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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Raspberry Cupcakes

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I made these colourful and flavourful bright pink raspberry cupcakes a while back when I was experimenting with colour in cakes. I’m posting again, as it’s such a simple and eye-catching recipe. The cake mixture has frozen raspberries in it and a drop or two of red food colouring.

The buttercream icing has raspberry fondant creme mixed through, plus a touch more red food colouring.  Fondant creme or paste is available at specialty kitchen shops. I get mine from The Essential Ingredient in Sydney. If you can’t get the fondant creme, just leave it out – red food colouring will easily give you the colour you need.

I decorated with a few crystallized rose petals – fresh petals would be pretty too!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

125g self-raising flour

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tblsp milk

Handful of frozen raspberries

Raspberry Buttercream Icing

50g butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tblsp raspberry fondant creme

A drop of red food colouring

Method

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cup cake cases.

Put all the ingredients except the milk and raspberries in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Add the milk while pulsing to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Carefully fold in the raspberries.

Spoon mixture into the cases, filling the cases equally.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top.

Take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Ice with the raspberry buttercream icing.

Raspberry Buttercream Icing

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until combined, then add the lemon juice, raspberry fondant creme and a drop of red food colouring, beating continuously.

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Blood Orange Curd and Homemade Croissants

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Two favourite breakfast treats are croissants and a citrus curd. I usually make lemon curd, but with the abundance of blood oranges in Sydney in August, it was a no brainer to turn the juice of the blood oranges into curd!

When I have the time,  I love making croissants. It’s a labour of love but the results are so worth it! The recipe for these home-made croissants is from a previous post “Croissants and Danish Pastries”

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So here is the recipe for the curd. Whether you make your own croissants or buy them, serving them with lashings of blood orange curd is delish!

Blood Orange Curd

Ingredients

125ml blood orange juice, strained

155g caster sugar

100g butter, chopped

4 free-range egg yolks, lightly whisked

Method

Place the orange juice, sugar, butter and egg yolks in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.

Pour curd into sterilised jars and seal. Set aside to cool. The curd can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month. I discovered recently that curd freezes well. Put the curd into ziplock bags and freeze. The mixture stays semi-liquid and can be used when it come back to room temperature.

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Strawberry and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake

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The occasion was the visit to Sydney of Quirky Nieces 1 and 3. So afternoon tea was in order. I am fascinated by naked cakes, and the technique of “less is more”.  I love the chance to practise naked icing. I still need lots of practice, as my icing is more rustic than naked!

The cake I created was Strawberry and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake. Three layers of vanilla butter cake, sandwiched with berry jam, fresh strawberries and raspberry fondant buttercream. The cake was “naked” iced with more raspberry fondant buttercream and then decorated.

Not that difficult either! I made the vanilla cake with the one bowl method. The buttercream was made with the addition of raspberry fondant creme, readily obtainable at cake making supply stores. It’s actually used to make the filling for homemade chocolates, but microwaved carefully, can be added to buttercream for flavour and colour. Icing and decorating can take as little or long as you like, depending on how fancy you want to go.

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Ingredients

250g self-raising flour

250g caster sugar

250g butter

4 large free-range eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tblsp milk

2 tbls berry jam (I used a tablespoon each of strawberry and raspberry jams)

A dozen or so fresh strawberries cut into thirds.

Fresh strawberries, edible gold glitter, crystallized rose petals,  more raspberry fondant creme, flowers, to decorate

Raspberry Fondant Buttercream Icing

250g butter, softened

500g icing sugar, sifted

1 tblsp raspberry fondant creme (If you can’t source this just use red food colour and raspberry essence or just the food colour)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C fan. Grease 3 x 18cm (7 inch) cake tins.

Put all the ingredients except the vanilla extract and milk in to the bowl of an electric mixer. I uses my wonderful KitchenAid. (And a big thank you to Dr Rosemary for my beautiful new glass mixing bowl!) Mix for about a minute or so until everything is well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and milk and beat for a further 20 seconds or until well combined.

Spoon mixture into the 3 tins  filling the tins equally.

Place the tins in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are golden on top, and spring back when touched.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so on wire racks. When cool, carefully turn out the cakes.

To make raspberry fondant buttercream icing, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and icing sugar until combined and soft and creamy. You may need to add a drop or two of milk if the mixture is too stiff. Gently microwave the raspberry fondant creme on low until it soft and liquid and add it to the buttercream. Don’t overheat the fondant as it will boil and turn into red toffee!  I’ve been there…

Spread the bottom layer with buttercream, then top with jam and cut strawberries. Place the next layer on top, and repeat the buttercream, jam and strawberry layers. Place the last cake layer on top. Roughly ice the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the buttercream using a palette knife. When you get to the sides, occasionally dip the palette knife into cold water as you ice to remove some of the thicker icing and to create the “naked icing” effect.  The idea is that the top of the cake is well iced and that the side sides are stripped back for a rustic look.

Decorate with anything you fancy – I decorated with the bits and pieces mentioned in Ingredients above.

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