Winter is really dragging isn’t it? I’m not sure I can even deal with jumpers, boots and knits any more.
The season is pretty much upon us.
When I was little (like 4ft?) my family and I would go to this seafood restaurant for special occasions… I LOVED going there; it meant I could go crazy on the chip butties (chips in buttered bread – try it) and in fact just crazy on bread. Gosh I love bread. But on super-duper special occasions I could also go crazy on my very own banana split. Banana and ice cream is up there in terms of perfection. Continue reading
The balsamic really tones down the frosting sweetness; which I love! I added a bit of pepper to the cake batter as well, which gives it a kick. Plus I don’t know whether I mentioned this – but I have a major pepper addiction, pepper and lemon. Pepper and lemon and strawberries! If I were making this again I would roast the strawberries for a while and drizzle them with lemon before straining them. But that’s just me.
I also seem to love strawberry and balsamic, remember the strawberry balsamic flatbread made; I need to make that again!
Join me on a wonderful journey of strawberries; oh man strawberry journeys sound like the best.
Basic Vanilla Cake+ Pepper
I used a vanilla cake recipe from Bake by Alison Thompson
This produces a very cakey flavour, if that’s not what you’re into my next post will have a super light vanilla cake.
250 gr Unsalted Butter – I like to use B.D. Paris Creek Farms unsalted butter
250 gr Caster Sugar
2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
5 Eggs – always use free range!
250 gr Self-raising flour (make sure your flour is in date, self-raising has rising agents that can go off – your cake won’t rise!)
Pre-heat the Oven to 160C and set out 24 cupcake papers.
Cream the butter sugar and vanilla together until creamy and pale; about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time; beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and mix on low-speed until just combined; now is the time to add any flavourings.
Strawberry and Balsamic Frosting from Raspberri Cupcakes
150 gr (a little over half a punnet) ripe strawberries, hulled
280 gr (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter
500 gr icing sugar (about 4 cups), sifted
Approx. 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, adjust to taste (I used a fantastic caramelised balsamic – a sweeter, thicker balsamic is preferable but any balsamic will do, just adjust to taste)
remove the butter from the fridge 30 mins before starting. Puree strawberries in a food processor or blender (if unavailable you can chop it up and try to mash it through a sieve). Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth, fluffy and pale. While beating on medium, gradually add sifted icing sugar and then add the strawberry puree and balsamic vinegar (to taste) and beat on high until smooth and fluffy. You may need to add more puree or more icing sugar to get the right texture, you want it to be spreadable but not runny.
I would totally recommend making this cake within the next three or so months, because it is summer in a cake. All light, tangy and refreshing. By the way, how close is Christmas? I’m going to make a wreath soon … Continue reading
New years resolutions are so 10 months ago, this is different. This is a check-list, to be done before the end of this year, like an end of year resolution.
10 things to do before the end of the year:
- Make Macarons (without any cracks in the top);
- Take more photos;
- Pass my exams;
- Go to the Mac factory;
- Buy this;
- Make my own butter;
- Go to BTS (better than sex) for cupcakes!
- Convince my friends that a) flapjacks are not pancakes, b) flapjacks are delish;
- Tea infused cake?
- Go to falls!
Dressing your dog up is totally optional.
I love Halloween, big time. Every year I am left wondering if I am actually American, I want haunted houses, bobbing for apples, jack-o-lanterns and of course hundreds of trick-or-treat ers.
So I totes made these Cake Pops, it is cake on a stick…it’s just wild!
Kinda like this guy (that’s a Miami Vice costume)!
Anyway this whole shebang is super easy and nobody cares if the cake looks bad/ has a crack in it/bits stick to the pan because you just go ahead and crumble it. Crumble that cake, you can even punch it. I won’t judge.
Then you go ahead and add frosting; it totes makes a dough!
Then roll that dough, roll ( I am fighting the urge to make a rollin’ comment, soz Fred)
Dip them in chocolate, make sure the chocolate is deep enough! you want to make sure that you don’t have to roll the pop, if the chocolate is too thick add some vegetable oil.
Wait to dry, then go crazy with the icing pens!
Taken from Bakerella!
1 Cake, I split mine up and made 2 different flavours.
1 can frosting I used Betty Crockers vanilla frosting
White Chocolate ( I tried candy melts and they were sickly sweet)(1 lb. pkg.)
Black writing icing
- After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl (wrap cake in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours).
- Mix frosting in gradually until you get a dough like consistency, I found a rubber spatula worked the best
- Roll mixture into balls on a baking tray covered in the paper and refrigerate
- Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
- Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
- Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
- Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
- Place in a styrofoam block to dry.
- Once dry, decorate as you wish!
I totally didn’t have one of those weeks, too little sleep will really do that to you. But life happens, and you have to totally roll with it.
Anyway, I mastered the art of Italian frosting, but got too caught up in the frosting that I forgot a lot of the photos, so time to kick start your imagination.
