Tag Archives: icing

Lemon and Blackcurrant

Lemon and Blackcurrant Cupcakes

Hello everybody!

I’m sorry it has been a few months since I have posted a blog but now I am back! I have been super busy recently getting engaged, starting wedding planning and starting a new job! However that doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to bake so after a short break to regenerate my baking and blogging batteries I am back with lots of lovely treats for you. And it is GBBO season, so what better time to get posting about baking! And not just that I’ve got ideas for lots of posts including lifestyle and travel, so keep your eyes peeled!

Today we have Lemon and Blackcurrant Cupcakes! These gorgeous little cupcakes are simple to make and decorate, look pretty and taste lovely, lemony and summery!

Lemon and Blackcurrant

To make these cupcakes you will need:

6oz butter or margarine
6oz golden caster sugar
6oz self raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest 1 lemon

2tbsp caster sugar
juice of 1 lemon

500g icing sugar
250g unsalted butter
3 tbsp blackcurrant jam
ready to roll icing in yellow and violet

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tray with muffin/cupcake cases. Beat together the butter/margarine with the golden caster sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs to this mix one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold the flour into the cake mix, mixing gently until well combined. Finish the mixture by adding 1tsp vanilla extract and the zest of 1 lemon. Spoon the mix into the prepared cases until 2/3rds full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Heat the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tbsp sugar in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. Use a skewer to make half a dozen small holes in the top of each cupcake and spoon the lemon syrup over each cake. Leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Blackcurrant icing

To make the icing start with the jam. Gently heat a couple of tablespoons of blackcurrant jam in a saucepan, you don’t want it hot, just a bit more liquid. Pour the liquid jam through a seive so you are left with a smooth jam. Set to one side. Now beat together softened (room temperature) unsalted butter with seived icing sugar. If you are using a stand alone mixture try covering it with a tea towel when you do this to avoid icing sugar flying everywhere. Add 1-2 tbsp milk if necessary to loosen up the mixture. Add the jam a little at a time and mix well until you have acheived your desired colour.

Use a piping bag and nozzle to ice the cupcakes and finish with little flowers made from ready to roll icing. Tada, beautiful summery cupcakes!

Finished cupcakes

eat the cupcakes

With love, Lottie xx

 

 

Chocolate valentine cupcakes

Valentine’s Cupcakes – Renshaw Baking Competition

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, time to get thinking about what gifts you are going to buy/make/bake your loved one. Cupcakes make the perfect present so maybe these Valentine’s themed cupcakes will give you some inspiration to make your own! I was recently contacted again by the lovely people at Renshaw Baking who invited me to take part in their Valentine’s Day Baking Competition. Last year I took part in the Royal Baby Competition and made this ‘From Cradle to Crown Cake‘, so I was ready for another competition! The challenge was to ask a loved one to bake something special for Valentine’s Day using Renshaw Baking products we were sent. I asked my lovely sister Rose, who jumped at the opportunity to test out some icing and make some cupcakes! I’m sure you will agree that what she came up with is fabulous! She couldn’t decide which products to use so she went for several of them and came up with three different Valentine’s cupcakes.

So here we have it – Valentine’s Cupcakes for the Renshaw Baking Competition made by my lovely sister Rose!

Valentine's Cupcakes

To make the vanilla cupcakes :

6oz self raising flour
6oz caster sugar
6oz unsalted butter or margarine
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

These are really easy to make, just put all the ingredients in one bowl and use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients together. Spoon out into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180C for about 15 minutes. Then it is time to ice and decorate!

These first cupcakes are my favourite, they are iced with the Renshaw Baking snip and swirl milk chocolate flavour icing. It is a lovely chocolate fudge flavour and texutre. They are decorated with Renshaw mini chocolate beans, hearts made from Renshaw ready to roll red icing and finished with a sprinkling of edible glitter.

Chocolate valentine cupcakes

These next ones are iced with a delicious Renshaw snip and swirl strawberry flavour icing, decorated with Renshaw Pink and white pearls and finished with a foil wrapped chocolate heart. Beautiful!

Strawberry Valentine's Cupcakes

Finally we have these ones decorated beautifully with a rose. These are iced with Renshaw snip and swirl vanilla icing, decorated with dots of red icing and finished with a handmade rose made from Renshaw ready to roll icing.

Vanilla cupcakes

Here are the beautifully iced cupcakes and the decorations she used.

