December 31, 2012

Bestest Chocolate Cake ever!

This chocolate cake has probably got to be my favourite chocolate cake ever. There are no surprises, no special techniques or ingredients either. No bells no whistles to be seen. A chocolate cake with a difference. It is amazing without adding anything else to an already simple recipe. Sometimes you need a simple chocolate cake to hit the spot and this one does it time and time again.

Most ingredients can be found in your pantry already - it takes a few minutes to whip up and voila. A moist and light chocolate cake to satisfy your most wicked cravings.

All credit for this cake recipe goes to a lovely lady I once worked with in Canadia - Darlene - she made it, I now tweak it every once in a while (a bit of coffee or cardamon added) or a little frosting - Now I said it needs nothing added, no icing, no sprinkles no fondant no sparks - but if you are someone who likes bling or wants to spend a few minutes more in the kitchen I suggest adding a nice fluffy toffee frosting to add a little caramel to the table. mmmm mmmmm (link to recipe follows)

Ingredients  (use either cups or grams  - don't mix measurements!)

2cups      (450g)    white sugar (caster)
1/2cup     (165ml)  vegetable oil
2                            eggs
2tsp                       vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups (340g)  plain flour
2tsp                       baking powder
2tsp                       baking soda (bicarb soda)
1tsp                       salt
2/3c        (165g)    cocoa powder
2cups     (450ml)  boiling water

Pre heat oven to 325deg F (160deg C fan oven) 
Grease a 8 x 12" pan  

In a large mixing bowl beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla together (for at least 4minutes).

In a separate bowl dissolve the cocoa in the boiling water mixing to ensure no lumps.

Then add the cocoa mixture to the beaten sugar and egg mixture and mix.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the mixture and fold together. It will be quite runny but all is good.

Bake in centre of oven for 35minutes or until skewer comes out clean when tested.
Do let cool before eating - at least a bit - it cuts beautifully and keeps nice and moist!

See - easy as that!

Sprinkle fresh ground green cardamon on top and add more to an orange flavoured buttercream..... Oh ya!
Or instead of 2c water add 1c water 1c coffee for a rich taste

NOW... although I said it doesn't need icing (which I really don't think it does..) I do love a little caramel on top. Here is a frosting recipe in case you are after a little extra bling!



*I have tried to make cupcakes from this recipe but they don't seem to work that great  - but if you do try and it works - let me know!!! :) 

September 07, 2012

Scrummy Banana Bread with Maple Syrup and Pecans oh and a little chocolate too

As kids we made banana bread every chance we could get - I remember my baby brother even made it (well he wasn't a baby but he was quite young indeed).  Then in college it was the one thing that my flatmates (boys) made! And when I was living in Honduras we would stop every between our dives at Fish Quays for fish burgers (and the famous banana cake!) Oh I can taste it now!

It was always and still is one absolute favourite and so very very moorish especially with a little toasted pecans and  chocolate added to it of course!

So over the years the recipes have been quite the same  (for me anyway) bananas of course..... nuts of some sort (walnuts or pecans) and chocolate chips or chunks was and is a must! :)

So after coming across the lovely Joanne Wheatley's recipe  (Winner of Series 2 GBBOI couldn't resist trying and tweaking to put my spin on it all and now I have made it over and over for friends, family, summer fetes..... I tell you it is definitely one of the best base recipes I have come across for banana bread - so go on.... go get her book A Passion for Baking and adapt as you wish (or not as it is perfect the way it is too!)

Ingredients for my tweaked version - makes 4 mini loaves or one large loaf (in long bread tin)
100g demerara sugar (I think this is the secret ingredient!!)
150g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 brown or almost brown bananas
280g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
140g unsalted butter melted
2tsp cinnamon (optional)

100g toasted pecans or walnuts (up to you)
100g bag of chocolate chips or chunks of baking chocolate (dark/milk your choice)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional but oh does it taste delish!)

 
Preheat oven to 150degreeC fan oven (170degC convec/325degF)
Line your tin(s) with grease proof paper or spray with quick release spray.

Melt your butter over low heat and set aside to cool while you make the mix.

Whisk both sugars with the eggs  until combined. Mash the bananas up and add to the mixture.

Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mix and carefully fold until all ingredients are combined  (don't over mix)

Add the butter (don't worry too much if hasn't cooled completely).  Stir until combined.
 
