Cupcakes.. with a twist

I’m a few posts behind as I have been baking nearly every day or thereabouts and as an anonymous person posted recently, yes I’m quite clearly ‘obsessed!!!!.”

I hit my quarter of a century milestone last week and was overwhelmed by how lovely all my family and friends are. I think I can quite happily say this has been the best birthday in awhile. If I thought I was going off the deep end with my constant baking then my housemates and friends definitely don’t think so as I’ve been very lucky to receive so many thoughtful presents, which was about 95% baking related.

This evening I decided to try a cupcake recipe from a cookbook I got from JamesK and Sabrina - they clearly didn’t collaborat present ideas as I actually got one from each of them. Its the Baking Magic cookbook and the recipe was Black Forest gateau cupcakes. One of my favourite cakes when I was younger was Black Forest so I was very excited to try these out. The don’t have icing, but are served with jam, fresh cream and finished off with a glazed cherry on a toothpick i.e. like a cocktail. The red and white polka dot cupcakes cases were also a lovely gift from JamesK.

Reports: Marco pretty much inhaled his, thankfully removing the toothpick first. LauraK wasn’t as quick (as per usual), however ended up in a crumbly mess on the couch, but I think rather enjoyed them with her cup of warm milk, as did I. And Sabrina.. well she so excited she wanted her picture taken… Black Forest Bliss!

Happy Baking x

My First Victoria Sponge

This is my first attempt at making a Victoria sponge cake. I’m making it for my workmate Lizzie as its her birthday. She doesn’t like cream so I’ve made it with just jam and iced it with the Hummingbird Bakery chocolate icing. I’ve used the Victoria sponge recipe from the Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache, which has an interesting twist by using potato.
The cake was much easier than I thought and was ready to go in the oven in about 10 minutes. It was meant to be split into two trays, however I didn’t have two trays and since I’m impatient, I just poured it all in to the one tray. When it cooled I cut it into half. My housemate told me to try using string instead of using a bread knife to try and cut it. This worked amazingly and would recommend using this technique.

This was also my first proper baking session using the flashy new scales. They are so awesome, they even measure ml’s! So clever!!

One thing I haven’t learnt yet is how to use the cake tin correctly. Its the tin with the removable bottom. I put this cake in the oven and it dripped out and also stuck to the bottom of the tin.

The kids seem happy enough licking the beaters with grated potato on them...

I’m quite excited about how its turned out - looking forward to taste testers tomorrow.

Happy Baking x

Friday Night in at The Villas

Tonight’s dinner was a splurge night, but made all the better because it was from scratch… right down to the dough.

We started with the pizza dough on Thursday night. Lots of kneading… note to self; use higher bench or two 10 minute sessions of kneading hurts you back. We used wholemeal flour instead of white flour which I found that when I was trying to stretch out the dough it keep springing back, so I beat it out with the rolling pin which was great to get rid of the days stress which was totally needed after this week.

So little....

they grow up so quickly...

All our toppings were vegetarian. LauraK and I had a bit of a cheese stand off with our English thinks he’s Italian housemate, we say top, he says bottom. I’m still not sold, but they were all quite delish.

Pizza One - Homemade Tomato Sauce, Tomatoes, Mushroom, Pine Nuts, Rocket & black olives

Pizza Two - Homemade tomato sauce, pesto, rocket, pine nuts, sweet potato, feta & cameralised onion

Pizza Three - Homemade tomato sauce, pineapple, mushroom, tomatoes & pesto

For dessert I made my apple crumble. This is a simple recipe that my friend Charissa gave me. Its so simple to do and always smells so amazing that first time you open the oven while its cooking. I served this up with our Friday night treat of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream. Sabrina choose Fairly Nuts which has caramel and nuts which goes amazingly with the apple crumble when its comes out hot from the oven.

Happy Baking x

My 2nd Guest Blogger - Miss Skye Devereaux

So this is for Laura. I baked these tonight and while the icing is just your regular sugar explosion with strawberry flavour, the cake underneath is my improvised healthy cake. Healthier maybe.
  • white SR flour replaced with Whole wheat SR flour
  • caster sugar
  • skim milk
  • organic egg
  • butter replaced with light nuttelex
Not much difference but they turned out super yummy and springy and they’re pretty low in calories. I was going to throw some berries in too but I was lazy and didn’t want to blend them so maybe next time.