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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, 22 December 2012

Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas has really started for me now. At school, we've had the Christmas carol service, at my acting company we've had our Christmas party and I've finally broken up from school! I'm really looking forward to a Christmas break with my family and lots of food! 

This is from my new book, The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers. I was such a avid follower of the show that I had to have the book! So my good friend Beth bought me it for my birthday. This recipe is called English Summer Cupcakes.

For the cupcakes, you'll need:
125g (4½oz) Unsalted Margarine or Margarine, at room temperature
175g (6oz)Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
175g (6oz) Self-Raising Flour
Good pinch of salt
3 tbsp Milk

Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.  Beat the butter in a bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat for 4-5 minutes so that it's very light and fluffy.

Beat the eggs with the vanilla and then add the mixture a little bit at a time beating well in-between each addition. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl to include all the mixture. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and add the milk. Gently fold together.

Spoon the mixture into the cases and distribute evenly. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and risen. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to a cooling wrack. 

For the icing: 
125g (4½oz)Unsalted Butter or Margarine
400g (14oz) Icing Sugar
3-4 tablespoons of Milk
Red, Green and Blue food colouring
Christmas Decorations

In a bowl, beat the butter until it's light and creamy. Gradually sift the icing sugar in and beat in. When all teh icing sugar has been mixed, divide the mixture into 3. For the first batch of icing, colour it red and ice 4 cupcakes using a palette knife. I decorated mine with snow and snowmen. 

For the blue icing, I used an icing nozzle shaped like a cross and used to create a swirling spiral effect. 

With last batch of icing, keep a little bit spare as the normal colour. Spread a layer of this on the remaining 4 cupcakes. Colour the remaining icing green. Using a star nozzle, pipe a wreath in short bursts of icing. Using a small round writing nozzle, use some left over red icing (or a red writing pen) to create the ribbon and berries. 

Last Christmas I made a whole batch of wreath cakes: 

Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!

Please leave a comment below! 
Follow @nicsfeasts and  @NicckkNackk

P.S Here's a picture of me and my friends at my 16th birthday meal!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Mighty Mince Pies Are Back!

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me.. a partridge in a pear tree. It's nearly Christmas! And so the mince pies have come made their first winter appearance. Now I'm ashamed to say that I was never a fan of mince pies until I bakes these last year with my Mumma. I liked them so much that they are going to be my first Christmassy bake this year. 
Things have been so busy recently and also very musical. My mumma and I went to a strings concert last week and then went to see Carmen the Opera in London was very urrm unusual but still had amazing singing and music. At school ,we then had our Christmas concert where my friends and I performed as a harmony group. The following was my birthday and I had a great time but I'm now very much looking forward to Christmas! 

You'll need:
175g (6oz) Plain Flour
100g (3½oz) Margarine or Unsalted Butter, cubed
1 egg yolk, beaten
350g (12oz) Mincemeat
Icing Sugar

To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour to create a "breadcrumbs" effect. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and work it into the dough. You made need to add some water if the dough is dry. 
Knead the dough gently, until smooth. Wrap in cling-film and leave to cool in the fridge for 15 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 180oC/355oF/ Gas Mark 4. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 0.5 cm. You don't want it to be thick as you'll get a whole mouthful of pastry! Using a crimpled round cutter, cut out 12 circles. Grease a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tin and line each whole with a pastry circle. Gently, press the circle fully into the hole. 

Spoon a generous teaspoon of mincemeat into each case. Roll out the left over pastry and cut different Christmas shapes and place on top of the mincemeat. Glaze the pies with milk or egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with icing sugar. These are lovely served with cream; double or brandy flavoured. 

Happy Baking! 

Please leave a comment below! 
Follow @nicsfeasts and @NicckkNackk