I saw this on the internet the other day.

The internet tells me there are cakes called “magic cakes.” You use one mix, and you get 3 layers: a sponge, a cream, and a custard layer. It’s like magic.

I’d never seen or heard of them before. Nor had my friends. So I decided to take one for the team and test out the recipie.

I followed the recipe step by step, exactly as outlined- apart from I couldn’t find my cake tin so I used a loaf. I was very suspicious of the whole thing when the mix turned into a frothy liquid. But I kept going. And here it is:




I’m not sure it’s supposed to be that creamy in the middle. Probably because of my tin size. The end product was a hard set custard with liquid/creamy custard and a light sponge on top.

So, what do I think about this Magic Cake?

It tastes OK, and my flatmates approve. But, I think there are better cakes you could make with the same effort. I probably wouldn’t order this one in a cafe or restaurant.

Still, the concept is very cool. I can imagine my little cousin’s mind being blown that one mix comes out as 3 layers. It’s a very fun cake.

Carrot and Swede Gnocchi

January 10, 2016

Leftover carrot and swede mash. What to do with it.

I’d made gnocchi with leftover mashed potato before, so I decided to try it out with carrot and swede.

I can feel the eyebrows being raised, like “that’s not gnocchi!!” But whatever it is (maybe just little dumplings?), turns out it’s a very convenient way to use up your mashed up root vegetables.

I just added some wholemeal flour, made little balls, and pan fried them. You could boil them instead, but I got addicted to pan frying gnocchi after I saw it on masterchef. Not particularly healthy, but delicious.


They came out looking like mini turkey burgers! Anyway, I had them with chunky home made pasta sauce and poached salmon flakes. Yummmmm.



Berry Pavlova!

October 4, 2015

I’ve looked up various meringue recipes, and they are all quite different. Some say use caster sugar, some say use half caster sugar half icing sugar, and I even read one recipe that said use caster sugar browned off in the oven. And should you use cream of tartar? Should you not?

I first decided to use a recipe that specified half caster and half icing, as that is what I am used to from making macarons. But something went wrong, and it lost its shape 😥 Maybe a bit of oil got in somewhere? (It’s now in the fridge as chunks, to be used for Eton Mess.)

So that was a bit of a disaster.

On my second attempt, I decided to swap over to Delia’s recipe as it seemed the most simple. And simple = less to go wrong! It seems to have worked out.



I made awesome creme patisserie with the egg yolks, so unconventionally I used it on the pavlova along with the cream 🙂

Gosh, it’s been so long since my last post!

May/June is always an incredibly busy time of the year, with all the undergraduate exams. I am drowning in all the marking I need to do!!! But I need a little break- I’m going to do a quick WordPress post.

So, just before the ~crazy~ exam period, I went away to South Africa with my lovely lovely flatmates. It’s somewhere I hadn’t even thought about going- but one of my flatmates had gone there for work for a few months, so we went for a visit.

All I can say is, why I’d never considered it as a holiday destination is a mystery. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! And full of animals. I love animals!

Cheap wine, of course, makes everything even better.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my holiday clips (just bragging, really!).









Turns out the next International Population Studies conference is in Cape Town! I better get my research-cap on, so I can submit a good paper to present & revisit this wonderful place.

Cauli Cheese!

March 14, 2015

I do like a good cauliflower cheese. People tend to perceive it as a winter thing, but cauliflower is really a summer veg. I think it’s a perfect centerpiece for spring time, and a great side dish for a roast throughout the year.

When I make cauli cheese I make sure the cheese sauce is real thick, so it clings to the cauliflower and doesn’t end up watery. I usually add mustard and nutmeg into my cheese sauce, but the mustard and Worcester sauce combo is also a good one. Bake for 40-ish minutes at 180c, and that’s it!


Hellooooo Worspress! That’s right, it’s Valentine.

