Happy Halloween – a cake so bad, it’s frightening!

I love making cakes, and children are an appreciative lot – just as well – this cake was a


My attempt at the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter!

Epic fail sorting hat

And just in case you think that’s not so frightening…..

Harry Potter figures made of icing Close up of Scary Harry, Scary Ron and Oh, So Scary Hermione!


And to do it properly ?
This site, Fictional Food, will show you how a Sorting Hat cake should really be done.

Making Time for NaNoWriMo- or why kids know better than us.

how to make timeWith NaNoWriMo just days away, we could all use a bit more time.

But we have full lives: we have tasks to juggle, schedules to keep, children to ferry around.

There is no more time.

And that’s when you need to see things from a child’s point of view.

I was walking my daughter to school, late (again), when we came across a  friendly-looking  cat. Of course, my daughter wanted to stroke it, but I rushed her along saying, “Not today, we don’t have time.”

My daughter, being my daughter, didn’t listen, and as I marched on, she stopped and took the time to pet the fluffy feline. Moments later, I heard her running to catch up with me, out of breath, saying , “See. I did have time.”

And the thing is – she was right.

She made time to stroke the cat.

And then she ran to catch up.

We all have choices to make in our day, or tasks we could do faster or smarter. Currently, I’m choosing to spend 40 minutes every night watching The Vampire Diaries box set on our BT package. Now that’s a straight swop, 40 minutes viewing for 40 minutes writing (since I can’t watch and enjoy The Vampire Diaries on fast forward!).

But other things in my day can’t be sacrificed – the family needs to eat, I need to get the decorating done before Christmas, the laundry’s piling up – and this is where I need to do my running.

So, come November, I’m using the timer on my phone, setting a 30 minute alarm, and I’m racing through all those mundane but necessary tasks. If I don’t get the jobs done, I’ll write for an hour, then set the timer,  and race my way through it all again.

I think, by the end of November, I’ll be exhausted. But I might have my 50,000 words.

How are you going to make time for NaNoWriMo?



Making Mondays – The Great British Non Bake Pizza Cake

On the BBC  – it’s the final week of The Great British Bake Off, and there’s something about these dark, autumn evenings that makes me want to be in the kitchen.

I’m a latecomer to the Bake Off, but though I’m gripped every week by the skills these bakers demonstrate as they work through the challenges, I have to admit – I’m just not that type of cook.   This is more my style………

Pizza cake inspired by Jane Asher


Normally, I’ll  bake Victoria sponges, muffins, and bread from the trusty bread machine, but for children’s birthdays – well, then I make a real effort.

The thing with children is, it’s often the presentation that counts, since any kind of cake is a good cake. I think that’s  a nice way to look at baking, you don’t have to worry if your cake sinks in the middle (as long as it’s cooked!), you can always fix it with icing.

The pizza above was inspired by Cakes for Fun, by Jane Asher. * This book has some truly wonderful ideas, but by far the easiest and most well received was this pizza cake.

This cake requires NO COOKING! It’s a refridgerator cake – similar to a Rocky Road mixture – but using madeira cake crumbs (or similar), and white chocolate instead of plain.

A Rocky Road mixture, like this one, click, but using white chocolate, and digestives or Rich Tea biscuits should do the trick. Really bash up those biscuits, you don’t want large bits of rubble, and I would add the crumbs for a cheap store bought Madeira cake too. But I wouldn’t use the marshmallows, it would make the pizza look too lumpy.

  • Form your mixture into a pizza shape on some greaseproof paper, pressing down firmly, and cool in the fridge. (I cut mine into slices before it went in the fridge, as I didn’t want the toppings to get destroyed by cutting it up later – it does get quite hard).
  • Using seedless jam for tomato sauce, and a selection of sweets for toppings, decorate the base. I used Minstrels, Dolly Mixtures, Smarties and Jelly Tots.
  • Finish with a grating of white chocolate, which looks amazingly like cheese.
  • Serve to hungry, laser-party-exhausted-children (and hope the sugar rush doesn’t hit them ’til they’re out the door with their parents!).

And for added effect………………….a real pizza box……

Kid's birthday cake pizza Supplied cheerfully, if somewhat bemusedly, by our local Snappy Pizza.

It may not be worthy of Duff on Ace of Cakes, or the Bake Off contestants, but it’s easy, effective, and fun to do!

And for a real cheat of a pizza cake……click here



 *  Jane Asher’s book is available from third party sellers on Amazon, or perhaps your local library has a copy.