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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Ombre Violet Cake with Wild Blueberry Buttercream for Mothers Day

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Violet or purple? Purple or violet???  I had to look up to see the difference in definition, but couldn’t say that I know better. I think the colour of my cake is violet though, as seems that purple is more red-ish, so I go for violet, but correct me if I’m wrong.

 

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I made this tiny cake using violet food colour. I baked the three layers separately, and tinted the batter in different proportions to get the ombre effect. First, I thought that the darker shade would be too dark, it looked more black at some point, and only when I cut into it I started to relax seeing the nice, deep violet colour, and it was not black.

 

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The cake is not a sponge cake, is my yummy vanilla cake recipe with French butter and vanilla extract, only this time I used white sugar instead of brown, because I wanted to have a light coloured batter which can be tinted to the desired colour.

 

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I made buttercream this time, which is also not my usual cake filling, but I wanted different. I mixed Wild Blueberry jam in my buttercream to add flavour, but I applied a layer of jam on top of each cake layer, too -which, Hello! -it really isn’t my style of making cake, but as I said, I wanted different 🙂

 

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Full Chocolate Cupcakes

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I was trying to compose the title for these cupcakes, but it’s easier to just call it simply full chocolate cupcakes, because it’s literally full with chocolates.
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I added dark chocolate chunks to the batter and the ganache cream on top is full with chocolate flakes, too.
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Initially I made them to give it away, but I can never make just a few, so we could keep some for ourselves, too.
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This time I also made few sugarpaste roses to decorate my cupcakes.
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Ingredients:
1 cup water

5 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2,5 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 little natural yogurt (without any flavour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
200 gr butter (unsalted)
1 tsp almond extract
juice squeezed from 1/4 orange
100 gr dark chocolate roughly chopped
salt
Topping cream:
600 ml heavy cream
150 gr dark chocolate
You need to prepare the cream on the previous day of baking. In order to do this you need to pour the cream into a pan, put it on the stove. Chop the 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.
This is a very delicious cupcake topping, and I often use this method with white chocolate as well, and also it can be coloured well with food colour.
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Baking the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven and line your cupcake tin with the cupcake cases.
2. 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.
3. Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking soda 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.
4. Scoop the batter 3/4 of the way into the lined cupcake tin and bake for about 20 minutes. Leave them cool in the tin for 5 more minutes before taking the cakes out on a tray. Let them cool completely.
5. In a mixing bowl beat the chocolate cream to a relatively hard consistency if you want to pipe a swirl on top of your cupcakes.
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Tamara’s Coral, Yellow and Green 1st Birthday Party

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My inspiration for this came from a little dress that I bought for my daughter when I was still pregnant with her. I didn’t want a pink princess birthday for her, but more colourful and summery. Coral is a beautiful colour, but I must admit that it is extremely hard to put together a party choosing coral as a leading theme! What is coral like? Is it a shade of pink, or a shade of red, or a mix of red and yellow, or simply just faded red???  Hard to find any accessories (to keep the party cheep, that is) so I made a compromise and used pinks here and there, as well as oranges and reds. The overall outcome was pretty and suited my little girl just fine!

We had our Hungarian friends coming over with their children, all slightly older than my baby, but young enough to enjoy themselves. We had no party activities of any sort, just free play, and they could do whatever they wished to do. Looking through the mess and the battlefield of toys spread all over the living room, I think they have had a great time 🙂

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I made this tree based on a display tree which I saw in Hobby Craft. The one I saw was made of rubber plastic, mine is real and I cut it from a bush, stack it in wet sand and painted it all over with white spray. I decorated it with paper flowers and few butterflies and hanged 12 small, framed photos of my baby starting from birth up to 12 months.

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The giant Number 1 I made from polyfoam and covered with spotty tissue paper.

I served sweet Rose to my lady friends, and to keep it cool I placed the bottles in a bucket filled with my special rose ice cubes. I picked small wild rose buds from the bushes next to our house and freezed them in water to make these cute and girly ice cubes.

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The Birthday table:

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Not everything was on the table when my husband took the photos. We had lots of Nachos with three kind of dips, also I made tuna spread in small pastry shells, and we had Crostini baguettes with Feta cheese cream and cherry tomato salsa on top. This is a delicious recipe that I saw once on Food Network made by one of my favourite TV chefs Ina Garten.

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These Number 1 biscuits are my favourite in spite of not being easy to make them. I had no cookie cutter to start with……Was looking on eBay to buy, but the only one I found was £45 from Germany, but no way I would pay that much for a cookie cutter. It doesn’t even make sens to be THAT expensive! So, I had to figure out something, and I just remembered that I had a Christmas tree cookie cutter…… It took me a little while but eventually I managed to mould it with a tool and I transformed the tree into a number 1! Wasn’t exactly perfectly shaped but I loved it anyway and in the end my Number 1 cookies were just fine and imperfect in a pretty funny way 🙂

Now, before Christmas I might just remould it back to a tree, ha-ha!

