Sunday, 25 July 2010


Cupcakes - don't they just sound beautiful on the lips.

Truly morsels of utter delishness!!

Had a busy day making treats for my daughter's preschool teachers, but it was much enjoyed. I wasn't sure what type of cupcakes to do, I mean how can you possibly decide on only one flavour of cupcakes. It's like being asked a trick question! And then if you do dare to choose one flavour out of all, you feel bad for all the other flavours you've let down. How cruel can one be.... (I shudder to think)

So finally after a long process of elimination - I decided on vanilla cupcakes with blue-grey swiss meringue buttercream frosting, some very chocolatey oreo cupcakes with oreo buttercream frosting and a batch of vanilla cupcakes filled with raspberry jam and again my favourite, swiss meringue buttercream frosting (yum yum!). Here are my creations:

I was quite chuffed with the results and the teachers were over the moon when we took them in. The oreo recipe I found when I was looking for a perfect, moist chocolate cake which i then modified to make into cupcakes. It's from the Hershey's website and I must say. It. Is. Fabulous!

The Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe - Hersheys     (makes 30 cupcakes)
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F/Gas Mark 4/170 Celsius. Line muffin cups with cases.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

The swiss meringue buttercream is sooo gorgeous, silky and smooth. It sets well and stayed out for the whole day without even losing any sharp swirls - Hurrah! And the added bonus that Mr WWW really liked it cos it's not overly sweet, goes to say how many boxes it ticked for me. I think I could dedicate a whole post about SMB and I may do one day when I have a bit more time [sigh]. My fave recipe is the one from, its so easy to remember:

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 oz egg white
8 oz ( 1 cup) granulated sugar
12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Pinch of salt


1.Combine the egg whites, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and place over simmering water.
2.Continuously beating with a whisk, heat until egg whites are hot and all the sugar is dissolved (~140 degrees). If the sugar is not completely melted, your final product will be grainy
3.Remove from the heat and place on the mixer. Whisk on medium speed until meringue is stiff, and the mixing bowl is cool to the touch. The meringue will be white with a bright sheen, and very sticky!
4.Switch to the paddle attachment if using stand mixer (or carry on with hand mixer), and on medium speed add the butter a few cubes at a time. Please note, if the meringue is not completely cool, the butter will melt instead of combining evenly. 5.Continue beating until all the butter is incorporated. At one point it may appear as if the mixture has broken, looking watery and separated like curdled milk (and your face will droop in despair). Continue mixing, it will all come together.
6.Increase speed to high, and beat until smooth.
7.Add flavorings of your choice and tint with colouring paste. Avoid using liquid colouring as it will thin the buttercream and result in softer swirls.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :-) ....and boy did I enjoy it!!

ANYWAY....going back to the point of the post, I made the cupcakes for the teachers but still felt like I wanted to do something more. I've been going through a biscuits and cookies phase of late and had dried cranberries and hazelnuts at home and so the Cranberry and Hazelnut Biscotti was born. It was a recipe modified from a book for Cranberry-Pinenut Biscotti, I will post the recipe soon. I cant remember the name of the book and I'm at my parents place so will add recipe as soon as I get back!

They tasted divine and the combination was perfect. Obviously I did have to do the taste-test with my sis-in-law and she gave a thumbs-up and done the dunking into my latte and it was another thumbs up from me.

Been on the south coast for 2 days now, and loving the change in weather. Gorgeous sunny long days spent in the garden and quality time spent with all.
Sis is here from Wales too so let the baking begin! She has promised to make a few recipes so watch this space!

Lucky Me!!

I was very very spoilt this birthday by receiving loads of lovely presents, the biggest and best being my beloved Empire Red Kitchenaid Artisan mixer (!!) from my brother as well as a 3 tier cupcake stand from my sis-in-law, a magazine subscription to GoodFood magazine from my sis, a sugarcraft gun from another sis-in-law, gorgeous bangles from some close friends and a beautiful accessorize bag from hubby, Mr WWW. Now I have the mammoth task trying to put everything to use - No problems there with the bangles and the bag! And the magazine has some mouth-watering dishes that are definate must-tries, especially when they are tried and tested by their own panel. I have loads of recipes ear-marked, just sitting pretty waiting for the right opportunity.

I had that opportunity today. My friend M came over for a cuppa, but with so many recipes calling out to me ("Bake me! Eat me!"), I knew it couldn't be just an ordinary cuppa tea. I made a peach and almond tart to go with the tea.

OK, I'll come clean - I overdone the blind-baking so ended up with a dark crust (a too-common casualty when running around after 2 toddlers!). However, it tasted soo scrummy, the pastry case had the biscuit crunch, no sogginess at all. And the peaches and almonds were totally melt-in-the-mouth!

You can also get the recipe online from here

Peach and Almond Tart
For the Pastry:
• 175g plain flour , plus extra for rolling
• 85g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 tbsp caster sugar
• 2 egg yolks

For the Filling:
• 100g caster sugar
• 140g butter
• 2 eggs , beaten
• 140g ground almonds - next time I'll use less cos I like my filling to sit inside the case rather than level

• 50g plain flour
• 3 peaches , sliced - I found 2 peaches was enough
• peach preserve or apricot jam

1. To make the pastry, rub together the flour and butter until it looks like fine breadcrumbs, then mix in the sugar. Add 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water, followed by the next yolk and 1 tsp water until the dough just comes together. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until big enough to line a 23cm tart tin. If the dough rips, simply patch it up. Cut away the excess pastry. (At this point, I put it back in the fridge for a further 20 mins so pastry wouldn't shrink in the tin) Line with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans, then bake for 10 mins. Remove paper and beans. Prick quite a few holes in the base of your tart, then bake for another 10-15 mins until biscuity.
3. While the pastry cooks, make the filling. Whisk the sugar and butter together until you get a pale paste. Beat in the eggs and finally add the almonds and flour. Spoon into pastry case, arrange the peach slices across the top in a pattern and bake for 30-40 mins until golden. When cool, brush your preserve or jam across the top. Serve with a little pot of crème fraîche (optional)


My eldest daughter, WWW-1 finishes her preschool this week and I feel sooo sad :(   I've tried telling her that she'll be going to nursery in September, she's even been there to see it but she doesnt get that she wont be seeing her teachers and keyworker again who she's grown attached to and who have also helped me tackle the big hurdle of the dreaded potty-training! I shall be making some cupcakes for the pre-school teachers as a thank you and will post it in due course.

Oh yeah, another thing I just remembered. I've just joined The Daring Kitchen as a daring baker! Very excited, waiting now for the confirmation and whether I will make it for the August challenge. Very excited about that because I'll be at my parents for the first part of August and all four of us siblings will be getting together. We're all foodies to a certain extent and have great cook-offs and challenges between us.

See you soon!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Hi, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Mrs WWW (not for world wide web - for whisk whisk whisk!!) from North West England. Originally from London (and miss it oh-so-much!) but got married to Mr WWW and moved to Manchester seven years ago.
I've been an avid food blog reader for a while now and I love reading them! I love the idea of blogging but life is exhausting with 2 daughters aged 3 and 1! I love baking and everything to do with it, there's nothing like a cupcake or cookie (any will do!) to make a dull day into a beautiful one.....

But this is my shot at sharing my love of baking so do please comment and gimme that much needed boost! xx

The collage below using Picasa is just a few things I have done in last few months.