Grandma’s Schnitzel Recipe

Grüß dich Readers,
(Which literally means “greet yourself”)

Some of you may be aware, I am 1/4 Austrian. No, not “G’day mate pop a shrimp on the barbie” Austrian. More like the people who brought you Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mozart and Swarovski crystals. What’s that? Hitler? No, we don’t associate ourselves with that anymore.


Moving swiftly on. My Grandma grew up in Austria and eventually met my Grandad and moved to England. She brought with her some wild stories of growing up in the mountains and some amazing recipes. I grew up spending a lot of time with her and watching her cook. I loved helping her in the kitchen and I learnt a few things along the way. Like, the secret to how she made everything taste amazing? A generous serving of salt and a shit ton of butter. A technique I still use to this day.


One of my favourite dishes she made was ‘Schnitzel with Noodles’. Traditionally, schnitzel is made with veal but that is super expensive. So my Grandma made it with pork but you can make it with chicken too! ‘Noodles’ in our family just means any kind of pasta. Usually on a Sunday lunch time, we would have Schnitzel (pork in breadcrumbs fried in butter and salt) with noodles (any kind of pasta, dripping in butter) and Grandma’s salads (which was lettuce, cucumber or beans that have been soaked in oil, salt and vinegar overnight). Sounds disgusting but I can assure you it was heavenly! Maybe not so good for the heart disease but we all knew we would die happy.

As I got older, I would help Grandma make huge batches of Schnitzel that she would keep in the freezer and cook up whenever she needed to. As I got even older, she would send me home with a pile of frozen Schnitzels to put in my freezer, so I would never be hungry. Now, I make them myself for my family. People always curse their Grandmas for not writing their recipes down. My Grandma did but her handwriting is so cursive, it’s unreadable. Beautiful, but unreadable (also, English was her second language so not a lot of it makes sense). So here I am, writing the recipe down. Who knows? Maybe my grandchildren will read this and make their family Schnitzel, unknowingly keeping a small part of their Austrian heritage alive.

So here it is! Grandma Nagele’s Schweinefleisch Schnitzel.

Grandma Nagele’s Schweinefleisch Schnitzel

My Grandma's Schnitzel Recipe
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Austrian, German

Equipment

  • Meat tenderiser
  • Frying pan
  • Chopping board
  • 3 small plates
  • Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp Butter/vegetable oil
  • 4 Pork Chops boneless
  • 250 g Plain Flour
  • 2 eggs whisked with a fork
  • 300 g Breadcrumbs

Instructions
 

  • Heat butter/oil in a frying pan on a medium to high heat.
  • Set up 3 small plates. Use one for flour, one for egg and one for breadcrumbs.
  • Using a meat tenderiser, tenderise the pork chops (on both sides) until they are a flat oval shape.
  • Lay the pork chop on the plate of flour and turn it over until it is fully covered in flour (this is where it gets messy).
  • Once it is covered in flour, lay it on the next plate and coat it in the egg mixture.
  • Once it is fully covered in egg, lay it on the final plate and coat it in breadcrumbs.
  • Once it is fully covered in breadcrumbs, set aside.
  • Repeat these steps with the other pork chops.
  • Once your frying pan is fully heated, fry the schnitzel on one side until golden brown (should take 8-10 minutes).
  • Flip the schnitzel over until the other side is golden brown (8-10 minutes).
  • Repeat with the other schnitzels.
  • Ensure the schnitzel is fully cooked throughout and serve with 'noodles', chips or salad.
Keyword Breadcrumbs, Fried, Pork, Schnitzel

So, there you go! Schnitzel is an all year round dinner staple. Serve it with warm pasta in the winter or salad in the summer. Put chips with it and kids love it too. You can bulk make it and fry it up frozen when you need to. It’s nothing special but it will always hold a special place in my heart. Whenever I eat it, I am instantly transported back to lunch times with Grandma and excitedly waiting for my favourite meal or family holidays in Austria ordering Schnitzel at the local beer house and sipping my Dad’s Radler shandy.

