Cake Fanatic

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Chocolate Cranberry Puds

Posted on by cakefanatic

All I can say is wow – these look so amazing and are definitely going to be one of my Christmas day desserts…

For this recipes you will also require 2 x 8-hole Tefal silicone half sphere cake moulds.

Ingredients:
100g plain chocolate, broken up, plus extra, melted, to serve
100g softened butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g soft amaretti morbidi (soft almond macaroons available from Waitrose and Italian delis), crumbled
100g chopped hazelnuts
Icing sugar, cranberries and angelica to decorate the individual bombes

For the filling:
90g fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
90g fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp Cointreau
190g mascarpone
100ml double cream
Zest and juice of 1 small orange
1 tbsp icing sugar
Heaped tsp powdered gelatine

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the macaroons and chopped hazelnuts. Chill for 5 minutes. Press the mixture into the half sphere moulds to make even shells, especially around the top. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up and set.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the thawed berries, caster sugar and Cointreau in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the cranberries have softened. Cool slightly, then whizz in a food processor until puréed. Cool.
  3. Put the mascarpone in a bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually mix in the cream, then stir in the orange zest and sugar. Heat the juice in a small pan, then whisk in the gelatine until melted. Cool slightly, then stir half into the fruit purée and half into the mascarpone. Divide the mascarpone mixture among the holes of the chocolate-coated mould so that each one is three-quarters full, then finish each one with a thin layer of fruit purée. Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Turn out each mould and gently press 2 halves together to make a sphere and sit each on a small plate in a puddle of melted chocolate. Chill for 15 minutes to fix in place. Dust with icing sugar, and decorate with cranberries and angelica to serve.

Thanks to Channel 4 for the amazing recipe 🙂

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Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

I love these cupcakes. They are so simple yet so visually effective. A simple technique made to look complex and a great way to show off. 🙂

Ingredients:
150 g butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

For the frosting:
200 g butter, at room temperature
250 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
green food colouring

To decorate:
Silver balls, sugar stars or hundreds and thousands

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.
  3. Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour to stop the mix from curdling. Finally, stir through the vanilla extract and milk.
  4. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the frosting: in a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatular until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and milk. The frosting should be light and creamy.
  7. Mix your green food colouring into the icing to give an even green colour.
  8. Once the cupcakes are totally cool, pipe the icing onto them starting from the outside of the cake and working into the centre to create tall Christmas trees. Decorate with silver balls, stars or hundreds and thousands then allow to set for at least 30 minutes so that the icing has a slightly crispy finish.

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Black & White Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

Many thanks to The Guardian Online for this delicious sounding recipe, an absolute classic.

Ingredients:
115g dark chocolate
85g butter
175g soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs (separated)
185g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
250ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dark chocolate (to decorate)

Vanilla buttercream
115g butter
60ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C / gas mark 5. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and smooth. Slowly add the egg yolks and beat well. Next, add the melted chocolate and beat again.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Measure the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract. Alternatively add the flour and the milk to the main mixture, beating well.
  5. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks have formed. Then carefully fold this into the main batter.
  6. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cases to two-thirds full. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes, until raised and golden.
  7. Once cool, ice with vanilla buttercream (recipe below) and decorate with shavings of chocolate.
  8. For the frosting: Beat together the butter, milk and vanilla extract, and half the icing sugar.
  9. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat to a smooth buttercream.
  10. Keep any unused icing in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

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Santa Leg Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

So I’ve started to feel a little festive, there is a slight chill in the air, and it is time to start thinking about Christmas (Yeah!!!!!) So to start off a month and a bit of yummy Xmas inspired cupcake, pie and biscuit recipes we start with these fabulous Santa leg cupcakes… Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp boiling water
150 g butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tbsp milk

For the Santa legs:
300 g natural marzipan
Black and red food colouring
Icing sugar, for dusting

