces):

1/2 package of Vanilla Candy Melts
2 Tbsp. chopped nuts (your preference)
2 Tbsp. toffee pieces or Smarties
2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips
1 oz. Craisins  (sorry, I don’t know how many Tbsp. that would be, I just had the individual packages on-hand for lunches, and I used one of them)

Stir all your mix-ins together, melt your chocolate and stir it often.  You can spoon your melted chocolate into the cube sections, but I’ve discovered that you can put it into an empty ketchup bottle or squeezy dressing container r(washed thoroughly of course) and squirt it that way.  No little candy strings that way, and you can put in exactly how much you want.

Sprinkle your toppings on.  Press them in just a little, to make sure that everything sticks.  You may wonder why we didn’t just stir the whole mixture together… I just find that this way is easier and prettier.  If you’d rather mix it and spoon it and smudge it around a lined baking tray – feel free! (picture attached)

Now, just cool your cases until they are solid.  If you’re in a rush, you can speed this process up by putting it in the fridge, though it’s not necessary – it will harden just was well on the counter.

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(These bite sized bark are from the Happy Hour Project)

Then, just pop them out.  If your trays are pretty rigid (like mine) I found that by twisting them like you would for ice, then turning it upside-down and giving each cavity a decent press on the bottom with a spoon handle, I got all of them to pop out without too much of an issue.  If you’re using silicone trays – it will be really easy.  Just press up on the bottoms and your bark will pop right out.

Then, just toss them on a plate to serve!

party bark

 Ho’ Cho’ Sticks – Hot Chocolate on a Stick makes about 45 treats

Ingredients:

3 candy canes for crushing
6 x 200g Melts or cooking chocolate
silver balls
100 g white chocolate for melting

Piping bag or zip lock

Ice trays for moulding, you can use shaped fun ones which might make less than 45 treats or the standard ice cube version which should get the full quota from this mix
Wooden teaspoons
Cellophane bags or sheet
Twist ties in Christmassy colours

Method:

Crush the candy canes and set aside.
Melt the milk chocolate according to package directions.
Fill the pastry bag or zip lock bag with the melted chocolate. If using a zip lock bag, snip off a corner.
Fill the trays by piping in the melted chocolate.
Leave to partially harden (about half an hour), then place the wooden teaspoon in each one. Sprinkle with some crushed candy canes and silver balls.
Leave to harden completely.

Melt the white chocolate according to package directions.
Carefully remove the chocolates from their moulds. Dip each in the white chocolate and then in more crushed candy canes and silver balls.
Leave to harden on a plate.

You can spread the work load over 3 days/evening. I melted and formed the treats the first day let them harden overnight. (I used the Wilton brownie bites pan.) I added the white chocolate glaze and the garnishes the second evening. I wrapped them and added the gift tags on the third day.

Package each treat with cellophane and a twisty tie.

choc spoon

 Crystallised Orange & Chocolate ‘More-Mores’

 Ingredients:

4 large unwaxed oranges, or 2 oranges and 2 lemons

Big bag of granulated sugar

 Method:

Cut the fruit into 8 wedges, and then cut out the flesh, leaving about 5mm thickness of peel and pith. Cut each wedge into 3-4 strips.

Put the peel in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 5 mins. Drain, return to the pan and re-cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 30 mins.

Set a sieve over a bowl and drain the peel, reserving the cooking water.

Add 100g sugar to each 100ml water you have. Pour into a pan and gently heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the peel and simmer for 30 mins until the peel is translucent and soft. Leave to cool in the syrup, then remove with a slotted spoon and arrange in 1 layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Put in the oven at the lowest setting for 30 mins to dry.

Sprinkle a layer of sugar over a sheet of baking parchment. Toss the strips of peel in the sugar, a few at a time, then spread out and leave for 1 hr or so to air-dry.

Pack the peel into an airtight storage jar or rigid container lined with baking parchment. Will keep for 6-8 weeks in a cool, dry place.

To make into a delicious gift, melt the chocolate in a small bowl.

