Friday, 30 September 2011

Coffee And Hazelnut Streusel Bundt Cake

I know it's not like me to make a cake without mounds of butter icing or covered in fondant, but this is a different kind of cake for a special occasion. A year ago tomorrow my mum had a heart attack (don't worry she's fine!) and from that day she quit smoking in a bid to get in super healthy condition, and she's stuck to it which is amazing. So rather than dwell on the poorly heart issue we decided it would be nice to celebrate her achievement on not smoking for a year, which when you go from 30 a day since she was a hippy Beatles loving teeneager is brilliant.

We're actually going out tomorrow for a meal to celebrate it properly, but I thought as she's had to cut out so many luxuries I would try to make her a heart-friendly cake to take to her work to share. While this cake may not be 'totally healthy' as such, it's low cholesterol and I've followed some rules we got from the hospital like using butter instead of hard margerine as there's not as much rubbish in it etc. There's also reduced fat sour cream used rather than it being full butter which helps, and also only some runny icing rather than the usual lashings of buttercream or rich icing and chocolate. While of course it's ok to have proper cake now and then, I thought it'd be nice to have a slightly better cake health wise to actually be able to have a proper slice of and enjoy. Also she is an absolute coffee addict so this was an obvious choice and the toasted hazelnuts always go brilliantly with coffee anyway so all in all I think it was a really good choice of cake for this occasion.

I also got to use my bundt tin for the first time, I got it from Tesco for about £8 I think and this recipe was for a 10 cup recipe, I wasn't sure what that meant but it was perfect for this tin, and it's quite large so it worked out well. It was quite scary trying to get the cake out of the tin without ruining the nice pattern and thank fudge it came out without a problem and beautifully smooth. And even if you do loose a bit of the cake when trying to get it out...runny icing is a great glue and can hide all manner of sins! I've adapted this slightly from a recipe I found on Eating Well.

I should also add that while I am definitely not a coffee fan I did have some, and the texture in insanely light and fluffy, in that sense I think this could be one of the best cakes I've baked!

Right let's get started.


Streusel Filling

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons soft dark brown sugar, I like to use Tate & Lyle
  • 3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts (they just have a nicer flavour)
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Cake Ingredients

  • 360g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 300lm reduced-fat sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90g butter unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil - we don't really have that here so they say you can use vegetable oil
  • 400g sugar sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites

Glaze Ingredients

  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water or 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C / 350°F. Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with low fat cooking spray.
  2. To prepare streusel: Combine 3 tablespoons plain flour, brown sugar and hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons espresso powder and melted butter in a small bowl.
  3. To prepare cake: Whisk plain flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Stir together sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla in a small bowl.
  4. Beat butter, oil and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined. Add eggs and egg whites, beating after each addition until just incorporated. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream (or yogurt) mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and beating on low speed just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  5. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the streusel mixture. Top with the remaining batter and smooth the top. Mine sunk quite far down so I'd suggest maybe putting it in a bit higher up with less batter having to go on the streusel mix.
  6. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To prepare glaze: Place icing sugar in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon espresso mixture (or coffee) and stir until smooth. Add up to 1 tablespoon more of the liquid to thin the glaze to desired consistency. I found mine was still quite grainy so I sieved mine like a crazy person but you could always add more water to try to dissolve it before mixing it with the icing sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts, if desired. I did then add some more white runny icing for a bit of contrast.
  8. Eat, Nom!
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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

My Lastest Baking Buys

Over the last couple of weeks I have gradually been buying a few more baking bits as shockingly I had some money left towards the end of the month, which never happens - so of course I had to spend it! But actually most of these purchases I needed, I did really! So it's allowed, guilt free.

First of all, the big purchase was a 7 tier perspex cupcake stand. I'm doing a wedding next month for 150 cupcakes so I really needed to hurry up and get one so I would have time to return it if there was something wrong with it. Luckily it's perfect and even arrived the next day when I didn't pay extra for that. It cost me £29.99 which I didn't think was too bad, there were some cheaper ones out there but the perspex tiers were thinner and the support structure wasn't very strong looking. You can see it here in my picture, please keep in mind I haven't taken off the protective blue film yet, also please excuse my messy table I had a lot of my baking stuff out! I bought mine from eBay as I hadn't seen any in any local shops out here in the sticks and if I'm only, I absolutely love eBay so I couldn't resist a purchase for something I actually needed. Another good point about this stand too is that it's so easy to assemble and you don't have to use all 7 tiers, however it advises that it could hold up to 120 cupcakes. I did a little test with cases and it would say maybe 70 unless you use really small cupcakes.

