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It's what Paul Hollywood has been trying to tell us all along: if you're a dab hand at avoiding soggy bottoms, it's likely you're also rather dashing. 

Able to whip up a mean tray of chocolate cupcakes? We'd love to date you. Something of a macaron master? Ooh, you sexy thing. Know your brioche from your banoffee? Hey! Let's just put a ring on it right now.

Yes here at SHEmazing! Towers (where we're known to eat quite a lot of cake) one study this week confirmed what we've long suspected: a third of Irish adults would be more attracted to a member of the opposite sex if they could bake.

The same report – carried out by Stork – also revealed that we're more inclined to bake following a lovers' tiff with our partners… after all, brownie points earned via a batch of, well, brownies, is tough to beat.

Indeed, with the Great Irish Bake Off now underway – a show which Stork has again partnered up with for the third series – we decided to round up eight of the world's most incredible, most wonderfully OTT bakeries. 

So please, stop touching your dough balls, and step away from those hot baps: these sweet-smelling international outlets will have give you all the romantic inspiration you need for the weekend…


1) Eileen’s Special Cheesecake, New York

One of the world’s most famous bakeries, Eileen opened her shop in 1976; it’s still going strong with more than 25 varieties to choose from, including peanut butter, piña colada and Baileys.


2) Mamie Gateaux, Paris

This small tea room in Le Bon Marché is the brainchild of a Japanese patisserie chef. The hot chocolate is served in a bowl with a spoon – and you can add your own whipped cream too.


Teatime with @boubouteatime at Mamie Gateaux #coffee #break #weekend #boubouteatime #sparklesinparis

A photo posted by Insaf Bennis (@blogsparklesinparis) on


3) Sadaharu Aoki, Tokyo

Another delicious fusion – here, you'll find more incredible Franco-Japanese creations, including the matcha croissant, a croissant filled with a rich, green tea-flavoured cream.


4) Bakerbots, Toronto

Opening in the city’s financial district in 2011, this is now a firm favourite. The cake creations are jaw-dropping and the cookies divine: think ginger molasses, captain peanut, rococoa, and oatmeal.


5) Tartine Bakery, San Francisco

Opening in 2002, this is continually rated as the city’s best bakery – daily queues are standard. On offer is the likes of a frangipane croissant with almond cream, and a passion fruit Bavarian tart with lime and coconut.


6) Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York

World-famous – and the menu changes every four to six weeks to keep the crowds coming back. Right now we’re coveting their lightly-sweetened miniature meringues, each with their own flavour, and the pink grapefruit honey and lavender tart.


7) Boulangerie Guerin, Rio de Janeiro

Located in the Copacabana district of Rio, we hear the eclairs are superb, while the individual Frasier cakes with fresh cream and strawberries are a local favourite. Otherwise, try the lavender macarons.


Uni duni te

A photo posted by Jullia's Ruffier (@juliaruffier) on


8) Demel, Vienna

Inside you can watch pastry chefs baking and decorating cakes as you enjoy a delicious slice of your own. There’s also a cake museum hidden in the back.



These delicious cupcakes are not only easy to make but can also come in handy for that perfect lunchtime treat.

What you’ll need:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp. of poppy seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g natural yoghurt
  • 175g butter, melted and cooled a little

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Heat your oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake or muffin cases.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the yoghurt, then add the mixture into the dry ingredients with the melted butter.
  3. Use a wooden spoon or whisk until the mixture is lump-free, then divide between the cases.
  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a skewer poked in comes out clean – the cakes will be quite pale on top.
  5. Cool for five minutes in the tin, then carefully lift onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

You might love dipping your Oreos into a cold glass of milk but once you make these we think they will be your new favourite way of eating Oreos!

This recipe is so, so easy and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

They would make a fantastic and impressive party centrepiece.

What you’ll need:

  • 19 Oreo biscuits
  • 500g soft cream cheese
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Place 1 Oreo biscuit flat at the bottom of each liner, 12 Oreos in total.
  3. Crush the remaining Oreos and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla essence.
  5. Beat in the eggs one by one, combining well. Stir in the crushed Oreos.
  6. Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners evenly.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 mins until the middle is set and slightly firm to the touch.
  8. Put in the fridge when cooled and chill for about an hour or so.

These handy tips will make your time in the kitchen a breeze!

1. To freshen up wilted veg add it to some ice cold water. It will revive it in no time!

2. Mix up your spices. Instead of adding vanilla and cinnamon to everything, why not experiment with other sweet spices such as ginger or nutmeg?

