Yelly Eats

So I baked a cake!

I’ve always loved giving gifts.  I won’t usually settle for just a gift card (unless they ask for it specifically) because I like knowing that when the person rips open the wrapping paper and opens the box, the gift is something they know was made or purchased especially with them in mind.  I also love gift-wrapping presents.  I need to make the present look pretty, even if it’s just a present plonked into a gift bag – I have to have tissue wrapping in the gift bag!

Lately, I’ve taken to baking my gifts to friends.  I like to think my skill as a baker has moved forward and my bakes are delicious and decadent enough for people to feel special they received cake or pastry baked by me.

I baked a chocolate Guinness cake and cupcakes for a birthday celebration that we attended during the weekend.  It was a get-together we had planned with our Filipino friends ages ago to celebrate the July birthdays and the early August birthday.

I needed to test frosting colours to so I made extra cupcakes to try the colours out.  I was trying for a marbled effect but it didn’t quite work for the cupcakes so I’ll have to look at more YouTube videos and figure out a better technique for the particular effect I was going for.  It was a good thing my batch did 2 dozen cupcakes.  The leftover batter filled about 9 mini bundt pans but they stuck to the cake moulds so they stayed home.

Photo © Teddy Sardua

I iced 22 cupcakes (mostly because that was what fit in the box!).   With the disaster that were the rainbow marble cupcakes (they mostly looked very Rastafarian!) I tried for a fuschia-y pink shade but the first try turned out more lavender than pink (it kind of suited because some of the birthday celebrators went to Mayfield Lavender Fields on a day trip to take fabulous pictures).  I knew where I went wrong but daren’t add more food colouring because I didn’t want the frosting to taste too artificial!

Photo © Teddy Sardua

I was quite pleased with the way my large cake came out.  It was very detail-heavy because it had swirly roses, piping all around it and silver dragèe balls.  Once I finished icing the cake, I moved it to the box I was going to carry it in and OH MY GOODNESS!  It was quite a substantial weight.  I think I weighed over 2.5 kg!

Photo © @chic.wanders.in

I was pleased that my friends and Alan loved their cake.  They loved the flavours and the loved the cake enough to take photos and style the cake before they shot the photographs.   Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting your photos on Instagram.  I’m so…tickled pink (Sorry! It had to be said!)!

Photo © @chic.wanders.in

I might be on to a good thing!

*Thank you to @mutyyyaaa and @chic.wanders.in for letting me use their photos of the cakes on this blog post. Mucho appreciated guys! Love you!❤️

 

 

Yelly Eats

Blueberry cheesecake cupcakes and fruit goo

I love it when a plan comes together!  I managed to tick off 2 recipes from the book.

I made blueberry “fruit goo” (page 34).  It was necessary because the fruit goo was going to be the topping and filling for the cupcake recipe I was going to attempt.  The recipe was so very generous and there is still half a jar of the fruit goo in my fridge.

Blueberry fruit goo

The cupcake recipe I attempted today was the blueberry cheesecake cupcake (page 62).  I haven’t been able to taste it because I’ve had too much of the fruit goo and the cream cheese icing, but Alan says it tastes and smells like a cheesecake and I trust his food opinion!  So it passes the Alan taste test.  It was quite fun to do this though because you built up the cupcake in stages: first you had to put together the biscuit base (like any self-respecting cheesecake, this one, too, has a buttery biscuit base), then put in the cupcake batter, bake the cupcake, then fill the middle with the blueberry fruit goo (for more fruity goodness, I think), and top it with a cream cheese frosting and swirl through even more fruit goo!  I had fun doing this.  I really did.

Blueberry cheesecake cupcake

So, as far as today is concerned, I only have 47 recipes to go and 22 weeks to finish cooking through the book.

I can do this!

Blueberry cheesecake cupcakes ready to go

Yelly Eats

Chocolate Guinness cupcakes!

Finally!!!

