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  1. Psychedelicupcakes

    June 4, 2015 by Lally

    It’s been over a year since I posted about my cupcakes, so I am welcoming them back to my blog with a real goodie: my Psychedelicupakes! Being a psychedelic gal myself, I adore these cupcakes. It took some patience and practice to master the icing, but the result and cursing coming from the kitchen were worth it!

    psychedelicupcakes

    Note to reader: Since making these cupcakes I have discovered duo piping bags from Lakeland which produce two coloured icing, but I think it’s worth the extra effort to get the triple effect.

    I first made these for an equally psychedelic  friend’s wedding and they were a complete hit! The cupcake base used for these were my Guinness & Whiskey recipe (a particular favourite of the bride), but you can you use any favourite cupcake and (non-coloured) icing recipe for these as it’s all about the colour you add in.

    You will need:

    A batch of your favourite (non-coloured icing)

    Desired food colouring (gels recommended)

    Lots of little bowls

    3 small icing bags

    1 large icing bag with desired nozzle

    Wire food bag ties

    Please note: When I took these photos, I was making a double batch which is why you see 6 colours used.

     

    How to:

    Make up the icing batch as normal and split the mixture equally into smaller bowls. As I’m somewhat of a control freak, I weighed out the mixture to ensure I had exact equal amounts of each colour).

    Icing split equally and ready for a splash of colour

    Add your colour as required. I find that gel colours are best for achieving a bold colour, especially for orange. (I once gave myself a blister from tying to make orange by hand using red and yellow liquid colours, adding a little bit more red, then a little bit more yellow over and over again and only ever achieving pink or coral).

    Oooooh – pretty!

    Once your colours are all mixed and looking pretty, transfer into separate small piping bags. It takes some practice to do this in a smooth and need process (I am now a pro).

    TOP TIP: If you have difficulty and tend to make a messy when filling an icing bag, I find it helps using a tall glass. Put the empty bag into the glass and wrap the bag over the top of the glass. This holds the bag in place for filling and prevents spillage from the top. Once filled (3/4 full maximum) lift out the bag and gently shake the bag to ensure the icing moves to the bottom and removes any air gaps.

    I recently saw this which is frankly, in my opinion, a complete waste of £9.99 when a glass does practically the same thing! But if you have lots of kitchen storage space and a big baking budget, then why not?!

    My icing rainbow

    It’s important that you seal the filled bags using the ties – twist first then use the ties. This will ensure clean, stress free piping.

    Prepare the large piping bag with you desired nozzle. Then cut the ends off the smaller filled bags (give them another little gentle shake to release any more trapped air) and carefully place them inside the big bag. Please be patient and slow, they will all fit.

    Then pipe away! I found that each cupcake looked different due the way the bag was squeezed, some only having two colours, but this is absolutely fine.

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  2. Guinness & Whiskey Cupcakes of Irish Dreams

    June 4, 2015 by Lally

    Although these cupcakes suit St. Patrick’s day down to a T, I’ve made these part of my repertoire and they have since become a bit of a staple of mine in the last months. They are too good not to bake and unfortunately my ordinary chocolate versions have been demoted. These are now my cupcake of choice, even for me who doesn’t have a sweet tooth or even like chocolate!! I can’t resist a nibble on these!

    guinness and whiskey birthday

    All dressed up for a friends birthday

     

    For 12 cupcakes:

    Cake mixture:

    Dry Ingredients:

    60g cocoa

    120g caster sugar

    130g plain flour

    1/2 tsp baking soda / bicarbonate of soda

    pinch salt

     

    Wet Ingredients:

    60g butter – melted. Must be melted!

    170ml Guinness – at room temperature. Must be at room temperature!

    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    2 small eggs

    80ml cream

    guinness and whiskey

    All pretty on a cake stand

    Put the oven on to 180˚C to preheat.

    1. Sieve and combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl
    2. If not already done, melt the butter.
    3. The guinness needs to be at room temperature otherwise the butter will solidify and you will cry/panic/curse like I did on my first attempt!
    4. Whisk the guinness and butter together with the vanilla. This can be done by hand or in a mixer.
    5. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the cream.
    6. Once all the wet ingredients are combined, add in the dry ingredients a bit at a time.
    7. Split evenly the mixture into paper cases placed in a cupcake tin.
    8. Bake for 20 minutes and check if cooked by inserting a wooden cocktail stick. If the stick comes out with mixture on it, leave in for another few minutes and check again. Leave in the tin to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

     

    Icing mixture:

    170g butter

    250g icing sugar

    Splash of cream if you’re feeling particulaly luxurious

    2 tbsp of whiskey (or more to taste)

    1. Mix the butter and sieved icing sugar with an electric whisk/mixer.
    2. Add the cream and/or whiskey to loosen up the mixture. It needs to be a thick consistency, but not too loose or solid. You can add more whiskey or icing sugar to make more thin or thick as required.
    3. Use a piping bag and medium size nozzle, swirl the icing onto the cooled cakes.
    4. Decorate as desired, but these are amazing enough to live without decoration.
    5. Enjoy!