I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do. If you do try it out, let me know how it goes! Share with me on my socials, I always love hearing from you guys! And don’t forget to follow the blog and me on social media!

But for now, Pfiat di!

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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Need I say more? 🍌🍫Seems like everyone in this pandemic has made banana bread. Well, this is an alternative. Whether it’s for breakfast, an evening treat or a basket you want to drop off to a loved one while socially distancing, these muffins are perfect.

This recipe uses chocolate chips but I recently ran out and used Cadbury dairy milk, chopped up and I think I’m going to do that from now on. It made the chocolate much more creamier and slightly melted in the middle. Way better than chocolate chips. Plus, its Cadbury!

I particularly love this recipe because it’s an all in one method. For those of you who dont know, that means you bung all the ingredients in one bowl and mix it altogether. No separate bowls, no creaming method and so much less washing up. As a Mum, all in one method and one pan meals are the saving grace to my sanity. Just makes things so simple and easy in a time that may not be. Plus, less washing up. Can I get a hallelujah?🙌🏻

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Only the best banana muffins ever.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • Measuring Scales
  • Small Bowl
  • Fork
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin cases

Ingredients
  

  • 100 g Butter room temp
  • 2 Eggs medium, free range
  • 175 g Caster Sugar
  • 225 g Self-raising Flour sifted
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 tbsp Milk whole
  • 2 Bananas very ripe, mashed
  • 100 g Chocolate chips or chocolate chopped into small chunks

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, Gas Mark 4) and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
  • Mix all the ingredients in one bowl until fully combined and smooth.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly into the 12 cases and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Once fully baked, leave to cool on a cooling wrack.
  • Optional: melt more chocolate to drizzle over the top of the muffins or add a square of chocolate to the top of the muffins.
Keyword Banana, Chocolate, muffin

It is literally as simple as that! Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I would really appreciate it if you could share it on your socials and to all your friends. It would help me out a lot!

Also, while you’re here, go ahead and follow my blog and sign up for the email list so you will be the first to know when I upload. You can get the first scoop on any yummy recipes I share!

Cajun Veggie Stew

I found this recipe recently and I thought I would share it (along with my alterations). This recipe is Vegetarian, Vegan and (most importantly) a one pot meal, making it perfect for a midweek meal you need to cook in a hurry or a simple comforting dish when the weather is, well, British. It’s packed full of veggies so it is perfect for kids. “My kids don’t like veggies”. Well, guess what, Karen, neither does my fiance. He is a big kid or a ‘manly man’ when it comes to food. It’s either turkey dinosaurs or lots of meat and failing that, lots of cheese but he actually liked this AND had seconds AND requested I made it again!

I find this is best served with warm crusty bread but you could serve it with rice. This recipe makes enough to serve 4. Being a one pot meal you will literally only need one large saucepan, a chopping board, a sharp knife and a sieve (if you want to rince your tinned chickpeas). That’s it!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g sweet potato
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic (I buy the jarred, already minced stuff because I’m lazy)
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (I buy the Schwartz one found in the spices aisle)
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • tinned chickpeas
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cut sweet potato, red onion and bell peppers into bite sized chunks. Mince or finely chop the garlic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and add the sweet potato, red onion and peppers.
  3. Sauté until softened then stir in the garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the Cajun seasoning, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and vegetable stock. Simmer on a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally,  until the sweet potato is soft enough to your taste. This should take between 10-20 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm crusty bread.

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It is literally that simple. I like to make a big batch of this so I can reheat it for lunches or make multiple dinners for my little one. You can add more Cajun seasoning to intensify the flavour or add chilli powder to give it a kick. It is so versatile that it will suit almost anyone’s tastes.


If you make this, I would love to hear how it went. Follow me on my socials and you can share pictures with me when you make this! Hope this has helped with the dreaded meal planning or a last minute “what do I make?” panic. Thanks for reading!

How To Go Out But Stay In

Lock Down has cancelled a lot of our plans for 2020 but does that mean we still can’t do them? Well, sure you can’t go on your all inclusive holiday to Lanzarote but don’t let Lock Down tie you to your sofa!

