In a couple of weeks I’ll be half way through my maternity leave. While I appreciate that I’m extremely lucky to be able to take a whole year working on the project that is our delicious baby boy, I also can’t quite imagine the time when I’ll spend a whole day apart from him. The longest I’ve gone so far is four hours at the hairdresser, most of which were spent texting his babysitting Nonna (my Mum) for updates and photos and missing him madly. Six months from now he’ll be sitting, talking, possibly walking, eating real food and showing even more of that fabulous personality we’re seeing more glimpses of every day. Reflecting on how quickly things are changing truly makes me savour every second of these precious days. Continue reading
Toffee popcorn cake with hidden ‘pop’
‘The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’
Cake is as synonymous with birthdays as parties, presents and singing. That’s not to say it doesn’t serve a purpose at other occasions or celebrations – anyone who reads this blog will know I’m a strong supporter of cake consumption on a pretty much regular basis – but very little can compete with a cake baked specially for a birthday. Whether it’s a simple sponge cake or a more extravagant affair, there’s something incredibly indulgent about a confection created especially for you.
However, while cakes can be beautiful, delicious and a joy to eat, it’s sometimes hard to recreate the utterly magical birthday feeling you get as a child, that sensation of complete surprise and delight. When deciding what to make for a friend’s birthday last week, I wanted to inject just a little bit of that childhood magic back into my baking. A lovingly made cake is a good start, but I needed something to make it extra special.
The answer? Popping candy. Continue reading