It was the twin’s birthday quite some time ago and after a crazy year (operations for more than one of us) I’m finally getting around to sharing some pics of their cakes. As they get older they naturally want to develop their individuality so rather than sharing a cake they really wanted to have one each… so I made 4!? Sense and logic was clearly working in my favour on that day but sometimes you just have to do all the things! In case you don’t recognise the characters I made (I bet you recognize at least one Pokemon cake) these are a Pikachu Cake, Gastly Cake, Soot Sprite Cake and Soul Eater Cake! If you’re still none the wiser then read on and I’ll endeavour to explain.
I would assume this cake is fairly self-explanatory and most people will be familiar with this Pokemon or at the very least you’ll have heard of Pokemon. This is actually the second time I’ve caked Pikachu but the last time I made his whole body (he was super fat and fluffy!) and this time it was just his head.
Keeping with the theme this is another Pokemon called Gastly. I think he’s some kind of ghost Pokemon but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, I have selective amnesia when it comes to Pokemon thanks to hours and hours (and hours!) of commentary from both my boys. That plus I’m a Jiggly Puff fan!
Soot Sprite Cake
I really do love these little guys! The Soot Sprites appear in a couple of the hugely popular Studio Ghibli films My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away and they’re super adorable! Incidentally this was the simplest cake to make and he got eaten first!
Soul Eater Cake
Less grim than it sounds I promise. Soul Eater is a Japanese manga and anime which takes place in a school run by the Grim Reaper himself Death (as it turns out he’s quite an amusing fellow). It’s one we watch as a family and is a favourite of my daughter.
All in all I think they turned out quite well. I had my reservations on whether we’d manage to eat them all but as it turned out that was a completely crazy and pointless concern (they were gone alarming quickly).
I’m staring down another birthday in the not too distant future, can I beat these 4 cakes though? We shall see…
Pizza makes a semi regular appearance in our household, however it doesn’t come delivered in boxes or wrapped in plastic from the supermarket. The only pizza we regularly consume is our very own homemade variety. The need for a good pizza dough recipe arose not out of a wish to be healthy but because ever since visiting Italy many years ago I’ve loved super thin pizzas covered with fresh and appetising toppings. I really don’t enjoy greasy pizzas and I certainly doubt they offer much in nutritional value for my kids. With that in mind my husband and I tinkered about and came up with this easy homemade pizza dough recipe. It makes 4 thin pizzas, but if you prefer a deeper crust you could just make 2.
500g Strong white flour (bread flour works well, or a combo of plain and bread flour)
14g Dried yeast (normally this is 2 small packets worth)
2Tsp Olive oil
300ml Warm water
Pop all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and gradually mix in the water (I use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment to do this).
Once mixed knead the dough for about 4 mins if using a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand (on a floured surface).
Cover mixing bowl with cling film and pop dough in a warm place to rise (I use the airing cupboard) for about 45mins – 1hour until doubled in size (see pics).
Divide dough into 4 pieces and stretch or roll to fit your baking trays. Cover with tomatoes (or passata) and whatever toppings you fancy. I really enjoy the simplicity of cheese and tomato with just a sprinkle of basil.
Bake in a preheated oven about 175C for approximately 8 mins until golden.
Note. Obviously if you choose to make 2 deeper crusted pizzas these will take longer to cook.
It might be a tad late for a New Years Resolution but I had far too many cakes, biscuits and other treats leftover to want to start any earlier than now. Plus better late than never (and other awesome clichés) but from here on out I’m on a mission. A healthy, mindful mission to get back to good proper food, which hasn’t been roasted in fat, smothered in sugar or otherwise
improved made unhealthy. Initially (and because I lack super willpower) I just want to swap to healthier options of things I already use. Such as swapping vegetable oil for Olive, or white bread for wholemeal which sounds easy enough.
Several years ago I went on a fun filled trip to London to learn all about the virtues of Olives (they’re even great for your skin!) but despite significant enthusiasm at the time I’ll admit I’d all but forgotten most of the things I learned. In fact about the only knowledge I retained was that the vast majority of Olives come from Spain. However I do have this handy little guide from Jamie’s Italian restaurant to help me.
The only downside of that guide is it’s making me feel like having a snack! I have a couple of great olive based recipes in the blog archives if you’re feeling similarly inspired.
For the Tortilla De Patatas , aceitunas espanolas y chorizo (Spanish tortilla with Spanish Olives and Chorizo) recipe click here. Or you could try the Queen Spanish Olives Stuffed With Fried Manchego Recipe here. I even have a slightly less healthy Trufas de chocolate y aceitunas espanolas (Chocolate and Spanish Olive Truffles) Recipe here, although I suppose that one does slightly fly in the face of my healthier eating resolution 😀
Have you tried swapping for healthier alternatives to welcome in the new year?