St. Patrick’s Day is on Saturday, 17 March 2012.
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, 18 March 2012
I had planned to make some Mother’s day cupcakes today in a pink and blue colour scheme. I sat with some chilled music on, rolling out some little roses. Then I realised it was St Patrick’s day this weekend too. I thought, oh cool I’ll do a few green cupcakes. Usually they will have a four-leaf clover or a classic green top-hat on them. I thought why not combine it with Mother’s day and make them with pretty green flowers.
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Enjoy your weekend
Peace and loaf
The other day in the supermarket I was in the baking aisle. Needless to say, I can spend hours just looking at what’s available. Suddenly, I saw the enormous section of pre-made cake mix. They have brownies mix, chocolate cake, victoria sponge cake, lemon cake, marble cake, carrot cake, cookies, scones, muffins and so much more! All you have to do is add an egg, some butter or water and that’s it really.
The array is quite astounding; you can pretty much get anything you want. Then, of course, there’s also all the cupcakes mixes for children with different cute toppers. I couldn’t help but be intrigued and while my initial reaction was some what of a snobbery baker, I found myself compelled to buy the Tesco brand and do a taste test. (Watch this space!) I was pretty gob smacked by the price too as they are all well under £1.
There are many other brands such as Betty Crocker, Mcdougalls, Dr Oetker and celebrity chefs own brands. As I continued shopping I was wondering why people buy pre-made mixes and came up with a number of suggestions. Maybe they don’t enjoy baking? Maybe they think it produces a good product? Or maybe its just so much quicker?
I had really wanted to try out these cakes,and been thinking of new recipes to try and saw a blog post that gave me the push. I am really happy with the result. I used a basic cupcake recipe and added in the flavours I thought would go well using an orange cream cheese icing to top it off. Here’s how I did it.
Extra marmalade for the centre
For the orange,cream cheese icing:
180g Cream cheese
350g Icing sugar
Zest of one orange
Makes 12 cupcakes
Baking time:15 minutes
Preheat the oven to 170’C. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and blend in. Then mix in the flour and marmalade ensuring there are no lumps. If you want more of an orange punch add orange extract and or zest. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 mins in the tray before transferring to a wire rack.
While waiting for the cakes to cool, using an electric whisk, mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth and combined. Bear in mind, if the kitchen is hot the icing will become very loose and may need more icing sugar. Once cooled I added marmalade to the centre of the cake to give an extra bitter sweet marmalade yumminess when you bite into the cake. Now you are ready to top the cupcakes with the orange flavoured cream cheese icing. I chose to pipe them but you could top with any design style you fancy.
I added thick cut orange marmalade strips to the top of each cake for the final touches
These bitter sweet cupcakes are perfect to serve with tea or to those who don’t particularly have a sweet tooth.
The original recipe is by Dan Lepard and I’ve altered it slightly. This is a rich moist all purpose fruit cake. You can make it a few weeks before Christmas and feed it alcohol. Or, if like me, you live with people that just love fruit cake, it can be for any occasion.
- 105g golden syrup
- 125g dark brown sugar
- 100ml double cream
- 7g mixed spice
- 5g cinnamon
- 125g butter
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- Zest of a large orange
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 500g currants, raisins,mixed peel (any dried fruit)
- 250g natural glacé cherries
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- brandy, whisky or alcohol of your choice
Baking time: 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 170C/335F/Gas 3 and line a round deep cake tin with non-stick paper. Place the syrup, sugar, cream and spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the butter in small chunks and stir until melted, then add the orange and lemon extracts (or zest). Then add the eggs beat slightly till the mix looks smooth, then stir in the fruit. Mix the flour and soda together in a separate bowl, then stir this through evenly. Pour into the tin and bake for approx 2 hours, using your own judgement and a cocktail stick. Leave to cool in the tin.
When cold, spoon the top liberally with your choice of alcohol, wrap well and leave for 3-4 days before icing or leave for a day and eat it as it is. Alternatively, you could feed it alcohol for a few weeks leading up to Christmas and then cover with marzipan and icing.
I’ve been hard at work the last few months, baking, frosting, cutting, proving, mixing, whisking, decorating, and EATING! Here’s a collection of orders I’ve had recently for cakes, cupcakes, canapes, and bread.
I can replicate any of these if you want to order something from me. I hope you enjoy looking at them, all comments welcome.