Sunday, 27 November 2011

Chocolate orange cupcakes

My sister's birthday was a perfect opportunity to try out a new cupcake recipe and practice my icing technique.

For the cupcakes:

140g self-raising flour
70g drinking chocolate
1 tsp baking powder
140g caster sugar
3 eggs
175g margarine
1 orange

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line your muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.

Sieve the flour into the bowl and add the drinking chocolate and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add baking powder, sugar, eggs, margarine and orange zest and mix well (save the rest of the orange for later). Don't worry if you can't get the mixture completely smooth, that's just the orange zest.

Spoon your mixture into the muffin cases and put in the oven to 20-25 mins. Check the muffins are cooked through by sticking a toothpick in the centre and see if it comes out clean.

Leave to cool before you add the icing.

For the icing:
115g unsalted butter (softened)
orange juice
500g icing sugar
A few drops of orange food colouring

Mix the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk, then squeeze some juice from the orange into the icing. Continue until you have the consistency and flavour you want.

Add a couple of drops of food colouring to get the orange colour. To create a nice contrast only colour half of the icing.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Christmas baking workshop

Today I went to a Christmas baking workshop at You Make A Cake in Wandsworth, London.

We made carrot cupcakes with cinnamon icing (above), chocolate orange cupcakes (left) and gingerbread men (below).

I learnt how to use an icing bag and some cool different ways of icing. I love the funky icing technique where you separate two different colours. It looks awesome.

The simplest thing was learning how to do a rose. Instead of icing from the outside in, you go from the inside out. I've not quite perfected the technique in this photo but I'll get there with a bit of practice.

Even if you're an accomplished baker, I recommend a baking workshop to anyone if just for the luxury of not having to do any washing up and all your ingredients being brought to you!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Novelty cakes

I recently bought a silicone dome shaped cake mould and have been having fun icing the cakes.

I used my favourite chocolate cake to make this bumblebee. I added some black food colouring to make the cake extra dark and then bright yellow buttercream icing for the bumblebee stripes. Simple but effective.

I made the mummy and baby hedgehog using the same chocolate cake recipe, iced them with chocolate buttercream icing and Cadbury chocolate fingers make great spikes.

These would be great for a kids party.