19 September 2013

Chocolate and Lavender Cupcakes

 You got to love a bit of Missy...

 When I think of lavender an image of Mayfield farm in Surrey, Radox bubble bath and a relaxing candle springs to mind. To be honest, cake is last on the list. Pairing lavender with chocolate works wonderfully, and don't they look oh so pretty?! There isn't too much lavender working through these cupcakes, I didn't want a pungent aroma of this sweet aromatic essence as it has the power to dominate over the chocolate.
Don't believe they have all gone, could totally do with one now! Blogging a day after I've made cakes is like a slow butter knife piercing the heart -slow and painful. Next time I will keep a cupcake next to me whilst I type!
 For 12 cupcakes:
 60g unsalted butter (room temperature)
 100g caster sugar
50g lavender infused sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
20g cocoa powder, sifted
150g Wholemeal flour
 140ml buttermilk
1/2 tsp, Bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Purple food gel
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
Lavender infused sugar to decorate
Chocolate twirls
Preheat oven 180° c.
Beat butter and both sugars until fluffy, then add egg and buttermilk.
Add flour, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, and cocoa powder.
Scoop mixture into 12 muffin cases.
 Bake for 20 minutes.
 Once risen and smelling like chocolate, take out immediately and leave to cool until cold to touch.
Butter cream:
Whisk butter, icing sugar with a drop of purple gel.
Stir through a teaspoon of lavender sugar.
 Pipe a small swirl on each cupcake, top with chocolate twirls and sprinkle some more sugar on top.

6 September 2013

Zesty Rainbow Cake

Well an upside down rainbow, only because turquoise is my favourite colour.
Now playing...

Rainbow cake.
The blogger who came up with this idea originally made it for her best mate. A simple and creative idea which was a huge online success amongst all cake fans. The original recipe features vanilla essence in each coloured sponge which I think is a tad boring to be honest. I matched a few colours of the rainbow with some natural zests. Imagine tasting the rainbow as well as seeing it.
Zippy knows what I mean.
Recipe from BBC Good Food.
This recipe needs to be done three times for six sponges.
I did some of the messy work for you, split the cake mixture so each bowl contains 380g then add half a teaspoon of colour.
For each of these colours add these lovely flavours before putting in the oven:
Red sponge: half a teaspoon of strawberry essence
Yellow: lemon zest (only half)
Green: lime zest (only half)
Purple: sprinkle a bit of lavender sugar on mixture.
Orange: orange zest (whole one)
Turquoise: half a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Once cakes are completely cold, store in an airtight container and assemble the next day.
Trim tops of each sponge with a sharp knife, so they sit flat on each other. Keep refrigerated once cream cheese frosting is spread all over and in between each sponge.
Either keep white or go crazy with multi coloured sprinkles.

4 September 2013

Strawberry Jam Cupcakes

Gorgeous beaches, a few hot men, beautiful women and constant sunshine, I'm reminiscing about my previous holiday to Ibiza. This song reminds me of chilling in a bar on the white island watching the sunset. Now I can't stop listening to it whilst cooking and running. I think Florence and The Machine has been knocked off number one as my most repeated artist!
 I recently organised a surprise party for a special family member and wanted to make a batch of interesting looking cupcakes. The main birthday cake was a zesty rainbow cake which will be on the blog soon.
As well as toffee popcorn I wanted to bring in a classic sponge with an indulgent twist.
These cupcakes have strawberry jam oozing out the centre, strawberry essence, milkshake and a fresh strawberry in a chocolate cup, tempting anyone to grab it.
This is a lovely recipe to make with children too. Especially dipping strawberries in chocolate.
125g unsalted butter
125g golden caster sugar
1 tsp strawberry essence
2 medium eggs at room temperature
125g self raising flour
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
2 tbsp milk
An apple corer would be handy.
12 fresh strawberries, washed and dried on kitchen roll.
Organic milk chocolate about 100g melted.
Organic strawberry jam
125g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
Poppy gel colouring
1 tbsp strawberry milkshake
Preheat oven 180° c.
Cover a plate that will fit in your fridge with baking paper.
Melt chocolate and dip each strawberry in, making sure only half is covered. Place on baking paper and refrigerate.
Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add eggs.
Add flour, baking powder, essence and milk.
Scoop mixture into 12 muffin cases.
 Bake for 25 minutes.
 Once risen and slightly golden, take out immediately and leave to cool until cold to touch.
Using an apple corer on each cupcake, add half a teaspoon of jam and replace sponge lid.
Butter cream:
Whisk butter, icing sugar, bit of colouring and strawberry milkshake. I normally coat the end of a teaspoon with colouring gel and stir through mixture, then whisk for an even colour.
 Pipe generously on each cupcake.
Take strawberries out, pop them onto each cake and then you're done!