I have thought of 4 ways you can go out without actually going out!

1. Coffee With Friends

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I love nothing more than catching up with friends over a coffee. It instantly lifts my spirits and sets my mood for the day. Before Lock Down, I would meet with one of my mummy friends every week for a walk and a coffee and have a good ol’ chit chat. We had organised a girl’s night out for a huge group of us but that got cancelled (thanks Corona) so we, instead, had a zoom chat. It was like meeting up in a cafe with the girls. We all sat at our laptops with cups of tea and coffee and giggled together. It made me so thankful for modern technology allowing us to actually see each other and talk in a big group. I left that zoom chat feeling my usual uplifted and refreshed self after seeing the girls.

2. Date Night

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I don’t know about other Mums, but I love having a date night every now and again. A little break from the little one, a chance to reconnect with my partner and, more importantly, eat something I didn’t have to cook or worry about the washing up! Well, that’s just another thing Corona has mucked up for me! So, instead, we put the baby to bed early and tried to have a date night at home!


We ordered a take away (so that took care of the cooking problem) but I didn’t want it to feel like another night on the sofa. So, we got dressed up like we would on a normal date night. I put make up on and Steven even put on after shave! I lit candles, switched on the fairy lights, laid out a blanket on the floor and dished out the take away into fancy dishes (like we were in a real restaurant) to set the scene. I even put the wine on a fancy tray. Simple, yet effective. We then sat down, watched TV and had our fancy Chinese take away picnic!

3. Boozey Lunch

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If Lock Down isn’t an excuse to day drink, then I don’t know what is! Steve and I love going to the pub at lunch time when the weather is gorgeous. Sitting outside in the sun with a cold beer and nibbles, bliss. So, when Olivia was down for her nap, I laid out some nibbles (all fancy like, so it felt like we weren’t at home) and opened up a couple of cold ones. We turned on some music and sat under our pear tree and I swear, it felt like we were on holiday!

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Even Cody wanted to join us.
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4. Trip To The Cinema


Wanted to go to the cinema with the kids? Now you’re stuck at home and the weather is horrible? 3 words: At, home, cinema. And, no I don’t mean stick a film on and sit on your sofa. What do kids love to do? Build a sofa fort! Grab bed sheets, sofa cushions, chairs, anything you can find and make a fort with your kids. Add blankets, pillows, fairy lights and snacks! Movie snacks are essential. Turn off the lights, turn on the fairy lights, sit on the floor in the fort and watch a movie with your kids. Doesn’t sound like much but you’ll be surprised how much they love it. My little girl is only 18 months and she absolutely loved it!

You could go a step further and set up a projector (you can even buy projectors for your phone). This would be so fun to do outside, too. Like a sundown cinema experience!


So, what have you done to make this Lock Down experience more bearable? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Star Wars Day: Wookie Cookies

I know. You’re surprised to see Star Wars content on this blog. I haven’t even seen a full movie (don’t come for me). However, Steven and his family are Star Wars fans, verging on super fans. So, I thought this May the fourth, I would cheer them up with these! I first saw this idea on Pinterest and wanted to recreate it with my own recipe.

I have previously made other Star Wars themed bakes for Steven’s brother’s 40th birthday. We organised a Star Wars themed kids party (with no kids) in our new home (at the time), which included: Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda, Star Wars pun food (Ham Solo sandwiches), inflatable lightsabers, homemade photo booth and a Millennium Falcon cake.

It’s a relatively simple recipe but, nevertheless, may the force be with you! See? I can do Sci-Fi!