For the frosting:
200 g butter, at room temperature
250 g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
  2. Put the cocoa powder in a bowl, then gradually stir in the boiling water until you have a smooth, thick paste. Leave to cool.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.
  4. Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour and cocoa mix until everything is incorporated. Finally, stir through the milk.
  5. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. For the Santa legs: add red food colouring to three quarters of the marzipan and knead until it is evenly coloured. Dust the surface with a little icing sugar if the marzipan gets sticky. Now use the black food colouring to colour three quarters of the remaining marzipan. Leave the last part natural.
  8. Roll the red marzipan into one long sausage, around a centimetre thick, and then cut into 24 legs. Next roll the natural marzipan into 24 pea sized balls and flatten them into little round disks just over a centimetre in size and press onto the tops of the legs. If they don’t stick very well, you can use a little water to help you. Finally, shape the black marzipan into 24 feet and press these onto the tops of the disks. Leave to one side until needed.
  9. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatular until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and milk. The frosting should be light and creamy.
  10. Once the cupcakes are totally cool, peel off the cases and slice the cakes into three pieces. Then sandwich the pieces back together with frosting, making sure that it oozes out of the sides slightly.
  11. Spread more frosting onto the tops of the cakes so that it hangs over the edges slightly like snow, then sprinkle with icing sugar and place the Santa legs on top, pushing them in a little.
Thanks again to the Good Food channel. 🙂

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Sherbet Lemon Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

Wow – this is a fantastic recipe for some of the most unusual but delicious cakes I have made so far…

For the sponge:
120 g self-raising flour, sifted
145 g golden caster sugar
40 g butter, at room temperature
2 lemons, zest only
120 ml whole milk
1 large egg

For the frosting:
225 g butter
400 g icing sugar, sifted
1 lemon, juice only
few drops yellow food colouring
3 packets sherbet dip dab sweets, sherbet only

To Decorate:
Dip dab lollies, or coloured sherbet

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole tin with cupcake paper cases. Tip the flour, sugar, butter and lemon zest into a food processor and blitz on a slow speed for one minute, until you achieve a sandy consistency.
  2. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until just incorporated. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy at this stage – it will come together! In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk together with the egg. Pour into the batter and beat for a couple of minutes until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl to catch any unmixed ingredients as you go.
  3. Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases, filling each one up two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the golden sponge bounces back when prodded with a finger. Leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.
  4. For the frosting: Tip the butter and icing sugar into a food processor and beat until well combined. Add the lemon juice, colouring and sherbet, and then beat again for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. When the sponges have cooled completely, carefully spoon a third of the frosting into a piping bag and use it to decorate the first four cupcakes. Repeat until you have finished them all. Alternatively, just use a palette knife to spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cupcake.
  6. Decorate with the dip dab lolly, or a sprinkling of colourful sherbet.
Thanks to the Good Food Channel for another ace idea 🙂

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Mud & Worm Cakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

Following on from the success of the Broken Glass Cupcakes, here is another Halloween recipe – mud and worms that you wont mind the kids eating!

Makes 10 cupcakes

Ingredients:
125g plain flour
65g cocoa powder
1 heaping tsp of baking soda
115g butter
110g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
180ml milk
1 tsp of vanilla
chocolate frosting
gummy worms

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together and add to a large bowl. Then add the butter, 2 sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix with a handheld mixer just until smooth.
  3. Line a 12-cupcake tin with liners. Fill each liner ¾ of the way up with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  4. Once your cupcakes are cooled, take two of them, remove the top and crumble the rest in a small bowl.
  5. Frost the remaining 10 cupcakes with the chocolate frosting. Sprinkle the cupcake crumbles over the top of each and pat gently so they stick to the frosting. In order to not make a mess, add the crumbles over the bowl of crumbles so the excess has somewhere to fall.
  6. You can place one worm on the top of each cupcake. Or take a knife, poke a hole in the top and stick in a worm so it’s hanging out. Make sure that the head of the worm is out and you are sticking the worm backside-in. Enjoy!
Recipe from http://bit.ly/v46Fmx – Thanks 🙂

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Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

The image for these is what totally enticed me into giving them a go – the peanut butter cup filling looks too yummy!

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:
200g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
250g caster sugar
2 large eggs
110g vegetable oil
1 tbsp water, warm
3 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla
24 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, egg and vegetable oil. In a small bowl, stir together water, instant coffee and vanilla, then add to sugar mixture. Whisk flour mixture into the bowl with the sugar, mixing just until everything is combined and no streaks of flour remain.
  4. Place about 1 tbsp of batter into each cup of the prepared muffin pan. Place an unwrapped miniature peanut butter cup into the centre of each cup, pressing down gently. Top with about a tablespoonful of batter, just enough to cover the peanut butter cup. It is better to have some batter leftover than to overfill your muffin pan. The cavities should be approximately 3/4 full, or slightly more.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cake batter is set.
  6. Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

From http://bit.ly/uHtvHb – Thanks 🙂

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Edible Cake Toppers

Posted on by cakefanatic

With halloween just around the corner, what better or simpler way to get some halloween theme cakes on the table than to use some of the fab edible toppers which can now be bought it seems all over the place.

