Sunday, 5 October 2014

8 A Heroic Anniversary

Where did September go? I know some of it went in a medicated haze while my system got used to my new tablets, then there was a fantastic crafty bloggers weekend away, trips out cycling, & so on & so forth.

Talking about the weekend away, here's one of the layouts I made while there.
I used the sketch from Scrapologys September challenge & was inspired by the colours of ironman, red & gold with black outlines. There's a lot of blue in the photo as well so I decided a bit of misting would bring this out nicely.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

4 Snickers Cupcakes.

It was Ryans birthday yesterday & he's a tad partial to a snickers so I used that to inspire my latest cupcake experiment.
The base is a simple chocolate cupcake, with a caramel centre added once it had cooled.
Over this I piped a simple chocolate butter cream, (1:2 ratio of butter to icing sugar & cocoa powder & a tbsp milk) as well as Peanut butter frosting (recipe is HERE). I then added a little bit of edible gold shimmer.

Lessons I learnt:-
When piping with 2 frosts together they have to be of the same consistency to pipe evenly. My chocolate frosting was a bit soft & the peanut butter was a bit too stiff so the chocolate came out a lot faster.

Gold shimmer is a pain in the bum! I need to find a way to sprinkle it on without it falling in clumps, some sort of very fine shaker maybe. I did try brushing it on but the chocolate frosting kept sticking to the brush.

The Result:-
Everyone loved them though I think they were a little too chocolatey and needed more peanut butter.
I love the peanut butter frosting & shall have to use this again.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

3 Chocolate Marmite Cupcakes

I first heard of these on the Wright Stuff, they'd been sent some in to try, and as a lover of trying new & unusual things, a marmite fan (you need to get the 50/50 butter marmite mix right), and of course chocolate, my curiosity peaked.

These cupcakes were on a lot of the big daytime tv shows, in most of the papers & of course social media. You could get the recipe but there were huge complaints that it was confusing, didnt work etc. Then I saw on twitter a link to an article about how a blogger had invented the ORIGINAL recipe, but wasnt getting any acknowledgement for it (you can read the article HERE) so off I went to look at her recipe & order the ingredients.

I started off making 12 basic chocolate sponge cupcakes. While these baked I mixed a tin of caramel condensed milk with 2 teaspoons of marmite (I had checked the day before with @MsMarmiteLover, the lady whose recipe I was using as a guideline, if using the ready made caramel would work just as well as the homemade) ... I then checked it, expecting a salty addition to the flavour. Nope, no salt, but a richer, slightly less sweet caramel flavour with a very slight marmite after taste, I think I was only getting that after taste because I knew it was there.

Once the cupcakes had cooled I removed a cone shaped amount from the centre of each & added some marmite caramel before putting the cone back.

I then followed Kerstins (@MsMarmiteLover) recipe for chocolate marmite ganache, though I used milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate,  & Marmite caramel cream cheese frosting, I had huge problems with the frosting, it was far too runny to pipe, even with more icing sugar added.....  I usually have these problems with cream cheese frosting. As my kitchen was very hot I put it in the freezer for a short time which helped a bit.

I found I'd only got 1 piping bag left (I use disposable ones as I'm lazy), so spooned the 2 toppings into it, scrapping one kind on the one side, and the other on the opposite side.
The ones at the top are plain chocolate cupcakes, the marmite ones are the bottom 2 rows. See how my piping has improved :D

The verdict:
They tasted like rich chocolate caramel cupcakes, once you think you can taste a hint of marmite & try to pinpoint it it disappears. Of course I could have added more for a stronger flavour if I wanted.
The other half (my biggest critic) loved his first cupcake, but when he tried the second he could taste the marmite more which he didnt like. The eldest, a regular marmite on toast eater couldnt taste it at all.

Monday, 18 August 2014

2 Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

How could it have got so long without me blogging! I've been busy with school events & then the summer holidays. This summer I gave myself the challenge to master icing cupcakes ... well... at least get them looking half decent.

So I started by watching youtube & discovered my pipping nozzles were all to small for the look I wanted. New nozzles bought I decided to seek the wisdom of those with experience& asked on facebook if anyone knew a good buttercream icing recipe & what butter was best to use. My friend Deb gave me this link which she uses for Lemon & Poppyseed cupcake. Sandie from Itchifingers kindly tagged her friend Pauline saying she's the cupcake queen. Pauline answered it was more like she was the Buttercream Queen; Hooray! exactly what I needed!!! The best advice she gave me was that she uses Anchor butter for her buttercream. Now, I dont know about you but I have tried all sorts of spreads for making icing. Some go to soft, some are too over powering in taste, others split & curdle, so to have someone actually point one out that works for them is a HUGE help.

I decided to dive straight in & give lemon meringue cupcakes a go.

I started off with a simple sponge cake mix with the zest & juice of 1 lemon added to create 12 cakes.
DOH! I meant to put 1/2 the mix in each, then a dollop of lemon curd, & then add the rest of the mix. No worries, I cut a cone shape out of the centre of each cupcake, spooned a small amount of lemon curd in & popped the cone back on top .... shhh, no-one will know it was meant to be any different.
I then made lemon buttercream following the recipe from the lemon & poppyseed cupcake, & popped it in the fridge until the cake had cooled.
I also set about making meringues which I havent done for about 10 years or so... I didn't realise how long they took to cook!!!! So I decorated the cakes without them initially so everyone could have one for pud.
Once the meringues had cooked I crushed them ... unfortunately they had baked perfectly for dessert meringues, crisp on the outside while still slightly chewy inside. Great to eat as meringues, not to crush over cakes. So I had to carefully break off crunchy bits and crush those. Once done I sprinkled them over the cupcakes.

Verdict:
My piping is greatly improved by having the correct nozzle & consistency of the icing.
The lemon cake hating other half of mine adored these cupcakes! They weren't tooooo lemony, & the anchor butter gave it a lovely creamy flavour. The meringue added another texture to the cake, a nice contrast to the soft buttercream.

Pop back tomorrow to see how I got on with CHOCOLATE MARMITE CUPCAKES!!!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

4 Santa's little helper

The challenge at Scrapology was to use Trellising on our layout, they also provided a lovely sketch.
Luckily I'm currently borrowing my friends die that looks just like trellising.
I based the colours around the card I had saying "Santas little helper", Rys work shirt & a touch of gold to glam it up a bit.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

2 Going Dotty

The technique this month in Simple Recipes* is to create a paint confetti look. Using the sketch, which I rotated 90 degrees CCW, I created this layout of my sister doing her work experience 9 years ago.
The dots are a mixture of poster paint dots, some topped with glossy accents & melted beads.
I tried to keep the dotty theme going with the papers I used & washi tape.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

0 A Fresh Start

Sometimes you come across a layout that you love, want to scraplift & dont want to alter too much about the placement/items etc. I found such a layout on UKScrappers during a challenge, if you're a member on uks you can see it HERE.


I had several other photos to go with the main photo so turned it into a double layout.

Linkwithin

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