Caramel Surprise Cupcakes

Caramel Surprise Cupcakes

Hiya!

After having a fabulous week in London at Fair Cake learning some new skills especially all about sugar flowers, I’m ready to bake in my own kitchen again. I tend to stick to my tried and tested recipes but I’ve recently become rather obsessed with caramel everything, which reminded me about this recipe which I haven’t made in ages!

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I’m continuing the rainbow theme with these scrumptious Caramel Surprise Cupcakes topped with rainbow buttercream!

You know by now that I love a recipe that is easy to change up and this one is perfect. Your choices are unlimited with what you choose to use as your surprise in the middle of your cupcakes. The original recipes calls for soft caramels but I couldn’t find any so I chose Rolos which are the perfect size.

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Caramel Surprise Cupcakes

115g butter, softened

150g brown sugar

2 eggs

5g instant coffee granules

1TBS boiling water

280g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

115ml milk

12 soft caramels/ rolos/ mars bites etc

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Preheat the oven to 175°C and place 12 cupcake liners into a muffin tin.

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and give them a quick mix with a fork to break then down a bit. Slowly add the egg waiting for what you have added to be incorporated before adding more. Half way through you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl before continuing.

Dissolve the coffee with the boiling water and mix into the butter mixture.

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Sift the flour and baking powder and give it a good mix to ensure it is well distributed.

Add half the flour and mix until combined.

Add half the milk and repeat with the rest.

Place a tablespoon full of mixture into each cupcake wrapper and place a caramel/rolo on top, push it in a little but not all the way to the bottom. Place another tablespoon of mixture on top to cover your surprise.

Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cupcake comes out clean. Try to skewer around your surprise or you won’t be able to tell anything about the cake.

Cool in the tin for 5 mins before removing to a wire wrack to cool.

You could eat these warm with a spoon of vanilla ice cream, plain as they are or wait until they have cooled down to pipe buttercream onto them.

Buttercream Rainbow

200g butter, softened

400g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Your choice of gel food colours

Beat the butter and sifted icing sugar for 8 mins.

Add vanilla extract and beat for another 2 mins.

Divide your icing into smaller bowls the same number as your chosen colours and colour your icing.

Put each colour into a separate small piping bag.

Cut a square sheet of cling wrap and lay it flat on the table. Pipe a stripe of each colour buttercream next to each other, you may need to add another layer on top to use up most of your buttercream.

Roll the cling wrap onto itself to make a big tube and twist one end. Place the open end into a large piping bag with your choice of tip inserted.

Decorate your cupcakes!

Enjoy your rainbow surprise, finding a caramel inside is almost like finding the pot of gold 😉

Cxx

PB&J Chocolate Cake

PB&J Chocolate Cake

Hiya!

This is one of my favourite flavour combinations, peanut butter and chocolate just go together amazingly and last week happened to be my birthday! So… happy birthday to me and I got to scoff my favourite cake! It was made up of 4 layers of chocolate fudge cake, strawberry jam filling and peanut butter Swiss meringue buttercream. It was decorated with hand piped buttercream flowers using the fabulous White Flower Cake Shop piping tip 402. I’m still getting to grips with this tip but I am very happy with how my flowers turned out.

Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe

(Makes 2 x 6″ cakes each cut in half to make 4 layers)

265g self-raising flour

3 ¾ TBS cocoa

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda

225g caster sugar

3 eggs

225ml sunflower oil

225ml milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 TBS Nestle caramel (or other thick caramel)

Preheat the oven to 170°C

Line both tins with parchment paper, it makes removing the cake much easier.

Sieve self-raising flour, cocoa and bicarbonate soda into a bowl and stir in the caster sugar.

In another bowl whisk the eggs, add milk, oil, vanilla and caramel and whisk together.

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix well. It will be quite runny.

Pour equally into the prepared cake tins.

Bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in the tins for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool you can start to decorate it. I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream from my recipe here and added 3/4 of a cup of peanut butter just before it was ready.

