Recipes

Unicorn poos (or cupcakes)

A rainy Saturday in August means baking for me, and trialling a new technique for getting multiple colours into a piping bag to make it swirl.

36 cupcakes later, I had these:

 

Ingredients/method

Cakes
6 eggs
12oz caster sugar
120z self raising flour
12oz margarine

  1. Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time (with a little flour if it starts to curdle)
  3. Add remaining flour and beat until pale and light.
  4. Transfer to cupcake tray and bake for 15-20 mins at 180 degrees.

Icing
500g icing sugar, sifted
160g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50ml whole milk
a couple of drops of vanilla extract

  1. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  2. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
  3. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  4. Divide the icing into 5 separate bowls and colour to the preferred shades
  5. Spread the icing (as stripes) onto a sheet of cling film (see below courtesy of @voldsomkage)
  6. using your preferred icing nozzle, ice! and then decorate with edible glitter and stars!

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Recipes

THE wedding cake

On 1st July, my brother got married, and my wedding gift to him and his now wife was their wedding cake.

For ease it was on a tiered stand rather than stacked and as neither of them like fruit cake, I made a lemon sponge layer, a Victoria sponge layer and a red velvet layer (recipes below)

All 3 were iced using techniques from Wilton’s ‘I taught myself buttercream flowers’ and colours from their wedding colour scheme.

I was rather pleased with the result.

img_5072img_5070-1

 

Recipes/Method

Victoria Sponge (for the large layer)
6 eggs
12oz caster sugar
120z self raising flour
12oz margarine or butter (I use Stork)

Lemon sponge (the smallest layer)
4 eggs
8oz caster sugar
8oz self raising flour
8oz margarine or butter
zest and juice of 1 lemon

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and smooth.
  2. Add eggs one at a time (with a little flour if it starts to curdle)
  3. Add remaining flour and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. (If making lemon sponge add lemon zest and 1tsp of lemon juice)
  5. Transfer to lined tins and bake at 180 degrees until sponge springs back at touch.

Red Velvet cake (I used the Hummingbird Bakery recipe and doubled the quantities below for the middle layer)
60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g caster sugar
1 egg
20 g cocoa powder
40 ml red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar

  1. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed.
  2. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste.
  4. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  5. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
  6. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again.
  7. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture.
  8. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  9. Transfer to lined tins and bake at 170 degrees for 20-25 minutes until sponge bounces back when touched.
Uncategorized

Wedding cake practice

In July I am making my brothers wedding cake and wanted to learn some new skills to make it pretty. Whilst browsing Instagram I came across a beautifully decorated cake using buttercream flowers – actually a promo for a teach yourself kit that Wilton sells. The first challenge I had was locating somewhere in the UK that actually sold it (massive thanks to the UK Wilton Customer Services team who helped me locate one!) once that was done, last weekend was a practice run.

Slightly over the top colours (some testing with my ColourRight colours) but generally, not a bad first go!

Recipes

Rainbow cake 

One of my friends had her third baby a week or so ago and today I went to visit and meet him. Rather than take presents as he really doesn’t need any clothes, I thought I’d make a bright colourful cake for her family to enjoy – it also gives me the opportunity for some much needed decorating practice as I am making my brothers wedding cake later on this year.

I used the Wilton 5 pan set, and coloured the cakes green, blue, pink, purple and yellow!

Iced with traditional buttercream icing and topped with 100’s and 1000’s.


Recipe

Cakes
275g caster sugar
275g self raising flour
275g margarine
5 eggs
2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

Icing
500g icing sugar
160g unsalted butter
50ml milk
Vanilla extract

Method

Cake
1. Lightly beat eggs
2. Add to mixing bowl with all other ingredients and mix until smooth.
3. Separate into 5 bowls (c200g per bowl)
4. Colour each of the mixtures according to preference NB I use colour gels rather than liquids as it’s much more potent and creates a much brighter colour – the thing to be wary of is getting it on your hands as it is hard to get off!!
5. Put into greased and floured tins and into pre heated oven (180c) for 18mins
6. Take out of oven and leave to cool for 5 mins before removing from tins and place on cooling on wire rack until completely cold.

Icing

1. Beat butter and icing sugar together.
2. Add milk and vanilla slowly until incorporate then beat on medium/high speed for 5 mins until light and fluffy.

Recipes, Vegetables

Amazing cabbage 

Not 2 words you normally hear together, but in this case, it’s true.

Just calling it cabbage is a bit of a lie though…

It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe that I love to make in the winter, although it also makes a delicious cold accompaniment in the summer.

Ingredients
1 x red cabbage, centre removed and chopped into chunks
1 x red onion, sliced
2 x apples, peeled, cored and chunked
150ml balsamic vinegar
1 x packet good quality streaky bacon, fixed
1 x tbsp fennel seeds

Method
1. Pour some olive oil into a saucepan, get it hot and add the bacon and fennel seeds.

2. Cook until golden then add the onion and continue to cook, with the lid on, for a few more minutes until golden and sticky.


3. Add the apple, followed by the cabbage chunks, salt and pepper and the vinegar, and stir everything together well.


4. Put the lid back on and continue to cook on a low heat for an hour, checking and stirring every so often.


5. Scoop it into a serving dish, put the butter on top and sprinkle over the parsley.

Recipes

Ombre icing

Today is the birthday of one of my colleagues. Without going into too much detail, she’s had a pretty rubbish 12 months so I wanted to help her celebrate in style.

Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, I wanted to up the stakes when it came to both the baking/cake and the icing.

Cake wise, I opted for a traditional Victoria sponge base – with some whole raspberries throughout for a bit of variety, but icing wise, I was inspired by the ombre fashion.

Ingredients
Cake
9 medium sized eggs
16oz butter
16oz caster sugar
16oz self raising flour
200g raspberries
1tsp baking powder
Icing
240g unsalted butter
750g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
75g full fat milk

Method Cake

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale
2. Add eggs one by one (adding a little of the flour if needed to prevent curdling
3. Add flour
4. Add vanilla essence
5. Beat until light and fluffy
6. Split between 3 prepared (greased/floured/lined) cake tins (c25cm diameter)
7. Bake in a preheated over (c. 180) for 25-35 mins – until golden and a skewer comes out clean
8. Allow to cool

IMG_2907

Icing
1. Soften butter
2. Gradually add icing sugar and milk
3. Once incorporated, beat on high speed for around 5 mins, until light and mousse like

I also did three tiers (not something I do very often, and made more difficult by the fact I only have sets of 2 tins!!).

Cake turned out well – and i’ll try the ombre again as it looked pretty!IMG_2917 IMG_2918