Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Pudding Truffles - A Christmas eve treat.

So last night I had a few friends round for a little Christmas party, Food was ate, secret Santa's were exchanged, Christmas songs were played and mulled wine was drunk, and I'm feeling a little delicate this morning (well, afternoon) But I'm happy as I had a lovely time and I'm feeling very festive.

Any way after all the savoury food was eaten I brought out all the sweet treats I had made and their was a lot of cake to be had! 

Of to the left in the little cases are my Christmas pudding truffles The original recipe is a Nigella one for her Christmas Puddini Bon Bons however I altered the recipe slightly omitting some things and using milk chocolate and Brandy and then coating my truffles in Chocolate.
Any way here's how they're made:

Christmas Pudding Truffles 

 125g Milk Chocolate, melted in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.
 350g leftover, or freshly cooked and cooled, Christmas pudding
 60ml Brandy
 1 tablespoon golden syrup

To decorate: 150g Milk Chocolate, melted
Icing sugar (or alternatively melted white chocolate)

First crumble the pudding into a bowl and pour over the brandy. once the Brandy has mostly soaked into the pudding blend together. Add the meted chocolate and syrup and mix together. Then the messy part is rolling the truffles, I found dusting my hands with a little icing sugar or using cling film to roll them helped.

Once all the truffles are rolled coat each one in melted chocolate and place on a tray covered in cling film and place in the fridge to set.

Once set the truffles can be decorated to look like mini Christmas puddings using a little icing sugar blended with water to a thick paste or using melted white chocolate and then to top i used a little coloured sugar paste or you can used chopped glace cherries and angelica.

And that's it! I will upload a better picture once I get hold of the photos from last night. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and new year. I'm off to play Santa and give some pressies out!

Merry Christmas

Cupcake Kris xxx

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream and lots of Christmas baking.

I can't believe I haven't posted in 2 weeks! Well actually I can as I have been so busy with Christmas preparations, present buying, wrapping, present making (mainly jewelry) and even though I haven't blogged there has been a lot of baking.

I've had a few orders for cupcakes and last Monday I had 3 orders for one day that included Chocolate orange cupcakes Special toffee cupcakes  (however this time I stirred a little Dulche de leche into the batter) and as it's nearly Christmas Christmas spice cupcakes with mini gingerbread men  and here they all are :

 I also finished my Christmas cake! I'm not very good at making models out of sugar paste and I don't have many cutters so I just had to work with what I had which was a mini holly cookie cutter, so I went with the holly and berries theme and here it is:

But that's not all! I am having a Christmas party tomorrow for a few close friends so I've been a busy bunny in the kitchen baking savoury treats, sausage rolls, pigs in blankets, bacon twists as well as many more. and lots and lots of sweet treats, more Christmas spice cupcakes, Gingerbread men, mince pies, Chocolate candy cane cupcakes a gingerbread house and Christmas pudding truffles (to be posted here Christmas eve) and also a great quick dessert idea I saw the other day in Christmas Pudding Ice Cream.

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream is a great way to use up any extra or left over Christmas pud or just to have as an alternative dessert. I can't wait to have a scoop with a hot mince pie.
It's a really quick and easy recipe that can be thrown together in 5 minutes and left in the freezer to set while you get on with other things. I saw the idea on television the other day and I can't for the life of me remember which show but it was an Anthony Worral Thompson idea. They used different Cherries to me but I already had Glace cherries in the cupboard so opted to use them. Any way here it is:

You can't really get the idea from the picture but I will take a better picture once I take it out the tub and serve.

I used the tub that the Christmas pudding came in to store the ice cream so depending on what size pudding you are using depends on the amount of ice cream you need. but it's all down to preference with the pudding and cherry to ice cream ratio

Any way you will need

approx 1/2 left over and cooled Christmas pudding, crumbled. 
Few big scoops of ice cream, I used about 400ml
approx 30 g glace cherries, chopped 

In a bowl simply blend together all ingredients until the cherries and pudding are evenly dispersed and the ice cream has turned to liquid, beat together.
Then simply line your left over pudding dish, or any other bowl with cling film and pour the mixture in and wrap the top in cling film (or a lid if you have one) before returning to the freezer to re-freeze the ice cream.

Once frozen lift out of the bowl using the cling film and serve. 

And that's it a really simple idea for anyone in need of a last minute fix for a alternative Christmas dessert.If you are using a whole Christmas pudding make sure to save the remains and you can make another quick dessert and perfect last minute gift in Christmas pudding truffles (coming soon)

Any way back to the kitchen for me! I'll be sure to take pictures of the rest of the treats I make for the party and post them before Christmas.

Bye for now and be good (Santa's watching)

Cupcake Kris xxx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes.

I am feeling very Christmassy today, I went out for turkey carvery yesterday with some lovely friend and today I have decorated my house, put my tree up and when I finish writing this I'm going to wrap a few presents. I'm definitely getting in the Christmas mood. I've already made 2 batches of mince pies (All of which have already been eaten).  

So last week I was asked to make 36 cupcakes for an Irish themed night at my friends work and it was a perfect opportunity to make a cake flavour I've been wanting to try for ages. So I made 18 Vanilla cupcakes with Green Vanilla frosting and 18 Chocolate Guinness cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

As I'd said I wanted to make chocolate Guinness cake for a long time now and they didn't disappoint They were really rich with a dense chocolaty taste and just the perfect hint of Guinness, and the frosting perfectly compliments them. Now I don't like Guinness so if that's what you thinking don't let that put you off this recipe as this has fast become my new favourite chocolate cake recipe, because of the rich indulgent flavours.

any way here they are:

 I apologise for the terrible photographs, I was in a rush.

