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

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

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Hiya!

Chocolate, one of my favourite topics. These chocolate chip cookie sandwiches are just amazing and they remind me of Snickers, chocolate, peanut butter & caramel is a great combination! This recipe is a great soft & chewy biscuit and you can change it up with your choice of white, milk or dark chocolate chips. They are also quite quick to prepare in the grand scheme of baking.

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I think they make a great dessert or tea party snack and if it’s really hot you could always pop the cookies in the fridge for an hour before eating. Great for summer!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

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115g melted butter
200g soft brown sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
10g cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarbonate
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
100g milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 160 C. Line baking trays with parchment paper.


Sift flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder & salt and mix well.
Melt butter in a microwave safe container.
Put brown sugar & eggs in a mixing bowl & mix until pale.


Add all the  melted butter and a little flour at a time while mixing in a low speed,
Add chocolate chips and mix in.

Roll cookie dough into balls. To ensure that you get equal sized cookies to match up I recommend that you weigh each ball. I weighed mine to 28g each.
Place 6 round balls onto a lined baking tray and flatten a little with your fingers while still keeping them round. They will spread, don’t try to squeeze more on at a time.


Bake for 8-10 minutes while you weigh & roll the next batch of cookies.
Allow cookies to cool on the tray before removing as they will still be soft.

Filling

100g softened butter
200g icing sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1/2 a tin caramel

Beat the butter for 2 mins until paler in colour.
Sift icing sugar into butter and beat for 6 mins.
Add peanut butter and mix for another 2 mins.

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Choose a piping tip and fill a piping bag with the icing. Pipe a circle of icing onto the cookies.

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Fill a piping bag with caramel and snip a small hole. Pipe a blob of caramel into the middle of the circle of icing and place a lid on top.

I decorated the cookies with a gold edible paint stripe and some small gold splatter.

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If you give this recipe a try please post a pic & tag #sprinklesinthewild, it would also be great if you followed us in Instagram or Facebook.

Cxx

Neapolitan Monster Cake

Neapolitan Monster Cake

Hiya!

Wow, we’re already on the 1st of May! One third of the way though 2017. I’ve recently reviewed my goals (yes, most people would do that quarterly but I’m not like most people) and plans for this year and some of them are on track and a few have fallen by the wayside. My original plan for this blog has gone slightly off track and I am now pulling it back this month. I’m all about the pretty and cute cakes and treats but I got distracted with sharing all my favourite recipes. While yummy flavour combinations and new ways of doing things will always excite me, I’m going to try focusing on the part that I love the most, decorating!

This weeks cake is a good combination of both cute decoration and exciting flavours with decadent neapolitan cake layers and fillings. I made the bow with florist paste which sets hard but the rest is all swiss meringue buttercream and I just love how versatile it is.

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There are 2 separate cake recipes below as I made the vanilla and strawberry mix together and then the chocolate cake after. The feet are made in a similar way to cake pops. I crumbed the off cuts from levelling the cakes and mixed in some buttercream so that I was able to make the shape I wanted and added it to the cake after the crumb coat had set.

Vanilla ingreds

Vanilla & Strawberry Cake

225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp strawberry flavouring

¼ tsp pink gel food colouring

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line 2 x 6″ cake tins with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ¼ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined divide the mixture in half. In one bowl add the vanilla extract and mix well. In the other bowl add the strawberry flavouring and pink food colouring and mix to ensure the colour is even.

Place the mixture into the cake tins and spread to flatten.

Bake for 30-35 mins on the middle shelf. To check they are done insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

 

Choc ingreds

Chocolate Cake

113g butter, softened

113g caster sugar

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

20g cocoa powder

2 eggs

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line one 6″ cake tin with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour, cocoa and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ½ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined place the mixture into the cake tin and spread to flatten.

Bake for 30-35 mins on the middle shelf. To check it is done insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

Fillings and Buttercream

I made 1 and a half of my standard Swiss Meringue Buttercream, recipe in the link, and flavoured it with vanilla bean paste. I removed 2 tbsp of icing before colouring the rest purple. I will use the white icing for the white of the eye, then colour it blue for the iris and then colour it black for the pupil.

For the strawberry layer I microwaved ¼ jar of good strawberry jam in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds and then pushed it through a small sieve to remove seeds and lumps.

For the chocolate layer I made milk chocolate ganache with 60ml of cream and 200g of milk chocolate.

Ready to ice

Next up I levelled the cakes to all the same height and then cutting each layer in half to make 2 layers of each. I kept the dome on the vanilla cake as my monster has a round head.

I’ve never owned a cake turntable and always been quite happy to decorate a cake on an upside down bowl but I recently bought one and boy am I glad I did. While my old way was manageable, this was soooooo much easier. I highly recommend them if you enjoy cake decorating. I didn’t by a fancy one and it was just off Amazon but it was a way smoother experience than my usual way.

