Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Today is the first day is Spring! The sun shone this morning, birds are chirping in the garden, people are outside mowing their lawns and I was inspired to create a cupcake that celebrates the passing of Winter. So here are my gluten free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Utterly delicious and gluten free Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes.

The lovely Sarah at Heavenly Marshmallows had sent me a selection of her homemade, artisan marshmallows. Amongst the selection were nine that are mango and passionfruit flavour. I knew I wanted to somehow include these in a bake.

The mango and passionfruit marshmallows are gluten free and as you all know how much I love sharing, I decided to make a gluten free cupcake, with mango in the cake batter.

Yep – I love a challenge.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes so beautiful and utterly delicious.

As if making gluten free cupcakes was not a big enough challenge, I also wanted to incorporate the delicious mango and passionfruit marshmallows into the frosting. I had seen lots of different marshmallow frosting’s on Pinterest and after reading through a few different recipes, as usual, decided to come up with something of my own.

Thank you to Pinterest – without it I probably would have never tried this frosting.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes could you tell the difference?

For these Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes I decided to make two cake batters. The first was gluten free and can be seen in the photos on the yellow background, the cupcake wrappers are yellow floral, perfect for Spring.

The second batch are in the orange wrappers and are made using plain flour, that is NOT gluten free. As no one in our home is gluten intolerant, my wonderful family were to serve as ‘taste testers’, in a blind taste testing!!

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes you can see the pieces of mango in the cupcake.

Each batch of cake batter had some mango added to it. As I didn’t have any fresh mango, I used mango from a pot in juice. I mashed up the mango with a fork and added it to the cake batter. I was thrilled that in both bakes, the mango stayed evenly distributed throughout the cooked cupcake.

So that was the cupcakes made. I’d successfully made gluten free cupcakes, with a good texture.

Now onto the frosting. Which wasn’t as daunting as I’d imagined. The hardest part was saying goodbye to each of the 9 mango and passionfruit marshmallows as I put them in a heatproof bowl, over a double boiler.

This dreamy marshmallow frosting is effectively buttercream, with melted marshmallows added to it. Yes, there’s a bit more to it than that, but it is no more difficult than making a chocolate ganache, that is then whipped and piped.

HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes the dreamy frosting is lighter than buttercream.

For some reason I’d imagined the marshmallow frosting to be a bit like marshmallow fluff. Very sticky, sweet, frosting that I’d probably have enough of halfway through eating the cupcake.

I couldn’t have been more wrong!!

This marshmallow frosting is the stuff of dreams, where fairies and unicorns live and rain falls like glittery sprinkles. Just took myself off into my dream world there 😉. It truly is amazing. The melted marshmallows lighten the buttercream frosting, giving it a mallow, sponginess, that doesn’t set hard and melts, almost like sherbet on your tongue.

Buttercream would have been delicious piped onto these cupcakes. Heavenly Marshmallows takes it to a completely different level. Utterly divine marshmallow frosting.

Recipe: Makes 12 Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes

Note: These cupcakes can be made NOT gluten free, just substitute wheat flour for the gluten free flour. Method and cooking times are exactly the same.

For the Mango Cupcakes

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter-at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Gluten Free White Flour – I use Doves Farm

1tsp Baking Powder – Waitrose Cooks’ Homebaking baking powder as it is gluten free – check yours not all brands are gluten free.

Small pinch of salt

75g/3oz Fresh or Tinned Mango – any juice strained off and mango mashed with a fork.

For the Marshmallow Frosting

Heavenly Marshmallows Mango and Passionfruit flavour marshmallows

1tbsp Glycerine

300g/11oz Icing Sugar – sifted

150g/6oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

3tsp Boiling Water

Gluten Free Sprinkles

To make the mango cupcakes preheat the oven to 165/150 fan, gas mark 2-3.

  • Add the caster sugar,vanilla and butter into a medium sized bowl and whisk/beat together until pale and creamy.
  • Sift in the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add 2 eggs.
  • Whisk/beat until all the ingredients have come together and the batter is smooth.
  • Always take care to not over mix the cake batter.
  • Add the mashed mango and fold into the cake batter.
  • Place 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tin.
  • Spoon the cupcake mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Mango Cupcakes ready for the oven.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. The low slow cooking will ensure flat tops, perfect for frosting.
  • The cupcakes are cooked when they are golden brown and spring back from a light touch.
  • Once cooked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Gluten Free Cupcakes cooling on the rack.

To make the marshmallow frosting

  •  Place the marshmallows into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Mango and Passionfruit Marshmallows starting to melt.
  • As the marshmallows melt it is important to keep stirring continuously.
  • Once melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and set to one side to cool.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Heavenly Melted Marshmallows!
  • Whilst the melted marshmallows are cooling make the buttercream.
  • Add the softened butter and boiling water into the bowl of sifted icing sugar.
  • Whisk on a high speed until light and creamy.
  • Add the glycerine and whisk into the buttercream.
  • Pour the warm melted marshmallows into the buttercream, whilst the whisk is still mixing.
  • Continue mixing on a medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • You will have the lightest frosting to pipe onto your cakes.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Light, creamy, marshmallow frosting.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star tip – I used Wilton #1M
  • Place the bag inside a sturdy jug or glass, folding back the sides of the bag.
  • Fill the bag with the marshmallow frosting.
  • Pipe swirls (like ice cream in cones) or roses see here.
  • Sprinkle over the topping of your choice.
HM Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes
Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes here piped as swirls the frosting is very versatile.

These Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes are completely delicious and in a blind taste test the gluten free cupcakes tasted exactly the same as the regular ones!! Nobody could tell the difference and happily ate both cupcakes.

One part that was declared “exceptional” was the marshmallow frosting. This is something that I will definitely be making again. The taste and unbelievable texture is most definitely worth the extra step!

Heavenly Marshmallows  certainly live up to their name. Made with natural ingredients and flavourings and no artificial colours, they truly are unlike any other marshmallow I have ever tasted. Within the selection were: mint chocolate, chocolate, liquorice (which I don’t like – but tasted some of hubby’s and it was so subtle, I’d have happily finished it), lemon meringue, vanilla and the mango/passionfruit flavour.

