Sunday, 31 May 2009

Chocolate Honeycomb and More



I do not think I have posted any chocolate cupcakes on here yet? So how about these, Giant chocolate honeycomb cakes , chocolate butter mountain cupcakes and chocolate sandwich cupcakes! All of which are cup-less for design I guess and using a muffin size silicone tray. Turned of pretty well and I always put this down to good quality cocoa when making chocolate cakes. I used Bournville which is a rich dark cocoa, though I tend to favour Green & Blacks, do not know if either are available worldwide? Oh and the piping bag got an airing again but not for anything too exciting as you will see. This recipe makes 12 standard size cupcake or 6 Giant cupcakes (muffin size)
4oz caster sugar

2oz self raising flour

teaspoon of baking powder
2 oz of good quality cocoa powder

4 oz of margarine/softened butter

2 large free range eggs

1 tbsp milk
to decorate:
7oz of icing sugar
1 heaped dessert spoon of good quality cocoa

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

3 1/2 oz of margarine or softened unsalted
chocolate honeycomb (ie 'Crunchie' - UK 'Violet'- Australia, maybe people can suggest equivalents for USA and other countries?)

Sift flour, cocoa & baking powder and place in a bowl with sugar. Add eggs and margarine and mix well, this is when I would of done away with tradition for an electric mixer hehe. The mixture becomes easier when milk is added and should be a consistency that it will plop off the spoon! Add to muffin tin or cups - it is up to you if you prefer to use the cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till spongy to touch. Oven temperature 160c/325 f/gas3. Allow to cool before decorating.

Honeycomb is roughly sliced, place butter icing in piping bag and pipe a swirl in which to place honeycomb. For sandwich cakes slice through cake and fill with butter icing before replacing top and finishing with a sprinkling of sifted icing. Butter mountains are simply a generous swirl of butter icing piped on top. The sponge is delicious and light and like I mentioned the flavour is down to good cocoa. Chocolate chips would of been good, bars you have chipped self are best I think. Hmm white chocolate chunks would be good.



Chocolate Sandwichs, Chocolate Honeycomb cupcakes and Chocolate Butter Mountains

Chocolate Honeycomb Cupcake (above)




Chocolate Butter Mountain Cupcake

Monday, 25 May 2009

Inspirational Cupcake Link

I went shopping in London yesterday and we happened upon this cake shop, my partner had told me about it before. The shop decor itself shouts cupcake and the cupcakes are fun and amazing colours. Check out the site, it is guaranteed to make your mouth water and and inspire you to get baking. :)

http://www.candycakes.eu/

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Potato and Raisin Cupcakes!


Yes you read right it does say Potato and Raisin Cupcakes. It sounded like such a weird combination that I had to try it and they surprised me in being really really good! I would say they reminded me of a scone but are light and fluffy like a cake. You do not get an over powering potato at all which is strange, but maybe this is because it is a recipe without margarine or butter? I really do not know, but the results were good and I recommend you give them ago. I think are best served warm and are nice with a wee bit butter of margarine. If you are wanting to be healthy these are good for you with no margarine or butter and are only 2 weighwatchers points which basically means are low in calories and saturated fat.

Now for the recipe & unusual method:






Potato and Raisin Cupcakes

175g/6oz of floury potatoes (boiled and smoothly mashed)
125g/4 1/2 oz self raising flour
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1tsp of baking powder
175g/6oz of raisins
4 medium free range eggs (separated)

Prepare 12 muffin size cup cases in a muffin tin. Preheat oven to 200c/400f. place mashed potato in a bowl and add sifted flour, egg yolks, brown sugar, raisins, baking powder and mix well. In a separate bowl which is dry and grease free whisk the egg whites into peaks. Fold in egg whites to the other mixture, using a metal spoon. Make sure you are gentle folding, yes it does look weird but I promise you this works! Divide the mixture between cup cases and place in oven for ten minutes, after which reduce the temperature to 160c/325f for a further ten until risen and golden brown.

As I mentioned best served warm. Do not be afraid! Try them, sound weird but are lovely.

Hmmm

I am waiting patiently to see if a weird combo and method of cupcake will work. The possible disaster is in the oven and I am scared to look ha ha.