It really makes it easy if, like me, your icing skills leave a little to be desired!!

Here are a few of my favourites…

Cake Craft Shop – possibly my new favourite online store – packed with loads of cool and original bits and pieces to top your cakes.

The Cake Decorating Company – Masses of really sweet toppers and accessories

Amazon – Ah, good old Amazon, nearly always has the kind of thing I am looking for…

Cake Craft World – Another vast array of great cake decorating ideas

These are just a few of my current favourites, if there are any other sites you think I should include or keep an eye on let me know!

And for a quick extra, whilst writing this blog, I have just got me some of these lollipop moulds, so simple, yet crazily effective. Enjoy 🙂

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Mini Apple Pies

Posted on by cakefanatic

Ever had that feeling that a family size apple pie maybe a little too much for one person? Well these mini apple pies may just be the answer…

Makes 6 mini pies

Ingredients:
All Butter Pie Crust Dough

225g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
170g butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
5-7 tbsp ice water

  1. Whisk together flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Toss butter in the flour mixture, then rub in with your finger tips until mixture is coarse and no chunks larger than a large pea remain.
  3. Add in water gradually and stir with a fork until dough starts to come together, then press dough into a ball with the palms of your hands.
  4. If dough is dry, add an additional tablespoon or two of water to pull the dough together.
  5. Divide dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using.

Filling: 
2 tbsp butter
3 large apples, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
165g brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in apples and sautee for 4-5 minutes, until they just start to soften.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cinnamon, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add to apples and stir to coat. Cook until sugar is bubbling, apples are very tender and the mixture starts to thicken, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool to room temperature

To Make the Pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. (At this point, you can preheat a mini pie maker if you have one and make dough rounds that fit that. The instructions below are for a conventional preparation.)
  2. Roll out half of the pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface until they are about 1/8-inch thick. Cut dough into 6 rounds about 1-inch larger than the size of the muffin tin (or mini pie pan) that you will be using. Press dough into pan and up the sides.
  3. Roll out remaining half of the pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut smaller rounds into remaining dough to form the tops of the pies.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 cup of cooled apple mixture into each prepared pie crust. Some liquid will have been released from the apples, so evenly distribute this as well. Top pies with a second round of dough and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
  5. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Allow pies to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then gently loosen and transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

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Courgette, Walnut & Cinnamon Layer Cake

Posted on by cakefanatic

So bear with me, this sounds a bit wrong, courgette in a cake, but after the success of beetroot cake, why not give this a go… at worst at least you are getting one of your 5 a day!

You will need three 20cm diameter loose-bottomed sandwich tins.
Serves 10-12

Ingredients:
3 large eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g soft light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
300g peeled and grated courgettes
100g walnuts, roughly chopped, plus 10-12 extra halves (caramelised if you wish) to decorate

For the frosting
240g unsalted butter, softened
1½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
750g icing sugar
75g plain Greek yoghurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees/gas mark 3, and line the bases of the sandwich tins with baking parchment.
  2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a free standing electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs, sunflower oil, sugar and vanilla essence until they are all combined.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the ground spices. With the mixer or electric whisk running on a low speed, add these to the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil in two batches, beating well after each addition until all the ingredients are incorporated. Lastly, add the courgettes and chopped walnuts to the batter, mixing them in thoroughly.
  4. Divide the cake batter evenly between the three prepared cake tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden on top and springy to the touch.
  5. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes before carefully turning them out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Mix together the butter, cinnamon and icing sugar using the electric whisk or free standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Keep mixing until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture is sandy in consistency.
  7. Add the yoghurt and mix on a low speed until the ingredients are combined, then increase the speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  8. Once the cake layers have fully cooled, place the first layer of sponge on a plate or cake card and top with three to four tablespoons of the frosting, smoothing it out using a palette knife and adding a little more if needed.
  9. Sandwich the second layer of cake on top and add another three to four tablespoons of the frosting, then add the final layer and use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  10. To finish, you can make a swirled pattern in the frosting using the tip of your palette knife. Dust with a little ground cinnamon and decorate with walnut halves, caramelised if you wish.
Recipe from Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days by Tarek Malouf and the Hummingbird bakers, published by Collins (£20), Also http://bit.ly/nXhSgG.

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