Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Five more sleeps!

Sorry for how quiet it's been! This semester of uni has destroyed me. My hand ins were due December 5th, spent the first week recovering, and then I came down with a blasted cold! Finally over the worst of it, so time to crack on with some baking done at last! But before that, here's a quick recap of last year's Christmas goodies.

I'll be back soon with a birthday cake I made a friend a while ago, and hopefully some Christmas themed biscuits!

Monday, 10 October 2011

TARDIS cake!

My friends and I are big fans of Doctor Who. So, for my friend Ruaridh's 21st birthday I decided to make a TARDIS cake! After the trauma of the 3D Dinosaur cake, I decided to stay away from a 3D TARDIS in fear of it collapsing, and chose to do one that was half materialized through the time vortex (aka lying down on a board).
To get the shape I baked the cake in a one pound loaf tin, meaning I had to do minimal carving to achieve the TARDIS shape. I chose to use Madeira cake just for something a little different, and the recipe I used can be found here.

I used ready rolled pacific blue fondant and an edible ink pen to decorate the cake. For the windows and the sign I cheated by using some Milkybar White chocolate, because I didn't want to spend £2 to use a tiny amount.
 It helped when making the cake to have reference, and that I had in the form of a toy TARDIS, and the 10th Doctor popped along to help...

Monday, 3 October 2011

A long break!

Hello! I haven't forgotten all about you, just real life gets in the way sometimes! I was quite busy through August, and then suddenly my final year of university began and reading took over, leaving little time for baking but hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things soon.

For now, here's some photos of some things I baked way back in July!
Malteaser Cupcakes
 Black Bottom Cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery.
Strawberry Tart. Recipe via the caked crusader.
Next time I'll share photos of a TARDIS cake that I made for my friend's 21st, but I'll leave you with a photo of PacMan (if he were made of strawberry tart that is!)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Strawberries & Cream Victoria Sponge

 For my 21st, I receieved a lovely cake stand. With all the lovely weather we are having, I decided to christen it with this lovely summer's day cake.
I used Mary Berry's sponge recipe as it's always so moist! Whipped up some double cream with a little icing sugar and spread about generously along with some chopped strawberries. Lovely!

Friday, 22 July 2011

My 21st birthday cake!

Hello strangers! Sorry for going AWOL, after my final university exams (hurray!) I went on a little bit of a summer slack. That, and started going to the gym, so didn't do a lot of baking, but now I'm back with some photos of my birthday cake! 
I used my now go to sponge recipe with added vanilla extract by Mary Berry which I would highly reccomend, as the sponge is so moist! I made this cake on the Thursday to be served on Saturday night, and it held up really well.

The larger bottom layer was marble cake achieved by making two lots of the sponge recipe, and subsituting a little of the flour in the second batch to add in cocoa. The top layer was just a normal sponge, and both cakes were sandwiched with vanilla buttercream frosting and covered in fondant.
I bought the sheer rainbow ribbon off the internet, and the cake topper from an eBay seller called karenkakes, who sells toppers ready to go and also takes orders. So, if you are wanting a topper for a special occasion, definitely give her shop a look!
For my 21st I had a ceilidh with over 50 guests, so I was a little nervous that the cake would topple mid dance since I didn't put in any support structures. However, everything turned out fine and I received many positive comments on the cake. I especially enjoyed when people asked who made the cake and I could reply 'I did!' to their surprise.
 Now, time to start planning the cake for my 22nd...

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cakecuccino's First Birthday!

A year today I started this blog! I'm really proud that I've managed to keep it updated on a (semi) regular basis, and hopefully will be able to do so for the next year. 

To celebrate such an occasion, we obviously need a cake...
 Though, I actually made this cake for my friend Faye's 21st birthday! (She also has a blog called 'Cooking with Faye'). It took quite a few hours to make, but I blame that on the fact that I only had two cake pans...
Rainbow Cake

250g butter
250g sugar
250g self-raising flour
4 eggs
Vanilla extract (optional).
6 food dyes of your choice.
Ready to roll fondant.


125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add an egg with a tablespoon of flour and mix thoroughly. Repeat with each egg, and then add the rest of the flour. Also, add in the vanilla extract if using.
3. Seperate the cake mixture into 6 different bowls. 

4. Add in your colouring, and mix thoroughly. 
 5. Pour the mixture into prepared 8 inch cake pans, and then bake for around 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean or the sponge bounces back when pressed.
 6. Prepare your frosting while the cakes cool. With an electric mixer, mix together the butter and icing sugar, adding a splash of vanilla/milk until the frosting is light and fluffy.
7. Decide on the order of your layers, and then frost the cake layers together once cool.
 8. If using fondant, spread a thin coating of frosting over the cake which will help the fondant to stick.
9. Dust your counter with icing sugar, and roll out your fondant to around an eighth of an inch. (In order to prevent the fondant sticking to the counter, flip it over and dust with more icing sugar).
10. Carefully roll your fondant over your rolling pin, and then roll back over the cake smoothing down the sides.

