I had big plans for this weeks Great Bloggers Bake Off final. But, as so often happens with 6 chil...

I had big plans for this weeks Great Bloggers Bake Off final.

But, as so often happens with 6 children to run around after, I just haven't had the time to do what I was hoping to do.

This week is crazy busy.

It has seen the children return to school after spending the whole of half term with a sickness bug, and most of this week is being spent getting ready for my brother's farewell meal on Friday (more on this soon), and for a special family get together for fireworks on Saturday.

For the final of The Great British Bake Off the last 3 contestants took on a Meringue Crown for the signature bake, a Victoria Sponge for the technical bake, and a picnic consisting of a chocolate celebration cake, 12 sausage rolls, 12 savoury scones, 12 mini quiches and 12 sweet tarts for the showstopper challenge.

My plan was to make the picnic for my final bake, but unfortunately I just haven't had the time.

I didn't think I was going to get the chance to bake at all, but I really didn't want to miss finals week so instead I have combined the technical bake with one aspect of the showstopper challenge by putting a twist on my Victoria Sponge recipe to create a chocoholics dream.





print recipe

Missy's Choc-A-Lot Cake
A deliciously moist chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream and chocolate decorations. Perfect for any chocolate lover.

Details - Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients
  • 220g butter
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 180g self raising flour (sieved)
  • 40g cocoa powder (sieved)
  • 4 large eggs (whisked lightly)
  • for decorating (ready made) chocolate buttercream
  • for decorating a selection of your favourite chocolates
Instructions
Cream together the butter and the caster sugar until light and fluffy.Mix the flour and cocoa butter together in a small bowl.Add a third of the egg mixture to the butter and sugar along with a third of the flour mixture and beat together until fully incorporated. Repeat these steps until all of the egg and flour mixtures have been used.Beat the mixture for a few minutes to achieve a smooth and creamy cake batter.Grease two 8 inch round cake tins and split the mixture evenly between them.Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked. Poke a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it is cooked properly the skewer will come out of the cake completely clean.Leave the cakes to cool.Once cooled, spoon a generous amount of the chocolate buttercream on top of one of the cakes and then sandwich the other cake on top. Cover the entire cake with more of the chocolate buttercream.Once covered with buttercream, decorate your cake with the chocolates of your choice.Serve and enjoy!



(I cheated a little and used a tub of ready made buttercream, but if you have the time to spare then chocolate buttercream is easy enough to make and you can find a simple recipe for it via Google).




I was really disappointed not to be able to bake as much as I wanted to this week, but am really happy with how my 'choc-a-lot' cake has turned out.

So there we have it... the last of my bakes for The Great Bloggers Bake Off this year.  *sad face*

This weeks bakes are being judged by the wonderful (and generous) people at Tesco, who are also going to be giving out a few prizes, and I can't wait to see who the worthy winners will be.

Missy x


Mummy Mishaps

We have been waiting for an appointment to see the cardiologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital si...

We have been waiting for an appointment to see the cardiologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital since Boo's operation was cancelled, and today an appointment letter arrived in the post.

The consultant only visits our local hospital once a month so i was expecting to wait quite a while for the appointment.
So when the appointment arrived this morning I was really pleased.

But, low and behold, the appointment we have received is not correct.


The hospital have sent us an appointment to see a Neonatal Intensive Care doctor!

Boo is 12 years old (!!) and wasn't even in NICU as a baby!




It feels as though this is becoming all too familiar at the moment.


Constantly slipping through the net and being left without support.

Emotionally exhausted and no where to turn.

Left feeling frustrated and isolated.


I honestly feel I would be completely lost if it weren't for the support of the SEND blogging community.

Often they are the only people I can turn too when something goes wrong.

They are the ones who understand.

Most of them have been there in one way or another.

And you know what? As grateful as I am for the support of these amazing people it really SUCKS that it should have to be like this.


Parents of children with disabilities and special education needs are fighting a constant battle to be listened to by health care professionals instead of having their concerns being brushed to one side and being made to feel like they are being unnecessarily anxious about the care their child is receiving.

These health care professionals make assumptions about our children after spending mere minutes with them, and we are expected to trust their judgement when it comes to medical decisions even when they often seem unconcerned with listening to the information we want to give them regarding our children, such as their individuality's and 'quirks',


You may have met 100 children with ASD but no 2 children out of that 100 would be exactly the same.

Yes, there may be similarities between them, but you can't make medical decisions about these children under the assumption that they are all the same when the Autistic spectrum is so incredibly large,


Add to that the fact that Boo has a rare genetic disorder and things become even more complicated,

Doctors don't know enough about his condition and so we are often left without answers or a plan of~
 action and this just isn't right.

It is a reality that parents of children with disabilities are facing every single day.


Trying to give our SEND children the best care possible should never EVER be this difficult.


How can we be expected to trust health care professionals to do the best for our children if they can't even get a simple appointment right?!


Missy x


**Update**

Since writing this post, and being in contact with the hospital, we have been told that the appointment we were sent is in fact correct.

Boo needs to see the NICU consultant for an ultrasound scan of his heart.
Apparently the NICU consultant works in connection with the cardiologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital. They will do the ultrasound and then confer with the cardiologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital to establish whether or not he needs to be seen by them.

The hospital would save a lot of frustration and confusion by purely putting a small paragraph on their appointment letters explaining this.

I wonder how many phone calls they receive from parents who assume they have received the wrong appointment, or even missed appointments because they just assume the appointment is incorrect?!

Although our appointment is correct, I still feel the same.... frustrated, let down and without support.

The lack of communication is really not acceptable.

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 -

Ingrediants

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


Method

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.

Simple!



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


**Update**

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.

Again.

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