About my baking challenge

I discovered the joy of baking for the first time ever in 2013, shortly after my dear mum passed away from cancer. During 2014 I tried to bring these two things together in a positive way , have fun and raise some money for Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield where my mum passed away. Throughout the year I tried out new techniques and recipes from time to time ... and then sold some of my bakes for charity in my workplace. Since then I have continued to bake with some ups and downs .. and this blog charts my baking experiences, good and bad!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Charity Bake #2 - With This Ring ....

Hi everyone, Well here I am again with my second Charity bake for Ashgate Hospice ... I'm not sure where the past couple weeks have gone to, but I hope it will be easier to get into a baking rhythm once the nights start getting lighter!!

 I recently discovered the Clandestine Cake Club; and although it was too short notice for me to join in my first meeting at one of the branches I have joined (Warrington), I was nonetheless inspired by their theme of beautiful bundts.  Having discovered the existence of this type of cake I just had to try making one, and I have also been very much inspired by the fantastic recipes, hints and tips by Rachel at Dollybakes - she really has got  bundts on the brain!!. (For any non-baking readers who have followed my charity email link, a bundt is a ring shaped decorative cake with a hole in the middle!)

So I decided to start getting in the mood for Valentine's Day with a bundt, taking as my theme With This Ring ... (Yes I know it's a terrible pun but I just had to do it!).

My recipe is very closely based on Rachel's basic recipe at Build a Bundt, with slight variation in topping and decoration to fit my lovey-dovey theme.  I have given full credit to Rachel but copied out the steps and stages so I can show my pics of work in progress!! :-)

"With This Ring" Valentine Bundt

Recipe from Dolly Bakes - Build A Bundt

For the cake:
225 g butter, softened
450g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs
350g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml vanilla yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:
300g icing sugar
Small amount of water
A few drops of pink food colouring
Sugar heart sprinkles to decorate (mine were from Asda).

10 cup/ 2.4 litre Bundt tin. (I googled around and as I'm a beginner I didn't splash out for a posh Nordicware tin  (yet!!) ... I bought a Lakeland fluted cake ring).

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/ Gas mark 3
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on a low setting (I always beat my eggs first and then pour in the liquid a little at a time).The mix will get noticeably fluffier (with my new KMix this was very true!!)

4. In a separate bowl, measure / sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
5. Mix the yoghurt and vanilla extract together in a bowl/jug.
6. Sift 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the main mix and fold in gently, followed by 1/3 of the yoghurt mix. Repeat until all the flour and liquid are incorporated.  Fold in gently - Rachel advises that over-mixing at this stage will result in a heavy cake and can cause air channels which can ruin the decorative shape.
7. Give it all a mix on a low speed for a bout ten seconds until smooth.

8. Grease and flour your bundt tin, or grease with cake release (that's what I did).

9. Spoon the mixture into the tin evenly....

10. ...and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is slightly shrinking away from the tin. It's stable after about an hour for checking / turning.  Mine was done after  about 1 hour and 8 minutes.

11. Leave the cake to cool for about ten minutes and then remove from tin.

12. Allow to cool completely before icing.
13. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a jug, add the water a little at a time and mix together until the icing reaches a  pouring consistency. Add a drop or two of food colouring until you reach the desired colour. Pour slowly over the cake and decorate with sugar hearts.  Tip: place the cake on serving plate before pouring over the icing, or you'll make a mess and find it difficult to move the cake when iced.

This really was very easy to make - Rachel's directions were flawless. I did have a momentary holding of breath when it came to turning it out of the tin, but it turned out very easily with virtually no sticking - yay! I'm very pleased for my first attempt.

I had never made glace icing before, and I was surprised by how much icing sugar you need to get a decent amount of icing (best not to think of the calories!!) .. I used 300g of icing sugar and with hindsight the cake  really could have done with a bit more.

I would like to enter this attempt into a few baking challenges for February, namely

Calendar Cakes - Oh L'Amour! 

Love Cake - Baking With Passion

Amount raised - £15

I did try a piece of this and was pleased with it for a first attempt - the cake was nice and moist and didn't even dry out being out on the table during the day. I retract my earlier statement though about more icing ... maybe a bit thicker (more opaque) but it would ahve been overwhelmed by any greater quantity - so that's all good! :-)

That's all for today - thanks for visiting.


  1. Looking great Pauline and well done for your first £15 raised ;0) x

  2. I love a Bundt cake - you can see that from my avatar! Ashgate Hospice is a great charity and quite local to me. I'm so glad you have caught the baking bug and found your local Clandestine Cake Club. Thanks for linking up with this month's Love Cake,

  3. Looks yummy Pauline...love the little heart confetti.

    Jennifer. x