Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit

Here on Feasting is Fun we encourage sharing. Whether it be bakes freshly made in our kitchens, or inviting friends and neighbours round for a cup of tea and a natter. As part of this I get asked by different companies to review products or produce. Resulting in me getting to share with you, my lovely readers, great products that really do earn their place in the kitchen. Today I share with you the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit Review.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit Review

Elizabeth Harris learned to bake when she was young, in her Mum’s kitchen. Her love and passion deveolped over the years and she is now renowned for making bespoke cakes for every occasion. Developing her own product range, including the Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit, is a step further to equipping and teaching others how they too can create stunning cakes.

Few people have the luxury of large kitchens with empty cupboards waiting to be filled. Items that take up valuable storage space need to earn their place. Everything needed, except for ingredients, to decorate a cupcake is contained within the sturdy, neat tin. First impression when handling the tin and it’s contents is of quality as well as a beautiful design.

Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Elizabeth Harris Perfect Decorating Cupcake Kit tin and contents.

Neatly packaged within the tin are the following items:

  • 12 cupcake cases.
  • 3 piping nozzles of different sizes and shapes.
  • Cupcake corer, used to remove the centre of a cupcake so that it can be filled.
  • Sturdy 14in/35cm reusable piping bag.
  • Splatter proof, fully comprehensive instruction guide, including basic cupcake and buttercream recipe. Also step-by-step photographs showing how to achieve 3 different cupcake decorations.
FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Three of the many designs that can be made using the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit

Since the instruction guide provides a reliable cupcake and buttercream recipe, it is ideal for those who are just learning to bake. Likewise, the quality of the nozzles and variety of decorating designs is perfect for both the inexperienced and more proficient cake decorator. A washable reusable piping bag not only helps the environment, but also saves money on buying their disposable counterparts. Finally the addition of a cupcake corer allows the baker to fill the cupcake with a sweet surprise.

While reviewing the kit, the basic cupcake recipe included in the instruction guide was used. Three different flavoured cupcakes were made. Vanilla, rose and lemon and peach with an apricot jam filling. Flavour extracts were used for the cake batter and food colours for the buttercream. The recommended buttercream recipe was also used.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Using the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Decorating Cupcake Kit to create 3 differently decorated cupcakes.

Recipe used from the instruction leaflet. Makes 12 cupcakes.

  • 110g/4oz Butter softened at room temperature
  • 110g/4oz Caster Sugar
  • 1/8tsp Salt – added as unsalted butter was used
  • 2 Free Range Eggs – I use large – lightly beaten
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
  • 110g/4oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1-2tbsp Milk
  • Optional 1/4tsp each Lemon and Rose extract. Also available from Nielsen-Massey
  • Optional 15 drops Peach flavouring available from – Foodie Flavours. Apricot Jam for the hidden filling.
  • Gold Sugar Balls

Method: followed from the instructions given.

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4.

  • Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  • Cream together the butter, salt and sugar in a bowl, until pale.
  • Add 1tbsp of flour, vanilla extract and slowly beat in the eggs to the mixture.
  • If using flavourings add and beat into the mix.
  • Gently fold in the remaining flour, adding 1-2tbsp milk until the cake batter just drops from a spoon (dropping consistency).
  • Spoon the cake batter to half fill each cupcake case.
  • Place the muffin tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they are golden in colour and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. As soon as the cupcakes are baked remove from the oven.
FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Making and baking the cupcakes.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the tin then remove and place on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  • For apricot jam filled peach cupcakes, once cool, place the cupcake corer on to the centre of the cupcake. Twist until the corer touches the top of cupcake. Remove and add 1/2tsp of jam. Press the top of the corer and the cake plug will be released. Place on top of the jam filled cupcake. Continue until each cupcake is filled.
  • Proceed to pipe a hydrangea pattern, using the medium star nozzle, as detailed in the instructions. See below for buttercream recipe.
FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Apricot jam filled peach cupcakes with hydrangea piped buttercream.

Making the buttercream:

  • 140g/5oz Butter softened
  • 280g/10oz White Icing Sugar
  • 1-2tbsp Milk
  • Food Colouring – I used gel colours available from Wilton

Whisk the butter in a bowl until softened. Add the icing sugar and whisk slowly to start, increasing in speed. Add milk if the mixture is too stiff. Continue whisking until the buttercream is pale and fluffy. Divide the buttercream into separate bowls and colour as desired. A cocktail stick dipped into gel colouring allows control of depth of colour. While carrying out the review I created a light and dark orange. Finishing the frill and hydrangea cupcakes with these colours.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Two different coloured icings.

While simply spooning alternate colours into a piping bag gave the hydrangea cupcakes a pretty, range of colours. Just like on a real flower.

