Sunday, 26 July 2015

Popcorn Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream





I've been really busy this month, which is why my blog has been a bit quieter than usual. Last night I had a party for my 30th birthday (the actual day is on Thursday), and these cupcakes were such a hit I had to share the recipe!


For the party I also made two Chocolate Guinness Cakes with Baileys Buttercream (my absolute favourite!), some Pepperoni Pizza Muffins - I also did a veggie friendly version using Quorn 'ham' - and some Rocky Road.


To make the cupcakes I made a simple vanilla sponge. I creamed together 240g butter and 240g caster sugar. I added four eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Followed by 2 tsp vanilla extract. Finally I stirred in 240g self raising flour.


I put the cupcake batter into 15 purple cases (my favourite colour!) and baked them for 20 minutes on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4.


I left the cupcakes to cool and made the buttercream by mixing together 200g butter, 400g sifted icing sugar, 1 1/2 tsp of Dr Oetker Caramel flavour, and 1/2 tsp salt.


I used a piping bag and nozzle to swirl the buttercream onto each cake.



I got a bag of toffee popcorn and stuck it all over the buttercream. Finally I sprinkled some gold edible glitter all over! They looked really attractive and were the first item on the cake buffet to disappear fast. I'd only decided to make them at the last minute, so I'm glad I did.





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Popcorn Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Ingredients
  • 440g Butter
  • 240g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 240g Self raising flour
  • 400g Icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Caramel extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 bag of Toffee popcorn
Instructions
To make the cupcakes cream together 240g of the butter and the caster sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition. Then the vanilla extract. Then fold in the self raising flourPut the cupcake batter into the cases and bake for 20 minutes on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4Make the buttercream by mixing together 200g of the butter, the icing sugar, caramel extract and salt. When the cupcakes were fully cool, use a piping bag and nozzle to swirl the buttercream onto each oneStick the toffee popcorn all over the buttercream

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Squares



I am constantly looking for ways to use up ingredients as I really hate wasting food. Apricot jam is one of those things I use in very small quantities when baking, usually for glazing or sticking fondant to sponge, but I always have to buy a whole jar. This recipe is a great way to use up about 3/4 of a jar of apricot (or any other flavour) jam!


To make the base I used a food processor to make fine crumbs out of 225g digestive biscuits. You could also smash them with a rolling pin. I added 85g melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mixed well. I pressed the mixture into a lined baking pan. I baked the base on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes.


To make the filling I whisked together 455g cream cheese and 115g sour cream until smooth. I whisked in 100g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt.


I poured the filling over the base, and then added blobs of 3/4 jar of apricot jam all over. I used a knife to swirl it around until a pretty pattern formed.


I baked the cheesecake on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until it had set fully and only had a slight wobble. Once fully cool, I cut it into squares.


Gosh this was so delicious! Everything came together really well, the crust and the filling were both really yummy and well balanced. I was really pleased. My boyfriend loved it as did my colleagues and friends. This is such a fantastic and delicious recipe for using up jam I will definitely be making it again!


I am entering this into July's Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours, as I used up leftover jam for this recipe.


I am also entering into the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, for the same reason.



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Apricot Swirl Cheesecake Squares
Ingredients
  • 225g Digestive biscuits
  • 85g Butter, melted
  • 455g Cream cheese
  • 115g Sour cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 3/4 jar of Apricot jam
Instructions
Use a food processor to make fine crumbs out of the digestive biscuits. You could also smash them with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and mixed well. Press the mixture into a lined baking pan and bake on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutesTo make the filling, whisk together the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Then whisk in the caster sugar, eggs, vanilla and saltPour the filling over the base, then added blobs of the apricot jam all over. Use a knife to swirl it around until a pretty pattern formsBake the cheesecake on 180C/375F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until it has set fully and only has a slight wobble. Once fully cool, cut it into squares

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Pimms Cupcakes



I joined my local WI (Women's Institute) at the beginning of the year as I wanted to meet some new people in my local area. I've been attending the meetings every month and I've been really enjoying it. So far I've listened to the author Rosie Garland read passages from her book out in a entrancing theatrical style, I've heard a former sex worker who turned her life around and is now studying for a degree tell her personal journey, and I've been inspired by women in business giving advice from their life experiences. It's been an interesting few months! I decided to bake for this month's meeting and as the theme was sport and Wimbledon is happening at the moment, Pimms cupcakes immediately popped in my head!


I decided to use some dried fruit inside the batter so I cut up 60g dried apple and 90g dried strawberry.


I mixed together 245g butter and 245g caster sugar. I added 4 eggs, and the zest of 1 orange, 1 lime and 1 lemon.


Finally I added 245g self raising flour, the chopped dried fruit and 6 mint leaves chopped very finely.


I baked the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. The batter made 18 cupcakes.


To decorate I made icing using 160g butter, 1 and a half tbsp Pimms and 400g icing sugar. I piped it on using a piping bag and nozzle.


I used paper straws, strawberries cut in half and mint leaves to finish the decoration. I thought they looked really cute!


The cupcakes dissappeared fast at the WI meeting and at the end of the meeting I won a bottle of faux Pimms for my efforts! I was embarrassed, but pleased of course!


I'm entering these cupcakes into myself and Cakeyboi's monthly challenge, Treat Petite. This month's theme is 'Summertime Special'.



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Pimms Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 60g Dried apple
  • 90g Dried strawberry
  • 405g Butter
  • 245g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 245g Self raising flour
  • 25 Mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pimms
  • 400g Icing sugar
  • 8-10 Fresh strawberries
Instructions
Cut up the dried apple and the dried strawberryMix together 245g of the butter and the caster sugar. Add the eggs, and the zest of the orange, lime and lemonFold in the self raising flour, the chopped dried fruit and 6 of the mint leaves chopped very finelyBake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutesFor the buttercream mix 160g of the butter, the Pimms and the icing sugar together. Pipe it on using a piping bag and nozzleDecorate with paper straws, strawberries cut in half and mint leaves