Friday, 22 May 2009

How Many Weightwatchers Points In My Cupcakes

Here is a little fact for those of you who want to eat cupcakes and follow weightwatchers. I have pointed a plain vanilla cupcake and it is 2.5 points. An iced vanilla cupcake using glace icing (icing sugar and lemon juice or flavouring) is 3 points. 3 points hey that is not a lot is it! I have the tools and I am pretty sure this is accurate and is less than what I found on a google search. This means we can eat cupcakes guilt free ha ha :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Inside The Cupcake Cupboard


I think if you are addicted to baking, cake decorating or in my case cupcakes you are always on the look out for new ingredients and things to embellish your designs with. I have slowly built up a collection of cupcake bits and bobs and the good thing is most items are not costly. It is good to have an assortment of items ready at hand if you suddenly feel like making a batch of cupcakes and sometimes just looking in the cupboard inspires me! I guess I am a wee bit sad like that :)

I have different size and design cupcake cases, different colourings, flavourings, candy, sprinkles and decorations along side my basic ingredients. When you wonder round the supermarket you spot things and not only in the baking isle eg. fruit to decorate flavour and colour. I found cupcake decorated cases on a stall which had mainly decorative bits and bobs for gifts and the home, a place I did not expect to find them. Of course the good old Internet has so many places to look! I have found amazon has a pretty good selection of baking/decorating items, doesn't Amazon have everything! Great cupcake books on Amazon too, though I did pick a few up in bargain book type places. Magazines of course are great and I have started to tear and collect from them. A great place to be inspired though I have never tried to recreate any of the impressive designs is here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sweetcuppincakesbakery/pool/show/with/3373662866/

Have you noticed all the fancy cupcakes appearing in the high street shops? The Cupcake is definitely a big trend in a little package isn't it. Anyway a little cupcake babble goes a long way so I will stop now before you nod off.


Sunday, 17 May 2009

Orange & Lemon Flowers



Following a theme at the moment I think, influenced by the spring sunshine! I always look at what ingredients I already have at home when I have different ideas spinning around in my head and I decided on using lemons and clementines in the sponge. I wanted to play about with icing and ideas and after the previous project I was thinking spring and flowers.

First the recipe:


Orange & Lemon Blooms

4 oz/110g of butter/margarine
4oz/110g of caster sugar
4oz/110g of self raising flour
1 level tsp of baking powder
2 large free range eggs
1 dsp of lemon juice
1 dsp of orange/Clementine juice
the zest of 2 unwaxed lemons




To Decorate:

ready roll icing
sprinkles
food colours
icing pens or icing to pipe

Using the basic principals of the cupcake recipes I creamed the margarine and sugar together and beat in both eggs. Add the orange and lemon juice and zest and mix well. finally mix in the sifted flour and baking powder. Give one final good mix! Divide into 12 (aprox) standard size cupcake cases which have been placed in a cupcake tin. Place in a preheated oven temperature of 170c 325 f gas3 and bake for 20 minutes or till golden with a spring back sponge feel to touch. Allow to cool on a cooling tray before decorating.




Decorating is a time to play and experiment and this is exactly what I did and in doing so each cake was different. It would be easier when you have an idea to keep all similar or the same but I do like the idea of each being individual. The roses were pretty easy though you can by them already made, there don't have the homemade look mine do ha ha. Basically I coloured ready roll icing by adding a few drops of coloring and working it in. You then roll the icing into a sausage shape and cut into petal size bits, taking a piece press it flat between cling film or plastic. The first petal is rolled and each petal after is rolled round till you have some thing that resembles a rose! I found you need to chop off excess icing at back of rose before sticking to cake with icing from icing pen. Leaves and petals (pink flower) were cut using a smooth cookie cutter. I used the cookie cutter smooth and wave edge to make bases for cupcake designs and used pens for gluing all icing parts. The yellow flower with the sprinkle middle was made by cutting out a cookie shape then cutting out the centre with the top of a colouring bottle, I then stuck the shape to the cake and filled the middle with icing pen. I then sprinkled the middle, pressing sprinkle in and sweeping out access. Anyway just a few of my ideas :)




Saturday, 16 May 2009

Butterfly & Bugs





I decided to do something a bit fun today and at same time try out the silicone butterfly cake mould I bought a while back. You will see from the photos that it certainly is fun and not a sugarcraft work of art! I do like the mini cupcakes which I think have turned out pretty cute and have inspired a few design ideas. The butterfly was simply a blank canvas to doodle on rather than a carefully executed design and I do not know why but I much prefer the scale of a cupcake and the endless ideas that it brings. I made a few purchases this week which I will talk about/bore you with in my next post but as you can see I have been using icing pens. I know they are not the things of pros but as someone who is not an expert at icing and does not have the most steady of hands I love them. Icing pens are great on gingerbread too. I am all for the silicone moulds, I liked how this left a pattern and could of been left uniced or iced in a simple (erm less messy) way. I used a vanilla cupcake recipe, see early posts and coloured glace icing flavoured with orange and lemon. The butterfly could be decorated with sweets/candy alone and think would make a great kids cake on a bigger scale especially surrounded by the tiny cupcakes with flowers and ladybirds/ladybugs. I have not tried either yet but my other half stole tiny cupcake (should of been six!) and said it was good :)
just so you can see how teeny tiny these are!
Silicone butterfly case and mini cupcakesTeeny tiny bugs and flowers













Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Cupcake Cat

No not a cupcake in the shape of a cat or a cupcake made of cat. My cat is crazy about cupcakes, seriously loves them! If that is not weird enough she is not crazy about the normal cat favourites like meat etc. So fond is she of the yummy cupcakes I make we think she may of ate part of a paper cup as we could not find it! So we can add this to meringue and yogurt raisins as her favourite foods but not human meat or fish treats. She is definitely meant to be my cat :)

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Giant Cupcakes Not Muffins





The Fairy Queen does not make muffins, oh no I make giant fairy cakes because a muffin is a flat bread roll you have for breakfast.

I made giant cranberry cupcakes today which I am in a slight huff about. I bought a silicone muffin tin yesterday, Antony Worrel Thompson if that is how you spell it. I hate celebrity endorsed merchandise as a rule but this was the best one for the job. I was thinking on a lemon iced giant cupcake but the Elf put in a request for cranberry one and I agreed it sounded more interesting and healthy too. Well I think turned out okay, but the Elf who I am now renaming the Dark Elf complained :( I Asked the Dark elf if he would like a cup of tea and to try the cranberry cakes which had now cooled. I presented him with both and returned to the kitchen only for the Elf to come running in almost tripping over his pointy green shoes and declared 'Babe its not cooked in the middle!' to which I said are you sure cos mine is fine? He then poked his finger about in the middle, 'okay I get your point!'. Returning them to the oven I slowly sunk into a huff, granted not a good one because well I can not huff as such as involves total silence. He may not eat any now but that's fine as I will eat them all because are nice and cranberries are very juicy.

Anyway here is the recipe.....


Giant Cranberry Cupcakes

2 medium eggs
5 1/2 ounces of margarine
3 1/2 ounces caster sugar
2 tbsp milk
3 1/2 ounces of self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 ounces of dried cranberries

Beat margarine and sugar together and gradually beat in egg. mix in milk. Add cranberries to sifted flour and baking powder (this stops fruit sinking to bottom of sponge). Mix in flour, fruit etc, mix well. Divide into 6 'muffin' size cases already in a 'muffin' tin. Cook for 20 minutes in oven on 180c/350f. To test if really cooked give to the Dark Elf who will poke his finger in it ;)



A Sprinkle Of Fairy Dust



I made a batch of cupcakes last weekend on request of the Elf and I must say they were the tastiest to date. The recipe is the basic one I used in my earliest posts but the two ingrediants which differed were the margarine and sugar. Tesco Express being what it is did not have Stork my choice of margarine and did not have caster sugar so I substituted Stork with Utterly Butterly and just used ordinary sugar, which seemed to result in a very fluffy buttery sponge. I normaly use lemon juice to mix my icing but decided to try clemintines as we had some at home and was surprised to see they naturally coloured the icing a pale peachy colour which was a bonus. So half the batch were iced with asorted sprinkles and the other half with chocolate on the Elf's request. I used a plain fairtrade organic chocolate melted and decorated with white chocolate mice which I mutilated with a knife and white chocolate jazzies (buttons). Were so good I had to have an iced one incorporated into my weightwatchers diet everyday. 3.5 points thats all! Chocolate ones less diet friendly I guess.



A Banana Disaster

I made some banana muffins the other week which were an utter disaster and as I promised to share the disasters to I am going to. I will not share the recipe though I think when you see the photos and I tell you I did not use a muffin tin you may agree this is the reason why. I must also mention I think I was over generous with the banana making them extra moist or should that be too moist! In fact my official taster (the cupcake elf shall we call him) complained were not cooked enough when in fact had too many moist bits of banana in them. Well the elf ate none of them claiming the fairy queen would want them for breakfasts, yeah right whatever. Anyway I now have a muffin tin and will attempt again using a different recipe. I don't give up. By the way they actually did taste good and would of been yummy with custard. And now for the ugly picture.......

Cupcake Diet and More

I have a lot to up date with, including photos and recipes purchases etc! I have been a bit naughty and not updated in a while, even a fairy queen can be naughty it seems.

I have been very good diet and excercise wise the past week and have even managed to incorporate a cupcake a day into it haha. Apparently a small iced cupcake is 3.5 weightwatchers points, hey not too bad eh! I have bought a silicone muffin tin (or giant cupe cake as I prefer to call it) and have just tried it out so expect a recipe and photos to follow on that. Also last week I made a batch of sprinkley cupcakes which were the most delicous sponge to date, expect photos and what I think was the secret ingrediants. Yum. Also I have some ideas I want to try out in the next few weeks I will share with you.

Watch this space........