Saturday, 24 November 2012

Once bitten, forever smitten - Sweet Salt

Various  tweets this week  have inspired me to write a piece about the salty sweet combo that the Americans love so much - call it the positive Thanksgiving effect. We are more traditional but celebrity chefs are enjoying a full on love affair with salted caramel so be brave and give it a try. 
 To make the salted sweets combo work you need to make a a salty flavour a featured ingredient rather than a secret. It is virtually impossible to buy a commercially produced pudding that doesn’t have salt added to a sweet recipe and the reson for this is that salt enhances sweetness on the tongue.
Lets start with peanut butter – Nuts have a neutral flavour profile so they combine perfectly with savoury or sweet. The ingredients on a jar of peanut butter are peanuts 95%, sugar, salt so if you add peanut butter to any cake or cookie you immediately have the salty sweet combo. The reason why it works is that a little salt brings out the sweetness and you get two flavour profiles alternating  and blending as you chew and this creates a more interesting taste. 
Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
Here is a simple recipe for 10 large muffins I call PJ’s You can make and bake them in just over 30 minutes. Just mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones you cannot go wrong.  Go on - put the jam in!
In a bowl beat with a wooden spoon:  1 egg,  150g crunchy peanut butter, stir in 60ml of vegetable oil, then 180ml milk. In another bowl sift together 200g self raising flour,  2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir in 130g sugar.
Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in wet ones, quickly mix together. If you want a jam surprise cooked into the muffin one third fill 12 large cake cases, spoon on 1 teaspoon of jam per muffin, (essential to keep the jam neatly in the centre of the muffin) cover with remainder of mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes at 160 fan oven = 180 degrees. 
Covering up the secret surprise -a jelly centre
 They will rise and might crack on top depending on how smoothly you fill the cases, whatever the finish they will smell and taste delicious.  If jam’s not your thing fill after cooking and cooling with chocolate or caramel spread.  

For the more adventurous I give you Chocolate Crisp. First discovered many years ago when small child decided that both chips and chocolate milkshake tasted better if combined. However a bit of research and trial and error in the kitchen means not only can you tantalize your taste buds with a salty sweet pairing but you can have smooth and crunchy too.  In California   sells an amazing chocolate bar that is filled with crisps – yes CRISPS. 
Crushed Sea Salted Crisps
 Here is my recipe for this daringly different salty sweet snack which is perfect with a glass of red.
Gently Melt 100g dark chocolate and 50g white chocolate in a bowl (microwave for 1 minute then stir ). Take your chosen crisps – my favourite are sea salted – and crush up so some are quite small and the rest are the size of cornflakes. Tip crisps into melted chocolate and pour out onto a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper. Smooth out till level with a spatula and leave to set. I prefer to make the chocolate very thin so I can cut it into diamond shaped crispy thins with my pizza cutter and arrange decoratively on a plate.
In most circumstances I don’t like dark chocolate but here a little darkness makes this the perfect nibble with a glass of red wine. 
Chocolate Crisps
 So if you have been inspired make something different this week. If you need a propper celebration cake just check out the Delicakes website or email

Friday, 26 October 2012

Once bitten, forever smitten - a photo says it all

Often people say to me - here's a photo - doesn't do the dress, cake, view etc justice - but you get the idea. So why do some people not get the best photographic memories possible of the big events in their life. I aways take a quick snap of a finished cake and the best ones end up on my website, the rest I keep as a record for myself anyway of how the cake turned out.
 by SamanthaJonesPhotography
 But look at the way these stylish cupcakes just pop when taken by a professional photographer with an artistic eye. You can smell almost smell the sweetness and the tastebuds start to tingle. Likewise this cute cake topper wouldn't have looked so impressive without the detail of good quality photography.
by SamanthaJonesPhotography
And even a simple bithday cake shaped to represent a Skateboard is shown as at its best when perfectly lit for the photograph - before it was eaten in 2 mnutes by a hoard of teenage boys.
by SamanathaJonesPhotography

Most of the time we have a special cake so we can share the moment of lighting the candles, singing happy birthday, watchng the Bride and Groom cut the cake and then share a special and delicious cake. So dont forget to get that unique photograph before you eat the cake.