Stir in your toasted pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips or chunks, cinnamon and 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
On the top of the mixture drizzle the remaining maple syrup on top and bake in oven for about 1 hour. Check after 40 minutes with a wooden skewer to see how it is doing in case your oven is hotter than mine or if you are making smaller versions they will take less time to bake.

Once wooden skewer comes out clean remove from oven and allow to cool (if you can!)





September 02, 2012

Oi Vey! There's a first time for everything - This week it's BAGELS!

I grew up on New York style bagels not knowing there was anything different until I met my other half. He uses his Jewish roots to be the man of all knowledge when it comes to bagels - First of all it's BAY Gels not Bah gels. Then apparently you do NOT under any circumstances toast them nor do you fill them with anything other than smoked salmon and cream cheese. Bagel should be made never on a Saturday and not by a non Jewish lady. And finally they should never be flavoured - a bagel is plain.... I will under every circumstance disagree with him on every single point as there are so very many wonderful wonderful ways to eat bagels no matter how you pronounce it!

So week 2 on the wonderful Great British Bakeoff the signature bake was BAGELS! Horray. Finally I can have a go at making them - and with it being on the show I was given the go ahead! not that I needed it of course!

So my favourite bagels at the moment are Cinnamon and Raisin, toasted with a little butter. mmmmm the smells and the flavours for breakfast are just lovely. Of course I had to make plain ones as well just for the nod!

I didn't do so well at this round of bagels but it is my GBBO challenge just like everyone else on the show so I can't do anything but keep trying and sharing here tips on what NOT to do! :

I used a basic recipe I found online to make Kosher Bagels. This made me 12 quite small bagels so tip one - don't expect too many and don't make them small (they just are not the same!)
Tip two - don't speak on the phone when you are putting together ingredients or you might miss something out. I forgot the sugar d'oh. They still tasted nice however perhaps that is why I only got 12 small bagels...??

Plain Bagels
1 package active dry yeast  (7g)
1.5 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt (yes a tablespoon - important to use amounts of salt in bread recipes that are stated!)
4 cups self raising flour
Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels
add 2 tsp ground cinnamon to the flour mixture
and 1/4 cup of raisins at the very end before kneading

To make:
Dough
Measure out the water into a bowl. Add the yeast and the sugar to the lukewarm water and allow it to grow for at least 10min.

In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt.  (and cinnamon if using)

After the yeast has activated add it to the flour mixture , add your raisins if using and knead until soft and smooth like a baby's bottom! It will take a while. Good for the arms! :)

Tip - after kneading for a bit, if dough is still too sticky add a little flour. If too stiff, wet your fingertips with water (just a little little) and continue kneading.

Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 20minutes or until doubles in side.

Tip  - if you have a proving mode on your oven do use it but make sure you don't use the preset bread mode which will BAKE your dough - d'oh!

Roll
Once proven, punch the air out and then the fun of bagel shaping begins.

On a clean and lightly floured surface roll out the dough and cut into equal rectangles (1" thick, 4x6"   pieces). Roll each piece into 1/2" thick logs and with wet hands (again just wet not soaking),  seal the ends of the bagels to form a circle. Wet hands important and a good seal is as well otherwise they will fall apart when boiling.

Preheat oven to 190deg Celcius (fan oven)

Boil
Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil, then turn heat down. You don't want it rolling boiling.

Place the bagels carefully in the water (depending on size depends on how many you put in)

Boil on one side for 3 minutes and then using a slotted spoon turn over and boil on other side for another 3 minutes.

Once done drain on paper towel.

Bake
On a greased/lined baking tray place bagels with space in between each.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve
You decide! Jewish or not it is all about what you love!


I will endevour to make many more of these and update this blog with more tips and tricks as they come!


August 21, 2012

It's what's inside that counts! GBBO series 3 now on and the challenge begins

The Great British Bakeoff (GBBO) Series 3 has started! Great way to start the summer in London!  I can't believe a year has passed since Jo & Holly starred in Series 2 and Edd and Ruth in Series 1 two years before! What inspiration these 4 have given me over this time! I have even had the chance to meet Jo & Ruth and trial out so many of their delights. I imagine this year will have more creative things to add to the recipe collection!! Can't wait!
Will it be Cathryn (I LOVED her cupcake inside her cake!) or Ryan or James or John? Sadly Natasha left in week one but the baking must go on!

So .... the sun is out and the oven is on - yes, should be outside but with the tempting ideas and talented stars on this year's programme, how can one not run off to create something exciting.
And that is what I have tried.....

