And so my affair with Frosting began!

As you can probably tell from almost everything I’ve posted so far, I’ve been veering away from frosting. The sky high towers of sweet,buttery, creamy heaven haven’t had much of a show on this blog so far. This is mainly because I know that once I’d taken a single bite off the top of a ‘Vanilla Buttercream Frosted Fudge Chocolate Cupcake’ I’d never go back! And now I have, and I don’t think that I will.

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These chocolate cupcakes are SO moist! It’s almost unreal. They definitely deserve a picture to themselves. I almost felt bad putting icing on top of them. But then I didn’t!

Is it just me or do these look like whippy ice-creams on a cupcake? I almost feel as though I should have put little flakes sticking out of the top! Maybe I’ll do that next time!

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There is actually no chocolate in these cupcakes. It’s the cocoa that give them they’re perfect chocolaty taste and texture. Sometimes I find that putting chocolate in cupcakes or brownies can give them a slightly greasy texture. Try and use a good brand of preferably dutch processed cocoa such as Bourneville for best results. Drinking chocolate (Cadburys etc.) is usually about 50% sugar which will really change the taste and colour of your cupcakes. So basically, Emergencies Only!

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This picture here is a great example of ‘The End of the Piping Bag Conundrum’.

That was a mouthful!

What I mean by this is: With any icing I’ve piped from a piping bag I’ve always found that the last cupcake, or whatever you’re using the bit of icing at the bottom of the bag for comes out wonky. I reckon it’s that there just isn’t enough icing left to pull it off smoothly. And that would be perfectly fine if every time I took the nozzle out of the piping bag there wasn’t a good spoonful of icing just sitting there. It’s infuriating!

I usually just decorate the cupcake with something to take your eye off of the blobby mess underneath, chocolate chips in this case. Any comments or solutions would be appreciated!

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So here’s the link to the original recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/03/classic-chocolate-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/ 

Happy Baking!

xxxxx

My First Paid Gig! Wedding Cake.

I’m going to start with a back story, just to get you in the loop. My friend’s dad does wedding ceremonies. They’re usually relatively small and independent, but really beautiful too. One day he asked me and his 2 daughters if we wanted to make a cake for this wedding. The only brief was that they wanted it to be chocolate. Perfect! 

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Needless to say, it took us quite a while to make! We decided to go for a devil’s food chocolate cake. They had asked for chocolate after all. It took us a little bit longer to decide on the style, but classics win every time, so a three tiered cake it was. Not the most innovative idea anyone has ever had but this really couldn’t be a flop. This cake really is my pride and joy! Me and my friends just sat staring at it for ages when it was finally finished, which happened to be about 6 hours after we started!

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The play mobile pieces on the top were a genius idea of my friend’s 10 year old sister. She even matched the hair colours on the dolls to the ones of the bride and groom! The only slight problem was the eye-patch, we’re just hoping that the groom didn’t notice. 🙂

 

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This cake has a secret… Do you want to know what it is? To make this cake extra special and extra tall we decided that instead of 3 layers of cake we’d make 6. So in each tier of the cake there happens to be 2 devils food cakes separated by a thin layer of vanilla buttercream icing. I hope the wedding party didn’t die of a heart attack after all the butter that went in.

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I reckon that the hardest part of this cake was the icing. The crumb proof layer was one of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever done! But we managed it! The cake stayed in one piece.

One of the greatest things about this cake is that it’s super easy. It’s just an easy peasy devils food chocolate cake recipe:

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/DEVILS-FOOD-CAKE-5310

I got mine off Nigella Lawson.

Topped off with an even easy peasier buttercream icing:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/quick-vanilla-buttercream-frosting-recipe.html

To this I just added a small amount of cocoa powder until it reached the colour I wanted. And voila! Cake made!

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Now, I know in the title I said paid gig. I wasn’t lying, it was paid. Even if it was only 6 euro once we’d paid for food and divided it up between ourselves. 🙂 But it was a million times worth the effort.

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‘Till next time my friends. 

xxx

 

Souffle, harder than it looks!

I did say when I started this blog that I would put up the good, the bad and the ugly of what I baked. So far I’ve been veering clear of the less successful of my experiments because, well, why would you want to read about an almighty flop of a tart or an explosion of a muffin? But today I’ve decided to keep at least partially to my word and tell you about how not easy souffle is to make!

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I’m not talking about the making of the batter here, that’s incredibly easy. Whip up a few egg whites add flour chocolate etc. Easy peasy! (If you have an electric whisk, which I don’t.) 🙂

It’s the timing that’s the killer, you want to get them out of the oven just before the centre hardens up, which I didn’t in the ones above! And just after they get past the ‘I’m still a blob of batter in a muffin tin’ stage!

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I’m making this post a quick one so you’re not burdened with my many failings as a baker and a human being for any longer than you have to be!

So maybe you’ve learned something today, and maybe you haven’t! But at least you got to see me make a mess of a souffle! 🙂

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xxxxx

Birthday Madness! And twix truffle brownies.

This is the first post with any non-blurry pictures on it! I’ve finally got my camera set up, and I’ve even got the lead that connects it to the computer. Aren’t I modern! And it does make a difference to the photos!

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These are very rich, perfect to go along with a light sponge or something at a party. That was the route I went down with for this party, I’ll post up the rest of the food for you soon. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but it was pretty good!

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Now these little beauties came off the blog, ‘Chef in Training’. I’ve actually never baked anything off it before so I was slightly dubious. But you can see from these pictures that there really was no need. They were spectacular!

They were actually pretty easy to make, the only slight hitch for me was that I had to make the shortbread myself. I had no problem with that at all but it took extra time for it to cool. Here’s the link to my recipe, the shortbread was great and there’s loads of information on the page that you don’t really have to read but if you’re a baking geek like me you may even find it interesting!

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/sep/30/how-to-make-perfect-shortbread 

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So what these beautiful creations really are are: A layer of succulent rich cocoa brownie topped by a shortbread truffle (which is crushed shortbread mixed with cram cheese and sugar), with a layer of caramel on top of that and all topped off by a layer of melted chocolate. Pop it all into the fridge and wait for it to set!

ANd here’s the link:   http://www.chef-in-training.com/2014/08/twix-truffle-brownies/

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A quick tip: For when you’re cutting them into their little squares at the end.

DON’T just come at them with a massive green knife fresh out of the drawer. It’s not a great idea, I know from experience!

DO dip the knife into a jug of hot water so that it melts the chocolate on it’s way down and makes nice clean cuts instead of shattering the chocolate into many many little shards!

And yes, I was told this by someone else after I confessed why there were three or four mangled looking lumps of chocolatey caramel hidden away in a lunchbox!

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