Iced cupcakes

Renshaw

I hope you agree with me that she has done a fantastic job! Here she is with her cupcake creations:

Rosie and her cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Baking!

Lottie xx

Thanks to Renshaw Baking for sending the icing and decorations.

renshaw

 

 

 

 

2 cupcakes

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Someone asked me the other day as we were walking past The Hummingbird Bakery just why cupcakes are so popular. It’s true, we really do have an obsession with cupcakes. While macarons, whoopie pies and marshmallows have all had their go and tried to become the ‘new thing’, the cupcake always wins. There are small (well kind of) and everyone loves little individual cakes but I think the real win is in their variation. There is a cupcake to suit everybody. Whatever flavour you want be that lemon, carrot, chocolate, vanilla, the list goes on. Covered in whatever frosting you like …. ganache, cream cheese icing, buttercream. Then of course they can be decorated however you want, be it with a quick dash of sprinkles or more elaborately with little fondant figures. It is no wonder everybody loves a cupcake. And that’s why when we were walking past The Hummingbird Bakery we couldn’t help but be tempted inside by row upon row of absolutely perfect looking cupcakes and choose our individual, just what we want, cakes. Another thing…cupcakes are great fun to make at home and with a piping bag and a bit of simple decoration, very easy to make look professional.

vanilla and chocolate cupcakes

This recipe is for chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, for that time when you can’t decide which you want. The chocolate sponge is dark and moist and is covered with a swirl of vanilla cream cheese icing. I finished these cakes with simple pink daisy, made from fondant icing.

Cupcake

To make the chocolate sponge (12 cupcakes) you will need:

110g plain flour
50g soft brown sugar
125g caster sugar
45g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
125ml whole milk
65ml sunflower oil
125ml boiling water

Preheat the oven to 190C and line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, add the sugars, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix well. In another bowl beat together the egg, milk and sunflower oil. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well. Finally add the boiling water and mix in. The cake mix will be very runny so pour it into a jug so you can pour it out into the baking cases. Divide the mixture evenly between the cases, filling each one half to two thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 20 -25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate cupcakes

Now to make the icing, you will need:

125g full fat cream cheese (cold)
175g unsalted butter (room temp)
450g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix with the butter. If you are using an electric whisk or stand mixer then you might want to cover the bowl and whisk with a tea towel while you do this bit to avoid getting icing sugar everywhere. Now add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and whisk again. You want to mix until the ingredients are just combined, if you whisk it too much then the icing will go runny and you won’t be able to pipe it. Fill a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice (I used the Wilton 1M nozzle – my favourite as I’m sure you know by now!) and pipe big swirls of frosting on to your completely cooled cupcakes. Finish with whatever decoration you fancy!

Tray of cupcakes

2 cupcakes

And while we are on the topic of cupcakes here are a few cupcakes I came across recently:

How absolutely amazing are these gorgeous cupcakes that I found in the Whole Foods Market in Kensington!

Flower cupcakes

And have you ever seen so many red velvet cupcakes in one place as at The Hummingbird Bakery in Soho??

Hummingbird Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Cupcake Baking!

Lottie xx

Ruffle icing

From Cradle to Crown – Renshaw Baking Royal Baby Cake Competition

As I am sure you will all know there is a Royal baby on the way! If you don’t know, then where have you been?? It is all quite exciting and what better way to celebrate the arrival of a Royal baby than with cake! I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Renshaw Baking who invited me to take part in their ‘Royal Baby Cake Competition’ and they even sent me the icing and marzipan to do so.  As if that wasn’t incentive enough to get involved in the competition, the first prize is a place in a class at the Peggy Porschen Academy, I couldn’t say no – I would absolutely LOVE to win that! All I had to do next was come up with an idea. I played around with a few ideas, but not knowing if the baby is going to be a boy or a girl made it a little bit more tricky. Last time I made a royal themed cake was for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I used a stencil on that cake, you can can see it here. This time I wanted to use the icing I was sent to create a topper for the cake, this isn’t something I do very often so thought it would be a good chance to get some practice in! In the end I opted for a red, blue, white and gold colour scheme for the cake. Red, white and blue for the Union Jack colours and gold to add a bit of royalty. For the theme of the cake I decided on ‘From Cradle to Crown’, after all this baby may be King or Queen one day! This is the result:

Royal Baby Cake

Top of cake

The cake itself is a fruit cake, I chose to make this for a few reasons, one is that it is traditional and the Royal Family is something that is traditional so I thought it well suited. Another reason is that the fruit in the cake bejewels the cake, especially the glace cherries, again making it suitable for a royal cake. This recipe is a quick and easy fruit cake, you can even alter the fruits that you put in to your taste, I used dried figs, sultanas, raisins and glace cherries.

