Vietnamese Ice Coffee Cupcakes

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Here we go with the coffee again. What can I say, I LOVE coffee, but you probably know that already. This time though, I searched for a different recipe for a change, and this is how I found a site called The Scran Line. I was blown away instantly of the gorgeous cakes and cupcakes and I just knew I have to give it a go! I might just try a few cupcake recipes from that site, adding my own personal touch to it, of course, because they all look soooooo gooooood!
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If you want to make this too, here is the recipe, and Nick also has a YouTube channel. I am warning you though, that once you open that, you will not want to close it again……
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Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

 

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Red hearts, chocolate hearts, roses and raspberries. These would be the keywords to describe my Valentines Cupcakes I made this weekend. So light, so creamy, so dreamy….. I only made a few though, and apparently not enough, because the family was demanding for more.

M y little daughter helped me making the red roses from sugar paste, she made one just by herself after watching me closely. Like mother like daughter! She definitely takes after me, but to be fair, my older daughter loves crafting just the same.
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To make these beauties, I baked feather-light raspberry cupcakes and frosted with cream cheese icing. Really, really yummy! I wanted my cake to be red-and-white, like really popping red and bright white, but I just learned a lesson, which I kinda knew already, that you can not bake WHITE cake. Not in a natural way, anyway. I put white sugar instead of brown (and if you know me, you know that I use brown sugar like 99% of the time), and I put white food color in the batter (like a lot), and I baked on very low heat, and for a shorter amount of time, and my cake were still not white enough. And they never will be, I will just have to except it. I used some white food color in the icing too, and that actually worked, so at least the topping was nice and bright white.
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Ingredients:
125 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white caster sugar
1+1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup whole milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 gr fresh raspberries
pinch of salt
For the icing:
250 gr Mascarpone cream cheese
300 ml double cream
powder sugar, depending on your personal taste (I only used 1/2 cup)
white food color, optional
Method:
Preheat your oven. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt and baking powder. Divide the baking cases in the baking pan.
In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla, mix well, then add in the flour mixture and the milk. Mix on low speed only until everything is incorporated. Throw in the raspberries and fold using only a large spoon. I didn’t want to crush the raspberries, so I mixed it very gently and only for few seconds.
Divide the batter evenly in the cupcake pan using an ice cream scoop only 3/4 way. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, then remove from the oven and let them cool a little before you transfer the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
In a bowl, cream the cream cheese with the powder sugar gradually adding the double cream too. If you have more raspberries, you can add some to the icing, it will make it pink and will taste very good!
P.S..I am very excited to announce that now I have my own App  which you can find on Play Store under the name Beautiful Cakes on your phone. I would appreciate any comments on this, weather you could find it easy or not and of course what do you think about it. I will probably come back to this post and edit this section should I have to change anything in the App (…well, that would be my husband, he designed the app and made it work…). Thank you!
Here’s the link:
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Frozen Winter Forest Cake – my traditional Christmas Chocolate Truffle Cake

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This Christmas I made once again my traditional Christmas cake, which is a chocolate truffle heaven! We just loved this one so much after I made it for the first time few years ago, that I kept on with it every Christmas ever since. The only difference I make is the decoration and presentation each year.

 

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Ingredients:

1 cup water
5 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2,5 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 little natural yogurt (without any flavour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
200 gr butter (unsalted)
1 tsp almond extract (this time I actually put 2 tsp and I loved the more intense almond taste)
juice squeezed from 1/4 orange
100 gr good quality dark chocolate roughly chopped
salt
Ganache cream:
600 ml double cream
150 g white chocolate +150 g to decorate the cake
You need to prepare the cream on the previous day of baking. In order to do this you need to pour the double cream into a pan, put it on the stove. Chop 150 g white  chocolate in small pieces and stir in the cream until its melted. Make sure it’s not boiling, it only needs to get warm enough until the chocolate melts in. When it’s done, put it aside to cool completely, then put it in the fridge for the night or at least 6 hours.
Method:
Preheat your oven. Put the water, cocoa powder and butter in a pan and stirring it, bring it to boil on the stove, then put it aside to cool down.
Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the water with the butter and chocolate, add the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange juice, yogurt, and finally the chopped chocolate. Stir everything just only until all is combined.
Grease and line (the bottoms only) the tins with baking paper. Lately I like to use 4-5 large, disposable paper baking cases, because this way I can bake each layer separately, and there is no need to cut before filling. I love it! My cases are roughly 6-7″  diameter at the base, I divided the batter into 5 layers, so my cake ended up nice and tall, just how I like it.
Pour the batter evenly into the cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes. Take it out from the oven then leave to cool in the tins completely before filling your cake.
With an electric mixer beat the white chocolate cream and fill the cake. I put generous amount of cream on each layer, and I covered the cake with the remaining filling, just enough to keep the white chocolate pieces stacked to the sides.
Melt 150 g white chocolate, then spread it thinly and evenly on kitchen foil. Put it in the freezer on a flat surface for 10-15 minutes until completely hardens back again. Take it out from the freezer and brake the chocolate in strips. It doesn’t have to be even, because this way will look more like sharp ice which is the whole idea behind it, kind of a frozen winter forest…
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Caramel and Chocolate Chips Cupcakes