Recipe

You will need:

Ingredients

  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 180g Butter (soft)
  • 125g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 125g Golden Syrup
  • 190g chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Sift the flour and spices together in a large bowl.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add egg and golden syrup to creamed mixture and combine well.
  4. Gradually add in the flour and spices until fully combined and makes a loose dough.
  5. Split the mixture into 3. Wrap in clingfilm and chill overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170° Fan.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  8. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut out your gingerbread man shapes.
  9. Using a fork, make impressions in the dough to look like fur.IMG_8379
  10. Bake on a lined baking tray for 8-12 minutes (depending on size of cookies and whether you like them soft or crisp).
  11. Leave to cool on a wire rack.IMG_8382
  12. Once fully cooled, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between until fully melted.
  13. Leave the chocolate to cool slightly before pouring it into a piping back (or you can use a zip lock bag)
  14. Snip the end of the piping bag (or the corner of the zip lock bag) and pipe a diagonal line across your gingerbread man.
  15. Place the white chocolate chips along this line. I used white candy melts because my cookies were quite large (and it’s all I had in the house #QuarantineLife).
  16. (Optional) pipe two eyes and a nose on your wookie with the chocolate.

So, there you go! Absolutely delicious wookie cookies! Not bad for a non-nerd, aye? I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you recreate these, please share the pictures with me! I would love to see your quarantine baking!

Happy Star Wars Day!


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Simple But Cute Easter Treats

So, in the midst of this chaos, here’s some normality. 4 simple treats to make at home to celebrate Easter. There’s nothing fancy required or ingredient you need to brave the shops for. You won’t be elbowing Hugo or Biffy in the wholefoods shop for the last Madagascan Dodo Bird Feather to make these. Just your normal baking supplies. I really hope some of you can create these and find some escape in these recipes. Baking, for me, can be really therapeutic and, if that fails, you can always stress eat your bakes. Whichever way, I hope this helps.

1. Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies

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These are great to make with little ones because you can make the dough ahead of time and they’re really simple and quick. If you don’t have any Easter cookie cutters because ever other Mum in the country has bought them, then this is for you!

What you will need:

  • A batch of sugar cookie dough (see my recipe here).
  • Rolling pin
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • Chocolate eggs with a sugar crisp shell

Method

  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1 cm thickness.
  2. Cut out your ‘gingerbread men’.
  3. Place cookies on a lined baking tray upside down. The ‘legs’ will be the bunny’s ears.
  4. Place a chocolate egg in the centre and bend the arms over the egg so it looks like the bunny is cuddling the egg.
    IMG_8249
  5. Using a cocktail stick, give the bunny some eyes.
  6. Bake in a preheated (160ºC fan) oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Once cool add a nose with a blob of chocolate or a sprinkle.
    IMG_8250

2. Easter Nest Cupcakes

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Everyone knows how to make the traditional chocolate Easter nests. Well, they inspired me to make these in cupcake form with a difference.

What you will need:

  • A batch of 12 cupcakes (I used my vanilla cupcakes but you could make chocolate ones to make these treats even more chocolatey)
  • A batch of chocolate buttercream (bought or homemade)
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Mini chocolate eggs

Method

  1. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a round piping nozzle, with chocolate buttercream (if you don’t have a nozzle, just cut the end off to size).
  2. Pipe two rings (one on top of the other) of buttercream onto the top of the cupcake.
  3. Dip your cupcake (gently) into a shallow dish of chocolate sprinkles until the buttercream is coated in them. It should look like a sprinkle covered doughnut!
  4. Place two mini chocolate eggs in the centre of your nest.


3. Lemon Shortbread Bunnies

These are just so delish! Again, these are so simple and great to make with kids. Get creative! Pick your favourite sprinkles and unapologetically decorate!

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What you will need:

  • 125g butter (room temp)
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (I put in more because I love the lemon flavour)
  • 65g caster sugar
  • Bunny cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutter (optional)
  • Icing sugar
  • Your favourite sprinkles

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then add the lemon zest.
  3. Sift in the flour and combine. Using your hands, form into a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the fridge and roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 5mm thickness.
  5. Cut out your bunny shapes and place on a lined baking tray. You could also cut out some small flower shapes for the tail! If you don’t have a flower cutter, don’t worry! Continue reading!
    IMG_8288
  6. Place the baking tray of cookies into the fridge for 10-15 minutes. You could also put a large hole in the top of them if you with to put ribbon through them to hang.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies have a golden tinge.
  8. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
  9. Mix together icing sugar and water to make a simple icing (you could also add lemon juice to give it more lemon flavour).
  10. Cover the flower shaped cookies in the icing or carefully spoon/pipe the icing onto your bunny to give it a tail. Add your sprinkles to the icing to create a tail made of sprinkles or simply leave it as it is! If you’re creative, you could give him sprinkle ears!

