Rainbows and Smiles

10291854_10154031925635346_1747914046365390881_nA couple of weekends ago we celebrated my beautiful Nan’s 80th birthday, and I promised I would write a post about our weekend. Of course I didn’t get time, but I had to at least share the cake with you. I made this 6 layer rainbow cake by following the basic recipe at Kerry Cooks: http://kerrycooks.com/easy-6-layer-rainbow-cake-step-by-step/ BUT, get this, I had to use TRIPLE the ingredients…it was a BIG cake! That included 18 eggs, 3 tubs of dairy free spread, over 1kg sugar…you see I am not always health obsessed! Depending on how greedy your friends are I would say this would serve 20.

I made some of my own additions and changes. I added lemon zest to the sponge and of course it was made with Pure spread and so was dairy free. I also couldn’t use her cream cheese frosting, so I made my own lemon frosting, with Pure spread, icing sugar, lemon juice and super white powder food colouring, because the bright colours really do look great against bright white. If you are not dairy free you can use Lurpak to make a lighter frosting, therefore needing less white colouring to get the desired shade.

P1020668

All of the other colours were the same as the ones Kerry used, except for purple I used Sugarflair pastel colours in ‘Lavender’ and it turned out perfectly. You must use professional gel colours in order for this cake to be a success, not just supermarket gels or regular liquid food colouring. Just add a little bit at a time until it is as bright as you want it.

P1020664

My tins were 26cm, and so took a little longer to cook. I would say it was about 30 mins per layer. The sponge was lovely and putting each layer in the fridge wrapped in cling film before decorating definitely helped! All in all the cake was simple to make, just slightly time consuming.

P1020685I wanted the inside of the cake to be a surprise so I covered it in the white lemon frosting, and then decorated it with yellow to match the lemon theme. I love yellow and I love lemon cake, reminds me of spring time and happiness. I would say lemon cake is nice and light too, but this probably can’t be described as light if you have a 6 layer slice, like I did!

photo 1

I also made this lovely bunting with my Nan’s name on it, out of thread, cocktail sticks and thin card. I stamped her name onto separate card, cut out the circles and stuck them to the flags. The flags are just folded over the thread and then glued together. It looked very pretty and girly, and added to the summery vibes!

My Nan loved it and everyone was commenting on how beautiful it was…and then she cut into it and revealed the wonderful rainbow! It went down a storm and tasted delicious.

10294254_10154031926600346_623581644335760576_n

P1020727P1020725

P1020724

Advertisements

Happy Families

I have decided that weekends shall be dedicated to lots of photo’s and telling you all about what we have been up to, I will reserve the more serious stuff for weekdays.

We have had such a lovely weekend. The glorious sunshine definitely helps! We were up very early Saturday and Sunday (5am ish) which makes it a little difficult to crawl out of bed but actually means that our days last forever, which isn’t a bad thing with weather like this, countryside to die for and plenty of QT together!

Saturday we explored Tring for the first time. There wasn’t much to explore to be honest! But it was nice just to walk around and have a little window shop. We did find a cutesy shop that sold some lovely ‘barefoot’ style baby shoes which I may have to treat Poppy to when she is tottering about. We also got stopped, much to our amusement, by a lady who worked for NCT who wanted our photo. She said that she is always trying to promote baby wearing and we just looked ‘so cool!’ Poppy was awake at this point too so we all posed for the camera! Hopefully she is going to email us the image (as well as printing it on to NCT posters and leaflets!!!) so when she does I will share it on here; it is rare we get a snapshot of us all together.

photo 2

After our little walk we were dying for a cup of coffee and slice of cake. Of course my dairy ban makes this somewhat of a challenge when out and about. We stumbled across a little vegetarian cafe called Anusia, and boy am I glad we did! They had vegan carrot cake and flap jack, coconut milk so that I could have a proper latte, fresh juices, smoothies and even a glorious green smoothie! I also noticed a few packets of dairy and gluten free bite sized snacks at the till, which looked like the sort of things I would make myself. It had a lovely atmosphere and a play area upstairs (although we didn’t go up, but will definitely be back.) It was very eco friendly and virtually all organic – basically my idea of heaven! We both indulged in the carrot cake which was to die for, Tim had a ferrero rocher hot chocolate and I had a coconut milk gingerbread latte. photo 1We then shared a green juice, which Poppy tried and couldn’t get enough of!!! She was literally thrusting her tongue toward the glass, it was hilarious. Next time we will definitely be trying their lunch menu, and I have no doubt we will become regulars.

http://anusiacafe.co.uk/

When we got home we took Poppy to the park for the first time! She went on the swings and seemed to like it! (click to enlarge photo’s)

Sunday morning I got my 6th Montessori assignment finished nice and early, whilst Tim walked Oscar with Poppy for about 3 miles. By the time he got home I had made us a delicious cous cous salad picnic and we set off to Ashridge National Trust estate. It was so busy because of the weather. We put a blanket down so that Poppy could have a practice at crawling, she is so close! She also enjoyed looking at some of the books Grannie gave her the other day. We had our salad (despite the smell of burgers and hot dogs wafting from the cafe) which I will post the recipe for soon, and Poppy had some banana, which she really enjoyed squishing. She is taking things to her mouth perfectly, and occasionally swallowing teeny bits, but I think that is by accident! Oscar seems to hang around a lot when Poppy is eating….

photo 4

It was lovely to just relax in the sun and watch families enjoying the outdoors; children learning to ride bikes, grandparents putting their feet up and dogs chasing about. We had a nice long walk and talked about having more babies (eventually). Oscar loved it, and was so well behaved. Poppy slept in the carrier and woke up when we got back to the cafe. We treated ourselves again to a slice of cake (mine was dairy free chocolate and banana! I love this place!) and coffee. I have to tell you that the picture of Tim with the scone as big as his head….he had already eaten half of it. Just before we left we visited the shop and I couldn’t resist buying a little mug for Poppy, as I remember my first mug I used to have at my Nan’s house, it had my name on it and she still has it. Hopefully Poppy’s will last as long!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were hoping to make it to the NCT nearly new sale in Cheddington but it was over by the time we got home. Instead we had a glass of red wine in the garden, played cards and listened to music. It is now 7pm, Poppy is in bed and we are about to tuck in to a big roast dinner. I can’t post this right now though as my photo’s need to be uploaded from my phone, so I will finish off tomorrow.

It is days like these that make me feel like I am living someone else’s life, those people you envy for having such wonderful lives and perfect families! Of course that isn’t always the reality, but just for a couple of days it is nice to think so.

photo-3