Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Cake Pops!

Yellow Candy Melts 
London was scorching today - what perfect weather to make cake pops! Sort of. Here is my first ever attempt! I made a quick drop in to one of my favourite cake decorating shops to pick up some cake dummy's for the two tier wedding cake class at Faircake today. When I walked in I was drawn in by the fountain of candy melts they had before my eyes! I knew from that moment that I had to ask the man behind the counter for the cake pop recipe for success. 
To make the cake pops I baked two 8" cake tins worth of Says Sugarcraft chocolate cake and then used a blender to turn the cake into a fine crumb. I then whipped up a 500g batch of buttercream and slowly added all of the crumbs to the mixture. After which I moulded each cake pop, stuck in the sticky and dipped each little ball into the candy melts! 

Bottom Right: Betty Crocker Red Sugar 
Middle: Betty Crocker Red White and Blue Sprinkles
Right: Peanut Butter Flavour Candy Melts Left: Yellow Candy Melts

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Coffee and Walnut Cake

This was my first ever attempt at a coffee cake, I'd like to say I think it went down pretty well for a first go! But one can only slightly agree on such a subjective comment. The icing was rather sweet, but it counter-acted with the tart tasting sponge so there was equal balance. Again, (as I like to do) I glued two vaguely similar recipes together and a few additions of my own, taking bits from each - to create this cake. I used Primrose Hill's recipe with Nigellas! Two personal faves... One last thing, I think the addition of real butter is very important to this type of cake - Stork simply wont do! Hope everyone had a marvo weekend!
The Recipe:
225g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 & a half tsp baking powder
Half tsp baking soda
50g chopped walnuts plus extra for decorating
4 medium eggs
4 & a half tsp good quality expresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g unsalted butter
2 & a half tsp expresso powder
1 tbso boiling water
175g unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
The Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line two 8 inch cake tins with grease. 
  • Cream together butter and sugar in a freestanding mixer for a few minutes, add eggs one at a time till smooth. 
  • Chop the walnuts and put aside.
  • Add baking powder/soda, expresso powder and vanilla to the mixture until just combined.
  • Pour in flour in thirds also till just combined. 
  • Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and loosely throw in walnut pieces. 
  • Divide the batter into two and bake for 25 minutes.
  • For the buttercream, cream the butter in a freestanding mixer and gradually add in all of the icing sugar once this is done. 
  • Mix the expresso powder into the boiling water and gradually pour into buttercream.
  • Once the cake has cooled, decorate as you please!
Mbakes x

Friday, 18 May 2012

Miette Gingersnaps

Here is another blog post where I desperately try not to over indulge in personal happenings, but after an intense week of work at Faircake, topped with mounds of uni work that requires writing about things I dont really care about, in a news style that I dont even pay attention to out of uni, I thought I'd treat myself to some 'me' writing. And, of course, writing about what I love the most. Which if you take a wild guess, perhaps you might know what it is...its flirtatiously written and if done well - can read as good as it tastes (its baking by the way). So after such a busy and tiresome (but half great) week, I give you Miette Gingersnaps! I wrote this recipe out on tuesday after work - but was so tired that I had to leave it until tonight! (yes it is a Friday night in the UK, YES I am 19 years old). 

Back to the Gingersnaps, I wasn't overly fond of the taste but I think it's because I left out the puree and candied ginger, and also substituted quite a few ingredients! But do give it a go, and follow the recipe methodically whilst I mentally prepare myself into writing 2 portfolios in 6 days... 

The Recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
Half cup wheat flour (optional)
Half tsp salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp ground ginger
Generous quarter tsp ground cinnamon
Eighth tsp ground cloves
Eighth tsp ground white pepper
Quarter tsp ground nutmeg
Quarter tsp cardamom
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter ( I used a turkish pastry butter called 'Sana')
Three quarter cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp molasses (or golden syrup)
Half cup minced candied ginger (optional)
2 tsp ginger puree (optional)
granulated sugar for dusting

The Method:
  • In a freestanding mixer, cream together the sugar and butter for a few minutes. 
  • Pour in the honey and molasses until creamy.
  • In a seperate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients. 
  • Gradually add them to the butter mixture in thirds until you have a moist looking dough. 
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use your favourite cutter to mould out 1/2 inch rounds.
  • Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment at least 4 cm apart.
  • Dust with granulated sugar
  • Bake for 10/12 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
Mbakes x

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Primrose Birthday Cake & Vanilla Cupcakes

Primrose Bakery Chocolate and White Chocolate Buttercream Birthday Cake
This weekend we celebrated my lovely ol' mum's birthday! It was simply marv, Jamies Italian followed by a gorgeous chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream from Primrose Bakery, followed by some confetti plain vanilla cupcakes I quickly baked up for absolutely no reason. The recipe for the confetti cupcakes is simply the sponge from the previous Stroke Association Cupcakes post, with 2 tablespoons of multicoloured sugar strands added! Also a dead simple icing on top! (one that I'm sure you foodies can guess by the pictures!) Keep your eyes pealed for (possible) Miette Ginger Snaps on my blog this week, and PLENTY of beautiful Faircake creations that will no doubt be published! Happy Birthday Mum x 

Me & Mama (excuse my face!)
The family!

