Sunday, 26 February 2012

Superbowl cupcakes

I realise that I'm posting this a little late... approximately a month ago would have been good, in preparation for the superbowl. However, I haven't been that organised, so here are my superbowl cupcakes which I made at the beginning of February to celebrate the NFL match.

I never used to even really know anything about NFL, however my other half loves it and after kind of being subjected to it most Sunday evenings last season, I sort of ended up taking an interest in it and actually quite enjoy it now! It's really a pretty good game... anyway, back to the cupcakes!

We were supporting the Patriots, but in the interest of fairness, I made cupcakes for both the Patriots and the Giants. The recipe is for a chocolate cupcake and is from the Dr. Oetker website. I used the icing recipe which is part of it as well. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised as I don't generally like buttercream that much and this one was really good!

The tricky bit was making the logos.

The Patriots have a complicated logo so this is a simplified version thereof! I was pretty pleased with how they turned out though. I made them out of modelling paste (half normal fondant icing and half flower paste) so that they would dry out a bit and hold their shape. 

The Giants logo was a bit easier to recreate, although keeping the letters even was difficult. The colours aren't really quite right, but I think they're okay for some novelty cupcakes which were only to be eaten by me and my other half!

After making two Giants logos and two Patriots logos, enough was enough! I decorated the rest very quickly and simply with, what else, glitter!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Chocolate dinosaur cake

The beginning of January saw my other half have his birthday and, as he is trying to ignore the fact that he is getting older, a children's birthday cake was in order. I saw a video on YouTube detailing how to make this cake and thought it was cute, so decided to have a go. You can find the video here and there is a link to the paper templates used as well.

I made the Easy Chocolate Cake from BBC Food (which I also used for my cricket pitch cake) and, since neither my other half or I like butter icing particularly, I also made the ganache from the BBC Food recipe - I figured it may as well all be chocolate since it wasn't going to be green!

The thing I disliked about this cake is that due to cutting out various parts, there are bits of cake left over. It wasn't really a problem, we just ate those as well, but they weren't iced and in general I prefer to use as much of the cake as possible. In any case, it was fun to make and disappeared very quickly.

The cake is only one layer high, and with the recipe I used this is really enough as the cake is moist and dense, almost like chocolate brownie. Plus it has the chocolate decorations (generic version of Smarties, and you can't really see but there are white chocolate chunks along the back of the dinosaur) for the ultimate chocolatey experience!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A little Valentine's day baking...

I'm not really a Valentine's day fan - I have no problem with it and think it's quite cute really, but the red/pink/teddy/heart gifts are all a little bit over the top for me. I think it's nice to celebrate it a little though, and it is definitely a good excuse to bake a cake!

For a while now I have been wanting to try out a recipe I found in Good Food magazine for the Ultimate Chocolate Cake. I have been resisting, waiting for a special occasion, as there is a reason this is the ultimate - 400g sugar, 200g butter, 200g chocolate and that's before you get to the icing! However, the time had come and, in addition, I wanted to try out my heart-shaped springform tin which I have actually had for ages but hadn't yet used.

You can find the recipe here on the Good Food website if you want to try this yourself.

The cake is very rich and moist - it's almost a little like chocolate brownie, which perhaps isn't so surprising if you look at the recipe and the quantities of the various ingredients. It made me worry it wasn't cooked through, but I think it's okay! Mine did sink quite a bit which was disappointing - I think I might have opened the over a bit early. It wasn't early according to the time, but I had reduced the temperature on my oven since we have a fan oven and I suspect I shouldn't have turned it down so much. I think I just about managed to hid the dip by filling it with chocolate ganache though!

What do you think of the chocolate fingers around the sides? I quite like them, I just about got the effect I wanted. I had toyed with using whole fingers then putting actual chocolates (truffles, for example) all over the top so it looked like a basket of chocolates but especially with the cake dipping (and me not being able to find chocolates in time!) that didn't happen. I'm quite pleased with the result though.

Definitely one to try again! I think I'll try it in a normal round tin though and see whether this makes a difference. If you're craving chocolate, this is the ideal solution...

Happy Valentine's day!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A quiet month...

So January was a quiet month on the baking front - I had to ban myself given that we still had Christmas cake and lots of biscuits and chocolate left over from the holidays. I did make some shortbread, as I had butter that needed to be used as well as a stressed team at work! I also made my other half a birthday cake, which I will get round to posting about!

February should be a bit busier on the blogging front, again it's just a case of getting round to it. I have just made some Superbowl cupcakes for tomorrow, so I will be posting about those. In addition, I have been learning to make different types of sugar flowers at my classes so I will blog about those too - bluebells, winter jasmine and snowdrops to come!