Or just spread the icing on top like the top of a pint of Guinness.

Just look at the dark, dense colour of the cakes (I had to cut this in half, and subsequently eat for photo purposes, oh well haha)

Any way here's how they're made

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

Makes about 24 (can be easily halved)

250ml Guinness
250g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
75g cocoa
400g caster sugar
142ml sour cream
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan and add the butter; heat until the butter's melted, then whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with eggs and vanilla and then pour into the pan of buttery beer and finally whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Pour the batter into a tin lined with cake cases ¾ of the way up and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 20 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the cakes are completely cool ice with the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting: enough for 12 cakes

300g Icing Sugar
50g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g Cream cheese. 

Beat together the icing sugar and butter with an electric whisk and then beat in the cream cheese until smooth.

Ice the cakes as desired. I wanted to then top mine with a little green shamrock however I couldn't get hold of  a decent cutter in time.

And that's it! This week I am going to ice my Christmas cake and start on my list of other treat I plan to make for Christmas as well as fill a few cupcake orders I have.

Until next time

Cupcake Kris xxx

Linked up to sweet as sugar cookies

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Cake Leftover Blondies.

This week I have been doing a lot of decorating and for once it's not cakes, it's my living room. I decided to paint one big wall in the room a deep red colour, so cue lots of red paint everywhere, including a ton in my hair and just the right amount on the walls. The end result makes the room look warmer and the colour gets me in the mood for Christmas, and cuddling up watching Christmas films on the couch with hot chocolate and cakes.

however I have also been baking and about 7 weeks ago now I started the first of my Christmas baking by soaking all the fruit for my Christmas cake and last week it was time to bake the cake. Both the boozy fruit and the cake recipe was taken from the pink whisk  and as she explains if you are late starting it can still work with just soaking the fruit for a week. Any way here is my completed cake.

 Just have to feed it with brandy regularly before decorating ready for Christmas.

I also mentioned in my last blog how there had been quite a few birthdays recently and the latest ones where my boyfriend's and my friend Mandie, they fall just a day apart and we went for tepenyaki and then on to a tiki themed bar with cocktails served  in treasure chests  and pineapples. any way the day before we went out everyone was coming round to my house to give the birthday girl and boy their presents and I decided way to late to make 2 little cakes, one each. So they really were a rush job but hey they still tasted like cake and hey that's all that counts. Any way Mandie thankfully took a few photos on her phone as I didn't think to so here they are, not the best photos or decorating but here you go:

Any way Amanda's cake was a small cupcake shaped cake decorated with leftover Icing from my bazinga cake in the last blog. And Neil's cake was a heart shaped chocolate cake iced to look like a box of chocolates and topped with chocolates, this cake is a shoddy thrown together copy of a cake I saw on a while back.

Anyway onto this weeks baking, After soaking my fruit for my Christmas cake I was left with little bits of this and little bits of that, but not enough of one thing to make anything so I decided to combine all the leftovers with a little spice to make a easy traybake that uses all my leftovers but still tastes good. I first followed a basic recipe for Blondie's and amended it to fit my flavours. The result I was a soft yummy cake that could easily be sliced into bars. It had warming flavours perfect for the winter and ensured my leftovers didn't go to waste. The Blondie's themselves turned out a little more cakey than I had expected, soft and light rather than gooey but that was fine. Also even though I used all my leftovers this recipe definitely could have fitted more fruit in if you wanted to pack your blondie's. Any way here they are:

And here's how they're made:

125g Butter
220g Light brown sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
125g Flour
(Little bit of milk if needed)
1tsp Treacle
2 tsps Golden Syrup
About 10 Cherries  (As I said before with the fruit use as much as you want or have left)
25g Dried Cranberries
25g Flaked almonds, broken up.
50g Dried Mixed fruit (Raisins, sultanas, mixed peel)
2 Tbs Brandy (Optional) 
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
A good grating (1/4 tsp) of fresh nutmeg

First of all I soaked the dried mixed fruit in the brandy (this I think made the fruit sink lower in the cake so can be left out or added separately)
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the flour, mixed spice and nutmeg, If the mixture is a little dry/ thick add a touch of milk if needed.
Stir in the treacle, syrup and all your left over fruit and nuts, including the brandy if your using that. To stop any dry fruit from sinking to the bottom, try tossing it in a little flour first.
Pour the prepared mixture into a brownie tin and bake at 180 degC until the Blondie's are baked through. As usual I forgot to time this but it was between 15- 20 minutes.

And that's it, these definitely got me ready for the build up to Christmas.

I've entered this to the The Pink Whisk November Challenge

Bye for now

Cupcake Kris xxx

Linked up to  Sweets for Saturday

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Big Bang Birthday Bash!

I feel I have abandoned my poor blog of late, however that doesn't mean I haven't been baking, in fact I have had to bake a lot recently as there have been some birthdays the past few weeks. I have been baking plenty of tried and tested recipes and also decorating birthday cakes which is something I don't do very often and still need a lot of practice at. I have also been soaking fruit for a few weeks now and will be baking my Christmas cake this weekend. I Love Christmas cake with a capital L so making one then having to wait so long before eating is torture for me, only with a tasty reward at the end.

Any way onto the Birthday's in question recently it has been 2 of my best friends Birthdays (Jen and Mandie's) as well as the boyfriends birthday so there have been much celebrations, drinking, present giving, trifle (courtesy of my fabulous friend Alex, who makes yummy trifle) and of course, cake!