     


  3. Luxurious Festive Cupcakes

    December 13, 2013 by Lally

    I was lacking in inspiration to get me in the festive mood and after being invited to a small last minute gathering and needing to bring something, I thought festive cupcakes would be a good idea. These cupcakes are a fun twist on the traditional British Christmas cake and make great little gifts. They are perfect for those who, like me, find the typical marzipan and icing too heavy and sweet but want to enjoy the fruity spicy taste of this seasonal cake.

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    For this recipe I experimented with using mince pie ‘mincemeat’ filling with extra raisins to add a bit of luxury, but you can replace this with mixed dried fruit.

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    My festive cupcakes had a great response from all with the usual ‘mmmmm’ sounds along with 2 separate joking comments regarding the possible calorie content. One comment being, after one bite: “well that’s about 1000 calories!”. But if you can’t indulge at this time of year, when can you?

    For 12 cupcakes:

    Cake mixture:

    125g butter

    100g brown sugar

    2 tsp finely grated orange rind

    2 eggs

    200g raisins

    300g mince pie filling

    60g chopped walnuts

    80ml fresh orange juice75g plain flour

    75g self-raising flour

    You can replace the raisins and mince pie filling with 500g dried mixed fruit and 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg and cinnamon.

    Put the oven on to 170˚C to preheat.

    1. Use an electric whisk to beat the butter, sugar and orange rind in a bowl until smooth
    2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one is added.
    3. Stir in the mince pie filling, raisins (or dried fruit), walnuts and orange juice.
    4. Sieve the 2 types of flour and mix in well.
    5. For even sized cakes, use a 50ml measuring spoon to put the mixture into paper cases placed in a cupcake tin.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes are firm to touch. Leave in the tin to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

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    Icing mixture:

    170g butter

    250g icing sugar

    2 tsp finely grated orange rind

    1 tbsp honey

    1 tbsp orange juice (or Cointreau for grown ups)

    1. Mix the butter, sieved icing sugar, orange rind and honey with an electric whisk.

    2. Add the orange juice (or Cointreau) to loosen up the mixture. It needs to be a thick consistency, but not too loose or solid. You can add more juice or icing sugar to make more thin or thick as required.

    3. Use a piping bag and medium size nozzle, swirl the icing onto the cooled cakes.

    4. Decorate with seasonal sprinkles (I used gold stars, red and white sprinkles, red and green M&Ms/Smarties and not forgetting edible/non toxic glitter!

    5. Enjoy and have a great festive season!

     

     


  4. ‘Kuku’ for my first ever cupcake invention: spinach, feta & cumin

    October 18, 2013 by Lally

    After months of baking cupcakes following other people’s recipes, I thought it was about time to try to create my own. Following the big success of my savoury feta and courgette cupcakes (taken from Cupcake Magic by Kate Shiazi) I decided to make a twist using a recipe from an old vegetarian cookbook for a ‘kuku’, a Middle Eastern oven baked omelette. I made the kuku for a dinner party recently and it was delicious, packed with spinach and spiced with cumin. After making it for the second time last week as a tasty hangover cure, the light bulb went on and I realised that this would make a perfect cupcake. Plus how amazing is the word kuku?

    With ex work colleagues coming over to my place that evening, it seemed like the perfect time for the trial.

    I followed the original recipe and switched courgette with spinach and added fresh mint leaves and cumin from the kuku recipe. It all looked OK in terms of batter so they went into the oven with hope and crossed fingers.

    The timings were worrying but after ensuring they were slightly golden on top, it was time to release them from the oven.

    spinach, feta & cumin

    spinach, feta & cumin

    I nervously tasted one and SUCCESS!! Nom Nom Nom! They were just as I had hoped. Mouthwateringly moist with spinach and with just the right amount of cumin to spice things up a bit!

    If any further proof was needed, all 16 of the cupcakes were devoured by the end of the evening with echoes of ‘mmmm’ and ‘aaaah’ and ‘can I have the recipe please?’.  So here it is:

    Makes 16 small or 12 large

    Ingredients:

    400g spinach/14oz spinach

    200g/7oz plain flour

    2 tsbp sugar

    3 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp ground cumin

    3 medium eggs

    2 spring onions

    250g ricotta cheese

    150g feta cheese

    110g/4oz butter, melted

    60ml/2 fl oz milk

    Handful of chopped mint leaves

    Ground black pepper

     

    Put the oven on to 170˚C to preheat.

    1. Gently cook the spinach till soft. I did mine in the microwave in batches – it does shrink a lot once cooked after the initial spinach kitchen takeover. Then place in a colander and press out all the water. I used the bottom of a large bowl to get better surface area. Roughly chop the squeezed spinach.

    2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & cumin in a sieve over a large mixing bowl and sift to ensure all dry ingredients are mixed.

    3. In a 2nd bowl, mix together well the spinach, eggs, finely chopped onions, ricotta, feta, melted butter milk and mint. Season to taste with the pepper – I like a lot.

    4. Put the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to combine. Ensure you get all the flour from the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be thick and lumpy and smelling delicious.

    5. Put spoonfuls of the mixture into cases placed in a cupcake tin. For even sized cakes, I use a heaped 50ml measuring spoon. This will give a good sized cupcake.

    6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes to start with. If they are too high they will brown too quickly. I kept checking them every few minutes. Once the tops seem cooked and starting to turn golden, take them out. I found that the insides seem a bit under cooked when first taken out, but after resting to cool the insides will cook out to leave them perfect.

    7. Scoff away and enjoy!