I don’t care much for Valentine. Not because I’m single; I’ve kinda always disliked Valentine. I’ve never understood why we need a special day to spoil your partner (spoil me everyday, dammit!). If you’re single, society is rubbing it in your face- and that’s not cool. Even if you are casually dating, you can’t go on dates around Valentine because you think the other person might think that you think you’re really into them because you’re going on a Valentine date, and you think that would be way too much pressure… and arrhhhh! Haha

Anyway, if you’re into it, good for you 🙂 Hope you had a lovely day ❤

I spent mine spoiling my sister, as it was her birthday last weekend. We went to the Museum of London, had a burrito, walked around markets… and it was great.

When we came home, we decided to bake together. I’d always wanted to try making Deco-Rolls, or “decorated swiss rolls.” I first came across these in a Japanese book store, and I’ve now discovered that you can buy the deco-cake recipe book in English. BUT- I actually think the deco-cake recipes are a bit too faffy, and I’ve found a more simple one by Dulce Delight. Anyway, I decided vaguely to follow Dulce Delight’s recipe (FYI the video is probably more informative!).

So this is how it turned out:





And this is what my sister made 🙂


It was actually REALLY fun to make with my sister. We just sat down and piped our decorations, which is great to do together. I think I’ll have to work on my filling a bit more (I made dark chocolate ganache- tasted ok, but nothing special), but there will definitely be a next time to the Deco-Rolls. I think it’s also quite impressive, so a good thing to whip up for someone’s birthday!

Green Veggie Puff Pie

November 29, 2014

Weekends are my time to catch up on some cooking. I had some puff pastry in the freezer, and found some forgotten courgettes in the veg drawer I had to use up. So I decided to make some veggie pie.

I roasted the courgettes, and cooked down some chopped mushrooms and spinach with olive oil and plenty of tarragon. Once cooked & cooled to room temperature, added them all together with lemon juice, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts and black pepper. Wrap them up in pastry, bake… And that’s it!






My flatmate has taken up baking bread for his lunches, and I was green with baking envy. So, I decided to address this last weekend and bake myself some bread. I kept safe and made some foccacia (again), especially as we had a load of rosemary that needed to be used.

I used the Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking recipe, which can also be found here.

So, following the recipe, I decided that their water quantity was way too little. I upped it to about 350-400ml, but on reflection I think it could have been even wetter.

Also, they say knead for 5 mins… WHAT!? I normally knead the foccacia dough in a bowl as it’s so sticky, and I do it for 30 mins-ish. Sorry Hairy Bikers, I had to follow my instinct.

Anyway, here’s the finished product:




I think I’m close to mastering foccacia. Can I say that? It was totally stress-free baking, and tasted great. (Though, my cousin said that the way I did my rosemary made it look like hair… I’ll take that on board for next time.)

The last 4 times I tried to make macaroons at home, it was a disaster. I think I quietly sobbed on my third attempt. But 5th time lucky, as they say! I used the recipes from L’atelier des Chefs,  though I stupidly misread the super simple instructions and completely deflated the meringue. I tried to rescue it by whipping up extra sugary meringue and folding it into the flat mixture… and it seemed to work out ok! The macaroons turned out a little squishier than normal, but they were a considerable improvement from my last attempts.

I baked big ones (about 5 to 7cm wide) and small ones (about 3cm wide) to see which cooked better, and the small ones cooked more evenly. I could really see the importance of leaving the uncooked macaroons out for 10 mins before putting it in the oven, as the final finish had a good shine on the surface.

The filling was white chocolate, cream and vanilla essence. The texture of the macaroons usually improve after filling the centre and leaving it for a few hrs, and it was certainly true in this case.



Less than two months till my PhD hand-in deadline means I have less time to cook than ever before! Hesitant to even go grocery shopping, I am living off a stock of frozen food.

But frozen food isn’t actually that bad. Today, I defrosted some pollock fillets for my dinner and had it with some roast veg.

I started out by roasting some courgettes and cherry tomatos with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of oregano at gas mark 7/8. After 30mins or so, I added some asparagus, and after a further 10 mins I topped on pollock fillets drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. The fish should be cooked in around 5 mins.

While the veg was roasting, I made some dressing by combining chopped basil, capers, lemon juice, pepper, oregano, olive oil, toasted pine nuts and a splash of tabasco. Pour in some of the juices from the roast veg into the dressing for extra flavour.



Minimum effort oven cooking! Love it.