I was feeling a bit stressed out because the days were rushing past me and I hadn’t started on the Cake Book Challenge yet.  I had only 25 weeks to accomplish this goal to begin with!  But finally, the Cake Book challenge has officially begun!

1 recipe down, 49 more to go!  23.5 weeks left!

I chose to start with the Chocolate Guinness cupcakes recipe (page 44 of the book) because I love Chocolate Guinness cake.  The recipe was similar to my favourite choccie Guinness cake recipe (the Hummingbird Bakery recipe is ace and is a great go-to cake) so it wasn’t going to stress me out.  Plus, I get to drink the left over Guinness (which I did!)!

Chocolate Guiness cupcake recipe

One thing I did realise is that my hands are horrible and I have no icing talent!  The hands were wobbly and I couldn’t control the piping bag as well as I would’ve wanted to.  Also, attempting to ice anything with cream cheese frosting in this heat is generally a silly idea.  The minute I’d finished icing the cupcake, I could see the frosting softening ever so slightly!  I think the necessary tweak would be to add more icing sugar.  Maybe!  I may scrape off all the icing and start over again!

Maybe.

Chocolate Guinness cupcakes

I will be making Carly’s holiday cake today as well (I am hoping to accomplish this with all the good will and positive thinking in the world!).  Today’s baking mantra: I will manage my time properly!

Yelly Reads

The Cake Book Challenge!

I am doing a Julie Powell!  This challenge that I’ve taken on is getting more and more daunting as I think about it.

I have decided to cook through this book:

The Cake Book

It’s a book from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube series (I also have the BBQ Book too which is excellent!) published by Penguin Books.  The book is called The Cake Book.  The recipes are written by Jemma Wilson who is the wunderkind behind Crumbs & Doilies.  If you’re into street food, you’ll know that C&D offers a really good range of lovely (heavy on the lovely) cupcakes.  I love the mini cupcakes that they offer the most because they are bite-sized pieces of heaven!  And they look so cute and dainty, almost too good-looking to eat.  Almost.  I thought to myself, well, if these are Cupcake Jemma’s recipes, well, they are definitely worth making!

There are 50 recipes in The Cake Book.  There are 26 weeks left in the year.  If I manage 2 recipes each week, I will have cooked through the entire book at the end of the year!  I am thankful that I can bring the cupcakes to work or share them with friends.  Because my blood sugar would not appreciate the increase in sugar intake!

I like that I am in the same situation as Julie Powell was when she started the Julie/Julia project.  I have a full-time job and a long commute at both ends of the day (mind you, I’m not sure how long Julie Powell’s commute was!)!  Am I crazy?  Definitely.  Is this self-inflicted project bigger than I think it is?  Probably.  But am I excited?  You betcha!  There are so many interesting recipes in the book.  I am looking forward to making brittle!  If Julie Powell can do it, so can I!

Yelly Eats

Mango Love!

Presenting (finally) the recipe for Mango Love!

I created this recipe to enter the Emerald Street Cupcake Challenge.  While I didn’t make the shortlist (I was disappointed, but I knew my recipe was more tropical than American), the whole process of creating and designing a cupcake was a very enjoyable and very delicious one!

This lovely golden cupcake is offers you a burst of tropical mango sunshine.  The twists of lime in the sponge, frosting and mango jelly are added to bring out the mango flavour.  The cupcake is moist and full of fruity mango sweetness.  The mango flavour theme continues in its golden yellow frosting.  It is topped with a heart-shaped mango jelly piece.  This luscious burst of tropical sunshine during the cold winter months that will have you reaching for another…and another!