My next purchase was from Wilkinson. They have a whole new cute cupcake and baking baking with really great low prices. They even sell muffin wrappers, cake boxes and board set and even whole decorating sets. I have to say I was really shocked I could pick up these items there but so happy I discovered it. I was literally on my way out when I passed this section so wasn't free to browse as I would have liked but I managed to quickly grab this set of Tala 3 Squeeze Decorating Bottles for only £3! Bargain. I've always seen bottles like these and wanted to try them out but they've always been in large sets which seemed a bit scary for a first go. I was thinking these could be great for decorating sugar biscuits with royal icing, I will get a proper review up soon when I've been able to road test them properly.

Right my next purchase I've been looking at a while, diamond molds.  These are actually for ice cubes but I'm sure it'll still work. I saw it on Cake Boss when they made a giant gem out of a sugar solution and it looked brilliant! I have an order for a diamond anniversary cake next month so I thought this would be a good reason to finally buy it. I've been finding it difficult to find a good recipe for the gems that doesn't involve melting down pear isolates or whatever they're called, but I've seen a couple so I will definitely try them out. I got this set from Play for £3.49 which was a total steal. they're silicone too so should be fairly easy to pop out. They're more 3D than I imagined as looked as it might only be half size so the top was diamond shaped, but actually it makes a whole diamond! Can't wait to make some serious cake bling!

OK these last ones here aren't recent as such, I bought them just before I went to Norway. The Dr. Oetker Gold and Silver Shimmer Spray are a new addition to our baking aisles and I have to say I love them. Some might think them tacky but actually I think used well can actually look very pretty and will be brilliant for Christmas. I used the silver one recently in my National Costume Giant Cupcake post. The silver came out quite light and pearly however if you did want a strong flavour I'm sure you could easily layer it up. You will find it all around where you've used it in the kitchen, but don't worry it does just wipe/wash off with no problems. I got these in Tesco but I've also seen them in Asda so I'm sure they're readily available in most food shops.

It's payday at the weekend so I'm sure it won't be too long before there's another post like this! Pin It Now!

Monday, 26 September 2011

St Ives French Market

This weekend was the first in a while where I didn't have a million things to do and a million places to go. I had no cake orders or specific meals to cook. It was one of those brilliant weekends where you could just do exactly what you wanted, which was great! But of course I couldn't leave the food and baking side out of my weekend too much...or at all really as you saw that Saturday was pretty much taken up by the croquembouche! I thought I would go with huge photos so you can see everything in it's ultimate glory!

Me and my mum decided to have a girly day as we hadn't been able to have one in ages. We noticed that the French market was in town and shockingly, after all the time I have lived here I have never actually been to one when it's bee here, which is crazy! So as Saturday morning was free we decided to check it out. While it was good, it's a fraction of the size it used to be and the town would be filled with French cars, it's a shame it's decreased so much but all the best bits were there as far as I'm concerned, e.g bread and cheese!

You can't got to a market like this without picking up some bread, a lot of it was baked right in front of you which was brilliant when you knew you could pick up a fresh and even warm loaf. There were so many to choose from. I've been on a bit of a bread detox so it was nice to be able to buy some good quality stuff to fall off the wagon with. We chose a loaf of corn bread as you can see below. I've never had a loaf like this before and it was actually quite sweet tasting, I would never have thought to put corn in bread but it was delicious!

Now the cheese, I never used to like cheese, crazy right? I did when I was little but not when I was growing up. This was until I went to University and I fell in love with it. Brie in particular after having it baked one time. I think I could easily just live on's just such a shame it's so bad for you and in my books - the riper the better! We managed to pick up these three for only £5 - one brie, one camembert and one which is a mix of the both (apparently). So trying to be good we put two in the freezer for using at christmas and the third...the brie...well, it didn't last long. We literally cut up all of the bread in fancy slantly slices, sliced/spooned the brie onto them and grilled them until melty perfection - and feasted! Nom! It was good to fall of the healthy wagon for a day (don't worry I'll never stop baking, I try to eat healthy so I can eat more cake! )

OK we bought one last's an odd choice because it wasn't French, it was from an Italian stall! They had all of these slices of chocolate there that we initially thought were cake, but no - chocolate! All with gorgeous flavours like Amaretto, coffee and orange, which is the one that we bought - only one slice though as they looked quite heavy.  The texture was very odd, not hard like chocolate but more like set ganache which was actually lovely and this too didn't see the end of the weekend.

