Sunday, 23 December 2012

Yeti Cupcakes with a Snow Capped Marshmallow Frosting

It's only 3 more days until Christmas
I'm hoping that all of you have finished all of your Christmas shopping. No last minute panics. 
Because the big day is nearly here!
I'm still hoping for a snowy white Christmas, I think I may be dreaming only. So once again thanks to this idea I thought I would make some Yeti Cupcakes.
I think most people know the story of the huge snow coloured ape like creature, that lives on cold snowy mountains, that's what these cupcakes are named after. 

Recipe: Cupcakes makes around 18
  •       300g plain flour
  •        2 teaspoons baking powder
  •        1 teaspoon salt, plus a little for egg whites
  •        125g unsalted butter, room temperature
  •        250g caster sugar
  •        160ml milk
  •        1 teaspoon vanilla extract (peppermint, lemon or almond extract works well)
  •        3 egg whites
  •        100g mini-marshmallows

  •        Sieve
  •        Electric hand mixer/mixer
  •        Saucepan
  •        Bowl x 3
  •        12 hole Muffin tray  x 2 filled with 18 cupcake cases

1.    Preheat oven to 180c/350f/ gas mark 4.
2.    Mix flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
3.    Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mix and beat until the batter is really smooth. Add the flavouring at this stage.
4.    Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. It should still be shiny but stiff enough to tip the bowl upside down without the contents spilling. (Also avoid tapping the bowl or doing any unnecessary bowl banging, or you’ll lose the air in the egg whites.)
5.    Fold in the egg whites into the batter and fold the marshmallows.
6.    Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool. The cakes may look a bit lumpy and strange but that’s because of the marshmallows.

Recipe: Marshmallow Snow Frosting (Should mask 12 cupcakes generously or 18 if your sparing) 
  •        3 egg whites
  •        150g caster sugar
  •        60ml golden syrup
  •        Pinch of salt
  •        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  •        Heat proof bowl
  •        Whisk
  •        Electric hand mixer
  •        Saucepan filled with water
  •        Timer
  •        Spoon
  •       Christmas Themed Decorations. (The edible snowflakes are from the lovely: SugarRobot)

      1. In a large heat proof bowl mix the egg whites, sugar, salt and golden syrup until combined.
      2. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot. This should take about 3 minutes.

     3. Remove from heat (be careful as there is a burn risk here!) and beat for 7 minutes until the frosting is cool stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract.
    4.Spread using a spoon as this frosting doesn't hold its shape. 

  Have a very Merry Christmas and Bake On!
Bake On! Penny x

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Killer Snow-woman, Boyfriends and Cranberry and Orange Cupcakes

"It's only cupcakes Penny, the ingredients don't have to be exact."
"Hey let's eat the batter."
"Look it's a Snow-woman in a Lush bath. It looks like you!"

Some of the best quotes that my boyfriend had blurted out when we were baking cupcakes. 
He doesn't bake much, bless. 
Baking is one of these things that can bring people together. The combination of doing something fun with someone you love as well as dancing around the kitchen to some tacky music to finally decorating the cupcakes and stuffing them in our faces afterwards. 

We did bake and decorate the cupcakes in the end and not just flinging flour at each other. It was lovely to spend some down-time in the kitchen with my better half. We, (well I did really,) decided upon Cranberry and Orange cupcakes with an Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.  

Cupcakes makes 12
  •      228g plain flour
  •      ½  tsp of baking power
  •      1/4 tsp salt
  •      ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  •      1 tsp ground cinnamon
  •      200g caster sugar
  •      2 large eggs
  •      100g sunflower oil
  •      135ml sour cream
  •      1 tsp vanilla extract
  •      Grated orange zest about 1 tea spoon
  •      140g fresh or frozen cranberries, finely chopped

For the Frosting:
  •     175g cream cheese
  •     450g icing sugar, sifted
  •     125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  •     Grated zest of one orange

  •  12 hole muffin tray lined with cupcake cases
  • Sieve
  • Knife and chopping board
  • Bowl x 2
  • Electric hand whisk/ mixer 
  • Christmas themed decorations 
  • A bit of tacky Christmas music (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 150c/300f/Gas Mark 2. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
2. Cream the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy. This should take around 3-5 minutes with an electric hand whisk. Slowly pour in the oil, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, repeat this process with the sour cream and vanilla extract, making sure that everything is well combined. Add the orange zest once everything is well combined.
3. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and then add to the batter and beat well. Finally, fold in the cranberries.
4. 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.
5. To make the frosting place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat well until well combined and the icing is smooth and pale.

My Boyfriend came up with a story for the snowman on these cakes: "This is a single snowman all on his own and no one to talk too."

 "Next he meets a lovely snow-woman called Penny and they fall in love."
"Awww That's sweet."
"Not for long. The snowman is beginning to annoy the snow-woman. He keeps messing up the cupcake decorations and weighing out the ingredients...."

"So she kills him for messing up her cupcakes."
 "To celebrate her cupcakes no longer getting messed up. She has a Lush bath. THE END!"