To order cakes phone Janet 01732843518 or email.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - To Duck or not to Duck

This summer Jamie Oliver was extolling the virtues of Duck eggs in cakes rather than Hen's eggs. For those that have seen my foray into TV land (Cooks to Market on Sky Living) you will know I don't do what I'm told but if experiment and science gives me good reason to change tried and trusted recipes then I will.
First of all Duck Eggs look very pretty, they are clean and whitish with delicate mottled shading as if they have been dipped in water colour paints. They are also the size of a Large hens egg or even bigger. When cracked open the white is not so much white as really clear - looked wholesome and delicious. Here is a comparison of a Duck egg on left and a Hen's egg on right. I bought all the eggs in my local Waitrose.
We made two Victoria sponges using the same all in one method and the same amount of butter, sugar and flour. The cakes looked the same when baked and when eaten without any additional frostings they tasted the same but the texture of the Duck egg cake was firmer. I suspect this was the extra protein in the larger eggs. But the thing is the Duck egg cake didn't have any advantages and they cost about double the price of Hen's eggs so my advice is keep the Duck eggs to boil for breakfast when you want an egg that looks cute and special still in its shell and use hen's eggs for baking.
This is the Victoria sponge filled with cream and strawberries made with Duck eggs. I can make your special cakes with or without any key ingredient - I call them Freefrom Delicakes and more information is available on my website. If you have any wedding or celebration cake enquiries email

Monday, 17 September 2012

Once bitten, forever featured on Sky Living

Yes we have been featured on the new TV show Cooks to Market currently showing on Sky Living on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 8pm.
Picture by Samantha Jones
Janet (on the right) and Suzanne made 180 Delikones in Raspberry Fizz and Chocolate Nut flavours and sold them at One New Change by St Paul's Cathedral in London. This was all back in June before the Jubilee but the show was first screened on 12th September and is to be repeated tonght - Monday 17th September. Winning the challenge was a moment of particular embarrasment as we only made £21 profit but the other team made a masssive loss making and selling soup.

We got to pitch our product to the panel of experts whom we had not met before we stood trembling in front of them. In Dragon's Den style David Ishag summed us up quite well when he said how can I invest I don't know if you want one pound, one thousand or one million! The thing was we didn't know either as we had only had a weekend since we won and we didn't really know where to take our product as it was only invented for the show.

Still not having a plan did not stand in our way for long as Sharon Huetson from EasyJet quickly recognised the Delikone USP - a proper pudding you can eat without a spoon or bowl - just perfect for treating yourself on that plane journey to your holiday.So during October if you are flying out of Standsted Airport make sure you ask your EasyJet steward for a Delikone.

If you are having a catered function in the London area Suzanne's catering company Limoncello can provide all your needs including Delikones for pudding and if you are Kent based I provide Delikones from my Delicakes kitchen.

And just a final word about using freeze dried raspberries - Gizzi Erskine may not like them but they are the reason why our product works. I did a lot of research and development of the recipe to ensure the cone stays crisp. When we used fresh raspberry as suggested it soaked through and the cones fell apart!

To see the best bits from the TV show Cooks to Market click here.

For more info on Delikones email or like our facebook page or twitter @delikones

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - Buttercream Cakes

As with all things there are trends and fashions and right now Buttercream covered cakes are having a comback. Maybe its because we've got used dto delicious buttercream on our cupcakes but full on swirly decorated cakes are definately back in fashion.

 So if you want a pink Hello Kitty or a riot of roses buttercream is the tastiest decoration possible - soft and less sweet than fondant its a little bit retro and little bit individual as you can have any colour or texture.

 This chunky wedding cake is ideal for chocaholics - completely filled and covered with a chocolate fudge buttercream - the heady scent of cocoa as you get close makes the mouth water

This 'grass' covered golf cake made a hobby come to life and only the flagpole was not eaten!

 Contact Janet to order your cake - but dont leave it too late - once my order book is full I have to say no. 01732843518

Monday, 23 July 2012

Once bitten, forever smitten - Birthday Bombe

Waiting on tenderhooks for a birthday surprise - what could be more delightful than receiving one of these Birthday Bombe's through the post.
They are perfect cakes to make a day extra special. Five flavours correspond to the 5 delicate icing colours - Rose Pink, Pistachio, Frothy Coffee, Lemon and Ivory (shown). The flavours are perfect for adult tastes and include Vanilla, Coffee, Lemon, Almond and Raspberry and of course chocolate.

Each cake is £45 (sent to British Mainland) or they can be collected from Delicakes in Kings Hill Kent - 2 weeks notice is required and deliveries will can be booked for tuesday to friday. Phone 01732843518 to order a delicious surprise for your favouite person or email:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - Friendship Cakes

All cakes taste better if shared with friends so what about a cake made with a 'starter' gifted from a friend. Last week I was given a Herman the German starter mix and a website address so I could check how to look after the mix and then a recipe for a cake.

