Gastronomically Terrific

May 7, 2015

Candy cakes

Filed under: Cake, Sweets — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:19 am

Candy cakes allAnother incredibly simple recipe which I made with a newborn baby in the house. The main purpose of these cakes was to use up sweeties that we’d used to create a train cake we made for hubby’s birthday (and to keep our toddler amused when there was a lot of attention focused on the newborn).

The actual cakes are just plain vanilla fairy cakes. The topping was chocolate buttercream, and I then added colourful sweeties (Smarties and jellybeans, because that was what we had left over).

A really easy bake which took all of 30 minutes from start to finish, and doesn’t look too bad when finished!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Fairy Cakes, Joanna Farrow, pg. 46


December 23, 2014

Christmas stars fairy cakes

Filed under: Cake, Christmas — Tags: , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:22 pm

Christmas star cakes CUI’ve made these before, but not for a couple of years. The cakes themselves are easy to make – they’re just basic fairy cakes. I made them a little larger than normal this year (cupcake size instead of fairy cake size), simply because I wanted to use pretty cake cases, and it’s increasingly difficult to get fairy cake cases that aren’t just plain white.

The difficult part of these cakes is in the icing. Firstly, you cut out a cone shape from the inside of the cake (at the top) and add butter-cream. That’s not too bad – it’s a bit of a faff, but makes it taste pretty good. But then you make icing and spread that over the top of the cake (once you’ve replaced the cone). Then you roll stars out of fondant icing and place them on the top of the cake. Finally, you add sprinkles of some kind (the recipe suggests using dessicated coconut, which does look pretty good. But this year I used sugar sprinkles because I have loads, and in the past I’ve just used icing sugar).

I’m not sure I’ll bother making these much in the future. They taste nice, but they don’t look amazing for the amount of effort you put in. The stars also have a tendency of falling down, especially if you don’t eat them straight away. Only really worth the effort if you don’t have a lot else to do – which wasn’t really true this Christmas!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Fairy Cakes by Joanna Farrow, pg. 28-29

December 13, 2014

Eggnog cupcakes

Filed under: Cake, Christmas — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 9:49 pm

Eggnog and candy cane cupcakesThe second of the two cupcakes I madeĀ from my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook this week (the first being the candy cane cupcakes), these eggnog cupcakes actually turned out to be quite tasty. I wasn’t too sure when I first tasted the frosting (it really did taste like quite strong eggnog), but combined with the relatively plain fairy cakes I thought it actually worked really well.

The frosting for these cupcakes is simpler than for the candycane cupcakes – it’s basically just designed to look like snow, so is easy to apply to the cake just using a knife. It is simply a combination of butter, icing sugar, milk, grated nutmeg and rum essence (never used that before!). You finish the cakes off by adding Christmas-themed sugar shapes; in my case a Santa, a tree, a gingerbread house and a snowman, just because that was what was in the packet!

These cakes, unlike the others, are actually Christmassy enough (and taste different enough) so that I probably would be willing to give them away as Christmas presents – as long as they were going to be eaten in the next couple of days!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: The Humming Bakery Cake Days: Recipes to make every day special, Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers, pg. 212-213

June 10, 2014

Cupcakes with rose icing

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 12:47 pm

01 Rose iced cupcakesI haven’t done a lot of baking over the past month or so – a combination of heading off on holiday, there being too many other things happening, and there already being too much naughty food in the house – meaning we’d get extra fat if I baked too much! Therefore I’ve basically stuck to the recipes in my Homebaking 2014 calendar, just to make sure that I make each of the months recipes before I forget they exist!

So, back in May, just before my mum’s birthday, and a visit to Exeter to see family, I made these cupcakes with rose icing. I knew plenty of them would get eaten by our parents, so wasn’t worried about the getting fat issue with these!

The cupcakes themselves are pretty interesting – they’re fairy cakes, but you add white chocolate and strawberry yoghurt flakes (well, the recipe calls for “fruit flakes”, but to my mind that means yoghurt flakes. It worked out well, anyway). The icing is the fun part though. The recipe states that you just make pink buttercream (by adding some red food colouring and rose water), dollop it on the cake and decorate with sugar roses. The picture in the calendar looked much more impressive than that, so I decided that I was at least going to pipe the icing on the cake before adding sugar roses.

And I think I did a fairly good job. You can judge for yourself by looking at the picture, but I’m fairly proud of these. They both looked and tasted good – and nobody complained when I handed them over to be eaten!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Homebaking Calendar 2014, May


May 5, 2014

Spots fairy cakes

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , — lawsonanna @ 9:31 pm

Spotty cakes with JoeUnlike the last two bakes, these were something of a last-minute bake to feed 14 or so people at our May Day weekend barbeque. I chose basic vanilla fairy cakes because I (almost) always have those ingredients in the house, and they’re quick to make. I chose spotty fairy cakes because all our kids have managed to catch chicken pox in the last month or so (some of them still have it), so a spotty theme seemed somehow appropriate.

Once again, Dan did the baking here. Just as I was about to start, a very clingy toddler appeared and only wanted mum, so dad decided to try his hand at the baking – especially as we only had a couple of hours to get these cakes made before people started arriving. And he did a fine job, albeit one which used a few too many cupcake cases (and he moans at me for the occasional double cupcake case…).

And once again, I did the decorating – which was pretty easy and quite fun. To decorate these cakes, I made a basic butter-cream which formed a layer to stick the ready-to-roll icing on to. I then cut out 6 blue circles and 6 white circles to fit onto the tops of the fairy cakes. To make the spots, I rolled 4 or 5 tiny dots of the opposite coloured ready-to-roll icing and placed them on the circles I had cut out. I then re-rolled the circles with the dots on top, and this created spots. It didn’t look too bad either – not something I had tried before, and a neat little trick for the future!

Who made it: Anna and Dan

Recipe: Fairy Cakes by Joanna Farrow, pg. 46-7

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