Monday, April 11, 2016

Gluten Free Raspberry Lamington Cake

You know when you make something so good you just need to get it out of the house? This cake was that. I have zero self control when it comes to cakes (and pretty much anything sweet), and I'm currently trying to cut down on my sugar intake before we go on holiday, two reasons having delicious fluffy sponge cake filled with cream and jam is a bad idea right now.

As we are about to go to the USA for a five week holiday I decided a family catch up was in order before we leave. I'm usually over-organised and ask family members to bring certain dishes, but this time I decided to make it a pot luck dinner and left the instructions at that. We ended up with three rice dishes and no meat. Not to self: being over organised is not always a bad thing.

GF Raspberry Lamington Cake

Onto dessert though, I had that sorted (as always), with a delicious gluten free sponge cake that I sandwiched together with Mother Earth Raspberry Jam. This stuff is seriously good, it tastes like the homemade kind, you know with actual raspberry seeds, made from real New Zealand fruit! The jam is  made in small batches using simple recipes so it's just like having a jar of mum's famous homemade jam, only it's available all the time!

I used to love raspberry lamingtons and haven't had one in years due to having Coeliacs. Luckily this cake comes pretty close to the real deal, it might even top it! I got compliments from non-gluten-free-eaters who had no idea it was even gluten free, I always say that's the best sign of gluten free baking!

I was a little nervous about making a gluten free sponge cake as not only was this my first attempt at a gluten free sponge, but it was my first attempt at ANY sponge cake. I know, it's a little embarrassing that I'm a baking blogger and at age 28 I still haven't made a plain ol' sponge cake!

The recipe I used was from Jo Seagar and it did sink a little in the middle after I took it out, but I simply filled the cake with delicious Mother Earth Raspberry Jam and a beautiful vanilla bean mascarpone cream and placed the other cake on top upside down. It didn't really matter how the cake looked in the end anyway as I ended up smothering it in delicious raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream and coconut. Just like a raspberry lamington, only better!

GF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington Cake
GF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington Cake
GF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington Cake

Gluten Free Raspberry Lamington Cake
Makes a two-layer 8" cake

Sponge Cake
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. water
4 eggs, separated
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1⁄2 cups cornflour, make sure it is gluten-free (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon baking powder, gluten-free
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Filling
1⁄2  cup Mother Earth Raspberry Jam for filling

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cream
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup cream
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla bean paste

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 ¼ cups  sugar
330g butter, at room temperature
¼ cup Mother Earth Raspberry Jam
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pink food colouring (optional)

Decoration
2-3 cups desiccated coconut
¼ cup reserved merinuge (see buttercream recipe)
¼ cup reserved vanilla bean mascarpone cream
2 tsp. Mother Earth Raspberry Jam
Coconut ice crumbs (optional)
Fresh fruit and flowers (optional)

Sponge Cake
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line two 8" cake tins with baking paper and set aside.
  • Combine sugar and water in a small pot and bring to the boil until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.
  • Beat egg whites on the fastest setting until stiff.
  • Slowly drizzle in the hot sugar mixture with the mixer running on a low setting.
  • Beat on the fastest setting again for 3 minutes.
  • Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined. 
  • Sift together cornstarch, baking powder and salt and carefully fold these into the egg mixture. 
  • Pour into prepared tins and bake for 18-20 minutes. 
  • As soon as you remove them from the oven, drop the pans from knee height, square on the floor (this is a strange sponge making trick that 'shocks' the cake and stops it from deflating).
  • Immediately turn sponges out onto a wire rack or baking paper to cool upside down.

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cream
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix on a medium setting until mixture thickens. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Make sure your equipment is completely oil free.
  • Combine egg whites and sugar in a double boiler (making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water) and stir until sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  • Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment and beat on the highest setting until the meringue is thick and glossy, approx. 7-10 minutes.
  • Set aside 1/4 of a cup of meringue mixture to use later for decorating the cake (this is optional but makes for a nice toasted flavour if you choose to toast the meringue on top).
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter cubes one at a time on a low setting, making sure the butter is incorporated after each addition.
  • Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. 
  • Add the vanilla and Mother Earth Raspberry Jam and continue to beat on low speed until well combined.
  • Add pink food colouring if desired.

