A few weeks ago my friend asked if I would bake some cupcakes for her mum’s birthday. She requested lemon cupcakes with a lemon icing drizzle on the top instead of buttercream.
The recipe for these came from the new cookbook from GBBO winner Frances Quinn, the same as where Sophie got her recipe the other week. Sophie very excitedly introduced me to the book, which I of course bought immediately (and recommend!). It used a basic recipe and shows you several different ways to add to it to make it more exciting, the illustration is beautiful as well.
The feedback from the cupcakes was all very positive, they had a really nice strong lemon flavour to them. These were based on Frances’ fried egg cupcakes, simple but delicious.
At the end of the summer my cousin’s daughter turned 4, so of course a birthday cake was needed. She had a frozen themed birthday party, I was originally going to be making an Olaf cake but after a big pleeeeease it changed to Elsa.
The cake underneath was chocolate with a chocolate ganache between the layers. I used vanilla buttercream icing for the decoration, as you already know our thoughts on fondant. I used a variety of piping nozzles to get the different definitions, I think next time I would smooth out her skin and use buttercream icing instead of icing tubes for her eyes as they went a little dark.
I love making cakes like this, the effort that goes into them before the baking even starts in my favourite bit. I searched for a few weeks before for a good image of Elsa to draw that would be able to transfer to a cake. This was copied from a lunchbox I found in a shop. Kids cakes can be so creative and are exciting to plan.
On to the next birthday now, Peppa Pig take 3!
Here’s a picture 🙂
A couple of weeks ago was the Great British Bake Off final. It also happened to fall upon the day that Chloe and I – and our department – were due to deliver cake for Cake Wednesday. As you might be able to imagine if you know me I was mega excited for the final; although sad that GBBO was coming to the end for another year. I decided that a good way to celebrate the final was to go all out on my contribution to Cake Wednesday.
To celebrate GBBO I used a recipe from a book written by a past winner (Frances Quinn) and made her confetti cupcakes. This entailed drying fruit (I was gifted with rhubarb from my parents garden so dried some of that, as well as lemon zest) and mixing it with flaked almonds and crystallised ginger. Additionally I cut pineapple into thin rounds and dried it in a mini muffin tray to create edible “flowers”. The cupcakes themselves had ground almonds in them, lemon curd and a raspberry hidden underneath sweetened marscapone cream. I was really really pleased with how they looked (having tasted one I do think they should have been taken out of the oven a just a couple of minutes earlier to be spot on but hey ho).
Now, normally we keep our cakes by our desk until we bring them down at break time to be consumed. However this time we pooled them all together in a room not manned by us. Unfortunately this meant that some of our department’s cakes were taken and shared out before the judge could try them – and mine was one of them. I might have instigated a mini
witch hunt with Chloe to find out who had taken our cakes down early. It turned out that the people who took the cake down only did it so that some of the other staff who take a different break to most of us could share the joy of cake Wednesday. Annoyingly it did mean that there was no winner of cake Wednesday that week.
Rant over, look what I made!
Firstly, an apology: work has been really busy and life got a little stressful so this blog fell by the wayside a little – but we’re back!
A while back a work friend celebrated turning 40 and asked us to bake four different flavours of cocktails (ten of each) for her 50s themed party. Not only do we love baking and adore any excuse to do so, we both enjoy the opportunity to dress up – especially if it meant attempting victory rolls!
The four flavours chosen were mojito, piña colada, strawberry daiquiri, and gin and tonic (good flavours if I can say so myself!).
The cupcakes went down well, with some guests having more than one and honestly – I don’t know which flavour I like the most!
Two weekends ago we had the absolute pleasure of adding cake to an old friend’s wedding day. When Ceris got engaged, after saying congratulations, my next comment was naturally about cake. She sent me some pictures from Pinterest about some ideas of what she wanted and so we began.
We decided to go for three different flavours and order them so that when you cut the cake there was an ombré look inside. The bottom tier was chocolate, middle tier was coffee and walnut and the top tier was white chocolate. We covered each tier with white fondant icing and the music sheets were from sugar paper.
Soph and I were so pleased with the final result and so happy with the reaction it got. The comments from the bride and groom as well as some guests have been lovely. Thank you Ceris and Gareth for trusting us with a centre piece of your day, we wish you many more slices of cake together in your years to come.
