Friday, 30 October 2015

Spider Cupcakes


Happy Halloween everyone! This is a quick and easy project to make for Halloween. There's still time to bake these tomorrow as it's really simple and does not require any specialist equipment. The kids will have lots of fun decorating these! Life has been a bit hectic lately so I've not had a chance to do as much Halloween baking as I would have liked. I baked these late last night and they were a real hit at work today. I used a favourite chocolate cupcake recipe which is a mix all in one recipe with generous servings (makes 18 cupcakes). As I was short on time, I made a quick chocolate ganache to spread on top and decorated the cupcakes to look like spooky spiders. I couldn't find any black liquorice lace sweets but managed to find strawberry cables which is what I used for the legs. The eyes are made of white chocolate buttons and milk chocolate chips. The cupcakes were chocolatey and the ganache was divine. Great cupcakes on their own but much more fun eating all the parts of the spider too! 

I'm sending these to Treat Petite hosted by Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from The Baking Explorer. The theme this month is Black and Orange. I used orange cupcake cases and there's plenty of dark chocolate in the cake and frosting!

It's also perfect for #FoodYearLinkUp hosted by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen. There were lots of events for the Food Bloggers Calendar in October and I am sad to have missed out on quite a few but pleased that I've managed one Halloween bake.

 Strawberry cables, white chocolate buttons, milk chocolate chips and chocolate strands/vermicelli 

 place a generous amount of chocolate ganache on top of the cupcakes

 Spinkle the chocolate strands on top then add the 'eyes' and 'legs' as shown. 

Halloween They looked really good in a red container

Halloween I ran out of strawberry cable so 2 of them didn't have legs! 

For the cupcakes - Makes 18 cupcakes

280g plain flour
250g caster sugar
80g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
300mls water
170g butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (you can also use vanilla extract)

For the chocolate ganache 

150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate

For the decorations

Chocolate strands/vermicelli
White chocolate buttons
Milk chocolate chips
Strawberry cables or liquorice lace sweets

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Place all the ingredients for the cupcake into a large mixer bowl and mix on low - medium speed for a few minutes until well mixed. 
  • Scoop into cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before decorating.
  • Make the chocolate ganache by heating the cream gently until bubbles just form.
  • Add in chopped dark chocolate and stir until smooth.
  • Decorate the cupcakes as shown above.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Wedding Favour Cupcakes

Golden Syrup Cupcakes

In case you missed the announcement in my last post, I got married recently and this is my first post as Mrs! It was a really beautiful day and everyone had a good time. The day turned out better than either of us could have imagined and we are still recovering from the celebrations. My AlphaBakes co-host and friend Caroline from Caroline Makes made our wedding cake which turned out beautifully. It was absolutely gorgeous and we had so many compliments about the look and the taste of the cake, I won't be surprised if she gets wedding cake orders from now! She made a chocolate layer and a lemon layer as requested and they were both equally delicious. I've just noticed that she has blogged about it so you can read all about it here. Here's a sneak preview of the cake. Thanks again Caroline for the most amazing wedding cake! 

I knew quite early on that I would not be baking my own wedding cake but I did want to bake something so I decided to bake some mini cupcakes as wedding favours. Our colour theme was red and gold so I decided to bake golden syrup cupakes. It's a really quick and easy bake particularly as I baked them in mini cupcake cases. I found some really pretty gift boxes which I wanted to use but I had trouble sourcing the correct sized cupcake cases. I eventually found some but they only came in white. We had some gorgeous wedding invitations made and I took a picture of the logo with our initials on and got them printed on edible paper to use as cupcake toppers. The easiest part of this process was baking and frosting the cake. The most difficult part was making up the gift boxes, putting the cupcakes inside, tying the ribbons with a custom made tag. However, it was well worth the effort as the cakes looked beautiful in the gift boxes and they tasted good too! 

 mini golden syrup cupcakes

Golden Syrup Cupcakes ready to be boxed 

 This is our table setting and you can see the cupcake boxes on the table

Golden Syrup Cupcakes close up of the cupcake

I'm sending this to a few blog challenges this month. 

