Sunday, 24 October 2010

Cupcake Camp London

What are you doing for Halloween this year? Why not come to Cupcake Camp London - cupcakes with a conscience! It's being organised by Daisy Coole who is raising money for the North London Hospice 
I will be pledging some Halloween inspired cupcakes and something else ... yet to be decided but will be blogging about them in due course. Please click on the link for further information and how you can do your bit too (you don't have to be a baker!) 
Hope to see some of you there! :) 

When: 2-5pm, Sunday, 31st October, 2010

Where: Proud Galleries, Camden

Why: These are cupcakes with a conscience!


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cupcakes

I got an invitation to take part in this month's 'We Should Cocoa' challenge. The idea is to bake something with chocolate each month which must include a special ingredient chosen by the host. This month's host Choclette has chosen hazelnuts which immediately made me think of Nutella. I decided to use a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and am really pleased with how it's turned out. The cake is moist and chocolatey and the filling of Nutella is divine. The frosting is really light and fluffy with the right hint of nutella goodness in it.

mix the ingredients 

until you get a sandy consistency 

make a well in the centre of each cake 

and fill with nutella spread 

pre frosting 

light ad fluffy frosting

adding nutella to the mix 

delicious frosting 

Makes 9 cupcakes of the size shown
Hazelnut and Chocolate Cupcakes
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 egg
120g Nutella
whole hazelnuts to decorate
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. 
  • Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. 
  • Add the egg and beat well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. 
  • Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • When the cupcakes are cold, hollow out a small section in the centre of each one and fill with a dollop of Nutella. 

Hazelnut and Chocolate frosting
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g butter, at room temperature
25ml whole milk
80g Nutella
  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. 
  • Turn the mixer down to a slower speed.
  • Slowly pour in the milk, then when it is all incorporated, turn the mixer to a high speed. 
  • Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes. 
  • Stir in the Nutella spread by hand until evenly mixed into the frosting. 
  • When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the frosting on top and decorate with whole hazelnuts on top. 

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Banana oatmeal cookies

I saw this recipe sometime ago on Cookie Sleuth's blog and have been meaning to try it but never quite got round to it until now. I've never had banana in a cookie before so I thought it would be interesting to try. The cookie is quite soft and chewy. The wholewheat flour and oats makes it feel healthy which is an added bonus :)

Makes 27
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
80g butter
2 ripe bananas
1 eggs white
100g chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. 
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add mashed bananas and egg white.
  • Fold in flour mixture and the chocolate chips. 
  • Place heaped tablespoons of dough (I used an ice cream scoop) on to the sheets.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

I changed jobs last week and I debated for ages about what to make for my last day at work. Having baked various things all year, it was difficult to decide what would be an extra special effort. So I decided on a giant cupcake as well as regular and mini cupcakes.  I was really excited to try out my new giant cupcake mould which I got as a birthday present this year. Thank you Wendy for my amazing gift!!

This recipe is from 'Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery' - I think I've tried almost every recipe in this book! I know strawberries are slightly out of season but I do love them and thought it would be a nice flavour to make. I wanted something a little different to vanilla or chocolate.

This is the first time I've used the giant cupcake mould so I was unsure how much cake batter to make. I made a double recipe to be on the safe side and it turned out to be way too much as I made 12 regular sized and 10 mini cupcakes as well. They were all eaten so there was no wastage :)

The giant mould was easy to use. I didn't spray it with non stick cooking oil which I should have as some of the cake stuck to the mould. I will remember that for next time. Decorating it was a little tricky as the icing kept falling off at the bottom as it was too heavy. I might try piping little stars all around next time. Has anyone else tried using the giant cupcake mould? Any tips on decorating?