I warmed 4 TBS of strawberry jam in the microwave and then pushed it through a small sieve to ensure no lumps or seeds were in it.

Once the cake is filled, stacked and crumb coated make sure it has enough time in the fridge to firm up before you start to decorate it.

I divided the remaining buttercream into different bowls and coloured it as I wished. I covered the cake before piping the flowers. You do not need to pipe directly into the cake, if you pipe onto parchment paper first and then place them into the fridge for 30 mins, they will be stable enough to move with an offset spatula.

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Enjoy your cake! I hope you feel inspired to try this recipe and enjoy decorating it. If you do please tag me in the pic, I’d love to see!

Cxx

Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake

Hiya!

This week I had the pleasure of making a birthday cake for a friend who happened to mention that she loves lemon meringue pie. This tied in very well with lasts weeks blog post of Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. One of the things I enjoy most about baking is the creativity and science behind baking and recreating something as classic as a Lemon Meringue Pie.

For this cake I baked a lemon zest and essence sponge cake, filled layers with lemon curd and covered the cake in Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I decorated it with a white chocolate sail and French Meringues.

Lemon Sponge Cake Recipe

225g butter (softened)

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

225g plain flour

1tsp baking powder (heaped)

Zest of 1 lemon

1tsp lemon essence

Line two 6″ cake tins.

Preheat the oven to 175°C

Cream the butter and the caster sugar until light & fluffy.

Add 1 egg at a time, scrap down the sides and ensure the mixture is all well combined.

Add the lemon zest and essence.

Sieve and add the flour and the baking powder. Mix until combined.

Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake for 30-35 mins.

Allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

If you would like to recreate the cake pictured here, you can find my Meringue Recipe and Buttercream Recipes through these links.

I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Cxx

Variety is the Spice of Life Cupcakes

Variety is the Spice of Life Cupcakes

Hiya!

I’ve just got back from 2 weeks in South Africa and while it was great to see family, I really missed my baking! So to make up for missing 2 weeks, this is a bumper post with not one but two special recipes and optional varieties!

My daughter’s birthday is 4 days before my husband’s and they obviously have very different tastes but baking 2 full size birthday cakes within one week is a little more than even I can eat!

So… my answer is cupcakes and half my standard recipe so that you can make a variety of flavours. Each recipe will give you 9 cupcakes and I recommend putting 50g of cake mix into each cupcake wrapper to give you that pretty little dome. I over filled the sprinkles cupcakes and they ended up all flat in top.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcakes

113g butter (softened)
113g caster sugar
2 eggs
113g plain flour
1tsp baking powder (heaped)
1tsp vanilla extract
90g sprinkles

Chocolate Sour Cherry Cupcakes

113g butter (softened)
113g caster sugar
2 eggs
113g plain flour
1tsp baking powder (heaped)
2TBS cocoa powder
90g sour cherries (drained & chopped)

Method

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time mixing between each addition. Add the vanilla extract for the vanilla cupcakes. Scrape down the sides and ensure everything is well combined.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa (for the chocolate cupcakes). Pour it into the butter mix and combine on a low speed.

Scrape down the side and add sprinkles to the vanilla cupcake mix or sour cherries to the chocolate cupcake mix. Mix well.

Spoon mixture into your prepared cupcake pan.

Bake at 170°C for 18 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

American Buttercream Recipe

275g butter (softened)
550g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2TBS cocoa powder
1TBS milk

Beat the butter for 3 mins. Sift the icing sugar into the butter and beat for 8 mins. So ode the icing in half.

Add vanilla extract to one half for the Sprinkle Cupcakes. Add cocoa powder and 1 TBS of milk to the other half for the Chocolate Cupcakes.

Pipe butter cream onto cupcakes and decorate as desired.

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To change up these recipes; Sprinkles could be replaced with glacé cherries, chocolate chips or lemon zest. Sour cherries could be replaced with caramel chips, peppermint extract or peacan nuts. Whatever your heart desires.

