Monday, 27 August 2012

Buttercream Bakery Dexter's Laboratory Cupcake

 Dexter's Laboratory Cupcake

This one is for all you 90s kids.

I grew up with Dexter's Laboratory so making this cupcake was great fun.

I wanted Dexter's lab to look as technical and quite frankly terrifying as it did in the cartoon and of course I tried my utmost to capture that angry little kid's personality.

I really love the edging around the cupcake, it is separate from the main topper itself, I love the effect and will definitely use the technique again.

Blueberry & Cream Cookies Recipe

These are without a doubt my creamiest cookies yet!

Words simply cannot express how much I love this recipe.

   The cookies are given an extra dose of creaminess with the addition of milk powder and grated white chocolate. 

 I used milk powder in both my Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies and my Strawberry & Cream Cookies but I added white chocolate chunks instead of grated white chocolate.  For these cookies I almost doubled the amount of milk powder in my original recipe and that combined with the grated white chocolate has made these the creamiest cookies of all time.

The cookie itself is super chewy, unbelievably flavourful and honestly, just dreamy.  The blueberry flavour was everything I wanted, not sharp but sweet and unmistakably blueberry.

This recipe makes around 30 cookies depending on their size, if that is too many cookies for you, I recommend splitting the finished dough into two equal portions.  Roll one portion into a log and wrap in greaseproof paper, you can refrigerate the log for up to a week and make fresh baked cookies when ever you like.

I found dried blueberries at my local supermarket so they shouldn't be to difficult for most of you to find.  Milk powder is stocked in most supermarkets too, you will most likely find it next to the long life milk.

Blueberry and Cream Cookies

Makes around 30 Cookies

140g dried blueberries
360g plain flour
40g milk powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
125g light brown sugar
40ml liquid glucose or corn syrup
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
100g white chocolate, grated and refrigerated until needed

Place the blueberries in a fine mesh sieve, holding the sieve over the kitchen sink carefully pour boiling water over the blueberries to soften.  You want to pour around 300ml of boiling water once over the berries, too much and you risk losing some of the flavour. Once all of the water has drained off place the sieve over a bowl and set aside.

Sift together the flour, milk powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, both sugars and the liquid glucose (or corn syrup), for 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the vanilla paste and beat until evenly distributed.

Gently fold in the the flour mixture, followed by the blueberries, ensuring they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.

Remove the grated white chocolate from the fridge and fold into the dough.

Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180C, (160C fan oven).

Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Shape the dough into rounds and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on their trays for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy Cookie Monsters!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Caramel & Coffee Layer Cake Recipe

This is an absolutely delicious cake!

 The light, smooth, creamy, sweet, buttery, caramel frosting is to die for, the fluffy coffee cake layers are beautifully flavourful and the sticky, sweet, caramel that I pored, drizzled and swirled on top of the cake and between the layers is an absolute revelation.

This cake has literally been covered with caramel! 

Be sure to read through the entire recipe before you begin and make sure you leave plenty of time for the caramel and cake layers to cool.  This cake is a little time consuming but it is not complicated to make and I promise you it is well worth the effort.

Caramel and Coffee Layer Cake

For the Caramel:

1 x 410g tin evaporated milk
125ml golden syrup
200g caster sugar
1 tsp coffee and chicory essence

For the Cake:

225g unsalted butter. room temperature
225g self raising flour
100g dark brown sugar
125g light brown sugar
4 large eggs
30ml very strong coffee
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

For the Caramel Frosting:

325g unsalted butter, very soft

To Make the Caramel:

Combine the evaporated milk, golden syrup and caster sugar in a very large saucepan, place over a low-medium heat and bring to the boil.

Allow the caramel to bubble away for 15-20 minutes, until dark amber in colour and the caramel thickly coats a rubber spatula. The caramel will thicken further once cool.

Add the coffee and chicory essence, mixing until evenly distributed and leave the caramel to cool on the kitchen counter for around 15 minutes.

Pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl and cover with cling film,  refrigerate the caramel for a minimum of 2 hours before using.

