Week 8 on the Great British Bake Off saw the contestants attempting some traditional Tudor bakes. ...

Week 8 on the Great British Bake Off saw the contestants attempting some traditional Tudor bakes.

The bakers tackled Tudor pies for the signature bake, 'jumbles' for the technical challenge and 'marchpane' for the showstopper challenge.

For the Great Bloggers Bake Off I have decided to create my own version of the marchpane.

This week my bake was sponsored by Tesco, who have very kindly provided me with the ingredients for this challenge, including a cake modelling tool set and a cake board.

Autumn Marchpane

For the base of my creation I used my Victoria Sponge Recipe but flavoured the sponge mix with a few teaspoons of almond extract.  I then iced the cake with my homemade marzipan and (shop bought) fondant icing.

After icing the cake I then split my marzipan into 4 pieces and coloured them brown, orange, green and red.
With the marzipan I then created the decorations for my Autumn Marchpane.

I looked at several different recipes for marzipan, with some of them seeming unnecessarily complicated.

Wanting to keep things as simple as possible, here is the recipe I used for my marzipan -


225g ground almonds
125g golden caster sugar
125g icing sugar
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
3-4 tsp almond extract

A little extra icing sugar to knead and roll the marzipan


Mix the ground almonds, caster sugar and icing sugar together in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and tip in the egg.

Mix all of the ingredients until they come together to form a dough.

Dust your work surface with icing sugar and knead the dough until smooth.  Using icing sugar on your hands will help stop the dough from sticking to you.

Shape the marzipan into a ball and wrap with clingfilm until you are ready to use it.


After making my marzipan I coated my cake in a layer of strawberry jam and rolled out enough of the marzipan to cover the cake.
Then I put another thin coat of jam onto the marzipan, rolled out the fondant icing and covered the cake again before hand crafting my marzipan decorations and placing them on the cake.

I am really pleased with how my Autumn marchpane turned out, especially as I hand cut all of the leaves.

I would love to see your own creations if you have been joining in with the bake off so please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Happy Baking.

Missy x

Mummy Mishaps


I am absolutely delighted to have received 'Star Baker' for my Autumn Marchpane!

4 years ago Boo was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called  Chromosome 1q21.1 Duplication . ...

4 years ago Boo was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Chromosome 1q21.1 Duplication.

And in that time we have had practically no support.

Boo has never been seen by a paediatrician and over the years when we have been trying to get various screening and tests done for him we have been palmed off by several doctors, mainly because they know so little about his genetic condition.

Just over a week ago Boo was due to have his tonsils removed.

He had a pre-operative check 2 days before his operation.

At this time (and several times before) I expressed my concern about Boo's health.

He has been complaining of chest pain almost every day for several months now.

I have taken him to see our GP about it in the past and bloods were taken, with the results being normal.
I asked the doctor if it was possible that the pain could be an indication of a problem with Boo's heart but was told that it was highly unlikely and that we should just 'keep an eye on it'.

I have researched Boo's genetic condition.

I know that a heart defect is a huge risk factor.
Even if he wasn't born with one it can still develop as he grows.

Despite this, my concern was dismissed and I was once again treated like an over protective parent.

On the day of Boo's operation we were booked onto the ward, all of the relevant checks done, and told that we were 4th on the surgical list that morning so there would probably be a little bit of a wait.

This wasn't a problem as it was something I had prepared for.

Secondary to his genetic condition, Boo also has autism, learning difficulties, an eating disorder, suffers with anxiety and struggles greatly with changes in routine.

I had spent several days preparing him for his operation, explaining everything to him over and over again, and answering his questions to the best of my ability.

He was extremely anxious when he was admitted into hospital but the nurses were absolutely amazing with him.

They made sure that nothing medical was discussed in front of him, and that he was made to feel relaxed and cared for.
He was given a portable DVD player so that he could put his headphones on and watch his Harry Potter movies, which are one of his biggest comforts when he is feeling anxious or upset.

The play therapist came to see him and took her time to explain everything to him and offered to come down to theatre with him if he wanted her to.

They were all brilliant.

But then it all went wrong.

The anaesthetist came to discuss everything with us and to go through Boo's medical history.
Once again I explained my concerns, but this time I was actually listened to.