P.S. I used a silicon mold and candy melts to make the mermaid tails, I then sprayed them with silver food spray.

Enjoy offering a a variety of cupcakes at your next party or family gathering!

Cxx

Coffee Meringue Dessert Stack

Coffee Meringue Dessert Stack

Hiya!

I have a very short post for you tonight as I am currently on holiday in South Africa.

There are so many very beautiful miniature cakes around that I decided to make an adult gluten free version. Pastel meringue disks layered with coffee cream!

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Meringue Recipe

3 egg whites

Caster sugar (double the weight of the egg whites)

1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C, weigh your egg whites into your mixing bowl and allow to warm to room temperature.

Weigh double the amount of caster sugar as the weight of your eggs in a heat proof bowl and place in the oven for 5 mins.

Start to beat your egg whites and when they look foamy remove the sugar from the oven and turn the temp down to 100°C.

Spoon the hot sugar slowly into the egg whites while beating, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Add vanilla extract.

Once you reach stiff peak stage (short pointy peaks that do not fall back on themselves) stop and divide the mixture into 4 smaller bowls.

Choose 4 gel food colours and start to colour your meringue. The colour will fade slightly with baking, so you may want to make it slightly brighter than you want them to turn out.

I drew round circles (about 4″ wide) on my baking paper, turned the paper upside down and pipped 3 circles of meringue in each colour. I kept the pink for the tops of the meringue and pipped these with a 1M Wilton piping tip to look like flowers.

Bake at 100°C for 1hour 30mins.

Allow to cool completely before starting the filling.

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Coffee Cream Filling

250ml whipping cream

1tsp caster sugar

1tsp instant coffee (heaped)

Pour the cream into a bowl to whip.

Add caster sugar and coffee.

Start whipping, once it is thick enough that it doesn’t slide when you tip the bowl you are done but be careful not to over whip of you’ll end up with coffee butter!

Place a tip in a piping bag and full it with the coffee cream.

Pipe a circle of coffee cream onto your first meringue disk and then stack and fill the rest. There is a piping & stacking video on Instagram and Facebook.

Once you’ve stacked them, they will need to be kept in the fridge and eaten with 2 hours before the meringue begins to dissolve with the moisture from the cream.

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Enjoy as a light summer dessert and think about me as it is the middle of winter in South Africa!

xx

Raspberry & White Chocolate Unicorn Cake

Raspberry & White Chocolate Unicorn Cake

Hiya,

I’m super excited about this week! I’ve wanted to make a unicorn cake for ages and finally I did! Also there are 4 more sleeps (can you tell I have kids?) until we go on holiday to South Africa and I get to see my family! Yay!

Firstly you will need some gumpaste or florist paste which dries hard, to make your horn & ears. I used white as finding colours can be difficult. I rolled a tube of gumpaste with either end tapered to a point, folded it in half and then twisted it together. I pushed a cake pop stick up the middle so that I could secure the horn to the cake. I also used a tiny bit is edible glue to stick the horn so that it didn’t unravel as it dried. You need to make the horn well ahead of time as it is thick and takes a while to dry.

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Next I rolled out some gumpaste and used a raindrop shaped cutter to cut out the ears. I coloured the center in with pink edible marker and pinched the bottom closed to make the ear shape.

Once the horn was dry I used gold food paint to paint it gold.

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Raspberry and Vanilla Cake Recipe

(makes 3 x 6″ round cakes)

338g butter softened

338g caster sugar

6 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

338g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

60g freeze dried raspberries

Cream the butter & sugar together until pale and fluffy

Add 1 egg at a time, mixing it in before adding the next.

Add vanilla extract. Ensure with each step that you scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is well mixed.

Sift flour & baking powder and add to the butter mixture, mix until just combined.

Time to add the freeze dried raspberries! The bag I bought were all whole raspberries which are pretty for decoration but better crushed for a cake. Tip the raspberry pieces into the mixture and mix until evenly combined.

