Showing posts with label Cakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cakes. Show all posts
Enjoying the Jubilee celebrations over the weekend in quintessentially British style for me meant only one thing- enjoying some afternoon tea whilst watching the rainy (but still spectacular) events of Sunday afternoon unfold from the comfort of my sofa. With some help from my two favourite cookery books (namely The Great British Bake Off and The Vintage Tea Party Book), it was an entirely home-baked afternoon, and enjoying the celebrations whilst surrounded by tea and cake (which there is plenty left of!) seemed like the perfect way to mark such a special weekend. Here's a little look at how I got on:

Fresh flowers which I picked from my garden to decorate the table with (the little vase was a £1.50 charity shop bargain!)

Another charity shop purchase in the shape of the teapot, which sat surprisingly well against the vintage china which my mum inherited from her grandmother.

Teacup cupcake, anyone?

My red white and blue meringues (so messy to make, but worth it in the end!)

A cake stand adorned with scones, mini Victoria Sandwiches and some rather patriotic cupcakes.

I surprised even myself with how creative (or should I say carried away!) I got with the cake decoration!

 The full spread!

It was great to take the time to mark the occasion with such a traditional little ritual, although I did feel a little bit guilty sitting with a warm cup of tea whilst everyone on the river was getting soaked to the skin! I also had a really great time baking everything, and trying a few recipes which were a little bit out of my comfort zone. Can't we have a party like this every weekend?

Did you do anything similar to mark the Diamond Jubilee? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

06.06.2012- Jubilee Afternoon Tea

If you're a regular reader, then you'll know that I'm a complete and utter cake junkie. Whether they're home-baked or shop bought, I'm not really fussy, but one of my favourite bakeries to visit is LOLA's. You can probably imagine then, how excited I was when I heard about their Pink Label cupcakes, which are described as 'elegant and sophisticated' versions of their signature cakes, perfect for parties and to give as gifts. With twelve gourmet flavours to choose from, you'll certainly be spoilt for choice! Here's my pick from the range:

Mouth-watering! Each Pink Label cake is priced at £4, and the full range can be viewed over at the LOLA's cupcakes online store. I was also really excited to hear that Romy Lewis and Victoria Jossel, the founders of LOLA's, are releasing a cookery book in October. Entitled Making Cupcakes with Lola, the book features signature cupcake recipes and introduces some new cake-shaped delights.

I've pre-ordered my copy already!

What do you think of LOLA's Pink Label cupcakes? And will you be getting the book when it comes out?

(Image credit: LOLA's and Amazon.)

19.07.2011- LOLA's Pink Label

I'm in the process of doing a little bit of a blog makeover at the moment, which is taking forever but will hopefully be worth it! I do find all of this HTML business quite confusing, but after spending nearly the whole day on a new header and layout, I think I might have cracked it! I'm hoping to be back to posting regularly as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, have something sweet on me...

(Image credit: Google Images.)

12.11.2010- Please excuse our appearance!

My 21st birthday is only a few months away now and I'm already planning how to celebrate (if struggling a bit to figure out what presents to ask for!) Last week I received confirmation that myself and my lovely best friend Sarah will be attending a sitting of Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel in London. I read about this 'afternoon tea with a fashionable twist' absolutely ages ago, and ever since have been waiting for the chance to give it a try; luckily my birthday gives us the perfect excuse for a bit of tea and cake indulgence! The menu changes every six months to accommodate the changing seasons in fashion, so I expect it will be different in December, but the Spring/Summer 2010 Collection sounds divine:

The Spring/Summer 2010 Collection

A selection of loose leaf teas and herbal infusions:
  • Loose leaf English breakfast, Earl Grey, Ceylon, Lapsang Souchong, Organic Assam, Vanilla, Pear Caramel, White Peony.
  • Herbal infusions Camomile Citron, Wild Blossom and Berries, Chocolate Mint Truffle, African Amber.
A mouth-watering selection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches.

A collection of cakes and fancies in in the colours of the fashion season and in the style of the world’s finest designers:
  • Anya Hindmarch light apricot sponge summer ‘Halen’ bag wrapped in almond marzipan with playful bow.
  • Paul Smith orange papaya and pink lavender bavarois topped with chocolate bowler hat.
  • Season’s must-have clog biscuit adorned with chocolate brown studs and white leather glaze.
  • Yves Saint Laurent soft romantic white chocolate mousse and raspberry custard, with crunchy meringue scattered with mini strawberries.
  • Sonia Rykiel nautical vanilla and raspberry jam layered mousse topped with humorous yellow hat
  • Belted Jason Wu poppy-seed cocktail dress biscuit embellished with ruffled purple icing
  • Erdem dark silky chocolate cake filled with passion fruit and delicate lace.
  • Christopher Kane pale pink almond macaroon filled with white chocolate and elderflower ganache topped with pink checkerboard.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier fluorescent cheese cake on almond and oat base, accessorized with a bright yellow sugar twirl.
Pretty special, don't you agree? I really can't wait!

