Wednesday 30 January 2013

Alphabakes Roundup - January 2013 - D

We've had some great entries as usual for this month's Alphabakes including several bakes and ingredients I definitely wouldn't have thought of myself - and one I've never even heard of! We also have a prize this month, so to find out who won, you will have to read down to the end!

Jacqueline, aka my mum, sent us this date and walnut cake, which I’m betting my dad enjoyed in his lunchbox at work for a few days!

Jean from Baking in Franglais made a double coconut cake – it contains coconut soaked in coconut milk, with an added hit of lime. I like the way the bundt is decorated with lime-flavoured icing.

Here’s a cute dog basket cake I made in a cake decorating class a while back (but have only just posted on my blog). It wasn’t anywhere near as hard to make as it looks and would be a great birthday cake for a dog lover.

My co-host for Alphabakes Ros sent over these homemade digestive biscuits made by her talented mother. I bet they would be perfect dunked in a cup of tea!

These dinosaur cookies from Sarah at Maison Cupcake are super cute and just the thing for a children’s birthday party! They are very neatly decorated too.

And now for something deliciously decadent…. Dark chocolate truffle cupcakes from Helene at I Cook With Butter. She shared these with her boyfriend – lucky guy!

D is for dates, says Sue from MainlyBaking – specifically, date and maple brownies. I’ve never tried putting fruit in brownies before, but it’s a great idea if you want to reduce the calorie content.

Olivia from Liv A Little Bakery treated us to these amazing Devil’s Food Cupcakes which she says are moist and super chocolatey. They look very tempting!

A bit of an off-the-wall one from me…. Dog biscuits! I made these for some four-legged friends at Christmas though there’s nothing in them that humans couldn’t eat. Apparently they went down really well with the dogs!

These date and prune bars seem like a healthier alternative for anyone on a new year diet…. Thanks to Sally aka Recipe Junkie for sending them in. This post is combined with a couple of recipe book reviews which are quite interesting (especially if you like cookie dough!)

Corina at Searching for Spice says these double chocolate chip cookies are the best she’s ever made – with a vote of confidence like that, I will definitely be bookmarking this recipe!

Helen from Fuss Free Flavours uses an ingredient I’ve never heard of in her dukkah and sun-dried tomato muffins. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend where the exact ingredients can vary. I think these muffins look really interesting and would be great for brunch.

Al from Alastair’s Miscellany has dared to alter a Mary Berry recipe – but I’m sure she would forgive him as this date and walnut loaf looks so nice! It helped feed ten hungry people on one of Al’s walks – if you like hiking as well as baking, make sure you check out his blog!

Another date recipe but one using some pretty unusual ingredients (you’ll have to check out the post to see what I mean) – in these raw chocolate, date and cashew truffles from Choclette ofChocolate Log Blog. She says they were very tasty with a nice chewy texture.

Devil’s Food Cake makes another appearance in this month’s challenge – this delicious creation is from Eira at Cook BooksGalore. I had no idea that devil’s food cake is traditionally made of beets – I’m sure that isn’t the case very often now!

I absolutely love dulce de leche so it was a pleasure to see this dulce de leche crème brulee with banana ice cream from Claire of Under The Blue Gum Tree. She wanted to recreate a particular restaurant’s dessert and I think she has done fantastically well!

Jean at Papers and Cakes has sent us a date, coconut and chocolate chip cake, which she made to use up some ingredients in her kitchen cupboard – her children couldn’t wait to eat it and if you have any left, it will still be moist the next day.

Angela from Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me used a Nigella recipe to make this Devil’s Food Cake, which she says is very rich and indulgent – and I really want some now!

Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes won a raw chocolate making kit and used it to make these raw chocolate oat and currant cookies, which includes dates as one of the ingredients. They are vegan too so I will definitely be bookmarking these to make for a vegan friend!

Arabian Nights meets a traditional Victoria Sponge in this cardamom rose cake with orange drizzle from Karen at Lavender and Lovage. She says the cake is light and fluffy with the warmth of a mellow spice. It’s also a flavor combination I wouldn’t have thought of!

Devil’s Food Cake makes another appearance, this time in cupcake form, with beautiful peaked icing. This entry comes from Sue at Fold in the Flour and she says the frosting is an American-style seven minute frosting which is like soft meringue. I tried this type of frosting once and it didn’t turn out very well, so I’m impressed at how good Sue’s looks!

This dark chocolate almond cake comes from Grace at Life Can Be Simple… it looks delicious or as Grace says, “uberliciously good”. I like the sound of that!

