Saturday, 22 January 2011

Mini cakes

I was lucky enought to get a mini cake tin for Christmas, and some bun cakes to use in them.

The pink ones are lovely and bright and I adore the sweet flowery ones. You can see them here beside a normal case.

I decided to keep my first attempt simple, using normal bun mixture. I made enough batter to do a dozen 'normal' sized buns, and ended up with 30 mini ones! So next time I'll cut the recipe down. Also I might overfill them slightly to make just 12 so I don't have to wait for one set to finish to make the last 3.

1 egg
2 oz caster sugar
2 oz self raising flour
2 oz margarine

1) Cream sugar and margarine until well mixed and lighter in colour
2) Beat in the egg
3) Mix in the flour
4) Spoon in to bun cases
5) Bake for 15 min at 180 C

I kept the decorations colourful with some chocolate and Smarties.

I also made some almond petit fours. As usual you had to lick them off the bun cases as they stick to the paper but I quite like them that way now.

The end result looked like a kids party :)

I'm trying to think of other things to do with my cake tin now. Mini cheesecakes maybe. Any suggestions?

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Christmas Cake

I made the actual cake back in October (which was probably a bit late) using Mary Berry's standard Christmas cake recipe, feeding it with Cointreau a few times. Unfortunately I only got a chance to decorate it on Christmas Eve so didn't have much time.

I've always loved a design in one of my cake decorating books "The Home guide to Cake Decorating". It's a fantastic book and there's a template for the Three Kings with as a piped run-out with royal icing, it also has fancy collars round the edges.

Being pushed for time I decided to paint onto the cake. I've wanted to try this for a while after seeing beautiful cakes like this from Birthday Cake Party:
I used an edible marker pen to draw on the outline using the tempate in the book as a guide. I had wanted to get black paste for the outlines, but as luck would have it , it was the only colour sold out in the shop. I'd definately use it next time to get a stronger outline.

I then used food colours to paint. These worked out okay, but the colour was a bit thin and it was a bit watery for fine work. Lustre dust mixed with alcohol made for a much more effective result. Here the blue is food colouring and the purple and gold are lustre dusts. I kept the colours to a minimum as I liked the effect. The gold came out really sparkly, I can wait to use it again. I might get some silver too!
And the finished product. I did go over the lines a bit, but I was trying not to put any more fingerprints in the icing from leaning my hand on it. I think if I had more time I'd do a better job but I'd like to give painting another go. We still have some cake left but as it keeps practically forever I'm enjoying it!

Christmas Cupcakes

I am at last getting round to posting the rest of my Christmas baking, the trouble being that being so busy before these are now out of date. Maybe for next year though :)

Okay so I said I wasn't going to buy any more cutters after getting over 100 last Christmas but I couldn't resist a little holly plunger cutter. I made some chocolate buns and made them look like Christmas puddings. I think they're cute and chcoclate always goes down well. Maybe a little baking powder would have given them a more puddingy top, I'll have to try again for practice!
I even got some cupcake wrappers, they did unfortunately leave red on the cake pan and people's hands a bit, so I had to warn them. Worth it I think though.