Cupcake Sponge:P2100839
90g sugar
50g butter, unsalted
1 egg
180g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
200g mango pulp
2 tbsp lime juice

Frosting:
300g icing sugar
80g butter
1 1/2 tbps lime juice
40g mango pulp

Mango jelly (for decoration, optional):
50ml hot water
80g mango pulp
1 tbsp lime juice
15g granulated sugar
1 packet gelatin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined with a balloon whisk and set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together the mango pulp and lime juice.  Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until this becomes fluffly and light yellow in colour.  About 5 minutes.  Add egg and mix until mixture is creamy.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until a heavy batter forms.  Add the mango pulp into the batter and mix for 5 minutes until the mango pulp is distributed well.  You may have to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well combined.
  5. Spoon into a lined muffin tin.  Makes 8 – 10 cupcakes.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. To make the frosting, cream butter and the icing sugar together.  Add mango pulp and lime juice until the mixture is creamy.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
  7. To make mango jelly for decoration, mix hot water with 1 packet of gelatin until gelatin is dissolved, mix in the sugar, mango pulp and lime.  Allow to set (leave for about 4 hours for it to set properly) and cut into cubes or shapes and use to top frosted cupcake

This recipe makes 10-12 cup cakes.

Mango Love cupcakes

Yelly Eats

Love my Mango Love!

Over a month ago, I saw an advert on The Stylist magazine about a cupcake competition.  The instructions were to create a cupcake made of a sponge cake base, frosting and decoration.  The prize was what attracted me the most: if you were in the top 5 finalists, you won a Kitchenaid artisan mixer, a copy of the new Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and the chance to attend a baking masterclass.  If you won, your cupcake would be sold in all the Hummingbird Bakery branches for 2 whole months.  To be honest, it was mostly the masterclass that I wanted to attend.  I wanted to attend classes so that I could improve my cupcake decorating skills.  They also said that you would learn baking skills at the masterclass and I was definitely up for that!  Any chance at increasing what I know about baking was a chance worth taking.  I already have a Kenwood chef so getting a Kitchenaid mixer would have been a wonderful bonus.

It was a cupcake challenge and I was definitely challenged!

I sat down and started reading up on flavours and looked at recipes.  I checked my baking notes and set about improving a cupcake recipe I already had.  I also knew that I had to create a flavour profile that was consistent with every bake.  So I tested and retested the recipe I had in my head and when I was happy with how the sponge tasted, I set about creating the frosting.  And slowly but surely, the cupcake that I imagined became not only an idea but a real, live cupcake!

I suppose I couldn’t have won the cupcake challenge because the brief was for the cupcake to embody Hummingbird Bakery’s American roots.  I think I was missing the Philippines and missing Philippine mangoes too much that it came out in the cupcake I created!  I called my cupcake Mango Love.  I said that the cupcake gave you a burst of tropical mango sunshine.  And it did!

I’m grateful for the experience, because it’s made me trust my baking instincts more.  I’m more confident about my baking and I know that my goal is now to constantly improve my baking.  This whole experience of putting together recipes and making sure the flavours were sound has encouraged me even more to bake and create.  I’m thankful to Hummingbird Bakery and to Emerald Street for issuing the challenge.  Even thought I didn’t win, when I look at the pictures I took of the cupcakes that I made, I still feel like, somehow, I won a prize.

The recipe will be up on the blog in the next few days! 🙂

Mango Love cupcakes

Yelly Eats

Banana cupcake

I was craving a banana cupcake (with peanut butter!) and, as luck would have it, I had just enough bananas to make up a batch of 12 cupcakes!

Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make me really happy.  And sometimes, it’s just a banana cupcake!

It’s the easiest cupcake recipe that makes the moistest of cupcakes!

Ingredients:

  • 180g of plain flourBanana Cupcake
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75ml vegetable oil (or softened butter if you want a more luxurious treat)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (180°C for fan ovens).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix with a balloon whisk.  If you’re making a Christmas version of this recipe, you can add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix oil and sugar.  Mix until sugar granules appear to be smaller.  Add the egg and mix until the mixture is smooth.  Add the flour mixture in thirds.
  4. Mix in mashed bananas and stir until mashed bananas are well-distributed.  Scoop into a muffin pan lined with cupcake cases.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  The cupcakes are completely cooked when a toothpick is inserted in the centre of a cupcake and it comes out clean.
  6. Makes 12 cupcakes exactly.  I use an ice cream scooper to distribute the batter equally.