Monday, 28 February 2011

Baby announcement cupcakes and an easy buttercream recipe

My sister-in-law has had a baby girl! Yay! She will now be lost in the world of princesses, tiaras, dressing up and then later - handbags, shoes, jewellery etc. It's never-ending! My two daughters have recently taken an interest in nail polish, lord save me!

So before I get side-tracked.

My sister-in-law wanted to announce the birth of the baby in a thoughtful way. One which involves something that we share a common interest in.....Cupcakes! Once again - Yay!! Close family and friends would get a box of cupcakes with a tag announcing the birth. Erm....the final figure was 110 cupcakes in total. No pressure :-/

4 vanilla cupcakes and 2 raspberry cupcakes.

There was madness, there was mayhem. But the end product was worth it all!
The madness happened the night before when I received a text from my post-labour, still pregnancy hormonal and sleep-deprived sister-in-law. It read "It's all going wrong.".
We had decided to divide the baking of the cupcakes between us and bake them the night before. That meant 55 cupcakes each (I preferred to see it more as 2 large batches of cake mixture) and definately psychologically seemed more manageable.
My cupcakes were going well and stress-free. I rang my sister-in-law to find out what was going wrong. I wasn't prepared for what she was about to say - "Erm...I think I forgot to put margarine in the cupcake batter. The cupcakes seem quite dry."
(cough cough - ahem) LOL.
Then she says, " I think I forgot to give sugar in the other batch."

Poor woman, I told her to go to bed!

 We had a good laugh about it and we both had made more than 55 each so it was fine. We had decided on the basic easy buttercream because we wanted something that would pipe well, easy to make and would last for a while.
More than anything, we had fun making these even though it was a very long and chaotic process and we can happily look back and laugh now.

The buttercream piped quite nicely and the trick was to get enough milk in there to give the buttercream icing the perfect, smooth consistency. There are a few different ratios out there for butter to icing sugar. I prefer the ratio of 1:2 so the icing sugar is double the weight of the butter because it's alot more smooth. And this is the one that you will find when you click down. 

See you soon xx

Easy buttercream icing  - makes 12 cupcakes

140g/5oz butter, softened
280g/10oz icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla or chosen flavouring
few drops food colouring
Preparation method
1.Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Cover bowl with a tea towel or similar or you'll be in the middle of a cloud of icing sugar!!

2. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in some more milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.
3.Stir in the food colouring (optional) and flavouring until well combined.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Cheesecake Bars

Sincere apologies for the lengthy break, I didn't mean to. I did miss blogging while I was away.

The thing is, my grandma passed away. She was so dear to me, it still pains me now when I realise she's gone. Luckily we were all around her in her last moments and have had a share of her love and kindness. She really was one of a kind.

While I'm writing this, I cant help thinking about her love for a piece of sponge cake whilst still warm from the oven. Will be doing the victoria sponge cake post soon.

But now, for my first (fashionably late) entry of 2011, I bring you Strawberry-vanilla cheesecake bars which has been patiently waiting on my to-bake list for a while!

With a chocolate digestive crumb base, a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling and a ruby red strawberry jelly glaze, it was striking in a simple form.

These bars were made for a friend who had just returned from overseas and I knew she loved my sweet treats! I can confirm that they were well received and enjoyed by the recipient and her husband.

I chose to make a baked cheesecake so the filling would be more firmer. It was the safe option seeing that I would need to pour quite warm, if not hot, strawberry jelly on top.
The jelly didn't seep into the cheesecake filling, unlike all the nightmares I was imagining. It came out surprisingly quite well. Probably next time, I will play around with flavours and colours and maybe even try mini bites to put in cupcake cases but soo glad I can tick that off the list now, phew!

I'm back to blogging now so hope to catch up on all the blogs soon. xx 

Find the recipe after the jump