Category Archives: cupcakes

Mendhi Cupcakes

The centre piece (even though it was on the side of the table) of my dessert table was this cupcake display.

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For the cakes, I decided to keep it simple; vanilla filled with raspberry jam and topped with vanilla buttercream (250g unsalted butter creamed with 500g icing sugar, about 2 tablespoons of milk until you get the desired consistency, and vanilla to taste). And chocolate mud cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream.

I wanted to make really colourful cupcakes, I decided to go for fondant toppers with a mendhi/henna design.

I ordered Renshaw fondant icing in turquoise, fuscia pink and orange.  And used a round cookie cutter to cut the discs to size.

I ordered the mendhi pattern stencils from eBay and some I had collected over the last couple of years.

And used Rainbow Dust Metallic Food Paint, which is alcohol free :D, applying it using a sponge.

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I made the fondant toppers a few days before the event so they would be ready when it was time to decorate the cupcakes.

When ready I smoothed buttercream on top of the cupcake and placed the disc on top.  Unfortunately, the discs were slightly smaller than the cakes.

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I made about 40 cakes in total, on top of all the other things I made. With all the last minute preparation for the wedding, I must be crazy!

I was so happy with how these turned out, they looked amazing on the cake stand, the colours and patterns complimented the mendhi theme, and they tasted delicious 😀

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Indian Summer

No Indian wedding would be complete without lots of love, laughter, colour and lots and lots of FOOD.

My next few post will be about the treats I made for my brothers wedding over the Summer.

Most of these were made for the dessert table for the ladies mendhi (henna) party.

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some of the mendhi patterns of the night

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Mendhi madness

The gorgeous mendhi was applied by Sheena and Raya, who both did the most beautiful designs and really paid attention to what each person wanted.

And this is dessert table I (with some help of my sisters) did:

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Out of all my baking projects over the last few years this was my favourite and the one I’m most proud of. I was so happy with how it looked when put together and all the different desserts/sweets looked and tasted amazing.

Paisley Cakes
The ‘paisley’ is so common in mendhi patterns. I knew these cakes would go perfectly on my table.

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To make them extra special I painted the flaked almonds gold using food paint before sprinkling on top.

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They looked so beautiful on my cupcake display.

Chocolate Brownie Hearts
I made my normal brownies, plain chocolate flavour in shallow baking sheets (I usually make them in a square cake 20cm tin).

I left the brownies to cool, then using heart cutters cut them out.

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I did want to dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkle edible heart confetti … but ran out of time.

They still looked cute and were the perfect little chocolatey, fudgey morsels.

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Sweet Cones
Ok, no baking involved. But thought I’d include these.

I make these as a thank you gift for our guests.

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I got the cones and curling ribbon from eBay and filled them with marshmellows, jelly sweets, love hearts and lolly pops.

They were really easy to make and made a great gift for kids and adults alike.

The cake pops and individual banofee pies were made by my sister, I made the fruit skewers, and the small crescent and iced cakes were a gift from a friend.

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Mini Tiramisu Cakes

I’m really enjoying the repeats of Lorraine Pascales ‘Baking Made Easy’ on Food Network. She makes everything look so easy.

I’ve taken it as a sign that the episode where she makes these Mini Tiramisu Cakes is always on, and decided with my coffee by my side to give them a go. 

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I really need to stop listening to my mug

Ingredients:

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After preparing the batter, rather than using a muffin tin/muffin cases, I used my Lakeland Mini Sandwich Tin as I wanted to make them look like miniature cakes not cupcakes.

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There was, however, plenty of batter left over, so I made 6 cupcakes out of it.

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While the cakes were cooling I made the filling (substituting the marsala for a few spoons of coffee dissolved in water, also, if you are piping instead of scooping the filling … 350g of mascarpone should be enough..I had loads left over and made some trifles with the amaretti biscuits). And the syrup, which started of quite watery but thickens as it cools.

Once cool enough I cut them in half (and also had a little try, a really moist cake with a none overwhelming coffee flavour.  Unfortunately the Amaretti seemed to soften/dissolve into the cake, however, you could taste the almond) and brushed syrup over both halves.