My personal favourite was the lemon meringue, ooh I would love to top cupcakes with this one. It had an almost sherbet like flavour which I loved and it is unashamedly lemon, completely my type of delicious.

What surprised me was the melt-in-the-mouth texture. All flavours were delicious with the texture adding a massive bonus. These marshmallows are truly artisan, without preservatives and with some flavours being gluten free, I’d say they would be my perfect treat. If you know someone this Easter who doesn’t like, or can’t eat chocolate these Heavenly Marshmallows would make a wonderful gift.

Do you find it hard to buy an alternative to chocolate eggs at Easter?

If you enjoyed these Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes I think you’ll love these too:

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes  

Smartie Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes.

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

HM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

If you make these, or indeed any of my recipes, please post a photo, if you are able, on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. I love seeing your makes and bakes.

Wishing you all a very happy Spring.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Heavenly Marshmallows  provided me with the marshmallows for this recipe. All content, photographs and recipes are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Note: unfortunately Heavenly allows are no longer trading.

I suggest ART OF MALLOW as a suitable replacement.

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Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

Wednesday this week was a truly dreary, dark and very cold day. All types of weather threw themselves at the ground; hail, snow, rain, sleet oh and it was windy too. It is March people, I want to see flowers and lambs! So to cheer us all up I made these very pretty, extremely delicious Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes a reminder that warmer days are ahead.

Doesn’t the image of pink, raspberry buttercream topped cupcakes, adorned with large daisy flowers and butterflies just cheer you up?

I was inspired to make these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes buy a wonderful lady on Twitter, known as the Baking Nanna. She is an amazing baker, loyal friend and great encourager, who does so much for others.

When Baking Nanna gave me a big thumbs up and another friend called these cupcakes ‘samazing’ it really made my day.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes the perfect sweet treat.

I guess with the weather being so chilly and dreary, I was also feeling a little blue too, having just received news that a very close friend is extremely poorly. So baking these cupcakes was therapeutic on both counts.

Does anyone else find baking relaxing?

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes do you know someone in need of cupcake cheer?

Now although these are called Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes, which is true, the cake part is flavoured with Nielsen – Massey Vanilla Extract, for the buttercream I have used a favourite flavoured icing sugar.

Sugar and Crumbs sell an amazing range of naturally flavoured icing sugars. If you remember my Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes I used their Raspberry Ripple flavoured icing sugar. Since the day that last cupcake was eaten, in Kylie’s own words “I just can’t get you outta my head” I have wanted more. More of the delicious tasting buttercream and more cupcake to swirl it onto!!

These Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes are the perfect excuse to indulge my passion again 😉.

This time though, I wanted to leave the option of flavouring the buttercream as a choice. If you do buy some flavoured icing sugar, you can certainly make the buttercream any flavour you like, as the vanilla sponge will go with any flavoured frosting. However, if you want to stick with vanilla buttercream that tastes awesome as well!

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes perfect whatever flavour frosting you swirl on top.

Personally I think the pink icing, along with the decorations, really set these cupcakes apart. Although ‘Springtime’ was at the forefront of my mind whilst creating these beauties, with Mother’s Day being this coming Sunday, they would also make a perfect gift for any Mum.

Recipe: Makes 18 Large Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes

For the Cake:

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temp.

1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – or you can substitute for Vanilla Extract

3 Large Free Rang Eggs

3tbsp Milk – whole or semi skimmed

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp Baking Powder

1/8th tsp/pinch of Salt

For the Buttercream:

350g12oz Icing Sugar – I used 250g Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple flavour and 100g/4oz Plain Icing Sugar.

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter

Pink Food Colour – I used Wilton pink food colouring gel (available from cake decorating shops, Amazon and similar from Lakeland UK)

2tbsp Very Hot Water

Dr Oetker rice paper daisies, various sprinkles (available from most supermarkets)

Rice paper butterflies – from Amazon

Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan

  • Line 2 cupcake tins with 18 muffin or deep cupcake cases – the ones I used were a Christmas present from Lakeland.
  • Into a large bowl add your butter and sugar.
  • Whisk or beat until pale and creamy – approx 5 minutes.
  • Add the 3 eggs, milk and Vanilla Bean Paste.
  • Sift into the bowl the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Note: This is called the all-in-one method.
  • Whisk or beat until all of the ingredients are combined – take care not to over mix and this will make the cupcakes tough, not light and springy.
  • Place a heaped dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake case.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes ready for the oven.
  • Place the cupcakes into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes,
  • The cupcakes are baked when they have risen and are a golden colour. They should Spring back when pressed lightly on the top.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  • Allow to cool completely before icing.

To ice the cupcakes:

  • Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the same bowl.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of hot water.
  • Add the food colouring, I use a cocktail stick and simply insert the tip into the food colouring gel and then add to the bowl.
  • Starting slowly, whisk the buttercream ingredients until light, creamy and uniform in colour.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Have a large piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip ready.
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Gorgeous pink buttercream ready for icing the cupcakes.
  • Place the piping tip into the icing bag.
  • Roll down the top of the icing bag.
  • Place the icing bag into a tall sturdy container, I use a jug. This simply helps when filling the bag with buttercream.
  • Using a spoon or spatula, fill the icing bag with all of the buttercream.
  • Practise on a plate, if piping for the first time.
  • Squeeze the bag so that all the buttercream is together.
  • Keeping an even pressure with one hand squeezing the bag and using the other hand to guide the piping tip, pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes all swirled in delicious pink buttercream.
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes adorned with flowers, butterflies and little pearls.

These Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes look so pretty and will certainly cheer up any gloomy day.

I bought some cupcake pods, little plastic containers, perfect for holding one cupcake in and a great way to give individual cupcakes away as a gift. These were from Amazon and work out to about 10 pence per pod. They can be washed up and used again, which is great recycling and means you can share even more cupcakes with others!

Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes look perfectly presented and protected in these pods.