Have you been to The Berkeley for Prêt-à-Portea? If so, what did you think? And have you got any special celebrations coming up soon?

(Image credit: The Berkeley.)

27.09.2010- Tea and (birthday) cake

There's nothing I love more than putting my feet up with a mug of hot chocolate and an assortment of cakes, biscuits and general chocolate based deliciousness. After obsessively getting in to BBC2's new programme The Great British Bake Off, I'm determined to try and make some of the food featured in the show for myself, including these adorable iced biscuits. However, my little ritual is, at present, seriously lacking style. I usually grab whatever mug is to hand and have inevitably scoffed the biccies before the kettle has even boiled. However, after seeing these gorgeous pieces from Urban Outfitters, I'm determined to make tea time a bit more glamorous:

Pip Studio Teacup, £12
Spotty Cake Stand, £20
Pip Studio Rose Plate, £8

Regency Cake Stand, £40
Tea Cup Cake Moulds, £20
What are your favourite indulgences? And what sweet treats would you love to be able to rustle up in the kitchen?

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters.)

05.09.2010- A spoonful of sugar...

Last week, following my cupcake baking, I made some chocolate muffins from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. They turned out really well and tasted lovely!

Hummingbird Chocolate Muffins- makes 12.

2 eggs
200g caster sugar
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
160ml whole milk
160g unsalted butter, melted
120g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

You can also include dark, milk or white chocolate chips in the mixture as you prefer, and you will also need a 12-hole muffin tray, lined with large paper muffin cases.

To make the muffins:
1) Preheat the over to 170 degrees, Gas Mark 3.
2) Put the eggs and sugar into a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, or use an electric whisk. Beat the mixture until pale and well combined.
3) In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In another bowl (or measuring jug), combine the milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat theses two mixtures alternately into the egg mixture little by little and beat until well incorporated.
4) Stir in the melted butter with a wooden spoon until well mixed, and add the chopped chocolate until evenly spread throughout the muffin mixture. If you're adding chocolate chips, then do this now.
5) Once all of the ingredients are fully incorporated, spoon the mixture into the muffin cases until they are two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for approximately half an hour, or until the sponge is springy.
6) When cooked, leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before serving.

And there you have it! I found that my muffins tasted even better after a day or two as the chocolate flavour matures beautifully.

I also made some rocky road bars last week, so will share soon!

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

23.08.2010- More adventures in baking

Last week I made some more cupcakes from my cookbook, and again they were a success! Yay! So, as an excuse for me to post the photos I took, I though I'd share the recipe with you all. It's taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf, which, as I've mentioned before is a really brilliant, easy to follow book, great for novices and experienced cooks alike.

Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing- makes 12.

for the cakes:
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1½ teaspoons of baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
edible sprinkles to decorate

for the icing:
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml whole milk
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
a couple of drops of food colouring of your choice

You will also need a 12 hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases.

To make the cakes:
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, Gas Mark 3.
2) Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or, like I do, use a handheld electric whisk) and mix on a slow speed until the mixture has a sandy texture and everything is combined. Slowly pour in half the milk and mix until it is just incorporated.
3) Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds and then add to the flour mixture. Keep mixing until just incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
4) Spoon the mixture into the paper cake cases until they are two thirds full, leaving room for the cakes to rise when they are cooking in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sponge is light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. When cooked, leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray when out of the oven before placing on a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

To make the icing:
1) Beat the icing sugar and butter together with your electric mixer on a medium to slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
2) Turn the mixture down to a slow speed and then combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add this to the butter mixture a couple of teaspoons at a time.
3) Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixture up to high speed, add a few drops of food colouring and continue beating until the icing is light and fluffy, for at least five minutes.
4) Once the cakes have cooled completely, pipe or spoon the icing on top and decorate with hundreds and thousands. I use an icing syringe which I picked up from my local supermarket, which is really easy to use and comes with different attachments so you can change how thickly or thinly the icing is piped onto the cakes.

Then, fingers crossed, you should end up with some cakes that look a little bit like this:

This week, I'm hoping to try making some chocolate muffins, so will let you know how I get on.

What are your favourite things to make in the kitchen?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

16.08.2010- The continuation of my culinary adventures....

These cakes from LOLA's Cupcakes are simultaneously the most adorable and delicious things ever! Baked freshly every morning and lovingly decorated with everything from tiny butterflies and flowers made out of icing to classic chocolate sprinkles, LOLA's Cupcakes operates exclusively in Harrods and Selfridges in London and through their website.

Their online store showcases the full range of masterpieces they create on a daily basis, and even allows you to custom-order your own cake(s) for any occasion. Perfect whether you're planning a special party for a friend or loved one, or want to treat yourself to a taste of edible happiness!

(Image credit: LOLA's Cupcakes.)

02.10.2009- LOLA's!