Saturday, 18 September 2010
Top to Bottom, Left to Right
1. Nordicware Beehive Cake Pan - Nordicware.com
2. Nordicware Holiday Tree Bundt Pan - Nordicware.com
3. Fall Forest Pie Crust Cutters, Set of 4 - Williams Sonoma.com
4. Springform Cake Tin with Lid - Lakeland.co.uk
5. Gift Cakelet Pan -Williams Sonoma.com
6. Nordicware Rose Muffin Tin - Nordicware.com
7. Lattice Pocket Pie Mold - Williams Sonoma
As far as I'm concerned it is already autumn, its chilly and not only that but it started getting dark at about 6 o'clock! I'm off on holiday on Tuesday but when I get back it's full autumn/winter mode. I need to make and photograph my Halloween cupcake boxes, I've already designed the cuppies for bespoke and basic Halloween box sets. I'm also celebrating Thanksgiving this year! Not for any particular reason other than that I'm a bit jealous and am desperate for any excuse to bake.
Christmas is my favourite time of year and it's a big big thing in my house, don't hate me but I will start planning in October! I can't help it, I wish the Christmas season would last forever, I'm actually excited already.
Anyway I decided to do a little post on seasonal bakeware. I'm crazy for all the above, especially those adorable pie crust cutters, the springform tin with a lid would be so useful and if I don't get the Nordicware Christmas tree cake tin I may die!
If any of you have any great Thanksgiving recipes I would love to try them, as I said it's my first and I want to do it properly, the cupcakes will be candied sweet potato I know that much x
Friday, 17 September 2010
National cupcake week is coming to an end and although every week is cupcake week in my world, I've loved looking at everyone's cupcake week creations and will be a little sad to see it go.
I made an Apple & Raspberry Crumble yesterday, it was so delicious that I decided I just had to make a cupcake version. Unfortunately I had used up all the apples and raspberries, undeterred I decided to use strawberry jam, hence the strawberry crumble cuppies.
These cupcakes are unbelievably delicious and with a little tweaking will certainly be added to the Buttercream Bakery menu, perhaps with a small swirl of Vanilla Custard Buttercream. I'm going to make make my own fillings apple, strawberry, raspberry and so on. I made the cake batter very slightly heavier than my normal vanilla cake in order to prevent the jam falling to the bottom. I also used some Vanilla Custard in batter and decided to make a brown sugar crumble for the top.
I am crazy in love with these cupcakes, they're moist, creamy and delightfully crumbly.
Brown Sugar Crumble
4 oz plain flour
2 oz butter, cubed
1 oz brown sugar
1 oz vanilla caster sugar
Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, you want a sand like consistency. Add the sugar and mix well.
Strawberry Crumble Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vanilla custard
1/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake papers.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the caster sugar a third at a time, beating for two minutes after each addition. After the last addition, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute after each addition, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Add a third of the flour and beat on a very low speed until just combined. Combine milk and vanilla custard in a small bowl or jug. Add half the milk mixture to the batter and beat until just combined. Repeat this process. Add the remaining third of flour and beat until totally combined. Do not over beat.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of cake batter into each of the 12 paper cases, add a teaspoonful of strawberry jam into the centre and top with another tablespoonful of cake batter. Your cupcake cases should be no more than 3/4 full. Sprinkle each cupcake with a generous amount of crumble mixture and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove cakes from tray and cool on a wire rack
I'm going to make my next batch with homemade apple sauce and cinnamon sugar crumble.
Happy Cupcaking x
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
I have been eyeing the Mac Tweets blog for some time now but could never quite get up the courage to join in the fun, I'm far from a Macaron expert after all. However after I added a link for my Chocolate Orange Macarons to Twitter and lovely follower of mine suggested I give it a try, at first I wrote back saying I wasn't sure I was good enough but after another tweet insisting my Macs were perfect I decided I just had to give it a go. I really did want to and I'm so glad I did.
This months Mac Tweets Challenge was to create a Macaron inspired by a childhood summer-time memory. I had my idea almost instantly. As a child summer was all about ice creams and ice lollies, when would we get one? Where would we get one and most of all which one would we get?
My favorite iced treats as a kid were 99 Ice Creams and Fab Ice Lollies, since I have already made 99 cupcakes I decided Fab Macarons would be perfect. This is a Fab...
I decided to try and make my Macarons as close to Fab flavour as possible creamy vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and crunchy sprinkles.
My Macarons are therefore half chocolate, (find the recipe here) and half strawberry, (recipe coming up). I used both chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream, adding a dash of cream to the vanilla. I was nervous about adding the strawberry puree to the egg whites but didn't have any problems in the end.
Strawberry Macarons - Marks & Spencer Afternoon Tea
3 egg whites
55g caster sugar
pink food colouring
70g fresh strawberries
200g icing sugar
120g ground almonds
Vanilla & Chocolate Buttercream
Pre heat the oven to 130C.
Grease and line baking trays with baking parchment. (I always double up baking trays, one inside the other in order to stop the bottom getting too much heat).
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add caster sugar and a few drops of colouring, (I added more than a few as I wanted hot pink Macs), beat until sugar dissolves.
Push strawberries through a fine sieve, (I processed mine first); you will need 1 tablespoon of strawberry puree.
Sift ground almonds and icing sugar together and fold into the egg whites along with the strawberry puree in two batches.
Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain tube. Pipe rounds on to your prepared baking sheets, tap trays on worktop to allow your macarons to spread slightly.