I stood there in an annoyed silence with which he stroked my arm and said:
"LOVE YOU!" and he turned back to decorating cupcakes with a silly smile on his face. 
 <<<<<<Something like this<<<<<<
So sweetie, you wanted a mention on the blog and here it is! That's what you get for saying:
"It's only cupcakes, Penny"
Well too baking mad people like me, its not just cupcakes. Its bite sized cups of heaven. 
Bake on and Merry Christmas! (And you have been warned in boyfriend baking)
Bake On! Penny x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas Tree Cupcakes Inspired by a Real Christmas Tree

From a real Christmas tree, lovingly decorated by me and mum to a baked and decorated cupcake by me! 
The cupcake sponge in this recipe is very easy to make as it is an 'all in one bowl' recipe. The butter-cream is simple to make and you can really go crazy with the decorations! Glitter, silver balls, stars, snowflakes and whatever you feel is Christmasy. 

Recipe: Cupcakes  
  •        2 Eggs
  •        110g/4oz self raising flour, sieved 
  •        50g/1 ½ of ground almonds
  •        110g/4oz unsalted butter
  •        1tsp baking powder
  •        110g/4oz caster sugar
  •        1 tsp vanilla extract
  •        1 tbsp whole milk

  •        Sieve
  •        Bowl
  •        Mixer
  •        12 hole Muffin tin with cupcake cases in them.

1.    Preheat oven to 190c/Gas Mark 5. Place 12 cupcake cases into the muffin tray.
2.    Put all of the cupcake ingredients into a bowl and beat well until smooth.
3.    Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe: Buttercream
  •        120g/4oz unsalted butter diced
  •        225g/8oz icing sugar
  •        ½ tsp vanilla extract
  •        Green food colouring paste. (I used gooseberry green)
  •        Christmas decorations of your choice. Including glitter (because its Christmas. Glitter is a must)

  •        Sieve
  •        Knife
  •        Mixer
  •        Palette knife
  •        Piping bag
  •        Spoon
  •        Bowl x2

1.    Beat the butter in a bowl until creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, beat constantly. Stir in the vanilla extract.
2.    Put 2/3 of the buttercream into a separate bowl and add the food colouring.
3.    Spread the uncoloured buttercream into each cake using a palette knife. (This will be the snow covered ground.)
4.    Spoon the green colouring into a piping bag. Pipe short lengths on top of each other in round layers to create a Christmas tree shape. (Criss-crossing over one another.)
5.    Add your decorations and sprinkle with glitter. 
Christmas Tree Cupcakes and Stained Glass Cookies.

Bake On and Merry Christmas!!

Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 14 December 2012

How Not Writing a List Turned into The Citrus Birthday Cake

I love lists
They rule my life. I make so many lists.
  • Shopping lists
  • to-do lists
  • Christmas present list
  • The 'I really would like this for Christmas please' list 
  • Baking lists
  • Recipe list
  • This list right now!!
You get the idea. I do these lists so that I can organise my time and not forget things. I've been so busy this year, as most people are, I've been extra busy due to coursework etc. I didn't write out a present list. Which is the most important list because it guides me on what gifts I need to get for Christmas and December Birthdays! 
I managed ok but sadly, I forgot my next door neighbours birthday.  I was running low on cash and I winged it. I did get her a shower set from the Body Shop but I felt so bad. 

Suddenly a thought occurred to me.... "Penny... you silly Christmas elf... you can bake her a birthday cake!" and I thought that it would be an excellent opportunity to show off my baking skills and also she love cakes. I do often send her some random thing I've baked and she will always give me an honest opinion

So if she reads it, this is my confession. I didn't mean to forget your birthday Louise but at least I made you a lovely cake!

This recipe was adapted from an old vanilla recipe. You can add or take away the lemon juice and zest and replace with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 

Recipe: Sponge
  •        225g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  •        225 caster sugar
  •        210g self raising flour, sifted
  •        25g cornflour
  •        1 teaspoon baking powder
  •        4 large eggs
  •        1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •        2 teaspoons Lemon zest
  •        3 tablespoons semi skimmed milk

  •        Sieve
  •        2 x 20 cm tins
  •        Greaseproof Paper
  •        Bowl
  •        Mixer
  •      Grater

 1.    Preheat oven to 180c/350f/ Gas Mark 4 and line two 20cm cake tines with greaseproof paper.
2.    Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition, altering with the dry ingredients, and finally the vanilla extract and the milk. Beat well after each addition, but again don’t overbeat.
3.    Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until raised and golden brown, Insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cake- it should come out clean.

Recipe: Buttercream
  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Grated zest of 1-2 unwaxed lemons 2 teaspoons
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  •        Sieve
  •        Grater
  •        Bowl
  •        Mixer
  •     Piping bag and a star nozzle
  •     Palette knife

  1.     In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, lemon juice, zest and half the icing sugar until smooth-this can take several minutes using a electric hand mixer. Gradually add the reminder of the icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy. Decorate as you like. I used a palette knife to smooth the buttercream on and then piped rosettes on the top. 

  Bake On and Merry Christmas! 