Episode 1 - all about CAKE - and although I thought I would give each week's blind test a go but to choose over a Rum Baba (not a rum fan!) and the Cake inside a cake cake  - well  -I do like a challenge and to get a cake pattern right on the inside - my challenge was set - it was just my chance to try out something I have wanted to do for ages!

A spotty cake! On the Inside!

A little bit of chocolate, a lot of orange and some fancy colouring and I came up with this for my lovely friend's birthday! Still some tweaking to do to find the best recipe so that the batter is the right consistency, some trials with times and some thoughts on decorations but I thought for first time - not so bad! What do you think!!?? I will practice more and update here (if I didn't blog about the first attempt I would get so incredibly behind!!!)

how to make dots inside a cake (cupcakes in this instance!)

Find a cake batter you like - that is thick and not runny! I used  a double batch of my Chocolate Orange cupcake recipe but didn't add the cocoa until I separated the batter into three. (I am going to test again with a different recipe because I think this is a little runny and wasn't 100% about it - but it will just keep you coming back for more to see future attempts! Watch this space!

once you have a recipe you like, split it into 3 (1/2-3/4c x 2 and the rest for the main colour -  colour each whatever your little heart desires! For this version I made shades of brown:
1 . a very dark chocolate colour (which I added the cocoa into as well as some dark brown paste colour and a bit of black colour);
2.  I mixed a little bit of the dark colour mixed batter with one of the plain batters and that made a nice light/med brown colour
3. For the main colour I added a bit of ivory colour paste to the last largest bowl of batter


Place each coloured batter into a separate disposable piping bag (you can use a plastic sandwich bag for each and cut a small hole in the corner - but it isn't so easy to control)

Pipe a small amount of your main colour into the bottom of each cupcake case.
Then pipe a thin dot of the darkest colour in two places on top of the main batter.
Add a thick but smaller sized dot of the med colour on top of the darkest colour and then top off  each dot with another thin dot of the darkest colour.

That was wordy! But this is what it can look like

Pipe on and around the dots with another thin layer of the main colour and repeat the dots (try to put the dots in the opposite place to the first layer - if you can remember!)

Then top off again with the rest of the main colour. You should get 12 cakes like this.


Bake for about 15min on 160deg celcius (fan oven) but check to make sure it is baked completely when a cake skewer is placed inside and comes out clean. I couldn't wait to try later so had to see if they turned out before decorating!!! not bad.... not the best but.... not bad! Can't wait to try again


then you put a little decoration on top and wait for your friends to find the surprise themselves!




More testing of this
Some Rum Babas to try
and 
Cathryn's Apple, hazelnut and Calvados upside down cake is a definite future dessert! 
Next week is BREAD! Paul Hollywood's game. What does he have in store for the
bakers???!!!



(Ok I am late with the blog so we already know but it's a long weekend for me so a plait or a bagel or a flatbread.... we will see!)

HAPPY BAKING!


June 04, 2012

Salted Caramel Frosting/Ganache

I have looked and looked and looked for a caramel frosting that tastes as it sounds and I found this salted caramel ganache from Pierre Herme when experimenting with his macaroons!  I tweaked it a bit to include things in my fridge and things that can be found in the supermarket.

It takes a little time (only a little) but it can't be rushed and believe me it is definitely well worth the waiting time. So best to make this before you make your cake especially if you want to eat it quick!

300g golden caster sugar (you can use plain if you don't have golden)
335g double cream (or whipping cream or Crème fraîche)
65g lightly salted butter
plus
290g softened lightly softened butter


Find yourself a nice heavy bottomed pan. Bring the cream to the boil. Do watch it closely! There is nothing worse than burnt milk on a pan nor the mess it makes on you hob!!

Slowly add a couple of tablespoons of the sugar at a time allowing it to dissolve each time before adding more creating your syrup.

Once all of the sugar has been added and dissolved, allow it to caramelise  - this takes a while (10-15min) don't let it burn! It will be a very dark amber colour when it is ready.

Take the pan off the heat and add the 65g of butter. Stir quickly to mix it in without splitting. CAUTION
The syrup you have made is ridiculously hot. Resist the temptation to taste and be very careful when stirring in the butter.

Place the pan back on a low heat and continue heating until the cream reaches 108°C. Candy thermometers are very handy when making caramel!!

Pour the mixture into a shallow dish, place cling film over top and put in fridge until cool. (I did cheat when I last made this and put it in the freezer to speed up the cooling process - I had to catch a train and only had limited time!) Careful if you do this that you don't leave it in too long - 5-10minutes is probably safest time otherwise adding it to the butter will be ever so difficult!