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I made two kind of cupcakes, a batch of vanilla cakes with fresh blueberries and white chocolate chips frosted with white chocolate cream.

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The other cupcakes were rich chocolate with caramel chocolate cream frosting and also few with the white chocolate cream.

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Simple vanilla cake pops,…

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… and lots of sweets for the kids!

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The birthday cake is a delicious chocolate cake with many layers.

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Strawberry cheese cakes as party favours plus a party bag with a home made Peg Doll for each kid. My Mum and I made the Peg Dolls from outgrown body suits of Tamara’s.

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I think they came out very cute, don’t you?

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And here’s my darling party-girl 🙂

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I also made her a little Smash Cake which she could “play” with a little before eating on her actual birthday.

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Ha-ha, she went for the yellow fondant rose on top!

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Happy Birthday to my sweet little Darling Tamara!

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Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes Reloaded!

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So, here I am again with a new batch of these truly amazing lemon cupcakes!
This time I will share the recipe too. I did some changes because the lady I made these for asked the cupcakes to be filled inside rather then having the cream on the top.

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Ingredients:

-1 cup self raising flour

1 cup demerara sugar

-3 large eggs

-half stick of good quality butter which is 125 gr (my personal favourite is President french butter)

-2 large unwaxed lemon

-1 or 2 tablespoon of sugar (apart from the cup)

First, preheat the oven on Gas mark 6-7 and line the cupcake baking tray with cupcake cases.

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy then add the sugar and beat them together too. Star adding the eggs one by one beating after each addition.

Add the sifted flour to the mixture but now use the lowest speed on the mixer and only beat until everything is combined.

Zest 1 of the lemons straight in your bowl and when done with that cut it in half and stir in the juice of one half lemon.

Divide the mixture in the cupcake cases and put it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

While baking, take the half lemon and the other lemon, juice them in a cup then stir in the tablespoon of sugar (1 or 2, depending on your taste…). You should get a tasty lemon syrup.

When your cupcakes are done, take them out from the oven and whilst it is still hot, prick them all over with a skewer then using a spoon spread over your drizzle mixture from earlier and  then leave it to cool completely.

I let them cool for about an hour then cored them and filled them.

For the filling I used double cream and lemon flavoured icing sugar to make a light, delicious cream. I also add a teaspoon of Sicilian Lemon Extract from Dr. Oetker to make it even more intense. Ah, that really worked well 🙂

Last time when I made the Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes with Vanilla  Cream, I didn’t core those, but instead I frost them with vanilla buttercream (butter+lemon flavour icing sugar+lemon extract+a little yellow colouring).

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Strawberry Cupcakes Filled With Cream and Strawberries

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I made these for someone last weekend. She wanted it to be filled with cream inside the cake rather then frosted. I do like a good cupcake that has creamy filling underneath the icing, and I think these came out pretty good!

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I used my ever so popular vanilla cupcake from Laura Vitale’s Kitchen, so I will not write the recipe. I did few modifications though.

I add a cup of fresh strawberries to the batter, and after baking and cooling down, I cored each cupcake and filled them with a slice of strawberry and fresh cream which I previously whipped with strawberry flavoured icing sugar.

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To decorate the cupcakes I used white sugarpaste/fondant and some glitter.

DSC_9002 I took these 2 cupcakes aside and made them to my husband who absolutely preferres a tall, extra creamy cupcake with fresh fruits versus a shallow, flat one iced with fondant. And so do I….

Butterfly Birthday Cake

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In my last post I talked about my daughter’s 6th birthday and posted lots of photos about the birthday table, including her Birthday Cake. Yet, I come back now with her Birthday Cake because I just feel that it deserves to have an individual post on its own. I just loved it THAT much 🙂

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I made a simple sponge following my Hungarian recipe which is perfect for this type of cakes and it’s as easy as can be.
Ingredients:
-5 large eggs
-5 tablespoon of flour
-5 tablespoon of sugar
-pinch of salt 

Whip the egg whites with the sugar on high speed of your electric mixer until stiff, then add the egg yolks one at a time on the lowest speed. Finally add the flour, gently folding in with a spoon or a spatula. Pour the cake mixture in your cake tin and bake it at about 200 C for about 1 hour. Let it cool completely before cutting the layers.

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To fill this cake I made a white chocolate ganache cream. This you can make it by melting the white chocolate into warm double cream. I used 600 ml double cream and 300 gr of white chocolate. When it cooled down completely I put it in the fridge overnight before whipping it and filling the cake. So this step must be done at least 1 day prior to decorating and eating the cake.

