Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Cupcakes

Beks and I were asked recently if we wanted to make some cupcakes to sell at my friend's little boy's school Christmas fair.

Naturally we jumped at the chance!

I made a variety of decorations out of rolled fondant.

Some Christmas themed...

.. and others not so Christmas themed!

Edible glitter is definitely my new best friend!

Beks made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.

These were my favourite. Little flowers and butterflies. Very girly.

The fair was last week, but because I was working away from home I didn't get to go!

Beks manned the stall, and we did really well! Everything sold out!


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Xmas Pops!

Christmas Tree Cake Pops!

I had seen these on the Bakerella website and Mr G had recently bought me the Cake Pops book!

They were surprisingly easy!
I made Oreo Truffles and then shaped them into cone like shapes, and then dipped them into green candy melts.

I used a toothpick to get the pine effect and then sprinkled on some coloured mini choc chips to look like xmas tree lights!

French Toast Cupcakes

I recently saw a post on the Art of Being Perfect Blog for French Toast Cupcakes

I knew I had to try them!

They should be called Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes, but they are undeniably delicious!
And absolutely perfect for getting you into the Christmas spirit!

The recipe is so easy!

Check out ""

I topped mine with a cream cheese frosting, a handmade fondant flower and a dusting of cinnamon.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Chocolate Fondants

Chocolate Fondants are one of Mr G's favourite puddings!
They are so quick to make and much nicer than shop bought melt in the middle puddings!
I tend to use Nigella's recipe for "Molten Chocolate Babycakes" from "How to be a Domestic Goddess" but Rachel Allen has a good recipe in her "Bake" book.
50g unsalted butter
350g dark chocolate
150g caster sugar
4 large eggs (beaten with a pinch of salt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
1. Grease 6 ramekins or pudding bowls and pre-heat over to 200 degrees fahrenheit or Gas Mark 6
2. Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly
3. Cream together the butter and sugar and gradually beat in the eggs and salt, then the vanilla
4. Add the flour and when mixture is smooth, scrape in the cooled chocolate and mix until a smooth mixture is formed
5. Divide the mixture between the ramekins and cook for 10 - 12 minutes
6. When done, turn over onto a plate and serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche
These are them just out of the oven- they should be cooked on the outside and melted and gooey on the inside!

I did heart shaped ones as I was feeling particularly romantic at that moment in time!

I also went all out and served with custard and strawberries!
They were yum! Mr G ate his in about 30 seconds flat!
They are also delicious eaten cold the next day and taste like a really luxurious mousse!
This recipe is also easy to halve in order to make three instead of six!
They are so easy and quick to make- the longest part is melting the chocolate!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ho's Chinese Bakery

Manchester, like most cities has its own Chinatown.

Ho's Bakery in Chinatown is one of my favourite bakeries.

Their cakes are so yum. My favourite is this Coconut Cake. The break like dough is so soft and the coconut mixture is heavenly.

Clockwise from top: Custard Bun, Cream Bun and Red Bean Bun.
I love red bean buns, although I do admit it is a bit of an acquired taste.
In Guyana, South America, where my Mother's family are originally from, they make a very similar pastry called "Black Eyed Cakes" which is made from black eyed peas.
I think these cakes are the direct result of the Chinese influence in Guyanese cuisine, and every Christmas my Grandmother would make these pastries for us to eat.
On a separate note, we also grew up eating "Chow Mein" which is a staple in Guyanese food and
again it was only until I was much older did I realise that it was a Chinese dish!

On my recent visit to Ho's, they were selling these Portuguese custard tarts. They were delish. The pastry was perfect - light and flaky!

One of my faves- good old plain cream sandwich cake. It is an eggless sponge which makes it so light, almost like a Swiss roll sponge.
The cream is light too and I love the way you get a massive wedge!
If you are in Manchester at any time, I would definitely recommend a trip to Ho's and don't be afraid to try something new!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ultimate Oreo Cupcakes

Why "ultimate" I hear you ask?
Well these cupcakes have an oreo base, oreos in the cake mixture, oreos in the frosting and are topped with a mini oreo!

These are definately some of my favourite cupcakes to date.
They were inspired by a cookies and cream cupcake that I recently had at my favourite coffee shop in Harrogate- Bean and Bud.
They sell the most amazing hot chocolate and when I go in, I can never resist the array of locally made cakes that they have in store. One of my favourites is the cookies and cream cupcake which has the most delicious oreo frosting I have ever had.

I started off by separating a few oreo cookies and placing one half at the bottom of the cupcake cases.

I then crushed up a few more oreos and added these to my chocolate cupcake batter.

As if these weren't delicious enough.......
....I made a cream cheese frosting to which I added finely cruched oreos.
I then topped the cupcakes with the frosting using a spatula. I tried piping the frosting, but pieces of oreo kept on getting stuck in the nozzle tip.

I then placed a mini oreo on top!

They were so yummy.
I had made them for my cousin's birthday as a treat for her.

Hope you enjoyed them Tans!!

Salted Caramel Whoopies

I have to say, salted caramel is my favourite flavour combination at the minute
Which is quite strange as I really am not that keen on caramel flavoured things.
Mr G bought me this recipe book for my birthday. The Whoopie Pie Book by Claire Ptak.
I used her recipe for salted caramel whoopies.
330 grams plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
125 grams unsalted butter
120 ml whole milk
200 grams light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 degrees centigrade. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and melt the butter in. Do not boil. (see above) Allow to cool.
4. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and egg andwhen light and fluffy add the the vanilla.
5. Mix in the flour mixture and then add the cooled milk mixture until just combined. Allow the mixtue to chill for 30 minutes.
6. Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the baking sheets and cook for either 10 -12 minutes if making large whoopies or 8-10 minutes if making small whoopies.
7. Remove from baking sheet then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
NOTE: the whoopies were very flat so I would suggest either using self raising flour or increasing the amount of baking powder if like me, you are not a fan of the flat whoopie.

I didn't use the recipe for Caramel Swiss Buttercream that was suggested in the book, as I had come across a jar of this in my local Waitrose supermarket....

Bonne Maman Confiture de Caramel.
It was much nicer than the Carnation version I had recently tried.
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
25 grams unsalted butter
65 grams of cream cheese
150 grams of icing sugar
2 tablespoons caramel
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix together the butter and icing sugar
2. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth
3. Add the caramel and when fully combined, add the salt.
NOTE: you may need to add a little more icing sugar if the mixture is too runny to spread on the whoopies.

Spread the filling on with a spatula.

They were very sweet, butting adding the salt cut through the sweetness a bit.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

A while ago, I saw a post on the Art of Being Perfect blog for Red Velvet whoopie pies and ever since I have been meaning to have a go at making them.

Check out for the recipe.

The mixture was a lot firmer than my regular whoopie pie mix, and the whoopies were certainly more denser. More like a muffin consistency.

I made a batch of cream cheese frosting to sandwich the pies together.

Mr G loved them. I enjoyed them too, but I think overall, I prefer red velvet cupcakes to whoopie pies. They look pretty though!