Xmas flavoured cupcake

The cake cupcake stall will be at Van Hages Farmers market in Ware, ImageHertfordshire tomorrow morning (Thurs 20th Dec).  You can try before you buy as there will be free samples of this cake and others.

This cupcake is delicious, I really wanted to create a cupcake that both tasted, looked and smelled of Xmas and I think this one does that.  Here is the recipe for you to try:

Xmas cupcake

400 g caster sugar

400 g butter

8 eggs

400 g self raising flour

2 tsp of cinnamon (or more if you want a stronger flavour)

1 cup of raisins

For the brandy buttercream

500 g butter

1 kg icing sugar

3 tbs brandy

Mix the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale.  Add the eggs one by one until fully combined.  Add the self raising flour (no need to sift if using a quality product) and mix on a slow speed until combined.  Fill cupcake cases 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes at 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 or until golden and the sponge springs back up.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool (5 minutes in the tray, then transfer to a wire rack).

For the butter cream, combine all the ingredients really well (top speed on a mixer for 5 minutes) until pale in colour.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and decorate.

A wonderful Xmas smell! Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

x

Edible beach competition, Earls Court, London – partly washed away sandcastle cake

This is the cake that I entered in the finals at the edible beach competition at the Bake and Cake Show at Earls Court in London.

I used 7 square cakes, 5 formed the main part of the cake and 2 formed the turrets.

When the basic shape was formed, I covered it in buttercream and put it in the fridge to firm up, overnight (photos 2 & 3).

The following day, I covered the cake in fine brown sugar mixed with royal icing, to make it really sturdy. Once this had dried, I applied another layer of buttercream and added the final coating of brown sugar (I used a mixture of brown sugars) and carefully pressed it into the buttercream (photo 4).

The seaweed was made from sugar paste that I dyed green and painted in clear piping gel to give it a wet look. The sea was also covered in clear piping gel and I created the sea break with fine light coloured brown sugar. I made the shells out of white sugar paste and painted them with a chestnut coloured edible paint. The flags were made from flower paste and I painted on the Union Jack and the poles were made from dyed pasta. The upside down ice cream was a real cone on top of a sugar paste ball covered in chocolate buttercream (photo 5).

Photos 6 and 7 show close ups of the some of the shells and the icecream.

Photo 8 was taken at the Bake and Cake show where all the competition cakes were displayed. My cake is in the distance with two people looking at it.

This cake was on a board of 16″ square and it was really heavy. Luckily my husband was on hand to carry it in to the show!

Although I was a finalist in the competition, I didn’t win, but there were really nice comments made about how realistic it looked (I kept it life size) and I saw plenty of people photographing it and wondering how the sand was made.