Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Cake and Bake Show 2012

Held at Earl's Court London, this was the first ever Cake and Bake Show.
I only had a Saturday ticket and really wish that I got the weekend tickets because there was so much too see and do. (Not for next time must get weekend tickets!!!)
There were fascinating exhibits, with products on sale that I would never have even dreamt of. Of course, I spent way too much money then I wanted too, but it was so worth it!
The demonstrations were so informative to watch and offered some amazing hints and tips about baking with some famous faces such as Eric Lanlard, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Peggy Porschen and Mich Turner plus tons of great speakers.
I didn't take many pictures (there on the facebook page) because I was too distracted by the whole atmosphere of baking products, demo's and sweet treats that were on sale.
Seriously, it was just amazing to be among the cake enthusiasts. If you bake or just love eating baked goods...GO!
Best cake day out ever! I spend over £100 on cake decorating equipment plus a subscription to Food Heaven Magazine (Lucky for me I was saving up for weeks for this)
Bake On!
p.s Totally going next year. Here I come Manchester! Definitely will be reviewing next year properly as I was way too excited
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Apple Juice Cupcakes with a Apple Filling

So it's National Cupcake Week and for some reason I'm in the mood for apples. It must be the change of season. If you want to make a student version-Use cider instead of apple juice.
Time for some baking!

For the apple cupcakes
  •  225g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking power
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • 125g unsalted butter    
  • 130g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180ml sweet cider/apple juice
  • 150g dried apples cut into little pieces

For the Apple Filling
  • ¾ apples peeled, cored and chopped into small sugar
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 30 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Cinnamon for dusting
  • Apple wedges either dried or fresh

1.    Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4.
2.    Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating between each addition. Alternately add cider and dry ingredients. When batter is thoroughly blended fold in dried apples.
3.    Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

4.    When cupcakes are cooled, scoop out the centre and heap full with apple filling.
5.    Combine all filling ingredients in a heavy based pan and cook over low heat for about 5-10 mins or until the apples are soft.
6.    Let the apple filling cool and blitz in a blender.
7.    Dust each cupcake with a little cinnamon and apple wedges. 

They may not be pretty but these capture the taste of autumn in a cake.
I have to cut the entry short as I've got to get up early because I'm going to the Cake and Bake show tomorrow!
Bake On!
Bake On! Penny x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Hidden Heart Cake

Right first real post to do with baking! Woo!
I do my fair share of reading baking and cooking blogs, but I saw this oh so cool Hidden Heart tutorial from i am baker.

It was a case of what occasion I need to make such a cool cake? Then I get invited to a friends birthday dinner. Perfect!
I made her a birthday cake that I know that she would love!
It was the first ever time that I made this cake and I've NEVER made a layer cake like this. So, first time effort plus never made a cake like this, I'd like to think deserve a little pat on the back.
Here is the batter photo's. I used a victoria sandwich sponge recipe which turned out really light and delicious. (This is at the bottom of the post.)
I made 4 cakes (the recipe below makes 2 cakes if you split them into 2 tins. I used 7 inch tins.)
After all the cakes were cooled I popped them in the freezer to firm up and make it easier to level. Below, are the pictures of leveled cakes. Of course I had a cake lever to give me a hand.

Next you need I put a thick layer of buttercream between two of the sponges. This is one of the most important lessons ever: double check you've got the right ingredients. I say this because I ran out of ingredients to make my own buttercream, so I had to use buttercream from a can, homemade tastes nicer. So what's that rule again? double check you've got all the right ingredients.
Once the cakes were firmly 'glued' together with the buttercream, by being in the freezer for a couple of hours, I tied erm... dental floss to two toothpicks to create a guideline around both cakes. (I couldn't find string, dental floss did the trick.)
Next was the super hardest bit, the carving out. One cake needed to have a 'V' in the middle and the other needed to have a volcano and canal (see below. However, I can see that now it was too domed shaped rather then volcano shaped.) I find the best thing to do is carve with a knife and then  spoon out any extra bits.
Next I crumbed up the red velvet cake, and then filled it into the carved gaps with the white cake.
Next both cakes went into the freezer overnight with a thin layer of buttercream also called a crumb coat. Then the fun part, the decorating. Essentially I covered the whole cake in vanilla buttercream and used some basic piping skills to do the edges. Then dyed the sugarpaste red and stamped out letters and butterflies. Then I added some the leftover red velvet crumbs around edges.
You know, it looks like a pretty birthday cake.

The point is, that the birthday girl loved the cake.

Personally, I thought it looked more like a smile then a heart. But not bad for a first try. But the top layer, the 'volcano and canal' carved cake needs to reassemble a volcano rather then a dome shape. Remember to try this for yourself check out i am baker's tutorial.

Recipe time:
Victoria sandwich from "Saved by Cake" by Marian Keyes 

  •        200g unsalted butter
  •        200g caster sugar
  •        4 eggs
  •        1 tea spoon vanilla extract
  •        200g self raising flour

1.    Butter two 7cm tins and line the bases with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 190c/375f/Gas Mark 5.
2.    Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating between each addition. The mix may curdle a little but add a tablespoon of flour if this happens.
3.    Stir in the vanilla extract and sieve in the flour and fold through.
4.    Divide the mix between tins and bake for about 20 minutes.

 Red velvet cake from "Cakes Galore" by Valerie Barrett

  •        75g unsalted butter, soften
  •        300g caster sugar
  •        2 eggs, beaten
  •        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •        225g plain flour
  •        3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  •        1 ½ teaspoon red food colour paste
  •        125ml buttermilk
  •       1 tablespoon white vinegar
  •        a pinch of salt 

  1.     Preheat the oven to 180c/350c/ gas mark 4. Grease and flour two 23cm round sandwich cake tins.
  2.     For the cake, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. 
  3.     Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl. Stir in the food colour paste into buttermilk.
  4.     Alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the creamed mixture. Stir in the vinegar, mixing well. 
  5.     Pour the mixture into the prepared tins, dividing it evenly. Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins or until firm to touch. 
  6.     Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

I hope you give this try!
Bake on!

Bake On! Penny x

Saturday, 15 September 2012

New Twitter Account!

I'm still getting to grips with twitter but finally the account is up and going!
So feel free to follow my baking adventures @peninwonderland

Tomorrow I'll be taking pictures of the four layer cake with a secret hidden surprise. Stay tuned!

Bake on!

Bake On! Penny x
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