Stand for 30 minutes.
Bake Macarons for 20, cool on trays before removing and sandwiching with buttercream.
This recipe is far from perfect but I was pleasantly surprised by the strawberry flavour, I wasn't sure you would be able to taste it at all. I baked my second batch at 150C as I thought 130C was a bit low. All in all I'm really pleased with my Fab Macarons, even if they're not my best ever, I would have preferred a bit of height and a larger foot.
I can't wait to see everyone else's! Make sure you check it out.
x x x
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Hello everyone, I hope your all having a fantastic National Cupcake Week, National Cupcake Week is organised by British Baker magazine to celebrate the nation's fanaticism with this glorious sweet bakery product. The aim of the week, held from September 13th to September 19th 2010, is to celebrate the many wonderful recipes and exotic flavours available.
Everyone should give baking cupcakes a try this week and so I am including in this post, a little bit about 'baked in' cupcakes, a cupcake recipe and of course some Buttercream Bakery cupcakes too.
The collage above includes two batches I made for Buttercream Bakery, one set of 'Cake & Eat It' cupcakes, which have been made for a photo shoot with Cake & Eat It Productions and will be used as part as their latest advertising campaign. The second batch are just adorable, Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes, half sprinkle dipped and half iced in pink and yellow. Each cupcake is finished with a handmade fondant ice cream topper.
'Baked In' Cupcakes
Baked In Cupcakes are just cupcakes with stuff baked in, it's genius and definitely one of my favourite past times. Today I made Peanut Butter Cupcakes with baked in Rolos (these are topped with Fortune Cookies because I had some lying around and it's the 'baked in' way to be resourceful, spontaneous and creative) and 'baked in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
You can bake in pretty much anything, the possibilities are endless, toffees, candies, cookie dough, uncooked brownie batter, chocolates, dried fruits, marshmallows and pretty much anything in the cupboard you haven't found a use for yet. Whilst your experiments may not always be 100% successful, you will always have fun playing around and enjoy tasting testing your weird and wonderful creations. Many a genius cupcake has come from my 'baked in' play days. Like me you can use one cupcake batter and add a number of different 'bake in' extras.
Baked In Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
Martha Stewart's Peanut Butter Cupcakes
•1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 tablespoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon baking soda
•6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
•1 1/3 cups sugar
•2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
•3 large eggs
•1/2 cup sour cream
•1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Mix sour cream and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients to mixture, if your adding chopped Rolos, nuts, fruit, marshmallows etc. then add them now. Scrape sides of bowl.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. If your adding Reese's Peanut Butter Cups then after filling your liners push one into the centre of each cupcake before baking.
Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins before removing to cool completely on wire racks.
Have a brilliant cupcake filled week and please share all your 'baked in' cupcake ideas with me x
P.S. The first Fortune Cookie I opened had no fortune in it, is this a bad omen..?
P.S. The first Fortune Cookie I opened had no fortune in it, is this a bad omen..?
Saturday, 11 September 2010
I've been feeling really under the weather this week so many a plan fell by the way side, luckily I didn't have too much to do at the bakery so managed to get by.
I made these toppers this week as part of a bespoke range of cake decorations I sell in the fabulous Fizziwigg's, in Brighton's South Laines.
They are large toppers 6cm by 5cm and are retailing at £3.50, I'm a bit worried that they're a little pricey, although they are bespoke...let me know what you think.
Fizziwigg's has also started stocking Sugar Factory Couture Pops!!!
I am so chuffed I have a constant supply of refills now, Fizziwigg's is the only U.K retailer of Couture Pops so it's Brighton or Las Vegas Girlies.
Mini 3D Cupcake Cake Toppers
I'm on the mend now, which is lucky because I have some great stuff to do next week. I'm making cupcakes for a photo shoot/press photo session for a company called Cake and Eat It Productions, (so cool, what a great name) and I'm seriously excited to join Mac Tweets so will have to get my Macaron cap on at some point.
Monday, 6 September 2010
I made these cute cupcakes over the weekend, they are Vanilla Chocolate Chip cupcakes topped with milk chocolate ganache and butterscotch ganache. The cupcakes are topped with chocolate fondant animals.
The butterscotch ganache is delicious and I will certainly be dipping cupcakes in it, in true Retro Bakery style.
I love these Cats and have decided that I'm going to make these in black for the bakery Halloween boxes.
I wanted the animals to be a little bit quirky and unusual, I love the cheeky monkeys and couldn't help but make them little bananas...
and fish bones for the cats.
The elephant is so cute, I'm dying for someone to order a circus themed batch.
Have a lovely day everyone, I'm super busy this week but will try and fit a Nigella recipe in a.s.a.p, I have the new book and it is fantastic, it's absolutely huge and the recipes look delicious.
x x x
Friday, 3 September 2010
One of my all time favourites, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Cupcake topped with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and a Mini Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. One of the best on the menu I'd say but not one that's ordered too often so I always love making them.
I had never made these next toppers before so they were a bit of a challenge...
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend x
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
How sweet are these mini chocolate cakes?
I really enjoyed making these, I love any chance to practise my sugar flowers, I think the little flowers with sprinkle centres are adorable. The cakes are chocolate with chocolate buttercream, each cake was covered in chocolate fondant and wrapped with ribbon at the base.
I Love the chocolate rose.
I'll post this weeks cupcakes on Friday.
x x x◦