Friday, 24 December 2010

Holly Jolly Cupcake Christmas

Hey there everybody, are we all excited about Santa's imminent visit? I've been cuddled up on the sofa all day watching Christmas films which has been great, and last night I had a few friends and family round for mulled wine savory snacks and cupcakes and secret Santa gifts and I even got a few early Christmas presents!

I even made a gingerbread house for the occasion! I didn't have a decent template for one and as usual I wasn't very organised so I didn't even have any paper or a ruler so I made my own template using the back of some wrapping paper and the edge of a book. then once assembled I iced the roof and decorated with icing and candy canes! Here's the house:

 And here's my dining table filled with the cakes:
We had cakes that I've previously featured on my blog, there was Gingerbread spice cupcakes and Mint chocolate candy cane cupcakes:

There were Gingerbread men, trees and Christmas stockings, decorated with icing, peppermint icing and crushed candy canes:

There were also mince pies:

So as I've featured all the gingerbread and cakes no recipe today but I just wanted to write this blog to wish you all a very happy Christmas and I hope you all have lots of tasty food and get some lovely presents! Speaking of lovely presents as I said earlier I got some early Christmas of one of my friends and they were great! And as my friends know me so well they were of course cupcake related. I got some extremely cute cupcake PJ's, here I am modeling them (I cut my head off as I looked pretty ropey hahaha)

Please ignore my rather large thighs, but how cute is the cupcake on the PJ's, It even has a super cute spotty waistband that you can't see here. I also got some cupcake shorts to match as well as some cupcake bath bombs:

and some cupcake lip gloss in adorable little holders:

So, so far it's been a very Cupcake Christmas. Merry Christmas everybody I'm sure your all on Santa's nice list. finally here's my doggy in his new (and slightly silly) Christmas bandanna:

Bye for now

Cupcake Kris xx

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas Spice Cupcakes with Mini Gingerbread men

Ooooh only 10 days to go, I'm very excited, I've almost bought and wrapped every present I've nearly finished making the berry wreath I'm working on and I've just made the cutest little cupcakes. Why are they so cute? Well because on top of them they have mini gingerbread men smiling back at you!

I found some mini cookie cutters and I just couldn't help my self so on Wednesday I made some Gingerbread I made mini cookies to top my cakes with as well as larger gingerbread men and gingerbread Christmas trees. Here's One of the bigger cookies:

 He's waving! And he's all like "Oh Haaaii" hehehe

And since I used mini gingerbread men to top the cakes, first of all here's how the ginger bread is made:

This recipe makes quite allot of dough so half if needed.

500g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 Tsps Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
125g Butter
60g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
60g Caster Sugar
5 Tbsps Golden Syrup
1 Egg Beaten

Preheat oven to 180deg C. Sift flour, salt, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate into a bowl, mix and make a well in the centre. Put the Butter, Sugars and syrup into a pan and lightly heat while stirring until melted. Pour into flour mixture, add egg and mix to form a dough. Adding a bit more flour if necessary.
Flour surface and knead the dough. Roll out and cut into shapes, re roll out trimmings until all is used. If adding raisins to cookies (for buttons etc) , add before baking. Place on a greased baking sheet, with room between each cookie for spreading, and bake for 10-15 mins until lightly browned. If you have allot of cookies you may need to bake in batches.Leave to cool and then ice.

And here are the cakes with their little Gingerbread men:

I just couldn't help smiling when I saw them all lined up smiling back at me. Here's how the cakes were made:

Makes 12
120g Plain Flour
70g Caster Sugar
70g Dark Brown Soft Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
40g Butter
120ml Milk
1 Egg
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Mixed Spice

For the frosting 
250g Icing Sugar
80g Unsalted Butter
2ml Milk
Few drops of Vanilla extract
Grating of fresh Nutmeg

Pre heat oven to 170deg C. Put the flour, sugars, baking powder and butter into a bowl and rub together (or mix with an electric whisk until you have a sandy consistency. Gradually pour in half the milk and mix until just incorporated. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together and then add to the mix. Add the Ginger and Mixed spice and mix until well combined. Spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave to cool before icing.  
For the icing, blend the sugar, butter, milk and vanilla together, Pipe over cakes and grate a little nutmeg over the top. Top with a little Gingerbread man. And that's it!

