Thursday, 21 June 2012

50th Birthday Vintage Cupcakes

These cupcakes were made for my sisters friend's aunt, I used Bitter Lemon and Lime Sugarflare colouring for the domed tops, and just a touch of Ruby for the decorations. Chocolate flavoured cupcakes were requested, so I used a Devils Food Cake recipe, which you can find a version of here. A simple vanilla buttercream was used to decorate some of the cupcakes also, this consisted of 500g icing sugar, 250g unsalted butter and a tsp vanilla extract, simple simple simple! I've yet to gain any feedback from the cupcakes but I hope they went down well!
I'd like to thank Chris from Baked Clouds for helping me so much with the photography! 

I picked up the idea for the design of these cupcakes at work. We had a week of Boutique, Vintage and Wedding Cupcake classes and I had the honour of photographing them, below is one of the pictures I took (beginning to LOVE food photography!), which was then edited by the ever famous Shikhita.

Mbakes x

Monday, 18 June 2012

Moist Blueberry Muffins

On my way to work it is always absolutely essential that I make a pit stop to the M&S garage for a blueberry muffin and large cappuccino. Yes, I am painfully aware of the fact that my entire Daily Guideline Amount's of EVERYTHING is pumped into this little (large) muffin, but nothing can stop me! After working consecutively for five days (I know it's not very long but I am quite the lazy type), and consecutively making visits to the M&S (The employers and I have become quite the acquaintances), I had this sudden urge to make blueberry muffins, so here is my first attempt at the little devils! I must say, they were extremely moist, which I have the corn oil to thank!

The Recipe:
1 + 1/4 cup corn oil
1 + 3/4 cup sour cream (add yoghurt if you run out, I did!)
2 cups self raising flour
4 cups all purpose flour (or 4 cups self raising)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 cups white sugar
2 cups blueberries
4 eggs

The Method:
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line muffin tray. 
  • Begin with beating eggs and sugar together and then gradually add in oil till mixture changes in colour. 
  • Pour in vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl sift together flours, bicarb and salt.
  • Alternatively mix in sour cream/yoghurt and flour into the egg mixture.
  • Once well incorporated, fold in blueberries.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, plop mixture into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes.

Mbakes x

Monday, 11 June 2012

Devils Food Cake Cupcakes with Peanut Buttercream

The idea to make these cupcakes was quite a spontaneous one, I knew I just had to incorporate my Italian goodies into a baked treat pretty damn soon, and what better day for baking to fall on but a rainy, miserable English Sunday? Provided that it was a successful bake, these cupcakes were destined to taste great. Simply because it is a universally known fact that chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, please eat a Reese's peanut butter cup before you objectify! I adapted Nigella Lawson's Devil's Food Cake recipe for the sponge, and whipped up my very own peanut buttercream for the topping, please be warned that it is VERY heavy on the palette.
Kenwood Mixer
The Recipe:
2 eggs
Half tsp baking powder
Half tsp bicarb of soda
50g good quality cocoa powder
2 tsp chocolate liquor
100ml (Nigella calls for 250ml, like an idiot I misread this, so please take her advice) boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark muscovado sugar
125g stork margarine
250g caster sugar
225g all purpose flour (or plain)
The Buttercream
1 whole tub of smooth peanut butter, aprox 300g
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter at room temp
The method:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 1 muffin tray.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, muscovado, liquor and boiling water and set aside. 
  • In a freestanding mixer, begin to whisk the margarine and sugar until light, and slowly add in each egg. 
  • Whilst the ingredients are mixing, pour in the vanilla extract. 
  • Now reduce the speed and throw in flour, baking powder and bicarb and mix lightly to incorporate air. 
  • Lastly pour in the chocolate mixture and beat sparingly till the mixture is consistently dark in colour. 
  • Fill your cupcake liners with chocolatey goodness and bake for 18 minutes. 
  • For the frosting - whisk the butter and vanilla till smooth and add the icing bit by bit till thick. 
  • Now slowly add the tub of peanut butter tbsp at a time, and continue to add until you get your desired flavour. 
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, ice them as you like!

Level amount of cake batter each time
Wilton 1M Piping Nozzle
One last thing, I am very honoured to say that my Jubilee Celebration Cake was given a special mention in the Jubilee Baking Competition run by Homemade By Fleur! How exciting!

Mbakes x

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Review: Ortigia, Sicily

This week I had my first holiday in three years, to Italy! The first thing I shall inform you of - the Sicilians love their Charlie Simpson from Busted. My boyfriend and I stayed in the most gorgeous traditional two story flat with an overlooking terrace, which meant I had the pleasure of coming home a lobster. Cue the food. Oh. My. God. The carbonara. The spaghetti. The lasagne. The clam dishes. The cannoli. The cappuccino. THE HUMUNGOUS AUBERGINES. I also bought 15 euros worth of authentic sicilian cocoa powder and vanilla, as well as some Limoncello and chocolate liquor, so expect these ingredients to be the forefront of future posts! I doubt she will be reading, but Shirley - thank you so much for an amazing holiday! We owe you the world. 
Thanks to my dogs I was unable to take my SLR with me, they somehow got hold of my lens cap and managed to chew the thing up beyond use. So bringing it would have spelt disaster. I will not underestimate the iphone camera because I still get to share some Instagram tampered pictures with you!

7 euros for this baby

Mbakes x

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee Celebration Cake

Happy Jubilee weekend all! The design of my cake is quite simple, a scattering of union jack themed hydrangeas coupled with a pretty bow! This was my very first attempt at covering a cake in fondant - and it werent as bad (I think) as I anticipated! There was only one awful mistake (a few noticeable creases which I refuse to photograph).
I used Sugarflare Navy for the blue sponge and Red Americolor for the red sponge. There is also a generous amount of buttercream sandwiching the cake together and allowing it to stick firmly to the fondant. Inside the cake is a double quantity Victoria Sponge Cake. I simply weighed 2 eggs, and then used the same weight of all purpose flour (or self raising), sugar and butter and whizzed it all up using the all in one method! Before I forget, I also added 1 tsp of baking flour and vanilla extract to each sponge, and baked at 180 degrees for half an hour.
I've had a busy week of working and shopping for my holiday in Sicily this monday, so this will be a short post where I choose to shower my small group of readers with my awful photography skills! Hope everybody enjoys the rest of the long weekend. See you in a weeks time!

Please excuse the shadows!

I am entering my jubilee cake into Homemade by Fleur's Jubilee Baking Competition which is being generously hosted by Appliances Online! 

Is there anything you would do different? I'd love to know!
Mbakes x
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