Today I'm blogging to tell you about Jens Birthday (well what I can remember of it) and the cake. The Birthday itself involved, pre meal cocktails, a meal at a restaurant called Damons which serve the tastiest ribs that just fall of the bone, during meal cocktails and then many, many post meal cocktails and tasty dessert back at Jens house followed by yet more cocktails (can you see where this is going?) 

Any way I had planned this cake for a few weeks before and already got approval from her fiancee that she would love it. So (last minute as usual) I bought the alphabet cutters I needed and set to work. 
You see one of Jens favourite television shows is The Big Bang Theory and her favourite character in said show is Sheldon, so I decided to incorporate a slogan of his onto the cake. I copied the design form a t-shirt her Fiancee had with it on. Any way if you aren't a fan of the show you probably wont really get the cake but that's what made it so great as I knew Jen in particular would love it. any way here it is: 

I haven't iced a big cake for around 8 years or so and was a very disappointed with parts of this and learned a lot along the way, I definitely need more practice but none of that mattered as long as the Birthday girl was happy, which she was and she loved her cakey surprise! 

The cake itself was plain vanilla with a strawberry buttercream filling. 

any way that's it for today next week I'll make sure to post all about the other Birthdays and the progression of my Christmas cake. 

Until then 

Cupcake Kris xxx

Monday, 17 October 2011

Oreo cupcakes with fresh cream frosting

I went Go Karting with my friends last week and was far too busy making all of them eat my dust to blog. I was surprised as anyone that I actually did really well and won especially considering I'm the non-driver of the group.

So any way this blog is a little delayed as I made these cupcakes a few weeks back when I was popping round to visit a friend. Have I mentioned how cupcakes are demanded by my friends at every gathering even just going to someones house. I was requested to make the raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes for go karting, and this time I topped each one with a raspberry as well as a square of white chocolate. Well for this gathering at my fabulous friends Jen and Chris's house I made a cupcake that has been on my to do list for months, Oreo cupcakes. And here they are:

If your wondering why the two in the middle don't have Oreo's on well that's because they were made for two of my friends each with a special message written on top one says screw work and the other says don't crash as one friend had just passed her driving test (I have an odd sense of humor) I do love my new letter sprinkles.

and here's how they're made, recipe adapted from one by 'Baking Made Easy' author Lorraine Pascale.

Oreo cupcakes

150g Butter
150g Caster sugar
3 Eggs
150g Plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 to 1 Pack of Oreo biscuits

Preheat the oven to 180 degC. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one by one, beating together after each addition.

Add the flour baking powder and salt and mix. Crush up the Oreos and fold these into the mixture.

Divide between 12 cases and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until risen, golden and baked trough.

And that's it for the cakes. I really love this recipe, the cakes are light and you get a really nice taste of the cookies coming though and I love way they look all speckled with crushed up cookie. Most of the recipes I found for Oreo cookies just involved a plain chocolate cupcake with a whole Oreo baked inside so this one seemed a little different. Here they are out of the oven without frosting:

And now for the frosting, the Lorraine Pascale recipe called for butter cream however I wanted more of a cookies and cream taste so I went for fresh cream frosting, recipe adapted via Bakergirl's Blog

1 3/4 cups whipping cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Oreo cookies, finely crushed

Whip all the ingredients together until the cream stiffens, pipe onto cakes and then decorate with Oreos. These are definitely my new favorite I could just eat the cream alone and really do prefer that to the Butter icing on these cakes.

And that's it!

Any way that's all for now but before I go just one more think, I said before how I love me some alphabet sprinkles, now I know they are just meant to be sprinkled over cakes but I just cant help spelling things out on my cupcakes, like so:

Any way until next time

Cupcake Kris xx

Monday, 3 October 2011

Coconut Jam Sandwich Bars

Hello, I've totally had the holiday blues last week and have been cheering myself up with lots of baking and all the lovely blogs I read as well as going out with friends and generally keeping busy.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Hope Street Feast festival where I stocked up on yummy food and enjoyed some delish Thai red curry from my new favorite restaurant in Liverpool Host . I also got the funniest picture of the boyfriend and my friend Jen tucking into some chocolate fountain dipped treats. (although I'd be in trouble if I posted it here)

There were loads of cake stand there but as I had a myriad of cakes at home I mostly stuck to buying savory treats such as champagne and strawberry cheese, homemade calzone's and sourdough bread, although I did indulge and bought some home made fudge.

Speaking of fudge I was kindly emailed a recipe by a friend that comes all the way from his family in Australia, I cant wait to try these tried and trusted recipes  but I've been sworn to keep them a secret hehehe.

Any way onto recent baking. The other week I was going out to visit a friend leaving boyfriend by himself to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet for once. I decided to make him some tasty snacks for his night in and it also gave me the opportunity to try a recipe I had been looking at for a while. Coconut jam sandwiches. When I first saw the recipe it struck me as something that boyfriend would choose however they never really appealed to me, so this provided the perfect opportunity to make them. the first layer is sort of like a biscuit then this is topped with a layer of jam and then finished of with a coconut mixture for a lovely taste and texture on top. Here they are: 

I made quite a few of these so even though boyfriend scoffed loads of them I still got to try a couple, and I have to say I enjoyed them much more than expected, perfect for after lunch with a cup of tea.

