Three Years Blogging + Cake

chocolate_caramel_cake-053Last week, reading this post, I realised that I’d managed completely miss my blog birthday. Again.

On 23rd February 2011, I published my very first post.  Three years later, although there’s so much more I want to learn about photography and recipe writing (and life), I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come. Those original photos make me cringe just a little (look them up, you will laugh), my enthusiasm for what is clearly not the lightest of loaves is unbounded, but it’s a record of where I was, a marker for where I am now, and for what, in three years’ time or more, I could be.   Continue reading

Our Wedding

Kate & Luke outside

On 31st August 2013 I married my best friend, soulmate and partner in crime. And regardless of how often it’s been said and of all the clichés it evokes, I can honestly say it was the best day of my life. So far, anyway: we’re in this together now and I’ve got a pretty good feeling there are even more amazing things yet to come.

Nearly nine years of being in love, our incredible families, a whole host of the best friends a boy and girl could ask for, a venue that dreams are made of, amazing food and more emotion than I can begin to describe are pretty much impossible to condense into words. So here are a few photos.

Suffice to say I’ve never smiled so much in my life. And I haven’t stopped yet. Back with a recipe next week xx. Continue reading

Fig & Almond Crumble Cake

Fig Crumble Cake

Despite being a classic dish from childhoods across generations and around the country, crumble isn’t something I’m tempted to make that often.

Growing up with an apple-farmer for a granny, crumble was (unsurprisingly) always made using fruit from her farm and there’s something about the texture of stewed apple that I’m just not that keen on. Whenever a crumble was served, I’d accept the portion offer, add extra ice cream then proceed to eat my way through the crunchy oat crust, leaving a lonely pile of fruit at the bottom of my bowl. Continue reading

Wedding Cake

Wedding cake

Carnivorous Husband (I have a feeling the novelty of saying that won’t wear off for a long time…) arrived back from Bali early yesterday morning. Bronzed, blissfully happy and still riding the wave of emotion and complete and utter joy that is being married, in love and signed up to spend the rest of our lives together, we’re also exhausted so I’m afraid there’s no recipe from me today. However rest assured that our travels have been beyond inspirational and I’m itching to get back in the kitchen and share some new ideas in this space soon.

In the meantime, while we don’t have the official wedding photos back yet (I promise to share some when we do), I couldn’t resist posting this slightly blurry snap of our cake. Three tiers of deliciously sticky dark chocolate sponge were layered with hazelnut praline ganache then coated in modelling chocolate before being topped with a pair of edible lovebirds, one bespectacled to match my handsome new husband :-)

Love and cake – in that order, of course – are pretty much all you need.

Honey Almond Cake with Spiced Strawberry Sauce

Strawberries

Summer and strawberries go hand in hand. Wimbledon, barbecues and, being a summer baby, birthdays are all synonymous with a strawberry or two in my mind, the season kick starting with that first sweet burst at the end of May.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but memories of my childhood summers are dappled in sunshine, garden grass scorched by the sun as we took turns spraying each other with the hosepipe and praying that it wouldn’t be banned. As an adult, the Great British Summer seems a little wetter, certainly colder, the sky hung with clouds and even edible sunshine kept at bay with our strawberry season delayed by several weeks. Continue reading

Brown Butter Banana Bread Squares

Chocolate Banana Bread Squares

On the eve of the French revolution, Marie Antoinette is said to have responded to claims that there wasn’t enough bread to feed the French people with the now infamous phrase, ‘Let them eat cake’. Historians have since refuted this, suggesting variously that it was completely made up, the much maligned queen was misquoted, or that something may have been lost in translation from the French into English.

Whichever way you like to look at it, there’s definitely some sort of confusion between bread and cake. Continue reading

Green Tea, Honey & Pistachio Financiers

Green Tea, Honey & Pistacio Financiers

Sweet, soft & full of interesting flavours

‘Every time I’m forced to watch [my friends] eat egg whites, I feel bad for them. In the first place, egg-white omelettes are tasteless. In the second place, the people who eat them think they are doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed’.

My attitude to egg white-only omelettes is pretty much in line with the Nora Ephron quote above. After a major custard or ice cream making spree, I’ve occasionally attempted to scale the mountain of leftover albumen by making an anaemic omelette, but I’m almost always disappointed by the odd consistency and insipid flavour which result. Continue reading

Squidgy Chocolate & Pistachio Squares

Chocolate Pistachio Squares

Squidgy little squares of nutty chocolate goodness

Before the age of about fifteen, I don’t think I’d ever made buttercream icing.

I’d eaten it, of course, at friends’ houses and birthday parties, spread over simple sponge cakes and smothered between the rounds of the ubiquitous caterpillar cake (one made an appearance at a 28th birthday we recently  attended, clearly caterpillar cake will never go out of fashion in some circles), but I’m pretty sure I’d never actually made my own buttercream at home.
Continue reading

Best of 2012 | thelittleloaf

bourke_street_bakery_croissants

A pile of beautiful, buttery croissants

With just a few hours left until the new year, there’s little left to say other than thank you.

Thank you for your comments and support, for continuing to be interested in what I have to say, for reading and sharing my recipes and for sending me your amazing pictures when you make them.

Rather than posting anything new today, I’ve included a round up of your five favourite (by page views) little loaf recipes from the past year, followed by five of mine.

2012 has been incredible. Here’s to an even more amazing 2013. Continue reading

Double Chocolate Lamingtons

Lamingtons

Moist chocolate sponge cloaked in chocolate & rolled in coconut

Saying goodbye can be hard. Any way in which the blow can be softened – if only by butter, chocolate and sugar – has got to be better than nothing.

On Saturday two of our friends threw a leaving party. At the end of December they leave for Australia where they plan to spend year at absolute minimum, more likely two with very little likelihood that they’ll make it back for our wedding next summer. Continue reading