Category Archives: Angela Thompson

Chocolate, strawberries and sweet times

I apologize for the length of time that has lapsed since my last post. It is partially due to the wonderful weather we’ve been having, which has made me want to be outside spending time with Leo (he had a three-day holiday, which is always a special treat!). The island tends to have pretty good weather year-round, but it was particularly lovely the past week. We enjoyed waterskiing and riding our bikes through Ta’ Xbiex and along the marina. But I also have been remiss in blogging because I wanted something truly amazing to share that might make up for my last fiasco.

Inspiration hit when my friend asked me to make the cake for her bridal shower. She’s marrying one of those fellows who works for Unibet, but I decided to overlook her desire to fraternize with the (friendly) competition and make her cake. Now, she’s obsessed with chocolate-covered strawberries so, of course, I had to make her a chocolate-covered-strawberry cake.

I started by preparing chocolate covered strawberries. When the thick chocolate shells had hardened, I cut up the strawberries and layered them with my famous, rich, flourless chocolate cake to make a torte. I also included some homemade whipped cream to give the dessert a lighter element to juxtapose all the other rich elements. I topped the torte with a dark chocolate glaze that dripped down the sides. I believe the cake’s pièce de résistance, though, was the decorative roses I created, of which half were chocolate and half strawberries. A few final swirls of whipped cream and the cake was finished.

I think I can safely say I captured the essence of the chocolate covered strawberry! We served it with some coffee during her bridal shower (which also was a smashing success) and she was very pleased. If this cake, and the event as a whole, was any indication, she is in for a very sweet, satisfying marriage!

Now that I have you all caught up, it’s back outside to enjoy the sunset with Leo! Until next time…


Crème brûlée woes

This is a tale of tragedy. I did promise when I started that I would share both successes and … ahem … failures. I like to think this was not so much a failure as it was a learning experience.

Remember how a few weeks ago I made a tiramisu cake for Leo? Well, today I tried turning another of my favorite desserts into a cake. The star of the show – crème brûlée.

After all, who doesn’t love crème brûlée? It’s elegant, light, the perfect degree of sweet and thoroughly delicious.

Making an airy white cake was easy enough. I let it cool and then poked multiple deep holes across the top to help soak up the delicious vanilla bean custard I whipped up. I have heard some people use instant vanilla pudding to recreate the crème brûlée experience, but that is far too amateur. I never substitute nuanced, authentic flavors with short and easy prep. The same goes for using boxed cakes – it doesn’t take much longer to use quality ingredients and make the batter from scratch, and your end result will be far superior.

I used two vanilla beans and scraped the seeds into my milk during the early stages of making the vanilla bean custard. I went with two layers of cake and two layers of custard, so the topmost layer of the whole cake was custard. The purpose was my intention to caramelize the top. Here’s where the tragedy struck.

After all my hard work – making custard and cake from scratch – my inexperience with a torch became evident. Ideally, you want a thin layer of crackly, caramely, consistent sugar crust. Having never attempted to use a blow torch before, I burnt certain spots and then – fearing I would burn the whole lot of sugar and my kitchen counter with it – I overcorrected and “under torched” other areas. Not the best effect, either for taste or presentation. I was able to peel off the crust, only to find I had melted my custard in certain spots. Using what little leftover custard I had to cover my mistake, I then had a second go at the torch, this time with a significantly better result. Hopefully the execution will be better next time. Oh, the joys of trial and error. But that’s baking, I suppose!


A perfect poker party

Leo’s birthday was a few days ago and we had a wonderful party, both with our friends and then, of course, after they left! I could go into how much alcohol was consumed and the other naughtiness that marked the evening, but this blog is about cakes and baking. So I’ll stick to main event: the birthday cake.

Since Leo works at Betsson – which, for those of you who don’t know, is an online gaming/betting/gambling company (great casino bonuses if you would be interested) – and many of his friends work at other virtual gambling sites, such as LeoVegas, BGO Casino and mrgreen, I decided a theme of that sort would be fun. Gambling in general seemed entirely too broad, so I homed in on Leo’s own personal favorite game, poker, or seven-card stud, to be exact.