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After I filled my cake, I covered it with a thin layer of the ganache cream, then I put a layer of rolled marzipan. If you have time you can put the cake at this stage in the fridge for a while to set. I didn’t had time for this, so I applied the final layer which was the white fondant. Then I started working on the grass stripes. Now that was the most time consuming with this cake (well, If I don’t count working on the big rose and the Australian lace butterflies, but I’ve made them in advance the previous days), because I cut and glued each stripe of grass individually.

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When making the rose I used more shades of pink fondant. Started with the biggest petals made from the lightest pink, and went towards the middle of the flower using gradually darker pinks. To be honest with you this was my second rose, the first one didn’t survived….. I truly believe it’s got to do with the quality of the fondant. I think to make such a flower I would’ve need a special fondant called sugar flower gum paste or something, which I don’t have! So I am very happy that I could make it anyway from my regular sugar paste fondant.

After I put the rose on the cake I sprinkled a little pink edible glitter on it, and that was it.

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Ok, I honestly don’t understand why my ingredients are not showing…..so there it is once again:

 

-5 large eggs

-5 tablespoon of flour

-5 tablespoon of sugar

-pinch of salt

Szonja’s 6th Birthday: Butterflies and Pink Roses…

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I am ever so happy to post my big girl’s Birthday table, she turned 6 on 30 of April. We celebrated on 4th of May, small party but with lot of style 🙂

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I made everything and enjoyed it so much! She asked for Butterfly theme this year, so that’s exactly what she got. I found it easy to fulfill her wish because there are so many bits and bobs you can add to a table to make it pretty, girlie, flowery and of course PINK. I chose light green to compliment the pink, so the main colour of the table was pink and green and lots of different size butterflies and roses.

Since my unborn baby keeps me awake most of the nights with all the wriggling and tummy kicking I had plenty of time to plan and to make all the decorations and the food.

There were cake pops, macaroons, cupcakes, decorated biscuits, sandwiches, nachos with salsa dip, crisps, fruits, vegetables, and of course the Birthday Cake. For drink I served apple juice and non alcoholic strawberry champagne for the kids, non alcoholic beer for me since I’m pregnant, and cocktails for our adult friends.

The party was not so much of a party really, but more like a play-date for my daughter with her two best friends and her little brother, so they were only 4 kids, which was very relaxing for me especially that their Mums were invited too and I had the chance to have a nice, chatty afternoon accompanied with drinks and food.

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I made these pompoms from tissue paper and hanged them above the birthday table.

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Bottom tier has marshmallows and brownies, in the middle I put little milk chocolates. I took the original Easter themed wrapping off and made new wraps from doilies and decorated them with green butterfly stickers.

On the upper tier I put my macaroons….Ahh, those macaroons! It was my first time ever to make macaroons and I honestly believe it was my last time, too. Too much disappointment with these. There were few that came out nice, and I used those, but there were far too many which were a disaster and had to throw it out.

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Beautiful roses which I think were so beautiful because they were over a week old! Honestly. I used jam jars as vases and sliced up 4 small limes and put it in the water to add some green to the pink. Also I decorated the flowers with paper butterflies.

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Cupcakes. These are plain vanilla cakes but I cored them and filled with raspberry sauce then frosted with white chocolate ganache cream. I put just a little of green colouring to the cream then topped with two different kind of fondant roses that I made previously.Image

These are simple digestive biscuits but sandwiched them together with Nutella and covered with fondant. I really loved making the personalized fondant decorations for these biscuits and my daughter was also delighted!

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Cake pops, lots of cake pops…. As usual I made them from left over cakes kept in the freezer. I made three kind of cake pops. Plain vanilla, then cake pops with chestnut puree and finally same with chestnut puree but with added rum for the adults. Image

I used salsa jars and decorated with doilies and foam roses to present some of the cake pops.

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These are ham and cheese sandwiches and of course I cut them with a butterfly shaped cookie cutter.Image

I don’t even remember what kind of jars are these (although I think it’s Sacla sauce…), but I was looking for something that can be used as a cup. Kids loved it and loved the straws with butterflies on them, too.

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These mini jars originally kept salmon paste and I transformed them to put the little candles which ended on the cake eventually.Image

Plastic, disposable champagne glasses. They looked so pretty with the added decorations and we all loved to drink the pink, non alcoholic champagne from it 🙂Image

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And finally the birthday cake. I have to tell you this was my favourite of all. I am very proud of this. The flower on top was a nightmare to make, I had to throw out the first one, and then the second was ok, but I just learned that regular fondant or sugar paste it’s just not suitable to make a flower like this. Next time I will need flower gum paste or whatever it is called but I think that is something more specific for this purpose. Image

I made the butterflies from royal icing and used a piping technique called Australian lace.

The green grass took me ages to make, little piece by piece, but it worth the trouble.

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It was a white chocolate cake filled with white chocolate ganache cream.Image

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My birthday girl and I 🙂

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Us…Image

Finally I show you the birthday invitation which I edited with Picassa. It looked like this before I finalized with the text message about the party.

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