Wedding Cake

IMG_0470This cake was made for my uncle.. It was my first attempt at a full-blown wedding cake and what a lot of work it was. It was made over three weekends in Herefordshire with an extra hour and a half of assembly on the morning of the wedding at Thornton Manor, Wirral.

The cake was a traditional fruit cake with crystallised flowers from my mother’s garden.

Sweet things recently

Including Simnel cake made by Rose and the remains of a cherry pie made by Mum.

Chocolate Cakes

Happy 50th Birthday Naomi Ocean!  Chocolate espresso cake made to order with dark and white chocolate icing for a very special occasion.

Chocolate truffle cake. Sponge with dark and light chocolate truffle layers. Truly divine.

The Winning Cupcake Recipe

As you have hopefully seen, I had a trail at a deli in Shoreditch for the position of part-time cake maker. Well, I got the job! And what better way to celebrate than to share the winning recipe. So here it is, cardamom and coffee cupcakes with piped coffee and chocolate buttercream.

Recipe (makes 12)

Ingredients for the cakes:

80g butter, softened

300g caster sugar

240g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

1.5 tsp ground cardamom

200ml milk

2 eggs

2 tblsp ‘Camp’ coffee and chicory essence

For the chocolate buttercream icing:

250g icing sugar

80g butter, softened

40g cocoa

40ml milk

For the coffee buttercream icing:

250g icing sugar

80g butter, softened

1 tblsp ‘Camp’ coffee and chicory essence

splash of milk.

chocolate covered coffee beans or similar to decorate (optional)

You will also need a twelve hole muffin tin lined with paper cases and a piping bag and nozzles (optional)

Method for the cupcakes:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, gas mark 4.

Beat the butter and sugar together to form a crumby texture, then add all the other dry ingredients and mix together. In a separate jug measure and whisk together the milk, eggs and coffee essence before combining them with the dry mixture a third at a time. Beat until you have an even consistency but do not over do it.

Spoon the mixture in to the paper cases (I prefer to return it all to the jug and then pour it in from there) and bake in the pre-heated oven for 18-25 minutes. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of a couple of cakes – it should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack and in the mean time make the buttercream icing.

Method for the  buttercream icing:

To ice these cupcakes I made two separate flavours of buttercream and swirled them together through a piping bag. If you prefer you could just choose one flavour or even substitute some of the milk in the chocolate buttercream recipe with 1 tblsp of coffee essence so that you have two flavours in one icing. Bear in mind that you may have to adjust the quantities. If you do not want to use a piping bag or do not have one then you can apply the icing with a knife. If you are going to use this method then you will not need so much icing, 300g icing sugar and 100g of butter should be enough (split between the two flavours if you wish).

To make the icing as I did, beat together all the ingredients for the coffee and the chocolate icing separately until you have two smooth pastes which holds its shape. You may need to add more icing sugar or milk to get the right consistency. Tip one icing into the other and swirl together with a maximum of two or three strokes. Once the cakes are cool carefully transfer the icing to a piping bag, being careful not to mix it up too much, and pipe each cake. Finish with a couple of chocolate covered coffee beans on top

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The quest for the perfect cupcake.

I have been trying to find the perfect cupcake recipe for a baking trial I have to by way of interview for Franze and Evans in Shoreditch. They want interesting flavours and the icing must be piped. Here are my experiments: Ginger and butternut squash with ginger icing, lime and coconut with a cream cheese and lime icing, coffee and cardamom with a mascapone and coffee icing, red velvet with pink buttercream, lime and coconut with lime buttercream, coffee and cardamom with chocolate buttercream and the winner, coffee and cardamom with swirled chocolate and coffee  buttercream.

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Afternoon tea for one?

Pre-Chanukah Truffles

Made these for Granny and Grandpa for Chanukah. So satisfying to do and definitely feeling more festive after wrapping them up.

Have now discovered even more flavours, Baileys, Rum, Cointreau and orange… the possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

Eating Well

Here are a few snaps of some of the food we have been munching on. Food is a major part of our lives and we certainly don’t do it by halves. As you have probably gathered I love cooking but I also like it when someone else cooks for a change, these three dishes represent each of the the people that cook for me on a regular basis and their styles. Miso Soup from Inti, fish pie from Mum and beetroot salad made by my own fair hand. 

 

 

Sprouts sprouts sprouts!

I have been cooking and photographing sprout recipes for Aconbury Sprouts Ltd. Here are a few of the shots. Let me know if you are interesting in any of the recipes or join Aconbury’s page on facebook for some inspiration. The pea stir fry is our favourite so far!

Aconbury Hummus

Here’s is the recipes for a super healthy hummus made with Aconbury’s finest chickpea sprouts. Find them in your local wholefood shop or waitrose,  if they don’t have them, demand to know why!

Ingredients:

1 Pack Aconbury Sprouts Organic Chickpea Sprouts

2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed

3 Heaped dessert spoons of tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

Water

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor and and taste, add a little more of anything as you see fit. Enjoy as a dip or add more water for a runnier consistency and use as a dressing.