Now that I know what stunning finds I can get at markets like these I'll be sure to check out the farmers one that comes into town now and then especially with the countdown to Christmas starting it'll be time to stock up!

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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Limoncello and White Choclate Croquembouche

Until I watched The Great British Bake Off on tuesday I will be honest and say I hadn't heard of a croquembouche before...profiteroles sure, but done like this? Never. And instantly I just knew I HAD to make one.

Luckily my lovely mother had bought me the latest GBBO book 'How To Bake'. Last season's book, which I baked my Somerset Apple Cider Cake from was brilliant, like a bible. This one is more Mary Berry inspired and very girl which is great. It's gives great step by step guides and shows you in pictures how to do things and what it's supposed to look like which is a godsend. Full of pastel colours and gorgeous photography,  I was so happy to see they featured one of the croquembouches from the show inside, so this was the one I decided I had to make, with limoncello and white chocolate. I could post the whole recipe from start to finish but then it would turn into an essay and I don't want to bore you - so I'll post the limcello and white chocolate bit, as while the choux pastry recipe was good, I think it's just as good any recipe I've used before so I'm sure you can find another in one of your cookbooks or online.

I hadn't made profiteroles before, only eclairs, which are similar but I still had only done those a couple of times but I love choux pastry so I was determined to do it right. It's not as lengthy as you imagine in itself but all in all it did take a few hours from start to finish as you have to let bits cool and stand for a while so it all added up, trust me though it is worth it. I know it's a bit of an extravagant recipe to just decide to do for fun, but I did downsize it to about a quarter of the size of what they did on the show, so it was ok :)

You do need a croquembouche cone, though I didn't have one and I've heard they're quite expensive, so I made mine with a left over cake box lid and some foil. I wrapped the foil over the card and twisted it into a wide cone shape and taped it all up together and leveled it so it stood straight. Voila, and costs next to nothing. I did it with foil rather than baking paper as I was worried the baknig paper would tear on the caramel which would be gutting in the end stage!

The hard part for me was the caramel, I hadn't made it like this before so I didn't really know what to expect and stupidly thought it would be easy as there were only two ingredients...wrong! It took me three attempts, nearly a kilo of sugar, and after number two I had run out of saucepans after filling up the dishwasher and my patient grew thin when realising how fickle sugar is! But I managed to rustle up another saucepan, a bigger one this time and I think that was part of the trick. I burned it the last two times and kept on cooking it. This time when I got to the right temperature and it hadn't quite lots all of the massive sugar clumps that had formed, I turned it down and kept the correct temperature whilst actually stirring it (even though they told you to NEVER do that on the show) and third time lucky it turned out beautifully. So do be patient with it and give it a bit more time than you may expect. The only thing I think I would change would be to add some more double cream to the filling as it was a little loose and kinda spilled out everywhere when you tore a bit off to eat so it could have down with being a bit thicker.

Right enough waffling here's the recipe:

Limoncello and White Chocolate Croquembouche

  • 2 recipe quantities of profiteroles
    (about 96)
  • 300g caster sugar for the caramel
  • caster sugar for the spun sugar

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 250ml full fat milk
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello
  • Sugar flowers to decorate (optional - I didn't use them)
You will also need a piping bag with a 0.5cm plain tube, cake board (I just used a plate) a sugar thermometer,  croquembouche con.


