Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Cupcakes

It's officially December. This means Christmas.
Christmas is my favourite time of year.
Did I make that clear?

I have some good things to look forward to this month! Handing all my work in, finishing university for the Christmas break, my sister's birthday and of course, Christmas and Boxing Day where I get to see family and I'll be helping my Mum make Christmas dinner!
Best of all though, I'm going to Paris for 3 nights with my lovely boyfriend :) It was his 21st birthday present from me. I cannot wait!

My sisters and I did a cupcake decorating class 2 weeks ago with Teach Me Sugarcraft. We didn't realise that it was a Christmas theme. 
I don't think it was worth the £70 that the course normally costs! We only paid £10 each as there was a deal on KGB Deals. There were 10 of us squashed around a table in a leisure centre and we only had 3 of each thing on the table, which meant you had to wait and I felt like they rushed us. They had already made the cakes and icing, we just had to pipe, roll, cut and stick.
I think that we could have easily copied the designs from seeing a picture from the internet, we didn't really need to be 'taught', as everyone had basic decorating knowledge.
Ahh well, it was good anyway. Their icing tasted nice.

What do you think?

Zoe x

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Roast Beef Dinner

I realise these pictures aren't the best, but what are you more interested in, good pictures or good food? 
Its the latter for me!

I was staying at home with my sisters while my parents were away, and one of my sisters that has been at uni for a few weeks was complaining about not having roast dinners anymore, so I decided to make one!

This has to be one of the easiest roast dinners I have ever cooked!
This was the meat I used, here is the link to it on the Tesco website, because they have changed the packaging for it. 
You literally cook it as it says on the packet; take the plastic off, pour the gravy over, cover with foil, cook for 45 minutes at 180 degrees, remove the foil, cook for another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, wrap it in foil again and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Simple. 

You need to decide, preferably before hand, what you will accompany your meat with. 
We had; 
- Butternut squash, peeled, chopped, drizzled in oil and roasted - 20 minutes
- Carrots, peeled, chopped and boiled (you can buy it already prepared) - 15 minutes
- Broccoli and cauliflower (pre-prepared) boiled, 10 minutes
- Yorkshire puddings (Aunt Bessie's frozen) - 4 minutes in oven
- Peas and sweetcorn - 3 minutes in microwave, from frozen
- Gravy, Bisto 'favourite' gravy granules, made with boiling water that the vegetables were cooked in, with added beef juices!

Simple enough? 


Zoe x

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Raspberry, White Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

These cupcakes were really nice, and very easy to do!
The nicest touch to these was that they had everyone's names on, in white chocolate letters :)
I also added some red butterflies for a bit of contrast, and to match the red cases that the cupcakes were in. You can get the cutters here

- 125g butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp raspberry jam
- 2 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour (or 150g all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)
- 12 fresh raspberries

- 75g butter
- 125g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
2. Cream the butter for as long as you can, meaning mix it with a fork or a whisk, until it is pale and fluffy.
3. Add the sugar, mix. Then add the raspberry jam and mix
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
5. Sift in the flour in and mix again.
6. Half fill the cupcake cases, then put a raspberry into the middle of each case, then pour more cupcake mix over the raspberries until the cases are about 2/3 - 3/4 full.
7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
8. While the cakes are cooling, start to make the icing. Cream the butter until it is pale and fluffy. 
9. Carefully stir in the icing sugar and vanilla extract. 
10. When your cakes are cooled, decorate them with the icing, either piping it on, using a palate knife or a regular knife! I then added the names and the butterflies.

Zoe x

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Coconut and Lime Cupcakes

We used to make a coconut and lime cake with a lemon-lime syrup when we were younger, and it was my favourite kind of cake. The syrup adds extra bursts of flavour. 
I haven't made it at all since being at university, so this summer I bought a bag of dessicated coconut so that I could make it. 
Then I thought 'what about turning it into cupcakes?' and ta dah! The coconut-lime cupcakes with a lemon-lime syrup and lemon butter icing were made. 

I split my cupcake mixture into two, one half had coconut, and the other didn't. I definitely preferred them with the coconut, but I also had to cater for the fussy people!

- 125g butter
- 125g caster sugar
- Zest of half a lime
- 2 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour (or 150g all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)
- 60g dessicated sweetened coconut (Can be left out if you don't like coconut)

- Zest of half a lime
- Juice of two limes (make the icing before you make the syrup)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 100g caster sugar

- 75g butter
- 125g icing sugar
- Zest of 3/4 a lime

Lime Zest Curls
- 1/4 lime zest, peeled and chopped into thin strips (see pictures)
- 2 tbsp caster sugar, sprinkled onto a plate

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
2. Cream the butter for as long as you can with a fork, or an electric whisk.
3. Add the sugar and lime zest, mix.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
5. Sift in the flour in and mix again. Stir in the coconut.
6. Put a tablespoon of batter into each cupcake case. There should be enough for about 13 cupcakes, or 12 and some batter for you to lick up!
7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

8. While the cakes are cooling, start to make the icing. Cream the butter until it is pale and fluffy, either with a fork or an electric whisk. 
9. Add the icing sugar and lime zest. Mix it together s-l-o-w-l-y at first so that icing sugar doesn't fly everywhere!!

