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Showing posts from February, 2012

Come to the Dark Side - Chocolate Chip Marble Cake

  While I definitely hold the view that there can never be too many cupcakes in this world, this blog seems to be developing a cupcake habit (not that I'm particularly sorry for that). However, as the aim is to develop my baking, I thought I'd better turn my attention away from cupcakes, at least for a while.This Chocolate Chip Marble Cake fitted the bill perfectly.  I found this gorgeous recipe on the lovely blog Piece of Cake by Shauna Once again, though, it marks the return of chocolate to my baking - sense another theme here? I've wanted to try marbling for a while, and the layer of fudgy, brownie-type chocolate running through the centre of this cake really got my mouth salivating. The recipe also marked me trying out a bundt - or ring - cake for the first time. This cake is just lovely, and the smell generated in the house while it was baking was swoon-inducing. It even managed to get the boys out of their rooms and away from their X-boxes, so it must be

How Do You Like Yours? Cupcakes for the Weekly Bake Off

There are occasional downsides to being the only female in the house. As much as I  probably am, by nature, a bit of a tomboy (alright, quite a lot), sometimes the testosterone is a bit much. There's the perennial toilet seat issue. The amount of sprinkling when tinkling that takes place. There's the fact I have resigned myself to never being the mother of the bride. And there is the absence of pink. Baby boys simply don't do pink. Teenage boys predominantly don't do pink either (unless it is a fairly bright shade in some super trendy t-shirt). Now don't get me wrong. If I'm asked my favourite colour, it is unhesitatingly blue. But I must admit, whether it is mid-life crisis, or what, sometimes I find a bit of pink now creeping in. Whether it is the thinnest of thin pin stripe in an otherwise shades of blue and purple shirt, or some dusky rose lip tint, it is undeniably there. So when Amy of Weekly Bake Off decided that this week's bake should be cupc

Perl Las Blue Cheese, Bacon and Spring Onion Buttermilk Scones

Perl Las is an award winning Welsh Blue Cheese produced by Caws Cenarth Cheese from organic cows milk. It's a beautiful creamy cheese, with its origins as a Caerphilly cheese, and which has delicate blue overtones which, while strong, are not overpowering. With St David's Day in mind, I fancied trying the Perl Las out in some savoury scone recipes.  After doing some research, nothing I found was quite right, so I decided to try and amalgamate some ideas to produce my own version. Although I used Perl Las, you could use any blue cheese, but you will get a slightly different flavour. I decided I wanted to add some bacon, after all blue cheese and bacon hold a natural affinity. To freshen the taste, I also decided to use some chopped spring onion. The resulting scone tastes gorgeous; lovely and cheesy with the bacon giving a salty bite and a background hint of sweetness from the sugar. If there was anything I'd consider adding, it might be to add in some ground black pep

St David's Day Welsh Honey Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Buttercream - Tiesen Mel

For those who don't know, St David's Day, on 1 March, is the national day of Wales. I've wanted to explore some traditional Welsh recipes for some time, but wanted to avoid the usual Welshcakes and Bara Brith ('speckled bread' - a fruit tea loaf). Traditionally, Tiesen Mel (honey cake) is made with cinnamon but as Mike doesn't like this, and my first batch therefore didn't get approval, I decided to play around and instead used vanilla. As I love making cupcakes, I also decided to make small versions and frost them, so in order to counteract what I anticipated would possibly be an overly sweet cake, I decided to use a lemon mascarpone buttercream (which in itself turned out perhaps a little sweeter than ideal). The result - Welsh Honey Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Buttercream. The cakes turned out fairly moist, almost fudgy, with a slightly toffee note where the sugar (I used soft light brown) and honey caramelised on the top. I really liked this cont

Valentine's Red Velvet Cupcakes

I know I posted a few Valentine's recipes a few weeks ago, but there was one more I wanted to try. These Red Velvet Cupcakes were inspired by the success of my Blue Velvet version a few weeks back, and by a decorating idea for 'sweetheart' cutouts I found on the wonderful blog by Audra, the Baker Chick.   I used the recipe from the Blue Velvet version, although obviously changed the food colouring used.  I first tried Wilton's Red Red (1 1/2 tspns) but this seemed a bit orangy, so I added some Sugarflair Poppy Red (1 tspn) and a small dab of Wilton Violet to deepen the colour. I think it worked really well.This means that my US Cake Flour  also made another appearance. I can't tell you how pleased I am at how they have turned out. They are incredibly tender and the cream cheese frosting is fast becoming my favourite of the moment. Using a Wilton 1M icing tip, I couldn't believe how easy it was to create this lovely rose swirl effect (piping is a fair