Dip the candied orange peel into the chocolate to half-coat them, shaking off the excess. Put them on baking parchment to set, and then pack into small cellophane bags tied with ribbon or pretty kitchen string.

choc orange

 Vanilla Extract

A really simple ‘wow’ gift – perfect gift for a baker or ‘pretty kitchen’ lover – this is an all year round special gift.

Ingredients:

2 or 3 vanilla bean pods

Vodka

Method:

Place 2 or 3 vanilla beans in a bottle and cover with vodka. Let sit for 2-3 months (or more) and you’ve got the most amazing homemade vanilla extract. PLUS: you never have to replace it! – Just top off with fresh vodka when 1/3 of it is used and you’re good to go!

Pretty it up with a personalised label – we love these printables from the Botanical Printer Works that are free and good to go!

cookie

Reindeer Food

Ingredients:

Oats (the magic sort)

Edible glitter

Wishes and dreams (you’ll extra if you can’t get magic oats)

Method:

Place the magic oats, edible glitter and wishes & dreams in a bowl, mix well and scatter through the garden or on in a bowl on your front door step.

The reindeer will have a little bit of this while they wait for Father Christmas unload. The nicer your wishes and dreams the faster they fly.  Listen out for the jingle bells on the 24th!

Here’s a printable if you want to leave a note too.

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Have a great Christmas y’all x x

wedding show chat

Wedding Shows – Why You Should Go To One Copy

Wedding Fairs

There are many reasons to attend Wedding Shows and why you should go to at least one. As we dust the confetti out of our hair and settle into Wedding Show season this year’s brides we have baked for are remembered fondly for their beautiful, creative, sometime wacky creations and allowing us to make them.  A large percentage this year came from earlier Wedding shows. Here’s Buns’ Guide to Why, Where and a little bit more.

Image by Seahaze Photography

10985415_898897183473906_89246291176800049211_n

Who?

Looking on both sides of the coins we have Brides wanting inspiration and ideas or looking for something different or the next big trend. It’s a time when you can get up close and personal to look, feel or sample the items you covet most. You get to meet your potential supplier (I’m going to talk cake maker here, Hello!) you can strike up a working relationship and a cake compatibility conversation. It also works for us as suppliers, we can get a wider understanding of what makes a bride & groom tick, forthcoming trends and who is the decision maker ;0)

Cake by Buns of Fun, matching Posies by Flower30 and pictures by Chris Taylor Photography

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

What?

There will be butter creamed, ganached, piped and sugar crafted cakes galore with sampling to boot (and not s single calorie is noted at wedding fairs – how liberating!) there are acres of fabric for brides and bridesmaids with dresses a aplenty, shiny rings, headwear, crisp menswear, try a sip of something to toast with, swoon in delight at the array of colours, textures and scents from the florists. There’s so much to take it make a note of what you really want to look at but be adventurous and have a look and chat to everyone –if they can’t help they might know who to recommend. You can expect a high standard of showmanship from us as a WOW Team collectively. We’re here (there?) to meet you, talk about your ideas and have a look in that old diary to see if ultimately it’s all do-able.

cupcake partiespin5mint

Where?

Soon my pretties…soon… More to the point where are we? Norfolk Brides at Oxnead Hall in Aylsham is flying high on our cake-dar as it’s this weekend, Sunday 11th October. The first event for Norfolk Brides at this prestigious venue and we must say it looks stunning – very exciting! Next on my excitement indicator is The Most Unusual Wedding Fair at the gorgeous Godwick Great Hall, we were at this one last year and it rocked. We saw lots of very happy brides & grooms and brides & brides who have already tied the knot with Buns of Fun officiating the cakery. Early next year is The Most Curious Wedding Fair in Norwich March 20th, this beautifully creative and artistic culmination of excellent artisans in a very atmospheric ancient City church. Another high flier for filling the diary with amazing ideas and inventive couples. We can’t wait!

11992412_10153599066251543_1807355792_nTMUWF-2015-text-logo-badge-circular-200pxvelvet+johnstone_most+curious+wedding+fair

Why?

