My love for baking is really surprising to me because I have never considered myself to have a natural talent for baking. I still scream, running in the opposite direction when I encounter a recipe that uses yeast. Yeast makes me panic; I can’t explain it.

However, which each passing day, I seem to dream more and more in cake. I think in cake, I want to make cakes. I want the cakes to be stunning, unique and delicious. Come to think of it, it is beyond cakes, I want to make the best entremets. I want my desserts to be amazing……as I said, it’s weird.

wedding desserts spread

Weird as it is, I have taken, little wobbly steps towards achieving my goals. Last year, I would only cover my cakes in whipped cream or nothing at all. Once or twice, I tried a few butter cream cakes…….I wasn’t crazy about the results. They were fine; at least the cakes disappeared into approving bellies without a trace, but for me it could be better.

Then in November, my friend, Darbuni, asked me to make her husband’s birthday cake. The request left me in cold sweat. Now I was having nightmares in cake and butter cream land!

I started by sketching a cake for her which she loved. Phew, that hurdle was easy. Next I had to figure out how to make a two tiered cake that would look elegant and not topple over on its way to her house……more cold sweat.

Darbuni’s Custom Birthday Cake Sketch November 2015

In the end, it turned out well. She loved it and her husband avowed that it was the best cake he had ever eaten. I was teary eyed and VERY relieved.

It translated well from the sketch wouldn’t you say?

This cake is my “Adam” if you will because it inspired subsequent cakes with a constant evolution in the design and finish for each.

By the time my first son’s birthday came round in January, I had started experimenting with mousseline butter cream which I loved. The texture was perfect and it wasn’t sickenly sweet.

He got two cakes; since his birthday fell on a Saturday, he got a cake to share with the family at home and a big four layered one to take to school the following Monday to share with his friends and teachers.

His cakes were huge hits, the playful application of butter cream made it age appropriate and beautiful. With my new love for all things moussey, I made some meringues and it was a superb addition to the cake pops and lollipops adorning the cake.

These cakes went on to beget a birthday cake in February that I made for a good friend and ardent client. I had made her birthday cake last year; it was a Tuxedo cake covered in whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries.

This year’s cake was a little more complex with macaron and meringue toppings for extra sophistication. It was also my first attempt at a water-colour effect butter cream application.

These water-colour cakes begot birthday cake that coincided with the Valentine’s Day weekend. A client called and said he wanted a death-by-chocolate-cake for his wife.

For this creation, I made layers of decadent chocolate cake filled with lemon curd (to cut the chocolateyness of it all) and the it was all covered in chocolate italian meringue butter cream (imbc); again this was a first for me and I loved the way the chocolate gave the butter cream more depth of flavour. I decided on red chocolate drip effect to add a wow factor and for contrast against the dark butter cream.

Now, the month of March was filled with much festivities and celebrations. For a fiftieth birthday cake (it was a last-minute emergency cake) I opted for a simple but effective finish. The cake was studded with 50 Ferrero Rocher chocolates; the effect was quite lovely too.


The crimson beauty from February, begot another striking green number a few weeks after; yes FFF cakes are pretty prolific.

I received a request to make a birthday cake for a young-at-heart forty-year old lady. The fun factor had to come out and  I went for fresh roses and fruits with a bright green chocolate ganache finish.

By putting a youthful twist on our bright drip cakes, I made a girlie version for a young girl finishing it off with fress strawberries, Ferrero Rocher and Raefellos.


My second son was born in March and I wanted his cake to be special but on the eve of his birthday, I also had a client’s cake due the following day. So there I was till about 2 am doing my best to finish both cakes.

Eventually, I pared down the plans I had for his cake and kep the designs for the cakes simple; the fatigue was REAL!

For my son’s cake, I drew inspiration from the two tiered cake I had made last November but his was bigger….I almost regretted this decision because hoisting and stacking the cakes unassisted was not exactly the highlight of my night. But it all came together in the end. Both cakes were well received and duly inhaled 🙂


The white chocolate drip cake above begot the cakes below. Although none of the cakes appear the same on he outside they are exactly the same on the inside; 3 layers of luscious lemon blueberry cake filled with lemon curd, topped with a variety of fresh fruits. These cakes also come from the lineage of the pink water-colour cake from February.

Ombre butter cream also featured strongly thid month, thus, the green ombre cake from January begot designs for the following cakes. And the chocolate imb red drip cake as well as the 50 Ferrero Rocher cake begot a grand chocolate cake that I delivered to a special lady on her birthday at the end of March.

The pink ombre, raspberry and strawberry cake (picturedin the middle above) was ordered again by the same client within a week of the first one. And this time, I decided to keep the flavours the same inside but changed up the outside and  attempted the upside down drip technique for the first time.

