Monday, 25 October 2010

Boogie Shack Breast Fest Charity Dance!

Recently, our wonderful friends Carla and Paul moved into the flat downstairs.  I love it and I know the cats are glad of each others' company.  It's also very handy to have a couple more cake testers so near by. As far I'm aware, this isn't too much of a burden for them.

Anyway, Carla and Paul are expert swing dancers!  I signed up for lessons during freshers week at uni but never ended up going and now I'm quite jealous of their skills.  Although I am aware of "rock step pump, forward and back", I don't really understand how they relate to my feet. Anyway, their dance crew, Jive Swing put on a monthly Friday social dance called Boogie Shack and this month's event was in aid of Breast Cancer, hence the cheeky name!  I was asked to donate some Yay Cakes! to be used as raffle prizes.

I am told the winners were thrilled with their prizes!

So, I got out the pink dye and came up with a rang of butterflies, boobies, dresses, flowers and bras to go on top of some vanilla cupcakes.  Here are some pics of the final products!

And here are a few snaps taken by Nicky David, photographer for the evening:

Aw, Carla and Paul

Monday, 11 October 2010

Cupcake Bites I had my first go at making little teeny cupcake bites.  I have been admiring the work of the magnificent Bakerella for some time now and pretty much want to try everything she's ever done.  But I had to start somewhere.

I ordered myself a peanut butter cup candy mould the other day and have been itching to use it.  A couple of days ago I made a chocolate cake and had someleftover mix.  So, I stored it in the fridge and the next morning before work, i scooped little dollops of it onto a baking tray and cooked it on a high temperature for about 15 minutes.  Delish.  I had little caked cookie things.  They were very nice to eat as they were but I thought they would be put to better use as mini cupcakes.


I followed Bakerella's instructions, but altered them slightly to accomodate what I had in my kitchen.

First off I crumbled up my cake and mixed it with some chocolate buttercream until it was moist enough to shape into little balls.  

I then popped these onto a baking tray and into the freezer.

Meanwhile, I melted up some choccie and drizzled it into the mould.

Once the balls were set, I squished them into the chocolate and then popped those into the freezer.

I then melted up some white chocolate flavoured cake covering (next time I'll use better stuff, because really, this was too thick) and coloured it pink with some gel dye.

Once the mini cupcakes had set into the chocolate, I popped them out and began dipping them into the chocolate and decorating them with everything I could find!

Here are some of my favs...

 These little treats are extremely mini!  In fact, I measured them and they average at around 3cm tall and 2cm wide! awwwwww!

This one in the middle has a little hand pointing to the cupcake next to it...yea, I did that on purpose.

Must say, I'm rather chuffed with my first attempt at these.  I'm gonna do a take 2 of them soon, so watch this space!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Crunchie cupcakes. No I'm not kiddin ya...

Oh I do like my chocolate dipped honeycomb.  Cadbury's Crunchie is always my milkshake flavour of choice, so I thought, if i can stick it in my shake, I can stick it on my cake.

There's something very satisfying about post-food processor Crunchie dust.  For a start it looks a lot less fattening, which means it tastes even nicer.

This is a vanilla cupcake with Crunchie icing, decorated with Crunchie fairy dust. 

Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Creammmmmmmmmm

The other day, my friends and I had a little dinner party.  It was all quite last minute but came together beautifully.  By that I mean we all stuffed ourselves silly with stupendous food. Everyone made and brought a different dish. 

This was our menu...

 Chez Mau
Halloumi Risotto stuffed peppers
 Main course
Spiced pork with red wine sauce
 Autumn vegetable selection
 Home made garlic bread
Double chocolate brownie with raspberry cream
Selection of coffee and teas
And this was our pretty table...

My dish, would you believe, was the pud, so I decided to bash together some brownies as you can't go wrong with a brownie.  I always add huge chunks of white chocolate to mine because it tastes heavenly!

I went for some raspberry cream because I thought it would be nice and refreshing. 
And it was.

To make Raspberry cream...

300ml whipping cream
100g icing sugar
150g raspberries

All you need to do, is whisk the ingredients together until the mixture becomes firm (but not too stiff).  I highly recommend using an electric whisk here to prevent your arm falling off.

I garnished mine with some extra raspberries and a few sprigs of fresh mint from the garden.

For the brownies, I've slightly adapted a Nigella recipe...

180g unsalted butter 
180g dark chocolate
3 large eggs
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
250g caster sugar
120g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
whatever else you fancy...white chocolate, cherries, walnuts,...chuck in around 150g's worth

*Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

*Line your tray with foil or baking paper (better than buttering it).

*Melt the chocolate and butter together on the hob.  Then allow it to cool down a bit.

*Beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar together in another bowl.

*Combine the salt and flour in another bowl.

*Beat the eggy mixture into the chocolatey mixture and then add the flour and any other ingredients you've gone for.

*Beat it!

*Scrape it all out into your pan and bake it for 25 minutes or until the top of it is a bit paler than the inside and the inside is all gooey and delicious and chocolatey and....mmmm.....