When stacking a cake always remember to put a little icing down on the board before placing your first cake layer on. I made a little video of me stacking the cake which will go up on Instagram and Facebook this week if you’d like to watch. It’s rather mesmerising when its all sped up.

On each layer I made a boarder with the buttercream before filling it and stacking the next layer. I then crumb coated the cake before placing it in the fridge for 1 hour. I wanted the icing to be really set before I tried to pipe the eye.

I huge storm cloud then came over and I lost all my light and I couldn’t capture the cake with just the eye, the feet being added or me piping the monster’s fur. You could use any star shaped tip you have. I used a big one for most of the fur and then filled in near the mouth and on the edge of the paw with a smaller star. Lastly placing her pretty green bow on her head.

Inside cake

I hope you find a fun way to make a neapolitan cake, I really loved the different flavours together and really enjoyed making my little monster.

Have a great week!

Cxx

Glittering Golden Honeycomb

Glittering Golden Honeycomb

Hiya!

It has been grey, wet and cold this last week and I wonder if anyone has any chocolate left over from Easter. I do not , I love chocolate way too much but I thought that someone might be looking for something to do with theirs, so here’s a little idea.

Make honeycomb and dip it in melted chocolate. Its a home made Crunchie bar and makes a great thank you gift for a hostess or friend who needs a little cheering up.

Honeycomb

Ingreds

100g caster sugar

4 tablespoons golden syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Left over Easter chocolate (optional)

Prepare a large heat proof container by lining it with a reusable baking liner or very well greased foil.

Add caster sugar and golden syrup to a medium size saucepan and mix together.

Place pan onto a medium heat and do not stir again. The mixture will melt and then start to bubble. After 3 mins drop a small amount of mixture into a glass of cold water and test for hard ball stage. If the mixture has gone hard you’ve reach hard ball stage, if not cook for another minute and test again.

Once hard ball stage has been reached take the pan off the heat, wait 30 seconds and add bicarb, whisk it in and quickly pour into your prepared container.

Cooling

Allow to cool and set before breaking onto pieces.

Gently melt your chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes so that it is not too thin. Dip honeycomb into chocolate or spoon chocolate on top and leave to set before storing in an airtight container.

Setting

Enjoy.

Cxx

P.S. honeycomb is amazing without any chocolate and very versatile, sprinkle it onto ice-cream or decorate cupcakes with it.

Boxing

 

 

Chocolate Fudge Dragon Cake

Chocolate Fudge Dragon Cake

Hiya!

Saturday was my son’s 5th birthday! I know everyone says it but where did the time go?! When he was born he weighed 2.9kg or 6.4lb and arrived on his due date! I read that only 5% of babies arrive on their due dates. Crazy huh!

Over the years he has had a rainbow cake, a sculpted dinosaur cake (never again), a ninja turtle cake and a lego cake. This year he asked for a dragon cake, so together we designed his cake. I always prefer buttercream to sugarpaste so I showed him pictures of the gorgeous unicorn cakes around at the moment. We decided on a 3 layer chocolate fudge cake with marshmallow swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam between the layers. Dragon wings, tail, feet, teeth, eyes and spikes were all made from french meringue. Although it could have done with a 4th layer of cake to make it a little taller, I think he’s rather cute and my son LOVED it!

A little note for anyone who thinks this looks very time intensive. As I am a Mum and my time is limited with looking after 2 littlies, I took 3 days to make this cake. Meringue lasts the longest so I made this on the Wednesday and stored them in a airtight container. I baked the cakes on the Thursday, once they were cool I wrapped them in cling film until I was ready to decorate the cake. On Friday I made the buttercream and decorated the cake for Saturday.

Meringue

For all the details on making meringues see my Meringue Hearts blog post.

Here I used 4 large egg whites which I weighed and then doubled the amount of caster sugar used.

Once the meringue was ready and had no more sugar grains, I removed 2 TBS of white meringue before colouring the rest yellow.

All templates were hand drawn by myself after comtemplating some of my sons toy dragons. I used a small piping bag with a small whole cut to pipe the teeth and eyes and then used a cocktail stick to make the points of the teeth more defined.

I painted yellow stripes of gel food colouring into my bigger piping bag to give a brighter colour to the tail, wings and spikes. For the details on the wings I used the smaller piping bag and to attach the wings to the cake I added 2 cocktail sticks to each wing.

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As I wanted the meringue very dry with no lovely gooey middle I baked the eyes and teeth, which were very thin, for 45 mins. The wings, feet and tail I baked for 1.5 hours and the spikes were 1 hour as they could still be a little gooey.

Once cool I stored them in an airtight container until I decorated the cake.