AlphaBakes hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes this month and co hosted by myself on alternate months. The letter this month is W for Wedding Favour Cupcakes.

Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. The theme this month is anything goes.

Love Cake hosted by Ness from Jibber Jabber UK. The theme this month is 'in a hurry' and the cakes have to be made and baked in less than 60 minutes. These cupcakes took about 5 minutes to prepare, 10- 15 minutes to bake and another 10 minutes to decorate.

Recipe is from Lyle's website

I doubled the recipe to make 54 mini cupcakes which were approximately 4cm x 3cm x 4cm.
Baking time was approximately 10-15 minutes. 
I added a small bit of icing using a piping bag with a star tip nozzle as shown and an edible cupcake topper.  

Saturday, 3 October 2015

AlphaBakes "J" Round up

Huge apologies for the late roundup of September's AlphaBakes. I've been just a little busy preparing for my wedding next week and there's still lots to do! Caroline from Caroline Makes has already announced the letter for October which is W. I'm sure it was purely a coincidence that it's my wedding month! I am planning to bake some cupcakes for the wedding (time permitting) so if successful, I will share it with you all as my AlphaBakes entry this month. On to the September J entries for now and I'll see you all back in November.  

Caroline's mum Jacqueline baked a flower shaped bundt cake with jam inside which looks delicious. 

Elizabeth from the Law Student's Cookbook made a Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread. She served it with fried chicken and I'm sure it was devoured with gusto.

Next is my entry with Chocolate Blackberry Cupcakes with bramble jelly. It's a delicious chocolate blackberry cupcake with bramble jelly filling and a blackberry frosting. They received rave reviews and I have been asked to bake them for a Great Ormond Street charity event as their colour is purple.

Lili from Lili's Cakes made Jamaican Ginger Cupcakes with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream. They were made for climbing trip so was eaten without frosting but a fellow climber encouraged her to add frosting and I'm sure you will agree that it looks really tempting! I particularly like her picture illustration of the method.

Stuart from Cakeyboi baked Limoncello and Raspberry Jam Swirl Cupcakes for national cupcake week. He describes them as sweet, citrusy and boozy - what more could you want from a cupcake?
Limoncello and raspberry jam swirl cupcakes

Next we have Kate from the Gluten Free Alchemist with her Vanilla Swiss Roll which is dairy free and gluten free. She filled it with her homemade strawberry and rhubarb jam which sounds delicious. 

Speaking of homemade jam, Choclette from Tin and Thyme also used her own jam with these Apricot Vanilla Buns. She's re-invented the British bun using spelt and freekah flour and her own homemade vanilla apricot jam.

Apricot Vanilla Buns

Dom from Belleau Kitchen made some refreshing and delicious sounding juices with his new Jason Vale Retro Juicer. He shared his recipes for Pear, Parsnip and Ginger Juice as well as a 'walking on sunshine' juice.

Jean from Baking in Franglais sent in Jo's Rhubarb Flapjacks. Jo is her brother's daughter and an accomplished cook who is not quite 18. These flapjacks are chewy with a layer of rhubarb in the middle. 

jo's flapjacks4

My co-host Caroline from Caroline Makes made Jareth's Temptation inspired by her favourite 80s movie Labyrinth. It's a simple dessert with peaches, cream,meringue and pomegranate. I think I need to rent the film now!

Suelle from Mainly Baking managed to find time to bake a Jam-swirled Crumb Cake despite being on holiday for a lot of September. It's a good store cupboard recipe and although this did not turn out exactly as she wanted, I'm sure it tasted really good.

Last but not least we have Solange from Pebble Soup with her Gold Kiwi and Pineapple Jam. I love the bright colour of the jam and the flavour combination sounds delicious.

That's the end of the J round up. We look forward to your October entries hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes and I will see you back here in November.