Friday, 30 September 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
There are few things as wonderful for a cake decorator as seeing your work in print.
Needless to say I love that We Love Pop decided to publish one of my adorable mini Katy Perry cupcakes.
The magazine priced them as large cupcakes but these little beauties are really mini cupcakes and are a very affordable £1 each.
I originally designed these cupcakes for the fabulous Cakey Perry event at the request of Miss Cakehead. You can keep up to date with all Miss Cakehead's fabulous cakey events on her blog cakeheadlovesevil.
Buttercream Bakery does indeed love pop.
You can find out all about the awesome Cakey Perry event in my previous posts:
It is definitely about time I posted a yummy cake recipe, I can only apologise for the delay, I have been so busy and distracted recently that my blogging has taken a bit of a hit. I am hoping to get back on track this week and I thought I'd start with this scrumptious Vanilla, Strawberry & Coconut Cake recipe.
This is one of my favourite vanilla sponge recipes, it truly is perfect. The cake is topped with lashings of vanilla bean buttercream and drizzled with strawberry jam before being generously sprinkled with a handful of desiccated coconut. Despite not being the biggest coconut fan, I adore this cake and it is definitely being added to the rotation.
Vanilla, Strawberry & Coconut Cake
225g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
210g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp (30ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla essence or 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1 vanilla pod
2 tbsp strawberry jam
23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin, buttered and lined.
To make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, remembering to scrape down the sides regularly.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold in the flour mixture, milk and vanilla essence until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and the centre of the cake springs back when gently pressed. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Buttercream
Place the butter in to a large mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute. Add half of the icing sugar and the milk and beat until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod and beat for a minimum of 5 minutes.
To make the Jam Drizzle
Place the strawberry jam into a small saucepan and add 1 tbsp of water. Place over a medium heat until runny, a minute or two should be fine. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Monday, 19 September 2011
I have been so busy and preoccupied recently that I completely forgot to tell you all I was going to Paris!
It was only a short trip but as always, it was absolutely wonderful.
I wasn't alone on my travels, I was with hubby and his lovely mum and sister, it was Mr. P's sister's birthday and Paris was a special treat. Little did I know however that someone else had decided to tag along....
All was well and I started day dreaming about the delights that awaited me upon my arrival in Paris, this of course, as one can imagine made me more than a little peckish and I began to rummage in my bag for a snack.
As I delved deeper and deeper into my bag, cursing my own disorganisation... I felt something move!
I of course panicked, I threw my bag at Mr. P. and leaped across the carriage in a rather over dramatic fashion. Yes people were watching and no they were not impressed. Once Mr. P. had managed to assess the situation he calmly reached into the bag and after a moment or two, pulled out a slightly nervous looking little monster.
The poor little thing seemed so scared, I felt terrible but Mr. P. and I managed to calm him down and once suitably reassured he was soon sitting, happily enjoying the journey with us.
Once we arrived in Paris the little monster could no longer contain his excitement, especially when he saw the view from our balcony.
He doesn't speak but rather makes noises, he is surprisingly easy to understand though, these little monsters seem to be a very expressive breed. He is a rather amicable little fellow, if a little excitable.
Up until this point I had thankfully managed to maintain control of the little monster but that was all about to change.
Whilst usually calm, when it comes to food, this little monster is a devilish, cheeky little maniac! Lest we forget the Buttercream Bakery Sprinkle Stealing Debacle.
Rather unsurprisingly he relished the food in Paris, he loves bread...
Often diving straight into the bread basket, oblivious to the disapproving reaction of his fellow diners.
He adores chocolate...
In fact he seems particularly keen to devour anything sweet, I even had to stop him diving head first into the sugar bowl at one point!
The little monster could not believe how delightful coffee was in Paris, he had no idea coffee came with cream and cake!
He almost fell over when he saw my café viennois.
For the next few days I took the little monster everywhere, we certainly bonded somewhat and he would sit happily by the side of my plate, sharing joyous Parisian lunches.
I was of course happy to share and it was wonderful to see his little face light up when ever he saw it was indeed time for lunch again.
A Little Monster Lunches At Ladurée
One of the highlights of both our trip was lunch at heavenly Ladurée. We decided to eat in the stunning bar, last time Mr. P. and I visited it was not yet open and it is an unbelievably beautiful place.
While I admired the decor the little monster perused the menu.
I of course had to order a caramel infused coffee, it was as always amazing but the little monster only had eyes for one thing...
