Saturday, 22 January 2011

Don't cry for me

This week's post can be found on my lovely new blog

Dear fellow Blogspotters, do not feel I have abandoned you. You have been loyal followers! But things change, and become shinier. And wordpress let me have a lovely cupcakey background...
So the change was for the better, embrace it!
All the old favourites can be found on the new blog, and I'll still keep this one alive on the interweb incase you ever feel like you need the comfort of the ''.
But is where all future bloggage shall be.

Thank you for supporting my blog throughout its blogspot life!
I wouldn't keep doing it if it wasn't for you following and your lovely comments!


Monday, 17 January 2011

Voodoo Cookie

Ok, I know it's not Halloween...and I know that TECHNICALLY this isn't a cupcake...but it's a close cousin...

I thought the humble Gingerbread man needed a little...jazzing up so to speak, so I decided to stitch him up and stick pins in him! Sorry G. Man...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

I built a House!

A Gingerbread House that is...incase you thought I'd suddenly abandoned the art of Cakeage to become a house...builderer (It's a job)

This was my 12 hour labour of love.

And it all began with the creaming of some butter and sugar...

(I literally took step by step pictures in case you had trouble imagining what the creaming of butter looked like...)

Add a lovely mound of dark sugar...

Creamy creamy...(don't eaty eaty...)

Then you add the syrup of Satan...Treacle. The most sickliest, thickest, gloopiest substance known to man kind.

Nice arty shot of treacle for your viewing pleasure...

Then mix this into your butter and sugar...

Image of the actual mixing process...just so you can check you're er, doing it right...

LOADS of ground ginger! Yes it will make people choke when they eat your fiery, gingery gingerbread, but all that means is your gingerbread will be tasty and entertaining...and mildly life threatening...

Again, you may need reminding of what mixing looks like...(Ok I admit I got a little carried away photographing things...)

Then we add flourery peaks of flour!

Tip that lot into your buttery, sugary, gingery, treacly mix with a couple o' tablespoons of water and mix until it resembles something resembling what you would imagine gingerbread dough looks like! (Kinda stiff...brown thing, see below)

Above is the dough after getting a little chilly in the frige for half an hour in a coat of clingfilm
Then! I rolled it to about a 1/4 inch thick. But if you're going for a winter friendly house and thus want thermo insulated walls, make it about an inch thick to keep the warmth in.

Then! Mark out your walls and roofage.
Side walls: W-5 inches, H-3 inches
Roofage: W-6 inches, H-6 inches
Back and frontage: W-5 1/2 inches, H-6 1/2 inches at the peak!

And go mental with your cookie cutter...

Cook your house for about 15 mins...Don't worry that it feels strangely squidgy when you take it out the oven; resist the urge to poke and let it harden up!

Then let rip with with the royal icing! A recipe for which you can find here
Outlines of things make it look prettyful...

I baked a huge gingerbread cookie in a pan as the base for my house and did a nice swirly pattern around it!

And lined all my little jelly men on top of house...they're not suicidal about to jump off...they're just admiring the view...
So you basically want to buy bucketfuls of pick n' mix and throw the stuff all over your gingerbread house! In a tasteful, artful and considered way of course...
The recipient (My Brother) was 'speechless' upon receiving it as a christmas present, so get making! And render everyone you know speechless!

(No jelly babies were harmed in the making of my house so please don't report me to the Care, Protection and Misuse of Jelly Babies authorities...)

Monday, 20 December 2010


Dear readers, I have committed the most shameful act a baker can do. I used a boxed cake mix. But I had to, both for my own intrigue and to save you the pain of ever having to do so.
I chose of course Betty Crocker's infamous range of cake mixes for which you need only add 1 egg!
I felt ashamed as I peeled open the box and took out the mixture of god knows what accompanied by the squashed cupcake cases. If ever you needed a reason to bake from scratch, Betty Crocker has put it in a box.
Here's all you'll need...

Who needs to cream butter and sugar when you can add water to some brown powder?
The Egg.
Egg, mix, and water.
Having mixed my 3 'ingredients', there is no sense of achievement in mixing together an egg, water and some powder. None of the sense of time, effort and love that goes into making a cake from scratch. There's no weighing of ingredients, sifting, beating or creaming. It's a completely souless experience.
I'm all for saving time, but really once you have your flour, sugar, eggs and butter, baking at its most basic is mixing them all in one bowl. In fact in the time it took me to get Betty's Box open, cut open the plastic bag and tip it in to a bowl, I could have me a delicious home made cake mix...
The mix at this stage is quite grainy and bland, with, and I stress, a hint of chocolatey taste. So no fear of eating all your mix before it hits the oven...
And of course Betty was kind enough to squash some cupcake cases into the bottom of her box...
To be fair to Mrs. does make 6...

So texture wise, not too shabby. Moist...muffiny...tasteless. They really were like chewing on a muffin with literally no taste. Again, there was a whiff of chocolate in the air, but it really was just largely chewing on something that really wanted to be a muffin, but grew up to be a sad little chewy thing.

If you want to bake some muffins, or a cake, because you want to show people what they look like, or you want to poison your worst enemy, I'm Betty all the way.
But if you want to really bake a muffin, or a cupcake, or a cake, then I urge you to bake from scratch! The pennies you'll save buying Crocker's Box of Wannabe-Cake really isn't enough to justify not spending a few more pennies and another 10 minutes baking real cakeage the real way.
Down with Betty's Boxes!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Cloves, Oranges and Cinnamon!