If we’ve made it to a Wedding Fair you can bet your bottom dollar we are fully insured for public and private events. If you’re getting married locally you’re probably attending a wedding show near you. You can be assured that if we’ve arrived with cakes / flowers / favours or whatever we are demonstrating you can be happy in the knowledge we’ll get to your event in one piece too. We’re fully insured with public liability, have a grade 5 award for Food Hygiene from North Norfolk District Council, Food Allergen trained by ABC Food Law, Norwich, attended Peggy Porchens piping master class, Belgravia, London and awarded High Commended for Beautiful Baking with EDP Food & Drink Awards. We’ve also appeared in numerous articles in print (Brides magazine, Wedding magazine, Your Perfect Wedding, Your East Anglian Wedding) and blogs worldwide  Burnetts boards, b.loved, Festival Brides, Want That Wedding, Wedding Sparrow, Wedding Bazaar

bloved badgefestival brides badgestyle me pretty2015perfect wedding badge WS_FEATURED_BADGE_Blush

Where ever you’re heading to for Wedding inspiration or to find your cake maker, florist or dress maker please check they are insured, have relevant accreditations or certificates you make sure you have the most fabulous stress free day of your life.

food standarsds EDP Norfolk FADA HCnfad-pink-tp-md

 

 

 

wedding show chat

Wedding Shows – Why You Should Go To One Copy

Wedding Fairs

There are many reasons to attend Wedding Shows and why you should go to at least one. As we dust the confetti out of our hair and settle into Wedding Show season this year’s brides we have baked for are remembered fondly for their beautiful, creative, sometime wacky creations and allowing us to make them.  A large percentage this year came from earlier Wedding shows. Here’s Buns’ Guide to Why, Where and a little bit more.

Image by Seahaze Photography

10985415_898897183473906_89246291176800049211_n

Who?

Looking on both sides of the coins we have Brides wanting inspiration and ideas or looking for something different or the next big trend. It’s a time when you can get up close and personal to look, feel or sample the items you covet most. You get to meet your potential supplier (I’m going to talk cake maker here, Hello!) you can strike up a working relationship and a cake compatibility conversation. It also works for us as suppliers, we can get a wider understanding of what makes a bride & groom tick, forthcoming trends and who is the decision maker ;0)

Cake by Buns of Fun, matching Posies by Flower30 and pictures by Chris Taylor Photography

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

Photo by Chris Taylor

What?

There will be butter creamed, ganached, piped and sugar crafted cakes galore with sampling to boot (and not s single calorie is noted at wedding fairs – how liberating!) there are acres of fabric for brides and bridesmaids with dresses a aplenty, shiny rings, headwear, crisp menswear, try a sip of something to toast with, swoon in delight at the array of colours, textures and scents from the florists. There’s so much to take it make a note of what you really want to look at but be adventurous and have a look and chat to everyone –if they can’t help they might know who to recommend. You can expect a high standard of showmanship from us as a WOW Team collectively. We’re here (there?) to meet you, talk about your ideas and have a look in that old diary to see if ultimately it’s all do-able.

cupcake partiespin5mint

Where?

Soon my pretties…soon… More to the point where are we? Norfolk Brides at Oxnead Hall in Aylsham is flying high on our cake-dar as it’s this weekend, Sunday 11th October. The first event for Norfolk Brides at this prestigious venue and we must say it looks stunning – very exciting! Next on my excitement indicator is The Most Unusual Wedding Fair at the gorgeous Godwick Great Hall, we were at this one last year and it rocked. We saw lots of very happy brides & grooms and brides & brides who have already tied the knot with Buns of Fun officiating the cakery. Early next year is The Most Curious Wedding Fair in Norwich March 20th, this beautifully creative and artistic culmination of excellent artisans in a very atmospheric ancient City church. Another high flier for filling the diary with amazing ideas and inventive couples. We can’t wait!

11992412_10153599066251543_1807355792_nTMUWF-2015-text-logo-badge-circular-200pxvelvet+johnstone_most+curious+wedding+fair

Why?