I used way more jam than the recipe called for as I wanted a proper layer of jam and not just a little scraping. I also upped all the other ingredients just a little as my pan was slightly bigger than advised.

any way here's how they're made:

Coconut Jam Sandwich Bars (Via Hummingbird Bakery, Cake Days)

For the base:
30g Unsalted Butter
175g Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
50g Caster Sugar
2 Large Egg Yolks

For the topping:

175g Desiccated Coconut
175g Caster Sugar
4 Egg Whites
50g Plain Flour
150g Strawberry Jam (I used around 300g)

(9 x 12 inch Baking tray)

Preheat oven to 170deg C and line a tray with greaseproof paper.
Mix together the butter, flour and baking powder until you have a crumb like consistency. Add the sugar and stir in. Tip the egg yolks into a jug and stir with 2 Tbsp of water, pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Press the mixture into the tin and bake for 12-15 mins or until a light golden colour. Leave to cool completely (leave the oven on)  

In a saucepan mix together the coconut, sugar and one egg white with 2 Tbsps of water. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients form a thick paste. Add the flour and cook for a further 1 minute whilst stirring. Tip into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Whip the remaining 3 egg whites until stiff stir one third into the coconut mix then fold in the remaining egg whites with  a metal spoon.

Spread the jam over the base then top with the coconut mix and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

And that's it.

And that's it for today, I'm looking forward to my next blog as it involves cupcakes I've been meaning to make for ages, and their my new favorite.

Bye for now

Cupcake Kris xxx

Sunday, 18 September 2011

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

So I feel like I've pretty much abandoned the blogging world for the last few weeks but I have been of having a fab time in Spain with the boyfriend and some friends. And then this past week I've been busy recovering from said holiday.

However the last few days I've definite got my baking bug back, baking something new for 4 days in a row from a disaster with my first attempt at fudge from new cupcake flavours.

I had a whole load of Raspberry's in the garden that needed picking and It does seem that every summer I am looking for different recipes to use them up. I know raspberry's are perfectly matched with white chocolate and as I really love white chocolate I went searching for a white chocolate and raspberry cupcake recipe and found a perfect one over at mias bakehouse It really did have the perfect mix of tart raspberry and creamy white chocolate and the frosting is just divine. On making my batch I upped the chocolate content because well I'm just plain greedy and I also added a few more raspberry's as I needed to use all I had left so just tipped them all in.    

any way here they are :

My friends mum who always likes to try my cupcakes have declared these as her new favorite, surpassing her previous favorite, the chocolate orange cupcakes.

any way here's how they're made:

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes   (Adapted from Mia's Bakehouse)

125g Butter, softened
125g Caster sugar
125g Plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
3 tbsps milk
80g raspberries (I probably used around 90- 100)
70g white chocolate (melted)

Pre heat oven to 180degC
Beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually stir in the flour, baking powder, milk and vanilla until ingredients are just incorporated.
Add the raspberry's and melted chocolate and gently stir into the mixture.
divide the mixture between 12 cupcake liners and bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool completely whilst you make the frosting.

White Chocolate frosting

100g Butter, softened
200g Icing Sugar (adding a little more if the frosting is to soft)
70g White Chocolate (melted)
1-2 tablespoons milk

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water and leave to cool.
Beat together the butter and sugar until combined then beat in the cooled chocolate and milk making sure you don't over beat the mixture, and adding a little more icing sugar if the frosting is to soft. Chill in the fridge and the top the cakes and finish with a fresh raspberry or a drizzle of raspberry syrup.

And that's it, these cakes are really good and have fast become one of my favorite flavour combinations, The white chocolate makes them really sweet but that's fine with me, Clyro the dog was sulking he didn't get one though, see:

 Not for puppies, all for me! hehehe.

Any way that's It for today apart from a plea to send me a link to your favorite fudge recipe, I've unsuccessfully tried to make fudge this week and it is something I'm hoping to get right so I need good tried and tested recipes and tips. 

Keep Baking

Cupcake Kris xxx
Linked to foodie-friends-friday-linky-party

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownies and Amaretto Cupcakes

As I said in my last blog I have recently been seeing lots of fantastic recipes on every one's blog recently and this next recipe is no exception. I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs Chocolate Teapot. So many great recipes on this blog definitely check it out.

This recipe for Chocolate Peanut butter Brownies is such a simple one so easy to make and it was a perfect treat to cook for the boyfriend (who loves peanut butter)after work on a Friday night. And he must have liked them as the whole tray didn't last more than 24 hours (Ok I did sneak a few myself). I will definitely be making these again and again, any way here are mine:

They were so moist and the perfect mix of Peanut Butter. I had a little problem with my peanut butter as it was a brand I had never used before and it really didn't want to melt but I managed to get round that little problem.

Any way here's how they're made:

225g Crunchy Peanut Butter
200g Plain Chocolate broken into pieces
280g Soft light brown sugar
3 Medium eggs
100g Self raising flour

Set aside 50g of both the peanut butter and the chocolate. Heat the oven to 180 degC and grease and line a brownie tin. I didn't have any lining left so just greased the tin and dusted with flour and that worked fine.

Gently melt the remaining peanut butter, chocolate and all the sugar in a pan, stirring until the sugar has just about melted.  This is where I encountered my first problem with the whole lot just clumping, I don't know why it happened but adding a splash of milk and stirring, fixed the problem and loosened up the mix.

Turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to beat in the eggs one by one. Stir in the flour and scrape into the tin.

