Archive for the Cupcakes Category

Homemade Afternoon Tea

I thought I would share with you some recipes I used to make afternoon tea recently. My menu was made up of roasted red pepper shots, feta and ricotta pastry swirls, sandwiches, scones, lemon cupcakes and balsamic berry chocolate mousse. I was in a bit of a panic the night before, wondering if I would be able to make everything on time but it actually worked out ok. I made the red pepper shots and chocolate mousse the night before but managed the rest in about 3 hours the next day, with some help on the sandwiches.

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Recipes

Roasted red pepper shot – This recipe came from the BBC Good Food website. You basically just add all of the ingredients to one pot and then blend it once cooked. Nice and easy and you can keep it in the fridge overnight or even freeze it if you want to be extra prepared.

Feta and ricotta pastry swirls - These were a last minute addition to the menu. I mixed some leftover feta, ricotta, spinach and spring onions in a bowl and then spread it over some ready made puff pastry. Then I rolled it up and cut it into slices about 2cm thick. These went into the oven for about half hour and were served warm.

Sandwiches – These were pretty simple. We did some cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches and some turkey salad and cranberry sandwiches. I had a bread maker for my birthday a few months back so used that to make some fresh bread.

Scones – I used a Delia recipe for these. This was actually the first time I had made scones and was happy to find that they are pretty easy to make. We served them warm from the oven with clotted cream and raspberry jam. I will definitely be making these again!

Lemon cupcakesThis isn’t the exact recipe I used (mine came from a book I have) but it is almost exactly the same. The only difference is that I grated some lemon zest into the icing and also the juice of about half a lemon.

Balsamic berry chocolate mousse – This recipe came from a book I was given for my birthday a few years ago. Chococo is the perfect recipe book for chocolate lovers and, as well as this delicious mousse recipe, it also contains some amazing cakes and biscuit recipes and teaches you how to make chocolate truffles.

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Banoffee Cupcakes

My attempt at banoffee cupcakes didn’t go exactly to plan and I ended up with banana and fudge cupcakes instead. They still tasted pretty good so here is the recipe if you want to have a go. They do take longer to make than average cupcake recipes due to making the toffee (or fudge) from scratch so aren’t the ones to make when you’re short on time!
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Cupcake Ingredients
250 g unsalted butter
250 g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 ripe banana, mashed
250 g self-raising flour

Buttercream Ingredients
250g unsalted butter
550g icing sugar
9 tsp caramel, plus some extra for decoration

Caramel Ingredients
300 g caster sugar
80 ml water
350 ml double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and put your cases in the tin. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes or 12 muffin sized cakes.
2. To make the cakes, beat the butter for a minute or so and then beat in the sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually.
3. Stir in the mashed banana.
4. Gently fold in the flour.
5. Separate into the cake cases and put in the oven for around 20 minutes.
6. To make the caramel, heat all the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and stir until it thickens. This is where I went wrong. I left the pan without stirring it which meant that the caramel over-thickened and turned out more like fudge once it had cooled.
7. To make the icing, beat the butter until it is creamy and then gradually beat in the icing sugar. I like to use an electric whisk as it makes the icing really fluffy! Lastly add the caramel. Even if your caramel ends up thick and crumbly like mine, you can still mix it into the icing and it will taste just as good! Add a tiny bit of milk if your icing needs thinning for piping, or just swirl the icing onto the cakes using a knife.
8. Decorate with the leftover caramel / fudge.

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Lime & Cardamom Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I made a batch of cardamom, lime and pistachio cupcakes. I used this recipe and they were really delicious and quite unique! The only change I made was to make lime buttercream for the topping which I did by mixing 250g of icing sugar into 75g unsalted butter and then grating in the zest of 1 lime. What do you think?Cardamom, lime, pistachio cupcakes Cardamom, lime, pistachio cupcakes

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Cupcake Swirls

I wanted to show you some photos of a recent batch of cupcakes I made. These were just plain vanilla cakes but I experimented a bit with the icing and was really happy with the result.CupcakesCupcakesCupcakesTo get the pink and blue swirls, I just put alternate spoonfuls of pink and blue icing into the piping bag and then piped as usual onto the cakes. You can see that some worked better than others but this is definitely a technique I am going to try again!

