Sunday, 21 June 2009

Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes



Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes....delicious! Inspired by looking at home baked cake/loafs in the farm shop I decided to have a go at a coffee flavour cupcake. Coffee and walnuts are a perfect combination in my opinion. I did ponder with the idea of a coffee chocolate combo but I will save that for another time. I also went for coffee glace icing, but think coffee butter icing would have been very good too - rich and creamy. Admittedly I was thinking of calories too (butter icing being higher in fat), I think the glace icing worked so well though.






The Recipe:

Coffee & Walnut Cupcakes

4 oz of low fat margarine
4 oz of light brown sugar
4 oz self raising flour
1 tsp of baking powder
2 medium free range eggs
3 tsp of instant coffee dissolved in a tbsp of boiling water
1 1/2 oz of walnut pieces







Icing

3 oz of glace icing sugar
3 tsp of instant coffee dissolved in hot water
10 walnut halves

Cream sugar and margarine together and whisk in eggs. Fold in sifted flour and baking powder. Dissolve coffee in hot water and mix in with other ingredients. Dust walnut pieces with flour and gently fold into other ingredients. Divide mixture between 10 cupcake cases and bake at 170c/325f/gas 3 for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool before decorating. Dissolve instant coffee in boiling water (three tsp in a small quantity of hot water) and add slowly to icing until it is smooth and ribbon like. The icing of course ends up a beautiful coffee colour. Spread each cupcake with icing and place a walnut half in the centre.




Now all you need is a nice milky coffee to wash them down. Simple but delicious.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Say It With An Almond Cupcake






I am looking at different flavoured cupcakes while using the basic recipe. I have tried almond flavour this time, reminiscent of marzipan and battenburg cakes. I simply added Almond to the cake mixture and icing. I also have used a different type of icing which is the sort used for fondants and gives a shiny finish. Concentrating more on flavour I decided to just keep the decoration fun colored and simple with piped messages. Would work well for a kids party I guess. Taste good anyway, guess depends on if you like almond of course.

Almond Cupcake Recipe:

4 0z 110g Margarine
4 oz 110g Caster Sugar
4 oz 110g Self raising flour
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of almond extract





Glace Icing flavoured with a few drops of almond extract
colours
icing pens






Mix margarine and sugar together, add eggs and almond extract and mix well. Add sifted flour and baking powder and give one final good mix. Divide between 12 cupcase which have been placed in a cupcake tin. Bake at 160 c gas 3 till golden and spongy to touch. Allow to cool on a baking rack.

Decorate as desired. I chose to flavour glace icing (Icing sugar mixed with water and a few drops of almond extract) which I added bright red, green and blue to. Piped message on a few for fun. Was tempted to do some rude or cheeky ones but decided to keep it clean and nice :)

Think I will experiment with some more natural flavours.

The Non Cupcake Bake!



I made cookies today and thought I would share them with you though yes are not cupcakes! I made Smartie Cookies, you could use M&M or similar of course. They were a quick bake and turned out really well. I must say you need to move really quick putting the Smarties on top so I suggest making in two batches of six.

Recipe:

Smartie Cookies

100g 3 1/2 0z of low fat spread or other margarine
50g 1 1/3 of golden/light brown caster sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tsp of Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
2 tubes of Smartie or M&Ms approx 60

Heat oven to gas 6 200c and grease tray in preparation. Mix margarine, sugar and add golden syrup and vanilla. Mix well. Add sifted flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix together to form a cookie dough which is not too sticky to handle. Divide into 12 bits, roll into balls in palm of hand and press onto baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Now for the bit when Check Spellingyou have to move quick! Remove from oven and while still on tray very quickly press 5 Smarties into each cookie. Leave to cool for a while on tray before transferring to a cooling rack. Taste good and are low calorie, 134 calories per cookie and only two weight watchers points.

Being sad I noticed one tube of Smarties had 3 more smarties in than the other!!! How wrong is that!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

White Choc Chip Cupcakes


I simply love white chocolate, think it is not to every body's taste though. These cupcakes were not a disaster but not exactly as I imagined! I used the vanilla cupcake recipe with 3 oz of white chocolate chunks (type for cooking) and used large muffin size cups. The chunks seemed to have settled and were gooey, not entirely sure why but then again I have never really baked much with chocolate chips or chunks. I know when you use fruit I always dust with flour to stop sinking and though maybe I should of dusted chunks with icing sugar or flour?

Anyway I was going to go for butter icing with remainder of chunks in for decoration but thought might be a wee bit sickly so in the end just dusted them with icing sugar. Like I said tasted yummy but not so perfect. Gives me a little challenge now I guess!









Friday, 5 June 2009

Cake Stands and Plates



I bought some stands to display my cupcakes on. My intention was to look out for pretty and unusual antique plates but I have not had the opportunity to rummage in the market and second hand and antique shops of London. I checked out a few places online and the photos show the ones I have purchased so far from sellers on Amazon. The retro looking glass ones are from a seller called Blendboutique. I love the coloured glass and the candy colours which will look great to serve iced cupcakes on with afternoon tea of course lol! The cute fun one for an individual cupcake I had to have simply because it is fun :)