Beat the 290g butter for 8-10minutes until light and fluffy. Once you are confident that your caramel is cool you can add it to your beaten butter. (If you don't let it cool it will melt your butter and you won't have the fluffy buttercream frosting you had hoped for!)

You can add a little sea salt if you want a saltier taste or if you didn't have salted butter. Just a little at a time and mix well before tasting and adding more.

Now you have a lovely frosting or ganache for any cake, cupcake or macaroon.





May 14, 2012

The History of Aprons

My mum forwarded me this little ditty today and I thought this would be a good place to share it with you wonderful bakers (and bakers to be!)

Let's make sure we keep aprons alive and well and filled with memories and everything else!


I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing
hot pans from the oven


It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids..

And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

If you don't have an apron - check out these lovelies      

 
Make your own! My mum & sister made me a lovely xmas apron this year!


Or buy one of these cuties - so many to choose from


Gorgeous Dress Styles

April 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip & Nut Cookies

Can you ever go wrong with a gooey chocolate chip cookie? Really? I have made many different versions and I think only one recipe didn't turn out too nice (but was still edible of course!) Here is a tweak to my Triple Chocolate Gooey Cookies from a few months ago -this time add your favourite nut or omit the cocoa - mix up a batch - I always do!

These are gooey indeed - almost like brownies as soon as they come out of the oven but then they crisp up just enough after they cool. Problem is, they are so easy and quick to make that it is too easy to make dozens and even easier to eat them all in one sitting! (so lucky people at work get to feast!)


I love chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies (yum yum - dark or milk chocolate chips but you could substitute for white too). Mr girlbakes likes chocolate chocolate chip hazelnut, so, to suit us both, I split the mixture in half and add a tablespoon or so of cocoa to one and leave the other. Then add preferred nut for the day and voila. Everyone is happy! :)

What you need:
150g (golden) caster sugar  (doesn't have to be golden but I love the flavour)
200g soft dark brown sugar
175g butter (softened)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
250g flour (plain not self raising)
200g chocolate chips (whatever kind you fancy)
2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa (if you want chocolate chocolate chip)
100g roughly chopped nuts (your favourite or don't add - up to you)

Preheat fan oven to 150° C or 170° C non fan.

Beat the sugars and butter together until light, creamy and fluffy (about 3 minutes at least if using an electric mixer - longer if you are giving your arms a workout). Then slowly add the eggs and beat until well mixed.

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda (and cocoa if adding) and mix completely into the butter and egg mixture. It might get a bit much for your electric mixer so you may have to mix by hand. It only just needs to come together so shouldn't take too long.

Crush the nuts with a pestle and mortar or in a bag and use a rolling pin to smash up a bit. Leave the nuts whole if you can handle it! I LOVE huge pieces of macadamia nuts - it feels like I hit the jackpot every time! :)

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts of your choice.

Using a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop (depending on how large you want your cookies to be) and place on a lined baking sheet leaving enough space in-between each to allow for them spreading when they cook. They don't have to be perfect balls as the butter allows them to spread quite nicely on their own. Rustic always looks a bit nicer :)
Makes about 24 large cookies or about 36 medium ones.


Bake in preheated oven for 12-16minutes depending on size. They will be gooey when they finish due to the chocolate chips anyway.

Leave to cool on the tray for at least 5 minutes (or else they will just fall apart if you try to move them sooner). Move to a wire rack to cool fully if you can resist them that long!



I must say - they are perfect BIG cookies but just as nice as smaller ones too. Mix em up then be ready to fight over them!


The Guardian have just posted a blog today about how to make the Perfect chocolate chip cookie.  It's not that far off :) It's all preference of course and adding your own little extras always as you like it always makes for a happy cookie monster!

March 31, 2012

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I searched and tried and tested different orange chocolate cakes and this one has been my favourite.  When my brother in laws were coming over to watch football with my other half I naturally headed to the kitchen not the shops (braving the newly opened shopping mall down the road later on in the day (BIG mistake on opening weekend but... apart from my wonderful trip to my first ever in store LAKELAND (heaven)) I should really get on with these amazing little beauties. Moist, rich but not overpowering, and a great flavour of orange throughout. 



These would be great for Halloween using orange and black coloured icing and creepy crawly things to decorate - oooo good idea I must remember it!!!


