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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes

Beware of the cupakes! Haha! With it being the first Halloween that I've had my blog, I thought that I had to bake something spooky and Halloween related. I ummd and arrd over spider cakes, graveyard traybakes, but settled for these mild but spooky cobweb cupcakes. I have to say, I do rather like Halloween; the dressing up, the baking, the atmosphere but I do with we did it as big as America! Now they really do go to town with all the decorations and parties!  I wanted to try a new chocolate cupcake recipe so I searched and found one used for Cookies and Cream cupcakes (Will defiantly be trying those soon!) by The Primrose Bakery. I used the design of of the Spider Web Chocolate Muffins of off the Good Food website and used chocolate ganache to achieve this.

For the cupcake:
Makes 16 (but I halved it to make 8)

115g Dark Chocolate
85g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
175g Soft Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs (separated)
185g Plain Flour
¾ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
250ml Semi-Skimmed milk (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 190oC /gas mark 5. Line muffin trays with 16 muffin cases.

Break the chocolate into equal sized pieces and melt it in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Leave to cool slightly.

In a clean bowl, using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Do this before anything else, to avoid having to wash your whisk/beaters.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar together until pale and smooth. Slowly add the egg yolks and beat well.
Next, add the melted chocolate and beat again.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl and stir together.
In a jug, stir the vanilla extract into the milk. Gradually add alternate amounts of the milk mixture and flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and beat well between each time.Using a spatula fold the whites into the batter until everything is combined.

Spoon the batter into the cases, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave the cakes in their tins for a few minutes to cool and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

For the Chocolate Ganache and cobwebs:
200g Dark Chocolate
200ml Double Cream
50g White Chocolate
Break up the chocolate and put into a bowl, along with the cream. Melt together over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally to combine them. Once they are fully combined, leave the ganache to cool and thicken slightly. This will make it easier to spread it onto the cupcakes.
Once the ganache has thicken, spread some onto the top of the cupcake. Tip: If any cupcakes have peaked whilst cooking, slice off the top and eat it! This will create a smoother finish.
To create the cobwebs, melt some white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and spoon into a piping bag. Pipe a small circle on top of the cake and then bigger circles around it. Using a toothpick, draw a line from the centre outwards and it will drag some of the chocolate wit hit creating a cobweb. 

Happy Baking! 

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I'm entering this into Dolly Bakes and LauraLovesCakes event- Calendar Cakes!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Mum's Chocolate Marble Birthday Cake

What a great 2 weeks I've had! The show, Half a Sixpence, was really good and I had a fab time! Then on the last day, Saturday, it was my mum's birthday so I made a big fuss of her and as she was doing the show to, she had a lovely birthday. Saturday becomes a very busy day as we do two performances, so I promised my mum that I'd make her a birthday cake on Sunday (despite being very tired from the after party on Saturday night). Originally, I was going to bake Lorraine Pascale's Crounching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake:

but I didn't have time to buy the disposable icing bags, so I settled for a marble cake. 

And this week we had the Great British Bake Off Final! And John won!!! I was torn between John and James so I didn't mind if either if them won as they both fully deserved it. I did like Brendan but his bakes didn't appeal to me as much. Who did you want to win? 

For the cake you'll need: 
175g (6oz) Butter/ Margarine, At room tempertaure
175g (6oz) Caster Sugar
1½ tsp  Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs, At room tempertaure
150g (5oz) Self-Raising Flour, sifted
1 tsp Baking Powder, sifted
25g Cocoa Powder, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 5. Grease and base line 2 8inch sandwhich tins with greaseproof paper.  

Cream the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy, with an electric hand mix. Add the vanilla extract and add the eggs one at a time with a tbsp of flour. Beat until each is egg is fully combined. Fold in the rest of the flour and the baking powder.

Split the mixture into two bowls and fold in the chocolate powder into one of the mixtures. 

Put half of the vanilla mixture into one tin, and the rest in the other. Do the same for the chocolate mixture. 

Use the the handle of a spoon to swirl the two mixtures into each other. Then bake for 20-25 minutes; a skewer should come out clean when inserted and when pressed, the cake should spring back. leave to cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the greaseproof paper off of the bottom. 

Due to my tiredness, I simply decorated the cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate chips.

Happy Baking! 

