Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sugar Skulls Birthday Cake

What on earth sort of cake do you make a girl who's not 'pink and fluffy' and doesn't like a big fuss? Well, here it is! It wasn't my first idea, but the resources I needed for my original idea are not due to arrive until after the cake has been made, but I love the simplicity of this dark, yet colourful one!

Sponge prior to all caramelised layers being removed

The sponge is coloured in a random dark grey and cherry red, which I hope cuts well, but it tastes divine, a simple vanilla flavoured sponge, covered in luscious vanilla flavoured, cherry red, buttercream

As you may have noticed over my last few blog entries, I've been having some serious issues with a new refrigerator. It seems as though I purchased a new one with a faulty thermostat, which is being fixed later today (22nd June).  With this in mind, I've had to rely on a friend and neighbour for a loan of some space in their refrigerator.

I'm not sure if the black fondant used had a problem or the fact that the 'ambient' temperature in my kitchen - 28.5°C - affected it so dramatically! It slipped and was so sticky that it became almost impossible to work with.  

I'd already pre-made the sugar skulls and painted them by hand using food colour gels.

The lace I purchased, because I'd been advised that our local weather could cause some issues, so buying pre-made edible lace was the way to go for this cake.

The red glitter roses were made on the day of decoration and added to the cake immediately, as and when required.

Into the super soft problematic black fondant, I embossed some simple flowers, but not before dipping the 'stamps' into edible glitter first.

Silver lustre dust was used to add some sparkly magic to the finished cake and my work here was done!

All that's left for me to say is
Happy Birthday Evie

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Jaffa Cake Cupcakes

Otherwise known as Chocolate Orange cupcakes.  I wasn't sure how these would go down with the guests, so I didn't make many - big mistake!

I used the chocolate mix from my recipe book and did not add any orange extract to this portion of the cupcake.

For the buttercream, however, I used the chocolate recipe and added some orange extract.

Before I added the buttercream, I scooped out about a tea spoon's worth of sponge from the centre of the cupcake.  To this 'hole' in added orange jelly aka jello (suitable for vegetarians). Then, rather carefully, I started adding the buttercream until the hole was covered then carried on until I finished the cupcake.

What ever else could I top this off with other than gold lustre dust! Perfection on a plate!

Lemon Cupcakes

How to kick up a storm in my house, make lemon cupcakes!

By now, you've guessed that the good old amazing recipe for this mix is pretty much always used! You can also search the internet and use the recipe for lemon drizzle cake as a base if you prefer. To my mix, I did not add lemon extract, instead I purchased something called Ready Zest,and boy did it pay off!

It's nothing more than the zest of one whole lemon and smells scrumptious to the point where your mouth waters madly, well, mine did anyway.

To the buttercream I added lemon extract instead of the vanilla and some yellow food colour gel.

To top these off and not to distract the taster from the yummy lemon-ness, I sprinkled the top with some yellow sugar decorations.

Mint-Choc-Chip Cupcakes

You'll find I use my old faithful cake mix for the base of pretty much everything, and these were no exception! To this mix, I added some American Peppermint Extract to taste plus a handful of dark chocolate chips, about 250g

For the topping, once again, I used my basic buttercream but exchanged the vanilla extract for the same American Peppermint Extract and a mint coloured green gel.

To top them off, I added some grated chocolate and two mint Matchmaker Minis

Turkish Delight Cupcakes

These went down a total storm last year, so I made a few more than usual, and I ran out in no time - again!

Using the faithful sponge mix, I added a handful of milk chocolate chips to the batter, I'd say it was about 250g, then added about 7.5ml of rose water. I don't mess about with flavourings, I use good quality extracts.

I also used a quality food colour gel to get the right colour pink. Now I can't tell you how much to use per batter mix, but starting with about 5g is a good place then add more if you need to.  Colours are all by eye and it depends on how pale  you can beat your batter 

Once more, good old faithful buttercream mix was used, but exchange the vanilla for the rose water for flavour and add some pink gel food colour until you reach the colour you prefer.

I made a tiny red bow from fondant to top this one off.

I would eat Turkish Delight all day long if I could, just the smell of it makes my mouth water.

Carrot Cupcakes

Yes, that's quite right, carrot cupcakes. I also wanted to make beetroot ones, but simply ran out of time!  

I used the same recipe as the 24 Carrot Gold cake I made back in March and will shortly be adding this recipe also to my recipe book here.

I made cute little half carrots from fondant and added them to the top as a decoration 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I don't make red velvet sponge often, in fact, the last time I made it was Cupcake Day in 2016.  As far as I can tell, there's no getting away from it, you need the buttermilk (available at all good supermarkets).  There are plenty of recipes about the internet, you need to find the best one for you.  

However, I did not use the expected topping mix for these, I used a standard vanilla buttercream topping, beat it into submission and it turned a lighter shade of pale (",)
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