After going away and researching Boo's genetic condition the anaesthetist came back to tell me that he was going to cancel the operation and refer Boo for heart screening.

He didn't feel comfortable giving Boo a general anaesthetic when there was such a high risk of a heart problem and no screening had ever been done.

Boo and Me

Unfortunately for Boo by the time all of this had taken place it was past 1pm, we had been on the ward since 7:30am and he had been nil by mouth since midnight the night before.

We were apologised to profusely, but it doesn't really fill you with much confidence when you ask why no one has done anything before now (considering I had been telling anyone who would listen) and you are told "I'm really sorry... you just slipped through the net"!

I have to admit I didn't take it very well at the time and had to sneak off to the ladies room for a little cry while the play therapist sat with Boo for a while.

I think it was more from frustration than anything else.

All of the time I had spent trying to get doctors to listen to me, all of the preparation to get Boo ready for his hospital visit, and all a big waste of time.

It didn't just affect Boo on that day either.

Dealing with changes in routine can be very difficult, and Boo had been prepared to be having an operation and then having 2 weeks off of school.
This meant that when it came to getting ready for school the next day he went into meltdown and couldn't understand why he wasn't having the time off any more.

I had to contact the school to let him know he wouldn't be in that day after all, and then I spent the next couple of days preparing him for going back to school on the Monday.

The day after his operation should have been completed an anaesthetist rang me and asked if we could come back in to the hospital to see them.

We went in to see them on the 28th, an ECG was performed and it was decided that it would be best to refer him to the cardiologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital.

So now we have to wait.


If he has a heart condition then it will be treated accordingly.

If he gets the all clear from the cardiologist then his tonsillectomy will be rescheduled.

It took us over 4 years to get doctors to listen to us and to get a diagnosis for Boo.

Now it has taken another 4 years for us to start getting the medical support and health screening that Boo needs.

And believe me... it's not through lack of trying.

I am fighting a constant battle to try and get my son the help and support he needs, both medically and educationally.

But I feel like I am constantly being failed by the system.

Surely not understanding a medical condition is not a good enough reason to be pushing a patient to one side and allowing them to 'slip through the net'.

I am extremely grateful to the staff from the Luton & Dunstable Hospital's paediatric ward.

They went above and beyond for Boo that day to make sure that his anxiety wasn't triggered, and because of them we are now on the road to getting the appropriate screening and care that Boo needs.

I will continue to fight the battle for Boo, as any parent would/does.

But it should never have to be this difficult.

Missy x

Week four of the Great British Bake Off saw the contestants attempting 'batter week' for the...

Week four of the Great British Bake Off saw the contestants attempting 'batter week' for the very first time in the history of the show.

They were challenged to try and make perfect Yorkshire Puddings, lace pancakes, and churros.

I would have liked to have a go at making the lace pancakes, but my frying pan has lost all of it's non-stick ability, so they would have ended up being a clumpy mess.

So, as I have never made them before, I had a go at making churros.

I used a very basic recipe for my churros and found they weren't as difficult to make as I had originally expected.

Unfortunately my churros didn't have the traditional ridges on them as my delightful children have taken to playing with (and losing) my baking equipment, including my piping nozzles.

Ingredients -

50g butter - melted
half a teaspoon vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
approx 1 litre sunflower oil

100g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Method -

  • Boil a kettle full of water and measure 350ml of the boiling water into a jug.  
  • Add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the water.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the contents of the jug and beat together quickly using a wooden spoon, until lump free.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once rested, fill a large saucepan with the oil.
  • Heat the oil.
  • Fit a star nozzle (approx 1.5 - 2cm wide) to a piping bag.
  • Fill the bag with the rested dough.
  • Pipe 2-3 strips directly into the pan of hot oil, or pipe the strips onto baking paper and then add them to the oil 2-3 at a time and fry until golden and crisp. (I found piping mine on paper first meant that they kept a more uniform shape).
  • Once golden, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place onto kitchen paper to drain.
  • repeat these steps until all of the dough has been used.
  • Once all of the churros are cooked, mix the sugar and cinnamon together and toss the churros in the sugar mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy.