I had seen the technique on @cakesbycliff’s Instagram’s page. I nearly had a coronary but it turned out ok. I also applied the same technique to my mum’s birthday cake in early April.

The 50 Ferrero Rocher birthday cake begot another cake for a very elegant lady who turned 50 but did not look a day over 30!

In the spirit of creativity I made a “stripe” cake which turned out well considering that my medium is butter cream.

The stripe cake begot another stripey descendant which had more colour and embellishments. The clients were head over heels for this creation.


Making children’s cakes can be complicated especially when the child knows what he or she wants. I prefer cakes that have compleely edible elements on them, so when I was charged with making a birthday cake for a 7 year old who’s mum wanted lots of fruits on it, I needed to dig deep.

Drawing from my 2nd son’s birthday cake and the chocolate imbc chocolate drip cake, I came up with these two fun cakes creating hedgehog cake toppers from fresh fruits.

The 7 year old wasn’t sure about having hedgehogs on his cake but his parents and everyone else were thrilled with it. 🙂

In the spirit of keeping things interesting, I flipped the script on our cake making ways in May and made a series of upside down drip cakes in quick succession whuch made them easier to flip.

The yellow sunshiney one was a wedding anniversary cake, the red was a birthday and the biggest cake I have ever dared to flip was Femi’s cake. His birthday was yesterday. I wanted something that stood out. It stood out and stood tall. 🙂


Here ends the FFF cake geneology for now. Although there will be a post dedicated to cheese cakes which I can’t wait to share.

I leave you with aeriel views of our creations.



Pancakes are one those meals that don’t require you to have a reason or special occasion to make them. They are so easy to throw together and more likey than not you probably have all the ingredients you need languishing in different parts of your kitchen 😀.

We love pancakes and hubby loves it especially decadent so I am always mucking about with various toppings and syrups to keep things interesting. But regardless it’s still easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Ingredients (yields about 12 medium sized pancakes)

1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter

The “How To”

 In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, ie, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients; milk, melted butter (or oil), and egg.  Then add the dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened. Be careful not to overmix; here a few lumps are good. 

The reason being that if you overmix it you will agitate the gluten in the flour and whereas this is not a cataclysmic problem, it means you may not have light fluffy pancakes but dense not so fluffy ones. There! Chemistry lesson over!

Heat a large skillet (I used non-stick) on medium heat. Using a folded sheet of paper towel, dip it oil and carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.

Allow 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter per pancake in the skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you ought to be able to make two pancakes at a time if you’re using a large skillet)

Once the surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, flip them carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside for about a minute more. Once done, transfer to a pale and continue until you have exhausted your batter, you may cover the plate with foil loosely to keep them warm. 

As far as toppings go, there is no limit really, from maple syrup, honey, chocolate sauce, fresh fruits, strawberry coulis, raspberry coulis,  blueberry coulis, lemon curd, caramel sauce and even butter and these are just for the sweet pancakes. If you wanted to go the Savoury route, well……just go for it!




For great easy to follow recipes for pancake toppings check this post for how to make caramel sauce, this one for how to make lemon curd, here for coulis.

If you noticed the frothy, refreshing looking drink in the last picture; congrats! You have spotted one of FFF’s home made brews and I will tell you ALL about it soon!😉

FFF Tip of the Day

It’s a lot easier to stack pancakes that are just slightly warm especially if you are going to layer sauces and and jams between each piece. If the pancakes are really warm they will slide off. Alternatively you can stack warm pancakes without anything in between and pour your preferred topping over the stack. Your call!😀

Two posts within 24 hours? Yes a bit of an information overload but you know…’s honest to goodness deliciously good looking content, yes? 🙂 Of course you agree!! 🙂

So, last week, hubby had had a pretty rough few days at work and wanted to cheer him up… know using the age old reasoning that “the way to man’s heart is through his belly”…….I mean I cook for him all the time and he glad inhales most of what I put before him except when I present what he calls “goat food”, you should read that as salad. If the salad is devoid of any animal protein (which doesn’t include fish because he hates fish) then he goes up in arms! He’s a sweet toothed carnivore at heart….

Anyway, so focusing on his sweet tooth, I remembered that he loves apple pie and I hadn’t made one in AGES!! In fact, the last apple pie I made was on February 27, 2014 and I wrote this post chronicling my attempt.

I had seen an exquisite looking apple pie on Pinterest that inspired me so after a few tweaks to the recipe, I came up with two gorge delish variants.



Like I mentioned in my earlier post, you have to be organized to make this dessert but every step is worth it when you see the final result. Also, if you don’t have loads of time, a lot of the prep work via be made a couple of days a head, this way it comes together easily when you want to complete it.

So let’s get cracking!


For the pie crust: Please use the pâté brisé (short crust pastry) recipe in this post Also follow the procedure for blind baking the pastry here
Please note that the ingredients listed for the pie crust is sufficient for one pie.

