Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Somewhat Of A Rose Cupcake (Vanilla Oreo Cupcake)

This Vanilla Oreo Cupcake is an indulgence. It's a vanilla cupcake with an Oreo cookie base and chunks of Oreo cookies scattered throughout the cupcake frosted with whipped white chocolate buttercream. This is perfection in a cupcake, an absolute delight.

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Inspiration can literally come from anywhere, could be from a pair of shoes, music, from family. This came from my little cousin after she asked for an Oreo cupcake recipe. I started to pipe the cupcake with swirls till i saw my daughter running round the garden picking up flowers.

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I used a large petal tip to pipe the buttercream petals on the cupcake. When piping petals you have to use a stiffer consistency buttercream so the petals hold. I found a very helpful  Buttercream Rose Tutorial video on youtube that gives clear instructons on how to pipe a buttercream rose. Mine turned out somewhat of a rose cupcake.

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Wishing everyone a Happy Easter.

Happy Baking

Chichi 
xoxo

Printable Recipe
Vanilla Oreo Cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes
265g (11/3 cup) sugar
120g (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
3 egg whites( 45g) , at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
270g (21/4 cups) plain flower. plus 1 tablespoon for quartered Oreos
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
18 Oreo cookies ( carefully twist for 1 side with filling intact, 1 side just cookie)

White Chocolate Buttercream
120g (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
95g (1/2 cup) vegetable shortening
500g ( 5 cups) icing sugar
150g ( 1/3 pound) white chocolate
1-2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Place the side with cream filling in the bottom of each cupcake liner, cream side facing up.
  3. Chop remaining 18 cookie halves, toss in flour and set aside.
  4. Sift flour,  baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  5. In the bowl of the mixer cream butter and sugar about 5 minutes. Beat in egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
  6. With mixer on low speed starting and finishing with flour , add half of the flour mixture followed by milk. Mix until just combined then add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. With a rubber spatula gently fold in chopped Oreos.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter and bake for 20- 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack .
Buttercream
  1. Melt white chocolate in microwave at 30 second bursts until melted
  2. In bowl of mixer cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy 
  3. Add melted chocolate to mixture
  4. Reducing mixer to low speed, slowly add icing sugar until desired consistency is reached
  5. Beat in vanilla extract
  6. If icing is too stiff add a tablespoon of whipping cream.
  7. Frost cupcakes as desired.

Notes

  • I used a large petal tip to frost the petals on the cupcakes




Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Carrot Nest Cupcakes

This is a simple carrot cupcake recipe yet it is rich, moist, flavourful and absolutely delicious. It is not so sweet cupcake and the cream cheese icing adds just enough sweetness.

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I love carrot, just not steamed carrot. That's weird right! Juice it, make a coleslaw out of it, i will drink it and eat it . Steamed carrot is a big No No.  This recipe is easy, you beat the eggs and sugar, add the oil , flour and spices, coconut and crushed pineapple. Then finally the grated carrots go in. When it came to grating the carrots i thought of using my food processor but all the washing up of the attachments put me off. I got my arm exercises done using a manual grater. :-)

photo gene

I have tried many many cream cheese recipes but mostly end up with runny cream cheese which doesn't hold when piped. Finally i found a wonderful recipe on Cake Central which advised that the cream cheese be added last to ensure the right consistency of cream cheese icing. This cream cheese is a delicious delight which pipes and holds well atop the carrot cupcakes.

photo gene
photo gene


These adorable nest made from toasted coconut flakes ,cream cheese frosting and topped with pastel mini eggs are perfect for a Easter celebration.