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I had leftover caramel at home so I thought I’ll use it wisely. I whipped up a can of double cream and added the caramel, it resulted in a silky, smooth, thick cream, which went perfectly on top of my cupcakes. I usually bake with chocolate chips, but this time around I had dark chocolate chunks to spice up my vanilla cupcakes. To finish it off, I used mini chocolate swirls bought from Hungary. My kids were over the moon!

 

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Magical Unicorn Party

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10 years old!

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I feel like I need an intro here, like I need to explain the whole Unicorn Party thing for my 10 year old daughter. I feel this because last year she had a “Taylor Swift” Birthday Party , which sounds more grown up, and it looks like we have had a step back this year. Looking back to the last year, I see lot of growing up in every aspect of life. She is definitely not a little girl anymore, and the fact that she is so tall, doesn’t help either 🙂 But, I wanted for her to have one more, (probably the last) childish birthday party, with all that comes with it. Oh, and she wanted the same thing, too!

 

 

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You would think they are too old for stuff like this. Like Unicorns and magic, and all the glitter and shine, but the truth is they’re not. Really NOT! Let me tell you, that these 10 year old girls LOVED all the glitter and shine and Unicorns and magic 🙂 They loved their little soft unicorns they got to build themselves and named, because, in case you didn’t know everybody has a Unicorn name, even you, my friend 🙂 They named their little Unicorns as follows: Sassy Happy-Feet, Happy Floating-Bubbles, Dashing Sugar-Socks, Sassy Tickled-Pink and Sunshine Happy-Feet.
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They started with watching an old movie called Legend, which features a couple of “real” Unicorns and Tom Cruise is the main star  (hello! I said Tom Cruise!!), but eventually they got bored with it, which I don’t blame them for, because the film was not the typical Hollywood Best of…(although it may have been back in 1985, I wouldn’t know…), and Tom Cruise was just a kid basically. Anyway, let’s just say that the movie was not the hit of the party, but the Unicorns looked real and beautiful, nonetheless.
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The girls sat down afterwards and stuffed their own Unicorns and chose their names and their Unicorn Magic Powder. They loved this and they had lots of fun doing it.
They applied jeans tattoos on their denim shorts, back and front pockets, they loved these, too. Well, of course, they were Unicorn tattoos in rainbow colors after all, what’s not to like there, right?
I spray painted white plastic unicorns in gold and glued them on jar lids, then filled the jars with candy. The mini bottles are made of glass, we put the labels on and filled with glitter, ehm…I mean Unicorn Magic, of course.
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They had a little fun outside running and jumping with the gold and pink confetti balloons before they got back to the dessert table for cake. During the whole party, they also got a laptop near them and they played their favourite music on You Tube, so there was some dancing, too.
We served rainbow pizza, Unicorn horn pastry filled with vegetable salad, sandwiches, Unicorn chocolate bark, white chocolate cake, donuts coated in chocolate melts and sprinkles, sugar cookies in shape of unicorns and magic wands (ah, those skinny unicorn legs were a pain to make…), cupcakes, etc…
The wooden sign which I placed outside to greet the party guests I made myself few weeks ago. I found this treasure lying in a ditch not far from the house about a year ago, and now I had the chance to do a makeover. I painted in rainbow colors and wrote the message ” Dance with Fairies, Ride a Unicorn, Swim with Mermaids, Chase Rainbows”.
Also, I bought the brown paper mache Unicorn head from Hobby Craft weeks ago, and I worked on it in secret, while my daughter was at school and hid it in the loft until her birthday.
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Tweet Tweet Little Bird -3rd Birthday Party

 