Cake

To make the cake you will need (makes a 6 inch cake):

120g chopped dried figs
150g sultanas
150g raisins
150g glace cherries (halved)
150g unsalted butter
175g golden syrup
175ml milk
225g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp mixed spice
2 eggs
Rum (or brandy or sherry)

Heat the butter, syrup and milk in a pan until they are well combined and the butter has melted, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the figs, raisings, sultanas and cherries. Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6 inch cake tin and bake in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours at 150C until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Pierce the top of the cake with a skewer several times and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of rum, repeat on the bottom. You can keep feeding the cake with alcohol a couple of times a day until you ice it.

Fruit cake

To decorate you will need:

Apricot jam
Marzipan
White ready to roll icing
Red, blue and yellow icing
Water
Gold lustre powder
Gold ribbon

Now it is time to ice it. I was sent this lovely box of marzipan and icing from Renshaw Baking, it contained a packed of natural marzipan, a packet of white ready to roll icing and a primary colour pack of ready to roll icing that contained blue, red, yellow, black and green icing. Plenty to work with! Renshaw Baking are the royal warrant holders for their almond products so I definitely wanted to include marzipan in the cake. I decided to both fill and cover the cake with marzipan.

Renshaw

Heat the apricot jam gently with a tablespoon of water until it is runny. Cut the cake in half and brush both cut sides of the cake with a little apricot jam. Roll out the marzipan to about 5mm thickness and lay over the bottom half of the cake. Trim the edges and place the top layer on top. Roll out the rest of the marzipan, brush the top and sides of the cake with some more apricot jam and then cover the cake with the marzipan, trimming the edges and smoothing down to give a neat finish.

Marzipan filling

Marzipan

Next cover the cake in white icing, rolling it out to about 4mm, draping it over the cake, smoothing the top and the sides and finishing it by trimming the edges. I used a patterned rolling pin to create texture on the top of the cake and then brushed the top of the cake with gold lustre powder. Make the feet out of red and blue icing, make the soles of the feet and then add little balls of icing for the toes. Make the crown out of yellow icing, brushed with gold lustre and finished with red icing for the jewels. Make the cradle out of white icing, creating a base first, adding a rim around the top and a pillow. Make the baby out of marzipan, a ball for the head and a sausage for the body. Finish it by making a blanket for the baby, use the edge of a metal knife to create a criss cross pattern and brush the blanket with gold lustre powder. Finish both the cradle and the crown with a thin gold ribbon and use the same ribbon around the top of the cake, tying it in a bow.

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Baby

 

Position the baby in the cradle, the footsteps and the crown on the cake so the footsteps lead from the cradle to the crown.

Cake toppers

The final step is to finish the cake off with some ruffled butter icing on the side of the cake in red and blue.

To make the buttericing beat together 200g unsalted butter with 400g seived icing sugar until well combined. Divide the icing into 2 bowls. Add red food colouring to one and blue food colouring to the other and mix well. I like to use paste food colourings. Fill 2 piping bags fitted with petal nozzles with the butter icings. I like to use the Wilton 104 nozzle, it is also good for creating rose petals. Alternate red and blue around the cake moving the nozzle from side to side to create the ruffle as you pipe a line from top to bottom. You can read more about the ruffle piping technique here. The cake is now finished and ready to enjoy if you can bring yourself to cut it!

Ruffle icing

 

Slice of cake

 

Thank you to Renshaw Baking for inviting me to take part in the competition and sending me the icing and marzipan. I found all the products really easy to work with and was very happy with the finish they gave. I also love the colours in the primary colour ready to roll icing pack, they are lovely and vibrant.

Happy Baking!

Lottie xx

 

 

 

christmas-cupcakes2

Christmas Cupcakes!