Happy Baking

Chichi
xoxo

Printable Recipe

Carrot Nest Cupcakes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes 

Ingredients

Cupcakes

135g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
2 large eggs
120ml ( 3/4 cup or 4 fl oz) vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
135g (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) plain flour
13/4 teaspoon ground  cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
11/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g (1/2 cup) sweetened dessicated coconut
80ml (1/3 cup)crushed pineapple
150g (1 cup) finely grated carrot

Cream Cheese Frosting

60g (1/4 cup) butter , at room temperature
300g ( 3 cups) icing sugar
230g (8 oz ) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Carrot Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners
  3. In bowl of mixer (or using a handheld mixer) beat sugar and eggs until thick and creamy. Add oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt,  and desiccated coconut and add to sugar mixture and beat until combined. Fold in crushed pineapple and grated carrot until incorporated.
  5. Evenly  fill cupcake cases with batter and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into centre of cupcake comes out clean
  6. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack and leave to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat butter until light. With the mixer on low speed slowly add icing sugar and beat until well combined.
  2. Add cream cheese to mixture and beat until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. 

To assemble
  1. Fill piping bag with cream cheese frosting and pipe a rose swirl on top of cupcake ( i used a 1M open star nozzle)
  2. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes around the edges of the frosting
  3. Place 2 or 3 mini eggs in the centre of cream cheese frosting 

Notes: 
If you do not like your cream cheese too sweet you can add less icing sugar and more cream cheese
For a stiffer consistency icing reduce the amount of cream cheese added


Monday, 7 April 2014

Easter Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's almost Easter. Which means bank holidays. You should see the big smile on my face.
On Friday my daughter's school closed for Easter Break and so i thought for as a treat for the children at her after school club i would make some Easter egg chocolate chip cookies.

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Every supermarket has had Easter eggs on display for over a month now with price wars and me being the bargain hunter i am i was going to buy Easter eggs with the best value for money.  During one of my lunch time jaunts to my fav local supermarket i went on the hunt for bargains. There was the option of buying Cadbury Easter eggs or buying the supermarket brand. Being as it was chocolate i had a look at the ingredients to see which one had more cocoa content and i was pleasantly surprised when they both had the same amount of cocoa content and milk chocolate solids. Price wise the shop own brand beat Cadbury's. I got a bargain with the buy one get one free with the shop own brand and with an added bonus of it tasting nice as well.

chocolate chip cookie

The cookie recipe i used was from a recipe i found on Sally's Baking Addiction. I have never been one to bake cookies because i've never been happy with the results. Sally's recipe made the best home made cookies i have ever had. I barely adapted her chocolate chip cookies by adding chocolate Easter eggs and i used light brown sugar instead of the dark brown sugar. These cookies are soft, squidgy and thick. Everyone loved them, i think there adults more so than the children. :-) As soon as i arrived to pick up my daughter i was met with the greeting those cookies are lovely. Even the school office staff had some.

Easter egg chocolate chip cookie


Happy Baking

Chichi
xoxo

Printable Recipe
Easter Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
50g (1/4 cup) caster/granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g (2 cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons corn flour or corn starch
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g (1/2 cup) chocolate chip cookies
180g (1 cup) mini chocolate easter eggs


Instructions

  1. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and creamy
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla ans scrape down sided of bowl as needed
  3. Sift flour, corn flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda as set aside
  4. With mixer on low speed add flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mini chocolate eggs and mix until evenly disbursed
  6. Wrap dough up in plastic wrap and chill for at least hour or overnight
  7. Remove cookie dough from fridge and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes
  8. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Line baking trays with non stick baking paper.
  9. Scoop balls of dough and roll into balls. Dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together once balls are rolled individual by hand. Space dough balls 1 inch apart.
  10. Bake in oven for 8 - 9 minutes until barely brown around the edges.
  11. Leave to cool on baking tray for a couple minutes to firm up and then transfer to cooling rack



Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day Flower Pot Cake

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Whoop!! Whoop!! My one day off in the year and i must say i have had a fantastic day. In celebration of motherhood i decided to bake an indulgent cake. This cake is not only for me to indulge in. It is also for the wonderful ladies in my life that are very dear to me and have been a blessing to my life and that of my children. I love these ladies so much.

It is spring and the flowers are blossoming. That is where my inspiration for this flower pot cake came from. A chocolate shell for the flower pot, the chocolate cake and frosting as the soil and edible petunia flowers.

