Sunday, 19 February 2012

Oreo Heaven

Ok, so this week I attempted Oreo cupcakes. I looked at a couple of recipes on the internet and came across a fabulous blog by Bakergirl. There was a recipe for Oreo cupcakes that just looked so yummy, so I gave it a go. (Hope Bakergirl doesn't mind me using it!).

I decided to use double cream Oreo's for the base just to give that extra creamy-ness.

 I took the top half off of each Oreo and put one into each cupcake case so this would become the base of each cupcake.

I then put the other half of the Oreo's into my blender which would be crushed enough to go into the icing later on.

Next came the mixing of the cake mixture.
First of all I put 85g of plain chocolate, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and 3/4 cup of hot strong brewed coffee together and whisked in a bowl. I then put this into the fridge to cool down for 20-30 minutes.

Whilst this was cooling I mixed together 3/4 cup plain flour, 3/4 cup caster sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Next I whisked together 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. I then added this to the flour mixture and the cooled cocoa mixture.

It was a very runny consistency which made me a little nervous as I've never had a runny texture before. However I found out later on that this was normal with this mixture. Next time I think I would use a jug to pour it into the cases as it became a bit messy!

This then went into the oven at 180C for 22 minutes (to be exact!).

Next was making the icing. This was really simple. I used 1 3/4 cups and 2 tablespoons of double cream (I couldn't find whipping cream). 3 tablespoons of icing sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the Oreo's I had previously blended. It had to be blended very finely to make it smooth enough to be piped out later on. I whisked all of this together until it formed stiff peaks. The Oreo's were folded in.

I had to let the cupcakes really cool down as I was worried that the cream in the icing would start to melt if they were even slightly warm.

These are the resulting cupcakes which I feel pretty proud of!

This shows the Oreo at the bottom of the cupcake. I was a bit worried it was going to rise into the middle as I had read this happened to a few people. So I was pleased they had stay put! Only thing was a couple of them did stick to the bottom of the cupcake wrappers which was a bit annoying but not the end of the world.

So overall was pleased at my first attempt of these. They are a definite hit in our household so I doubt it will be long before the next lot are made!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Buttercream attempts

Okay, so I have had a couple of days to really practice some recipes. First of all I tried Vanilla and Chocolate Marble cupcakes. Half of them with vanilla buttercream icing and the other half with chocolate buttercream icing. Obviously vanilla was straight forward; the chocolate buttercream consisted of simmering double cream, adding it to plain chocolate to melt and then adding the usual buttercream ingredients. Was almost like a ganache I suppose?! Biggest mistake I made was not letting the unsalted butter become room temperature (as it had been in fridge!) so it just would not blend with the icing sugar. I ended up having to sieve the lumps through to try and make it smoother!!

Eventually I got to piping it onto the cupcakes. Getting to grips with the piping bag was a feat within itself! I have a couple of pictures of my best attempts. (You can see in the chocolate icing a few lumps of butter!)

The actual flavour of the cake and icing was really nice. Cake was moist and flavoursome.

My next attempt was my own combination of flavours. I am obsessed with chocolate lime sweets, so decided to make a chocolate sponge with lime buttercream icing. I used a chocolate cupcake recipe from my Primrose Bakery book and then adapted a lemon buttercream icing to a lime version. This time turned out a lot better. Only downfall was my cakes sunk in the middle slightly, so may have to adjust my timings slightly next time. Piping the buttercream was a lot easier too. I added three tablespoons of lime juice and then some green colouring just to give it a more lime "feel" even though they look yellow in the pictures!

When I next ice some cupcakes I'm not going to ice them as flat, I always think they look a bit better with a bit of height!

People's verdicts were very positive, everyone said that the lime icing wasn't too overpowering which I was a tad worried about.

Will hopefully have another week of happy baking!

Monday, 13 February 2012

My first ever blog

Hi everyone. As you can see from the title this is my first ever blog, I've never done anything like this before so bare with my first few posts! I've only recently got into baking and I can't believe that I hadn't found it before. I have become totally addicted to it. Besotted with it. In love with it. I feel like this is going to be a passion for life, lets just hope it doesn't affect my waistline too much!! As an avid "dieter" this is a bit of a funny hobby to have, but I just simply cannot resist baking and then eating cake!

I have done some simple baking to begin with. I attempted a lemon drizzle cake and some shortbread which turned out very well considering they were my first attempts. I will be doing the odd bit of baking of biscuits and larger cakes maybe even bread but at the moment my concentration is on cupcakes. There's so many designs and flavour combinations, it's almost endless! To begin with I will follow some easier recipes and hopefully progress from there. I would just like to share my passion and hopefully learn a great deal from everyone else out there who is blogging too!

Will show you my first batch very shortly :]