Melt the reserved peanut butter in a microwave for 45 seconds or in a pan, until runny then drizzle over the Brownie (I don't have a microwave and again my peanut butter wouldn't melt in the pan so i simply spread / dolloped mine over which still worked perfectly)

Bake until the brownie has a crust but the middle still seems slightly uncooked, Chele recommended 30-35 minutes but I had a shallower wider brownie pan so I went for around 25 Mins. And they were the perfect mix of crust and gooeyness. 

Melt the reserved chocolate and drizzle over the brownie then chill before cutting into squares. I on the other hand couldn't wait, they smelled so good so i cut one out before the chocolate had even hardened.

And that was the brownies, such a quick treat to make but they also disappear just as quickly.

Also recently I have revisited one of my past recipes but this time I feel they worked a lot better, these were Amaretto cupcakes for a friends mums birthday and this time I topped them with an amaretti  biscuit. She also ordered 6 chocolate orange as these are her favourites. any way here they are:

Any way the recipe was tweaked slightly and I felt it wasn't as dry as last time

Chocolate Amaretto Cupcakes
Makes 12.
100g Plain flour
20g Cocoa Powder
140g Caster Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
40g Unsalted Butter
20 ml Milk
approx 100ml Amaretto  -Until you have a nice consistency and strong but not to overpowering taste.
Few drops of Vanilla extract
Few drops of Almond extract

Preheat the oven to 170 deg . Mix all the dry ingredients together and rub in the butter until you have a sandy consistency.
Whisk the Eggs, Vanilla and almond together in a jug and pour about into the dry mix and beat to combine.Then add the milk and Amaretto gradually until the mixture is smooth, free of lumps and off a good consistency.
Spoon the mixture into paper cases two thirds full and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

For the Amaretto butter cream.
250g Icing Sugar
80g Unsalted Butter
2-3 Tbs Milk
3-4 Tbs Amaretto

Blitz all ingredients together until you get the right consistency  - add more Icing sugar, and Amaretto as needed.

They definitely looked a lot better than last time as I didn't mess the icing up.

Before I go for today I just want to show you one last thing. A birthday present I got a little late but was hand made by my sister so made up for it here it is:

It's all cross stitched and she even painted the frame herself! how cute huh!

Any way that's all for today, no baking this weekend as I'm off to finish packing as I'm off to Spain on Saturday morning with the boyfriend and some of my lovely friends to try all the cocktails and food they have to offer.

so bye for now and keep baking xxx

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Double Glazed Doughnut Muffins and a cupcakey Birthday.

Hi there,

Seems like it was only yesterday I blogged last as the last week or so has flew by, It has been great though I've been celebrating my birthday with family, friends and a lot of cocktails and I've been preparing for my upcoming holiday, as well as baking and cooking of course. 

I really enjoyed my Birthday this year and even though I refuse to accept that I'm hurtling towards 30 at a rate I do not like I still love Birthdays, especially the presents, hehehe. And of course true to form I received loads of baking and cupcake related gifts and cars from a wonderful selection of books on French desserts to super cute cupcake cases! And pretty much every Birthday card I received had a cupcake on it! Now I never usually post pictures of myself on my blog (In fact I never have) but I have to show you how adorable my cupcake Birthday badge was, I'm even keeping it in the cupboard to bring out again next year (really)

 You can also see a small selection of my cupcake cards, yes we put them up in the pub, hehehe.

Any way enough of my cupcakey birthday gifts for today, onto the recent baking endeavors. I don't know what it was about last week but I saw so many recipes on my favorite blogs that I felt the urge to bake so I have quite a few printed off recipes ready for a blog steal and today's was one of those.

I saw this recipe for Double Glazed Doughnut Muffins on the fantastic blog Goddess of Baking and I craved them so much I made them that very night. They looked so tasty and I figured with the cinnamon and the muffin element it was something I could get away with eating for breakfast. (well sort of.) Any way they tasted so good! I added a bit more cinnamon than advised as I love my cinnamon and I used sunflower oil instead of vegetable (as that's what I had in) and I also made my glaze a lot thicker (accidental) but that was OK as it meant that I just didn't dip them twice. I really enjoyed these and they were all eaten so fast (not all by me I promise)

Mine by far didn't look as good as the ones on Goddess of Baking blog and I definitely used cases that were far to big and I think that's why they rose a little funny but they tasted perfect and were so soft so I was happy. Next time I'll be making them in smaller cases though. Any way here they are:

I always find it a little confusing measuring things in cups as I'm so used to using grams or ounces and I don't have measuring cups so I trawled the Internet for conversions and roughly converted the recipe into grams, and as the cakes came out fine I expect the conversions were pretty right, any way here's how I made them.

Double Glazed Doughnut Muffins: adapted from Goddess of Baking 

Makes 12 - 18 (depending on if you use extremely large cases like me)

55g Unsalted butter at room temperature
4 tbsp Sunflower oil 
100g Caster sugar
75g Soft brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
280g Plain flour
240ml Milk

Glaze Ingredients:

3 tbsp Unsalted butter, melted
110g Icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbsp Hot water

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Line a muffin tin with papers and brush the cups with a little sunflower oil to ensure they peel off the muffins nicely.
With and electric whisk or mixer, cream together the butter, sunflower oil and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
Stir in the baking powder, Bicarbonate, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.
Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is fully combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into the cases, filling the cases to nearly full.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until pale golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, icing sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth. When the muffins have cooled slightly, dip the top of the muffin into the glaze and leave to harden, they can then be dipped again. I wasn't paying attention so made my glaze way to thick and didn't need to double dip.

These are great served warm.