3. If your butter is colder than it needs to be and you don’t have time to wait, grate it!

4. Always add some carmelization to your red meat when browning. It adds a depth of flavour when the dish is finished.

5. To avoid a soggy bottom on your tarts, pies and quiches ALWAYS blind bake first. This will help your pastry stay firm and crisp no matter the filling.



A muffin tin can come in handy other than in the kitchen you know!

1. Jewellery organiser 
Paint it a pretty colour and use it to separate your earrings and rings. Cute!

2. Plants
Use your muffin tin to plant small plants or herbs.

3. Smoothie cubes
Make a big batch of smoothie at the start of the week then divide the mixture between the holders. Freeze and then place them in a freezer bag. Store in the freezer and blend with some water or coconut water every morning. So handy!

4. Condiments
Instead of a big mess of ketchup, mayo, mustard, pesto and hummus for this year’s barbecue, store your condiments in a muffin tin with individual spoons and top up as you need. Mess and stress free!

5. Party food
Store different types of pick n’ mix in muffin tin holders for a cute and sweet display.


This cake is flavoured delicately with orange zest and is perfectly light and fluffy. The yoghurt gives the cake more depth and allows it to stay lovely and moist.

What you’ll need:

  • 170g butter
  • 170g sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • zest of one orange

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter a loaf tin or line with parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until a fluffy consistency is achieved.
  3. Pour in one egg at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Add the sifted flour and fold in gently.
  5. Grate in the orange zest and add the yoghurt.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in the oven for about 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Slice up and enjoy with your favorite fruit.

Sweet potatoes are just as easy to buy and easier even to prepare than regular potatoes. They are also healthier as they contain more vitamin C, more fibre and less calories.

Change up your regular dinner side dish and grab a sweet potato instead!

What you’ll need:

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper or tin foil.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into wedge shapes, place in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the wedges and add the paprika and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Use your hands to ensure all of the wedges are coated evenly in the oil and spice mixture, adding more of anything if you need to.
  5. Spread the wedges out onto the baking tray and place in the oven for 30mins, checking and turning every so often to ensure even cooking.

Serve these rich and fudgy brownies with vanilla ice-cream for the ultimate dessert.

What you’ll need: 

  • 225g dark chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 70g flour, sifted
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70g chopped walnuts

What you’ll need to do: 

  • Grease a brownie baking tin and pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  • In a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and the butter.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar.
  • Allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly and add to the egg mixture.
  • Fold in the flour, baking powder and nuts.
  • Pour into the brownie pan and bake for 30mins. These brownies are meant to be fudgy and rich so a skewer may not come out completely clean as with other cakes but it also shouldn’t come out with raw mixture on it.

With this recipe you don’t need to feel guilty about munching your way through a film – yay! These chickpeas are just the right amount of spicy, salty and crispy to satisfy your cravings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180° c and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Drain your chickpeas and dry them well.
  3. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix to combine.
  4. Bake in the oven for 30-40mins until crisp.



We all need a cake we can throw together for special occasions. This cake is gluten-free, making it perfect for those with intolerances, as well as being light and not too sweet. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee in the afternoon. It’s also quite easy to put together and doesn’t require too many ingredients.

What you’ll need: 

  • 3 oranges
  • 4 eggs
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp honey

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Grease an 8″ springform tin and line the bottom with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Put 2 unpeeled oranges into a steamer or set in a sieve above a pot of previously boiled water, now simmering.
  3. When the oranges have softened and broken down slightly but still retain their shape, remove.
  4. Cut the oranges into smaller pieces, place in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Stir the almonds, eggs and sugar into the orange mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into the lined tin and bake for about 55 mins to an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile, place the juice of the third orange into a small pan and add the honey. Heat to combine.
  8. When the cake is out of the oven pour the warm orange and honey syrup over the cake.



Model, student and runner-up of last year’s Great British Bake Off, Ruby Tandoh, has landed a book deal.

Ruby lost the bake-off title to Frances Quinn, but gained attention with her many tears on the show and an attack by chef Raymond Blanc who said she was “so thin” and made him “doubt of her love for great cooking, baking,”.

We all know chefs have a temper but that was a bit unnecessary!

The book, Crumbs, will be published this year by Chatto and Windus. It has been said that there were up to nine publishers fighting to give her the deal.

Judging by her baking skills on GBBO, this is one book we’ll be adding to our kitchen shelves.