Make mine a “99” please

While surfing facebook during the week I was inspired to try out some ice cream cone KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAcupcakes.
I made them and they turned out so well the camera was found and a record made of my baking efforts!

To make ice cream cone cupcakes you will need:
125g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g softened butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
a few drops of vanilla flavouring
6 flat bottomed ice cream cones or cupcake cases if you have none
flake chocolate and sprinkles to decorate

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF and arrange the ice cream cones onto a baking tray Or line a muffin tin with baking cases
Put all the ingredients except for the milk in a bowl and mix with an electrix mixer till smooth.
Add the milk to make a soft batter
Add the vanilla extract
Spoon the mix into your prepared cones or cases. If using cones, spoon a couple of tablespoons of batter in each cone, be careful not to overfill.
Put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top.
Leave the cones to cool for a couple of minutes before piercing the ends of each cone to allow heat escape. This will help prevent the cone from turing soggy during cooling.
When completely cold decorate with white buttercream icing, a flake and some coloured sprinkles for that “99” look.

Cakebits x

POP goes the cake!

neon cakepopsCake pops are such a pretty way to eat cake.  Once you have mastered the basic recipe the design possibilities are endless.

The cake
• Maderia or chocolate cake approx 350g

The cream cheese icing
• 120 g icing sugar
• 60 g cream cheese

The cake pops
• white chocolate or milk chocolate for melting
Sprinkles
Sparkling sugar
Cake pop sticks
Cake pop bags

Prepare the cake : Blitz the cold cake into cake crumbs in a food processor or break it up by hand until there are no lumps.

To make the cream cheese frosting : Sieve the icing sugar into a mixing bowl and beat in the cream cheese until fully incorporated and smooth.

To make the cake pops : In a food processor or mixing bowl, mix the frosting into your cake crumbs until the mixture forms a dough (you can always add more if the mixture is too dry.  Play around with the quantities until you get the right dough feel as different cakes will have different moisture levels).

Roll this “dough” into balls weighing around 30g each and place them on a plate.

Cover the balls with cling film and chill them in the fridge for at least 2 hours until firm to the touch.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water taking care not to over heat or microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted.

One at a time, dip each stick about 1 cm into the melted chocolate and push the stick halfway into each cake ball.

Dip the cake ball all the way into the chocolate until it reaches the stick, then tap off any excess.

Turquoise sugar Place some sprinkles or sparkling sugar onto a small plate and dip the pop into it or gently place a sugar decoration on top.

Top Tip : For an instant cake pop holder use an upturned egg carton. Pierce a hole into every egg hole section, making sure the hole is just big enough for the cake pop sticks.
Alternatively place the cake pops on their heads, onto a cling film covered plate, for a flat top look.

Once the pops are dry and the chocolate is set, you can wrap your pops with lollipop-style cellophane bags or store in a tin. They will last for up to one week if stored in a cool place.

Cakebits x

ps. Lots of new and exciting cake topper decorations coming very soon!

Images from http://www.oetker.ie and http://www.culpitt.com

Top Tips – Is it too hot in here?

thermometerGetting the temperature just right is another key step to baking with great results.  Oven temperatures can vary widely from oven to oven so it’s a good idea to try to get to grips with how your own oven behaves.

Baking with an oven that is running too hot can cause cakes to rise to a peak and crack.  The outer crust of the cake will form too quickly while the inside will continue to cook and may burst through the top of the cake.

While baking in an oven that is too cool can result in a shiny or sticky surface to the cake.  Baking too slowly in an oven that is too cool can result in off colour cakes and can also give cakes a grainy texture.

For best results turn on the oven to the required temperature about 20 – 30 minutes before baking.  Use an in oven thermometer to give a reliable temperature readout.

An oven thermometer, widely available from kitchen equipment shops, is a must have item if you are planning on baking a variety of different cakes.

To bake at the most even temperature in the oven place your cake on the middle shelf in the oven and never allow the cake pan to touch the sides of the oven walls.

If the oven bakes unevenly favouring one side over another, about 2/3’s into the baking time rotate the cake pan around for an even bake.

Cakebits

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Top Tips – Weights and Measures

Weigh scales

Weighing ingredients when baking is probably the most important part of the baking process.  Too much or too little of an ingredient can leave your cakes looking a little less like the picture in the cookbook and more like a toddlers latest playdough creation!

 

Weighing flour:  Loosen the flour with a quick stir before weighing. Cakes will bake with more reliable results through weighing out the amount needed rather than measuring it using cups.  A heavier handed person using the cups method may “pack” the flour into the cup and end up using more than needed.

Measuring liquids: When measuring liquids for a recipe use a clear measuring jug with clear markings.  Pour in the liquids with the jug placed on a level surface.  Read the level on the jug with it still standing on a level surface rather than bring the jug up to your level.  Again this will help with the accuracy of the measurements.

Measuring small amounts: When measuring small amounts of ingredients such as baking powder for example, use measuring spoons by scooping the spoon into the powder and then using a knife level off.  This will avoid packing the spoon and using too much.  Measuring small amounts of liquid, fill the measuring spoon to the top edge while holding the spoon over a seperate bowl or cup to avoid excess being added to your ingredients bowl.

 

Image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

5 steps to Cookie Crumbliness

I’ve made these biscuits / cookies over and over and they’re so easy to make.  I stumbled on this recipe on the BBC Good food website and come back to it time and again.

Ingredients you will need are :

100g sugar, 100g butter, 1 tablespoon of golden syrup, 150g of self raising flour, chocolate chips (or a tablespoon of peanut butter or mini marshmallows or smarties or all mixed in if you want to go all experimental with them)

Step 1 :  Mix the butter and sugar together well, until you get a paste

Step 2: Mix in the golden syrup

Step 3: Add 75g of the flour and the chocolate chips, or your desired combo, and mix together.  Then, add the remaining 75g of flour.

Step 4: Spoon the mix onto your baking tray in mounds and don’t flatten them down.  There should be enough mix for 10 medium sized or about 5 giant cookies.

Step 5: Bake at 180 C for about 10/12 minutes or until they start to colour.  Let them cool before handling

Easy and delicious.

Cakebits x

Chocolate? It must be Sunday!

What better for a Sunday afternoon than a, dive in with a spoon and eat it all yourself, chocolate cake.  Nothing in the world like it.

Although, truth be told, any day ending in Y is good enough excuse for chocolate cake in my book.

Today though I won’t be posting a recipe for a cake BUT instead the most fantastic chocolate fudge icing to sit on top.
This recipe comes from “Cupcakes Galore” by Gail Wagman.

You will need :
65g butter
120g chocolate pieces
450g icing sugar
80ml hot milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Did I mention this icing is not for the faint hearted?

To make:
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water.Stir until it’s just melted and leave to the side to cool.
Put the sugar and hot milk into a bowl and stir until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt and the chocolate mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until smooth and thickened. This should take about 5 minutes.
Use and enjoy as you wish.

Cakebits x

About Cakebits and pieces….

It’s a very exciting weekend for us here at Cakebits towers.  Our site has gone live.

Out there on its own in the big bad world.  Made a little bit sweeter and sprinklier I hope with our mix of cake decorations and sugar shapes.

I’m just going to spend the rest of the weekend now staring at the screen, normal service will be resumed soon!
Long live Cakebits!