Using deep orange buttercream with the flat nozzle fitted to the piping bag, the frilled cupcakes were decorated. Since the nozzle was the wrong way round each frill faced downwards creating a ballerina tutu effect. Gold sugar balls topped off these vanilla cupcakes.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Gold topped ruffle decorated vanilla cupcakes using the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit.

Finally the rose and lemon cupcakes, topped with a deep red edged cream frosting. A technique that is easier than it looks. Since, as suggested in the instructions dual coloured icings can be spooned either side of the piping bag, fitted with the large star nozzle, giving a pretty coloured rose when piped. Yet a different effect can also be achieved by dipping the blunt end of a wooden barbecue skewer into your chosen colour food colour. Place the gel end of the skewer into the empty piping bag, nozzle attached and wipe the gel up once side of the bag. Repeat on the other side. Fill the bag with uncoloured buttercream.

To decorate, squeeze out some buttercream into a bowl until the colour starts to show. Spoon  back into the piping bag. Starting in the centre of a cupcake, keep an even pressure and pipe a swirl as detailed in the instructions. As each cupcake is frosted the intense colour will pale in colour. Finally giving variation, similar to real roses.

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Rose Topped rose and lemon flavoured cupcakes using Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit.

After washing, drying, reusing and storing every part of the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit, I am thoroughly impressed. The instructions are clear and easy to wipe down for the messy baker! Each piece of equipment feels strong and sturdy. Three decorating ideas are given, each with great photos and easily understood. More ideas are available on Elizabeth’s YouTube channel here.

Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit is available to buy from larger Home Bargains stores nationwide. An ideal present for a beginner baker, or someone who bakes but wants to learn decorating techniques. Finally a warning, cake decorating can become addictive. Elizabeth Harris has a beautifully designed range of cake decorating equipment, bakeware and items for the kitchen, simply visit her website.

FF Elizabeth Harris Cupcake Decorating Kit.
Learn how to create beautiful cupcakes with the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit.

If you have enjoyed this review of the Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit you may also enjoy these cupcake recipes to use with your kit:

Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

FF Elizabeth Harris Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Drizzle Cupcakes

Carrying out reviews allows access to products that I may not normally come across. Creating cupcakes with this Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit taught me new decorating techniques. Also, developing new cupcake recipes is always a bonus. Quite often I give away reviewed products. Not so with this kit. It has found a permanent home in my newly decorated kitchen. It will be bought and given as gifts.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast.

Elizabeth Harris sent me the Perfect Cupcake Decorating Kit to review. I was not paid for carrying out this review or writing this blog post. All opinions, observations, product/ingredient recommendations are mine alone. No part of this blog post may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Almond Topped Cherry Scones plus a review of Andrew James Stainless Steel Set of 5 Bowls with Airtight Lids.

Summer is truly here. Sunshine, Wimbledon, Strawberries and Scones. Well except for today, as it is raining, a welcome relief for the garden. Today I bring you not strawberries, but another seasonal summer treat, cherries. Stunning, deep ruby red jewels, that hang like earrings from the tree. Preserved as glacé cherries meaning these Almond Topped Cherry Scones can be made any time of the year.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones a classic flavour pairing.

Combining the flavours of cherry and almond in these scones is, I think, game changing. Add clotted cream and dark cherry preserve and you have yourself a delicious scone that is bursting with flavour. Honestly, I wish that I had made these scones a very long time ago, such is the pleasure obtained from the experience of eating one.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones extra special during cherry season.

Having been sent a nest of Stainless Steel Bowls with Airtight Lids by Andrew James, I decided to see how much damage I could do to them. Seriously, when reviewing new products they need to be put through a tough regime. As mentioned before, new or replacement equipment has to earn a place in my kitchen. Since honest reviews are the only ones you will ever read on this blog, your trust is never taken for granted.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones perfect for Afternoon Tea

Since first making shortcrust pastry in the 3500ml, the second largest bowl, then proceeding to make the scone dough in the same bowl. Again using a pastry cutter to cut the fats into the flour. I knew if anything could mess up these bowls, the pastry cutter would give them a hard time. Yet, following a full cycle in the dishwasher, the bowl came out virtually untouched.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Tested bowl on top, nest of bowls bottom.

The result of really attacking this bowl with a pastry cutter, a few scratches. In all fairness I was very heavy handed when making the pastry and scones. What I absolutely love about these bowls is the non slip base. Whether whisking up Yorkshire Puddings, Ice Cream, or pouring homemade Tomato Sauce into them, these bowls do not shift on the worktop. Each bowl comes with airtight fitted lids, with the largest bowl having a lid with a removable centre. Perfect for splash control when whisking liquids see Lime Ripple Luxury Ice Cream. Finally, the only minor downside to these bowls is that they cannot be used in the microwave. A small price to pay for the robust Stainless Steel bowl with non slip base and airtight lid.