I always line the base of my cake tins as the cake comes out so easily this way. Divide the mixture evenly between your tins and level using an offset spatula.

Bake at 160°C for 30-35 mins. Check the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake, it should come out clean. If you think the top of the cake is starting to look too dark but the cake is not ready yet, place a sheet of baking paper over the top while in the oven.

Remove from the oven & cool in the tin for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream to decorate the cake, you can find my recipe in the link above and I made 1 and a half times the recipe. I melted and cooled 2/3 cup of white chocolate and slowly poured into into the completed icing.

In 3 smaller bowls I placed 100g of icing each and coloured each bowl a different colour, pink, teal & lilac.

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Level your cake layers to all the same size and I also trimmed off the darker outer layer and the base using a bread knife.

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Stack & crumb coat your cake and place in the fridge for an hour. It was super hot the day I did this and I was terrified the finished cake was going to slide apart as once the horn & ears go on, it cannot go back into the fridge!

Ice the outer layer of your cake and level the top. I placed the horns and ears on before I started piping. Pipe your unicorns mane using the different coloured icing, I also used 3 different piping tips.

Colour a small amount of left over icing black for the eyes. I used a round cookie cutter to mark out where the eyes should be and then pipped the eyes using a 2 piping tip.

Stand back & admire your magical unicorn. I was lucky enough to receive a picture of my cake at the venue, which made me very happy!

Cxx

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Beary Chocolate Macarons

Beary Chocolate Macarons

Hiya!

I love a good challenge, not from someone else but I like to challenge myself! I also love kawaii things. I’ve seen many teddy bear head macarons but I really wanted to make a whole teddy. So I played around and tried a couple chocolate macaron recipes and drew my own teddy macaron template and you know what, I’m really pleased with how they turned out!

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I couldn’t decide between arms on the side or arms on top so I ended up doing a few of each. I piped two batches of macarons and strangely the first batch came out best. It is essential that the base shape has formed a skin, ready to go into the oven, before you add the tails to the backs and the arms to the front, otherwise it does not keep its shape & will just be absorbed by the base shape.

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Chocolate Macaron Recipe

50g egg whites (aged 24 hours)

pinch of salt

45g caster sugar

65g ground almonds

60g icing sugar

5g cocoa powder

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Remove the ages egg whites from the fridge.

Sieve the ground almonds ensuring you get 65g of almonds through the sieve. Keep the larger bits for another project. Next sieve the icing sugar & cocoa. Mix it together until evenly distributed.

Ensure the bowl you are going to whip your eggs in is very clean. Wipe it out with lemon juice & some paper towel.

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Usuing a handheld beater whip the eggs. When they start getting foamy add a pinch of salt. Continue to whip until you can see trails in the bowl, gradually add the caster sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. No colours are required for chocolate macarons as the cocoa powder will colour it brown.

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Fold in 1/3 of the almond/icing sugar/cocoa mixture at a time. Fold gently to avoid flattening the mixture too much.

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Once your mixture has combined and flows off the spatula in a ribbon like way & honey like consistency, it is ready to pipe. It should not drop off the spatula.

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Place your template under the parchment paper or silpat mat and pipe your macarons. I found that turning my silpat mat upside down made it easier to see my template below.

Rap the tray on the table 3 or 4 times before allowing your macarons to rest for 30 mins & form a skin.

Place the oven shelf on the lowest rung and remove any other shelves. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Bake the macarons for 12-14 mins depending on their size. Test if they are done by touching the side of one, it should not wobble.

Allow to cool on the tray.

This is the link to my Buttercream recipe. The quantities I used are:

50g butter

100g icing sugar

1TBS Nutella

1TBS caramel

I made American buttercream and divided it in half before flavouring half with Nutella and the other half with caramel.

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Pipe the buttercream onto the backs of the teddies and match up with a front. I used pink and black edible markers to draw the faces.

I hope you think they’re as cute as I do. I packaged them up nicely & gave them as gifts to my kids teachers.

Cxx