Poker night pink cupcakes?
A last minute request came in at the weekend from Chris. He was going to a poker night and could I make some muffins... Not my usual clientele i'll admit so I asked what flavour they wanted. The answer: raspberry and white chocolate. Not what I was expecting but who am I to judge?
When I add raspberries to my cake mix I tend to get flat or collapsed cakes. I have read that an extra egg may help stabilise the mixture so this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try
The result: a much better rise and no sinkage. Not massive domed peaks but respectable enough with a swirl of white chocolate ganache and a raspberry on top.
I couldn't resist putting them in pink foil cases to bring a feminine touch to the nachos and pizza. The boys were pretty full but managed to fit in a cake without too much encouragement required.
I couldn't resist trying out the raspberry lolly recipe Annabel Karmel shared here on the blog last week for teething toddlers and when Eloise's best friend Ben (who is currently cutting his last few molars) came to visit it was perfect timing.
They were crazy easy to make following the simple steps. I must admit i only added half the caster sugar as my raspberries were nice and sweet. The only issue was that my lolly cases were huge so the mixure only made 2! Eloise and Ben didn't seem to mind though and enjoyed them in the sunshine.
Chris' choc orange cheesecake No.2
Remember a few weeks back Chris made me a chocolate orange cheesecake? I still haven't worked out what he was buttering me up for but another cheesecake arrived which had peaked my suspicion further but for now let's focus on the food...
Upon presentation I immediately noticed this cheesecake was paler. Last time Chris used milk and dark chocolate orange but I guessed this time it was all milk. I was correct; a combination of melted Terry's chocolate orange and orange Aero with mascarpone and cream cheese had been combined on a digestive biscuit base. The effect was subtler, less rich, more of a mousse topping compared to the truffle like topping previously. We decided next time a combination of the two would be good, adding a small amount of dark chocolate to the mix to give the taste more depth.
I still don't know what he's after/done wrong/preparing me for but I'm happy to live in blissful ignorance with my cheesecakes...
Tom and Katie's rainbow wedding
This weekend was very special. Our good friends Tom and Katie got hitched in technicolour style. My husband Chris was best man, my sister-in-law Victoria was a bridesmaid and Eloise was one of the beautiful little flower girls. A very important family affair.
The wedding was rainbow themed from the men's waistcoats to the flowers to the cake which had a suprise under the tiers.
The cake was made by Tom's mum Pauline (who also made my wedding cake nearly 5 years ago) it was 4 tiers covered in the full spectrum of brightly coloured fondant flowers. The topper reflected the couple's somewhat unconventional nature - Hans Solo and Princess Leia figurines. Considering they exited the church to the Star Wars theme (being played by the church organist no less) this did not surprise anyone!
The surprise was very cool. As Tom and Katie cut the cake they revealed rainbow coloured sponge which had been created by layering different colour sponges with a white buttercream filling. A great talking point.
I know this blog is about cake but I can't help but share a picture of the cute little flower girls, my Eloise and Tom's niece Olivia. They looked adorable and I was a very proud Mum. I was also very proud (and laughing hysterically) at the Best man speech by Chris and fellow BM Ben which included a rap about how Tom and Katie met, to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune. It is moments like this which remind me why I married him.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Brown! May the force be with you both xx
I will be making these tonight and popping them in the freezer with my fingers crossed for a sunny weekend! If your little one is having a hard time teething Nelsons, the company i work for in daylight hours, make Teetha granules and gel which you can buy from the supermarket to help calm and soothe teething tots. Find out more at www.teetha.co.uk
Luscious lemon cupcakes
Eloise has been poorly this week so we have been cooking up some tasty treats to share with you all. Today luscious lemon cakes. Eloise is not a big fan of traditional sponge but lemon is always a big hit.
To make these lemon cakes we used my basic cake base then add some lemon essence instead of vanilla. As you can see Eloise's technique for filling the cases is getting a lot better. She also loves her 'I love cupcakes' apron, she has a matching version for her dolly!
Whilst the cupcakes were baking we mixed up some freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar and drizzled all over the warm cakes. This made them super lemony and sweet and created a nice glaze on top of the cupcakes. Eloise's face eating the tart cakes cracked me up but she came back for more so she must be feeling a bit better.
Today had a very important appointment. During the kids afternoon nap my bestie Laura and I had a conference call whilst watching the last episode of Revenge, season 2. For those of you who have never heard of Revenge don't worry, this blog post is not about the show, which is completely unrealistic but amazing, it is about my snack.
Eloise was asleep. I had about 3 minutes before I had to call Laura. The kettle was boiling. Question: What could i make to snack on whilst enjoying 45 minutes of indulgent TV... Answer: A digestive biscuit, squirted with ice cold reduced fat squirty cream and topped with raspberries. Honestly, it was amazing. I ate two. Sometimes you don't need to bake!
I write this post with mixed feelings. On one hand raspberry and white chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combos, rivalling the great chocolate orange. On the other, these cakes are a little flat. Literally.
Whenever I add fresh fruit to my cakes they taste amazing but the rise is a little disappointing. I think the fruit unstabalises the mixture and I get a flat or slightly sunken top. These cakes are a classic example. I added some raspberries and white chocolate chunks to disguise the flat tops and they were a big hit at our mum's coffee morning last Friday. I don't think anyone cared about the rise as they tasted so good, but it still niggles at me.
Looking online an extra egg in the mix may help stabilise the raspberries in the cake. I guess I should make another batch, purely for research purposes of course...
A word from Annabel: “Teething is a difficult and painful process for most babies and, from my experience, can leave both baby and mum exhausted. It is important for parents to make teething as easy and painless as possible by helping them through the teething developmental phase. Sore gums and flushed cheeks are the primary symptoms of teething, and babies will often chew on anything they can get their hands on to relieve the discomfort, which is why I have created a delicious Nelsons Baby Teething Biscotti.”
Pre-heat the oven to 160C Fan / 180 C
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix until you have a dough. Knead on a floured work surface. Divide into two pieces and roll out to 2 x 18 x 4 cm long. Place on a baking sheet lined with non stick paper. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice each sausage into 2 cm thick slices. Place on a baking tray and put back into the oven for 20 minutes turning over half way through the cooking time.
How good do they look! I'll be making some despite our teething troubles being over for now. I work for Nelsons and they make the most amazing Teetha teething granules and Teetha teething gel which are a must for the little ones for the soothing and calming relief of the symptoms of teething. They can be used from 3 months so great for early teethers (i was lucky as Eloise didn't start until about 6 months) but remember to read the label and consult your doctor is you are worried about your babies symptoms, esspecially if they have a fever. You can buy them for around £5.00 from pharmacies and supermarkets. Find out more at www.teetha.co.uk
Watch this space for summery recipe from Annabel next week: Raspberry yogurt lollies!
Mix the ingredients together and knead the dough in your hands - it should not be crumbly so add more butter as needed.
Take a small ball of dough, about the size of a golf ball and squeeze it so it's a circle about 1.5cm thick.
Place cookies on a greased tray, evenly spaced and bake in a preheated oven for no more than 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. They should be crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.
Mum. Wife. Artist. Baker.