I chose to serve my churros with melted chocolate for dipping.  
The children loved it, but I preferred mine without the chocolate.

I really enjoyed making these, and they were literally gone in 60 seconds once the children got their hands on them.

Definitely a winner!

Missy. x

Mummy Mishaps

As usual with 6 children running around the house it is not always easy to spend time baking in the...

As usual with 6 children running around the house it is not always easy to spend time baking in the kitchen.

I had to miss out on joining with week two (biscuit week) of the bloggers bake off due to the fact that the children were still on their school holidays and I was unwell with a chest infection.

But this week I am back and joining in with 'bread week'.

This week on The Great British Bake Off the contestants were challenged to make a sweet loaf, dampfnudel (steamed bread) and a plaited bread centre piece.

I have chosen to make a sweet loaf, which I have also plaited (poorly).

The loaf I made is a Paul Hollywood recipe and is a cherry and chocolate loaf.

Unfortunately I had some problems with my yeast.  I'm pretty sure it was 'dead', meaning that my dough didn't rise properly during the first prove and the final loaf ended up having quite a close texture.
This also meant that the loaf split in a couple of places while baking.

I am quite disappointed but at least I know what the problem was, and the flavours of the loaf were delicious.

It has almost gone already so it can't be that bad!

If you would like to give Paul's cherry and chocolate loaf a try then you can find the recipe HERE.

Happy baking, and don't forget to share your baking triumphs with me in the comments below.

Missy x

Mummy Mishaps

It's that time of year again. Here in the UK The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens...

It's that time of year again.

Here in the UK The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens.  
I know that 'Bake Off' splits opinions and that some people find it a bit pointless and boring, but I love it.  

I really enjoy watching the show each week to see what challenges the bakers are tackling, and also to gain a bit of creative inspiration as well.

Once again I have decided to take part in The Great Bloggers Bake Off, which consists of watching the show each week and then attempting one (or more) of the challenges that the bakers were set.

This week was the first week of the show and saw the bakers making drizzle cakes, jaffa cakes and a mirror glaze cake.

I would have loved to try a mirror glaze cake, but in all honesty I just haven't had the time or the energy to attempt something so complicated, especially with it being the first week of baking.
Not to mention the fact that it is still the school summer holidays, and let's just say that baking with 6 children hanging around in the kitchen is not the easiest of tasks.

So, in order to keep things relatively simple, I have made a drizzle cake for the first week of the bloggers bake off.

I didn't want to be too traditional though so I made a vodka and tonic drizzle cake.

Unfortunately the vodka didn't work too well in the cake and made the flavours overpowering, burning the back of the throat, and threatening to get everyone drunk after just one slice.

So, I had to remake the cake.
This time I used gin and tonic which worked a lot better, although I did find the sponge quite dense once I had added the drizzle to it.
It was still delicious though.


225g butter
225g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
4 eggs
4 shots of gin (100ml)
2 lemons (or limes depending on personal preference), zest

For the drizzle

25ml tonic water
8 shots of gin (200ml)
150g granulated sugar
2 lemons (or limes), juiced


Preheat your oven to 180.
Grease a loaf tin and line with baking paper.
Beat the butter, sugar and lemon (or lime) zest together until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time and beat completely between each one.
Fold the flour into the mixture until completely combined.
Add the gin and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.  
Check the cake is cooked through properly by inserting a skewer (or knife) into the centre of the cake.  If the cake is cooked the skewer will come out clean.

Once the cake is coming towards the end of it's cooking time mix your drizzle ingredients together.
When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over the surface of the cake and pour the drizzle over it.
Leave the cake to cool completely until a crust has formed on the top of the cake.
Slice, serve and enjoy.

Next week is biscuit week in the bake off and I am very much looking forward to seeing what the TV bakers, and the other bloggers, come up with.

If you do try the gin and tonic cake for yourself then I would love to hear how you get on.  
Feel free to post a comment below, find me on twitter, or Facebook and share your bakes with me.

If you would like to find out more about The Great Bloggers Bake Off, and maybe even bake along, then head over to Mummy Mishaps for more information and some fabulous recipes.

Missy x

Mummy Mishaps