Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
May 1st, 2011

Rhubarb, Vanilla and Sour Cream Crumb Cake

I can’t remember the last time I had rhubarb. When I think of this long, leafy plant (which is technically a vegetable and not a fruit) I think of the rhubarb crumble and custard that my mom used to make when we were kids. I love sour things (I eat lemon, much to the bewilderment of anyone nearby) and I always loved the contrast of the very tart rhubarb and the smooth, creamy custard.

My green-fingered neighbour Geri has an enormous pot of rhubarb growing in her back garden, and when I was over there last weekend, Kevin mentioned that they did not know what to do with it all. It was a monster of a plant. ¬†I recalled that I had received a Delicious Magazine a while ago that had a few rhubarb recipes so I offered to take some off their hands and return it in the form of Rhubarb, Vanilla and Soured Cream Crumb Cake, and a Rhubarb and Orange Cheesecake. Kevin, being a huge fan of all things baked, jumped at the idea and on Friday they turned up at the door bearing a huge bunch of beautiful rhubarb, leaves and soil-covered stalks and all. Awesome ūüôā Read the rest of this entry »

April 4th, 2011

Pistachio Petit Four Surprise Birthday Cake

Why not start my post with the pretty picture of the whole and beautiful cake? Because this is the best bit about making a cake. When its been hacked to pieces and everyone around you is munching it. Awesome. And it makes me happy looking at this picture. And right now, while injured and unable to run, with this annoying dull ache in my leg, I need pretty cake pictures to make me smile.

I was commissioned to make this birthday cake by my neighbour Kevin for a surprise birthday party for his wife Geri. This weekend was her 50th birthday, and after insisting that she did not want a 50th birthday party, he decided to throw her a 49.9th birthday party instead. And just to make sure that she could not object or get out of it at all, he made¬†it a surprise party so she knew absolutely nothing about it. As Kevin is a frequent devourer of my cookies, cakes and other tempting treats, he knew I would be delighted to make the cake for the party, which I was, provided I could come along and see the surprise on Geri’s face for myself. And just for good measure¬†we brought along my mom and sister who were visiting for the weekend. It worked out nicely as it was my mom’s birthday the very same day,¬†so I took advantage of the fact that Kevin was barbecuing and putting on a good party and celebrated with her as well.
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March 27th, 2011

Strawberry, Almond & White Chocolate Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Before anyone gets confused or misled, this cake is more a bread than a cake, and there ain’t no coffee in it.What’s the deal with it being called ‘Coffee Cake’ then you ask? Apparently it is because this kind of bready cake is a good accompaniment to coffee, and they were originally paired by the Dutch, Germans and Scandanavians. You have your morning mug of steaming latte, or your afternoon cappuccino, and this cake will sit next to it like they were made for each other. Personally, I am more than happy to eat this cake with coffee, tea, milk, water, or just straight up. By itself. Its yummy.

This recipe is the March Daring Baker’s Challenge.¬†The March 2011 Daring Baker‚Äôs Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria‚Äôs Collection and Jamie of Life‚Äôs a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

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March 8th, 2011

Caribbean Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate. Whoever invented it, thank you. You have given hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of women something that can make them feel better, no matter how bad things may be.

Bad day at work? Chocolate brownie.

Found out your simple car service has a £600 bill attached to it? Chocolate Log.

Coffee break after paining the living room, hallway, and banisters for 5 hours solid? Kit-Kat.

Boyfriend/husband/other half has been away in Barbados surrounded by blonde bimbos¬†for a week and you’re home alone? Toblerone.

Gruelling 10 mile uphill trail run in the rain and you finish triumphant but soaked with 2kg of mud attached to each shoe. Hot hot hot chocolate.

Bliss.

So, with my baking craving on, I went to a shop yesterday, innocently looking for bread and smoked salmon to satisfy a sensible lunch requirement, and I walked out with those, and a slab of chocolate.

This slab.

Looks innocent does it?

Now look at it next to a regular 100g slab of chocolate.

Impressed?¬†I thought you might be. I just couldn’t resist this (reduced) 950g bar of chocolate. It filled me whith chocolatey inspiration. It had to be mine. Now, I keep thinking about the white chocolate version. I am resisting the temptation to go back. Its hard.

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