When I started the Love Cake challenge I did have visions that this round-up would just feature my own bakes but you lovely lot have done me proud with wonderful creations. I thank you all who contributed, commented and shared this challenge. So, what have you been up to this month? Grab a cuppa and read on...
The very first entry to Love Cake from was at Chris at Cooking Around the World. To celebrate the second anniversary of his blog he took his inspiration from the Austrian classic Sachertorte. A special touch was the chocolate hearts on top which Chris made in an ice cube mould.
If you cut a strawberry in half it looks like a heart. If you roast, purée and then make them into frosting then they can decorate a heart shaped cake as beautifully as Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist as achieved. Her Zesty Drizzled Lemon Cake with Roasted Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is of course gluten-free. All in all a delicious combination of flavours and just perfect for a cake baked for a loved one.
If there's one flower that is associated with love and passion it has to be the rose and Caroline from Caroline Makes... decided it was time to try out her new Nordic Ware tin she got for Christmas. The smaller version of the cakes, in the form of Rosewater Mini Bundt Rose Cakes, were perfect for a colleague's birthday and a lovely thought to bake them for her. Caroline's post also contains a cautionary tale of what you should use to coat the inside of your Bundt tins with.
You can have a happy heart but it is just as important to have a healthy heart. Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary used a very usual ingredient in her Chocolate Black Bean Brownies. With supplies running low in the Shetlands Elizabeth raided her stash to find some tins of black beans to put in her brownies. The black beans and almonds in the recipe both help to reduce LDL cholesterol.
The Vegan Chocolate Cake – Affinities Rococo Cake is all about passion. Ren Behan's love of chocolate is evident but this recipe for chocolate cake is adapted from a very special book. It's based on the Affinities Cake from Rococo Mastering the Art of Chocolate by Chantal Coady. The idea for the cake came from a trip to Grenada to visit Mott Green, the visionary co-founder of the Grenanda Chocolate Company. Sadly, Mott died last year in a freak and tragic accident.
Now Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog has always had a passion for cooking with chocolate but one type of cake had always alluded her – a bundt cake. A delivery of a silicon bundt mould meant she could start testing out recipes and came up with two versions of an Orange and Chocolate Bundt Cake plus a new passion for bundt cakes!
Personally I love presents that you can eat and drink and they are always much better if they have been made with love from someone you know. Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... obviously thought the same with her three part Christmas present for her very lucky housemate Lauren. The final part was a traybake of Lauren's choice and this was a Gluten-free Lemon Drizzle Traybake.
I wonder how marriage proposals were made on this year's Valentine's Day? With prices going up around Valentine's Day you could have done well to ditch the roses and make a romantic bundt cake instead. Pauline of Pauline's Occasional Baking Adventures found a new passion for baking last year and is now raising funds for Ashgate Hospice. Her 'With This Ring...' Valentine Bundt is sure win the hearts of many.
The brownie recipe I use I have been forbidden to share by my children however Hannah from A New Addition has had no such restrictions placed on her. Her Amazing 'I Love You' Gooey Brownies have both white and milk chocolate in them. They make a super cute dessert when cut into hearts.
From hotel rooms to short-term lets and even a canal boat in Wales Tina from the Worktop has lived in them all recently. Now she has finally found 'home' at last she wasted no time in making these Carrot Cakes as a housewarming gift for herself.
Basil is my favourite herb so I'm very intrigued with Ros of The more than occasional baker Raspberry and Basil Financiers. With a surplus of egg whites to use up she decided to try this unusual pairing. The heart shapes would make a lovely Valentine's pudding.
Caroline from Caroline Makes... was back with another Christmas present and another Nordic Ware Bundt tin (none of us are jealous are we?!). Her Chocolate and Beetroot Cake can be made in any same sized Bundt tin but it would have been very wrong not to use it as this time of year!
Making meringues can be a tricky business and quite often leave you with a rock-hard, burnt mess. However, Tracey at Dilsy does... seems to have perfected the technique with her Heart Meringues. These cuties could be piped into any shape depending on the occasion.
There's no better way to celebrate special events than bake a glorious chocolate cake and Manjiri at Sliceoffme did just that for Valentine's, her husband's birthday and their wedding anniversary. A few adaptations to a classic Nigella recipe and it was turned into Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut Flavoured Icing.
While the rain and wind has bashed the UK Ros from The more than occasional baker has been away in Australia which has been facing its own weather problems to the other extreme. However, she was kind enough to leave us with a second recipe this month in the form of her heart shaped Chocolate and Raspberry Zebra Cake. Baked in her silicon heart mould it produces a perfect heart shape with every slice.
I love doughnuts but not the ones which are so greasy you can almost hear one of your heart valves closing shut. No such problems with Jac from Tinned Tomatoes version as her Easy Valentine Donuts are baked in a tin using a Victoria sponge cake mixture. Definitely not just a Valentine's treat!
Rekha has dedicated her Cooking Without Kitchen to people with limited cooking facilities or little time to cook. Her Microwave or Rice Cooker Chocolate Cake is a perfect example what you can bake with very limited equipment and indeed no oven!
I bought a tin in Aldi some time ago and have to confess I've never used it as I've never sat down and worked out the quantities needed for a cake recipe. Now that problem has been solved as Angela at Garden,Tea, Cakes and Me has also bought the same tin which is now her favourite and baking Vanilla Cakes in it.
Jenny at What Jenny Baked is on a baking countdown to her wedding in October so some heart shaped Jammy Dodgers are just the ticket at the moment. Some deviations from the original recipe caused Jenny a few panics but she managed to save her mix.
Blondie or brownie, blondie or brownie? Decisions, decisions but now the problem has been solved by Beckie at beesteas as she has cleverly combined the two. Her Marbled Raspberry Blondies and Hazelnut Brownies has something for everyone in.
If you are meant to bake cake then you shouldn't fight at as Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous found out. Pears on their own wasn't acceptable for their little one but turned into Pear Cupcakes and they became 'little pear puffs filled with love'.
After all the fabulous entries what did I create? For my Clandestine Cake Club meeting this month I made a heart shaped Honey for my Honey cake. A touch of old-fashioned elegance for a our vintage venue.