Sunday, 20 February 2011

Victoria Sandwich Cake

My super lovely boyfriend has now moved into my flat with me ..hooray! Today we invited his mum round for a brew and a nosey round his new place.
After a few weekends in a row of baking I thought I would have the weekend off from it but I couldn't resist being tempted back into the kitchen to bake something for Karl's mum when she came've gotta have a big slice of cake with a brew haven't you?!

I chose to make a Victoria sandwich cake using the Vanilla Layer Cake recipe from The Primrose Bakery book. After the success I had with their Lemon Layer Cake I was very much looking forward to tasting this recipe. It didn't disappoint. The sponge was lovely and light and fluffy with lashings of butter cream and raspberry jam.

I love a Victoria brings back so many memories of childhood. This was the cake my mum always made...using her trusty Bero book! She always complains about people making it these days as alot of people call it a Victoria Sponge..she is forever telling me that a Victoria Sandwich Cake and a Sponge cake are two entirely different things; and that a sponge cake does not contain fat in the ingredients, where as a a Victoria Sandwich does! I guess mine could be frowned upon as not being a traditional Victoria Sandwich as I have decorated the top with butter cream and home made sugar flowers instead of using icing sugar...well, it did make it taste extra good!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Icing and Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentines Day to all my readers :) hope you all get lots of lovely treats and yummy chocs from your special someone.

I am not planning on doing much for Valentines Day this year. Last year as it was our first Valentines Day together we went all out on the presents...but this year we have just paid for our first holiday abroad together so are putting all of our money towards that its our official 1 year anniversary next month so we have chosen to celebrate that instead.

We were going to go out for a romantic meal on saturday night to celebrate Valentines but in the end decided we were too poor to! We ended up making curry and naan breads at home and washing it all down with red wine. It was definitely the right decision to stay in...the food was luuurvely!

For a good few weeks I have been planning on making Valentines cupcakes. I couldn't make up my mind which sort to do so in the end I made two batches. The first was vanilla cupcakes topped with candy floss pink butter cream which was strawberry flavoured and then fondant red and pink hearts to decorate. The second batch was chocolate cupcakes with chocolate butter cream and a glittery pink sugar rose to decorate.

I was unsure how the strawberry flavoured butter cream would turn out..having never used flavourings before and only being able to get my hands on supermarket brand flavouring at the last minute, I was pleasantly surprised. The strawberry butter cream combined with the vanilla sponge made a nice change to just plain vanilla butter cream.

I felt a bit let down with my chocolate cupcakes...I have made the recipe before from the Primrose Bakery book and loved it but this time it just didnt turn out the same way as before and for some reason it seemed to spread side ways rather than rise and my cupcakes looked a bit of an odd shape.

Nevermind though... I think with the decorations they do look very cute!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Valentines Day Cake

I signed up for another 10 weeks of cake decorating class in the new year...the first assignment was a Valentines Day cake which had to have a model on it.

My attempt at modelling people was not a great success...although practice does make perfect so fingers crossed I will start to improve soon, so I decided I would do a teddy bear model for my cake.

After the whole chocolate cake and fondant icing fiasco at christmas I decided to go back to the recommended madeira cake recipe to use for the cake. The icing of this cake went surprisingly well - I only had to roll the fondant out twice (compared to the 8 attempts last time!) and it covered the cake (almost) perfectly. I was very very proud of this best yet I think!

I'm not much of a madeira cake fan...I prefer a lovely light fluffy cake and I find madeira's rather heavy. The last time I made it I also found it had a very strong eggy flavour..who knows what went wrong but this cake had a much better taste to it and Karl and I enjoyed a slice each after my class this week.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Blueberry Burst Cupcakes

This is the first recipe I've made out of the Love Bakery cupcake book. This book is well worth a read for all you lovelys out there who like making cupcakes. The book is full of lots of fab recipes from the basic vanilla cupcake to more unusual flavours such as rhubarb and custard.

The sponge of these cakes is plain vanilla - I really liked this recipe for the sponge. It seemed to rise really well and was lovely and fluffy. I will definitely be using this recipe again when I want a batch of vanilla cupcakes.

I then used an apple corer to remove the centre of each cake and filled the cake with a spoonful of blueberry jam. I used St Dalfour's Wild Blueberry jam and it was definitely worth the extra pennies. The jam has a very high fruit content and is not sweetened with additional sugar but with fruit juice.

I then topped the cupcakes with a swirl of vanilla butter cream. The recipe called for cream cheese frosting but I'm always a bit against topping my cakes with this as they don't keep as well. I bought some new Wilton nozzles recently as I had got a little bored with using the same ones. I thought this one would make a nice alternative! I then popped a few blueberries on each cake.