These bowls come as a nest of 5 in the following sizes:

  • 4500ml capacity – 26cm diameter
  • 3000ml capacity – 24cm diameter
  • 2500ml capacity – 22cm diameter
  • 2000ml capacity – 20cm diameter
  • 1000ml capacity – 18cm diameter

 

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
A whole variety of uses in the kitchen.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Some of the recipes made using the stainless steel bowls.

Even though these bowls cannot be used in the microwave, they are so versatile and robust, not forgetting to mention space saving. Since all of the bowls stack conveniently inside each other. They receive a firm 5 out of 5 from me. These bowls are a welcome addition to my busy kitchen. If you are quick and order before the end of July, use SAMMIE10 code for a super 10% discount.

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Almond Topped Cherry Scones

Time to make the scones!

Recipe: Almond Topped Cherry Scones makes 10

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

40g/1.75oz Caster Sugar

3tsp Baking Powder

75g/3oz Cold Unsalted Butter cut into cubes

25g/1oz Cold Vegetable Fat – Trex

75g/3oz Natural Glacé Cherries cut into halves

250mls Whole Milk plus a little extra to brush the tops of the scones before baking

2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2-3tbsp Flaked Almonds

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder, then add both of the fats.
  • Using the tips of your fingers, or a pastry cutter, work the fats into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs with some larger, pea sized pieces of fat visible.
  • Next add the salt and sugar. Mix together using a balloon whisk.
  • Now add half of the glacé cherries. Toss them about in the mixture, this prevents them sticking together. Add the other half and do the same.
  • Make a well in the centre of the mix, pour in the milk and almond extract.
  • Use a butter knife to gently stir the milk into the flour mix. As the dough starts to come together switch to using your hand. Gently bringing the mix to a coherent dough.
  • Tip the dough on to a floured surface and gently knead to form a 5cm/2″ thick disc.
  • Using a well floured 5cm/2″ round cutter, cut out the scones, remembering to press straight down without twisting the cutter. Twisting can cause odd shaped or lopsided scones as they bake. Place each scone on to the lined baking tray.
  • Bring all the bits of scone dough together once the scones are cut, knead lightly and continue to cut out the remaining scones. Repeat the last step until all of the dough is used.
  • Once all of the scones have been cut out brush the tops with milk and sprinkle over flaked almonds.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Making the Almond Topped Cherry Scones
  • Place the baking tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • The Almond Topped Cherry Scones are baked when they are risen, golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the scones from the oven and place immediately on to a cooling rack to cool.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Baked Almond Topped Cherry Scones cooling on a rack.
  • When the scones are cooled, or slightly warm then they are ready to be served.
FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Serve the Almond Topped Cherry Scones on a platter.

I like to serve the scones on a large platter with ramekins of clotted cream and cherry preserve. Adding fresh cherries when they are in season, finishes the platter beautifully.

Serve with a large pot of tea and the best china you own!

All scones are at their best on the day they are made. If you wish to make ahead, you can do so by one day. Make the scones, cool completely and store in an airtight container, such as the large stainless steel bowls. The next day 20 minutes prior to serving, warm in a preheated oven, at baking temperature for 5-10 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. Rather like bread, the reheating simply refreshes the scones and they taste freshly baked.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Almond Topped Cherry Scones you may also like these:

Fruit Filled Butter Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Fruit Filled Butter Scones

Afternoon Tea

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Afternoon Tea

Super Light Scones

FF Almond Topped Cherry Scones
Super Light Scones

Homemade scones are a world away from their shop bought counterparts. In fact I never even liked scones before I made them myself. Essential to any Afternoon Tea they are simply the easiest treat to quickly make should visitors unexpectedly arrive. Making the scone dough in the Stainless Steel bowl made the process even easier. Especially with the non slip base and dishwasher safe factors.

If you make these Almond Topped Cherry Scones please let me know? I love and really appreciate reading the comments that you take time to leave. Pop a picture on Twitter or Instagram and tag me in. I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout from @sammiefeasting.

Do take a look at this nest of bowls and don’t forget your 10% discount code SAMMIE10, only available against these bowls from Andrew James. I highly recommend them for camping, caravaning or even taking on holiday as they are super lightweight.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in you kitchens or indeed caravans, have fun creating your feast.

I regularly bake on holiday. Do you?

Sammie xx

Andrew James provided me with the nest of 5 stainless steel bowls with matching airtight lids for the purpose of review. All comments and opinions are my own and are a complete reflection of my experience in using them. I was not paid to write this post and the discount is curtesy of Andrew James. No part of this post may be reproduced in any way without my prior permission. Please see my Disclosure Policy for further details.