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Mocha Cupcakes

These mocha cupcakes worked out so much better than the batch of Chocolate & Mint cupcakes I made a few weeks back! I used a cake recipe from my Great British Bake Off book and then experimented with the icing. The coffee flavour is very subtle so next time I make these I will probably add a bit more coffee.

Cake Ingredients
175g butter or marg
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
175g self raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
50g dark chocolate, grated

Icing Ingredients
75g butter
190g icing sugar
60g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of water
A few tablespoons of milk

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and put your cases in the tin.
2. Beat the butter for a minute or so and then beat in the sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually.
3. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder and then the grated chcocolate.
4. Separate into the cake cases and put in the oven for around 20 minutes.
5. To make the icing, beat the butter until it is creamy and then gradually beat in the icing sugar, cocoa powder and coffee. I always use an electric whisk as it makes the icing really fluffy! Add tablespoons of milk until the icing is the right consistency for piping, or just swirl the icing onto the cakes using a knife.

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Chocolate & Mint Cupcakes

I had some fresh mint leaves left over so decided to make some chocolate and mint cupcakes.  I had a look though my books for a recipe but all of them said to use mint extract or chopped up mints (as in sweets not the herb).  I went ahead and used the herbs anyway but it didn’t really work so I wouldn’t recommend it!  The mint flavour in the cupcakes was a little strange and not very strong.  I won’t post the recipe as I don’t think these were the best cupcakes I’ve ever made but there are lots of recipes out there for mint and chocolate cupcakes.  Next time I make these I will definitely use mint extract rather than actual mint!!!

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I’ve been super busy over Christmas and can’t believe it’s been a week since my last post!  I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas!  I haven’t had time to write anything new so here is a recipe I have been meaning to post for a while now….

Cake Ingredients
115g caster sugar
85g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
60g margarine
55g peanut butter
2 eggs, beaten

Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients
250g icing sugar
75g unsalted butter
4tbs milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and put 12 cupcake cases in a tray.
2. Cream the margarine, peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
3. Gradually add the eggs to the mixture, beating after each addition.
4. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder gently.
5. Share out the mixture evenly into the cases and then bake for around 20 minutes.
6. To make the buttercream cream the butter and then gradually add the icing sugar. I usually use an electric whisk once most of the icing sugar is mixed it to mae the buttercream nice and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract at the end. For ages I’ve used the Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract which tastes so much better than other vanilla extracts I’ve tried but here I used the Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste which I love! It tastes pretty much the same as the vanilla extract but you can see little dots of vanilla in the buttercream which makes it a little different.

I also used my new Vanilla Bean Paste to make some Pecan Tarts from this recipe.  They tasted really good even if they didn’t look perfect!

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Star Cupcakes

Just a quick post with photos of some vanilla cupcakes I made using the silicon star cases I had for my birthday….

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Charity Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a charity bake sale in work to help raise money for Childline.  I went with just plain vanilla which I think most people like but to make things a bit more interesting half were pink sponge with white icing and half were plain sponge with pink icing.

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Coconut & Lime Cupcakes

Last week I made my first batch of cupcakes in forever!  I went with coconut and lime with chocolate fudge icing.  Here’s the recipe for you….

Cake Ingredients
115g caster sugar
85g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
85g desiccated coconut
115g margarine
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
Zest of 1 lime

Icing Ingredients
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp golden syrup
50g unsalted butterMethod
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and put 12 cupcake cases in a tray.
2. Cream the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
3. Gradually add the eggs to the mixture, beating after each addition.
4. Mix in the coconut, lime zest and milk
5. Fold in the flour gently, with the baking powder.
6. Share out the mixture evenly into the cases and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. To make the icing, melt all of the ingredients together – simple!  Wait for it to cool and set slightly before trying to ice the cakes or it will go everywhere.

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