4. Floral Bunny Ear Cupcakes

These are slightly more challenging but I think they’re so cute! I used these reusable cupcake cases that are silicone plant pots which I think were perfect for this design! You can use whatever you like.

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What you will need:

  • A batch of your favourite cupcakes (or you can use my vanilla cupcake recipe)
  • A batch of vanilla buttercream
  • Piping bags
  • Variety or piping nozzles
  • Food colouring
  • Candy melts or chocolate

Method

  1. Melt your candy melts in a piping bag (I used a microwave. Heated for 30 seconds then squeezed the bag to mix the melts. Then heated for another 30 seconds and repeated until I got my desired runny texture). Then snip a small piece of the end of the piping bag off. You can use chocolate, however, it is not as stable.
  2. On grease proof paper, pipe bunny ear shapes. (I draw my design before hand and placed it underneath the grease proof paper so I could trace it).
  3. Leave to harden on a flat surface for 24 hours.
  4. Separate your vanilla buttercream into different bowls and colour. I used yellow, pink and violet as I thought they were nice spring colours.
  5. Put your buttercreams into separate piping bags with different nozzles.
  6. Apply a base of green buttercream to look like grass.
  7. Carefully peel your candy melt bunny ears off of the grease proof paper and delicately push them into the buttercream.
    IMG_8304
  8. Pipe a variety of flowers and shapes onto the cupcake. You can always just pipe swirls and dots! Try to pipe them onto the cupcake in a way that supports the ears.

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And there you go! Very simple and quick Easter treats. I hope this brings some joy to your household. If you do create these, please share pictures with me! I would love to see them!

Be kind. Stay Safe.

 

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Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

This is the recipe I use for a really quick and simple sugar cookie. Perfect for Christmas, Birthdays, baby showers or any occasion or holiday.

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Ingredients

  • 100g butter (room temp)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 275g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190ºC/ 170ºC fan/ Gas 5. Line a baking tray.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Sift in the flour and mix until it forms a dough.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick.
  6. Cut out your shapes and place onto the baking tray.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until pale golden.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Fluffy Bunny Pancakes

Tomorrow is Pancake Day! It’s the perfect excuse to have a fun dinner or a sweet treat.

Since this is the first Pancake Day Olivia can take part in, I was trying to think of ways to make it fun. I always love pictures of people making animal pancakes for their kids. There are no rules. You can make teddy bears, butterflies and everyone remembers the pancake art trend. Olivia is still too young to appreciate full blown pancake art but I wanted to practice a simple design that I can make her on Sunday mornings or a grey day to cheer her up and I thought one of the most simple (and cute) designs would be a bunny!

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Although I had a lot of fun making these, I can’t wait until she’s a tad older and can decorate her bunny how she likes. Whipped cream tail? Chocolate whiskers? Strawberry teeth? Banana eyes and blueberry nose? If you do make these, please share your designs with me! I would love to see how you (or your children) decorate them.

Not only is this adorable, but they actually taste so good. I had some left over batter, after making these, and decided to have some for breakfast (as it was just there, and honestly, they’re so delicious!). I topped mine with strawberries and honey (how grown up am I?) but I kind of wanted to cover it in Nutella, whipped cream and sprinkles. Not gonna lie.

The recipe is perfect and you don’t need to run to the shops to get anything ‘special’. Chances are you’ll already have everything you need in the cupboard. So, without further adieu…


Fluffy Pancake Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Lightly whisk the milk and egg together in a seperate bowl, then add the olive oil.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the flour and whisk with a fork until completely combined.
  4. Leave batter to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Heat up a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil to stop the pancakes sticking (you’ll need to add oil as you go).
  6. Add a ladle of batter to the heated pan. For the bunny you will need 1 large (body), 1 medium (head), two small (feet) and two ear-shaped pancakes. You’ll want to make several of each so you can practice and pick the best ones.
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  7. Once the top of the batter begins to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown on both sides.
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  8. Arrange into a bunny shape and decorate!!!
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And that’s it! It’s literally that simple! These are perfect for a spur of the moment pancake craving or a spontaneous weekend breakfast.