I could see the desperate desire in his eyes, a look on his face that said, can I, can I, oh please can I?
The answer of course was after lunch and despite being slightly disappointed he soon perked up when lunch arrived.
I ordered Crab Blinis, it tasted as phenomenal as it looked, the little guy couldn't believe his eyes.
After our glorious main it was time for dessert.
Which in true Parisian style consisted of chocolate and macarons.
We opted of Raspberry and Salted Caramel, the little monster was delighted by the macarons.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
We continued to eat our way across Paris, enjoying glorious meringues with our coffee...
....and delicious buttery croissants for breakfast.
We were very lucky with the weather and enjoyed a glorious day at the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries.
To be honest it was a little too hot for him and when we both spotted a bird swoop over head I knew it was time to let him hide out in the shade of my purse.
As always it was terribly sad to leave Paris but Mr. P. provided Pierre Hermé macarons for the journey home and this soothed us both somewhat.
Caramel, pistachio and coffee, yum yum.
As soon as we arrived back I had to hurry to the bakery to fulfil a macaron order of my own and besides I wanted to get the little monster back to his family. I'm sure he missed them despite all the wonderful distractions and I was a little concerned that they may have been worried about him.
Now that we are firm friends I am hoping he may introduce me to his family and perhaps stop stealing my sprinkles.
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Modelling Chocolate is such a joy to work with and I'm loving this recipe, modelling chocolate is so versatile and great for not only modelling but also moulding, covering and cut outs. It is fantastically strong and brilliant for making figurines, it also blends seamlessly into itself making it much easier to achieve a beautifully smooth finish.
I thought I would share with you the recipe I have been using, I have adapted it to suit British baking (so no corn syrup here). I have as you have probably guessed from puppy above, decided to share a few toppers I have made out of white modelling chocolate too.
Hungry Happenings is an amazing modelling chocolate resource, the trouble shooting section in particular I love. This tells you how to save dry, crumbly or oily modelling chocolate, I can't recommend reading this enough and no matter what modelling chocolate problem may come your way, this will sort you out.
This modelling chocolate has a brilliant texture and tastes wonderful. You can replace the golden syrup with light corn syrup if you are in the U.S. Honey will also work but will flavour the chocolate.
White Modelling Chocolate
Recipe adapted from B. Keith Ryder
1 lb. good quality white chocolate couverture, chopped
7 tbsp golden syrup
Gently melt the chocolate in a plastic bowl in the microwave, heating for only a few seconds at a time to avoid burning. Stir to melt remaining lumps.
Warm the golden syrup so that it's approximately the same temperature as the chocolate. Pour the golden syrup into the chocolate and with a rubber spatula, stir quickly until the mixture is well-combined. It will thicken considerably as it cools.
Pour the mixture into a freezer bag and seal airtight. Let set 1 day at room temperature or a couple of hours in the refrigerator before using.
When you're ready to use the modeling chocolate, break off a workable amount and knead it in your hands. As the chocolate warms, it will be come malleable and soft. If you cannot knead the chocolate, heat it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
This is definitely a recipe worth making, it is so simple and modelling chocolate is pretty expensive. I will definitely be making all of Buttercream Bakery's modelling chocolate in house form now on.
Sunday, 4 September 2011
I am as we speak enjoying a very rare and very wonderful weekend off. I do have a little work to be getting on with but for the moment I am fully embracing in my lazy Sunday.
There has, as usual been all sorts going on at the bakery, these Morris Minor XL Cupcakes where made for a Morris Minor enthusiasts birthday. The birthday boy owns a burgundy Morris Minor named Miriam.
If you follow me on twitter you will know that I had a little crisis of confidence where these little cars were concerned. I really needed another pair of eyes and I can't thank my lovely twitter friends enough for all their much needed feedback and lovely comments. Stupidly after all that worrying and doubting I quite like the cars now and my client loved them.
Miriam the Morris Minor
All the cars are made out of a single piece of gum paste, I shape them using my fingers and a damp paintbrush to create the grooves and contours.
I have been happily drowning in a sea of delicious chocolate all week.
The cupcakes are of course chocolate, with milk and dark chocolate striped buttercream, chocolate curls and white chocolate buttons.
Loads of sprinkles have been flying around as per usual.
Yummy lemon drizzle cupcakes with lemon buttercream.
I also made these adorable mini Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes for wedding favours, each one was to be placed in a gorgeous little hand crafted box.