Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘cake’

How to make an Animal Crossing leaf cake – Better than Toast Extra

In Food on June 8, 2013 at 7:49 am
Picture: Antonia Landi

Picture: Antonia Landi

Hello my dears! How long has it been since my last video? Too long!


Here in Europe it’s still another long week until we can get our hands onto the new Animal Crossing game, so I thought I’d make a video to pass the time. And what would be better than an AC inspired leaf cake? An AC inspired toffee leaf cake!


The cake recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my favourites. It’s so easy to make, and so delicious. As you’ll see I use carnation caramel in my cake, which seems to pop up in my local supermarket at random intervals. I’m not sure how readily available this little tin of magic is, but fret not. Whenever I can’t find it, I simply get a tin of condensed milk, put its contents into an oven safe glass dish, and let it sit on a low to medium heat for about half an hour. Do check it quite often, as the condensed milk is prone to burning. If you’re unsure, simply cover the dish with some aluminium foil. You’ll know your oven best!

When the milk is a lovely light golden brown colour, take it out of the oven, let it cool completely (believe me, you do not want to burn yourself on this stuff) and remove any burnt bits you might find. Give it a stir and voilà: Your very own dulce de leche.

If you can’t find pre-coloured icing, you can get a white icing block and some green food colouring and make your own, like I’ve done in my previous recipes. Just be advised that it takes time and effort, usually makes a mess and is fiddly to work with. Since you’re adding extra liquid to the icing in the form of the food colouring, the icing will get softer. This means that you’ll have to store it in the fridge after dying it and rolling it out, so that it has time to firm up again. Work quickly and neatly, and you’ll be totally fine.

You can get the leaf template I used here. For reference, my cake tin is 8 inches in diameter and about 3.5 inches deep, and it works perfectly with the leaf I’ve included. If you have a smaller cake tin, simply re-size the image.

And now without further ado, here it is in all its glory: My delicious toffee cake recipe!


For the cake:

200g self-raising flour

200g soft brown sugar

200g unsalted butter

4 eggs

About 75g mini fudge pieces

3/4 can carnation caramel / dulce de leche (see above) (1 can is 397g)


For the crumb coat:

100g soft cheese

Rest of caramel

Icing sugar to taste


For the coating:

500g green icing



Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and the caramel, melt the butter and add it in small amounts while stirring constantly until everything is combined. Transfer to cake tin, sprinkle on the fudge pieces and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes (or until knife comes out clear) on a medium heat. Cool, trim, coat and put on the icing.

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!


And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

If this is your first time baking a cake, have a look at my cake baking strategy guide. It contains useful tips and tricks for first-time bakers.

For some more information on dulce de leche and alternative ways to make it at home, check out this blog!

And finally, if you’re not yet excited about the latest Animal Crossing, have a look at the official website. I can’t wait!

Savoury Gugelhupf – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on October 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm


It’s October and for some reason half the people I know (including myself!) were born during this month, which means that I’ve been busy baking cakes for everyone! Even though I love baking, I rarely eat more than a little slice of cake myself. So this week I thought I’d treat myself and bake my favourite kind of cake – a savoury cake!

Now, before you all go ‘Gugelwhat?’ I should add that it is not in any case vital that you bake this cake in the recommended shape. The Gugelhupf is just very common where I come from and a welcome treat at any house, but more of that later. Apart from being very popular, this kind of cake is also known for coming in sweet as well as savoury varieties. Adapting the recipe just a little will make the world of a difference. The base recipe is ideal to carry any flavours – I used pancetta and onion in mine, but you could easily make a vegetarian version by adding a strong flavoured cheese and chopped walnuts. If your supermarket doesn’t carry cubed pancetta you can very easily go for lardons instead – just make sure you cut them into a more agreeable size. As a rough guideline, you’d like the ingredients to be small enough to be manageable when working into the dough, but you don’t want to pulverise them – finding a cube of meat in your cake is just as delightful as the odd chocolate chunk! If you’d like to go herby, try adding parsley to this recipe. And finally, I must vouch for investing in a proper Gugelhupf tin – you can get them as cheaply as for a fiver (I got mine from TKMaxx!) and they come in a variety of shapes, which make the whole thing a bit more special. And with this I give you permission to tuck into your cake as soon as it comes out of the oven – what better way to spend tea time than to have a piece of soft, warm, homemade Gugelhupf.

Makes 1 Gugelhupf (which serves 8 or more, depending on your portions)

500g plain flour

1 egg

1 packet of dried yeast (7g)

200ml milk

100g butter, plus extra for greasing

200g cubed pancetta (or lardons)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Make dough and leave to rise for one hour. Knead in pancetta and onion and leave to rise for a further 15 minutes in tin. Bake for approx 1 hour on a medium heat. You may cover the top loosely with tinfoil towards the end to prevent it from browning too much. Turn over and serve!

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

You’ve heard of a bundt cake before but Gugelhupf just sounds too bizarre? Follow this link to learn all about this (largely) German teatime treat (and how to pronounce it!). Packed with essential information and links to some lovely recipes.

If you’d like to try a sweet version before going for the full-on savoury one, search no more. This website has an easy to follow simple recipe for sweet Gugelhupf aimed at children, PLUS your very first German lesson! Learn as you eat, I say!

Last but not least, here is some inspiration on how to take your savoury cake baking further. I highly recommend the Goat’s cheese with raisins and hazelunts cake – a match made in heaven!


Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

How to make a Minecraft cake – Better than Toast Extra

In Food on October 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Picture: Antonia Landi

As the title suggests, we’re going to make a Minecraft cake today. This will require some assembly and some patience – you don’t know how difficult it is to make a cube cake until you try it! As I only have round tins, my version is a bit more complicated, but if you have the time, money and oven space to spare, you should be okay with simply baking three layers of square cake and then stacking them.

Since we want to recreate the ‘dirt’ part of the square without any additional icing, we will be baking a hazelnut and chocolate cake today. I had trouble finding any ground hazelnut in my local supermarkets for some bizarre reason, but found out that they are incredibly easy to grind in your average food processor! Just whiz two handfuls at a time and you’ll be done in no time.

Just as last week, we’re working with icing to create the grassy top. Marzipan works just as well, and if you can find it already coloured that’s even better! A helpful tip is to roll out the icing on greaseproof paper and then simply put it on the cake while the icing is still attached to the paper – it makes it a bit easier to work with and you won’t run the risk of accidentally stretching the icing out of shape on your way over to the cake.

And with all this said, here is the recipe!

300g self-raising flour

300g caster sugar

250g ground hazelnuts

230g butter

5 eggs

150g chololate

500g icing

1/2 bottle green food colouring


Bake on a medium heat for approximately one hour

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

How to make a pokéball cake – Better than Toast Extra

In Food on September 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Pokéball cake - Picture: Antonia Landi

Hello and welcome to this rather informal video tutorial about how to make your very own pokéball cake in a few simple steps! This recipe and video combined should give you enough confidence and information about how to make your cake – if you’re unsure about any of the steps, please contact me! I am more than happy to help 🙂

First of all, here is the all-important cake recipe.

You will need:

225g butter, plus extra for greasing

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

If you want to make a chocolate cake, simply add 50-75g of cocoa powder. Please not that the more cocoa you use, the darker the chocolate cake will be.

Grease your cake tins with butter and line the bottom of each with greaseproof paper. Divide mixture into equal parts and bake on a medium heat for approx 30 minutes.

For the filling you will need:

1 tub elmea whipping cream

Jam of your choice (I used strawberry jam)

And finally this is what you will need for decorating:

2x 500g white ready to roll icing (you might be able to do with one pack, but I’d rather have too much than not enough!)

1/2 bottle red food colouring

1 tube black ‘decorating’ icing

Icing sugar

You will notice that the red icing will be softer and more difficult to work with than the white icing (it sticks to everything!). This is because you have added extra liquid (the food colouring) to the icing. Therefore it is very important that you work quickly and efficiently with the red icing and make sure to put it in the fridge (or even the freezer!) immediately after colouring it.

If you don’t want to muck about with the black icing, you could use liquorice instead. I’m not a big fan of it, so it’s really up to you!

Finally, if this is your first cake, do check out my cake baking strategy guide – there’s lots of tips and tricks to be found there, plus an easy recipe for a simple chocolate cake to get you started!

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

The Complete Cake Baking Strategy Guide – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on July 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Picture: Useful Times

Making a double-layered cake is like starting an epic quest – it’s a big feat, and there are so many things that could go wrong. But hopefully, this guide will help you along your way and make sure you arrive at your destination safe and sound.

First of all you need to check your equipment and make sure everything is ready to go. You will need two cake tins and an electric or manual mixer to whip up the cream – a cooking rack is ideal, but optional.


These skills are essential for cake baking. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of some of these moves before – most of them are easy to pick up.

-Sifting: Used for flour and cocoa. This ensures that you end up with a thoroughly smooth dough. Requires sieve.

-Greasing: Makes sure your cake doesn’t stick to the tin. Requires butter and some handwork.

-Testing: To test if your cake is ready, insert a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Can also be done with a small knife.

-Separating: After the cake has been baked, run a knife along the side of the tin. Makes it easier to take the cake out and gives you extra appearance points.

-Levelling: Used for bottom layer. Get down to eye level with your cake and carefully slice the top off to ensure an even base. Best done with a bread knife.

-Spreading: You will need to do this three times throughout your journey.

1.    Spread the dough evenly across both tins. Best done with the back of a spoon.

2.    Spread the whipped cream over the raspberries. Make sure you get to the rim. Best done with a flat wooden spoon or a knife.

3.    Spread the glaze across the cake. Best done with a knife.

Attention: This recipe will require a lot of time and love. If you are a cake-baking novice, I advise you select the ‘simple cake’ option at the start of the quest. This will give you practice and confidence in your cake baking abilities.

Don’t panic if anything goes wrong – when in doubt, check the log for further assistance and don’t forget that even if your cake doesn’t live up to your expectations, it will still taste delicious.

Serves 8-12 (depending on your portions)

For the cake:

225g butter

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 eggs

50-75g cocoa (a high amount will result in a dark chocolate cake)

1tsp vanilla extract

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes on a medium heat.

For the filling:

1 small pot whipping cream


For the glaze:

100g dark cooking chocolate

25g butter (or more, which will result in a soft glaze)

If you’re stuck for time, or want to start small, try this:

175g butter

175g caster sugar

175g self-raising flour

3 eggs

25-50g cocoa

1tsp vanilla extract

Mix the ingredients together and bake as above. Proceed with the glaze or alternatively decorate to your heart’s content!

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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