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My little one turns 3 within a week and we invited her closest friends to celebrate her birthday this last Saturday. They were little, they were sweet, they were chit-chatting, tweeting just like little birds, a delight to have them in the house for a couple of hours.
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We made small bird houses from cardboard paper and little fluffy birds from pompoms and colourful feathers. I found a free bird house template online which worked perfectly and was just the right size. The only fault is that there was no roof top to this template but was no trouble to make one. I made like 20 little bird houses to hang on our decorative tree before the party. During this activity we were listening to real bird songs which made us feel like we are in the middle of an enchanted forest with lots and lots of species of birds.
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After this the girls had a snack and we cut the birthday cake at the end as well.
I tried to make everything to resemble the birthday theme. Made white chocolate cookies in shape of birds and No.3. This time I iced the cookies with royal icing. It is much easier to work on cookies with royal icing than last time when I used a different icing (sugar and milk), and the final result is pretty but when it comes to eat these cookies, I think that royal icing is a bit too hard.
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My Mum is visiting as at the moment, so she and my older daughter joined me to make the little wafer bird houses. It was much fun to do them. I even tried to draw faces with edible ink on the tiny jelly bean birds, but I gave up eventually 🙂 We glued the wafer pieces together with melted white candy chocolate.
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Speaking of candy melts, I made each girl a chocolate flower and wrapped them individually in little cellophane bags. We gave them the chocolate flowers before they left home together with their party bags.
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We served small ham and cheese sandwiches, sweetcorn, tiny bite size pastry canapeés filled with tuna, salted hula hops -just to have something savory along the sweet deserts.
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Finally they had vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate cream, topped with cute birds cupcake toppers, and the chocolate birthday cake.
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The cake first had a layer of marzipan, then white fondant, covered all around with various colours, styles and size of tiny bird houses, which I made from fondant. I absolutely loved making them.
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Pistachio Pudding Cupcake with White Chocolate Cream

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I had few packs of American Jell-O pistachio pudding in my cupboard for a while, and I bought them specifically to bake them into cupcakes or some sort of cake. I used one pack now to make a small batch of cupcakes. They didn’t turned out as green as I thought they were, but then I haven’t used any food colour. Anyway, even though they were not so green, but at least they tasted wonderfully, so overall I was happy with the result, and so was my husband, who loved them!

 

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I found recipes on the Internet using pistachio pudding, but they also used boxed cake mixture. I aim to bake every time from scratch, so only use boxed cake when I see one in the store that look appealing and calls my name to try it. So, since I don’t keep any cake box in the house, I made up my own recipe.

 

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Ingredients:
-1 cup flour
-3/4 cup caster sugar (I usually bake with brown sugar, but this time I used white)
-3 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup milk
-60 ml sunflower oil
-1 pack Jell-O pistachio instant pudding
-1 tsp baking powder
-salt
Icing:
-600 ml double cream
-200 gr white chocolate
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Method:
To make the white chocolate cream, you need to warm the cream and melt the chocolate in the warm double cream, then let it cool and keep it in the fridge for overnight. Beat the cream next day, before icing the cupcakes.
Preheat the oven, and line the cupcake pan with the baking cases.
Using a big bowl, first I stirred the eggs with the vanilla, sugar, then I put everything else into the bowl and gave a good stir until was well combined, kind of how you would do with a boxed cake mix.
Divide the batter evenly in the baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Let them cool before icing. I decorated mine with pink and purple chocolate shavings.
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Christmas Tree Cupcakes for the Preschool Christmas Party

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“Last Christmas I gave you my heart…….” No, but I gave away more than 40 mini cupcakes for my daughter’s preschool Christmas party.
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I enjoyed making the little green pine trees from Wilton candy melts, even the kids jumped in to make some for themselves in the end.
For this occasion I baked a box of Carrot Cupcakes, I wanted to try the taste for a while. Not too bad, but doesn’t come even close to my carrot cupcakes recipe. I sprinkled coconut shred on top of the icing for the snowy effect.
My little Darling at her very first Christmas Party 🙂
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Belgian Chocolate Cupcakes -with chocolates from Belgium

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Is it chocolate o’clock? Yes, always!

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I bought these Belgian chocolates from Belgium when we had a family getaway last Christmas. I made these cupcakes shortly after that, but completely forgot about them, I just found these pictures on my computer.

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These were simple vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate and mascarpone cream cheese frosting. Each chocolate on the top was a different kind, and I remember that my favourite was the cherry chocolate, the one with the rose print.

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