Flower Pot Cake

I barely adapted a chocolate recipe that i found on Lick The Bowl Good. This cake is insanely rich, moist and decadent. In short it's a death by chocolate cake.

On Friday i made the sugarpaste petunia flowers. I coloured some sugarpaste with gel paste colour in yellow and purple.

Petunia Tutorial

Next was the chocolate shell, made using melted chocolate candy melts.

Giant Cupcake Shell

 Then the dried petunia flowers went on top. My totally edible flower pot is done.

Flower Pot Cake


Just Indulge

Chocolate chip cake

Happy Baking


Chichi
xoxo


Printable Recipe
Mothers Day Flower Pot Cake
Prep Tine: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Cake
50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
112g (4oz) chopped semi sweet chocolate
120ml (1/2 cup) boiling water
135g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) plain flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
150g (10 tbsp) butter, at room temp
225g (11/4 cup) brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup yoghurt, room temp
3/4 milk chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache Buttercream
230g (8oz) milk chocolate
120ml (1/2 cup) whipping cream
120g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temp
325g (33/4 cups) icing sugar

Chocolate Shell
340g (12oz) dark cocoa candy melts

Instructions
Lightly grease giant silicone cupcake mould
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
  2. In a bowl whisk together cocoa powder, chopped chocolate and boiling water till mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, soda and salt into a bowl.
  4. In the bowl of stand mixer beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy about 5 minutes , scrapping down the bowl occasionally.
  5. Add eggs in one at a time mixing well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and yoghurt starting and ending with flour mixture in three additions, mixing well until well combined
Chocolate Ganache Buttercream
  1. Place chopped chocolate and cream in a microwaveable bowl and microwave at 30 second bursts stirring in between until chocolate has melted. Let chocolate mixture cool to room temperature
  2. In the bowl of mixer beat butter until light.
  3. With mixer on low add sifter icing sugar and beat (mixture will look lumpy)
  4. Slowly add cooled chocolate mixture and beat until fluffy.
Chocolate Shell and Flower Pot
  1. Melt a quarter bag of candy melts a per instruction on package
  2. Pour melted candy melts into silicone mould and spread around until all sides are evenly coated( I use my hand). Make sure you get the candy melts into all the grooves..
  3. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to set.
  4. Melt the rest of candy melts and apply the remaining melted candy melts using a rubber spatula, pushing firmly to make sure there are no air bubbles.
  5. Refigirate again for 1 hour to set.
  6. Trim the sides of the giant cupcake so it does not have any grooves.
  7. Slice cake and fill with buttercream and crumbcoat the whole cake.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes for icing to harden.
  9. After an hour of the chocolate shell being in the fridge, take out and unmould the chocolate shell
  10. Remove the frosted cake from the fridge and gently drop the iced cake into the chocolate shell.
  11. Decorate top of cake with edible sugarpaste flowers or piped flowers
Notes: This cake is really soft and a bit crumbly. Chill cake for at least an hour before slicing and frosting 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Edible Logo Cake

This week i was given task of baking and decorating a cake for a business event being held by an Accountancy Firm.   Deadline - 48 hours.

covered cake
As i always like my products to be a fresh as possible i always bake my cakes 3 days before collection. I can't remember where i read this about a cake baker/decorator always having a 3 day plan. Day 1 bake cake, Day 2 fill and cover cake and Day 3 finishing touches. It never quite goes according to plan. I have pulled many all nighters. Had mini nervous breakdowns over cracked sugarpaste, air bubbles. I remember when i forst started to bake i made a 3d Spongebob square pants. When i left to go to bed my wonderfully decorated Spongebob was sitting happily, only to wake up in the morning to see Spongebob had fallen over. Thank God i was able to salvage the cake. 

Anyhoo back to my deadline cake. As I have a full time job as well as my cake decoratoring most of my baking is done at night. Tuesday night was spent baking the cake. Client requesed a vanilla bean sponge cake with whipped buttercream frosting. With frosting i make it in bulk and freeze. It is then defrosted, brought back to room temperature and rewhipped. 