Mbakes x

Friday, 11 May 2012

Faircake Boutique Cupcakes Class

Another brilliant day of work today at Faircake! Students got to learn how to neatly and successfully cover a cupcake with fondant (whist I was secretly watching in the background), and create florist paste flowers as well as learn royal icing piping techniques. Again, I had such a great time helping out and cannot wait to go back next Tuesday for the 3-hour Roses Class! Here are some of the students amazing cupcakes that I got to photograph, hope you enjoy! 

Mbakes x

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Stroke Association Cupcakes Continued

If you watch those sensationalist cake programmes on Food Network you will know that transporting cakes and cupcakes doesn't look easy (you know that one with all the grungers making mediocre cakes in America? They get far too much credit for their work in my opinion). I had a preconceived gut feeling of dread when I knew I had to transport the cupcakes to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Especially seeing as I'm car-less at the moment! But to my surprise the cakes turned up to the hospital in one piece! And the cakes sold really well! I feel another charity bakesale in the waters after this one was such a huge success!

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Stroke Association Charity Cupcakes

These vanilla cupcakes were made to sell tomorrow at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich at lunch time. They were made for the Stroke Association Charity which will go towards bettering the stroke wards. I have never made 50 cupcakes in one go and can safely say my back bloody hurts! Me and my sister tried to theme the cakes in the style of the Stroke Association colours! She is currently on placement at the ward hence the cupcakes. The recipe used is simply 175g of flour, margarine and sugar. Plus 3 large eggs and 1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract. The buttercream recipe can be found in my previous Vanilla Cupcakes post! 

Sugarflair Grape Violet Buttercream
McCormick Yellow Buttercream

Sugarflair Navy Blue Buttercream

Mbakes x

Monday, 7 May 2012

Miette Gingerbread Recipe

This Miette Gingerbread cake is dense and very VERY rich in flavour, to a point where you almost think its spicy! I made the dreaded mistake of using a pan too wide, so the cake has the unfortunate appearance of a flatbread. But I think this might be a good thing because the cake is so darn intense you probably wouldnt even want a very big slice of it! The cream cheese frosting adds a balance to the cake because its extremely sweet. I didn't use Miettes cream cheese frosting for this one, but an adaptation of Hummingbirds which was half cream cheese to icing sugar.
The Recipe:
1 and a quarter cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground ginger plus 2 tsp
3 quarter tsp ground cinnamon
Quarter tsp ground cloves
Quarter tsp ground nutmeg
One eighth tsp cardamom
Quarter tsp salt
Half cup Guinness
Three quarter cup black treacle
Half tsp baking soda
2 large eggs at room temp
Three quarter cup granulated sugar
Half cup light brown sugar
Half cup corn oil or any vegetable
2 cups cream cheese frosting
The Method:
  • Grease a pan of your desired size and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  •  Sieve together all dry ingredients except the baking soda and sugars and set aside
  • In a medium sized saucepan, bring the black treacle and Guinness to a boil. 
  • Once boiled, add in the baking soda and whisk, then immediately take off the heat. The mixture will expand so be careful.
  • In a freestanding mixer whisk the eggs and both sugars for 3 minutes until light in colour. 
  • Slowly drizzle in the oil and keep whisking.
  • Reduce the speed and slowly add in the Guinness mixture. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Return to a low speed and add the dry ingredients in bit by bit. 
  • Mix together for about half a minute.
  • Using a spatula, fold the mixture till well combined. 
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve. 
  • Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 40 minutes. 
  • Leave to cool and then frost the cake as you please!

PS. I realise how blandly  coloured this post is, so I'm going to end it with some pretty delicious Krispy Kreme donuts for you to bask your eyes on :) (and brighten the place up a bit).

Mbakes x

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and her Chocolate Chip Cookies, these proved to be soft, gooey and rich! Both recipes called for soft light brown sugar but I used dark brown for a deeper tasting cookie. This cookie is much different from my previous cookie post, its about 10 times taller in size and more soft and crumbly as opposed to chewy. You can always make it a totally chocolate chip cookie by using chocolate chips instead of peanut and adding 300g of flour and removing the cocoa powder. 
Before I forget, I have two posts to come this week that I'm already planning for! The first is a Miette Ginger Cake, which will be sold in Old Street. Second is a charity bake sale at Queen Elizabeth hospital this Wednesday!
The Recipe:
125g dark brown sugar 
100g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag of reeses peanut butter chips
1 egg - cold
1 egg yolk - cold
150g melted butter 
40g cocoa powder 
260g plain flour 
The Method:
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Combine both sugars with melted butter till smooth, then add cold eggs and whisk till creamy.
  • Whilst mixing, pour in vanilla extract.
  • In a separate large bowl, sieve cocoa powder and add in flour.
  • Bit by bit, fold in dry ingredients into wet batter and mix at a minimum.
  • Stop mixing stir in peanut butter chips till incorporated. 
  • Using an ice cream scoop, plop the dough on the baking trays 5 cm apart.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes.
  • Eat warm!

Mbakes x
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