Monday, 22 February 2010

Ironcupcake Earth: Passion

The next round of Ironcupcake Earth is on and this month the theme is PASSION. My entry this month is chocolate and bailey cupcakes topped with chocolate coated marshmallow frosting. Here's what they look like:

And here's a little peek at what they look like inside:


If you want to have a go at making these, here's what you need:


Cupcakes (makes 18)
  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g plain flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g cocoa
  • 180ml skim milk
  • 1/4 cup baileys (or to taste)
Marshmallow frosting covered in dark chocolate
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 eggwhites
  • 250g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 190C. To make the cupcakes, beat butter and sugar together with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then fold them into the mixture. Finally, stir in the milk and baileys. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the cupcake tray from the oven and allow the cupcakes to rest for about 10 minutes before turning them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In the meantime, prepare the marshmallow frosting by heating the water and caster sugar in a saucepan until the sugar is melted. Bring the syrup to the boil and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes (to 116C if you have a thermometer) before leaving it to cool slightly. The syrup should be a clear colour. Whisk the eggwhites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the syrup to the eggwhites while still mixing, then continue to whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the cupcakes once they are cool.

Finally, dip the marshmallow swirls into the melted dark chocolate and allow it to set before serving. These cupcakes are light and absolutely delicious! I hope you enjoy making them.

If you want to check out the other entries, voting will be held from 28th February to noon on the 4th March at We're all competing to win some fantastic prizes, including:

The Demy™ by Key Ingredient
Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson
Bella Cupcake Couture
Cupcake Stackers by Gourmac
The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! by Anne Byrne
Sweet Cuppin' Cakes and Bakery and Cupcakey Supply

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Ironcupcake London - Love Month

The first round of Ironcupcake London for 2010 was held on Monday and the theme was 'love'.......a perfect excuse to practice making sweet treats for our valentines. There were so many amazing entries on the night - and even though this month there were separate categories for professionals and amateurs, all of the cupcakes on display were fabulous. As I looked at all of the cupcakes before the eating frenzy started, I felt like I was in a bakery. The standard of entries is growing from strength to strength. Here are some shots from the night:

You can see my cupcakes in the picture above (the second plate of cupcakes from the front). I decided to create simple cupcakes this month and made rose flavoured sponge cakes decorated with an assortment of handmade sugarpaste decorations. Here's a close up of some of them:

If you want to make some for yourself, here's the recipe:

110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 medium eggs
150g self raising flour
125g plain flour
225g caster sugar
1/2 tsp rosewater
125ml skim milk

150g unsalted butter at room temperature
5 tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
500g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tsp rosewater
pink food colouring (optional)

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180C. Mix butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture is pale in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are mixed in well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift in the flours then put the bowl to one side. Next mix the rosewater and milk in a jug. Feel free to add more or less rosewater, depending on your taste preference. By the way, if you can't find rosewater in the supermarket (or specialty baking store), you can easily make your own by boiling washed rose petals (I used about 15) in 1 cup of water in a saucepan until the petals disintegrate. Strain the liquid and allow to cool before adding it to the milk (as mentioned previously). Right, getting back to the cupcakes, add 1/3 of the flours to the butter mixture and mix well before adding 1/3 of the flavoured milk. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added and mixed together well. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases (about half full) then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into their middle comes out clean. Try not to peek in the oven too many times while the cupcakes are baking otherwise they may sink. Once the cupcakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire tray completely before icing.

In the meantime prepare the buttercream frosting by beating butter, milk, vanilla and 1/2 of the icing sugar together until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and mix well again. Lastly, add the rose water and pink food colouring (if desired) and mix thoroughly. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the cupcakes. I also applied the buttercream to some cupcakes with a palette knife to create a variety of different textures which I could then decorate with sugarpaste flowers and hearts.

Hope you enjoy baking these cupcakes x

National Cookie Competition - Last Round

The final round of the National Cookie Competition was last week and the theme was 'lemon'. I spent a while trying out ideas, but eventually settled for lemon shortbread cookies with chocolate and basil buttercream.

I know the combination of basil with chocolate sounds a bit strange, but it actually tastes divine. Try it out for yourself:


350g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
140g unsalted butter at room temperature (and cut into small pieces)
175g caster sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

250g unsalted butter
1 cupsifted icing sugar
2 tbsp skim milk
50g dark chocolate (melted and allowed to cool)
50g milk chocolate (melted and allowed to cool)
1/2 tbsp finely ground basil
1 tsp vanilla essence

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 200C. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into a bowl. Next, add the butter and use your fingers to combine the mixture together until it ressembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice and eggs until the mixture becomes a soft dough. Shape dough into really small balls and place them onto lined baking trays, making sure that there is space between each cookie to allow for spreading during baking. Flatten the balls into discs once on the tray using your fingers or a spoon. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Allow them to cool completely on a wire tray before icing.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (normally takes about 5 minutes). Next add the milk and vanilla essence and beat until well combined. Mix in the melted chocolate, then add the icing sugar slowly, being sure to mix it in well after each addition. Lastly add the basil and give it a final mix. Pipe the buttercream onto one cookie then sandwich it onto another cookie of equal size. Dust the tops of the cookies with cocoa powder if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

I've really enjoyed being part of the national cookie network over the last 5 months. Thanks to everyone who has provided such nice comments on my monthly creations.

Happy baking x