Monday, 23 April 2012

"Cup" Cakes

I have had a highly exciting weekend!! I entered a local bake off. Yes, that's right people, little old moi put her work out there to be judged and it was brilliant. I managed to enter 2 entries. A white cocolate and cardamom cake that I have posted earlier and a batch of three cup cakes.

The criteria was that we were to display the cakes on a cake stand or plate and there should be no more than three on the plate if they were biscuits or cup cakes. So i began to think. WHat could I make that would be a little bt different? I hit the local village for some inspiration. Whilst trawling the charity shops looking for old glass wear or cake stands (this is one of my favourite things to do whilst J is in nursery), I became distracted by a trio of tea vintage tea cups and a milk jug on sale. I was uming and ahing about what I could do with such gorgeous things, when it hit me. I could make "cup" cakes!!!

I have read somewhere that you can bake these beauties in quite a hot oven and they will take the heat quite well, even though you cannot dishwash them or use them in the microwave. I paid my £2 for them and skipped off home to let the alchemy begin.

I first of all made a devils food cake mix and poured about 2 level ice cream scoops of batter into each cup. Then placing them in a muffin tin so that they were supported in the oven and not touching each other, I placed them into an oven pre heated at 170C and baked the cakes for about 12 mins. I literally sat in front of the oven on a chair, watching for any signs of breakages or explosions! Then they emerged in all of their vintage, edible glory:

The idea was to make them look like little cups of tea and have them displayed on a platter:

Here's the finished, displayed product:

And the chocolate cake:

So after a 2hr wait whilst the three judges delberated, the results were announced. I did not earn a place, but we found out that I was only 1.5pts behind the overall winner, with a score of 32.5 out of 40 (the winner got 34). Not bad for a first attempt!

I am now well and truly hooked and am looking for another bake off to enter. So watch this space!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Oh My Goodness!!!!!!

Well I have attended the first meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club!! It is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! I may sound a little (read LOT) excited about it, but it really is that good! There were over 30 people there and at least twenty cakes to be tried by everyone. My gorgeous friend T came along and the two of us struggled to chomp our way through a third of what delights people had baked for the occasion. At the last count, there were 16 cakes that we had not managed to even get near to trying!

It was so wonderful to chat to like minded people and chat about all things cakey!! We even managed to bring some cake home. Excellent! The next event for May has been posted and the thinking hat is on for the next cake. Smashing!!!!!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Clandestine Cake Club

So I am stupdly excited (again!!!!). I have joined a local group of the Clandestine Cake Club (website here). It is a group of like minded people who like to bake and eat cakes, who meet up every 4-6 weeks in a secret location only revealed a few days before. For each event, there is a theme and the one for this month is Sugar and Spice. After much searching, Mum came a cross a fantastic recipe in a magazine, that I adapted and have tried out below. I am quite excited about it, because I have never used such an unsual ingredient as Cardamom in a sweet recipe before! The only problem with the cake is that I won't be able to try it until tomorrow. Boo!!! The plus side is that there are 27 people going to the event tomorrow and they are bringing 27 different cakes, of which we are able to bring home a slice of each.
                                                  Bring It On!!!!!!!!                                                                                     

White Chocolate and Cardamom Cake.
Makes one 8” cake.


14 Whole Cardamoms
100g White Chocolate
175g Butter, softened
175g Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
Finely grated zest 1 Orange
175g Self Raising Flour, sifted
75g Desiccated Coconut
3tbsp Milk


75g Unsalted Butter
300g White Chocolate
4tbsp Icing Sugar
Chocolate Mini Eggs to decorate

- Preheat oven to 160C/ 120C Fan/ Gas 3 and grease and line an 8" round cake tin.
-Crush the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar and remove the pods and continue to crush the seeds until finely ground.
- Break the chocolate into squares and place into a heat proof bowl. Put over a pan of simmering water until just melted, taking care not to let the base of the bowl touch the water. Or melt in a microwave in 30 second bursts, until melted. Leave to one side until the chocolate is cold but still liquid.
- Beat the butter and the caster sugar together. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add the orange zest and the crushed cardamom seeds.
-Gently stir in the flour, coconut and milk and then add the melted chocolate.
- Pour into the cake tin and smooth out the mixture with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40 mins, but check the cake after 30mins. Cover if browning too much. Leave to cool in the cake tin for 5 mins and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- For the icing put the butter and chocolate into a heat proof bowl and melt as above. Stir in the icing sugar and spread or pipe on top of the cake once the cake has cooled. Decorate with mini eggs.

The recipe makes one 8” cake. If making a layered cake, double the quantities above and divide mixture into two greased 8” tins. Spread a little of the icing on top of the bottom layer and then sandwich the top layer on top and then decorate as desired.