A stater mix is flour sugar and water that has been exposed to the air to pick up natural yeasts. These ferment and create a live culture so you have a starter mix for bread or cakes. A little bit more food in the form of sugar and flour is added with water to increase the amount of mix so you can use some and keep some or pass it on to a friend.

The starter mix acts in the same way as any other raising agent making air bubbles in the mixture as it cooks thus expanding the cake so its light and airy in texture. I notice that most of the recipes are for fruit cake mixes including fresh chopped apples- this is because yeast based cakes dry out quicker and the apples help to improve the shelf life of the cake.

These are not fancy cakes for celebration teas, these are satisfyingly filling chunks of cake to scoff with a cup of tea when your next meal is still a few hours away. Having a very sweet tooth myself I have adapted the Herman the German mix to make my version of Cinnabons - these are american yeast dough buns loaded with cinnamon and a creamy butter frosting. I think including the apple chunks makes them just about ok as a breakfast muffin!

Apple and Cinnimon with vanilla buttercream cake review - from Giles Holloway 
Delicious - The buttercream is wonderfull, I could eat these all day.
I was supprised I could taste as much of the apple as I did considering the characteristcs and powerfull flavour of buttercream and vanilla. A a good amount of apple in the cake which gave the cake a nice texture, and the cinnimon was well balanced, the next flavour you tasted after the buttercream.

So after that fullsome review I thought I'd give you the recipe...Its a dairy free / egg free recipe so its great for people with food intolerances
1 HermantheGerman starter mix
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup Quex Rapeseed oil
1teaspoon cinnamon
1 graed dessert apple

Mix all ingredients together except apple - it will be a sticky dough but not as wet as a sponge cake mix. Add grated apple and with super scrubbed hands squeeze the apple thorough the dough with your fingers. Divide between 9 or 10 muffin cases and bake for 20-22 mins at 150 (130 fan ovens)
When nearly cold squirt on a homemade buttercream - this means the buttercream and the top of the cake merge together

Monday, 16 April 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - Delikones

Do these look yummy?
Delikones are a totally new concept in puddings, not cakes and not ice creams - these are the most luxurious creamy cheesecakes- traditional lemon flavour with the added zing of freeze dried raspberries and a crunchy waffle cone - what's not to like? and the best bit is you can eat them without a spoon!

Currently only available to order in the ME19 and SE3 postcodes but soon to be featured on Sky TV's new friday night cookery show Cooks to Market and at food & music festivals throughout Kent this summer. 

If you want some for a summer party or BBQ phone Janet on 01732 843518

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - Ultimate cake range

For me the Ultimate cake is made with superior local ingredients, skillfully baked into a delicious cake and beautifully decorated. Sometimes that means less is more and therefore I am launching my Ultimate cake range.

These are simply beautiful cakes where the pleasure comes from the divine ingredients, intense flavours and mouthwatering texture and flavour combinations. For high days and holidays or a "because I'm worth it" treat - these are not just for weddings. Available from the West Malling shop soon but in the meantime just order from Janet.

Also in the range are the Red Velvet and Cream CheeseCupcakes which need no explanation and the Ultimate Birthday Cake - One for adults I think with its perfect Vanilla sponge, layered with a rich creamy buttercream and covered in a fruity raspberry jam. All protected by a delicious almond marzipan and fondant covering and decorated to your specification.
For lots of pictures of delicious Delicakes check out the website for Birthdays or Weddings

Order from Janet by phone 01732843518 by text 07714286911 or by email

Monday, 30 January 2012

Once bitten forever smitten - 3D or Carved Cakes

Have you ever seen Ace of Cakes on TV? Doug and the team often carve a cake into a particular shape so that a 3Dimensional cake is the result. Last month for the first time I was asked for a 3D wedding cake! It was a replica of the grooms motorcycle helmet and it featured neon edible cake colours. This is the happy couple featured in the Kent Messenger with their Helmet wedding cake.

This is the Helmet I copied.

This is the carved cake in the basic helmet shape with a buttercream covering. The cake was made of six layered victoria sponges with a central cake board and supports inside to keep it stable.

 The cake was then covered in green and orange fondant. All the fondant and royal icing embellishments were added separately to get as much realistic detail as possible. The visor is balck fondant, the numbers and name are fondant rimmed with royal icing and edible neon lustre dust was added at the end. The cake was presented on a 'tarmac' cake board. Here is the finished cake - the bride collected this cake and was so excited that she had chosen such a special cake for her husband to be.

Do you have an idea for a different wedding cake? Well if you do just contact Janet 01732843518 or email