I decided to create a cake that looked like a seven-card hand slightly fanned out. I made five of the cards look like a high straight flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of spades – and then threw in a Jack of diamonds and Queen of hearts, which is an inside joke between Leo and I. I quite enjoyed making little spades, hearts and diamonds out of fondant. Since the Ace of spades was the most prominently featured card, and only a slight edge of the others were visible, I didn’t have to worry about drawing the face cards and then replicating that design with frosting. I’ll save that ambitious project for another time!

Since I was serving the cake to a large group of people, I opted for a red velvet cake as it tends to be quite popular. I needed a white frosting for the cards, so cream cheese frosting was perfect. If you don’t want super runny cream cheese frosting, as I did not since I was going for a clean and readable design, remember to cut back a bit on the sugar.

We all enjoyed the cake, played real poker and other games, had more than a few laughs and an overall wonderful time. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon!


Thompson’s take on tiramisu

Here’s a question: What do you do when your boyfriend mentions as he’s leaving for work that he is craving tiramisu? Well, if you are Angela Thompson, you quickly look up a recipe for Tiramisu Cake, scan your pantries to see which ingredients are missing (in my case, basically all of them), and then take your bike down to Scotts Supermarket to do a little last-minute grocery shopping.

With supplies in hand, I hurried back to my flat. I knew I needed time to bake the cake and let it chill before my boyfriend came home from work. His hours at Betsson are so inconsistent – sometimes he’s done in eight, and sometimes it’s 10 or 12, if he and his partners are working on some big project or a new app. All of this is to say, it is definitely a bit of a frustrating variable when you are trying to plan a nice surprise!

I started by preparing my homemade biscuits (lady fingers, as some people call them) and mascarpone. Luckily, during college, I did a semester abroad in Italy. While my ability to speak Italian was slow to see the advantages, I definitely learned how to make a brilliant mascarpone. It may not replace the stuff you can get in Milan, but it is better than what you can pick up at a supermarket.

Once the cheese is done, I mixed it with some egg yolks, Marsala wine and heavy cream for the traditional zabaglione. The only real difference between tiramisu and tiramisu cake is the latter has more layers and a heavier presence of biscuits so it possesses a semblance to traditional cakes.

If you’re like me, and the filling is your favorite part, just spoon a bit on the top of your cake, or save it in the fridge and use it for other things.

I’m happy to say the cake was completed and properly chilled (remember, tiramisu is always served cold) before Leo was home from work. All in all, I would say the surprise was quite a success!


Baking a cake is a Breeze!

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my new blog, Breezy Cakes! A little about myself – my name is Angela Thompson, I’m in my early 30s and I’m simply crazy about cakes (that may be an understatement, actually). I live in a flat in Malta with my boyfriend and I am trying to get my baking business off the ground. Someday, I would love to move back home to London and open a storefront in Soho, but for now, I entertain myself and try out new recipes on my boyfriend and our friends – the poor sods, eh? I also have made numerous cakes for my friends during special occasions, like birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and those sorts of things.

I created this blog to keep you up to date on my baking endeavors, the successes and the failures.

The other day, I made a wonderful chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake. For those who know me, cheesecake is my specialty. This one took a little more time than your average cheesecake, however, because I had to mix two different fillings – the chocolate and the peanut butter – and swirl them together without them merging to become a chocolatey peanut butter mess. I used chocolate cookie crumbs for the crust and topped the cake with a chocolate ganache and peanut butter whipped cream.

As most of you know (but it’s worth a note), you should bake your cheesecake in a water bath to keep the moisture high. I use any old roasting pan filled with about two inches of water. Set your cheesecake pan in the roasting pan before pouring in the filling. Voila! Also, using a knife, gently cut around the edge of the cheesecake as soon as it’s out of the oven to separate it from the pan. This can help prevent the crust from cracking as it cools down.

For my particular cake, no other toppings were needed. But, you know, berries, apples, caramel or chocolate sauce – all great things to top off your cake.

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!