Thursday, 14 October 2010

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

OK, asked by a work colleague for chocolate orange cupcakes, here is my interpretation:

Chocolate and orange cupcake iced with an orange buttercream icing.

So, for the chocolate cupcake base, the recipe I used was a little different. It's more of a dense brownie type mixture as opposed to an airy sponge. This was achieved by using melted chocolate, butter, eggs and plain flour without the use of any raising agents (like baking powder). And the addition of some orange juice and grated orange zest for that slight hint. The cases were then filled right to the top before baking.
I was a bit apprehensive about this recipe as I was taking a risk doing them like this, and didn't have the opportunity to make any more should they go wrong!! But luckily, the gamble paid off! The cake is great and a provides a much better, denser base for all that yummy buttercream.
For the buttercream I just jused my normal buttercream recipe but with orange juice, zest and some orange food colouring. So there you are!
Hope you like them David! :)

Coops x

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My local cafe (one of...)

So I went for a quick coffee break at my local cafe (I love it, it has the nicest atmosphere, yummy food and they love kids) on Monday, with William. He'd been a good boy all morning and I thought he was in the right frame of mind for sharing a bit of cake with his Mummy :)

I went in and they had a beautiful collection of cupcakes sitting there on the counter, in their own little stand, covered in glitter and decorated wonderfully. Some had strawberries dipped in white chocolate on top, some had little sugar paste flowers adorning their perfectly whipped buttercream.
I was a little jealous I have to say. I mean although I've no doubt my cupcakes look lovely, these were just beautiful.
But there was just one thing bothering me about them, and this is something I see quite a lot...
'Edible Glitter' -  it doesn't sit right with me!
I mean I know it's classed as something that you can safely eat without any harm incurred, but that's only because it's classed as non-toxic. The glitters are actually suggested as only for use as decoration. I can't find one example of an edible glitter that doesn't actually have 'only for decoration purposes' in small print. If you want a truly edible glitter that is completely water soluble and for specific consumption you need to buy 'flakes' - which aren't nearly as sparkly and 'WOW' but are, actually supposed to be eaten. Here's what some of the websites say:

"The brand of edible glitter we offer is a non toxic, inert substance which doesn't flavour the food or bleed colour. It's not digested by the body, but passes through your system harmlessly." 
"It contains additives which are usually harmless but on very rare occasions, as with any food item, allergic reactions may occur."
"Because it's not broken down by the body's digestive system, we recommend that you use it lightly"

And I mean, I see some of these cakes, literally covered in it. So all this lovely glitter that is used to make these cupcakes look that bit extra special, to me, just puts me off. I don't really fancy having glitter in my insides for a while, God know it's hard enough to get out of the carpet...

I might just be over reacting, but there we are! Safe to say, I just bought a piece of regular cake. :)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I am AWFUL at making meringue. It's a known fact. I don't know what it is that I do so wrong but they're usually a crumbly mess, but this time they seemed much better, still not bright white like everyone else's seem to be though?? Whaa!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Very Naughty Double Chocolate Cookies

I've just finished baking the most beautiful cookies I've ever tasted!! Oh my, they're chocolately :D And they came out of the oven just perfect too (not in one homogenous gloopy super cookie mess like I've had before!) The recipe was SO simple really, here's what I did (would and should also mention I got this fantastic recipe out of the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook - it's brilliant):
  • melt 450g quality dark chocolate with 50g butter
  • mix 170g soft light brown sugar with 2 eggs and some vanilla essence.
  • mix chocolate mix with sugar and egg mix.
  • add to 85g of flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  • stir in some belgian chocolate (chopped into large chunks)
  • bake in the oven at 170 until just cracked on top. (10-15 minutes)
Here they are:

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Coffee frother (in case you were interested in the results)

Coffee frother works a treat, I'm gonna hold out on the cake till' I see my friends though. :D


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Friday, 1 October 2010

Simple Chocolate Sandwich Cake

After an excitable to trip to the new Waitrose near me (yes, on a Friday night! :p) I got home and had an urge to use my newly purchased cake tins. (God this is making me sound sad). I'm seeing my friends over in Manchester tomorrow and thought bringing them a lovely cake would be nice :)
This one's nothing too fancy, just a basic chocolate sponge sandwiched and coated with chocolate frosting and topped with grated white and dark chocolate. Simple, but one of the best. I can't wait to have a slice of this with a cup of coffee tomorrow. Incidently, I bought a 'coffee frother' while I was out this eve too...I'm a sucker for gadgets. You know things used to be very different... Ha! I used to GO OUT of a Friday night... but hey, I'm out tomorrow night instead and boy am I looking forward to it! If anything, it'll give the oven a well deserved rest.

Chocolate Sandwich Cake

Jaffa Cakes

Brought some 'Jaffa Cakes' into work today to put on the 'treat table'... which begs the question: "are Jaffa CAKES even cakes?" - I say no, no they are not. They are a cakey biscuits and no more. Cakes are much greater and bigger and fluffier. Not to say, Jaffa Cakes aren't ace, it's just maybe they should be called something more akin to 'Soft Jaffa Biscuits' or something like that...err...

This could lead onto the KitKat debate quite quickly too, chocolate bar or biscuit?

...there's more to life than contemplating stuff like this isn't there?

"Scone" or "Scon"
"Bap or Barm"