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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

It's show time! The last 6 months has been leading up to this week as the show I'm in (along with Lottie from Lottie's World of Cakes and Bakes)  starts this week- Half a Sixpence. I spend the whole of today at the Epsom Playhouse settling into the theatre as the orchestra rehearse with us for the first time and the scenery is put up. Then in the evening, we have a technical rehearsal for the backstage crew. It's an exciting, but very long, day and so I thought I'd make a refreshing lemon cake to perk every one up in the teas breaks. 

So not only have I got a week of fabulous musical theatre, but I went to see Chicago the Musical on tour on Friday. It's practically my favourite musical and I know the film inside out, so it had been something I was dying to see. It was on at Woking theatre so we went along after school for the 5.30 show and it didn't disappoint! The costumes were the sultry, revealing type and everyone was in black. The choreography and dancing amazed me, especially in numbers like All That Jazz and The Cell Block Tango, but even the subtle moves during the dialogue were affective. Bernie Nolan was to play Mama Morton but unfortunately didn't perform in the show we saw and Steven Booth (who played Greg in EastEnders) played  Billy Flynn. It was a great show and I'd really recommend it! 

This recipe comes from my Mum's friend, Lorraine. 
You'll need: 

230g (8oz) Self Raising Flour, Sifted
170g (6oz) Caster Sugar
170g (6oz) Butter/Margarine, at room temperature
2 Eggs, at room temperature
Rind of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
Milk, to loosen the mixture

Preheat the oven to 180oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5. Grease your loaf tin (I think mine is a 2lb one but I'm never sure!) 

Put the flour, sugar, butter/margarine and eggs in a bowl and mix until it's a smooth consistency. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix. You then need to add milk, a little at a time, to get the mixture to a dropping consistency. be careful not to get it too runny as it will take longer to cook. 

Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for approx. 1 hour. When the cake has a nice golden look, place some foil over the top and this will stop the top from burning and it will speed up the cooking of the insides. The cake will be cooked when a skewer is inserted and it comes out clean. 

Tip the cake onto a cooling rack to cool down. Once cooled use the Juice of half a lemon and a tiny bit of water and mix with sifted icing sugar. WARNING. Don't over do the liquid as it makes the icing runny and it won't stay on top of the cake. "Drizzle" over the icing and use lemon zest to finish. 

Happy Baking! 

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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Toffee and Apple Sauce Muffins

Sometimes, I just want to bake something that is really flavoursome and smells wonderful. Well I've certainly found a recipe that fits that description! These smell amazing when they're in the oven and, if I do say so myself, taste delicious! What with the show (see below) and starting back at school, I have seemed to be very busy recently, so I needed something that wasn't too time consuming and these were surprisingly easy. Also, with the weather getting cooler and the feel of Winter lingering over us, these are very comforting and I'd defiantly recommend baking them, (even if they don't look like something Mary Berry would make). So take a look and see what you think! 

This recipe is from Eric Lanlard's Home Bake recipe book but admittedly  they look more "rustic". I have tweeked some of the amounts slightly as I found they worked better. I found out the other day that he baked Lady GaGa's birthday cake!

Makes 6 Muffins
For the Apple Sauce:
½ a Large Bramely Cooking Apple
50g (1½oz) Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Calvados (Optional. If not using, use a tsp of water)

Peel, core and dice the apples into small cubes. Place the apple into a saucepan, along with the sugar, cinnamon and calvados/water. Cook on a low heat until the apple is tender, but not mushy. Leave to cool.

For the Muffins:
140g (4½oz) Plain Flour
50g (1½oz) Caster Sugar
½ tbsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg
75 ml Milk
200g Fudge, chopped into small chunks
Extra Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Line a muffin tin with 6 muffin papers.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar.

Beat the butter and the milk together, then add the milk. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture and then stir in the fudge chunks.
Half-fill the muffin cases with muffin mix and then spoon on two thirds of the apple sauce. Cover with the remaining muffin mix. With a small spoon, dribble on some apple sauce on top. Cover with lots of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
I made a mistake here, and put on some fudge chunks. This was a bad idea as the fudge melted and candied the muffin cases making them very sticky!

Bake for 20-25 minutes and cool on a wire rack. Serve with fudge chunks on top.

Happy Baking! 

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P.S  I am in a show at the Epsom Playhouse called Half A Sixpence with Lottie from Lottie's World of Cakes and Bakes from Tuesday 9th-Saturday 13th October. We play the parts of two shopgirls called Kate and Flo!