Tag Archives: create

Eye Candy Cake! Licorice Milk & Blackberry Jam Cupcakes

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These were a very tentative project. They happened because I spent three days leading up to Mother’s Day attempting to figure out what on earth to do for my meticulously picky and intrinsically-difficult-to-please mum (I’m sorry, you’re amazing, but it’s true! haha…) I mostly did this figuring out by suggesting ideas that were turned down on by one, until out of exasperation I got a half-answer:

Herself: ‘Maybe try those licorice cupcakes you showed me.’

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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These came out seriously good. This is from somebody who was raised by a hardcore Nigella devotee and has made these ridiculously amazing things (must stick my take up on ’em when I next make them) for about six years now. Basically, it takes a lot for me to like a brownie recipe. These are unusual, delightful, eye-catching and a very good crowd pleaser. They’re very easy to throw together, too. Thanks, Sally, for the recipe! All I’ve done is to convert measurements. I should also note that the second time I made these I put chunks of posh white chocolate in the batter. The resulting bars were gone in about ten minutes. That’s all I’m saying…

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Mango Muffin Apocalypse – The Mango Challenge.

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…Did I mention…Mango…? Because seriously. These are all Mango, all of the time. There’s mango in the cake batter, mango in the curd filling and mango in the butter meringue icing. You may, at this point, have realised that I have a serious problem with mango. I just think it’s the best thing in the world.

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Raspberry Orange Peach Berry Fizz

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These happened because some sugar free fizzy Vimto turned up I the aisles of my local Tesco – this is a rarity in Ireland! You British folk have it so easy…

So I got very excited about doing a sweet fruit drink that wouldn’t cost the earth in terms of calories but still has an interesting set of flavours. I bought it and that evening, I came up with this:

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Boston Chocolate Custard Muffins

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Dan Lepard is a man who I believe should be president. Of cakes. At least. This concoction of mine is a direct take from his recipe – all I did was add chunks of Toblerone to the batter. And that only happened because we had too much Toblerone in the house. Innovative, huh?

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White Chocolate, Greek Yogurt & Mango Banana Bread

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This stuff is what you want to eat before you die. For reals. All credit goes to the amazing, incredible and oh so wonderful Sally at sally’s baking addiction– everybody needs to go and tell her they love her for bringing joy to the world. At least once.

The recipe you’ll find here is modified only to convert some of the suggested flour, and the measures from cups to grams so us european folk can make sense of it. Go, make (or order from me, I love any excuse) – enjoy!

Ingredients: 

240g Whole Wheat Flour

3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

150g White Sugar

60g Butter

2 Large Eggs (Free-range, organic, save the hens, etc)

3 Over-ripe Bananas

100g Greek Yogurt

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

150g white chocolate chips

1 medium sized ripe mango, chopped to cubes

2 Tablespoons shredded sweet coconut

2 Tablespoons sweet diced mango (try Forest Feast)

Directions:

1. You know the drill, ladies and gentlemen. Preheat that oven – 160 celsius with fan, 180 without. find yourself a loaf ban that’s about 9 by 5 inches and line it with baking paper (or grease it, it’s your preference but I find the baking paper line trick to make an easier tin extraction from experience!)

2. In a medium bowl, get the flour, baking soda and salt all mixed together.

3. In a large bowl, cream room-temp butter and sugar together with the sheer power of your wrists (ahem) or an electric mixer, whatever you prefer. When they’re looking smooth, add the eggs in one at a time, blitzing ’em in smooth after each addition. Now the banana, yogurt, and vanilla – toss ’em in and beat ’em up til it all looks pretty uniform.

4. This is the (very literally) tricky stage. Add the flour mix to the wet mix and get it exactly to the stage where things have JUST combined evenly. Then you need to STOP beating that mix – it doesn’t deserve it and you’re a terrible person if you keep the violence up. Ha, erm, no, the reason for that is that an overbeaten sweet bread mixture produces a terribly crumbly post-bake product. Wise people say. Mind yourself now.