This cake is super chocolatey rich combined with crazy creamy frosting; separately? Okay. Together? Amazing. Fact.
It was partly destroyed by two crazed, hungry and slightly tipsy girls; and a few forks.
Miette’s Tomboy Cake.
Warning, this recipe makes two cakes, I made them both just in case!
Taken from Miette’s Cookbook
1½ cups of plain flour
1¼ cups of unsweetened cocoa (totes important, this cake isn’t a sweet sweet cake)
1½ teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder (yes there is a difference!)
¾ teaspoon of kosher salt (I used rock salt, because I have no idea where to get kosher salt/i’m far too lazy)
2 ounces of 70% cacao chocolate, coarsely chopped (Lindt is good)
1 cup of boiling water
1 cup of buttermilk
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temp (this is important, makes such a difference in the outcome, same goes in any recipe, especially with butter)
½ cup of vegetable oil (I used canola, didn’t alter the cake)
2¼ cups of caster sugar
1. Liberally butter two 6-by-3-inch regular and dust with sifted cocoa powder. Tap out the excess cocoa.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degree.
There is honestly flour in there! Somewhere.
4. Melt the coarsely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl by pouring the boiling water over it, stir and mix in the salt and leave to cool for 15 minutes, until it’s at room temperature (that phrase again!)
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed until stiff and foamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the oil, whisking until combined, about 30 seconds. Raise the speed to medium and whisk until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds longer.
7. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture (this is super messy if you can’t pour like me). Slowly pour in the buttermilk and vanilla mixture. Add the sugar and whisk until the batter is smooth and liquid, about 2 minutes.
8. Stop the mixer. Remove the bowl and add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 batches and mix until just incorporated, preferably by hand, lifting and folding in from the bottom center. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just briefly by hand. The batter may still look a little lumpy, but stop mixing just do it. Stop. Seriously.
9. This bit is messy! Pour the mixture through a metal sieve. You will get covered in chocolate cake mix, it will be delish! Divide the mix into two, and bake for about 45/50 minutes until the tops spring back when touched.
10. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. When the cakes are cooled enough to handle the pans carefully run a knife around the edges of the pans to loosen them, then invert the cakes onto the racks and remove the pans. Let cool for about 20 minutes longer. Wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to ensure that the interiors are completely cooled before decorating, at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.
To freeze, wrap tightly in a second layer of plastic and store in the freezer up to 2 months.
The cake has to be totally cool before you start slicing it up! refrigerate for at least 2 hours before you cut into 3 pieces, then layer with frosting, easy!
The frosting!! – This is scary, but follow each step and you will be fine! and remember, room temperature is about 17 c
2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup of water
5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
3 cups of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons of vanilla essence
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook the mixture until it reaches 180 degrees C, 5 to 10 minutes, keeping a constant eye on it.
2. Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy.
3. When the sugar syrup reaches 120 degrees C, immediately pour into a heat-proof measurer. Reduce speed to low and very carefully and slooooooooowly drizzle the syrup into the mixer bowl, away from the whisk so the hot syrup doesn’t spatter. Be careful because the syrup is super hot. When you have added all of the syrup, raise the speed to high and beat until the mixture is room temperature and looks like this.
4. Only when the meringue is cool enough should you begin adding the butter, butter and meringue should be the same temperature. Reduce the speed to medium. With the mixer running, drop in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding another. The mixture may deflate and begin to look curdled. Raise the speed to high and continue to add tablespoon-size pieces of butter, making sure each is completely combined before adding more. Don’t worry if it looks wrong, raise the speed and keep going! Wee can do this! When all of the butter has been added, the frosting should be smooth and thick. Stir in the vanilla essence by hand slowly.
5. Use the buttercream immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed. Store in a zippered plastic bag for up to 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.
It won’t spread when it’s cold, so put it in the microwave at 2 blasts of 5 seconds, stirring in between, then whisk on a low speed for 5 to 10 minutes until it is smooth and shiny, don’t do what I did and do it in a hurry on high!
I added strawberry syrup, 2 tablespoons and strawberry essence half a teaspoon mid-way through the whisking.
So hey, I totally have this blog, you should read it, it’s going to be totes hilarious!
How good is totes? and exclamation marks!
Maybe I should just talk about this book that I am super excited about maybe purchasing. It’s called Miette, and it’s from this super awesome bakery in the US, sigh. It is full of these delightful and totally moderately sized (like 6″, thats practically diet sized yeah?) cakes/works of art.
Check them out here, and let me know how much it made you drool. I’m totally trying out my own version of their tomboy cake (see above) this Friday for my friend Emmi, because thats her thesis handing up day. She is a crazy cat.
I should also mention Jamie Olivers new book is out, yeah like he needs the publicity, but it is about Great Britain; and it is great to see that home style british cooking is still being represented. It’s not all deep fried! It’s on lay by right now, expect awesome recipes super soon!