Friday, 25 January 2013

Strawberry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Buttercream Icing

I came across a competition to create a new cupcake flavour for the Hummingbird Bakery.  After a bit of research into their range I decided to create a Strawberry Cupcake.  I know it might not be the most exotic or exciting cupcake, but sometimes the nice simple flavours are the best.  It took 3 attempts to achieve a recipe I was pleased with.  I hope you will enjoy it and fingers crossed on the competition :)

Strawberry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Buttercream Icing

4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g butter
200g caster sugar
250g frozen strawberries
200g good quality self raising flour
90g strawberry gelatin powder (like Hartley's gelatin sachets but I actually
used Osem Strawberry Flavour Quick Jel Dessert Mix)

125g mascarpone
125g butter
500g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
chopped fresh strawberries and pecans for garnish


Preheat oven to 180C /Gas Mark 4/ 160C Fan Oven

Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on high speed until very light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.  

Break eggs into a small bowl.  Add vanilla extract and whisk together.  Add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar mixture a very little bit at a time blending well after each addition.

Combine flour and gelatin into a bowl and blend together.  

Pour frozen strawberries into a food processor or blender and puree strawberries.  

By hand gently fold in the flour gelatin mixture and pureed strawberries into the butter egg mixture.  Fold in just until combined, don't overwork the mixture.  

Spoon into muffin size cupcake cases.  

Bake until lightly browned and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Mine took 25 minutes.   

Top with Mascarpone Buttercream Icing and garnish with fresh chopped strawberries and pecans.  

Makes 12 


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Baking a Message or Picture inside a Cake

To bake a cake with an image inside first you will need to bake a slab of cake to cut out the images.  Make it pretty thin.  I've used a large baking sheet for mine.

You will also need a silicone pan 3 inches deep and some kabob skewers cut to fit tightly inside the pan.

For my cake I decided to try baking a word inside so I've used letter cookie cutters.  A note about the letter cookie cutters, all the ones I could find where slightly too thin for the Kabob skewers (more on this in a minute) so I used them as a template and cut the letters out freehand to make them slightly thicker.  You need to cut enough to fill the entire skewer, mine took 12 cutouts per letter.

 Place skewers through the cutouts.

 Spread the cake batter into the pan then place the kabob skewers carefully in place on top of the batter.

Here I forgot to take a picture but you will want to cover the cutouts with the remaining batter.  Make sure they are completely covered, then bake until done.  It may take longer than usual for your cake to bake.  Mine took nearly 1 1/2 hours before it was done.

Don't forget to remove the skewers :)

When finished you will have a cake with an image inside when cut.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Red Velvet Cake Mix Cinnamon Swirls

Betty Crocker recently started selling Red Velvet Cake mix in the UK.  I was excited to see it on the shelf.  It's been years since I made one.  I was looking into the idea of creating a Red Velvet and Cheesecake cake when I came across this post by No 2 pencil.  I just loved the idea so decided to try it out instead.  Mine did not come out quite as bright red as hers.  I was using Betty Crocker Mix instead of Duncan Hines so maybe this is the reason.  I also only managed to cut 16 rolls (8 per pan) rather than 24. But all in all they tasted amazing.  

Below are some photos of my Cinnamon Swirl baking experience.  I deviated from the recipe slightly but would not recommend this as you can see in my notes below the pictures.  For the full recipe please visit No. 2 pencil.

I used Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix

My Dough ready to set aside to rise.
  I put my dough in the oven with the light on to let it rise.  Punch it down after 1 hour and then let it rise again for another hour. 

 My dough after the second rise. 
 Now here I did something I shouldn't have.  Instead of spreading the butter and sprinkling the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top I melted the butter and sugar mixture and then spread it.  The result made my dough a bit soggy and hard to roll up. So next time I'll follow the instructions :)This may also be why I was only able to get 16 rolls instead of 24.

 My soggy cinnamon rolls ready to be put back in the oven to rise. 

 After rising for half an hour or so I baked them at 180C for 20 mins. 
Then smothered in Cream Cheese Icing.  I used 125g Cream Cheese and 250g Icing Sugar to make the icing. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

It's only Rock N Roll, but I like it........

Happy Birthday to my sweet Step-Daughter.  She is 17 today.

She asked me for a Rolling Stones themed cake. I decided to hand paint the logo would be easiest for me but she really didn't want a fondant covered cake so we compromised with a hand painted fondant plaque on top of a buttercream iced cake.  I cut out some music notes to go around the cake and made the roses to make it girly.  I think it came out lovely and she was happy which is what really matters.