Bake On! Penny x

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Stained Glass Decoration Cookies

The Christmas season is well and truly upon us and everyone is dashing around the shops for their last minute presents, makes me glad I'm finally finished! Phew!! I have been a busy (student) baker and I have quite a few bits planned, so watch this space. But as I was decorating the tree, which is finally up and decorated, a little inspiration hit me.

At school, I used to do Food Technology (in the U.S the class is called Home Economics) and my teacher showed me a basic biscuit recipe that was not just yummy and not only a great decoration for the tree BUT super duper easy to do. This is a simple recipe and is easy for kids to do with a little adult supervision.  

Jewel centred cookies look amazing but are effortless.

Recipe: Makes about 12 depending on the cookie cutter size
  • 175g plain flour, sifted 
  • 75g butter
  •  3 tablespoons caster sugar 
  •  1 egg white 
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice 
  • 225g hard sweets/candy in various colours

  • 2 x baking sheets 
  • Baking paper/greaseproof paper 
  • Sieve 
  • Bowl
  • Various Christmas cutters 
  • Skewer
  • Thread or ribbon

 1.    Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/ Gas Mark. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
2.   Sieve flour into a bowl and blend in butter with your fingers so it looks a little like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, egg white and orange juice to mix into a soft dough. Knead lightly.

3.    Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes. Cut out the centre of the cookies using a similar shaped cutter or a plain round cutter.

These cookies really catch the light and can be coloured themed to suit your Christmas decorations.
Bake on and Merry Christmas!!
Bake On! Penny x

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas Yule Log Cake

The Yule Log is an iconic cake which is often made at Christmas?
But why? Where on earth did someone get the idea to go: "Hey I'm going to make a chocolate cake shaped like a log!"
My homemade chocolate Yule log decorated with chocolate boiled buttercream and  marzipan holly leaves .

The origins of the Yule log began with the Celts. They believed that for 12 days at the end of December the sun stood still. If they could keep yule logs burning bright for those 12 days, then the sun would be persuaded to move again, to make the days grow longer.
The Victorians carried on this tradition but instead of letting the log burn for 12 days they let it burn for 12 hours. (Information taken from The Truth About Christmas by Philip Ardagh)
Of course, this tradition has been adapted into the chocolate swiss roll cake that we are familiar with today. Which works out loads better since its more fun to eat rather then burn.  
Yule log cakes are more fun to eat rather then burn.

Recipe: Sponge
  • 115g/ 3 Eggs
  • 70g water
  • 100g plain flour
  • 6g baking powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 25g flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • Sieve
  • Wooden Spoon
  •  Bowl
  • Mixer
  • Baking sheet lined with silicone paper
  •    Kitchen towel
  •    Mixer
  •    Measuring jug
1.  Sieve the 100g of flour, baking powder, caster sugar, and salt together.
2.  Add the eggs into the dry ingredients and mix on a slow speed until the mixture comes together. Then mix on a high speed for 4 minutes. If the mixture looks a little firm, add the water. When you add the water mix for a further 1 minute.
3.  Sieve the cocoa into the cake mixture and fold in.
4.    Bake at 210c/425f/ Gas Mark 7 for 10-15 minutes.
5.    As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, slide it out of baking sheet and take off the paper carefully or the sponge will split!
6.    Lay the tea towel on a dry flat surface and place the sponge on top. Roll the tea towel and the sponge together so you have a Yule log shape. This is best done warm as it is easy to roll when warm. Leave the roll until the cake is cold. 
7.    Once the buttercream has been made then unroll the log and fill with the buttercream but not so much that it leaks from the edges. Roll the log back to its original log shape.
8.  Next decorate the outside with the buttercream using a palette knife. To make Yule log more, erm log-like then lightly scrape a fork along the sides of the log. Finish with icing sugar and marzipan holly leaves.  

Recipe: Yule Log Icing
  •        375g/ about 6 egg whites
  •        250g Caster Sugar for egg whites
  •        375g caster sugar
  •        250g butter diced
  •        300g icing sugar
  •        250g Chocolate (I used milk chocolate)

  •        Sieve
  •        Mixer
  •        Saucepan
  •        Bowl
  •        Palette knife
  •        Fork
  •        Sugar thermometer
     1.Weight out the 375g sugar with water, until it looks like wet sand, in a saucepan over a high heat. Stir once at this stage.
     2. Put egg whites and sugar into a mixer and mix until the egg whites are forming stiff peaks.
     3. Boil the sugar and water until it reaches 118c.  This should be easy if you have a sugar thermometer. (If not just use ice cold water by dipping fingers into pan and very quickly dipping them back into the cold ice water. You should be able to form a soft ball. I didn't have a sugar thermometer and it worked out just fine, although be careful as there is a burn risk here! )
    4. Turn off the heat and when the sugar is 121c then pour this into egg whites. Keep the mixer on whilst you pour the sugar water mixture in. This will cook the egg whites and add extra sweetness.
    5. Start adding the diced butter, one cube at a time.
6. Once all the butter has been added, add in the melted chocolate.

This makes a nice Christmas centrepiece or even as a gift to a chocolate lover. 
A lovely homemade gift for a special someone. 

Bake On and Merry Christmas!
Penny  Follow on Bloglovin
Bake On! Penny x
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