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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Practice makes perfect!

Never one to need a real excuse to make a cake, I was provided with the perfect opportunity this weekend as it was my boyfriends birthday.

Also since moving house I’ve struggled with getting the temperature and time combination right for the new oven – I think I’ve now got it nailed – longer than it should be at a lower temperature!!

As I’m getting slightly apprehensive about the wedding cake i’m making in june, i’m taking every opportunity to practice the perfect application of roll on icing! And this birthday was no exception! Standard Victoria sponge recipe with badly cut out birthday lettering (fortunately that won’t be required for the real thing!!)

Picture of the final result below!!

 

Victoria sponge
Ingredients
Cake mixture
5 med eggs
10oz butter
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour

Buttercream
250g icing sugar
125g butter
Vanilla extract

Method
Turn on oven to c180
Grease and line 2 cake tins

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, folding in.
Fold in flour gradually

Split mixture evenly into the 2 tins leaving a slight dip in the middle of each.

Bake for c.20-30 mins (dependent on your oven!)

To make buttercream
Soften butter then add icing sugar, beat until thoroughly combined.
Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

When golden brown remove from oven. When slightly cooled remove from ribs onto cooling rack.
When completely cold, even off tops of cakes with cake wire or large knife.

Spread raspberry/strawberry (whichever red jam you fancy) on one of the flattened sides and buttercream on the other.

Sandwich together! And enjoy!

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To decorate or not to decorate…

Whilst I love baking, and regularly make cakes good decoration skills are not something I have ever managed to learn.

Don’t get me wrong, I always want the cakes to look good but I always thought decorating took a kind of patience I just don’t have!

For my 30th birthday earlier on this year one of my friends gave me a gift voucher for a cake course of my choice at Cakes4Fun in Putney. Having browsed their website, I decided that now was the time and opportunity for me to start with acuiring the skills required to make cakes look pretty.

I did a course ‘individual iced cakes’ yesterday, and not only was it so much fun, everything was so much more straightforward than I expected.

From having no sugarcraft skill whatsoever, I learnt how to make beautiful sugar lilies, miniature sugar flowers, a gold edible bow and how to smoothly coat individual victoria sponges. 

In a nutshell the key is to have the right tools and not to be scared of the cakes – they are so much more sturdy than I ever gave them credit for!

If you have ever wanted to learn to ice cakes, I would whole heartedly encourage you to visit www.Cakes4Fun.co.uk and enrol on one of their courses!

The output of my class!