Happy Mother’s Day!

Wishing all the mamas out there a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Source: The Artful Parent

MamaBabyBliss’ Launch National Appeal for Ukrainian Families

UK mother and baby support network, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ has launched a national fundraising campaign in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal run by The British Red Cross Society.

In light of displaced families, bombed maternity wards and tragic loss of life due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ Founder Justina Perry has encouraged mums and babies, mums-to-be and franchisees across her UK network of pregnancy, mother and baby classes to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian parents.

Continue reading “MamaBabyBliss’ Launch National Appeal for Ukrainian Families”
Red Velvet Cake Recipe - TheWanderingMother Blog

Recipe: The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake

A couple weeks ago I bought these cool silicone bundt cake moulds from Amazon and I can’t get enough of using them. They’re so easy to use and clean – also, two moulds for £13.99 is a bargain! I’ve used them to bake all sorts of cake. I’ve used the swirl one to make coconut and banana cake, marble cake and now I’m using the more traditional-looking Bundt mould (doughnut-ring shape) to make lemon drizzle cake and now, red velvet Bundt cake. Just in time for Mother’s Day too! Initially I was going to make a lemon Bundt cake topped with edible flowers but I’ve missed the delivery for those so I’m opting in for this red beauty instead.

I found out that Bundt cakes are basically the same as standard round cakes. There’s no different in taste – something I used to think was a thing. Their unique doughnut-ring shaped design is pretty much what sets them apart your usual cake so you can use this recipe to make your red velvet cake in a round cake tin, square cake tin, tray bake – whatever you fancy!

Super moist. Super rich. Super yummy!

This rich, red velvet cake is super moist with a velvety texture, thanks to the added buttermilk (more on this later). It’s super-rich but not overly sweet, thanks to high quality cocoa powder and… coffee! More on this secret ingredient later too. And then what makes it super yummy? The deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting that it’s topped off with. If you’re not a fan of cream cheese frosting, no worries because I’ve got you covered with a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe instead. Happy days!

Red Velvet Cake Recipe - The Wandering Mother Blog
A truly decadent cake for people who like their cakes a little different
Red Velvet Cake Recipe - TheWanderingMother
Soft, velvety and moist – just how a red velvet cake should be.

There are LOADS of red velvet cake recipes out there. I’ve been trying out quite a few before learning how to perfect my own version. My ultimate red velvet cake recipe is an adapted version of both RecipeTin Eats and Something Sweet Something Savoury – by selecting bits from each recipe I was able to make something amazing to my taste and liking. Check out the originals below:

The MAGIC ingredients in my red velvet Bundt cake…

Buttermilk

This is an absolute MUST. I’ve made red velvet cake before without buttermilk and it’s okay but it’s more on the sponge cake side instead of the unique texture red velvet has. You can buy buttermilk from the supermarket or alternatively, you can make your own buttermilk mix.

Broma Bakery has an amazing post on how to make your own buttermilk in three different ways. I make mine with milk and lemon juice.

Self-raising flour

A lot of the recipes I see opt for plain flour (all purpose flour) instead of self-raising flour (cake flour). I’ve never been able to make a good red velvet using plain flour. It always seems to comes out really dense. Maybe I need to try it with the baking soda and vinegar combo to get it to fluff-up and rise more. Nevertheless, I like the light and smooth texture I get from using self-raising flour and baking powder so I’ll stick to what I know best on this one.

Food colouring gel or paste NOT liquid

Forever, I’ve been purchasing the little red food colouring gel tubes from the supermarket and kept wondering why my red velvet cake wasn’t as red as the ones we buy from the bakeries and shops. I then came across Sugarflair’s extra red food colouring paste on Amazon and OMG THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! The reviews said you’d only need a small amount and boy they were not wrong. I used 1/2 level teaspoon to get it as red as in my photos. Literally that’s it. I don’t usually make it as red so would use amount 1/4 level teaspoon. I’m sure it’s the same stuff professional bakers use.

PLEASE don’t use liquid. Liquid food colouring works better with liquids or at the most, buttercream frosting. For cakes, you need a paste or gel.

Coffee

This is not a traditional ingredient and no, it’s not going to make your red velvet cake taste like coffee cake. However if you do add too much, it might make your cake taste more like chocolate cake than anything else. You only need a tiny amount and the reason for adding in coffee is because coffee enhances chocolate. This was something new I learnt from Something Sweet Something Savoury’s recipe.

