The Great Lord of the Rings Cake Off!

A weekend spent at home can quickly become boring if you don’t have any activities or projects with which to occupy yourself. My husband and I found ourselves in just such a situation a few weeks ago. Rather than spend a weekend in front of the television, I challenged him to a cake off! The rules were simple, we would both make a cake and decorate it on a chosen theme and then let our friends vote for the winner.

After watching the recent Hobbit film we decided on a Lord of the Rings or Tolkien theme. Both cakes were mini cakes (so they could be eaten quickly and therefore keep their freshness).

I chose to make a Hobbit Hole, the cake was baked in a pudding basin and carved to give the shape. I was really quite pleased with it 🙂

My husband (the ambitious fellow that he is) chose to make Minas Tirith, it was constructed of multiple layers of mini brownie cakes, then covered in icing.

We put the photos onto our personal facebook pages and let our friends and family vote for a winner. The results crowned…..

My Hobbit Hole victorious!

It was a hilarious way to spend a weekend and basically a free activity as we had everything we needed in our cupboards.

So if you find yourself slipping into boredom one weekend how about challenging a friend or family member to your very own cake off or bake off. You can even do a challenge with a group of friends, or perhaps in aid of charity. Not forgetting that it doesn’t matter who wins as everyone gets to eat cake!!

Sainsbury’s Comic Relief Cookie Challenge!

As a member of the Sainsbury’s Bank Family Blogger Network I was recently asked if I would like to create a cookie design in aid of comic relief 🙂

I’m always keen to get creative so I was happy to join in the fun. Five runners up will be picked from all the designs, Sainsbury’s Facebook fans will then vote for their overall favourite design to feature on the Comic Relief baking page.

This year Comic relief is all about Dinosaurs (with toes), so with this in mind….

Watch out there’s Dinos about!

Two of these dinos are sporting red noses and one has taken inspiration from the aptly name T-Spex red nose character.

Make your own Di-nose-saurs

150g/ 51/2 oz Butter (or Stork)

225g/ 8oz Plain Flour

125g/ 4 1/2 oz Caster Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Icing

The easiest way to ice biscuits is to use a Royal Icing, Sainsbury’s sell this ready to mix in a box 🙂

Small smarties or Silverspoon Coloured Choco Beans


Rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the vanilla extract and caster sugar and bring together with your hands to form a dough.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough, then cut out your Dinos.

Bake for about 10 mins in a 170C/350F oven, keep an eye on the biscuits to make sure they don’t burn.

Cool on a wire rack.

Mix up the royal icing. I usually devide this between several pots so I can mix up multiple colours. Using a fine piping bag ice the background colour onto your Dinosaur, you can also spread it on if you’d prefer. Leave for several hours to harden.

Once dry add a small white blob of icing to make the eye and leave to harden. Once dry add any final details such as smile, toes and pupil.

Finally using a blob of royal icing attach a red chocolate bean/smartie onto the nose of your Dino 🙂

The biscuits can take several hours to dry out completely, but it’s worth the wait as they can be stacked into a tin once finished without sticking together or damaging all your hard work!

Of course you can also customise your biscuits to make many other red nose characters. Our very own Spotty Crocodile made it into biscuit form sporting a dashing red nose!