Please welcome Ahlam of My CupcakeHabit, who is new to blogging and entering her first baking challenge with this month’s Alphabakes. Thanks for entering, Ahlam – and especially thanks for sending us these gorgeous dark chocolate and orange truffles! I’m sure if I ate them, I couldn’t stop at one!

My sister Clare had a snow day recently and decided to do some baking. She made these date squares, which use oatmeal and brown sugar, and have a layer of pureed dates in the middle. Clare says they are a bit like flapjack – I think they look delicious!

Dates are also the main ingredient in our next entry – sticky date cake with toffee sauce. Yum! Ruchira at the Great Cookaroo added Jack Daniels to the toffee sauce and I have to say this looks like the perfect pudding for a cold winter’s day.

Here’s a savoury entry, which we haven’t had many of this month- duck pie, or croustade de canard, from Anneli at Delicieux. It uses dried figs, which Anneli says adds a wonderful sweetness that works perfectly with duck. I’ve cooked duck a few times but never thought to put it in a pie, what a great idea.

Like my sister, I was stuck at home one day because of the snow – though I was working from home rather than having a day off. But as it got dark and I came to the end of my working day, I really wanted to bake something, but wanted a recipe I could easily halve and that was cake but didn’t involve frosting (to save on a few calories). So I made these double chocolate muffins, which hit the spot perfectly!

Double chocolate chili brownies are next on the menu from Elizabeth’s Kitchen. They use mayonnaise rather than butter to reduce the fat content, which is a trick I think I will have to try! Chili and chocolate is a great combination too.

We have a double entry from Fiona at Sweet Thing You Make my Heart Sing: first these pretty orange and lemon daisy cupcakes, which are a reminder that spring is just around the corner.

 Fiona also made these Danish pastries and says they are definitely worth the time and effort to make yourself. These would be great for breakfast or for dessert. As she has made two entries for Alphabakes this month, Fiona gets two entries into the prize draw.

By coincidence our next entry is a Danish- in this case, a Danish chocolate Streusel- swirled coffee cake. That’s quite a mouthful, which is exactly what I would like of this cake! Angela of the Charmed Cupcake says all the kneading paid off with a very light, airy, moist and fluffy result.

Mich at Piece of Cake sent us this dark chocolate almond cake, which she says is rich and moist with a slight nutty flavour.

Ros, my cohost for Alphabakes, who blogs at The More Than Occasional Baker, baked and decorated this supercute dog birthday cake – she piped the ‘fur’ using a grass tip, and the cake itself is a Swiss roll. I think it’s funny that Ros and I both entered dog cakes in our own challenge – we didn’t know that was what each other was going to do!

Helen from Fuss Free Flavours has a new food dehydrator from Lakeland and used it to make these chocolate, orange, date and seed energy balls. She says you can leave these overnight in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator. They look like quite a healthy option!

Mel of Sharky Oven Gloves is enjoying the sun in the southern hemisphere and made this date, coffee and walnut cake to share with her new housemates, which I’m sure they appreciated.

Mmm, doughnuts…Deidre of the KitschCook made these delectable cinnamon sugar doughnuts. I remember seeing on the Great British Bake Off that doughnuts aren’t that easy to make, so well done Deidre, these look amazing!

Now we have a bit of a cheeky entry from Dom at Belleau Kitchen – but he’s so charming I’m beginning to think he can get away with anything! He sent us these Fleur du sel caramel oatbars, which don’t have D in the name, or an ingredient beginning with D, but they were made by him – Dominic! They do look very nice, even if the link is a bit tenuous!

 Last but by no means least, just squeezing in before I posted the roundup is Kit from i-Lost in Austen with this beautiful hazelnut dacquoise with chestnut cream. It's a creamy dessert that she says is light and delicious and not overly sweet. The perfect way to begin the new year!

And the winner of this month’s prize – On A Stick, a recipe book featuring all kinds of foods you can serve on a stick – is….

Helene from I Cook With Butter. 

Congratulations, Helene – can you please provide us with your address at and your prize will be winging its way to you soon.

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait until Friday when Ros will reveal which letter has been randomly chosen for February- we’ve done about half the alphabet already so I’m trying to work out which ones are left! Check out her blog at The More Than Occasional Baker on Friday. Happy baking!


  1. Wow, what a beautiful line up. All these treats look so yummy.

  2. some good entries again. and well done to helene.

  3. Now why didn't I think of dark chocolate - doh! Lovely round-up Caroline with some very tasty treats as usual.


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