This recipe is from cupcakegirl's blog - cupcakesmile (tweaked a bit)
mine made 12 regular sized cupcakes 


Ingredients 
for the Cupcakes
100g Plain Flour
20g Cocoa powder
140g Caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Zest of 1 orange (large)
40g  unsalted Butter
100ml milk (green or blue top)
1 Egg (large)
Juice of 1 orange (large)
2 tsp Orange extract (Sainsburys does a nice 
Valencian Orange Extract in their Taste the difference range but not online) - if you don't have any in the cupboard or can't find any at the shop don't fret - just use the orange (it just means the orange flavour will be subtle but it will be there!)



Now onto the fun bit - these don't take very long to make (depending on how you decide to decorate them!)
I will follow CupcakeGirls's method, a bit different to normal methods (for me anyway) but hey, less cleaning up so I'm game!


to make the Cupcakes
Line a cupcake tin with cases
Heat oven to 170degCelcius fan



  • In a med/large mixing bowl add the 100gflour, 140gsugar, 20gcocoa, 1.5tspbaking powder, pinch of salt, 40g butter and zest of 1 orange and combine as you would a pastry dough - with your fingers! :) rub together until the mix resembles crumbs


  • Add the orange juice of one orange and mix well.


  • In a separate bowl mix the 100ml milk with one egg and lightly whisk. Add half of the mix to the batter and mix to combine - make sure you get all of the dry ingredients stirred in. Add the remaining milk/egg mix and 1tsp orange extract and mix well. (have a little taste - add more extract if you think it needs it - I added a couple of tsps) 



Pour the mixture into a pourable measuring cup/bowl and fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full - you want to ensure that they don't rise up above the cases (if you overfill the cases with batter they will form into dome shapes which still taste good but limit how you can decorate (i.e. if you want to use fondant)


Bake for 18-20 min and then test to make sure they spring back when lightly touched.  (you can use a toothpick to pierce the middle ones to make sure no batter comes off). If there is some, put back in oven for 2 more minutes and test again. (just don't over bake!)


Leave to cool in tray until cool enough to remove with fingers - don't be tempted to use a spoon or knife to edge them out or the paper could come away from the cake or they could be squished out of shape. When cool enough, move to a rack to fully cool.


for the Buttercream Icing

600g Icing sugar
250g Unsalted butter
2 tbsp milk

(1-2 tsp Orange extract) optional

(40g Cocoa powder) optional
(sprinkles of any sort) optional


To make the Icing
Mix up the icing sugar, butter and milk until nice and fluffy (about 3-5min with an electric beater will do). Then lots of options  - I made 3 different kinds of icing with this mix by separating into three bowls after this stage - make whatever suits you (the more the messier!:)  (quantities above but adjust to suit your tastes - it's hard to muck up the icing bit!)
Plain (no cocoa/no orange/no colour), 
Orange (no cocoa/Orange Extract/Orange food gel/colouring)
ChocoalteOrange   (Cocoa /Orange Extract / no colouring required)
Chocolate (only Cocoa)


Once you have your desired icing made you can pipe, spread, glob, smear it on top of the cakes (only once they have fully cooled - if you are impatient and don't wait the icing might just melt off into a sloppy mess!)
Add some sprinkles or glitter or use fondant to top. All up to you! 


Et voila! enjoy!




The Big Egg Hunt I Found a Wally! THREE in fact

Great way to start a Saturday afternoon - "Wally says bring the whole family for the day! Join him, Larry the Donkey and Pearl the pig…" and so we did - off to Hackney City Farms for a last minute decision on breakfast.


Wally was hangin' with the chicks when we arrived!

Where's Wally by Martin Hanford 


Some more adventures next week to find some of the other 123 eggs left! (I know of someone who has already found 208 of 209 eggs hidden) that was over a week ago - amazing!


Happy Hunting




Oh and Pretty Polly artist Karen Hollis found my blog with a picture of her egg
Here is her tweet!



Check out this site:  A lovely Pretty Polly pic from 

MORE WALLY
Wally was round the corner from work on Friday - a place which has been run by 4 family members since 1910 and was the first hotel to have ensuite bathrooms in every room AND was where the dutchess of cornwall prepped for her royal wedding last year - the Goring Hotel

And the last Week of the Big Egg Hunt is coming to an end. I am happy - 209 eggs and Wally spotted twice. Brilliant. The last Saturday of the hunt I am on my way to a wedding fair which just completely by fluke happens to be across from the Museum of Childhood, a place I have been meaning to visit for a while. And what is today's clue?  Wally's surrounded by childhood trinkets at this East London museum... Brilliant. I love Wally popping up nearby. What ever will I do when this hunt has finished! :) Ok ok ok - i will BAKE


March 28, 2012

And the Hunt is Complete*



40days of searching (well not even that) and I have joined the 209 Club! That is 209 eggs found out of 210 - but there is one egg that still has yet to be placed out so the best you can do is 209*.