Because we’re not loading up with cocoa powder in a red velvet cake, the chocolatey taste is just too mild – the coffee really brings it out and gives depth to the flavour. Fine instant coffee will do if you don’t (I don’t!) have expresso powder. I use Nescafe’s Azara americano instant coffee because it’s fine like a powder and mixes easily with a bit of water. It also smells amazing and is actually my favourite instant coffee. 🙂

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake | The Wandering Mother Blog
I love the pretty designs of the Bundt cake moulds. They make this cake extra special!

The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Recipe

This delicious can’t-stop-won’t-stop-eating-it cake will yield about 8 good slices or 6 very generous slices.

Prep time: 20mins
Cooking time: 40-45mins
Cooling time: 30-45mins

Ingredients

For the cake:
200g self raising flour, sifted
200g light brown sugar or golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
100ml whole milk + 2 tsp lemon juice (to make the buttermilk)
2 medium/large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp high quality cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks organic cocoa powder)
1 tsp fine coffee powder (add with 2 tbsp water)
1/4 tsp of Sugarflair maximum concentrated paste red extra (you can use an alternative red food colouring gel or paste and adjust the measurement accordingly)

For the frosting:
225g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g full-fat soft cream cheese (for cream cheese frosting)
40ml whole milk (for vanilla buttercream frosting)

Method

Prep for buttermilk: add milk into a cup and slowly add in the lemon juice as you stir continuously. It will start to feel a little thicker. Leave to stand for at least 5 mins. If your milk has curdled, don’t be afraid, add a little extra milk then before adding into your cake mix strain it through a sieve.

  1. Preheat your oven to 160’C degrees / gas mark 3 / 320’F degrees and lightly grease your cake tin or silicone mould with a little butter or oil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, soften the butter then add in the sugar. Mix well until everything has combined – it’ll look like soft buttery sugar dough, almost like cookie dough mix.
  3. Beat your eggs separately before slowly pouring it into your sugar-butter mix. Whisk until you see that a smooth consistency has formed with no lumps but be careful to not over-beat if you’re using an electrical whisk.
  4. Add in the ‘wet’ ingredients – vanilla extract, red colouring, coffee (already mixed with the water) and buttermilk, then whisk until it’s just about mixed in.
  5. Add in the ‘dry’ ingredients – sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, and gently fold into the mix until there’s hardly any lumps. try not over-do it with the mixing here otherwise it can make the cake dense. The batter should feel a little heavy – I find it similar to pancake batter.
  6. Pour into your cake tin or mould. If you’re using a silicone mould, place your mould on a baking try first before pouring to ensure the cake bakes evenly and avoids any spillages as the moulds will feel heavy and wobbly.
  7. Place into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 40-45mins. Use a wooden skewer or small knife to see if the cake has cooked thoroughly, if not, bake for another 5mins and check again.
  8. Once done, remove from the oven and leave aside for 5-10mins. DO NOT take it out of the silicone mould too soon or you’ll risk it breaking and may be hard to remove. For the silicone mould, pull the sides away from the cake first then place a plate over the top and flip over. Gently press the sides and lift the mould off, it should release very easily.
  9. Allow to cool whilst you prepare your frosting. Remember, whilst your cake is still warm you can’t add the frosting unless you like a runny mess on your plate. Allow the cake to cool in the fridge if you want to speed things up.
  10. To make the frosting – add icing sugar to the room-temp butter and mix well until a smooth paste forms. Add in the vanilla extract and EITHER milk for a vanilla buttercream or add the cream cheese for a cream cheese frosting. With the cream cheese, careful not to over-beat as it will result in a runny consistency. Chill in the fridge until 10mins before use.
  11. Remove the cake from the fridge and add your frosting. You can decorate your red velvet with a little crumb topping by pinching some of the cake from the bottom and ta-da! The ultimate red velvet cake.

Making this cake? If you do give my ultimate red velvet cake recipe a go, please tag me in your photos – I want to see! Instagram: @manny.wandering / Twitter: @manny_ngo / Facebook: @thegreenwichmummy

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Review: Personalised gifts for her from JewelleryBox.co.uk

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Jewellery Box Review

It’s Mother’s Day – woop woop! 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day! 

It’s been such a long time since I last posted anything and it’s because there’s been quite a few changes. I came up to the end of my maternity leave and decided to go back to work… just not back to where I was working. There was nothing wrong with the place – I had a good team, the workload was manageable and I liked the workplace but now with two children under 5, the commuting made me anxious to return.

I found another job closer to home, it’s literally a 5 mins walk away which obviously much more convenient in terms of travel. Dropping off LO at nursery is en route to work and the job role gives me more flexibility. I can choose to work from home if I have childcare problems and can’t get into the office and I can spread my hours over the week (working half-days) without having to worry about any bus, tube or train commuting. Ker-ching!