 My fondant techniques leave a lot to be desired, but I'm sure there are plenty of how to videos available over the web to help ensure a smoother finish than mine!

(Note : It is best to use food dye gel to produce vivid colours, but I was unable to locate any in the time I had. I used a mixture of liquid colouring, which to help the colour, I added a little bit of cocoa powder to the cake mixture. I also used Sugarflair colouring (the blue and the lilac layers) which I think turned out quite nicely, so I would reccommend those if you can get your hands on them. For the yellow layer, I just left it plain).

Although on the outside this cake looks rather plain, the real surprise comes as the cake is cut! 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Kit Kat & Smarties Cake!

I've seen this idea floating around on various websites, and thought it was particularly clever! I'm not sure if anyone watched 'Baking Made Easy' on BBC1 with Lorraine Pascal, where she decorated a cake with chocolate cigerellos. Although the final product was beautiful, the price of the cigerellos were a bit out of my reach (over £30!), so this idea is perhaps more of a version for those on a budget, but still looks pretty amazing.

For the sponge:
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1-2tbsp of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Decoration (for an 8 inch cake):
18 x 2 finger Kit Kats
5 tubes of Smarties (Or whatever you fancy topping it with!)

1. For this cake, you can use your favourite cake recipe. I chose to use Mary Berry's classic victoria sponge recipe, with a dash of vanilla extract. You can find the recipe and method  here!
 2. After the cake is cooked and completely cooled, you can start the frosting. Whisk together the butter and the icing sugar (for best results, use a hand mixer for this), adding it a splash of the milk and vanilla extract at a time. It is best to whisk for around five minutes for a light and airy frosting. (Also take this as an opportunity to make sure that the Kit Kat is slightly taller than the sponge when placed together, if it is not, you will have to trim the sponge down a little).
3. Place a small blob of frosting on top of your cake board, and then place the bottom sponge on top. This will act like a glue to keep the sponge in place.
4. Using a palette knife, place a large blob of frosting on top of your bottom sponge, and spread across evenly.

 5. Place the other sponge on top, and then proceed to frost the cake entirely. Don't worry if it looks messy, as it's going to be covered completely by sweeties!
6. Using the left over frosting, spread a little on the bottom of the Kit Kat, and press firmly on to the side of the cake. Again, this will act like glue holding the Kit Kat in place. Repeat until the whole cake is covered.
7. Scatter your smarties (or whatever you've chosen) across the top of the sponge. And you're done!
Until next time!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

'Death by Oreo' cupcakes!

Sorry for how quiet it's been here the last month! I had exams so had to get my head down and hit the books for a couple of weeks in preparation. However, it's over and done with now, so normal service shall resume!

'Death by Oreo' cupcakes (makes roughly 20)
2 packets of normal sized Oreo cookies
1 box of mini sized Oreo cookies
Dry Ingredients:
225g self-raising flour
225g sugar
21g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
Wet Ingredients:
120ml milk

2 eggs
55g chocolate (melted)
110ml boiling water
90ml oil
½ tablespoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180 degress celcius.
2. Line a muffin pan (a cupcake pan will be fine if you don't) with large paper cases.
3. Take an oreo, and carefully twist it open. Place the biscuit with the icing on at the bottom of the case, repeat. (It's good to have an extra packet of Oreos for the inevitable casualties!) Keep the other half of the oreo for the frosting.
3. Place your chocolate in a small bowl, and then place over a pan of simmering water until it is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together all your dry ingredients.
5. In another large bowl, whisk your eggs until they thicken slightly and turn pale in colour.
6. To the egg mix, add in the milk, vanilla and oil and whisk well.
7. Then add in the cooled chocolate, and again whisk.
8. Add the wet mix into the dry mix, (or vice verus depending on which bowl is bigger!) and mix just to combine. Then mix in your hot water.
 9. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full (due to this it was hard to work out how many cupcakes the recipe would actually produce, so I had a couple without oreos in the bottom).
 10. Bake in the oven for around 15-18 minutes, or until when the sponge bounces back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
 Frosting ingredients:
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1-2tbp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Oreo halves (crushed)

1. While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make a start on the frosting. First of all, take your oreo halves and blitz them either in a food processor, or place in a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pill until they reach crumb consistency.
2. Whisk together the butter and icing sugar, adding a splash of the milk and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Mix in the oreo crumbs.
 4. Once the cupcakes are cooled, either pipe on the frosting with a piping bag and nozzle, or just spread over the cake with a knife.
5. Cut a mini oreo in half, and place it on either side of the cupcake. (Note, best to do this before serving, as mini oreo's go soft very quickly in the frosting!)
 Recipe adapted via a cup full of cake.