Piping the swirls onto these beautiful cupcakes doesn’t take very much practise and it gives the cupcakes a beautiful, professional finish. By all means use whatever cupcake toppers and sprinkles that you have to hand. The beauty of these Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes is that they are individual to your own sense of taste and style.

NM Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes
Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes the perfect treat. on any day.

Any Mum, friend, co-worker or family member are sure to be thrilled when these cupcakes are presented to them.

Do you enjoy baking for other people?

If you like the Springtime Vanilla Cupcakes you will love these recipes:

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes so pretty.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes the perfect way to say I Love You.

Strawberry Sweatheart Cake

Strawberry Sweetheart Cake
Strawberry Sweetheart Cake swirled with roses and sprinkled with love.

Enjoy baking and experimenting with piping different swirls!

Sammie xx

 

 

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Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes. Just look at these beauties. Moist almond cupcakes, with a swirl of raspberry ripple buttercream on top. These may be my favourite cupcakes ever. I love them.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes these are so pretty.

Could you resist one or two of these delicious cupcakes?

I couldn’t! As soon as these photographs had been taken I ate two of these. I just didn’t want the flavour sensation to stop after the first one!

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes the perfect way to say I Love You.

Instead of giving roses for Valentine’s Day, why not bake up a batch of these delicious cupcakes? There are certain advantages; they can be shared, they are less of a dramatic statement than red roses – therefore more inclusive to groups of people that you love. Unfortunately though, I can pretty much guarantee these Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes won’t last as long as flowers!!

Valentine’ Day is about love, whether that be your significant other, your family, your girl or guy friends. Show some love this Valentine’s Day, especially to those who may feel unloved.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Beautiful Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes as beautiful as they are delicious.

You may have seen there are a few raspberry and almond recipes on this site. Such as this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake. That’s because they go soooo well together. As much as I love creating new recipes and flavour combinations, there are a few classics that I could never mess with.

These Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes bring these two classic flavours harmoniously together. Your taste buds will sing as you bite into one of these beautiful creations.

Recipe: Makes 18 Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

1.5tsp BakingPowder

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter – soft

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

30ml/2tbsp Milk

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2tsp Almond Extract

For the buttercream

250g Raspberry Ripple flavour icing sugar – available from Sugar and Crumbs

125g/5oz Unsalted Butter – very soft

2-3tbsp Boiling Water

Pink Gel Food Colouring

Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan.

  • Line a cupcake tin with the prettiest wrappers you can find.
  • In a bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until light and get and creamy.
  • Add in the eggs, milk, almond extract, salt and sifted flour and baking powder.
  • Whisk on a low speed until all the ingredients are just combined, stopping halfway through to scrape down the bowl.
  • Add 1 dessert spoonful of cake batter to each cupcake case.
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Feel free to lick out the bowl once you’ve finished filling the cupcake cases!
  • Bake the cupcakes in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed.
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Remove from the oven once the Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes are baked.
  • Decant the cupcakes onto a cooling rack.
  • Leave to cool completely.

To make the buttercream frosting:

  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add the softened butter and 2tbsp of boiling water.
  • Whisk until light, fluffy and creamy, adding up to 1 extra tablespoon of boiling water to obtain the desired consistency.
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple buttercream, soft, smooth and utterly delicious.
  • Fit a large piping bag (I use disposable ones for coloured icing) with a large, open star piping nozzle.
  • Fold the bag back on itself, opening up the inside.
  • Using a small brush, paint two lines of food colouring gel, in a line, from the tip, to approximately half way up the bag.
  • The second line should be opposite the first.
  • Place the bag in a stable container, I use a large jug.
  • Fill the piping bag with the buttercream.
  • When the cupcakes are cooled, they are ready to be iced.
  • Holding a cupcake with one hand and starting 1/3 down from the edge, pipe a letter e, keeping the pressure constant. As you get to the end of the e continue piping around the cupcake in one complete circle.

These Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes were my first attempt at piping buttercream roses and I’m really proud of how they turned out.

Obviously practice makes perfect and if you are unsure of how to pipe these look on Pinterest or YouTube, there are plenty of short tutorials showing you what to do.

In fact out of the vast array of piping tips available, if you want a professional, bakery style finish to your cupcake Wilton’s Large Stae 1M is a great nozzle to start with.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
The same cupcake with a different style of frosting, using the same piping tip.

With the cupcake above, keeping steady pressure on the piping bag, I started in the centre of the cake and piped in circles, building layers to create the classic cupcake swirl.

It is worth making up a bag of plain icing and practicing different methods, so that you feel confident icing your cupcakes.

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

These Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes are utterly delicious and the icing is very light. I enjoy using the natural flavoured icing sugars from Sugar and Crumbs however, you can easily use plain icing sugar and add a few drops of natural flavour extract.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If so, do you keep the celebrations between you and your partner, or spread the love further afield?

However you spend February 14th, I hope you know that you are loved (see Important Stuff).

If you enjoyed these Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes you are sure to love these:

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

RR Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

RR Black Forest Cupcakes
Black Forest Cupcakes

Don’t forget I’m over on Twitter @sammiefeasting if you need any advice, or leave your question in the comments box and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

Have fun baking and making your very own creations!

Sammie xx

 

 

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British Bakeware Product Review

Hello lovely readers. Today I am so thrilled to share with you my British Bakeware Product Review.

British Bakeware produce a wide range of fantastic bakeware that is all manufactured in the UK. If you need a well made, durable piece of baking kit, British Bakeware stock it.

I was sent a Large Baking Tray, 3lb Loaf Tin and 12 Cup Muffin Tray to review. I had so much fun developing recipes and testing each product and am excited to share the final results and my thoughts on their products with you.

Large Baking Tray dimensions 33cm length x 24cm wide x 2.5cm deep

British Bakeware Product Review
Large Baking Tray with a non-stick finish.

This Large Baking Tray has a double non-stick coating and is oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Oh, did I mention it comes with a 5 year guarantee – yep a whole 5 years.

I really put this baking tray through it’s paces. From baking sausage rolls, on Christmas Eve, to roasting chicken, making biscuits and baking rolls. This baking tray performed time and time again.