If we’ve made it to a Wedding Fair you can bet your bottom dollar we are fully insured for public and private events. If you’re getting married locally you’re probably attending a wedding show near you. You can be assured that if we’ve arrived with cakes / flowers / favours or whatever we are demonstrating you can be happy in the knowledge we’ll get to your event in one piece too. We’re fully insured with public liability, have a grade 5 award for Food Hygiene from North Norfolk District Council, Food Allergen trained by ABC Food Law, Norwich, attended Peggy Porchens piping master class, Belgravia, London and awarded High Commended for Beautiful Baking with EDP Food & Drink Awards. We’ve also appeared in numerous articles in print (Brides magazine, Wedding magazine, Your Perfect Wedding, Your East Anglian Wedding) and blogs worldwide  Burnetts boards, b.loved, Festival Brides, Want That Wedding, Wedding Sparrow, Wedding Bazaar

bloved badgefestival brides badgestyle me pretty2015perfect wedding badge WS_FEATURED_BADGE_Blush

Where ever you’re heading to for Wedding inspiration or to find your cake maker, florist or dress maker please check they are insured, have relevant accreditations or certificates you make sure you have the most fabulous stress free day of your life.

food standarsds EDP Norfolk FADA HCnfad-pink-tp-md

 

 

 

‘Spring’ into Baking

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb – that’s what it sounds like when talking about my favourite thing to grow in the garden.  I love this time of year when the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs are waking up – the old caveman instinct is to eat green and try new shoots.  Today in our garden the sap is rising and rhubarb is audibly creaking out of the ground. Checking under the cloches to see the tender new growth is very exciting – I’m like the Bisto kid imagining a wishful smell of freshly baked rhubarb goodies. Some of which I’ve popped below.  The new shoots are great with a dab of sugar on the open end and eaten raw so I have our much-loved tried and tested Rhubarb Mojito to share with you.  My mama is also quite partial – we first discovered this a few years ago on Mothers Day after spending the morning on our windswept North Norfolk beach then rallied home to sample the gardens finest offering.

Now let’s get cracking with that Mojito..

rhubarb mojito

rhubarb mojito

Single serving so increase quantities as per person.

2 large or 3 small stalks of rhubarb

2 tablespoons of sugar

4 leaves of mint

1/4 lime

60 ml white rum

Splash of soda water, maybe…

Method

Thinly slice the rhubarb and place it in a dish with the sugar – you can let it sit while you prep the other ingredients or put in the fridge overnight.  If you go for the fridge option (always my favourite) you still have the crunchy slices but additionally all this amazing rhubarb syrup, lovely on a spoon or add it to your Mojito for extra rhurbarbyness.

Put the rhubarb and mint in a shaker, squeeze in the lime and add the crushed wedge for good measure.  Fill with ice to the top and pour in the rum and rhubarb syrup if you have any left.  Shake really, REALLY well and pour into a tall glass, if you need a dash of soda water now is the time.  Sit back and admire one of Springs new shoots.

Also in the alcoholic vein, if you’re partial to a drop of easy peasy jujshing up of a bottle of Voddy, roll up, roll up….

rhubodka

‘Rhubodka’

1 x 1.75-litre bottle of vodka – bottom shelf cheap vodka is fine for this as you’re adding the natural beauty.
4-5 sticks of red rhubarb (not sour green)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
A large jar with lid

Cut the rhubarb into 1/2″ to 1″ chunks.

Add everything to the jar and mix well, either by shaking the or stirring with a long-handled spoon.

Store in a cool, dark place. Shake or stir the jar daily.

That’s it.

The vodka will be ready in a month. Strain out the rhubarb and give it a taste test.