So with the pastry shell ready, it is on to the fillings.

I filled one of them with lemon curd and apples and the second with lemon pastry cream, apples and strawberries. They both yielded fantastic flavours! I couldn’t choose between the two!

I followed the Lemon curd recipe on Martha Stewart and it was perfect.

For the pastry cream


Zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups full cream milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon essence (optional)

The “How To”

Heat the milk and lemon zest gently in a saucepan until you start to see wisps of steam rising from the pan; it should not be boiling. Take it off the heat and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk them into the dry ingredients. This will form a thick paste; ensure that it is thoroughly mixed in.

Next, carefully add a little of the hot milk into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue pouring the milk slowly into the eggs, whisking continuously.

When all the milk has been added to the eggs, turn the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan. Set a strainer over a bowl and place this near the cooker.

Place the pan back over medium heat, whisking constantly. At first, the pastry cream will look very thin but it will start to thicken after a few minutes so keep an eye on it. When it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, stop whisking every few seconds to see if the cream has come to a boil. If you see large bubbles popping on the surface, whisk for a few more seconds and then remove the pan from heat.

Quickly, stir in the lemon essence (if using) into the pastry cream and then pour the cream into the strainer set over the bowl. Using a spoon or spatula,stir the cream to push it through the strainer. This will catch the lemon zest as well as any lumps or bits of cooked egg that may be in your pastry cream.

Cover the pastry cream with a piece of cling film pressed right up against the surface of the cream and chill completely.

Please note that the cream and lemon curd can be stored in the fridge for a few days (I recommend no more than 4 days)..

Now for the artsy part of the cake; the apple filling!

6 – 8 medium apples
60 grams butter
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

The “How To”

Core the apples by using a sharp knife to slice a segment off the apple close to the core from top to bottom. After rotating the apple four times you should have four segments and a “rectangular” core on your chopping board.

Using a mandolin set to the thinnest section for slicing, slice the apples to achieve a semi circular or half moon pieces. If you don’t have a mandolin you can use a very sharp knife to get thin slices. Whatever instrument you use, please watch your fingers!

Transfer your apple slices to a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them. Toss to ensure that they all get coated. Add butter and sugar to a pan and turn the heat to medium. Stir until the butter is melted then pour the melted butter-sugar mixture over the apples in the bowl. Coat the apples with the mixture then transfer back to the pot and cook the apples for about 3 – 5 minutes on medium heat. You essentially want the apples to become pliable and lose their crunchy “snap”. If you own a microwave, I don’t, simply melt the butter and sugar in the microwave for a few seconds toss in the apple slices for a full minute on high and you will have attained the same result.

When the apples have cooled sufficiently enough for you handle, take out one slice and carefully roll it like you would a cigar. This will form the “rose bud”. The take another slice and carefully wrap,it around your rose bud, add another slice around the first slice ensuring that it over laps. Keep on building and as you layer the slices your rose should begin to form. When you have reached your desired size; I used about 16 – 19 slices per rose the carefully set the rose down in a small bowl or in a muffin tin. As pictured below.


Make as many roses as you may require to fill your pie shell.

Phew! That wasn’t so difficult was it? And tell me that when you look down on your rose creations you don’t feel fulfilled? Of course you can’t tell me that because you are doing the victory-happy dance!

So now, to put it ALL together!

Simply fill the baked tart shell with the filling you prefer. I made one with lemon curd and used just apples. And the second I made with the lemon pastry cream filling and after I had baked the tart I studded it with fresh strawberries. Like I said earlier they were both equally delish!

Edited on July 26, 2015 – bake for 15 – 18 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius and half way through glaze with some syrup as described below.


The lemon curd delivers a slight tangy taste so if you like zesty things then lemon curd is for you. The pastry cream is sweet and mildly lemony.


The pan or bowl in which you cooked the apple slices should have a fair bit of liquid left in it. Simple reduce it on medium heat for a few minutes until it is slightly sticky but still runny. I added a few drops of red food coloring which you could do as well. Preferably, if you have some fresh red berries like strawberries toss into the syrup for a rich red color. When the tart is baked. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg; glaze the top of the tart with the syrup.





It is ideal to let the tart cool completely before attempting to slice into it. I know; the wait is agonizing! If you can pop it I’m the fridge, for at least an hour, after it has cooled it will be even better. It will slice beautifully as the filling would have set.

Wasn’t this fun to make?!

FFF will be happy to make and deliver this to you if you prefer to just experience the eating aspect of this pie 🙂 We won’t judge you. We understand you 🙂

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FFF Tip of The Day

To make this pie use firm apples like cripps pink, Braeburn or red crisp. Granny Smith could work if you like really tangy flavours. The red red delicious are a NO-NO. They are too mushy and have a grainy texture.