Food cooked evenly and the baking tray was a dream to clean. Although it is non stick I gave it a very light coating of oil prior to using it. Doing so prolongs the life any non stick bakeware.

During my British Bakeware Product Review I developed new recipes. Using this Large Baking Tray I made Roast Chicken Noodle Soup  that is very low in fat and  these Cherry Bakewell Cookies for a little treat!

Cherry Bakewell Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies cooling on the baking tray.

I deliberately did not grease the baking tray, or line with parchment paper. These cookies were very easy to remove, using a palette knife. That for me was the ultimate non-stick test and this large baking tray passed with flying colours.

In future I would line with baking parchment, as it is a great baking tray and I don’t want to scratch it!

Overall I was very impressed with the quality, durability and versatility of this Large Baking Tray.

12 Cup Muffin Tray dimensions 36cm length x 26cm wide x 3cm deep

British Bakeware Product Review
12 Cup Muffin Tray

This Muffin Tray has a double non-stick coating and is oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Yes this Muffin Tray also has a whopping 5 year guarantee.

Although this is a Muffin Tray I wanted to bake deep cupcakes in it, to see how it performed.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Baked, golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes using the 12 Cup Muffin Tray.

With the 12 Cup Muffin Tray I baked a batch of these Vanilla Bean CupcakesThe cupcakes baked evenly across the tray and were easy to remove.

What I particularly like about this Muffin Tray is the lip it has, that runs around the outside, on the top of the tray. This is a fantastic feature when baking any muffin or cupcake with a streusel topping. Inevitably some of the crumbly streusel gets knocked off the top of the muffin whilst moving the tray, this little addition ensures the sticky, crumbly mixture, doesn’t end up on your oven floor!

I do not know anyone who enjoys having to clean the oven!!!

So top marks for that British Bakeware.

This 12 Cup Muffin Tray was easy to clean, baked evenly and can be used for muffins and cupcakes. It is a complete winner all round.

3lb Loaf Pan dimensions 21cm long x 13cm wide x 12cm deep.

British Bakeware Product Review
3lb Loaf Tin

The 3lb Loaf Tin has a non-stick coating and is also oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Those of you who know me, know I love baking all sorts of delicious cakes, cookies, pies……

Did you know that I bake almost ALL of our bread?

This 3lb Loaf Tin has been used almost every day, since just before Christmas. I have baked our regular variety of loaves and created 2 new recipes in honour of this loaf tin – if it is possible to love an item of baking equipment, well, let’s just say, don’t try and come between me and this loaf tin. Are we clear???

Time after time it produced fantastic loaves. If you bake bread you NEED this tin. If you don’t and want to start get THIS tin.

I have been baking bread for the best part of 40 years (I started very young!!) and this is, without question, the best non-stick loaf tin I have ever used.

I created a recipe for a Wholemeal Loaf and a Spiced Fruit Loaf

The fruit loaf has a very, very sticky dough, yet it baked perfectly in this Loaf Tin.

British Bakeware Product Review
The 2nd Spiced Fruit Loaf I baked for this British Bakeware Product Review.

The 100% Wholemeal Loaf also baked beautifully in this 3lb Loaf Tin.

British Bakeware Product Review
Delicious and healthy Wholemeal Loaf.

Have I convinced you to start making your own bread yet?

I have thoroughly enjoyed carrying out this British Bakeware Product Review, not least because the products I reviewed were of excellent quality. They withstood the rigours of a normal household kitchen, although, it is probable that I bake more than most.

Whether you are a frequent baker, or not I can thoroughly recommend British Bakeware products. They are very reasonably priced, especially when you consider all three items I reviewed come with a 5 year guarantee and they are made right here in the UK.

Following this British Bakeware Product Review they will now be the first place I turn to when I need baking equipment – in fact I already have a few items on my list!!

As you know I frequently mention sharing on here. First home, wedding, birthday – how about giving a baking gift from British Bakeware? Maybe go one step further, pick a recipe (from feastingisfun of course 😉) buy the ingredients and the bakeware to bake it in and give it as a present?

Here are the links to get you started!

Large Baking Tray

12 Cup Muffin Tray

3lb Deep Farmhouse Loaf Tin

Do you enjoy baking?

Would you like to start baking?

Please let me know. I really enjoy reading your comments. I am not an expert but will always aim to give helpful advice.

Have fun baking, I’m off to do some online shopping at British Bakeware

Sammie xx

British Bakeware provided me with the 3lb loaf pan, large baking tray and 12 cup muffin tray, for me to review. All opinions and content are my own. I did not receive any payment for carrying out this review.

 

 

 

 

 

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Black Forest Cupcakes

Hello there, today we are talking birthdays. Birthdays mean cake – lots of it. Shared amongst family and friends in a celebration of us getting another year older. Yeah, I hear you – cakes could also be seen as a comfort food, for those of us notching up the years!

When I was younger, every year for my birthday I would ask for a Black Forest Gateaux. The best, best part was having a slice for breakfast, the day after my birthday. Ooh it tasted so good and my love for this dessert inspired me to make these Black Forest Cupcakes.

Black Forest Cupcakes chocolate sponge topped with mascarpone, cherries and drizzled in syrup.
Black Forest Cupcakes chocolate sponge topped with mascarpone, cherries and drizzled in syrup.

 

I have added my own little twists, but the basic components stay the same; lighter than light chocolate sponge, dark cherries in glorious deep ruby syrup and a mascarpone cream topping. Have I got your attention now?

Black Forest Cupcakes perfect chocolate, cherry treats.
Black Forest Cupcakes perfect chocolate, cherry treats.

 

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I actually don’t bake cupcakes very often. Such was my craving for the taste of Black Forest Gateaux that I finally conceded to make these Black Forest Cupcakes. 

Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa herself is famous for saying she likes “Rembered flavours.” Our tastebuds can transport us to various places and times the instant they are tantalised with a remembered flavour.