This was how they were all presented. You know if I came to your picnic I would totally rock up with a basket full of cupcakes.

3 September 2013

Chocolate Salted Toffee Popcorn Cupcakes


While I was baking up a storm, Daft Punk was booming through the kitchen.

I'm a big fan of popcorn and I've been observing how the food industry has been getting very creative with its flavours. If anyone has ever tried Propercorns fiery worcester sauce and sun-dried tomato then I'm sending out a cyber high five to you right about now. IN-CRED-IBLE.
I thought it was about time I put some popcorn on top of some delicious cupcakes.
If you're a fan of the salty and sweet combo, give these cupcakes a try when you have to turn up to a party with goodies.
Ingredients for 12 cupcakes.
125g salted butter
 140g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp toffee sauce
2 tbsp milk
150g Green and Black's sea salt chocolate, chopped into small chunks.
125g salted butter
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp toffee sauce
1 tbsp milk
Toffee popcorn
Dr Oetker gold spray
Preheat oven 180° c.
Beat butter and sugar until combined and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time.
Add flour, baking powder, stir in toffee sauce and chocolate. Don't over beat.
Scoop mixture into 12 muffin cases.
 Bake for 25 minutes.
 Once risen and slightly golden, take out immediately and leave to cool until cold to touch.
Butter cream:
Whisk butter, icing sugar and milk.
Stir through toffee sauce.
 Pipe generously on each cupcake, top with popcorn and drizzle more sauce on top.
Quickly spray a bit of gold on each cupcake.


Raspberry and Watercress Smoothie

Tuesdays album..
Another wacky smoothie which sounds awful but tastes great.
After profusely googling, I found out watercress contains MORE calcium than a cup of whole milk! The shock was so overwhelming I bought an extra bag to try in this mornings mix.
45g Watercress
6 Raspberries
Half an avocado
Light soy milk 150ml
100ml coconut water
1 tsp Manuka honey
1 large banana
3 fresh sage leaves

All in a blender for 2 minutes.

Colour: light brown.
Taste - really sweet and no hint of sage or watercress!
Health benefits from watercress: contains MORE iron than spinach and it increases levels of protective antioxidants in the blood.
Health benefits from raspberries: helps lift moods and improves vision as well as aids digestion.

Join the green revolution.
Search for 'Mita' on Vine and use these short clips as mini manuals, this way you can see what I'm putting in my smoothies as well as reading about them on here.

2 September 2013

Pea Shoot Smoothie

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All smoothie posts won't include a photo. Not even my face posing with a cup of green goodness.
Salad smoothies are generally beautiful shades of green and as much as I like picturing food for the blog I'm not one to post photos of smoothies which look the same.
The most important aspect of any smoothie/juice is not what it looks like but what's INSIDE. Most smoothie companies are clever and cover what their product looks like with fancy packaging, because not many people will pick up a bottle of green looking liquid!
I've been smoothing for two weeks every morning and already noticed a positive difference in energy levels, boost of skins radiance and weight loss. Now it's time to share these crazy recipes with you.
Invest in a jug blender and you have to try one of these smoothies in the morning. They might sound out of the ordinary to a few of you. Experiment and see what works for you.
Pea Shoot Smoothie
200ml oat milk
1 tsp Manuka honey
1 cm chunk of ginger
Half an avocado
Squeeze half a lemon
1 large banana
35g Pea shoots
Everything in a blender for 2 minutes on a high setting.
Colour: light green like a Bramley apple.
Taste - Hint of ginger, sweet and powerful banana overtones.
Health benefits of pea shoots: they have seven times more vitamin C than blueberries and four times more vitamin A than tomatoes.
Join the green revolution.
Search for 'Mita' on Vine and use these short clips as mini manuals, this way you can see what I'm putting in my smoothies as well as reading about them on here.
Always drink enough water and aim for a healthy lunch and dinner...and maybe a little cake on the weekends :)

*knocked in this post means to 'drink it straight away' not knock it over.