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Welcome to my blog- A place of food, cakes and bakes! Just a fun-loving student who loves to bake!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Light and Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes

Sometimes I find it really refreshing to bake fruity cupcakes as opposed to the classics vanilla and chocolate that everyone loves. I also wanted to try out some a new icing kit that my friend gave me. It was one that had  squeezy bottles to put he icing in and an assortment of nozzles to pump the icing through. I love the nozzles but the bottles were awkward to fill and a nightmare to clean! They also discoloured making them look horrible. 
But that aside, they produced good results. And they went down a treat with my friends! Baking them also gave me chance to mess around with different styles (hence the sprinkles!) as usually I am baking for an event which means the cupcakes are under strict instructions to look perfect! 

The recipe is from my very first cupcake book: Cupcakes by Susanna Tee. I really recommend it has some great recipes in and I always seem to get success! 

For the Cupcakes:
115g (4oz) Self Raising Flour, Sifted
½ tsp Baking Powder, sifted
115g (4oz) Margarine, at room temperature (I used Stork)
115g (4oz) Caster Sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
Rind of a lemon (You can vary this depending on how lemony you want them to be)
2 tbsp Milk

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/ Gas Mark 5. Place 12 paper baking cases in a bun tray.

Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the margarine, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and milk. Mix together until smooth. For best results, use and electric hand mixer.
Spoon the mixture into the baking cases until they just under half full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
For the icing: 
85g (3oz) Butter, at room temperature (Again, I used Stork)
175g (6oz) Icing Sugar, Sifted
Juice of 1 Lemon

Beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add a third of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat for the rest of the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice and beat until smooth and creamy.

Personally, I would ice them to look smooth and fluffy but the choice is yours as these are so versatile. Adding colourful sprinkles contrasts from the yellow icing making them ideal for children. Or adding lemon jelly sweets, like these ones, can give them a professional finish!

Happy Baking! 

Please leave a comment below! 
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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Beth's Birthday Rose Cake

I baked this in May for a  friends birthday and she loved it! I got the idea from a friend (who is an excellent baker! Click her to go to her blog.) and decided to try it. My friend doesn't like chocolate cake (A crime, I know.) so this is a vanilla sponge with vanilla icing. The icing takes a steady hand and a lot of patience; But in my opinion, it's worth it.

 I got the sponge recipe from one of my recipe books I got for Christmas- Home Bake by Eric Lanlard. I haven't had a chance to try out a lot of his recipes but I was very impressed by the way this cake turned out!

For the sponge:
175g (6oz) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing. (I used Stork Margarine)
175g (6oz) Caster Sugar
1½  tsp Vanilla Extract ( I use Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Madagascan Extract)
3 Eggs, at room temperature.
175g (6oz) Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
1 tsp Baking Powder, Sifted

Preheat the oven to 180oC (fan 160oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4). Grease two 7inch sandwhich tins and base-line with baking paper. (Click here to see how)

Cream the butter/margarine and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Use an electric whisk for best results. Add the vanilla extract and gradually beat in one egg with a tablespoon of flour, until creamy and well-combined. Continue with the two other eggs. Gently fold in the remaining sifted flour and the baking powder, using a large metal spoon.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they are well risen and spring back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool in tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:
200g (8oz) Unsalted Butter (Again, I used Stork)
405g (14oz) Icing Sugar, Sifted
1½ tsp of Vanilla Extract

Place the butter into a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. For best results use an electric whisk. Add a third of the icing sugar and beat well. Continue this method until all the icing sugar is used. When it is all added, it should be light and creamy. Finally, add the vanilla extract.

Take some icing and cover the whole cake in a light layer of icing using a spatula or pallet knife. This is to seal any crumbs and to make sure no cake can be seen once the roses have been added.

My first icing bag was a Tala one that came with 6 nozzles. To get the rose effect, I used a Tala No. 30 star nozzle but I think any star nozzle with create the look of a rose. Obviously, a bigger star will create the look of bigger petals and smaller one will create tight roses. Personally, I prefer the bigger look.

Fill your icing bag two thirds full and have a firm grip on the bag. To pipe a rose, start in the middle of where you want your rose to be and pipe OUT to create a spiral. You can make the roses as big or as small as you like and I think a mixture of sizes look good. I found it was good to practise a couple on a wipe able surface or baking paper.

A variation of this cake is to used Cream Cheese Icing as it makes the roses look "fluffier".

Happy Baking! 

Please leave a comment below! 
Follow @NicckkNackk

Saturday, 9 June 2012

My First Blog!

Welcome to my blog! 
Usually I'm either studying for my GCSE's or busying myself with music, drama and sport. But one of my passions is cooking and baking. I love to bake a cake for a friends birthday, try a new recipe or help my mum by cooking dinner.
I thought it was about time to share some of my creations (and admittedly there not Jamie Oliver or Mary Berry standard, but it's a start). And if I fancy I may pop in a blog or two about things that have interested me in the world of cookery.
Enjoy reading and here goes!