Black Forest Cupcakes so do that to me. Memories of birthdays past flooded my brain as I took the first bite. Delicious does’nt even begin to describe how good these cupcakes are!

Black Forest Cupcakes cherry-chocolate heaven in a bite.
Black Forest Cupcakes cherry-chocolate heaven in a bite.

 

Using mascarpone/cream for the topping gives these cupcakes a rich, deep, creamy flavour. You can see I haven’t overloaded these cupcakes with topping. A small swirl, topped with a syrupy cherry, is the perfect compliment to the moist, light, chocolate, sponge.

Ok confession time!!! After these Black Forest Cupcakes had been assembled and had their beaity shots taken, I unashamedly face planted, straight into one. Mmm what’s life without a little fun?? So I had to wash my face, hands afterwards – it was totally worth it. If you make these, I encourage you to do the same – have some fun!!!

Black Forest Cupcakes www.feastingisfun.com
Black Forest Cupcakes www.feastingisfun.com

 

Recipe : Makes 18 Black Forest Cupcakes

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temp

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa

2tsp Baking Powder

4 Large Eggs – free range if possible

50ml/2fl oz Milk – whole or semi skimmed

250g/9oz Mascarpone Cheese

150ml/5fl oz Double Cream

1tsp Caster Sugar

375g/10of Pouch or Tin Good Quality Cherry Pie Filling

Method : Preheat oven to 175C/160C fan

Place the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in to a large bowl.

Whisk the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until pale and creamy.
Whisk the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until pale and creamy.

 

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together into a seperate bowl (dry mix).

Add one third of the dry mix to the creamed butter mixture, whisk briefly and then add 2 eggs and whisk again. Repeat the last 2 steps again and then finish by adding the milk and the last of the dry mix. Whisk until fully incorporated.

Mousse like chocolate batter for the Black Forest Cupcakes
Mousse like chocolate batter for the Black Forest Cupcakes

 

Place 18 cupcake cases into the cupcake pans.

Use a standard ice cream scoop to fill the cases evenly with the chocolate batter.
Use a standard ice cream scoop to fill the cases evenly with the chocolate batter.
Continue until all the cases have been filled.
Continue until all the cases have been filled.

 

Place the pans into the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. The cupcakes are cooked when pressed lightly on top, the sponge springs back.

Black Forest Cupcakes all even the beauty of using an ice cream scoop!!
Black Forest Cupcakes all even the beauty of using an ice cream scoop!!

 

Remove the cupcakes from the pan and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Black Forest Cupcakes cooling on a rack.
Black Forest Cupcakes cooling on a rack.

 

To make the topping, whisk together the mascarpone, cream and caster sugar until stiffened. This process can easily done by hand, it takes very little time – beware of over whisking!!

Black Forest Cupcakes whip the mascarpone, cream and sugar together.
Black Forest Cupcakes whip the mascarpone, cream and sugar together.

 

Fit a large piping bag with a large star tip. Fill with the mascarpone mixture and pipe small swirls on top of each cupcake.

Black Forest Cupcakes pipe a small swirl of mascarpone cream onto the chocolate sponge.
Black Forest Cupcakes pipe a small swirl of mascarpone cream onto the chocolate sponge.

 

Tip the cherry pie filling into a bowl. Using a spoon place a cherry on top of each of the cupcakes. Then go back and drizzle a little of the syrup over each cupcake.

Black Forest Cupcakes topped with a cherry and drizzled with the syrup.
Black Forest Cupcakes topped with a cherry and drizzled with the syrup.

 

If not eaten immediately, these Black Forest Cupcakes need to be kept refridgerated in an air tight container, where they will keep for up to 3 days.

Do you have a favourite ‘remembered flavour’ from your childhood?

You may also enjoy these recipes Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Sammie x

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Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

Hello, have I got a treat for you today!! Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. I know, I hardly ever post cupcake recipes, but today, well, I had this big punnet of beautiful, juicy, Blueberries sitting in the fridge, waiting to be eaten. Then I noticed the lemons. I love lemon, the flavour, the scent and these lemons are super special – they are called Eureka lemons. What a cool name??! So I had a little think to myself (mostly a dangerous pursuit!!) and decided it was time to make me some cupcakes.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes feastingisfun.com
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes feastingisfun.com

 

When I say me I mean our family. We all love a good cupcake and as I don’t make them very often they really are a treat. I must confess though, that two of these cupcakes didn’t make it throught to the frosting stage – my daughter and I snaffled one each whilst they were still warm. Mmm. Totally worth it. Jammy pods of sweet, warm blueberry in a moist lemon crumb, yep no guilt felt at all!! In fact you could make these and skip the frosting stage completely and they’d still be knockout delicious!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes - the ultimate treat.
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes – the ultimate treat.

 

The Frosting on these Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes totally sends them over the top. Using fresh lemon juice ensures the frosting is the perfect balance to an already wonderful cupcake. It adds another dimension of sweet/tart creaminess that simply makes these cupcakes awesome.

I actually had to resist adding some sparkles to these cupcakes – because sparkles?? I held back as the blueberry, polka dot studded frosting looked so pure and, well, perfect. If you want to add sprinkles or sparkles, just know I’m good with that.

 

Recipe : Makes 12 Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4tsp Salt

3 Large Free Range Eggs

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

1 1/2tsp Baking Powder

300g/11oz Fresh Blueberries

1 Lemon zest

Frosting :

400g/14oz Icing Sugar (Confectioners sugar)

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

3-4tbsp Lemon Juice (from the lemon above)

Method : Preheat the oven to 175C/165C fan

 

Add the sugar and butter to a bowl.
Add the sugar and butter to a bowl.
Whisk together until light and fluffy.
Whisk together until light and fluffy.

 

Add the vanilla extract and 2 eggs and whisk thoroughly.

Remove 1 tbsp of the flour, for dusting the blueberries later.

Sift in half the flour/salt/baking powder and mix until just combined. I usually do this by hand, or use a low setting on a stand mixer.

Add the remaining egg. Stir briefly before adding the remaining sifted, dry ingredients. Mix until everything is just incorporated.