On 21 February 2012, 208 eggs were placed around London (one more added in March and one yet to be added) in aid of charities Elephant Family and Action for Children. The eggs were designed by artists, designers, groups, chocolate makers, jewellers and more and hidden within 12 Zones spanning across London from Knightsbridge to Liverpool Street and all in between. 


In addition there was a Where's Wally Egg  - Wally has been all over London and moves daily. Clues provided via Twitter to give hints to his whereabouts. I got a clue on a lovely sunny Saturday morning and he happened to be just up the road from ours at Hackney City Farm so it was a great excuse for an amazing farm breakfast too!




The eggs will be auctioned off for charity with the highest so far being sold at £16,000! 


Egg hunters like me, had maps of each zone which outlined the number of eggs to find in the zone along with Street Names of roughly where the eggs were located. Some were easy to find, others were down right nearly impossible!  When you find an egg you text in the number (if you find all 210 eggs you would spend about £55 in texts (for charity) and each text is an entry into a draw to win a £100,000 Faberge Egg - this very one in fact - the one I got to hold but couldn't run away with it sadly!






The funny little (big) Faberge Egg
in the lovely Faberge Shop in Mayfair



Throughout the last few weeks eggs have been Stolen, yes, charity eggs have been stolen from their pedestals but luckily most have been recovered by avid hunters and help from the police. Teams of volunteers have also rallied around to spruce up the eggs on a regular basis  - cleaning them from weather, birds and graffiti and other daily wear.

EGG Zones:
after initial searching, hunter blogs and twitter notes it was soon found that some of the eggs on the maps were indeed wrongly labelled - but that was something you could only find out when you happened upon them in a strange place! The following is a list of all of my blogs for each zone as well as the Egg Hunt Maps.

Zone 2   Mayfair                                                                  Zone2Map   47/47 eggs
Zone 3   Knightsbridge & Sloane Square                              Zone3Map  20/20 eggs
Zone 4   Green Park                                                            Zone4Map     6/6 eggs
Zone 5   St James's Park                                                      Zone5Map    9/9 eggs
Zone 6   Piccadilly                                                               Zone6Map   14/15 eggs *
Zone 7   Trafalgar Square                                                    Zone7Map    12/12 eggs
Zone 8   Carnaby Street                                                      Zone8Map    12/12 eggs
Zone 9   Covent Garden                                                      Zone9Map    24/24 eggs
Zone 10 Southbank                                                             Zone10Map  15/15 eggs
Zone 11 The City                                                                Zone11Map   22/22 eggs  
Zone 12  Canary Wharf                                                        Zone12Map   11/11 eggs
Wally - random places but I only found him once                                    1/1 egg

Favourites
TheBigEggHunt has been an absolutely wonderful way to see London these last couple of weeks - even better that there has been so very much glorious sunshine and people and places. I loved every minute but thought I would share some of my favourites over the 40 days.

My ratings:
Favourite Zone - Canary Wharf - such a different World!
Hardest Zone - the City - mainly because it was the first one and we wandered around randomly looking without realising the street names were actually on the map - d'oh
Easiest Zone - St James's Park - first zone completed in 40minutes - round and round we go 


Prettiest Egg(s) 
 so many pretty ones but I loved the ones in Claridges, National Theatre and Green Park


Strangest Egg 

Best Located Egg
Pretty Polly in the Lake in St James's Park



For More Information on the Big Egg Hunt, Artists, Charities and Prizes - do check out their website www.thebigegghunt.co.uk or on Facebook or Twitter




Check out the Big Egg Hunt Pop Up Shop in Selfridges


The Big Egg Hunt Completed Zone 9 Covent Garden

Covent Garden feels like the home of the Egg Hunt. Egg Hunt Pop up shop, Moshi Monsters and now nearing the end of the hunt a new shop is hosting some of the eggs that have been sold already at auction. I do believe if I am not mistaken, all eggs will end up here in about a week's time.

Another glorious sunny day in London for egg hunting.

24/24 eggs found