Christmas Cupcakes!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

There is something just so magical about Christmas, everything is so exciting and there is so much going on! I am away for Christmas this year and will actually be on a plane so I am determined to make the most of everything Christmassy before I go. We may not be here on Christmas Day but the Christmas Tree is still up in our flat, decorated with red and gold glittery baubles, glittery little birds and traditional white lights. When the Christmas tree goes up that means that Christmas really is here! I made some of my own decorations too this year and have given them to people as presents. I dried oranges (which made the kitchen smell delightful), then threaded them with cranberries and cinnamon sticks to make decorations! And of course I have been doing some Christmas baking, mince pies and even Panettone this year. These though are my Christmas cupcakes for this year, they have a variety of decorations, the snowflake ones being similar to my Winter Cupcakes from last year. These cakes were made to sell at ELOCs performances of Jingle Belles where I was working behind the bar and selling lots of mulled wine!

christmas-cupcakes2

I made half of them vanilla and half of the chocolate cupcakes. I topped the vanilla cupcakes with either the festive red sparkly icing or with the fondant icing present design. I topped the chocolate cupcakes with either chocolate icing and holly or blue icing and snowflakes. All of them were finished off with a touch of edible silk shimmer dust.

To make the vanilla cupcakes:

6oz golden caster sugar
6oz butter or margarine
3 large eggs
6oz self raising flour
splash of milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Fold the flour into the mixture with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Add a splash of milk and the vanilla and mix in. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.

To make the chocolate cupcakes I used the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book which gives lovely, moist cupcakes. You can see the recipe here where I used it for my Black Forest Cupcakes.

christmas-cupcakes3

To make the frosting:

Beat 250g softened unsalted butter together with 500g seived icing sugar. Add 2 tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Beat until smooth and creamy. To make the chocolate icing add seived cocoa powder to the frosting.

The cupcake toppers were made out of rolled fondant icing using holly and snowflake cutters.

christmas-cupcakes4

I rolled a pattern onto my present toppers using a textured rolling pin like this, I love the effect!

christmas-cupcakes5

christmas-cupcakes6

christmas-cupcakes7

Merry Christmas everybody!

Lottie xx

I am entering these into Calendar Cakes hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes.

calender-cakes

 

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Half a Sixpence Cake!

Half a Sixpence Cake!

 This month I am performing in Half a Sixpence with my local amateur dramatic company (Nic from Nic’s Feasts and Treats is also in the show!). The company is called Epsom Light Opera Company, they stage 2 shows a year at the Epsom Playhouse and have an excellent reputation for putting on high quality, award winning shows. The next show is Half a Sixpence, a story set in Folkestone in the early 1900s. It follows the story of Kipps (played by Tommy Steele in the film) who gives his childhood sweetheart Ann half sixpence. The story tells of how Kipps falls in love with Ann, gains a fortune and enters High Society, falls in love with Helen Walsingham and gets engaged before realising he doesn’t like his high society life and that it is Ann he really loves. There are some great songs including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Half a Sixpence‘ and ‘Money to Burn’, lots of dancing and plenty of laughs. It is looking to be a fantastic show. Last rehearsal I took along a Half a Sixpence Cake that I made for the cast!

 

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Half a Sixpence is on at Epsom Playhouse from 9th to 13th October. If you live in London/Surrey and aren’t too far from Epsom and like musicals then I can thoroughly recommend it! Tickets can be bought from the company box office or online from the Epsom Playhouse. I play the part of Flo, one of the shop girls. You can see a video with some bits from our rehearsals here:

Now back to the cake! The idea was to turn the flyer into a cake. The cake is a Victoria Sponge, filled with jam and buttercream.

To make the cake:

10oz butter or margarine
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture, add the vanilla  too. Fold the flour into the mix using a spatula. Pour the cake mixture into a greased and lined tin and bake at 180C. The cake is done when it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make the buttercream (filling and decorating):

300g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Beat the butter to soften it. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and start to fold it into the butter using a spoon. Once it has started to combine use an electric whisk to beat it. Add the vanilla and milk.

To make the hat and sixpence I used fondant icing that I coloured with food colour paste. The writing is done with royal icing. To make the ruffles on the side of the cake I used a Wilton 104 petal nozzle. You can see the ruffle effect you can create better here on my chocolate cake with pink ruffle icing.

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 4

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6half-a-sixpence-flyer

 

Don’t forget to get your entries in for the next Bake Off Challenge round up! Deadline is 5th October!

Lottie xx

I am entering this into November’s Tea Time Treats, the theme is cake! This is hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.