This cake batter is ready for its fruit!
This cake batter is ready for its fruit!

 

Keep back enough blueberries to decorate the cupcakes with. Now toss the remaining blueberries in the tablespoon of flour. This will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cupcake whilst baking. Zest the lemon using a grater or, as I have, a lemon zester. I like seeing the strands of lemon in the cake.

Add the blueberries and lemon zest.
Add the blueberries and lemon zest to the cake batter.
Stir the batter carefully by hand to avoid bursting the blueberries.
Stir the batter carefully by hand to avoid bursting the blueberries.

 

Line a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

Using an ice cream scoop fill each case with cake batter.
Using an ice cream scoop fill each case with cake batter.

 

Place the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes in the middle of the preheated oven.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. The cupcakes are cooked when they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed. I don’t suggest using a toothpick or skewer to check these particular cupcakes, as they are full of jammy blueberries, the skewer is likely to come out unclean.

Remove the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes from the oven.
Remove the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes from the oven.

 

Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tin, before removing them.

Place the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes onto a cooling rack.
Place the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes onto a cooling rack.

 

Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting.

Place the icing sugar, soft butter and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into a bowl. Whisk thoroughly adding more lemon juice if the frosting is too thick.

Whisk the butter, icing sugar and lemon juice together until light and fluffy.
Whisk the butter, icing sugar and lemon juice together until light and fluffy.

 

Fit a nozzle of your choice (I used a large star tip) to a piping bag. I then turn over the outside edges and use a large glass or jug to put my piping bag in whilst I fill it with the frosting. I created a swirl pattern with my frosting.

Starting at the outside edge, frost the cupcake using a circular motion.
Starting at the outside edge, frost the cupcake using a circular motion.
Beautifully frosted Lemon Blueberry Cupcake.
Beautifully frosted Lemon Blueberry Cupcake.

 

Now it’s time to adorn the beautiful, creamy, frosting with the deep, dark, blue, berries that you reserved. If you want to add extra flair go ahead (I’m talking sparkles/sprinkles!!). Cupcakes are fun!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes feastingisfun.com
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes feastingisfun.com

 

Enjoy these Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. That to me, means sharing. Seeing the pleasure on neighbours and friends faces when you pop round with one of these beauties makes me go all warm and fuzzy inside. Not because of what I’ve done, purely the reaction of someone smiling.

Who will you make smile?

You may also like Bakewell Cupcakes   Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Sammie x

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Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes.

Hi there, I hope you are having a good day and hopefully this recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes will make you smile and encourage you to get baking!!!!

So late (7.30pm – that’s late for me!) the other night, I was in bed and our lil man popped his head round the door and said “Mummy it’s the school bake sale tomorrow.  Do we have anything that I can take in?”.  Looking at me with his angelic, freckled face and gorgeous green eyes, hopeful, expectant.  Mummy’s can sort anything out, at a moments notice – can’t they????

Well of course we can!  Improvisation is one of the most important parenting tools any mum or dad learns.

So, fortunately my cupboards are groaning under the weight of baking ingredients at the mo, due to being unwell over Christmas – see there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud!  If I was going to bake I was definitely going to blog about it.  Only problem with that is, have already posted Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes guaranteed to sell and make the most money!), I needed a different chocolate recipe.  So I invented a new recipe on the spot – Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes!

They look and taste soooo good!
Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes. They look and taste soooo good!

Given my desire to get back to bed ASAP I decided not to frost these cupcakes. Sprinkling each individual cupcake top with chopped up crunchy after dinner mints turned out better than I hoped for.  The crunchy mint chocolate shards didn’t melt, or lose their shape and once cooled provided an excellent topping in itself!  Ditching the frosting also made it much easier for my lil man to transport these scrumptious (WHAT?? – of course we had to try them!!!) cupcakes to school.

Recipe : Makes 33-36 Cupcakes

1lb/450g  Unsalted Butter – at room temp

1lb/450g  Light Soft Brown Sugar

8 Eggs – Large, room temp – pref free range

2tsp. Vanilla Extract

1tsp. Peppermint Extract

1/4tsp. Salt – I use Kosher (free flowing and additive free)

12oz/350g White Self Raising Flour

4oz/100g  Cocoa Powder

8oz/225g  Milk Chocolate Chunks (or chips)

4oz/100g  Dark Mint Chocolate

Method :

Preheat oven to 190C (175C fan).

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and whisk (using an electric whisk, or beater paddle in a stand mixer) until completely combined (this is called creaming) and light and fluffy in texture.

A mix of sugars. Dark and light brown and white caster - it was late and it was the best I could do!!!!
A mix of sugars. Dark and light brown and white caster – it was late and it was the best I could do!!!!
It all whisked up beautifully - breathed sigh of relief!!!!
It all whisked up beautifully – breathes sigh of relief!!!!

Add the vanilla/peppermint extracts and the salt. Whisk in thoroughly.  Now add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition – I break each egg into a separate bowl before adding it to the mixture –  it helps keep any errant eggshell out of the batter.  If the eggs are at room temp then the batter shouldn’t curdle, however, if it does start to curdle just add 1 tablespoon of your flour and the mixture will come back together again.

All 8 eggs whisked in and no curdling! I was relieved.
All 8 eggs whisked in and no curdling! I was relieved.

Next sift in the flour and cocoa powder.  Fold this in using a spoon/spatula, using a gentle figure-of-eight movement rotating the bowl to ensure the flour/cocoa become fully incorporated. The idea is to keep the mixture light and not lose too much of the trapped air from the whisked in eggs.

Add the milk chocolate chunks and fold these into the Cupcake batter so they are evenly distributed.

This mixture looks, smells and tastes scrumptious!
This mixture looks, smells and tastes scrumptious!

Line you cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake cases and using an ice cream scoop, fill the  cases 3/4 full (one scoop full).  Remember I’m not frosting these cupcakes so I want them to have a nice rounded top!

Ready....
Ready….
Squeeze.....
Squeeze…..
Plop! The exact amount of batter drops into the cupcake case - brilliant - and quick - and much less messy than using 2 spoons!
Plop! The exact amount of batter drops into the cupcake case – brilliant – and quick – and much less messy than using 2 spoons!