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you all have a very yummy Pancake Day!

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Minecraft Cake Tutorial

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This weekend, my younger brother turned 12 and he requested a Minecraft themed party. I volunteered to make him a Minecraft cake and he was so excited. It only occurred to me later on that I was going to have to figure out HOW to do it.
So, if like me, you want to make a child’s birthday or you’re just wondering how to do it, I’m here to help!
My brother told me he wanted a chocolate cake but you can make any flavour cake you’d like. I used a 10 inch (25cm) square cake pan.

 

1. Make the Cake

Ingredients
For the cake:

  • 280g (10oz) butter, room temperature
  • 280g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 25g (1oz) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan, Gas 4) and thoroughly grease a square 10 inch (25cm) cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, and add 1/5 of flour mixture after each egg.
  5. Pour in vanilla extract and mix until combined and pour into cake tin.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer, inserted in the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  7. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out on a wire rack.

2. Assemble the Cake


For the filling:

  • 200g Cadbury dairy milk (or your favourite chocolate), melted

Method

  1. Once the cake is fully cooled, level the chocolate cake by cutting the top until flat then divide the cake length ways through the middle. Put the shaved off chocolate cake to one side to use later.
  2. Pour over 3/4 of the melted chocolate on the bottom half and sandwich the other half on top.
  3. Cut out a section of the cake. You can use my template below or create your own (but remember to make the shape out of squares, like Minecraft!).
  4. Layer the cut out piece on top of the cake using the remaining melted chocolate to fix it to the cake.
  5. Place cake onto a cake board (you can also use some melted chocolate to fix the cake to the board).

Template

16.5cm

3. The ‘Dirt’

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 225g butter
  • 175g melted chocolate, room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. I used the microwave, heating it at 30 second intervals and stirring in between to avoid burning the chocolate.
  2. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar in a mixer until smooth.
  4. Add the chocolate and mix until thick and creamy.

For the ‘dirt’:

  • 15 chocolate digestive biscuits
  • left over chocolate cake

Method

This will be used to pat on the side of the cake to give the soil look of the grass square in Minecraft.

  1.  Put chocolate digestives into a zip lock bag and close it up. With a rolling pin or a mallet, beat the biscuits into crumbs.
  2. Crumble the left over chocolate cake shavings into the bag and mix until it looks like soil.
  3. Pipe the chocolate buttercream on the sides of the chocolate cake using a piping bag and a round nozzle. Then, pat the ‘dirt’ mixture onto the sides.

4. The ‘Grass’

For the vanilla buttercream (the grass):

  • 110g butter
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60ml (3tbsp) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • green food colouring (preferably gel)

Method

This will be dyed green and will be the grass on top of the ‘dirt’ squares.

  1.  Mix together, butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence in a mixer until combined.
  2. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add green food colouring (I use gel food colouring as it gives a stronger colour and doesn’t add extra liquid to the mixture).
  3. Mix in the food colouring until the colour is even throughout.
  4. Put buttercream into a piping bag with a star tip.
  5. Pipe small spikes all over the top surfaces of the cake in neat rows to look like grass.

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Finishing Touches

I piped more of the green buttercream onto the cake board to give the effect of layered grass. It also allowed me to secure fondant figures from Minecraft to the cake board. These figures were bought online but if you have time and the skill, you could make them yourself ahead of time. I added the element of sand to the cake board by crumbling plain digestive biscuits and securing it using edible glue (you could also use water icing). Similarly, I used edible glue to secure blue fondant to the cake board to add water to the scene.

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I was really proud of this cake, mostly because my brother was super happy with it and was so excited to see it. This is a really simple design for Minecraft. If you have the imagination, you can create different scenes using this basic technique.

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I own all the images in this post.