Monthly Archives: January 2014

La Vie en Rose

I made these Rose and pistachio cupcakes to accompany my Ferrero Rocher cupcakes, because apparently not everyone likes chocolate, I know, shocking right?

These really are a decadent cupcake, a beautiful pink rose concealing a dreamy rich green interior.

I think I say this about everything I make, but these really are the most amazing flavour combination. A delicate rose with a rich pistachio, they have a very Middle Eastern vibe. They really are only for special occasions, and make any cake plate look feminine and beautiful.

I use this recipe for the cupcake, I grind the pistachios using a coffee grinder to give them a powder like texture. This gives the cakes the most beautiful green colour without the use of any artificial colourings.
The recipe makes 12 regular cupcakes, if you are using muffin cases you will get about 9-10.

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Once cooled I pipe on my delicious Rose frosting.
Whisk 125g of unsalted butter, gradually adding 250g sieved icing sugar until fully incorporated. Add Rose water for flavouring, I usually add 1-1.5 tablespoons, but it’s really to your taste, some rose waters can be very sweet so it’s a good idea to add it in half spoons till you get the amount that’s good for you. If necessary add some milk if you need to thin down the frosting. Whisk for 5mins to get the frosting light and fluffy.
A few drops of pink gel colour to get your rose colour (you could make them more red rose like, but I prefer a light pink).
Then using a Wilton 2D nozzle pipe your rose.
Sprinkle with ground pistachio.

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Simply Beautiful

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The first time I made these I made fondant roses to decorate, and used pistachio slices for leaves, clever eh 😉

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Next time I would like to add some ground cardamon seeds to the frosting. Or to go for something slightly lighter, add ground cardamon seeds to a plain cupcake base and top with Rose frosting. Mmm … Cardamon and rose 🙂

Maryam, with these Rocher you really are spoiling us

Who can resist Ferrero Rocher? Just the sight of those golden wrappers in their dainty little cases makes my mouth water

I wanted to make some special cupcakes, and what could make a cupcake more special?!

I used my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe as the base, it is a bit more effort than a traditional chocolate cake recipe (i.e. just adding cocoa powder to a plain cake batter), but the results are worth it. Moist, super chocolatey cupcakes that are simply irresistible.

20140119-213650.jpg (I just had to show off my new Hello Kitty oven gloves, I love them so much, an unexpected gift from a friend who knows me too well)
I added about 80grams of chopped hazelnuts to the batter, which gave the cupcakes a lovely crunch.

Once cooled I filled them with some Nutella. Along with the chopped hazelnuts in the cupcakes, this really made them THE Ferrero Rocher cupcakes.

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They were topped with a swirl of the most amazing Nutella buttercream frosting, with a scattering of chopped hazelnuts.

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To make the frosting: Cream 125g of unsalted butter, whisk in 250g sifted icing sugar until fully incorporated. Gradually add between 15-25g milk, until you get it to the consistency you want. Whisk continuously for 5mins to get a lovely, light airy frosting. Then add Nutella, I added about 3 tablespoons, but add as much as you want to your liking. I added a few extra drops of milk. Once ready, lick the whisk,make sure it’s unplugged!

To complete this cupcake it HAD to have a Ferrero Rocher on top. I was apprehensive to cut them in half in case they broke (it wouldn’t really be the end of the world, waste not want not 😉 )

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But I didn’t have enough to put a whole one on each cupcake, so cut in half I did, and most of them survived.

These came out perfectly. Chocolate and hazelnut is an unbeatable combination.

I normally get disappointed with cupcakes, mainly because they are too small for my liking and you look greedy if you have more than one, but one of these was enough! (For one sitting anyway… )

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And with these cupcakes, I really am spoiling you 🙂

12 Years….

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I am constantly having people tell me that I should sell my bakes and cakes, as flattering as that is, I personally don’t think everything is for sale. I know the enjoyment I get from making and gifting (and I know you love the receiving…) would be lost if I was doing it on demand and in the masses (semi-masses…let’s not be too big headed now).

When I was asked if I could make some cupcakes to be sold help raise money at a human right event, however, I couldn’t say no. It was for a good cause after all 🙂

These were made for an event in November’13 (so a bit of a flashback) to raise awareness of the plight of the 164 prisoners detained in Guantanamo, including a British resident Shaker Amer (his prisoner number is 239). Most of these men have been detained without any charge and have been tortured in the most disgusting, degrading and unimaginable ways possible.

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This was the first time I had made such a large quantity of cupcake and my first time making fondant toppers (personally not a big fan of fondant). It was a challenge, I got tired, backache and felt like giving up when things didn’t go to plan.
As a result I have an even bigger respect for those who make cupcakes/cakes on a regular basis, the time and effort that go into them really makes their products priceless.
I did actually find it really enjoyable, minus a few tantrums, therapeutic even.

They are a vanilla cupcake filled with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream topped with a fondant topper.

For the toppers after cutting into circles I printed them using my mini stamper (I got mine from ebay), this was a painstaking process and took forever, which left me with a stiff back/neck from bending over. But once they were finished I was so pleased with the results and it was definitely worth the effort.

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For the numbers I used a ‘Clikstix’ number cutter, I had read mixed reviews online, but it seemed the quickest way to make lots of numbers. It was really easy to use and I was very happy with it. At times the fondant would get stuck, but that was easily removed using a cocktail stick.

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I was really happy with the outcome and happy that my cupcakes have gone to good use and raising awareness of such an important cause.

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This Saturday (12/01/14) marks 12 years since the opening of the Guantanamo Bay Detention camp, so I felt it was an apt time to share these with all of you.

For more information and to find out about events to commemorate the day please visit: London Guantanamo Campaign