I'm feeling festive, which means it's time to start obsessively baking Christmas Cakes!
I don't know about you, but since the dawn of time (or since my memory kicked in...which means I can't remember anything before the age of about 15 which should be quite worrying...but hey ho!) every Christmas I have stuck cloves into oranges and baked them with my dear old mum to make the house smell pretty and because I guess they look pretty...shrivelled burnt oranges with spikey cloves sticking out of them...
Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is, most things that smell nice, taste nice to! So naturally I had to bake a Clove and Orange cake...

I basically made this recipe up as I went along; guessing at the method behind my madness. For example my first attempts at grinding up cloves failed gloriously as I was attempting to grind up whole cloves and of course the stalks refused to be ground...(interestingly, cloves are actually the shrivelled flowers from evergreen trees in Indonesia...don't you just love the random things you learn from my blog?! I am here to educate dear readers)

So yes, after my clove fail, I began to pain stakingly pick each bud from the stalk, throw it in a pestle and mortar until I had about a heaped teaspoon full of ground cloveage!

And here's the part where someone tells me you can buy ground cloves...(although I did discover the next morning that ground allspice smells suspiciously like ground cloves...)

Next comes the zest of an orange!

And I shall add here, I made up your basic cake mix first without adding vanilla extract as I didn't want it to over power or interfere with my prettyful cloves and orangeness...

(I used a 1 egg recipe; weight of 1 egg = weight of sugar, butter, flour...I knew maths would come in handy one day...)

Now, when's the cinnamon coming in?! I hear you cry. Well, in the buttercream of course...Make up as much or as little as you like, I advise making double what you need because you will eat it as you make it...and we do want some left! Then add a ton of cinnamon to taste! I added rather a lot because it didn't taste strong enough as I made it, but lo and behold the taste becomes stronger the longer you leave it, so if you add a ton and it still doesn't taste cinnamon-tastic; get someone to restrain you from adding more because a little goes a long way!

Bakey bakey...

Icey icey...

Cutty cutty...

My cake was demolished within 24 hours of it's birth, which is never a bad thing...

It tastes really lovely and festive; fruit cake without all the...fruit.

The cloves will put hairs on your chest if you add too much, so again, restrain yourself! Better to have a subtle of hint of it running through the cake and more orange flavour than have people spitting it across the room crying out various obscenities about the taste of cloves!


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Mince Meat

First of all, my sincerest apologies dear readers for keeping you gripped to the edges of your seats for this weeks post, only to find it 6 days late! My bloggage absence was not because I have forgotten your cakey needs, it was I assure you because I was fulfilling them!

And now I have before you, mince meat cakes.

I hear the sounds of glasses dropping and shocked cries from my humble abode. But I must assure you dear readers, that I mean only the sweet variety of mince meat, that made with juicy raisins, sultanas, spirits and spices...and beef fat of course. That lovely, crunchy suet we love to find nestled in our mince pies...

Now, I am not a lover of the mince pie, I favour only one: The lattice patterned mince pies from Marks and Spencers, and I shall eat no other. But I have always loved cupcakes more. So I pondered to myself, why should I idly sit by at christmas, watching everyone around me enjoying mountains of mince pies, whilst I abstain from the joys of over indulgence?

And then inspiration struck. No longer shall I not feel sick with everyone else. I shall take their mince pies, and turn them into something even more delicious! Mince Pie Cake!

Now, it still needs a little work, but this was more of an experiment to see if mince meat in cake would even be tasty...and I was very pleased to be proven correct.

I literally made my trusty vanilla cake recipe (weigh 2 eggs, copy that amount in flour, sugar and butter, mixy mixy and add vanilla essence = CAKE!)

Then! Here's the special part. I added 2 heaped tablespoons of minced meat to this mix (I must stress, do make sure it's the tasty sweet kind, or you could end up with a rather unique tasting cake...) and then I chucked in a load of all spice! Christmas in a pot basically...

Mixy mixy...

Bakey bakey...

Let it cool off...whipped up some buttercream, basically 200g of butter and enough milk, icing sugar and vanilla essence until you think to yourself, 'yep, tastes good to me' for everyones buttercream preferences are different...there are some among us who find it too sweet sometimes, but we shall not speak of them...

Then to your overly sweet buttercream, add more all spice because it's delicious! Smother your cake in it, and hey presto you have a lovely mince meat and spiced buttercream cake which, I stress again, is DELICIOUS!

So for all you mince pie haters-cupcakes lovers; problem solved. Enjoy!

Notice the suet lurking in my mix...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Market Stall

So, at uni, I am doing an Apprentice stylie challenge where we have a bunch of groups and we all have to do 'tasks' and with every task, more groups get knocked out according to how much profit they made on that task until fiiinally 2 groups get through the final!
The first task were selling doughnuts in a shopping centre and my wonderful group, Team Bubble (I didn't choose the name!) made £200 profit! And won ;)

Now, on to the second challenge, and by far my favourite, The Market Stall challenge, and we decided to have a Cupcake Stall! So after 3 days of non stop baking and no sleep, we all got up at the crack of dawn and sold our cakeage for 8 hours in the freezing cold! And you know what? We came second! So my friends, we're through to the final :D And we have to pitch a product to John Lewis and House of Fraser so fingers crossed!

Now I know what you really want, pictures of cake!

Enjoy x

Putting my team to work making saucepans full of Buttercream! (This is a student apartment, so naturally compromises had to using saucepans to make buttercream...but needs must!)

A boy decorating cupcakes! You're not imagining it.

Burger Cupcakes!

Inspiration struck me on the eve before the market stall, and I knew I had to make it. A Giant Popcorn Cake!

And of course 2 Giant Burger Cakes...

And here's our beautiful (vintage inspired...) Market Stall! By far the nicest one out of all the groups ;) And our beautiful sales lady Jo!

And, my favourite piece of the stall, a giant wooden cupcake! Luckily no one tried to eat it...