And that's it. Hmmm thinking about it I wish I had one of these now as a pre bedtime treat, I will definitely be making more very soon.

Any way that's enough for today but I'll be back soon with another blog steal, a recipe re-visited and to show you a special cupcake present I got!

Until then keep baking


Monday, 15 August 2011

Classic Strawberry Victoria Sponge

I didn't plan to bake a lot this weekend, I had a small order of cakes for my friends mum but I definitely wasn't baking any cakes for myself, as this weekend it was my Birthday! and surely that's an occasion when other people should give me cakes and treats! I did end up making a couple of treats though but nothing too taxing, just covering some pretzels in chocolate, and making a version of a rice crispie cake but using ammareti biscuits and marshmellow instead (which was odd but tasty).

Anyway the other weekend I went to visit my friend at her brand new house as she recently hopped on the property ladder, so taking along a house warming cake seemed like the right thing to do, and as the fridge was packed full of Strawberries and double cream I decided to go for a classic Victoria sponge, something that strangely I had never made before, which is odd because as a cake I love it, so simple yet fresh, light and tasty. I then dressed it up a little using sponge fingers, ribbon and piles of strawberries just to make it look more like a gift. and here it is:

 And here's the cake before I dressed it all up:

I actually prefer it this way, just dusted with a little icing sugar as I'm not to keen on sponge fingers, but they do make it look pretty.

This cake takes me a little longer to make as I only have 1 round cake tin so I have to make it in two batches, I should really buy more tins. 

Anyway the recipe I used was from the BBC good food cake app for the IPhone and it was simple but tasted perfect, with a really light consistency so definitely a recipe I will use again. all I did was substitute jam for fresh strawberries and I used icing sugar in the filling rather than caster sugar.

here it is:

Classic Victoria Sponge

200g Unsalted butter, softened
200g Self raising flour
1tsp Baking powder
200g Golden caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk

For the filling:
150ml Double cream
50g Icing sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
punnet of fresh strawberries
Icing sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 180degC and grease and line 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then tip in all the other sponge ingredients. Using an electric whisk, beat everything together until smooth.
Divide the mix between the cake tins then bake for 20 - 25 minutes until cooked and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla using an electric whisk until the cream holds its shape. Spread one half of the cakes with the cream (saving some for the top of the cake if required) and then layer slices of strawberry on top like so:

Then gently sandwich the cakes together. If using jam instead of strawberries simply spread one half of the cake with cream and the other with jam and sandwich together.

I then decorated my cake by spreading a tiny bit of cream on each sponge finger and positioning them around the cake and tying a ribbon around to hold them in place, I then spread the rest of the cream on top of the cake and topped with chopped strawberries and dusted with icing sugar.

As I said before, I personally prefer the cake simple without the sponge fingers but either way this cake is tasty and fresh and went down very well with my friend and her parents and we got to enjoy it after the boyfriend got roped in to assembling her new pretty black glass dining table. (Well we needed somewhere to put the cake!)

Finally I wanted to show you the cute little cake mould I bought, It was a bargain at 69p and was really only bought of the novelty. Its a cake in the shape of a cupcake, not one of those huge cupcake pans you get (but I do want one of them) But a small mini cake that make the perfect size cake for 2 to share (or 1 to scoff by themselves)  any way its a small silicone mound and seems to produce a cute little cake. Boyfriend actually tried it out the first time and made this vanilla sponge.

Isn't it cute? And it would look even cuter iced in pretty colours. It cracked a little coming out the mould but I think that was more down to impatience to plate and eat the cake.

Any way that's all for today I'm off to look through my new cake book birthday presents and drool over the pictures.

Bye for now


Linked up to Sweets for Saturday

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Tuck Shop Cupcakes.


I havn't been able to blog in a while as the naughty USB ports on the laptop broke and it's been driving me mad, but off to the shop it went and now it's back and all fixed and shiny.  I've missed blogging but I have been busy baking, alot for orders though including 28 cake pops and 20 ice cream cone cakes, which unfortunatley because I was so rushed in making and delivering that I forgot to take any pictures.

A few weeks ago I also made some suprise cupcakes for a friend of mine. It was a friends birthday and they were having a bbq. A friend of mine asked if I'd bring cucpakes (it wasn't even the friend who was having the bbq who asked, it was my cheeky cupcake feind friend Alex) So needless to say my friends (apart from Alex) were pleasantly suprised when I turned up with 24 cupcakes! I made 12 Mojito Cupcakes as these are just perfect for a sunny BBQ and then I made 12 surprise Tuck shop cupcakes. 

My friend Alex was in fact the inspiration for these cupcakes as the week before at the pub she had ordered a dessert favorite of hers called Tuck shop ice cream cake. It was pretty much a basic ice cream cake but on top was a variety of different chopped up sweets, chocolate bars and biscuits. With the fun being in the fact it's different every time. (Alex was very disappointed that time as she didn't get a piece of mini roll and another friend did) So I decided to surprise her and incorporate this idea of a Tuck shop and variety into some extra special cupcakes with enough that she could look at them all and decide which cake had her favorite treats on.

And here they are:

 The cakes themselves are this recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes and Vanilla frosting, however I didn't just wan't treats topping the cakes so I also baked some into them. So you never knew which treats you would get inside your cake!

I started with this lot: 

A big selection of the kind of treats you could buy at a school Tuck shop. I then resisted temptation to scoff the lot and once I had filled 12 cupcake cases with the chocolate batter I dropped a peice of a few treats into each cupcake. I left the jelly sweets and jelly beans out of the batter as I felt the other treats would work better.