I am very pleased with the final result as was everyone else. I think it looks great with the mini cupcakes around it. I'll definitely be using this mould again so watch out for different flavours and decorating ideas :)

my lovely present :) 

size comparison with a regular cupcake case 

adding strawberries to the mix 

filling the moulds 

using the insert which creates a cavity to fill the cake with whatever filling you fancy 

this is how it turns out 

i put strawberry jam and some icing around the edges to 'stick' the cake together 

final result 

with icing, sprinkles and a strawberry on top! 

mini cupcakes 

regular sized cupcakes 

cross section of the cake 

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes 
225g caster sugar
210g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
25g cornflour 
125g fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled and crushed 
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs, one by one. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and beat well together. 
  • Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about 2/3 full. 
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.
  • The cakes will be fairly moist even when cooked. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave in their tins for about 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. 
  • Once completely cool, carefully make a small hole in the centre of each cupcake and use a teaspoon to push strawberry jam into the hole - you can slightly warm the jam in a saucepan first to soften it before pushing it into the sponge. 
  • Decorate the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing and just before serving, place a fresh strawberry in the centre.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing 
110g unsalted butter,at room temperature
60ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted
  • To make the icing, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. 
  • Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Great Brownie Bake Off Event 2010

Yesterday was the Great Brownie Bake Off at Look Mum No Hands Cafe in Old Street, hosted by Louise Thomas of the Chocolate Consultancy. It was a very busy and successful event. I do wish I'd taken more photos but I was too busy chatting to people, eating the delicious samples and trying to sell my cakes! 
It was a fun day, I got to meet quite a few lovely people including Edd Kimber, winner of the Great British Bake Off. 
I was very pleased to sell most of my home baked goodies particularly as I spent all of Friday night baking. Thank you so much to my friends who helped out :) Thank you also to everyone who bought my baked goodies. I hope you enjoyed it. 

oreo cupcakes were very popular on the day 

oreo truffles were equally popular. 

amazing halloween themed cakes made by Caroline who is raising money for charity. Please visit for more details. 

Gu demonstrations

Edd made banana and chocolate whoopie pies and I got to sample one. Delicious! 

sasha made mocha tarts which were amazing 

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Great Brownie Bake Off

Less than 3 days to go to the Great Brownie Bake Off. This event is hosted by the Chocolate Consultancy. There will be lots of brownies to sample (including my entry) as well as delicious demonstrations throughout the day.

I will also be selling some of my home baked goods on the day. It is a great opportunity and I'm really excited to be taking part. This is the first time I will be selling my baked goods so if you like what you see on my blog do drop by for a chance to try them. Any feedback is much appreciated.

I am provisionally planning to make oreo trufflesoreo cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, candy cookies, earl grey tea cookies and possibly something else. I am slightly limited by time as I would like to bake everything fresh i.e on Friday night and the fact that I only have 1 oven.

Details for the event are as follows:

October 9, 2010 from 12.30 -1800
£1.70 (£1 from each entry fee will be donated to a chosen charity after the event)
Look Mum No Hands Cafe
Google Map
49 Old Street, London, United Kingdom, EC1V 9HX

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Chocolate Chip Flapjacks

Final offering for the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning are these delectable chocolate chip flapjacks. I've not made flapjacks before and they looked a little liquid when they came out of the oven but firmed up easily enough. I made the mistake of not letting the mixture cool completely so my chocolate chips did melt a little but I just added more in! 

ready to go in the oven 


back left at the coffee morning - not much to look at but tasted good :) 

225g butter
225g demerara sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
275g rolled oats
100g plain chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Melt the butter in a pan with the sugar and syrup and then stir in the oats. 
  • Mix well and then leave to cool before stirring in the chocolate chips. 
  • Note: Do make sure that the flapjack mixture is quite cool before you add the chocolate chips or they will simply melt into the mixture instead of staying whole. 
  • Turn into the prepared tin and press flat with a palette knife or back of a spoon. 
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes or until pale golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and then leave to cool for about 10 minutes. 
  • Mark into 24 squares and leave to finish cooling in the tin. 

Friday, 1 October 2010

Victoria Sponge

As mentioned in my previous post, I also made a plain and simple victoria sponge for the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning . I decided that you can't go far wrong with a simple sponge and fortunately it was very well received. I used the recipe from Mary Berry and it turned out really well. Just mix everything together and voila.... it rose better than my previous attempt, I'll be using this recipe from now on :) 

ready to go in the oven 

adding jam 

dust with icing sugar
at the coffee morning 

For the cake 
225g butter
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the filling and topping
about 4 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam
a little caster sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease and base line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
  • Measure the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. 
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level out. 
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.
  • Leave to cool in the tins for a few moments then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • When completely cold, sandwich the cakes together with the jam. 
  • Sprinkle with caster sugar to serve.