Cake Assembly
  • Place one sponge cake on a cake board on top of a lazy Susan.
  • Pipe a thick border of raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream around the edge of the cake.
  • Roughly spread the Mother Earth Raspberry Jam over the cake, making sure to spread it right to the edges.
  • Spread the vanilla bean mascarpone cream on top of the jam.
  • Place the second sponge cake on top of the first cake upside down, this gives you a nice flat surface to work with.
  • Roughly ice the cake with the raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, this is your crumb coat so it doesn't have to be perfect. 
  • Place the cake in a freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
  • Ice the cake with more raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Carefully coat the top and sides of the cake with desiccated coconut, sprinkling the coconut on and pressing down with your hands to secure it in place.
  • Make a small well of vanilla bean mascarpone cream in the centre of the cake and roughly spread this using the back of a teaspoon.
  • Drizzle extra Mother Earth Raspberry Jam on top.
  • Pipe small blobs of meringue around the outside of the cake and carefully toast using a kitchen torch (be careful the coconut doesn't catch fire!)
  • Decorate the cake as you please using fresh seasonal fruit, coconut ice  and flowers or whatever you have on hand. Enjoy your masterpiece! 

This post was made possible thanks to Mother Earth. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Cake recipe by Jo Seagar and icing recipe adapted from Handle the Heat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gluten & Dairy Free Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze Icing

I’ve decided that bananas are my new favourite fruit! I love eating bananas as they are, in my breakfast, frozen and blended to make nice-cream, pan fried with bacon on pancakes and of course I like them in my cakes!

I can never understand when people say “need a way to use up those over-ripe bananas on the bench?” I’m clearly not one of those people. I’m one of those crazy people who buys bananas twice a week and who has to actively buy a bunch of bananas and put them aside to brown if I want to use them in baking!


Gluten & Dairy Free Banana Donuts

This week I made good use of my purpose-bought-brown-bananas and adapted my old banana bread recipe making some slight alterations that I think might have improved it, despite the fact that it is now gluten and dairy free. And by improved I mean baking the banana bread in donut tins and dipping (okay, double dipping) them in maple glaze icing. Maple icing is always a good idea.

One of the changes I made in my old recipe was swapping out the old standard white sugar for Chelsea Raw Sugar which makes the donuts have a rich caramelly taste. I much prefer these donuts to my old banana bread, but then I definitely am biased towards donuts.

These donuts are super simple to make, all you need is a donut tin and you’re set to get baking. You can decorate any way you like, I’m sure it would be tonnes of fun to get the kids involved, especially when there are sprinkles (beware of the mess!) If you do decide to make your own be sure to tag me so I can see, I love seeing your creations!

GIVEAWAY TIME!
Win yourself a $50 Chelsea prize pack so you can make these for yourself! Just tell me in the comments below what you would create with some Chelsea Raw Sugar. Don’t forget to check out the Chelsea website for other recipe ideas or search #chelseasugar on Facebook or #chelseasugar Instagram to get inspired! Open to NZ residents only. Winner drawn at random on the 27th of November 2015 at 8pm.

Gluten & Dairy Free Banana DonutsGluten & Dairy Free Banana Donuts
Gluten & Dairy Free Banana DonutsGluten & Dairy Free Banana Donuts

Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze Icing
Makes approx. 14 Donuts

Ingredients:

Banana Donuts:
4 ripe bananas
80ml coconut oil, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup Chelsea Raw Sugar
210g gluten free flour mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Maple Glaze Icing:
3 cups icing sugar
6 tbsp. melted dairy free margarine
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2-3 tbsp. almond milk
Food colouring and sprinkles (optional)

Banana Donuts:
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and lightly grease a donut tin with oil.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mash bananas and combine with melted coconut oil, egg and vanilla.
  • Add Chelsea Raw Sugar and mix until combined.
  • Sift in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
  • Spoon mixture into donut tin and smooth over the tops with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Maple Glaze Icing:
  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add margarine and maple syrup and mix until combined.
  • If the icing is too thick add a little milk, you want the icing to be smooth and spreadable, not too liquidy.
  • Divide mixture between bowls and add food colouring.
  • Microwave icing for 5-10 seconds to slightly warm it and make it easier for dipping, mixing after heating.
  • Dip donuts in icing and decorate with sprinkles straight away.
  • Continue with each of your colours, when icing gets too thick or cold just pop back in the microwave for 5-10 seconds again.
  • Best enjoyed on the day, but they will last a few days in an airtight container.

This post was made possible thanks to Chelsea. All thoughts/opinons are my own.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

One of the things I love about living in 2015 is that healthy baking is a thing now (that used to be an oxymoron!) I honestly don’t have to miss out on sweet treats when bliss balls and nice cream (that’s ice cream made entirely out of frozen bananas) come in flavours like salted caramel and mint chocolate!

