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Getting creative

Most bakers start their journey in the kitchen by following the recipe and measuring items accurately.

While that is a really important part of getting consistent results and avoiding disasters such as flopped cakes

and curdled crème brûlée, it doesn’t leave much room for creativity.

So, over the past few years I’ve learnt to discern when I need to stick

to a recipe and when I can have more fun and express myself through

my baking One of the recipes I’ve taken some liberty with is one that can

be found in most home bakers’ hand-written cook book, the good old chocolate box cake.

What I absolutely love about this one is that you can make it just about anywhere – even in a very poorly equipped kitchen with no baking pans! All you need is a beer box

the cardboard carton that holds 24 beers) and tin foil, and you have a home-made baking container that you can bake in.

This is a recipe I’ve converted to vanilla, coffee and even carrot box cake, and over time I’ve created a variety of toppings too.

One of my most popular variations for this recipe has been my peppermint surprise.

It is a simple recipe really, as all the baker has to do is follow the recipe below to make a vanilla box cake and make sure it is completely cool before applying the icing.

Then whip up two cups of cream and add a tin of caramel treat. Lather the cake in the caramel-cream mixture and grate over some

 Cadbury Dairy Milk Mint Crisp chocolate… it really is that easy! Sometimes I even cut the cake into two layers, so that I can sneak in some cream on the bottom

 layer before placing the second layer on top and finishing it off .

This makes for a higher cream to cake ratio and ensures that the cake comes out very soft and moist!

For this version of the cake I remove it from the box and serve on a tray, so don’t forget to ice the sides of the cake so they don’t dry out.

Also, as it is cream on the cake, it needs to be refrigerated once iced, but I’d advise taking it out half an hour before eating so the cake itself isn’t cold when you serve it.

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