5. Final step pre-bake is to fold in the white chocolate chips and gently, gently stir in the chopped mangoes. Tip it all into your loaf pan – dot some chocolate and dried mango onto the top for aesthetics then stick it in the oven for 40 minutes.

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6. Forty minutes up? I hope you kept yourself entertained. Grab it out the oven, and sprinkle with that shredded coconut stuff. Hell yeah. Not done yet! Stick it back in again for a further 15 to 22 minutes (you’re allowed make yourself a drink, for patience). It’s all finished when a cake-poke comes out clean from the centre of the bread. Let it cool down completely before you cut it or you’ll end up with gorgeous-but-messy slice. Learn from this girl’s mistakes. I couldn’t help it, mango and I have a problem.

Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Meringue Batter Cupcakes

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These were as difficult as hell to make. I’m not kidding. But -goddamn. Everyone needs to try one of these, at least once in their lives.

I sourced the recipe from My Baking Addiction – it’s a lovely little site and all credits go to the original creator, Jamie.

Here’s how I interpreted their genius!

Ingredients:

Meringue Batter Cake:

250g plain flour

Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

4 Large Egg Whites (I was terrible and got the egg whites in a carton)

300g White Sugar

120g Butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

360g Butter (yes, really)

125g Smooth Peanut Butter (more could be added, to taste)

Couple Dashes Vanilla Extract

900g Confectioners’ Sugar

125ml Double Cream

Filling:

Strawberry Jam of your choice

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Directions:

1. Preheat your oven! If it’s a fan oven, like ours, I’d try about 160 degrees celsius. Go for 180 if it isn’t fan-endowed. Look apprehensively around your kitchen, wonder if you have enough bowls.

2. Line cupcake trays. You’ll be expecting to make about twenty four of these things so please ensure that you have enough people around to eat them. Use cute cupcake liners.

3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

4. In another large bowl, blitz the milk and egg whites together with an electric mixer, ’til they’re about halfway towards doing that magical meringue mix thing. Then leave them be. This will work out, honest.

5. MAKE SURE YOUR BUTTER IS SOFT. Otherwise you will end up finding this bit very hard – blitz the sugar, vanilla and butter together in yet another large bowl, electric mixer again. Blitz the crap out of them, seriously – three minutes so that the mix is all super light. Now, do this: add half the flour, and keep blitzing. Half the eggs, keep blitzing. Rest of the flour, keep blitzing, rest of the eggs. Now blitz that stuff til it’s perfect enough to make angels cry. Movie cupcake batter, that’s what you want to see. Take two or three minutes after all the ingredients have been combined.

6. Spoon the mixture into your cleverly pre-prepared cupcake liners in the cupcake trays (you totally already had that done and didn’t have to go do it all of a sudden, huh?) Aim for each cupcake liner to be a little over half full.

7. Stick those lovely things in the oven and bake for 18 to 22 minutes (mine took twenty). Keep an eye on them. They’re done if when you stick a knife in them, the knife slides out clean.

8. While the cakes are baking, it’s icing time yo. Room temperature (i.e. soft) butter and peanut butter go in a big bowl together, and you get that electric mixer out again – you know what to do at this stage. Blitz that shit til even, then at a low speed dose it up with icing sugar gradually til the whole lot is in there. As you get to the end, you’ll find the sugar is starting to roughen up the icing texture because there is so damn much of the stuff. That’s what your cream is for – add it into the blitzing mixture til you have some pretty, lightly peanut coloured buttercream that looks smooth and ready to go.

9. When your cakes are out of the oven, let them stand for at least twenty minutes, then go at them with – if you have it – an apple corer! (If not just use a knife and your genius, you’ll be alright.) You need to ‘core’ a centre into each little cupcake. Then fill that core with jam to your taste. Spread a little on the top of the cake, too.

10. When the cakes are completely cool, you can pipe, spoon, spread or fling your icing onto the top of them. As you can see from my pictures, I had no piping so I spooned it on unashamedly.

…and Enjoy!

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