The other thing I love is that it’s becoming easier and easier to find healthy alternatives in supermarkets. Go back five years and I would have no idea what coconut sugar was and where on earth to source it. Now good ol’ kiwi brand Chelsea have brought out there very own Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar and I couldn’t be happier.

Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar is a healthier alternative to plain white sugar as it is more natural and lower GI. That’s not to say that these brownies are “healthy” but they sure do beat a normal brownie recipe that’s full of dairy, sugar and gluten in my books!

If you’re new to baking with legumes (yeah, that’s a thing now too!) don’t worry, the brownies don’t taste anything like the beans on their own. In fact, no one would have any idea these brownies were any different if you didn’t tell them! They’re soft, melt in your mouth and so delicious straight out of the oven while warm!

If you’re keen to get baking with Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar I have a fantastic Chelsea pack to give away to one lucky reader worth $50 on my Facebook page. Be sure to check out the Chelsea website or #chelseasugar on Instagram or Facebook for recipe ideas on how to use Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar!

Chocolate Black Bean BrowniesChocolate Black Bean Brownies
Chocolate Black Bean BrowniesChocolate Black Bean Brownies

Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

300g black beans, rinsed
1/3 cup apple puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 free range eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 cup Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. instant coffee (optional, just makes it taste more chocolatey)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a 9” square cake tin with baking paper.
  • Blend black beans in a food processor until slightly chopped up, add apple puree and blend until a thick paste forms.
  • Add the rest of the wet ingredients and blend until combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer as you go.
  • Add the Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar and sift in the cocoa, instant coffee, baking powder and salt.
  • Blend until just combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer again.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture into lined cake tin and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • In a small bowl, melt peanut butter in the microwave for approximately 15-30 seconds, until it is at a pouring consistency.
  • Spoon peanut butter on top of the brownie mixture and pull a knife through to create swirls.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

This post was made possible thanks to Chelsea. All thoughts/opinons are my own.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake

It's been nearly a year since I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and I gotta say, it's not been that bad. I feel like I'm starting to feel better now, in fact I'd even go so far as to say I think I feel better now than I've ever felt before!

Usually I'm not very "in tune" with my body, not really knowing what things meant, how I was meant to feel, what was "normal". I actually thought that the sore stomachs I was getting so often was from eating food with the children at work and picking up their bugs!

Fast forward a year and I'm eating gluten free spaghetti bolognaise for dinner, not thinking anything of it. I don't really miss many gluten foods any more. Sometimes I miss certain things like white bread or how easy it used to be to go to events and not worry about dietary requirements. But most times I don't even think about it, living gluten free has become second nature.

Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia Bakes

Baking is one area in my life that has changed drastically. Once I got over the depression stage (it's a thing, honestly!) of going gluten free, I was actually excited to face gluten free baking, I remember thinking, challenge accepted! I started researching gluten free baking and getting to understand the dynamics of ingredients in recipes. I started testing chocolate cupcake recipes and cookies and then all of a sudden went back to reality and got swept away with my studies.

Since then I haven't had time to do much experimenting or recipe testing in the kitchen, that was up until recently. Now I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel (that is, the end of a three year study in early childhood education) I'm finally beginning to think about real life again. I'm all amped up and ready to get into gluten free baking!

This cake was the first time I had attempted a gluten free vanilla cake and I was super sceptical but it turned out pretty darn good. I still want to give it a few more trials and see if I can fix a few things but I think it's a keeper! The only thing I found was that the cake was super sticky on the outside, so if you have any idea what that could be and can shed any light I'd be very grateful for the advice!

If you're gluten free and you've been hanging out for vanilla cake for a while (haven't we all) then give this simple recipe a go, it doesn't have to be Easter for you to treat yourself! Don't forget to use the code: YUM at the checkout when online shopping with Countdown for your $5 off voucher!

Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia BakesGluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia Bakes
Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia BakesGluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia Bakes
Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia BakesGluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia Bakes
Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake by Lydia BakesGluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake

Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake
Makes 3 x 6" cakes approx. 4cm tall

Cake:
300g gluten free flour mix (I used Healtheries)
50g corn flour
½ t sp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
½ cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk (or mix 1 cup milk with 1 tsp. white vinegar)
Food colouring (optional)

Vanilla Buttercream:
300g butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp. milk
Food colouring (optional)
Easter eggs, meringues and sprinkles (optional)

Cake:
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line three 6" cake tins with baking paper.
  • Mix up buttermilk (if you're making your own like I always do) and set aside, this will look funny and chunky when you go to use it later.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl, stir together and set aside.
  • Beat eggs for about 20 seconds and gradually add sugar. Beat for another 30 seconds.
  • Add vanilla and oil to egg mixture and beat.
  • Add a third of the flour mix to the eggy mixture (make sure your beater is on a low setting or the flour will fly everywhere!) and beat.
  • Add half the buttermilk and beat then add another third of the flour. Add the remaining buttermilk and then the flour and beat until combined.
  • Divide batter evenly between three bowls and add food colouring, I used Americolor gel colours Electric Blue, Electric Pink and Wilton gel colour Lemon Yellow.
  • Pour the cake batter in to cake tins and bake for approx. 20-30 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  • Cool in tin for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.

Icing:
  • Beat butter until very light and fluffy approx. 5-8 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Add icing sugar and beat until combined, adding milk when it gets too thick.
  • Beat icing for another 5 minutes until it’s nice, fluffy and light.
  • Spread a layer of icing on top of the blue cake, making sure to spread to the edges.
  • Place the pink cake on top and spread another layer of icing on top.
  • Place the yellow cake on top and spread a thin layer of icing over the entire cake to coat all the crumbs (this is the crumb coat) and place in the freezer for approx. 15 minutes or until icing is very firm.
  • Divide the left over icing into three bowls and tint with food colouring, I used Americolor gel colours Electric Blue, Electric Pink and Wilton gel colour Lemon Yellow.
  • When the icing is hard on the cake take out of the freezer and place it on a lazy Susan or cake turning plate if you have one (if not you’ll just have to turn the cake as you go).
  • Spread a thick layer of blue icing along the bottom line of the cake, don’t worry if it’s messy it’ll look pretty later!
  • Spread a thick layer of pink icing along the middle of the cake.
  • Spread a thick layer of yellow on the top of the cake and work your way down to the sides of the cake.
  • Now is the fun part! Take a spatula and carefully scrape the sides of the cake, merging the layers of icing a little in between them. Keep going until you like the look of it, making sure you cannot see the white icing or crumbs through the icing. 
  • Place the cake back in the freezer for another 5 minutes or until the icing is nicely set and then decorate as you please. I used meringues I made earlier using the Meringue Girls recipe, Easter eggs and sprinkles. 

Cake recipe adapted from Glorious Treats and icing recipe adapted from Sweetapolita 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Gluten and Dairy Free Carrot Cake Donuts

Wow what a week it's been! I feel like I put my Wonder Woman hat on today, sometimes I don't know how I manage to fit so much into my day! Today I cleaned the house, did the grocery shopping, did lots of baking (and photographing), finished my assignment, prepped food for the week and cooked dinner! It doesn't sound like much but I have literally been on my feet all day! Pass me one of those donuts!

I've been hanging out for some sweet Easter treats lately, because it seems like some kind of cruel joke that at this time of year we celebrate with dairy and gluten chocolate and hot cross buns. I don't mind having a bit of diary here and there (although it does hurt my tummy) but there's no way I'm eating hot cross buns ever again unless they're gluten free...and lets face it, is it worth it then? I'm worried I'll be disappointed if it doesn't taste like the real deal.

gfdf Easter Donuts

So onto my great idea for Easter baking, make carrot cake donuts! I'm really not sure why there is carrot stuff at Easter time, I'm assuming it's because the Easter bunny eats carrots (does he really though?) but I'll roll with it. Especially because I haven't had carrot cake in years!

These carrot cake donuts are nice and soft and fluffy (just like the Easter bunny - ha!) and taste great with a double dipping of lemon glaze icing. You can decorate them how you like, I chose teeny tiny silver cachous because I think they look badass and crushed merinuges because I had them on hand from another Easter baking project I'm working on (all will be revealed soon!)

Most of the ingredients used here are easy to find in your local supermarket and to help you get into the baking spirit this Easter you can shop online at Countdown and use the code: YUM in the coupon code at the checkout for $5 off! Happy baking Easter bunnies!