  1. To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar, flour, lemon zest and one-third of the milk until smooth. Heat the rest of the milk in a medium pan until almost boiling, then pour onto the yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return to the pan and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Simmer for one minute, whisking, cooking out the flour taste and cool until lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of steaming hot water but not boiling water (don't let the baste of the bowl touch the water). Cool until lukewarm, then whisk the chocolate into the custard, followed by the limoncello. Cover and chill for at least an hour before folding in the whipped cream.
  3. When ready to assemble the croquembouche, spoon the filling into the piping bag. Pipe into the cool profiteroles through the steam hole, taking care not to overfill (to avoid leaking).
  4. To make the caramel, dissolve the sugar in 4 tablespoons of water in a medium pan, stirring occasionally (again this is odd as they did say to never actually stir it, so I mainly just swirled it around).  Once the has sugar has dissolved bring to the boil and boil rapidly to a light caramel (160 degrees celcius / 320 Fahrenheit) Immediately plunge the base of the pan into cold water for 20 seconds to halt the cooking.
  5. Place your cake board on the worktop. Working quickly, dip one side of each profiterole in the hot caramel (be careful not to burn yourself it's crazy hot)  and stick them together inside the cone. You can also just freestyle it into a pyramid. If the caramel 'glue' starts to set you can loosen it up again by heating it gently.  Leave the croquembouche in a cool to set. This shouldn't really take to long.
  6. For the spun sugar you can make the caramel again, but I had some left over so I used that, after it's been in the cold water for 20 seconds let it settle for 5 minutes. Hold a couple of forks in one hand, dip the tines in the caramel and lift them out and flick strands of caramel over the assembled croquembouche. Stop as soon as the caramel starts to set and becomes thick. Decorate with sugar flowers if you would like.
  7. Destroy and eat! Nom!
I hope you all made it through the recipe I know it's lengthy -
so you can see why I didn't want to write up the choux pastry recipe too!
  1. Place your cake
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Monday, 19 September 2011

Norwegian National Costume Confirmation Cake!

That title was a bit of a mouthful, and so is this cake! We attended a Confirmation in Norway, I think I've only been to one before when I was young in Norway so I don't really remember too much about it so it great to experience one. It was very different to what we have here and very popular over there where you really celebrate it with speeches (which we sing), lots of food and and family parties!

And me being me of course I had to make a cake! Most people there when confirmed are given a national costume (Bunad), theyr'e really big on it over there and really expensive so they are often special gifts for occasions like these. I do have one myself, each county has their own design, I didn't have enough money for a real proper one so me and my mum designed one just how I wanted it which was brilliant and made it for a fraction of the price but it looks brilliant. However seeing so many at the weekend it really made me want a fully embroidered one! ANYWAY! This is where I took my inspiration for the cake, I thought I would make one in the style of the Bunad (from Lundeby) she was receiving. This was no easy task, it is beautiful embroidered with floral patterns, but I knew it would be brilliant so I simply had to give it a go.

Armed with my mum's Bunad book with all of the designs I figured out in my mind how I wanted it to look, so flying over to Norway my hand luggage was full of decorationg equipment and the giant cupcake (of course) it self in two pieces. I was a little worried I wouldn't be allowed it through security and maybe that I was smuggling with it (which of course I wasn't!) but luckily it all went through! I dreaded the thought of chunks being taken out for testing!! In the normal luggage I also had a bout a kilo of icing in various colours which I did think could also look a bit dodgy on the scanner but two hours later we all arrived fine with no chunks missing or cases being ripped open by sniffer dogs - success.

The floral pattern was quite complicated so I found a couple of the main pattern sections to copy around the base of the cake. The Bunad comes in blue or black and I knew she was getting a blue one, I luckily got the colour spot on which is great as it actually looked a lot darker in photos but I wanted it to look edible so I made it lighter which turned out to be the actual colour so that was lucky.
For the base I used a lot of Baby Blue Sugarflair paste (which left a lot of people blue-mouthed!) and for the flowers, two different shades of Claret, I decided it would be easier to pipe the stems and buds on with writing icing I got in the shop from Dr.Oetker. I made the petals from using a leaf cutter I had and cut out the petals individually, I then used the darker pink and cut out smaller leaves to get different shading, I actually think this was a great technique as the flower shapes weren't the standard ones and if I were going to cut them out by hand I'd be there until the next day!

For the top I did my normal rose piping in vanilla buttercream, I wanted it to look a little like a dress with the base with the skirt and the top being the shirt. On the shirt also they were gorgeous Bunad jewelery which is again quite expensive but great quality and really sets the dress off and there are so many different kinds and sizes everyone has at least one piece. I thought I would try to make some of the jewelery out of fondant to put on the front, I went for the classic style jewelery which you can get in silver/gold. I've recently bought some Dr.Oetker gold and silver colour spray so this was a great time to try it out. It's hard to explain how it looks so I will include pictures of the dress etc so you can see what I mean. These had to travel wrapped in bubble wrap in a plastic box as they were so delicate and had to be assembled the night before.

