Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes

I hope to make this the last of my generic posts... But these cupcakes just had to be done! Torn between Hummingbird Red Velvets or a new recipe by Pinkspoonula on Allrecipes [which has LOADS of positive feedback], I opted for the one I've never done before. Allrecipes! Hummingbird's recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes is of course, delicious, but something also tells me that it's not to be trusted...I’ve tried it time and time again and there is not ONE similarity between my home baked version and the Signature Hummingbird version bought from the wonderful shops themselves. They’re always too vinegary and flaky! Obviously Hummingbird is entitled to their secret ingredients, but they don’t give any leeway with their recipes for sure! (Apart from their Carrot Cake).

I followed the recipe for these lavish Red Velves step by step to the very last detail and no adaptations were made because I’ve never tried it before and I wanted to see how good it really was. For these reasons I thought it best not to write out the recipe as my own but to link you straight to the recipe which you can find here. J

These are by far the best Red Velvet Cupcakes I have ever made, I used Red Americolor for the deep red sponge, and Philidelphia for the not-too-sweet frosting. Give this recipe a go and tell me what you thought of it! 

So there they are! Icing could do with some improving, but what did you think?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Orange and Vanilla Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze

This was a Sunday evening impulse, when you’re sitting in wondering why Sundays exist making a cake is probably the only thing that will answer your question as to why. This and the fact that I dug out 2 vanilla pods for £1.24 in Lidl (omg) inspired me to bake this cake! I bought the oranges from a local off license down the road, I like to support these kinds of businesses but when the man behind the counter said “I’ll give you two oranges for 50p” I knew something was up.  I started squeezing the oranges for juice and nothing was coming out! The oranges were dead. Luckily the rind was still vibrant in colour and flavour, but the oranges were lost for juice. I added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into the batter to substitute for the lack of orange juice, and replaced the rest with more vegetable oil to make it extra moist.
I used the age old internet service to find a 'base' recipe for this loaf, which I adapted quite a bit to get the end result. You can find the base recipe by typing Orange Loaf Cake into the search engine here

The Recipe:
2 cups cake flour (self raising)
1 vanilla pod 
A pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 and a quarter cups caster sugar 
Quarter cup lemon juice 
3 quarter cup vegetable oil 
Rind of 2 of your favourite oranges
3 medium eggs 
Half cup of lemon juice and half cup of sugar for a glaze, if you fancy it :)
The Method:
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease your loaf tin.
  • Bung in all of the dry ingredients with the vegetable oil and whisk till just combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, whisking as you go along. 
  • Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and throw 'em in too. 
  • Pour in lemon juice and orange rind and mix till combined.
  • Gently pour batter into tin, being careful not to get it on the sides as its a narrow tin!
  • Bake for just under an hour until the cake appears well inflamed. 
  • If you'd like, pour on a citrus lemon glaze whilst the cake is still hot so that it absorbs well. Make this by gently heating the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Serve as a perfect tea time component :)

What do you think of my loaf? Do you like the sound of the recipe or is orange and lemon simply not a match made in heaven? I like to hear your feedback :)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mothers Day Rose Swirl Cupcakes

These are Mother’s Day inspired Vanilla Cupcakes, the recipe used can be found in my previous Vanilla Cupcakes post! I originally made these as samples to take to Greenwich Market as I’m planning on doing a bake sale to raise some money for Macmillan Cancer Support. But being the bone idle bastard that I am I ceased to wake up on time…

For the decoration I used the tiniest smidge of 'Ruby' concentrated Sugarflare paste for the rose buttercream swirls, edible Sugarflare gold glitter and lastly, Americolor ‘Blue’ in the fondant. 