GFDF Carrot Cake Easter Donutsgluten free dairy free carrot cake donuts
GFDF Carrot Cake Easter Donuts Easter DonutsEaster Donuts

Gluten and Dairy Free Carrot Cake Donuts
Makes approx. 14 donuts

Carrot Cake Donuts:
200g gluten free flour mix (I used Healtheries)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla essence
½ cup coconut oil (liquid)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 carrots grated (approx 1 1/2 cups)
1-2 tbsp. water

Lemon Glaze Icing:
3 cups icing sugar
6 tbsp. melted dairy free margarine
1 tbsp. lemon juice (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp. milk
Food colouring and sprinkles (optional)

Carrot Cake Donuts:
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease a donut tin with oil spray or coconut oil.
  • Sift dry ingredients and set aside
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs lightly then add vanilla, oil and brown sugar and beat until combined.
  • Add the carrot and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix together until incorporated, if mixture is too dry add a little water.
  • Spoon into donut tin until about half full and spread with the back of a spoon to create a flat surface.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave to stand five minutes in the tin then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool before decorating.

Lemon Glaze Icing:
  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add margarine and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  • If the icing is too thick add a little milk, you want the icing to be smooth and spreadable, not too liquidy.
  • Divide mixture between bowls and add food colouring (I used Americolor gels: Electric Pink, Electric Blue and Wilton gel: Lemon Yellow).
  • Microwave icing for 5-10 seconds to slightly warm it and make it easier for dipping, mixing after heating.
  • Dip donuts in icing and decorate with sprinkles straight away.
  • Continue with each of your colours, when icing gets too thick or cold just pop back in the microwave for 5-10 seconds again.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Alice in Wonderland Cake and Cupcakes

It's been a while since I got out the fondant and decorated all weekend long, I forgot what it was like!

Last week I was asked to make a fondant covered cake and cupcakes for a friends baby shower, I forgot how time consuming everything is and even forgot the right ratio for white chocolate ganache! I think I got a bit rusty!

I forgot the intricacies of working with fondant and can see why there's a lot of people who refuse to work with it. I've also seen a big back lash against fondant lately and felt the need to defend it, so here goes my rant:

I personally think every cake is a piece of art. Each event or celebration calls for its own preference and sometimes you need a blank canvas to start with. I know some people believe it's a waste of cake but from my experience most people just pick off the fondant and eat the cake anyway, I guarantee you, people don't always eat the garnishes on a naked cake (like flowers!)

When you cover a cake in fondant you're making it possible to preserve special memories to be enjoyed later (we ate our top tier of our wedding cake on our honeymoon!) and of course decorating possibilities are endless as you're working with a blank canvas.

I have enormous respect for both fondant and naked cake/buttercream cake decorators, there's a time and a place for both kinds of cake in my opinion. As my girl Taylor says: the haters gonna hate and the bakers gonna bake (that's the lyrics right?) Lets try to encourage each other, it doesn't have to be one or the other!

Now that my rant is over, hope you enjoy my cake and cupcakes, here's hoping I'm not so rusty with my next fondant cake!


Alice in Wonderland Cake and CupcakesAlice in Wonderland Cake and Cupcakes Alice in Wonderland Cake and CupcakesAlice in Wonderland Cake and Cupcakes Alice in Wonderland Cake and Cupcakes

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Left Shark Valentine's Day Cupcakes

It's a good time to be a Katy Cat!

If you haven't seen it yet, Katy Perry's Half Time Super Bowl Show was amazing! She totally owned her performance, her vocals were on point, she looked fantastic and the guest acts were awesome!

Katy also performed at the Grammy's earlier this week with a show stopping emotional performance of By the Grace of God. Yes I cried. And yes I cried when I saw her perform it live last year at both her Auckland shows.

She is phenomenal and it seems that the press and the Internet can't get enough of her. But there's someone else the world has taken a liking to from the Super Bowl Half Time Show, her back up shark dancer, Left Shark.

Left Shark's claim to fame (or shame?) was his hilarious dancing and lack of co-ordination with the routine. Was it on purpose or was it a back up dancers artistic choice? Who knows, all I know is I love him and (not so secretly) want to cuddle him, especially this Valentine's Day!

I made these cutsie cupcakes with the leftover cupcakes I had in the house after making baby shower cupcakes over the weekend. I had longer phrases I wanted to write (like "I might be left shark, but I'm the right shark for you" and "You're the left shark to my Katy Perry") but there wasn't enough room, feel free to use these FINtastic pick up lines this V-day, I'm sure either will work wonders!

Happy Valentine's Day lovers! xx

Left Shark Valentine's Day CupcakesLeft Shark Valentine's Day Cupcakes
Left Shark Valentine's Day Cupcakes