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Once fully cooled, time to fill.  Lorraine uses an ice cream scoop and puts a huge dollop of the mascarpone to sandwich the two halves.  I felt that was too much and decided to pipe.

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And to finish a dusting of icing sugar:

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I was really impressed by these, a really good cake made super moist by the syrup and with the mascarpone filling with it soft bits of Amaretti biscuits it tastes just like Tiramisu.

Treats for my Sweets

October is a busy cake month, three birthdays within four days (one including my own), this year also included Eid and a cake request (my first one ever!)

These were actually the last cakes I made, I’m working backwards with my posts (the tiramisu was made after, for my birthday .. I was all caked out).
A treat for my niece, who like her aunt, loves all things scary.

This was my first attempt at fondant models, I’m quite impressed with the final result, even if I do say so myself 😉
Unfortunately, due to sticky fondant fingers I didn’t get a chance to take pictures as I made them, bad blogger I know, however, here’s a simple guide

Pumpkins:

1)make a ball out of orange fondant, and flatten slightly 2) using a toothpick/knife/vining tool, starting from bottom to top, make evenly spaced vertical lines all the way round 3) using a small amount of green fondant make a stalk for the pumpkin and stick on 4) for the pumpkin eyes I cut small triangles out of the black fondant and stuck them on (this was quite fidley so I only managed 3 sets if eyes) (a great picture guide can be found here)

Ghosts:

1) roll out some white fondant, and cut a round using a cookie cutter
2) place the centre of the round on the tip of your finger, and pinch the edges, leave to dry
3) for the larger round I used a round sweet so it wouldn’t become misshapen when left to dry
4) I drew the eyes on using black gel decorating pens
(ghost topper tutorial with pics )

For the ‘mud’ I used Heston’s Chocolate covered popping candy from Waitrose, which looked really affective and made a nice surprise!

Like my nephew, my niece was also very specific about the cake she wanted, low fat and healthy. Healthy cake? Surely that’s an oxymoron.

She initially wanted a cheesecake, I really don’t like Quark or yoghurt based cheesecakes, I know it wasn’t for me, but I tend not to make things I wouldn’t want to eat myself. So that was out of the window.

She said she doesn’t mind banana cake, as they have bananas and they are healthy (great minds! I also count banana cake as one of my 5 a day, and Bounty :p )
I decided to incorporate all her favourite edible things: dates and honey, and found this great recipe for walnut, date and honey cake.
I added aprox. 75ml of buttermilk (made by adding a few drops of lemon juice to milk) or you could use yoghurt.
Ok not the worlds healthiest cake, but it has some healthy elements!
This is a really moist cake, you could probably reduce the sugar content slightly more especially as the bananas/dates/honey add sweetness, I would personally add more dates in the future.

For the frosting I was under strict commands, NO BUTTER, if I wanted to use chocolate only DARK CHOCOLATE.

Initially I was going to go for a straight forward glaze icing, but I felt it wouldn’t do the cake justice.  My niece mentioned you can make really nice frosting out of yoghurt, which didn’t really appeal to me, but as it her cake I did a quick ‘low fat yoghurt frosting’ google search and found this gem.
From the feedback at the bottom of the page it sounded promising.
I whisked 225g of greek yoghurt (I used Liberte,it is super thick and creamy) with 225g Philadelphia light.
Initially I wanted to make it honey and cinnamon flavour, as I thought that would complement the cake nicely so I put in two spoons of honey (instead of maple syrup) and sprinkled in some cinnamon, unfortunately, it tasted like cough medicine.
So I whisked in the peanut butter (I only had two tablespoons left).  It looked a bit runny, luckily I made it the night before, so once it was refrigerated overnight, it had thickened up nicely and was pipable.
This was amazing frosting, I think even if I didn’t add the extra sugar it would have tasted absolutely delicious.  You would think it was a regular frosting.

The black and orange metallic cases were from eBay.  The cupcake wrappers and cake picks were from the 2013 My Cake Magazine Halloween special edition.

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.

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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 🙂