Bye for now, and happy Christmas baking

Cupcake Kris xx

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Christmas baking: Mint Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes.

Hey, so Christmas is getting even closer with only a couple of weeks to go and I still haven't baked any where near the amount of Christmassy treats I planned to bake in preparation. Although it seems that when I do bake something anyway it doesn't last very long before it's eaten so I might as well give in on trying to be prepared.

This week though I baked some Christmassy candy cane cupcakes as I found the cutest little mini candy canes that I knew would look adorable on top of a cup cake.

And here they are: 

To make them you just need to follow the basic chocolate cupcake recipe (featured earlier on this blog) Then when you have the batter mix in 100g plain chocolate chopped into chunks and 2 tsps of Peppermint flavoring. Then pour batter into cake cases and bake at 170 deg C for about 20 mins.

For the butter cream use 250g Icing Sugar, 85g Butter and blend together with 1 1/2 tsp of peppermint flavouring and milk, adding a few drops at a time until you have the right consistency. Pipe over the cooled cakes. Then for the messy bit take a few mint candy canes and place in a small bag or under some greaseproof paper and bash with a rolling pin till crushed into tiny pieces, then sprinkle over the cakes and top with a mini candy cane if you have one or if not a piece of broken regular size candy cane will work.

And that's it! Now I'm off to bake tiny gingerbread cookies with these really cute cookie cutters I found and to make boyfriend draw me some templates for a gingerbread house.

I'm also going looking for more presents. Is it just me or does anyone else absolutely adore wrapping presents? I actually feel sad when I've finished with wrapping them all as I want to wrap more! I've found these adorable gift bags this year too with 50's pin up girls in Christmas suits which look great. I can't wait to give all my presents out (and of course receive some!) so what are you all wishing for this Christmas?

Bye for now and get baking for Christmas

Cupcake Kris xxx

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

No cakes but dried fruit Christmas decorations.

I've been so busy this week that it has totally passed me by that I haven't made any cakes! I'd usually be itching to get into the kitchen but this week I haven't even had the time to think about it. I've been busy Decorating the house for Christmas, Shopping for presents, advising new friends about cupcake baking, looking for outfits for work Christmas nights out and going to cheer on my friend and her little girl complete the Liverpool 5k Santa dash and little 4 year old Alicia walked the whole way! So extra congratulations to her.

This week I have baked something though  - although it wasn't edible. I decided after seeing some at the continental market that I was going to make my own dried fruit Christmas decorations. They're pretty, natural, cheap and they smell nice. And most importantly they're really easy to make. And here is my first attempt.

And here's how it's made:
You will need
Small oranges / satsumas
Cinnamon sticks

Its best to pick Fruit with vibrant colours as this will look better and all you need to do to dry fruit out is slice some oranges/ Apples and Lemons horizontally or take an orange and make slices vertically all around the orange (you can also insert cloves all around the sliced orange if desired) and bake these in the oven on the lowest temperature for about 2 -3 hours turning half way until the skin is slightly hardened and you have a thick leathery texture, as the fruit cools it will harden more! Ok so 2-3 hours is a long time right? well you can also dry the fruit out much quicker in the microwave.

Simply put slices in the microwave for 2-4 minutes turning half way and wiping away any excess liquid on the plate (Whole satsumas will take about 5-6 minutes) WARNING: if drying the fruit in the microwave you need to pretty much watch it constantly as it will suddenly burn. At the point the fruit is just slightly burnt i think i like it best as you get nice browns to as well as a spicy fruity burnt smell.

Take the fruit out to cool before threading onto some thick picture wire along with Cinnamon sticks (This but can need patience and strength to push the wire through)

Make a loop at each end and twist the wire to secure, then thread some Christmassy ribbon through the wire to enable you to hang it up.

And that's it! I've also been making jewelery for friend's Christmas presents and for my sister this week so that's another thing that's halted my baking endeavors. Here's a ring a made for my sister.

So sorry no cakes yet this week but hopefully in the next few day's there will be something Christmassy.

Till next time

Cupcake Kris xx