It took me about 3/4 hours to decorate the night before. But I don't mind at all as she was so happy when she saw it as it was a surprise. In Norway, we like to eat cake, and it was so nice to see a table just full of them!  The one on the bottom right picture is called Kranse Kake, a cake made up of almond rings decorated with runny icing and flags. Traditionally they are stacked like you can see here but do come in other forms, you will find this cake at most Norwegian parties. You may think I'm crazy to arrive somewhere and decorate a cake that night for the next day, but it's what I do for family, everyone gets a cake at some point!

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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Sexy Red Velvet Cupcakes - National Cupcake Week

These have been on my 'to bake list' for quite a while, they've always looked utterly gorgeous but have always been something I've put off a bit as I wanted to do them right. So as it is National Cupcake Week I thought why not try these bad boys out now? So I did.

I got the Recipe from The Humming Bird Bakery cook (which I copied from Good To Know), as I thought if I was going to use anyone's recipe, it should be there's. I don't have the book myself as I'm always too poor to buy it, so I've had to rely on recipes put up on the internet like this. Thankfully people are happy to share them or god knows what sort of recipe I would attempt to create myself. Right, let's get to it.

I'd actually never made cream cheese icing before and I have to say, I'm in love! Mine could have done with a couple more minutes in the oven as I put so much icing on it looks a but squished! But fails are important too, so next time I'll fight against my urge for moisture and remember how heavy cream cheese is.

For the red velvet cupcakes:

  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20ml red food colouring, I used Christmas Red Sugarflair paste, about half a teaspoon worth
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml buttermilk, I couldn't get any so used Gold Top, worked great
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½tsp white wine vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold, try to use full fat, if you're going to have a cupcake, then have one porperly!
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
  2. Put the butter and the sugar in a bowl and using an electric mixer beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well combined
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste, (as I didn't use liquid colouring I just added all of mine straight to the mix and coloured to the desired strength). Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk/Gold Top :). Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour, and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk/Gold Top and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 mins, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile for the cream cheese frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer, you can do it by hand but it will turn your arm to wibble wobble, on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
  6. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon over the cream cheese frosting on top and try to make it look art farty in a messy kind of way like they do in the book!
  7. Eat, Nom!
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, Recipe text ©Tarek Malouf & The Hummingbird Bakers, Photography Peter Cassidy © Ryland Peters & Small. Pin It Now!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

This Week In Cakes

So it was cake week again, without realising it I had taken on three cakes to do in a week with full decoration, crazy! But it's OK because I made it to the other side! The first was the cupcake and cake pop order I posted earlier in the week as you can here.

The second was for my brother's 25th birthday, I couldn't post about it at the time as I didn't want him to see it before we went to visit, but here it is. He loves comic books and all that stuff, Batman and Joker in particular, so it was a natural choice to do this one. I took me ages to find a picture of one from the right era, illustrator's important to boys. I printed the picture out about a million times and did it like a stencil and luckily managed to keep it down to two layers rather than it looking too 3D, it took me hours but I'm so happy with how it turned out, I tried to get it within the Joker playing card theme too. To finish it off I outlined every bit with and icing pen to give it the real cartoon look and it needed some definition from the base icing as it was the same colour. For the colours I used Sugarflair pastes: Mint Green, Liquorice, Christmas Red, Melon Yellow and Grape Violet.

The third was another one of my giant cupcakes, this one was for a lady turning thirty...who loved Eddie Stobart lorries! It definitely made a change from the super girly ones I do although I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of those! But it was good to be challenged. I had to be careful here as the lorries feature strong colours...but I still wanted it to look edible. I made the bottom 'case' part of it red, and made wheels to go around it so it then looked like the actual bottom of a lorry. The very bottom of them also have a red and white stripe patterns (candy cane like) so I piped some white icing around the seal to give it that look. For the top I piped green swirls like I usually took to give it a bit more of a feminine feel. For those of you who don't know, all of the Eddie Stobart lorries have their own names, so as she is a fan I of course had to make sure this one had a name - hers! I also made a little number plate saying L30, her name is Laura and she is thirty....I realised it still didn't look very lorry like so I added a windscreen and some wipers just to make it a bit more obvious so I hope it helped.