Rhubarb vodka can be added to:
• Tonic water
• Soda water
• Lemonade

rhubarb cake-0827

gluten free upside down rhubarb cake

This a little bit more ‘different stagey’ but worth it.  Also it’s in US measurements, if you don’t have cups here’s a whizzy conversion I use from Doves Farm

4 C* (cups) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch cubes ( about 1 ¼ lb)
1 1/4 cup sugar –divide                              4 tbsp butter
1 T fresh lemon juice                                   2 tsp vanilla extract divided
pinch salt
4 eggs, separated into 4 egg yolks and 4 egg whites, room temperature
zest from one lemon                                     ¼ teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 cups ground almond flour              1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar           Icing sugar for sprinkling

instructions

Pre heat your oven to 375 F Oven (temperature converter from Doves too – they are most helpful!  You know what it’s like when you have cookery books and no idea what it is in ‘English’)

So over medium heat, melt butter in a pan, add rhubarb, ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice, 2 tsp vanilla and pinch salt and stir for 2 minutes, just until combined and sugar has dissolved. Turn heat off – don’t keep cooking the rhubarb, you do so at your peril, it will become soggy.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with lemon zest, cardamom and ¼ cup sugar, until creamy and sugar has dissolved. Then whisk to combine almond flour, pinch salt, and baking powder.

Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir to incorporate. You will have a very thick heavy batter at this point.

In a mixer, whisk egg whites on medium high-speed, and once you see bubbles add a pinch of salt and tsp vinegar. Whip until egg whites have formed soft peaks then add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time whipping until medium stiff peaks form. Turn speed to down to medium low and begin spooning in the flour – egg yolk batter, a heaping spoonful at a time, into the egg whites, until it is all combined, and scraping downs sides as necessary.

Pour batter over rhubarb in a spring form pan and place in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or so.  At 30 minutes, check for ‘doneness’ by inserting a skewer – If it comes out clean, it is done, if not, bake a bit longer. Pull from the oven and immediately, let it cool before removing sides and flipping onto a plate.

You are good to go with calories and cream, grab a fork and take a seat!

Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 55 mins Makes 6-8 servings

rhubarb cake-0783

Rhubarb curd

(from the ‘Beautiful Bakin’ Co’ aka BBC Good Food) We love this and it never hangs around long – I can’t wait until we have enough to whip up a batch. A bit lengthy but well worth the wait.

  • 600g forced rhubarb, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g butter, diced
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • splash of grenadine (optional)

Method

  1. Put the rhubarb in a blender or food processor and whizz until as fine as it will go. Set a sieve over a bowl, and tip in the rhubarb, pushing pulp with a wooden spoon to get through as much juice as you can.
  2. Add the eggs, butter, cornflour, sugar and 250ml rhubarb juice (save the rest) to a pan and set over a very low heat. Whisk until all the butter has melted, then, using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the curd has thickened to a consistency a little thicker than custard. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat to speed up the process, as the eggs will curdle; make sure you stir right around the edge, too, as this is where it might catch first.
  3. Sieve the curd into a clean bowl to get rid of any eggy bits that may have curdled. Stir in 100ml more of the reserved juice and a small splash of grenadine if you would like your curd a bit pinker, before chilling. Once cold, taste – add a splash more rhubarb juice if it needs sharpening, then spoon into jars. The curd will keep, stored in the fridge, for up to a week. Eat on scones, crumpets or hot buttered toast, or dollop into sweet pastry cases to make mini curd tarts.

rhubarb ‘leather’

Super chewy, great for school pick-ups, long walks, fat free snacking…

500g rhubarb, washed and chopped into 1cm pieces (no need to peel) 3 tbsp honey (or, to taste)

Method

Combine the rhubarb and 80ml water in a saucepan then add the honey and bring to a simmer.

Cook until the rhubarb begins to soften then take off the heat to cool slightly.

Place in a blender and purée until smooth then pass through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any large pieces of skin (press down with the back of a spoon to get the most liquid out).

You should end up with about 500ml of purée.

rhurbarb

Now line a baking tray with heat-proof clingfilm (the kind you can microwave).

Note that an average baking tray (about 30cm x 42cm) will hold about 500ml of purée.

Add the purée to the covered baking tray, spread evenly with a spatula (you want a depth of about 4mm) then place in an oven pre-heated to 140°C.