Do you have any creative suggestions for these cupcakes? I think they're a little bland! If you do please leave a comment and I'll try your ideas out!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Konditor & Cook Review and London Borough Market

As London’s weather happened to be really good today, I decided to take a trip to London Borough Market with my boyfriend. It was bloody packed. Borough Market sits in the centre of London Bridge and is a 2 minute walk from the London Bridge station; it serves local and beautiful fruit and vegetables, and various food stalls selling anything from authentic beef to Ostrich. We had the pleasure of eating a cheese and potato lunch served with wild garlic, this doesn’t sound very appealing but it was to die for - and the queue was humongous!
Konditor & Cook Black Velvet Cupcakes £2.75
Konditor & Cook Magic Cakes £2.95
We also bought 3 ‘Curly Whirly’ Brownies and a ‘Black Velvet’ cupcake from Konditor & Cook which is a small bakery chain set up in several areas of London. They tasted delicious, and dare I say it but I think I preferred their cream cheese frosting to Hummingbird’s! There was something natural in the taste of their products; after all they do pride themselves on using nothing but organic and free range ingredients. I think you should all take it upon yourselves to visit this boutique style chain, or even just visit the Borough Market and see why it’s so famous! 
Konditor & Cook Curly Whirly's £2.30

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Olympics 2012 - Arena Leisure Catering

Woke up to an exceptionally exciting email this morning! Got the job as Team Leader Catering Assistant for the Olympics! Luckily (and dreadfully) some of the Olympics, in particular Horse Racing, is being held at my neighbouring park in Greenwich!

I'm never usually this over the moon about a job so as to blog about it BUT it's only a few weeks of work and it means I get to be part of the Olympics!  

If you live around the area you can apply here for one of the many positions still available.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Buttercream Garden Cake

A moist Green & Blacks chocolate triple layer sponge, filled with buttercream in between each layer. Cake design was inspired by Primrose Bakery’s unique creations, and grass-like piping by Faircake!  I used a mixture of Sugarcraft’s ‘Holly Green’ concentrated paste and Silver Spoon’s standard ‘Green’ food colouring to make the colour of the buttercream grass. All other sugar craft on the cake uses Americolor’s hot pink (just a smidge). This cake was the first to place itself on top of my all new swanky PMA turntable, which I’m still adjusting to (hence why the cake looks so shit in terms of how well I’ve iced it, as you can see NOT VERY WELL). I really enjoyed making this one, can’t wait for round two so I can perfect all the flaws this cake so clearly has. 
Daisy Sugarcraft Mould

Americolor Fusia Pink Flower & Sugarflair Holly Green Leaves
Americolor Fusia Pink Flower & Sugarflair Holly Green Leaves
The Recipe:
2 cups caster sugar
Quarter cup cocoa powder
1 and a quarter cup cake flour
120g margarine (1 cup)
2 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Half cup of hot coffee 
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk 
1 batch Vanilla Buttercream (see Vanilla Cupcake post)

The Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Cream together margarine and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time until you have a light mixture.
  • Pour in the buttermilk.
  • Add in vanilla, salt, bicarb and baking powder and stir once. 
  • Slowly add the rest of the dry ingredients and gently stir till just combined. 
  • Now add the coffee, remembering to keep stiring to a minimum. 
  • Line three cake tins and pour in the chocolate mixture. Tap onto the work surface once to eliminate air out of the mixture before placing in the oven.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Prepare the buttercream.
  • Freeze cakes before decorating them for a more even finish.
  • Decorate as you please :)
    Americolor Fusia Pink Daisy

    Friday, 2 March 2012

    ABC Chocolate Cupcakes (buttercream failure)

    Thought I’d practise my crazy (shit) icing writing skills, as you can see this was a terrible first attempt - but I thought it’d still be worth sharing the pictures to the blogosphere just so you can see how NOT to ice your cupcakes. Also I ran out of unsalted butter so used margarine in the buttercream. A little tip is to NOT use margarine as butter substitute for frosting, its brilliant in the sponge itself but goes grainy and soft too easily in buttercream!

    The Recipe:
    60g green & blacks cocoa
    60g cake flour
    110g margarine 
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    110g caster sugar 
    2 eggs 
    1 batch of Vanilla Buttercream (see vanilla cupcake post)

    The Method:
    • Preheat oven to 150 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases. 
    • Cream the marg and sugar for 1 minute with an electric whisk.
    • Add the eggs one at a time and continue to whisk until very light and pale in colour. 
    • Pour in vanilla extract, sieve in cocoa powder and plop in flour. 
    • Fold the mixture till just incorporate using a metal spoon. 
    • Using an ice cream scoop, plop the batter into the cases at two thirds full.
    • Bake for 20 minutes straight.
    • Ice when cooled!
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