 

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Silicone Baking Mat Review

When baking there is one disposable item that I use very frequently, baking parchment. So when  GOLDENSPOON  sent me 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats I was interested as to how they would perform. Carrying out a Silicone Baking Mat Review was going to be interesting and fun!

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review would my gooey cookies come off easily?

After some research as to how hot Silicone bakeware can be cooked at. They are safe to bake up to 250C, I decided to test these vibrant green edged mats in three ways.

  1. Bake at a high temperature – for this I choose to bake a puff pastry tart.
  2. Bake my most gooey and sticky recipe – for this I choose my Rolo Chocolate Cookies.
  3. Use in place of baking parchment for setting messy melted chocolate – for this I covered some strawberries in chocolate to decorate a cake.
FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review 2 mats.

I received 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats, dimensions 27cm x 40cm. A quick wash in warm, soapy water and they were ready to use. I was very pleased to find that they fitted nicely inside my two biggest, most used, baking trays.

Knowing that puff pastry is baked at a high temperature, I decided to make a quick Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart.

To make this tart you will need:

320g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry

10-12 Asparagus Spears – washed and trimmed

1 Medium Egg – whisked with a teaspoon of milk fit the egg wash

3 Medium Tomatoes – sliced

6 Slices Prosciutto Ham

Approx 50g Soft Cheese – I used Goddess Cheese from Pong Cheese

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

1tbsp Olive Oil

Basil leaves to garnish

Assembling and baking the tart: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

Place one Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mat on to a baking tray.

Un roll the pastry and place directly on to the mat – removing the paper it is rolled in.

Use a pastry brush to lightly cover the pastry in egg wash.

Place the asparagus and sliced tomatoes on to the pastry and season with salt and pepper.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review see how perfectly the pastry fits on the mat.

Place the baking tray in the top of the oven for 15 minutes.

After the baking time has elapsed remove the tray from the oven.

Break off small chunks of the cheese and scatter around the tart. Then lay the Prosciutto ham over the tart, in the same direction as the asparagus. Add a small drizzle of olive oil.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart easily assembled on the silicone baking mat.

Place the tart back in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp the ham and finish baking.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart

Once baked remove from the oven, scatter over some whole basil leaves.

Remove the tart from the silicone baking mat before cutting.

Result a delicious tart, that baked beautifully on the non stick silicone baking mat. It slid off the mat easily. The mat had a quick wash in warm soapy water and was as good as new.

Fantastic! These Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats cook at a high temperature with no affect on taste and no change in appearance to the mat 10/10.

Next the gooey, sticky test. I used my Rolo recipe for this test. The cookies were prepared according to the recipe and baked using both mats, instead of baking parchment, as instructed.

This recipe requires the cookies to cool on the baking trays before removing.

Once cooled the cookies removed easily, with only a little of the melted caramel staying on the mat. This is usual with baking parchment too so I had expected it. A quick wash and the mats were clean and ready to use. A firm 9/10.

Now for the melted chocolate test!

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review with messy melted chocolate.

The strawberries were dipped in chocolate and left to set on the silicone baking mat. Once set they removed easily and were used to decorate a beautiful cake. Another quick wash in warm soapy water and again as good as new! A firm 10/10.

In conclusion I am thrilled with these Premium Silicone Non Stick Mats and thoroughly recommend them. They are so easy to use for a variety of baking and cooking purposes. They take up very little space, I store them flat in the bag they came in on top of some tins in a cupboard.

Reusable and in my opinion better than baking parchment, these have to be a great choice, not only for our kitchens but also our planet!

If you have enjoyed this Silicone Baking Mat Review you may like these recipes to bake with your mats:

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Blackberry Nectarine Tart perfect for cooking on a silicone baking mat.

Red Onion Sausage Plait

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Red Onion Sausage Plait next time I bake this will be on a silicone baking mat!

Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers had I used a silicone baking mat most of these would not of stuck to the cooling rack!

Strawberry Vanilla Chocolate Drip Cake

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake are what the chocolate covered strawberries decorated.

Having carried out this Silicone Baking Mat Review I am now a complete convert to baking with silicone. I wholeheartedly recommend every kitchen, where baking takes place, to switch to these silicone baking mats. Over time they will pay for themselves and are more environmentally friendly than using baking parchment.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens today, I hope that you are having fun, smiling and enjoying the feast you are preparing.

Sammie xx

GOLDENSPOON provided me with the 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats for the purpose of a review. All views and opinions are my own, as are the recipes, photographs and content of this post. I was not paid to review this product. Please see my  Disclosure Policy.

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