So that’s basically why I’ve not been present on the old blogosphere for the last month. Work is manic – I have paperwork, bookings and deadlines up to my ears. Already! It’s stressful but I guess it is because it’s still early days. When I got an email asking if I’d like to write a review on personalised jewellery I said yes without hesitation. It’s been such a long time since I owned any piece of jewellery it was a chance for me to reintroduce myself to it.

I’m always torn between gold and silver so I picked a dainty little gold bracelet with ID plate and a silver disc pendant necklace – both of these items were from the personalisation collection so that meant I could add an engraving of my choice on to the jewellery. I chose the simple engraving of “K & A” for the initials of LO and Baby Girl. Both items arrived quickly and were presented in beautiful gift boxes. If you love dainty, quirky little jewellery pieces you need to check out their website. Continue reading “Review: Personalised gifts for her from JewelleryBox.co.uk”

Happy Mother’s Day!

LO is sick today so not a great mother’s day for me as I had so much planned for us today but things like this happen all the time so it’s to be expected. The weather is not looking too good in London today either; foggy and probably not very warm. I’ve not stepped outside into the real world today, instead I am having a stay-in with a nice hot cuppa (tea, of course) with rich tea biscuits and cuddling LO at every chance I get!

He’s having a little nap now so that gives me time to catch up on here and plan our days out for next week. As we were supposed to go to the Wellcome Collection museum we will have to find a day next week to go. Another mummy friend has also mentioned she wanted to go to KidSpace in Romford, Essex so will need to set a day aside for that too – it’s going to be a busy week next week!


Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas

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Childrens Mother’s Day Crafts Workshop, Greenwich Market

If you are in Greenwich or planning to go somewhere today, why not head down to Greenwich Market for some pre-Mother’s Day fun? There will be arts and crafts today for the children; there will be a workshop for kids to get messy and create a wonderful jewellery box or a special Mother’s Day card. What’s best of all is that it’s completely free!

Closest stations to Greenwich Market are:

National rail – Greenwich

DLR – Greenwich/Cutty Sark

Tube – North Greenwich

Buses: 129, 180, 177, 386, 286, 199

http://www.greenwichmarketlondon.com/events/story/mothers-day-workshops

The Piano Room, North Pole Bar & Restaurant

If you want to take your mums out to a lovely meal around Greenwich, why not try out the Piano room at the North Pol restaurant? Enjoy beautiful, live piano music whilst enjoying a delicious three course meal for a decent £24.95. The North Pole Greenwich also has a heated outdoor garden where you can sit and chill out after dining if you wish. Contact the restaurant directly for to make your reservation.

http://northpolegreenwich.com/mothers-day/

More Ideas?

If these ideas are not enough, why not check out the Time Out website for more things to do tomorrow around London – there’s no excuse not to spoil your mummies (or yourself!) tomorrow 🙂

http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/things-to-do-on-mothers-day-in-london?package_page=46269

– Enjoy!

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Mother’s Day Bouquet By Dinahs Desserts

Mother’s Day is approaching thick and fast and if you are anything like me, you probably haven’t been able to get anything for your mum yet because you are too busy looking for things to get yourself first! *guilty face* …Well all is not lost; with so much gifts available in the shops and online, why not go for something more personalised cupcake bouquet in your chosen flavour with a personal message!

London patisserie baker, Dinah’s Desserts is offering a beautiful cupcake bouquet complete with a personalised message for £30 including free delivery for this Mother’s Day. Get your orders in fast though as she gets booked up very quickly. Although she is based in London, she has also delivered to Surrey before so don’t think that you must live in London to order. Dinah offers a wide selection of flavours from alcoholic such as Baileys, to non-alcoholic classics like red velvet and raspberry ripple. If there’s a flavour you want that she doesn’t already offer, let her know as she can make it up for you as (everything is made to order from scratch).

I will be putting my order in now and can personally recommend Dinahs Desserts in London to anyone and vouch for the high quality taste, culinary skills and presentation. For LO’s baby shower, I ordered a cake from the talented mother-of-one. I gave her a broad brief of what I was looking for and was very pleasantly surprised with this beautiful creation (see below). I normally cannot stand icing but this chocolate icing really hit the spot. Everyone at the baby shower commented on how stunning the cake was.

My baby shower cake by DinahsDesserts

DinahsDesserts also specialises in bridal cakes with professional consultations and cake tastings as well as provide catering for small and large events offering dessert buffets. She also offers classes for children aged 3-5 to practice their culinary skills and make something delicious every week.

To see more desserts, visit her website: http://dinahsdesserts.com/

Connect with Dinah’s Desserts on Facebook | Instagram