Once they were baked with the treats inside they looked like this:

 Then I simply piped them with Vanilla frosting and topped each with different peices of treats!

These cupcakes are definitley for the sweet tooth! My choice would be one topped with things like Fudge and caramel like this one in the front:

Apparently these cakes were very tasty, fun and definitely for someone with a sweet tooth! I would like to say I know this from personal experience but I didn't get one myself! They were all snatched up and eaten, I managed to save one and take one home but then boyfriend ate that one too! I managed to eat some of the Mojito cakes though and also a rather large slice of my friends scrummy Malteaser cheesecake! (I'll have to steal and post the recipe for that one!)

Any way that's all for today I cant look at the picture of the bowls of sweets any longer as I'm having serious cravings hehehe!

Bye for now!

Cupcake Kris

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cornbread muffins

Last week I had watched way to much Diners, Drive ins and Dives on the Food Network and one thing that programme always makes me crave is BBQ sauce smothered, red meat loaded American BBQ food. In this case I was craving ribs in particular. So off I went to the butchers and bought a sheet of ribs.

With them I was planning to have home made paprika potato wedges and BBQ beans but I also wanted something else, something which gave me the excuse to bake ...  Cornbread! I first had Cornbread in Bodeans in London which is just the best BBQ restaurant where you can really pig out, and now I'm not in London I miss it often. since then I have tried making a variety of different cornbread recipes, and whilst I thought they were good nothing has yet matched the sweet, soft muffins from Bodeans. Although I think these are pretty good served warm with butter or my favorite, with a big bowl of BBQ beans.

here they are:

I also made some with grated Cheddar on top of the batter although I only made a couple for me as boyfriend has a rather odd dislike for recipes with cheese (how can you not like cheese?)

Really disappointed I didn't think to take a picture of the whole package, BBQ sauce smothered ribs, beans, wedges and muffins.

Here's how they're made:

200g Fine yellow cornmeal (Polenta)
170g Plain flour
1tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp Cumin
dash of Paprika
2 large eggs
300ml  Milk
45g Butter, melted
3 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar (I add a little caster sugar also but I like mine sweet)
300g Grated cheddar (Optional) 

Preheat the oven to 190degC and line a tin with muffin cases.
In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, salt, cumin and paprika.. Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add slowly to the dry mixture whilst stirring. Mix the eggs and milk in a jug and slowly add this to the mixture beating until the batter is smooth. If the batter looks a little thick ad a couple more tablespoons on milk.

If desired stir in 2/3 of the grated cheese and then spoon the mixture into cases. top with the remainder of the cheese (if using cheese) and bake for approx 25mins. Leave to cool.

Just before serving they can easily be re-warmed in the oven for a minute or two.

and that's it, there you go a savoury treat for a change. Back to cake next week!

Cupcake Kris xxx 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Double Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes with Chocolate Ganche

I have to apologise it feels like I've neglected my Blog of late! I've still been baking away though, as well as meeting up with friends, going climbing, visiting family, going on a road trip to see the Foo Fighters (who rocked), burning myself through falling asleep in the sun, getting ill, getting better, lots of shopping and attending and BBQ filled weekends with 2 BBQ's in the space of 24 hours. 

But now I'm back with a recipe I tried out a couple of weekends ago when meeting up with a few friends down the pub.

It's not very often that I want to make a particular kind of cake just so as I can use a certain cake case however a while back my lovely friend Jenny bought me a present (I love how my friends buy me cupcake related gifts) of the prettiest cake cases they were dark red with purple patterns and I thought Id have to make a cupcake that fitted perfectly with the case. And when I first saw the cake raspberry's came to mind.

I looked around for a few ideas before deciding that the cakes should be really chocolatey with a gooey raspberry centre. I filled the cakes with a good raspberry conserve and I made a chocolate ganche topping instead of my usual butter frosting and then finished them off with a fresh raspberry.

here they are:

The cakes turned out really nice, they kind of had a brownie texture to them with a slightly crispy top but soft almost gooey inside with a raspberry centre. And the chocolate ganache worked perfectly not as sweet as allot of frosting but gave the cakes a really chocolatey kick.

Here's how they're made:

Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes

110g Plain Flour
20g Cocoa Powder
150g Caster Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt 
40g Unsalted butter at room temp
120ml Whole milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
50g Plain Chocolate, Melted
Raspberry conserve (About 6 tbsps)

Preheat the oven to 170deg C
Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into a bowl and beat together with an electric whisk or rub between your fingertips until you have a sandy consistency.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and slowly pour about half into the dry mixture, beat to combine then beat in the remaining liquid until the batter is smooth. Add the melted chocolate and stir in gently.

Spoon the mixture into paper cases until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Once cool poke a small hole in the centre of each cake (I used the tip of a piping nozzle) and pipe in some raspberry conserve until it fills the hole.

Leave to rest while you make the Ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

100g Plain Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
Icing Sugar (Optional)

Break the chocolate into a saucepan and add the cream. Heat gently sirring all the time, until the chocolate has melted. Pour into a large heat proof bowl and using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture for 10 minutes or until thick glossy and cool.

I wanted to sweeten (as the chocolate I had was rather bitter) and thicken my Ganache slightly so whilst beating I also added a little icing sugar to taste. Pipe or spoon the ganache over the centre of the cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry.

And that's it!