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Optimized-DSC_0992-2-1024x685

Fondant Rose Cupcakes

Fondant Rose Cupcakes

Halloween this year just seemed to pass me by, I sadly didn’t even get round to baking anything pumpkin themed. Last year was the first time I made a pumpkin pie and I think it will have to be done again soon. In fact I only really registered it was Halloween when I was having dinner in Croydon on Wednesday and the Grim Reaper glided past on rollerskates with a sign saying ‘Free Hugs Or Else’! So instead of some Halloween baking I have something much prettier to post about. Last time I posted I wrote about the Rose Cake I made but because my sister managed to spread out her birthday so long, the week after I got another chance to make a rose themed cake. Yay! This time we have Rose Cupcakes and I decided to try my hand at some sugarcraft, something I hadn’t done before. It was rather therapeutic though really, I spent an evening learning to make and making lots of little fondant roses! This is the video I used to learn how to make them. I used a Renshaw Ready to Roll icing which is a lovely bright pink, I was quite pleased with the result. The cupcakes themselves are simple vanilla cupcakes and they are iced with runny fondant icing. I finished them off with a sprinkle of Rainbow Dust Edible Silk, which meant that when she blew the candles out the air was full of glitter!

Optimized-DSC_0009-2

To make the cupcakes:

6oz butter or margarine
6oz caster sugar
6oz self raising flour
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, add the vanilla extract. Add the flour and fold in with a spatula until it is all combined. Spoon into cupcake cases but don’t fill them too much, you want to have a nice flat top to your cupcakes when you ice them. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 minutes and leave to cool before icing.

To ice the cupcakes make up some icing with a couple of drops of rose water. You can use standard icing sugar or fondant icing sugar for a fudgier texture. Spoon the icing onto the cooled cupcakes and leave the icing to level out and create a flat surface. Ice the cupcakes right to the top of the case.

Optimized-DSC_0965-2-1024x685 (1)Optimized-DSC_0976-2-1024x685Optimized-DSC_0992-2-1024x685

Add your Roses and sprinkle of glitter and they are done!

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Lottie xx

I am entering this into Tea Time Treats. The theme this month is CAKE! It is hosted byLavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.

tea-time-treats1-150x150

 

Optimized-DSC_0630 (2)

Half a Sixpence Cake!

This month I am performing in Half a Sixpence with my local amateur dramatic company (Nic from Nic’s Feasts and Treats is also in the show!). The company is called Epsom Light Opera Company, they stage 2 shows a year at the Epsom Playhouse and have an excellent reputation for putting on high quality, award winning shows. The next show is Half a Sixpence, a story set in Folkestone in the early 1900s. It follows the story of Kipps (played by Tommy Steele in the film) who gives his childhood sweetheart Ann half sixpence. The story tells of how Kipps falls in love with Ann, gains a fortune and enters High Society, falls in love with Helen Walsingham and gets engaged before realising he doesn’t like his high society life and that it is Ann he really loves. There are some great songs including ‘Flash Bang Wallop’, ‘Half a Sixpence‘ and ‘Money to Burn’, lots of dancing and plenty of laughs. It is looking to be a fantastic show. Last rehearsal I took along a Half a Sixpence Cake that I made for the cast!

Half a Sixpence cake

Half a Sixpence is on at Epsom Playhouse from 9th to 13th October. If you live in London/Surrey and aren’t too far from Epsom and like musicals then I can thoroughly recommend it! Tickets can be bought from the company box office or online from the Epsom Playhouse. I play the part of Flo, one of the shop girls. You can see a video with some bits from our rehearsals here:

Now back to the cake! The idea was to turn the flyer into a cake. The cake is a Victoria Sponge, filled with jam and buttercream.

To make the cake:

10oz butter or margarine
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture, add the vanilla  too. Fold the flour into the mix using a spatula. Pour the cake mixture into a greased and lined tin and bake at 180C. The cake is done when it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make the buttercream (filling and decorating):

300g unsalted butter
600g icing sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Beat the butter to soften it. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and start to fold it into the butter using a spoon. Once it has started to combine use an electric whisk to beat it. Add the vanilla and milk.

To make the hat and sixpence I used fondant icing that I coloured with food colour paste. The writing is done with royal icing. To make the ruffles on the side of the cake I used a Wilton 104 petal nozzle. You can see the ruffle effect you can create better here on my chocolate cake with pink ruffle icing.

Fondant Icing - Half A Sixpence Cake

Half A Sixpence Cake - side view

Half A Sixpence Cake with programme

half a sixpence flyer

 

Don’t forget to get your entries in for the next Bake Off Challenge round up! Deadline is 5th October!

Lottie xx