Chocolate Fudge Cake (Makes three 6″ round cakes)

 

263g self-raising flour

3 3/4 TBS cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp bicarb

225g caster sugar

3 eggs

225ml sunflower oil

225ml milk

2tsp vanilla extract

2 TBS tinned caramel (the really thick type)

Preheat the oven to 160°C with a fan.

Line your cake tins with parchment paper, it makes it so much easier to get the cakes out of the tins!

Sieve flour, cocoa and bicarb into a large bowl and stir in caster sugar.

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In a medium sized bowl combine oil, milk,  vanilla extract, caramel and eggs. Whisk together well making sure the caramel breaks down.

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Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix well, the mixture will be quite runny.

Divide cake batter into cake tins, I weigh each tin as I’m pouring the mixture in. I only have two 6″ cake tins so I weighed out the cake batter and kept a third aside. Once the first two cakes were cooked I quickly cleaned a tin and filled it with the mixture that had been waiting. There was no difference in the outcome of the third baked cake but I was very gentle with the mixture when I poured it into the tin as the bicarb had already started working and making bubbles.

Bake for 30-35 mins. Check the center of the cake with a cocktail stick before removing from the oven, it should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins and then remove to cool on a rack.

Marshmallow Swiss Meringue Buttercream

For all the details on making buttercream see my Swiss Meringue Buttercream vs American Buttercream blog post.

Buttercream ingreds

I used my usual Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe but flavoured it with 3/4 cup of marshmallow fluff. It was so yummy I think I could have eaten the whole bowl of icing by itself.

I then took a 1/4 out and coloured it yellow and coloured the remainder lime green.

Stack cake

My son loves raspberry jam so I warmed a couple of TBS in the microwave and pushed it through a sieve to ensure there were no seeds left. After leveling each cake layer I started assembling the cake.

Start with a tiny bit of icing on the cake board to keep the first layer of cake in place. I then spread a thin layer of jam onto the cake before covering it in icing. Repeat with your remaining layers although I did not spread jam on the top.

Crumb coat and refrigerate. After an hour remove from the fridge and cover with your decorative layer of icing. I covered the whole cake in green icing and then added blobs of yellow before smoothing the icing with a cake smoother.

I returned the cake to the fridge for another hour before adding the final touches.

Cake back

I hope you love my quirky dragon cake as much as my son did and if I’ve inspired you please tag #sprinkesinthewild so that I can see too!

Cxx

 

 

Almond Flour Brownies

Almond Flour Brownies

Hiya!

These have got to be the BEST brownies ever!! Made with almond flour instead of cake flour, they stay really fudgy in the middle while the outside ones have a great chewy texture which I love!

This is a slightly longer recipe than the ones I’ve posted before and although there are more steps, these are totally worth the effort. Everyone I’ve made these for before has requested them again.

As with all my recipes, there are always options! Don’t include the walnuts if you don’t want to or just swop them out for another nut, peacans are a favourite of mine. If you would rather not use almond flour you can swop the exact quantity for cake flour without it changing the outcome too drastically. If you would like to use coconut flour, do your research first, it behaves very differently due to the way it is produced. You would probably need to add an extra egg and be ware that it will be a MUCH thicker mixture.

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Almond Flour Brownies

185g butter

185g good dark chocolate

85g almond flour

40g cocoa powder

50g white chocolate chips

50g walnuts (chopped)

3 large eggs

275g golden caster sugar

Cut up the butter and break dark chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Make a double boiler by placing simmering water below but without touching your bowl. Stir occasionally. Once all melted remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temp.

Heat the oven to 160°C on the fan setting.

Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper. I made a little slideshow below to show you how I do it. Measure the width of your tin and cut it off the roll. It will be a bit longer than you need to go down one side, across the pan and back up the other side. Cut the excess off, then cut it length ways in half. Use a tiny bit of soft butter to help hold the paper in place. Fit the larger piece in the pan and then add the two small side pieces so that there are no gaps at the bottom. I lay my paper like this as it makes in easier to remove the cooked brownie from the pan once cool. No turning upside down or releasing with a knife. Just hold either end of the large piece of paper and slowly pull up.

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Sieve flour and cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl.

Beat eggs and caster sugar until fluffy, pale and about double in volume, aprox 5-8mins

Pour cooled chocolate mix over egg mix and gently fold.

Resift almond flour and cocoa powder into egg mix and gently fold. Stop just before you think you should to avoid over mixing.

Stir in white chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Pour mixture into your prepared tin and level.

Bake for 25 mins. The brownie should not wobble if you give the pan a gentle shake. If it does, bake for another 5 mins and test again.

Cool completely in the tin before lifting out and slicing into triangles.

Cover pic

 

Enjoy your amazing brownies! And please tag us with #sprinklesinthewild if you give this recipe a try.

Cxx