Ok, so earlier today I shared a video I found about icing your cupcakes to make them look like dogs. So I was rather keen to have a go at trying it and I’m pleased to announce I have a bunch of dogs sitting in the fridge now, eager to be let loose for mums birthday tomorrow! I made her favourite coffee and walnut cupcakes 🙂 Now as I’m a bit of a scrimper these days I used less ingredients for decorating and got away with some coffee buttercream and white and milk chocolate buttons. First few were a bit on the tricky side, but it gets better!
So I was looking around for ideas and found this really cool and simple tutorial. It tells you how to ice your cupcakes so they look like little dogs. As it’s my mum’s birthday tomorrow I thought it’s a good opportunity to try this technique out, fingers crossed it works!
I was feeling a little lost for ideas and fun stuff today as the cold snap is back So after browsing the net/blogs for a while I came across some simple iced biscuits on BBC and thought I would give them a try but put my own twist on it. I started off with my IKEA animal cutters, although they’re a bit fiddly and actually quite large, so I moved on to simple round biscuits and a single giant heart for my other half. The recipe I used is this-
- 100g softened butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 275g plain flour
Preheat the oven to C*190. Beat the sugar and the butter until smooth, add the egg and then the vanilla. Mix in the flour. Roll out the dough on floured surface, about 1cm thick (the dough is really sticky at this point so make sure you have flour handy. Cut the cookies and place on a baking tray and bake 8-10 min till golden. Be careful as these can reach burnt state quite quickly, so keep an eye on them. Once done cool on the wire rack till there’s no heat left as it will melt the icing. For the icing i gradually mixed in tiny amounts of water into icing sugar till I reached desired consistency. Add few drops of food colouring. For the piping i used a cone made out of greaseproof paper disc as its easy and can be thrown away once you’re done. Now have fun! Here’s some pics of my creations…
Yesterday I had another urge to get busy in the kitchen and thought I’ll l make some more fancy cupcakes. These were the best cupcakes ever!!!
- Coconut & Raspberry with Raspberry Butter-cream
- Carrot mini cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lime cupcakes with Lime Meringue topping
Whilst catching up on The Great British Bake Off Comic Relief Special, I was inspired by one of the technical challenges- Fresh Cream Eclairs. Now I have never done these before as I heard the pastry is a bit tricky to get right, and I’m more of the quick and easy type of baker! However I was feeling brave today so I decided to give it a go! It’s not actually that hard if you break it down in stages and keep your cool. Here’s the recipe I used:
- 65g of Flour
- 50g butter
- 2 eggs
For the filling:
- 200ml double cream
- 5tsp icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
And for the icing:
- 100g dark chocolate (can be milk if you fancy sweeter version)
- 50g white chocolate
Stage 1- Turn the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a pan boil 120ml water with the butter, as soon as it starts boiling take it of the heat and sift in the flour, then using a wooden spoon mix vigorously till the mix looks smooth and glossy. Return the pan on a low heat and carry on mixing for a minute or so. Once done, place in a mixing bowl and let it cool, before adding the eggs, otherwise they will cook and scramble!!!
Stage 2- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs into the dough. This will look awful at first but gradually the mix will stiffen and turn into a thick, creamy like dough. Place the mix in a piping bag- I personally used a freezer bag with a corner cut off (works a treat). And on the tray pipe around 10 cm lines. Remember to leave gaps between the pastries as they will rise.
Stage 3- Bake the pastries for 15 minute at 200*C, make sure not to open the oven door as this will stop them growing. Then turn the oven to 175*c and bake for another 10 minutes. After this take the pastries out, at this point mine were done and crispy however if it’s still wet inside pop them back in for further 5 minutes. Then cool on a wire rack.
Stage 4- Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract till it starts to stiffen and stays on the spoon, be careful not to overdo it as it will turn into butter and taste all dense and fatty. Fill the cream into the piping bag.
Stage 5- Cut the eclairs from one side and gently spread them open, then pipe the cream inside.
Stage 6- Melt the chocolate, I usually pop the broken chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and repeat till it’s melted. Using a teaspoon smother the chocolate over the eclairs. Then melt the white chocolate and using piping bag or a spoon drizzle it over the eclairs. Let the chocolate set and you’re done!
Last night I thought to myself I hadn’t made cupcakes for ages, so I set myself a mission to create some scrummy treats for my other half and his work colleagues. So today I spent about 3 hours in the kitchen attempting to create little beauties that would go down a storm on Cupcake Wars , however I must admit my icing skills are not something worth bragging about… Either way I now have a fridge full of 3 types of cupcakes:
- Caribbean cupcakes with lime&ginger butter-cream
- Coffee cupcakes with rum butter-cream
- Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate & Orange icing