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.

Dust, it’s everywhere!

Lately, my life is all about DIY.

And to paraphrase Robin Williams in Aladdin, “Dust, it’s everywhere! Get used to it.”

This is me, demonstrating a somewhat cavalier disregard for basic safety, by forgetting to wear goggles. Nice, dusty eyelashes.

And this is one of the causes of the dust – a crazily cracked wall, which I dug out, filled, and then sanded. Cheaper than a plasterer, but a lot messier, and the finished product might not last as long. We shall see…

Balancing the renovation work with family life is okay, I just do it while they’re at school. But writing? It’s just not happening. Last week I didn’t even manage the 100 word Friday Fictioneers challenge.

Obviously, I need to come up with a plan. This renovation is going to be with us for months yet, so I need a daily (realistic) word count target, or my writing will just dry up.

I’m aiming for 500 words a day.

Now – just need to find my keyboard under that dust sheet…..

My husband’s a Borg

Following on from a previous post, in which I make my spaniel look like an earless freak, this is what my husband did to himself.

Step One

Borg glassesTake a regular pair of glasses, and tape on a magnifying lens, (with packing tape, no need to be fussy here).

Step Two

Wear your new glasses for close soldering work.

Little bit steam punk, little bit sci-fi…..

…………..100% Borg.

(Ear appendage supplied separately)



Doggy Snood

Bertie has long ears. And in summer, as most spaniel owners know, grass seeds are really common, and once they get inside the ear, they don’t want to come out.

Out little spaniel was in agony last week when he encountered one of these pointy little seeds, and it cost us a trip to the vet (where he was sedated) and £82.

I don’t want to stop taking him to his favourite places, they’re my favourite places too, and most mornings you see something magical like this….

Deer in field

… a deer spying on us from across the field.

So – I have come up with a cunning invention….the doggy snood.

Cocker spaniel snood, how to make, prevent grass seeds in ears What?    Yeah, I know it looks ridiculous, but he’s co-ordinated!

It’s an old pair of my tights, or a healthy chunk of the leg actually, and it fits on his ears just nice.

(Martha Stewart has instructions to sew a more stylish dog snood, if that interests you)

From the front, it looks a little odder.

Happy cocker spaniel, prevent grass seeds in dog ears

But he’s happy.

As always.



Olympic Opening Ceremony on Weymouth Beach

Weymouth beach, 2 massive TV screens, and the Olympic Opening Ceremony streamed live to an audience of thousands. A real night to remember.

We parked outside town, and walked in along the seafront – which was a treat in itself. The view across the bay towards Weymouth is magical.

Weymouth holiday makers certainly look unusual this year: there were a couple of short haired joggers along the Esplanade who looked more Special Branch than tourist; and there’s the sailing crews, with their incredibly tanned skin, and crisp Team colours, who seem like super-beings walking amongst us.

Olympics 2012, Weymouth Beach

It was such a beautiful balmy night, we could have been walking in the Med, but once inside the Live Site, I’ve rarely felt so British. The atmosphere was incredible, and the ceremony itself was breath-taking. I was so impressed with what Danny Boyle put on for us – it showcased so many things we should be proud of as a nation; also well pleased to recognise most the songs being played, though Eldest Daughter had to point out Dizzee Rascal to me, and I returned the favour by supplying the name of the Sex Pistols when she asked.

I knew the words to a lot of the songs, so did the crowd, and we all sang to the National Anthem. Interestingly, no one, including me, seems to know the second verse. That can’t be right can it? I bet other countries know all the words to their anthems. But when I questioned the girls later, it occurred to me that the only time you hear ‘God save the Queen’ is at a sporting event, and we don’t watch a lot of those – apart from the FA Cup Final, or the World Cup – and now the Olympics.

Olympics at Weymouth 2012

We missed the end of the ceremony, as we had a long walk back, but caught the fireworks on the beach, and we’ll catch up on what we’ve missed over the weekend – isn’t technology incredible?

Olympics 2012, fireworks on the beach

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.