Wednesday night i knew was going to be a long night. Cake was crumbcoated and chilled. Crumbcoat is a thin layer of icing applied to cake, what it does is trap loose crumbs of cake. It helps give the cake a smooth finish and provide a perfect base. I then added some more icing, smoothed it with my Tri- Square. Yes i use building tools in my kitchen. Tri square help give my icing a smooth finish, added bonus is because its measuring tool as well. Cake was chilled for a further 2 hours. I always do this to ensure my buttercream is set hard before the sugarpaste goes on. I am happy to announce sugarpaste went on smoothly, no cracks , no air bubbles, then the edible logo went on top. Et Viola, cake done!!!

crumbcoated cake


Pictures are not bright as they where taken at night. I really need to invest in LED bulbs.
Bedtime was 1am. Would have been sooner had i not decided to watch a bit of tv. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Waffles

What can i say about waffles! I love waffles. Pancakes will always have a special place in my heart but waffles taste so good.
waffle
On Friday i finally decided to invest in a waffle iron after i spotted a picture of waffles and whipped cream on facebook. My mouth literally started watering when i saw that picture. The next day I was walking out of the shop with my 'new toy'.

waffles 3
I found this wonderful recipe for waffles on food.com which produced the most delicious waffles. Since this was my first time making waffles the was some kerfuffle. I kept over filling the waffle iron so the batter kept spilling over the sides. Eventually I figured i only had to pour the batter in the middle and the batter spreads. Shame on me!!!
waffles 4
waffles 5

Chichi
xoxo


Printable Recipe
Waffles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 minutes
Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

160g(11/3 cups) flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
120g(1/2 cup) butter, melted
420ml (13/4 cup) milk

Instructions

  1. Sift together in a large mixing bowl flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
  2. In a jug measure out milk
  3. Separate eggs, placing egg whites in the bowl of stand mixer
  4. Add yolks and vanilla essence to milk and whisk together. Pour over the flour mixture and very gently stir until about combined 
  5. Stir in the melted butter and continue mixing very gently until combined
  6. Beat egg whites until stiff and slowly fold into batter
  7. Spoon the batter into preheated waffle iron in batches and cook according to its directions
  8. Remove immediately and serve with maple syrup and fruits


Notes: Cooked waffles can be frozen and heated up in a toaster
Unused batter mixture can be kept in a container in the fridge for up to 2 days 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Vanilla Bean adds pizazz to cake and just about anything you put it in. The specks of the bean, the taste, the smell is what i love about vanilla bean.  So when I decided to bake a pound cake I knew I had to have vanilla bean in it.
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
Pound cake is a dense, tender cake that just melts in your mouth. This simple no frills cake is packed with so much flavour and absolutely delicious. I find the flavours improve even better after a day or two.

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake


To add that extra vanilla hit and extra sweetness to a not so sweet cake I made a vanilla bean glaze to drizzle over the pound cake.
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
This cake can be made a day or two in advance and keeps well when  stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

Confession time, a slice of cake disappeared into my mouth when i was taking pictures. The temptation was too much.


Happy Baking
Chichi
xoxo


Printable Recipe
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Ingredients

Vanilla Bean Cake
240g(1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
250g(11/4 cups) caster sugar
2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
240g (2 cups) Plain/All purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk

Vanilla Bean Glaze
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons milk
50g(1/2 cup) icing sugar


Instructions

Vanilla Bean Cake
Grease and lightly dust a loaf tin

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. 
  2. In the bowl of mixer cream butter and vanilla bean paste until light then gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sift flower, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. At a low speed add flour mixture slowly then milk until well combined.
  6. Pour cake batter into loaf tin, smooth the top of batter.Tap tin gently on counter top to eliminate air bubbles. Bake for 60 - 80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake in tin for 15 minutes, then invert tin onto rack and let cake cool completely.
Vanilla Bean Glaze
  1. Mix together vanilla bean paste, icing sugar and milk in a small bowl until creamy 
  2. Drizzle glaze over slices of cake.