The hard part was that down the side the lorries all have 'EDDIE STOBART' down the side in a particular font in yellow with a red shadow, I didn't have cutters in this font so it just wouldn't look right, and to be hones there would not have been enough room for that long name. So, I thought I would do the number thirty, the other font cutters I had looked just fine in number form and I managed to do the yellow/red colouring which really tied it all together and is part of the whole trademark look. This was one of the hardest cupcakes I have had to do but I think it came out really well!
Sugarflair pastes used: Holly Green, Melon Yellow, Christmas Red, Liquorice. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Girly Cupcakes And Cake Pops

Sometimes I can go weeks with no cakes to make to order, and sometimes the break is nice, this week I have thee to make so the pressure is on!

The first is this, I was asked to make some cupcakes and cake pops for a lady at work for her daughter. I had free reign on the decoration but girly, pink, purples and cute were the main themes. Luckily these are my favourite kind so I had no problem in getting into it. Also her daughter is thinking of having cupcakes at her wedding so it's good to impress!

I do actually have a big wedding cupcake order coming up next month so I will keep you posted but luckily they are also on this theme so it's good to get some practice in.

So first I did the cake pops, I followed by previous cake pop recipe but this time I kept the buttercream vanilla as the outsides were going to be quite decorative. I went with some coloured sugars, ruby red slipper glitter and some lavender coloured chocolate to go on the white base covering.
I think they came out really cute and super girly so I really hope she likes them!

As for the cupcakes I followed my standard cupcake and buttercream recipe which you will find on my blog here just omit extra ingredients such as cherries, cola essence etc. I then coloured the icing with Claret Sugarflair paste and decorating them with fondant butterflies (that I coloured with Grape Violet Sugarflair paste) and cut out with the cutters from my Baking Buys post, I also used pink and white sugar pearls, I tried not to over-do these as simplicity is sometimes a lot prettier.

All in all I am really happy with this girly order and think they will make a great little extra birthday gift :) Pin It Now!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cherry Cola Cupcakes

Cherry coke is easily my favourite fizzy drink, I discovered it when I moved back here after living in Norway for four years when I was 12, it was bought my accident thinking it was regular coke and I was sold. Since then I my love for cola has seriously increased, not that I drink it every day or even every week, but I love cola flavoured things, especially the sweets Cola Bottles (it is also my favourite alcoholic drink at Wetherspoon pubs!)

I never thought of baking with it until I saw Gizzi Erskine's Fizzy Lemon and Cola Pastry Tart and I knew it had to make it, I promise to get a better picture up soon it looks a bit pale in this one! I've been hunting for months for cola essence, (I finally got some from eBay) I wanted a stronger flavour than just adding actual coke, as essence had a more 'cola bottle' taste, do you know what I mean? I like the more candied flavour.

So I had a little think and thought it would be a fun idea to combine cherry and cola into a cupcake. I thought I was go classic for the cherry part and not overdo it, choosing to use glace cherries as you can't get a more candied flavour, I chose to put the cherries into the cake part and the cola into the icing so they're separate as I wasn't sure how they would taste when physically mixed together.

I think they came out really well, I used my disposable piping bags for the icing and used a nozzle I actually got in a set from...Poundland! Shocking I know but they were actually pretty good for £1! To give it that element of fizz I added some cola popping candy to the icing after piped.

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 pot glace cherries, diced
For the icing
  • 175 icing sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1tsp cola essence
  • cola popping candy
Makes 12 (I made double)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (160 fan)
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, adding flour and baking powder inbetween each egg until fully combined
  4. Add the diced cherries and mix until evenly distributed
  5. Mix some nice cases, I chose red to give it the Coca Cola theme
  6. Spread mixture between the cases and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean
  7. When cool mix together the butter and icing sugar, if you don't have an enclosed fancy mixer you may want to add the icing sugar gradually so you don't cover yourself in it!
  8. Add the cola essence to taste
  9. Cut the piping bag to size to fit the nozzle, fill it up with the buttercream icing and pipe on big swirls of icing
  10. Sprinkle on popping candy
  11. Eat! Nom!

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