Till next time

Cupcake Kris xxx

Monday, 27 June 2011

Coconut Pineapple Upside down cake

Hey! So in the last blog I mentioned I had a giant pineapple that I wanted to bake something using it. I didn't really feel like anything loaded with sugar or icing, I was more in the mood for something fresh and light that would go perfect with a cup of tea.

So I decided on a pineapple upside down cake as I'd never made one before however all the recipes I had had the sticky pineapple top however the cake part was just pretty plain. So I altered a little, I had some desiccated coconut and thought that that would go perfectly creating a Caribbean style flavour with a hint of spice.

And here it is:

The first slice, just for me!

I really liked this cake, it wasn't to overwhelming or to sickly which meant I could eat even more of it, nomnomnom.

Here's how it's made:
basic technique from the big book of baking:

Coconut Pineapple upside down cake

4 Eggs, beaten
185g Golden caster sugar or light brown soft sugar
1tsp Vanilla extract
170g Plain flour
55g Desiccated coconut
2tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg freshly grated
125g Unsalted butter, melted.


40g Unsalted butter
4tbsp Golden Syrup (On baking I realised I didn't have any in so used 4tbsp brown sugar instead)
Canned pineapple rings or fresh pineapple cut into rings
Glace Cherries

Preheat the oven to 160degC and grease and line a cake tin. (I used a 10" round but 9 would have been better)
For the topping, place the butter and syrup into a pan and heat until gently melted. Bring to the boil and boil for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened and toffee like.
Pour the syrup into the base of the tin and arrange pineapple rings in one layer over the syrup (My pineapple was to large so I had to use 1 ring surrounded by 1/2 rings.) Then place half a glace cherry in the centre of each ring (You will notice I only used one in the centre down to the fact I ate all the cherries and there was only 1 left, ooops)

Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk with an electric mixer for approx 10-15 mins until thick enough to leave a trail when the whisk is lifted. (I was far to impatient for this so whisked for about 5 - 7 minutes and all was still fine)

Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold these in with the dessicated coconut, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fold the melted butter in until evenly mixed. Spoon into the tin over the pineapple and bake in the oven for 1 hour - 1hour 1/5 mins or until well risen, firm and golden.

Leave to cool in the pan for 10 mins then carefully turn out onto a plate.

And that's it! I really enjoyed this cake but didn't get to eat an awful lot of it as it all magically disappeared in a day!

Ok I've decided it really wasn't a good idea to write this blog when I'm hungry, I've had a lovely dinner but now all I want is cake! and there's none in the house I'm wondering if half 9 at night is to late to start baking? It's like torture I tell you.

Well on that note I'm off to raid the cupboards fora sweet treat and think of what to bake next.

Cupcake Kris xxx

Linked up to sweets for saturday

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Cookie dough day! peanut butter cookie dough balls, cupcakes and a classic cookie.

Last week I had no occasion to bake for! No parties, no birthdays, no visiting friends so I had the chance to just bake anything I felt like which point, as it always does when I don't have a plan, my mind went blank!

I looked on the board I write all my to do cakes on and I didn't really feel like any of it, and then I remembered what I'd been craving just a few days before... Cookie dough! not just cookies but raw cookie dough, in all its sweet, gooey, chocolate chippy unadulterated naughtiness. And don't try to pretend when making cookies you don't just love to eat the cookie dough. I often have to get the cookies in the oven super fast otherwise boyfriend will eat all the cookie dough.

So I made a really simple super sweet treat of cookie dough balls, of which I didn't get many because boyfriend scoffed loads. These are perfect if you have a really sweet tooth and can't resist eating raw cookie dough, here they are:

and inside:

Mmmm full of cookie dough and tiny chocolate chips. And don't worry for those of you worried about raw egg there's none in this recipe (not that that usually stops me eating the cookie dough)

And here's how they're made:

For the cookie dough  - this recipe makes around 12 cookies or 24 - 30 cookie dough balls depending on size

110g Unsalted butter
175g soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g Plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g plain chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped into small chunks.
2 tbsp peanut butter
50ml Milk
200g of chocolate, melted

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and stir in the flour, milk, salt and bicarbonate, mix in the peanut butter until you have a smooth dough, If the dough is to dry add a little more peanut butter, or more flour if the dough is to sticky.

Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly dispensed.

Roll the cookie dough into small balls and arrange on a plate (I found it better to butter the plate to save the dough from sticking) and place these in the freezer to chill.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water and then set this aside to cool slightly. Once the cookie dough balls are chilled take them from the freezer and dip the cookie dough in the chocolate, I find this easiest by using 2 teaspoons and swapping the ball between the two. Then chill these until the chocolate has set. And that's it!

These can also be made into cookie dough pops by dipping the end of a lolly stick into chocolate and inserting it into a cookie dough ball and leaving to set before dipping in the chocolate then using a piece of polystyrene or foam to hold the pops up. This I feel makes the dipping process a whole lot less messier.

But I didn't stop there I had left over cookie dough, I wanted more cookie dough so I also used this eggless dough to make some ordinary peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, using bigger chunks of chocolate:

I didn't like them as much as my usual peanut butter cookie recipe but they were still very yummy.

Oh no and I didn't stop there either I also baked some vanilla cupcakes and dropped a ball of the cookie dough into each cupcake batter before baking to leave a cookie treat at the bottom of the cake:

cut in half without icing.

And here they all are together in all their super sugary cookie dough glory!

Enough to make any ones dentist cry!

Any way that's all for today I'm off to rack my brains for something to bake to use the ridiculously large pineapple that's sitting in my kitchen.

Bye for now

Cupcake Kris xxx