Sprinkle the crunchy, dark mint chocolate shards over the top of each uncooked cupcake, pushing slightly into the batter.

Ready for the oven!
Ready for the oven!

Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 mins depending on your oven.  I usually test if cupcakes are cooked by lightly pressing in the middle and if it springs back it’s cooked.   I DON’T suggest you do this – I did, forgetting there would be melted chocolate on the top – OUCH!!  So, when the Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes are risen, with a nice dome shape, lightly press the SIDE of the cupcake top.  If firm remove the cupcakes from the oven, if it’s still a bit sticky and wobbly, leave them in the oven for 3-5 minutes until firm and then remove.

Leave to cool for a good 5 minutes before removing to cool on a baking rack.
Leave to cool for a good 5 minutes before removing to cool on a baking rack.

If you’ve only got a couple of cupcake tins you can pop them on the garden bench to speed up the cooling process, so you can decant the cupcakes, wash the tins, get the next batch in the oven and get back to bed!!!!

Come on babies, cool quickly please?
Come on babies, cool quickly please?

When the cupcakes are all cool, pack into an airtight container, cupcake box for school bake sale or place one on a plate pour a glass of milk and take it up to bed to enjoy!!!!

All Double Chocolate Chunk Mint Cupcakes were sold out in 2 minutes the next day, raising £10 for the charity Mencap!!!

The fun bits……..

Who needs a dishwasher......
Who needs a dishwasher……
When you have chocolate loving children
When you have chocolate loving children

You could easily halve this recipe, should you not have a cake sale to bake for, or, here’s a thought – use the recipe, as is, and surprise someone with a tin/box/plateful of scrummy cupcakes!!

Remember Food Tastes Better When It’s Shared. Happy Feasting!

Sammie x

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Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes!!

Well a very good day to you. The storm has finally cleared the UK and I sincerely hope you survived it unscathed?  If you are sleep deprived, due to the banging, blowing and crashing howls of wind a Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes may be just what you need to help you get through the day with a smile!

Fudgey, chocolate icing with hearts, stars and gold dragee balls!
Fudgey, chocolate icing with hearts, stars and gold dragee balls!

Nature’s beauty can be mesmerisingly beautiful, but we should never underestimate it’s force or ruthlessness and ability to deprive us all of a good nights sleep!

CUPCAKES!!!!!
I’ve posted lots of pics, now I give you the recipe:

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes (makes 18)

You will need:

2 x 12 Deep Muffin Tins (not shallow fairy cake tins)

18 Cupcake liners (I’ve used brown ‘tulip’ liners – plain white ones look good with chocolate, but the choice is yours!)

Recipe : Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes – makes 18

10oz Unsalted Butter (at room temp)

10oz Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar

2tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt (I use Kosher)

5 Large Eggs (Pref Free Range – at room temp)

3oz Cocoa Powder (NOT hot chocolate powder)

7oz Self Raising White Flour

3-4tbsp Whole Milk (at room temp)

6oz Milk Chocolate Chunks or Chips

Large bowl & an electric whisk (it really makes creaming the sugar & butter bearable!!!!)

Method :

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 175C (160C Fan Oven).

Line the muffin tins with 18 cupcake cases.

Pretty tulip cases, worth the extra effort!!!
Pretty tulip cases, worth the extra effort!!!

Firstly place the butter and treacly dark sugar into a large bowl (of stand mixer, if using, with the paddle mixer attached).

No lumps here!!!!!
No lumps here!!!!!

Unless you are ready for a serious workout I really recommend using an electric whisk to beat the sugar/butter mixture. It will take a while (approx 5-10 mins) for the mixture to become smooth and fluffy.

Next add the punch of salt& vanilla extract and beat the whole mixture until thoroughly combined.

Now if you want to switch to a wooden spoon for mixing you can. Using an electric whisk/beater is also ok, just make sure you don’t over mix once the flour is added, otherwise you won’t have light, cupcakes.

Add 2 of the eggs (I always crack them into a separate bowl first, no one wants crunchy cupcakes!!!) and a third of the cocoa/flour (sifted). Gently mix until almost incorporated.

Repeat this process again.

Callebaut milk chocolate chunks take this cupcake to another level of scrumptiousness!!!!!!!
Callebaut milk chocolate chunks take this cupcake to another level of scrumptiousness!!!!!!!

Now add the last egg and mix gently. Then add the last of the flour/cocoa & the chocolate chunks/chips. Fold these ingredients in gently adding 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the mixture and allow all the ingredients to mix thoroughly and have a slightly wet dropping consistency.

The cake batter should look like this, ready to scoop!!
The cake batter should look like this, ready to scoop!!

I use an ice cream scoop to evenly fill the cupcake cases. But you could always use 2 desert spoons. Just ensure an equal amount of mixture is placed into each case. This ensures that all the cupcakes will be cooked evenly & in the same amount of time.

Using an ice cream scoop to portion the cupcake batter.
Using an ice cream scoop to portion the cupcake batter.
Centre the scoop above the cake liner.
Centre the scoop above the cake liner.
Squeeze the scoop & release the batter into the case!!!
Squeeze the scoop & release the batter into the case!!!

Cook for approx 20 minutes. The cupcakes are cooked when lightly pressed in the middle and the cake springs back.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 mins until cool enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
NOTE: if using the tulip style cupcake cases, I’ve found it best to leave the cupcakes to COMPLETELY COOL IN THE TIN. The paper cases will then adhere to the cupcakes when removed from the tin.

I left these cupcakes to cool completely in the tin.
I left these cupcakes to cool completely in the tin.

These chocolate chunk cupcakes are then perfect to serve unadorned!

However if making for a special occasion or just because, you can ice or top them with whatever you like!!

I’ve used Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Fudge Icing (which I’ve found is easier to apply using 2 teaspoons, rather than piping, when using the tulip cupcake wrappers. I’ve then sprinkled a variety of gold sugar balls, white chocolate stars, glitter, even rice paper figurines.