Place the baking tray in the oven but leave the door ajar (you want the steam to escape, as you are drying the leather) and cook for about 6 hours, or until the fruit leather is very dry. The exact drying time will depend on the sugar levels, the more sugar the longer it will take to dry.

The leather must be completely dry, or it will not keep. To ensure the leather is dry simply try to pull it away from the clingfilm (plastic wrap).

If it comes away easily and holds its shape then it is dry (make sure it’s not too dry though, as then it will crumble bit it can still be eaten as a sweet treat).

To store, cover the fruit leather in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and roll loosely.  Place in a clean, dry container and seal (I typically use a pasta jar with a bung).  It will keep in the store cupboard for between 4 and 12 months or you can refrigerate and keep even longer.

There you go, rhubarb a plenty if you’re lucky enough to have crowns growing plentifully this Spring, if you don’t grow your own go for the lovely pinky and red stalks in your local grocers.

Bon apetit x

MostCurious2_n

Most Curious, Most Fantastical

Image:Esther Ling Photography at Most Curious Wedding Fair – St Andrews Norwich 8th Feb 2015

Last weekend I had the most distinct pleasure of meeting some new folks who are newly and entirely focused on planning their Wedding.   Chiefly planning cakes if they were in front of me! Armed with notepads,  brain clouds and Pintrest boards, amazing ideas and creative quirks…tall cakes, small cakes and everything thing in between.  The one that stole the show for us was our midnight ‘Eureka!’ moment.

In a deep dark cosy slumber one night a cheeky little buttercream number formed in a little dream bubble – after a mad little scribbly doodle the idea grew in the morning light into a barrel of gingerbread and lemon sponge layer massaged with softly scented vanilla pod screed buttercream, adorned with a heady concoction of embedded freshly pressed herbs.

The breadth of imagination from the to-be-marrieds by providing the canvas of cake was sweetly staggering, so we are offering a bashful thank you to all those who subscribed to one of Buns dreams.  Literally.  One of our favourites has to be a couple who have one of the grandads is making a copper tandem bicycle to prop against the cake – like the riders have just hopped off into the herbs meadow for a breather.. We are adorning cakes  with bunting, flags, fruit and flowers.  Barrel cakes are being given the fusion treatment – chocolate fudge base layers with gingerbread and cream cheese centres with lush lemon sponge and lemon curd at the top.  Totally funky and tongue twisting – why not make your day more memorable with an element of Curious?

Picture: Sea Haze Photography at Most Curious Wedding Fair – St Andrews Norwich 8th Feb 2015

Another quirk of the day was sampling gingerbread cake with a fresh zesty cream cheese swirl,  instead of the usual fayre of a fresh strawberry Victoria sponge or indulgent fudgey chocolate cake.  Ginger’s where it’s at for Buns’, as a self-confessed ginger nut I love gingerbread with all my bakers heart.  It’s warming, comforting and has an intoxicating aroma when baking.

As a seasonal nod to Pancake Day on February 17th this year I’m going to be making a batch of these beauties from The Telegraph with my small boys and big one this year.

Gingerbread pancakes with stem ginger syrup recipe

Gingerbread pancakes

SERVES
4-6

INGREDIENTS
220g/8oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g/3oz soft light brown sugar
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
600ml/1 pint buttermilk
50g/2oz melted butter, plus extra to fry

Stem ginger syrup
75g/3oz stem ginger, finely chopped, plus 100ml/3½fl oz ginger syrup
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp runny honey
Zest of 1 orange

 Whipped cream, to serve

METHOD
Make the syrup first. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan with 2 tbsp water and bring to a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat to infuse and keep warm.

To make the pancakes, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, spices and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk and melted butter and stir into the flour mixture until the batter is thick and smooth, but don’t overmix.

In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter until just incorporated.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and brush lightly with melted butter. Drop two or three large dollops of batter into the pan to make pancakes about 8cm/3in across. When bubbles appear on the surface (after about two to three minutes), flip the pancakes over and cook on the other side until browned.