To Make the Cake:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter 2x20cm diameter, 4.5cm deep sandwich tins and line with baking parchment. 

Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter and both sugars for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tbsp of the flour along with the third egg to prevent curdling.

Finally, using a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the flour. Add the milk, coffee and vanilla and mix just until blended.  

Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cakes spring back to the touch, or a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the layers to cool in their tins for around 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make the Caramel Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer until very soft and smooth.

Remove the caramel from the fridge and beat until smooth, creamy and lighter in colour, around 2 minutes. Take 175ml of caramel and set aside (this will be used as drizzle for the top of the cake and in between the layers).

Add the remaining caramel to the butter and beat on a medium speed until smooth and creamy, around 3 minutes.

If your frosting splits and looks curdled simply add a little more very soft butter and beat. Make sure the butter is very soft and beaten well otherwise your frosting will be filled with little lumps.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake board and spread caramel frosting over the top.  Pour half of your reserved caramel on top of the frosted layer. Top with the second layer of cake and use the remaining caramel frosting to ice both the top and sides of the cake. Drizzle the cake with the last of the caramel, to decorate.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Salted Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I simply love these cookies and if you haven't tried salted chocolate yet then this is a great place to start.

I myself have been addicted to salty-sweet for as long as I can remember.  As a kid I always used to eat bags of salt & vinegar crisps with Mars bars, combining the the salty crunch of the crisps and smooth, sticky, sweetness of the caramel and chocolate into one deliciously addictive mouthful.

These days I'm marginally more refined.....I hope!

 And although I often crave the salt & vinegar crisps and Mars bar combo, I don't go there...often.

Instead my salty-sweet cravings are satisfied by glorious cookies like these and all too frequent salted caramel treats.  

You may not be a salty-sweet fan like me and the reason I say these cookies are a good place to start is because the cookie itself is perfectly salted but not overly so.  You can then control the amount of additional salt you sprinkle on top of each cookie before you bake.  So you can make the saltiness as subtle or as bold as you like.

These cookies are beautifully moist, chewy and chocolatey, almost impossible to resist.

Mr. P. who usually gets pretty annoyed with me when I sprinkle salt on sweet treats ate almost all of these, leaving none for me! That is the exact reason I eat half a batch before he comes home....

Salted Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

175g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
75g light brown muscovado sugar 
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

100g dark or milk chocolate chips

fleur de sel or sea salt to sprinkle

To Make the Cookies:

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and bicarbonate soda and set aside.

Using a mixer, beat the butter together with both sugars until smooth and creamy.

Add the milk and vanilla paste and beat until fully combined.

Add the flour mixture and with the mixer on the lowest speed, beat until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough onto the centre of a large sheet of baking paper and shape into a long log, around 1.5 - 2 inches thick. 

Place the cookie dough log in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, slice the cookie dough log into 1/2 thick rounds. Place onto the prepared baking trays, sprinkle each round with fleur de sel or sea salt and bake for 10 minutes.

Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on their baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

These cookies are particularly spectacular when used to scoop up copious amounts of caramel.


x x x 

Buttercream Bakery Adorable Miniature Teddy Bear Cake Tower Cupcake

I know, I know, the adorable-ness is almost unbearable!

This seriously cute cupcake features an awe struck miniature teddy bear, staring in utter disbelief at the tower of delicious cakes that stands before him.

The tiny little cakes I designed for this topper have given me some fantastic inspiration for a mini cake masterpiece but I'm not saying any more than that just yet.

I absolutely love this tiny teddy, sometimes I'll be working away, making a character and suddenly his whole personality jumps out and slaps me in the face.  This little teddy has a big personality.

I'm so sorry that my blogging has been so erratic lately, I went on two holidays in three weeks and between that and work at the bakery I haven't had a second to do anything else. Hopefully everything has calmed down, for a while at least and I can get back to posting more regularly (I feel like I have said this before...).

  I have a gorgeous Salted Chocolate Cookie recipe coming up and my gorgeous recipe for Cannoli Cupcakes, which you are going to absolutely love.

x x x