Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Christmas Cake-off 2015, by judge Lee Dingain

Boxing Day at the Dingain household was the venue for the third Dingain-Walls Christmas Cake-off - where Rachel 'RAW Baker' Walls battles it out with with Patricia 'I make one Christmas cake for everyone else and another one for me' Dingain, for baker of the best home-made Christmas cake.

These two legendary bakers are usually very good friends, but with one win each to date, the gloves were set to come off for this year's competition.

This year there were four judges this year - Stacy and Phill Dunkley joining John and Lee Dingain. Each cake was graded using the same criteria as last year - rating the presentation, icing and marzipan and fruit cake as either crap, poor, average, very good or the nuts. In the interest of fairness, cake samples were given to the judges labelled A and B - very serious stuff this competition!

Judge John Dingain

Judge Stacy Dunkley

As with the last two years, both cakes were baked to an exceptionally high standard and judges Stacy, John and Lee had a very difficult but enjoyable time grading them. The forth judge, Phill, on the other hand, who dislikes Christmas cake was overheard saying "they're both God awful".

As usual the scores were extremely close, and both competitors were neck and neck on the presentation, marzipan and fruit cake (despite Pat's cake missing a slice before the competition). However, Pat's tradtional Royal Icing won over the judges and swung the score in her favour. So for the second time the title of Champion of the Christmas Cake-off 2015 went to Patricia Dingain.

Christmas cake samples for the Judges to taste

Rachel conceded defeat gracefully, stating "I do like Pat's icing. I might have to reconsider my strategy for next year", and then "I better win next year!". Pat offered some encouraging words to the runner up "Commiserations to the loser who made an excellent cake", before adding "but not excellent enough!".

Afterwards we all (well, Phill excluding) scoffed our faces with both cakes, and talk had already turned to next year's competition.

Final category scores are:

Presentation: Patricia 13 points/Rachel 12 points
Icing and marzipan: Patricia 18 points/Rachel 14 points
Fruit cake: Patricia 13 points/Rachel 15 points

Total: Patricia 44 points/Rachel 41 points

Homemade Christmas pudding

I made my first Christmas pudding this year, using rum bought from Goa earlier this year. I was really pleased with the results as you can see form this photo! It was worth the 14 hours it took to steam in the slow cooker. It lit up marvellously and tasted very good. You cannot make beat a home-made pudding.

Rawbaking Christmas pudding

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Rawbaking Xmas home baked goodies 2015

Order your Christmas Bag- £6 each 

Butter shortbread

1. Snow Flecked Brownies. A best seller. Dark chocolate, fudge style brownies filled with white chocolate chippings.

2. Butter Shortbread. Butter shortbread sprinkled with sugar and topped with glitter.

3. Fruity Flapjacks. Delicious flapjacks, bursting with mixed fruit.

4. The Triple R - Rachels Rocky Road.  My favourite! A sticky chocolate base mixed with shortbread biscuit and stuffed with marshmallows.

5. Chocolate ginger slab. Chocolate filled with crystallised ginger pieces.

6. Xmas Jammy dodgers. Biscuit filled with jam and sprinkled with icing sugar.

7. White chocolate & cranberry fudge.  Velvety Smooth white chocolate fudge filled with tasty cranberries.

Email Rachel at rawbaking@gmail.com with your order!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Rocky Road Skeleton Skull

Using my popular `Triple R' (rachel's rocky road) recipe I used a skull mould to make a Halloween special. A rocky road skeleton skull.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Homemade blackberry jam

You cannot beat blackberry jam. Good on English crumpets or add a teaspoon with natural yoghurt. The blackberries were picked on Staines Moor.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Darth Vader birthday cake for Tia

My Niece Tia had a princess party in the morning with frozen cup cakes and a Darth Vader themed get together in the evening. I love the two extremes! Happy 5th Birthday Tia.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Kellie's 40th two-tier birthday cake

A two-tier victoria sponge decorated with butter icing swirls and a spinkle of glitter. Happy 40th birthday Kellie!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Birthday coffee cake

A coffee cake for Melvyn's birthday, topped with scrummy tasting chocolate covered coffee beans.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Birthday treats to celebrate Lee's birthday garden party

We had a lovely autumn sunny day to celebrate Lee's birthday in our garden with family. I made double chocolate filled muffins, salted caramel fudge brownies, apple loaf with cinnamon and my favourite, cinnamon buns.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Birthday Treats

Here's the selection of cakes I made for my work colleagues today.  Carrot cake with cream cheese topping, Salted caramel fudge brownies and `TheTripe R' aka Rachel’s Rocky Road.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Chocoholic birthday cake

A cake for a chocoholic. The chocolate fingers around the edge worked well despite the nieces and nephews eating them as soon as my sister in law blew out her birthday candles!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Coffee loaf cake

Coffee loaf cake topped with coffee beans. Lovely with a latte as a snack in the morning!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

English Plum jam

You cannot beat homemade jam. This year I had a record level of plums and have made 20 jars to date.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Frozen 2 Birthday cake

Here's a frozen 2 themed birthday cake for Layla's 5th Birthday with matching cupcakes.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

My favourite Lemon Meringue pie

This is in my top 3 of best English pudding in the world - Lemon meringue pie (or LMP, for short).
I made this for my brother-in-law's birthday.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Classic chocolate marble birthday cake

A birthday cake for our best friend, Sam who is back from Ecuador for a couple of weeks.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Giant Butterfly cupcake

A butterfly themed 30th birthday giant cupcake with matching smaller cupcakes. Pink and red colour theme with a sprinkle of silver glitter.

Frozen themed birthday cake

I am now on board with the best ever seeling merchandise form afi

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Frozen themed birthday cake

My neices will love this Frozen birthday cake I made for Molly's 7th birthday! It is the largest cake I have made to date. I enjoyed making the frozens style trees and snowflakes and of course add ing a sprinkle of glitter on the top.


Sunday, 31 May 2015

Giant Fondant Fancy Mr. Kipling style!

I am rather pleased with my version of a giant fondant fancy. Vanilla sponge filled with jam and butter cream and covered in fondant icing. I made this for my father in law's 70th birthday as it is one of his favourite cakes!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Meringues, strawberries and cream

You cannot beat home-made meringues, filled with cream and strawberries. An English classic!

The in-laws tucking in.

Mum and Lee 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Chocolate Marble Birthday cake

I made this chocolate marble cake for my sister, Karens' birthday.
It is a chocolate and vanilla `marble effect' sponge covered with lashings of chocolate fudge icing.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Spinach and Goat's cheese tart

Taken from Rachel Allens `Bake' book, this recipe has a hint of lemon and nutmeg together with the main flavours of spinach and goat's cheese. It's very nice with a green salad.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Princess Birthday Cake

I made this Princess Birthday Cake for my niece, Eden's 2nd birthday! Its vanilla ring sponge with pink frosting and a sprinkle of glitter dust.