Fudgey, chocolate icing with hearts, stars and gold dragee balls!
Fudgey, chocolate icing with hearts, stars and gold dragee balls!

Melted chocolate drizzled over the top, or half double cream/half chocolate melted together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), creates a chocolate ganache. If using ordinary (not tulip) cases the cupcakes can then be dipped into the ganache, covering the entire surface of the cupcake. This will then cool to a soft, fudgey consistency, whereas melted chocolate on its own will harden on cooling.

Ganache dipped cupcakes with a sparkly addition of gold dragee balls.
Ganache dipped cupcakes with a sparkly addition of gold dragee balls.

You can then sprinkle & adorn to your hearts content. Although left without the sprinkles these cupcakes still look gorgeous & scrummy.

Now it’s time to share!!

I invested in some individual clear, plastic cupcake holders, which not only allow the cupcakes to be transported easily but also allow the recipient to clearly see their gift. I have also popped the cupcakes into cellophane bags tied with rafia. This also looks beautiful, but is more fiddly & you have to be careful not to get any of the icing on the inside of the bag, as it spoils the look.

If you want to make someone smile, or you know someone who needs cheering up, this recipe is FOOLPROOF.

When I give a gift, especially one I’ve made, I’m NOT looking to be basked in thanks & glory for what I’ve given. I want the recipient to feel special. To know that they’ve been thought of & know that they are special to me.

I’ve received gifts that are more about the giver than the recipient & although I’m always thankful, somehow, if the giver is looking to be showered with praise, the gift feels soulless.

In my world GIFTS SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT THE RECIPIENT NOT THE GIVER.

Don’t get me wrong a thank you is nice, but other than that I’m not seeking praise. I really try to think of who I am giving to & what their likes & preferences are. In doing this I must disregard what I want and focus on others.

Some people like a big fuss & that’s fine. They like attention & they enjoy being the centre of it. So when giving them a gift I know they don’t mind if it’s in a roomful of people. They enjoy celebrating in a big way.

Others are quieter. They would be mortified at the notion of being centre of attention. That is fine too. So the gift will be given quietly, without pomp & circumstance. Because it’s not about the giver but the recipient.

If you’ve taken the time, love & care to make something for someone, give equal thought to how you will give it to them.

Nobody, especially me, gets it right all the time! But we can all try, me included.

A well meant gift, given in a thoughtful way says you care.

Have fun trying the cupcakes. If you want to make fewer a rough guide is 1 egg/2oz butter/1 1/2oz self raising white flour/1/2oz cocoa powder.

I’d love to hear how you get on, so please leave a comment?

In the mean time have lots of fun, feasting and sharing!!

Sammie x

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What a feast we had!!

If I were a fairy, this cake would be my home xx
If I were a fairy, this cake would be my home xx

Hi there. I really do hope that you are having a good day? If not I hope tomorrow is better for you.

As for me, eldest daughter is having  a sleepover tonight with some friends. So of  course we’ve had plenty of fun and feasting- although  how much sleep is had tonight I can only guess at!!

They are all lovely girls and all four of their birthdays are near each other, so I thought it would be nice to make them all a special cupcake,

Sharing their birthday celebrations together, with a pretty cupcake tower
Sharing their birthday celebrations together, with a pretty cupcake tower!!

Now before I get into the feasting frivolities, I feel it is necessary to share with you my love of fairy lights. They add such sparkle to a room. With one flick of the switch a nice room becomes a magical party room. And they make me smile, especially when I see them reflected in a mirror. It’s like an extra bonus (buy one get one free!!!). I feel so much better having shared that as it will help to further explain my other love……

Sparkles, whether it is a shimmering, sun lit sea scape, or a harsh overnight frost followed by a sun lit, clear blue sky. The way the ice crystals sparkle under the bright low sun  & spiders webs, beautifully defined by the ice crystals, look like something straight out of an Enid Blyton fairy story.

But sparkles, although enchanting in nature, can also be used to turn a pretty cupcake, into a spectacular one. I’m talking edible glitter here people & the world – my world – loves to sprinkle a little glitter whenever the occasion allows ( I satisfy myself with a daily application of sparkly lip gloss – & I’m happy about that!!).  Christmas (as well as properly remembering & giving thanks to God for the birth of his son Jesus) sees me in my element, totally immersed in fairy lights, tinsel, baubles & pots & pots of glitter – edible or otherwise.

Anyhow back to this blog! Here’s a couple of photos of the vanilla & chocolate cupcakes (I’m proud of the restraint I showed whilst decorating them!!!!

Chocolate, but sparkly & classy!!
Chocolate, but sparkly & classy!!

So I made a couple of pizzas (thank you Mr Bread machine), some coleslaw, garlic bread – with fresh Thyme – my fav so far, well today, baked oven potato wedges, cocktail sausages & sausage rolls ( the last 3 cooked from a packet – I know my limits!!), added a couple of dips, crisps & crudités & the feast was complete. The hungry teenagers got stuck in!!

Many hands make pizza disappear quickly!!!!
Many hands make pizza disappear quickly!!!!

And I’m not sure I have ever heard so much laughter, seen such happy faces or seen pizza disappear quite so quickly. It made me glad and thankful.

Thankful that I am married to a man who loves me sooo deeply, flaws an all. Thankful that we have 3 beautiful, loving, caring & thoughtful children. The BEST family anyone could ever hope for & secure in the knowledge that we are loved by the best man who ever walked this earth, Jesus.

He is our strength & our refuge. It is only by being full up & constantly refilled with His unending love that we can deal with daily challenges & still smile. Thank you Lord.

I hope that you too know my friend Jesus, He IS the smile that lives in my heart.

If you don’t know Him & the Vast love & forgiveness He has for you, please leave a comment & I will get back to you with more info?

Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I’m not very tech savvy & everything I have written & photographed on my phone!!!!

Until next time, & I say this as much to myself as you, try to react in a kind, considerate way the next time someone puts an obstacle in your path & if you can smile through it, all the better xx

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