Sunday, 4 September 2011

Baby boy cupcakes (chocolate and banana)

One of our friends said to James that I try and find any excuse to make some cakes. Well.....I'm not going to try and defend that as it's probably true. BUT I do love bringing cakes whenever I visit someone, but luckily for me there seems to be lots of 'excuses' lately.

So my friend Becky (who had the 'pink or blue' cake made for her (which has been the most popular post on my blog!?)) had a beautiful bouncing baby boy who they called Dillan Ocean. So when I went round to meet the munchkin I took these banana and chocolate cupcakes (from primrose cupcake book - amazing!) with a dark chocolate icing (Unnecessary the cupcakes would have been fine naked. However it did mean I could experiment with my icing decorating skills and play with my new butterfly plunger?! :p )

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

PiƱa colada cupcakes

Yay more alcoholic cupcakes - just what everyone wants :p So these were the perfect cupcakes for Tim and Hannah's 'tropical/Hawaiian' themed party. Complete with cocktail umbrellas no less.

So I put too much white rum into the cake and as a result the mixture wasn't perfect in fact it dried out. The frosting helped out as it was cream cheese with dessicated coconut and finely chopped up crystallised pineapple (in the penny sale at Holland and Barrett's!) I tried to put too much into the cake batter as it had white rum, coconut milk as well as fresh pineapple. If I were to do these again I would do just coconut cupcakes with a pineapple frosting (put fresh and crystallised pineapple in the cream cheese icing). So if these ever get requested again that's what I'll do. ANYWAY they went down well at the party and that's all that matters. Who's going to over analyse cupcakes after a few glasses of tropical punch??

Scary picture of me looking proud/slightly special and a pic of the birthday boy and girl.

Pimms o'cupcake

Ok it's summer, the sun is shining, well occasionally anyway so we all know what time it is!?! Pimm's o'clock of course, but in this time pimms o'cupcake.

These were the perfect dessert at our family BBQ and my first stab at 'mass' catering. (if 24 cupcakes could be considered mass :p). The cake batter had 300ml of pimms in and the icing was the usual butter icing which I do but divided into three parts: 1) had cucumber mashed into it 2)had a strawberry syrup that i made by heating and mashing strawberries with grenadine and 3) had lemon juice and zest. these three icings were put into the same icing bag and piped on together. I then made some mint sugar (caster sugar and fresh mint bashed together) which was sprinkled over. Then adorned with a slice of lemon, strawberry, cucumber and mint leaf. I thought of 'pimms cupcakes' and after researching stumbled across a few things that inspired me! So can't take all the credit. No such thing as an original idea ey?

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Home is where the cake is

I said this to a work mate when she was talking about the sheer volume of cakes I make and she replied 'well yes, maybe in your household'. What, not every house has cakes baked in them at least twice a week?? :p

So here's the last couple of weeks worth:

Lemon drizzle cake - for Helen

So this was for Helen, I had to try this as not only is lemon drizzle her favourite but this Jamie Oliver recipe had poppy seeds and as poppy seeds is an in joke between us (don't ask) this recipe was perfect.
Admittedly I wasn't that struck on it! it tasted really healthy/wholesome because of the poppy seeds but Helen loved it (she is pretty healthy so maybe this is why she liked it)

Snickers & peanut butter muffins

Naughty but oh so nice! thanks to the domestic goddess herself this may be a new favourite of mine. A great Saturday brekkie with a cup of tea. 'Nuff said.

Chocolate ginger cupcakes

From the Green & Blacks book - really nice, at first when I tried the icing i though 'omg this is going to be too rich for me' but i was wrong. This is a lovely spicey/warm cake. A great contender for Jack & Kat's wedding cupcakes. This has qualified for the 'taster box'.

Peanut butter cupcakes

Just realised this blog entry is peanut butter-tastic but this was a lovely cupcake. Quite dense and almost sticky texture but was lovely (like the peanut m&m as a topping?) Helen and Mark (my chief taste testers along with James) thought that this would be lovely with custard like a sticky toffee pudding type cake. So this has inspired me to make the mixture and then steam them until cooked - on the 'to try list'!

Vanilla cupcakes

Pure and simple. this was a receipe from lorraine Pascal's book. Firstly - i think she's either really heavy handed when frosting icing or there were spelling errors in this recipe. I think she listed about 400g of butter and 700g of icing usgar - something crazy like that. Luckily I've been makeing so any cupcakes recently i knew that was an obscene amount so stuck to the usual quota of 150g butter and 400g icing sugar depending on recipe. These were lovely though, i liked the vanilla syrup. it made a lot of batter though to the cakes were quite huge and challenging to eat? To make them extra pretty i used a mint colour icing colouring (just a tiny dab of holly green food colouring paste) with some pink sugar.

Rose, strawberry and white chocolate cupcakes / Selen's engagement cakes

TBC - Haven't tried them yet, have just made them!:p

Pea, mint and ricotta ravioli (wheat-free!)

So this was a Jamie Oliver recipe which I really only picked to use up the peas we picked from the PYO farm recently.

As my mother in law was staying I had to make the pasta wheat free and to be honest it tasted fine! I was a little bit worried but I used wheat free flour for breads/cakes and added a bit of olive oil along with the eggs. The dough consistency was pretty similar to normal but when I tried to put it through the pasta machine it crumbled. So I rolled it out with a rolling pin and it seemed to work just fine - I got a thin layer and it remained intact while it was cooking.

It was a success and the only thing I wasn't sure about what the mixture itself - it tasted of spring and freshness but in my opinion it was just OK - Sue and James liked it though. Would definitely make wheat free pasta/ravioli again but probably with a different filling.

Over and out.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Going potty for Harry Potter Cupcakes

See what I did there? To celebrate the release of the latest and last Harry Potter, I celebrated in the only way I know how - by making themed cupcakes. Now I don't take credit for the idea as Harry potter cupcakes have been done but I did however dream up the golden snitch one and feel quite proud about them :p

The recipe was from the 'Eat me' book where she made chocolate aster cupcakes - I used the recipe, as my mother in law was staying I replaced the flour with gluten free self raising flour. Then decorated with icing that I had crafted.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Treats of the week

So last week I had 6 reasons why I should be fatter but now it's gone down to 3 - so that's a good sign right? :p

White chocolate, blueberry/blackberry cupcakes

 The white chocolate cupcakes with blackberry/blueberry icing were lovely - in fact one of the best i've made I think. And everyone who tried them agreed so must be good! :p Form the green & black's chocolate cookbook that Kat and Tash bought me for my last bday. The fruit is squished and added to the icing which gives it that fantastic purple colour and piped into the cakes. The white chocolate is cut into small chunks and then added to the cake batter. I think next time I might melt the chocolate so it had an all over flavour not just bursts.

Tash's pink and sparkly cupcakes

As  it's Tash's bday it had to be pink and very girly. I made a chocolate sponge (from the devil 's food chocolate cupcake receipt i tried recently as it was so nice) and then pink butter icing with 'pearl' decorations. glitter and pink sugar. they looked great - shame the camera doesn't pick up the sparkles!

Sunday morning welsh rarebit muffins

This is from  'Nigela bites' book and i've made them before a few times but not in ages. I used half spelt flour so it had an earthy taste that went well with the cheese and Worcester sauce. Would definitely recommend them - warm from the oven with a slab of butter - great stuff.