10. Cut the lime into super thin strips like the picture below.

11. Make up the syrup with the sugar, lime zest, lime juice and lemon juice. Heat it in a saucepan gently, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lime strips. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes, or until it has thickened. Remember it will thicken more when it cools.

12. Remove the lime strips from the syrup and roll them in sugar that is sprinkled over the plate.

13. Poke holes into the top of the cupcakes with a cocktail stick. Carefully spoon the syrup onto each cupcake. You can add another spoonful of syrup onto it when the previous spoonful of syrup has soaked in.

14. When your cakes and syrup are cooled, decorate them with the icing, either piping it on or spread it on with a knife!

Let me know if you make these, and what you think of them!

Zoe x

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chocolate and Pear Cake

There are days when you need something sweet, and we thought this was perfect when we didn't have much in the house. This mainly uses products that you will have in your cupboard and fridge.

- 2 cans pear halves in juice
- 190g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 190g caster sugar
- 225g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Drain the cans of pears and lay them, flat side down, on the bottom of the dish.

3. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl.

4. Mix together! 
This is honestly one of the most amazing tasting chocolate cake batters ever!!

5. Pour the chocolate batter over the pears and spread it out, its okay if some of the pear is poking out! 6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then leave to cool.
7. Serve with ice cream, or a chocolate sauce! It would be great with my chocolate peanut sauce (do pears and peanuts go? Only one way to find out!)

Let me know how it turns out of you try it, and if you do, send a photo on twitter or facebook!

Zoe x

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Caramel Sauce

I decided to make these for my housemate's 20th birthday, as my other housemate had made cupcakes for him. These definitely went down a treat and everyone loved them, especially when they found a chunk of chocolate in them!

- 160g of butter
- 500g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g self-raising flour
- 175g cocoa powder
- Bar of chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave, in short 30 second bursts (you don't want it to burn!)
3. Add the sugar, the eggs and vanilla extract, then whisk.
4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder in and mix.
5. Break up the bar of chocolate. I like to break it into squares, then put them a sandwich bag and whack them with a rolling pin until they are in little pieces. Then mix them into the brownie batter.
6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, so that they are 2/3 full.
7. Cook them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You want the insides to be all fudgey and the outside to be crispy.

When they are done in the oven, leave them to cool and then top them with my easy caramel sauce.
You could then grate some chocolate over them as a nice finishing touch!

Zoe x

Monday, June 11, 2012

Squire's Cake Shop

My aunt has a fantastic cake shop near her house in Farnham, Surrey. They have everything you will need to make and decorate a cake! These are pictures of some of the cakes that they had on display when I went in there (09.06.2012).

Jubilee Cake

Animal print cupcakes

Union Jack cake

Garden cake

Handbag cake.

Squire's Kitchen's website is

Zoe x

Sunday, June 10, 2012

More Cupcake Designs

A few snaps of cupcakes that I have made!

Vanilla cupcakes with pink and black two-toned butter icing and glitter.

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate butter icing and chocolate hearts.

Vanilla cupcakes with white and pink butter icing and glitter.

Vanilla cupcakes with white and pink butter icing and royal icing marbled pink butterflies.

Lemon cupcakes with lemon butter icing and a royal icing dove.

Vanilla cupcakes with white icing and red, white and blue royal icing roses.

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter butter-icing and grated chocolate.

Vanilla cupcakes with white icing, royal icing crowns (painted with gold lustre) and gold balls.

Lemon cupcakes with red, white and blue three toned lemon butter icing! 
Check out the Union Jack cupcake cases from Squire's Kitchen!

Lemon cupcakes with pink lemon butter icing and pink royal icing butterflies painted with glitter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Easy Caramel Sauce

This caramel sauce was gorgeous! And SO easy! Its so easy to sit there with a spoon and eat the entire jar! I've started to add a spoonful to porridge with bananas.

- Bag of soft toffees (I used Cadbury's eclairs)
- Double cream (The amount you use depends on how many toffees you have) 

1. Remove the wrappers and empty them into a jug.

2. Cover the toffees in cream.

3. Melt them together in the microwave for one minute, give them a mix, then heat it for 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between, until it is smooth.

4. Pour into a glass jar and leave to cool.

Zoe x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...