Transfer to plates and spoon over the warmed syrup before serving with a dollop of whipped cream.  Cwoooor – what’s not to love?  Who’s in!

Staying with my love a little longer (well, it is nearly Valentines day)..

How about a homemade Ginger liquor?

Featured in Serious Eats This homemade ginger liqueur tastes so elegant that folks will not believe you made it yourself.  The steeping time is very short, so this is a perfect DIY holiday gift…if you can bear to part with some.

Notes:
Peeling ginger with a spoon allows you to navigate the curves and bumps more easily than using a peeler. Store as you would any liqueur—no refrigeration is required. This should keep for a year, but if it develops off flavors or a cloudy appearance, discard it.  (If you can keep it longer than a few months you’re doing better than us!)

DIY Ginger Liqueur

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces ginger root
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy
Peel the ginger and cut it into thin slices. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.
Bring the ginger, vanilla, sugar, and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until ginger is soft—about 20 minutes. Let the syrup cool. Do not strain yet.
Zest the orange and place the zest only in a sealable glass container along with the syrup and brandy. Seal and shake, then let this mixture steep for one day.
After one day, remove the vanilla bean and let the mixture steep for an additional day.
Strain mixture through a coffee filter into your bottle or jar for storage. Let it sit for one more day before using to let flavours mellow.’
I hope you all have a great weekend, Valentines day and Pancake Day x x

Friday’s Quickie – Seven Spectacular Pins

As a Pinpest sometimes I find it hard to sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak, there’s oodles of cakes to choose from on Pintrest.  A bewilderment of baking some may say.  Stop – take a minute and admire the craveable creations we’ve Pinned this week.  It was a toughy to stop at seven..

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I adore the natural fell of these two cakes and that greenery is gorgeous whether on a buttercream cake or a more traditional cake tower.

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We’re experimenting with doodles on cakes so watch this space for Buns brushstrokes..

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Lastly, florals in any way or shape we love ’em!  We’re also partial to a bit of bling!

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Buns of Fun is 5 years old!

BUNS STARTED life at the kitchen table in North Norfolk and went on lots of beach picnics in the guise of freshly baked cupcakes, brownies and traybakes.  Coupled with a not-so-sober Burns Night where I made little Fimo babies for my guests as their place settings – Buns of Fun took shape that very evening.  Our Buns are lovingly created using fresh Norfolk ingredients where ever we can as Norfolk food tastes GREAT!  We’re so lucky to live here, Norfolk is a passionate foodie who can be found bursting from the hedgerows and fields in the height of Summer, nestling like little fruity jewels in berry bushes, gathering morning frost or dew in herbaceous beds.  Not to mention chickens with a Norfolk ‘cluck’ and Cooo’s with a milky moo.

TO CELEBRATE our 5th birthday we have a little venture for you – create a cupcake flavour or flavour combination and we’ll make the Winner half a dozen winning cupcakes to enjoy!*  You can have your favourite or unusual blends, what’s not to love!  Simply pop over to our Facebook page to ‘Like’ it, ‘Share’ our page and submit your recipe blend for our choosy panel of one (me) to pick a Winner by Burns Night 25th January. Win Cupcakes 5yo

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buns-of-Fun-Bespoke-CupCakes-and-Big-Ones-for-All-Occasions/165815876775637

*Please note this is only open to UK residents

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And we’re off!

Happy New Year!  And a cracking one it is so far – long may it continue.  With an avalanche of emails received over the festive period I’m just about top side of quotes now – phew!  I resolve to be a bit more organised outside the kitchen this year.

Excitingly Buns of Fun turns 5 years old in February 2015 – there’ll be more on that soon.  Later on this year this site will be the primary online connection with buns of Fun as well as our Facebook page – bookmark us now.  We have all sorts of posts in Instagram too, look for the #bunsoffun posts or follow us. Simples.

And if you like your finger on the foodie pulse have a shot of this on Fed Up & Drunk.

http://fedupanddrunk.com/2015/01/01/whats-hot-whats-not-the-ultimate-foodie-guide/