Love Chloe and Sophie Xx
My boyfriend has managed to complain at regular intervals over the past year that I didn’t bake him a birthday cake last year (even though I did, it was just after his birthday), so for his birthday this year I needed something good. I decided to try out a new chocolate cake recipe from my friends Gü cookbook.
The mix was very similar to that of a brownie mixture and of the Mississippi mud cake recipe so I was expecting greatness. Unfortunately for me this wasn’t my favourite chocolate cake ever, I felt it was missing something and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what. Everyone else was happy with it though and just told me I was being a fuss pot. The cake was smothered in a dark chocolate ganache, the best way to cover a chocolate cake in my opinion! It was definitely more of a pudding with cream cake than an on its own cake though, if you know what I mean?
My boyfriend is very much a football fan so I decided that a football would be a great idea. As I wasn’t baking in my own kitchen (and also wasn’t very well at time of baking) I decided against attempting a spherical cake! So Jen and I made a stencil to have the football pattern in icing sugar on top. This didn’t quite tessalate as beautifully as I would have hoped for but it had a similar effect and I was pleased.
My husbands work have a work birthday party in the summer every year and this year I was asked to make some cupcakes for it. I ended up making Guinness, earl grey tea and Moscow mule cupcakes but as I’ve already written about the Guinness and earl grey I’ll focus on the Moscow mule cupcakes.
Firstly, I should admit that I love a cocktail, so the idea of marrying cupcake and cocktail excites me. These cupcakes had both stem and ground ginger in the cake, with a vodka syrup poured over (in the same idea as a lemon drizzle cake) and then had a vodka and lemon buttercream icing, with a piece of crystallised ginger on the side. Having never tried them before I was rather impressed by them – I’m very much looking forward to creating more cocktail inspired cupcakes!
(The blue/teal ones are Guinness, the orange are earl grey and the White/cream ones are the Moscow mules.)
Jen, a fellow baker friend of mine, had a birthday in July, she asked (well told) me to bake her a cake. Of course I didn’t mind! Her favourite colour is blue, if you hadn’t guessed… And I’ve been wanting to do an ombré cake for a while so I took the opportunity. Decided on earl grey flavour because it’s a good flavour and something slightly different. This cake tastes so lovely and stays moist for a long time, if the cake manages to last that long.
I was going to make a fondant mini to go on the top as Jen is very much a mini fan and I had managed to find icing in the colour of her car, but unfortunately due to time constraint I couldn’t. Next time definitely!
I went to work one day with Jen while I was back in Pembrokeshire, bringing cake with us of course. We had to stop her boss from eating it all, which is my favourite cake response!
I was very pleased with the colour, loved the look on Jen’s face when she cut into it.
My twinnie cousin (Fee) had her baby shower a few weeks ago, it was organised by her twin (Lel) of course and a cake request came in. Chocolate cake is always a favourite for Fee so that was definitely going to be the flavour.
We went for afternoon tea for her baby shower, which was lush! But of course was going to already involve cake and as there was a small group of us we decided to go for cupcakes instead of a big cake.
I wanted to make the cupcakes look different and pretty, they also had to be in mixed colours as we didn’t know the sex of the baby yet. So I went for pastel colours, really enjoyed mixing these up and was very pleased with the colours that came out!
We were rather full with cake post afternoon tea, but these were a great take home treat for later! Pleased to say that Fee has now had her baby and there is a beautiful new baby girl to add to the family. Welcome to the world Robyn May!
One of the members of our team left at the end of term and so we were tasked with making a cake. His favourite cake flavour is lemon so it was a no-brainer. We decided on trying a new recipe which bizarrely asked for us to boil a lemon and then blitz it and put it in the cake mix (we felt very strange doing so)!
As his favourite football team is Crystal Palace we cut the cake into a t-shirt and piped the frosting onto it, the letters and number 7 are the only things made out of fondant.
In retrospect, I think adding all of the lemon, including the pith gave a suboptimal flavour profile although it was perhaps refreshingly different to previous lemon cakes. In future I think we’d probably go with our instincts and zest and juice a lemon instead of boiling it.
No one can fault the decorating however, it looked great! In some ways, the less sweet cake worked well with our tea and coffee, especially as we ate it at 10am, perhaps a little early for cake!