Thursday, 26 May 2016

Last minute baking...

So yesterday was a big day! I had my colonoscopy in the morning morning (I will save more info on that for another post or you can check out my new video: Click To Watch) but obviously life throws everything together at once and it just so happened to be my sister's birthday too... now I don't know about you but for me one thing a birthday means is CAKE!

Now I was obviously pretty drowsy and sore after the procedure, so I wasn't exactly in the best state of mind to be making full on fancy cakes and to be honest, we didn't have much time between both events anyway but I still couldn't resist whipping up something for the occasion.

I find that if you stick to a good ol' fashion basic sponge cake or cupcakes you can NEVER go wrong; everyone seems to like them and you can decorate them as you please, they're so versatile. The recipe I use is actually one from school in year 9 (Thank You Mrs Vile!) and it never seems to fail me - sometimes the oven does but... that's another story! I always end up with springy to the touch, moist  (soz about that word!) and fluffy cupcakes - perfect.


100g Caster Sugar
100g Marg or Soft Butter
100g SR Flour
1 Large Egg
1/2tsp Baking Powder
Splash of Milk
(double quantities if you want more, this made 9 large cupcakes)

Beat Caster Sugar and Marg together in a big bowl,
Sift the Self Raising Flour and Baking Powder into the mix,
Beat Egg with Milk, 
Combine mixture together,
(Add a dash of vanilla essence , if you prefer your sponge sweeter) 
Bake at 180c for 15-20 mins, until springy to the touch and 'skewer test' clean!
(Wait to cool before decorating.)


Now, I'm not usually one to use butter icing, personally I find it too sickly at times but I knew my sister was a fan, so obviously I went for her preference! I found a simple recipe online (Click Here To View) and halved it (there was a lot left over, even when I halved it), I added pink food colouring, along with vanilla essence (I tend not to add it to the sponge because I find the topping the best place to flavour). I chose not to pipe the icing on, for speed but also because I knew I was going to decorate them anyway, although looking back, I could have made them look even more pretty! 

I had some Culpitt Heart Sprinkles and Dr Oetker Chocolate Hearts and topped the icing with these; they looked really pretty and gave the cakes texture, with the crunch of the sugar sprinkles and yumminess of the chocolate!

My mum, like me, isn't keen on butter icing, so she made some butterfly cakes; she cut the top section out, put strawberry jam in the hole, a tiny bit of icing and then halved the top section to make 'wings' and dusted some icing sugar on the top. 

I have to say, that even though I'm not a butter icing fan, these had the perfect amount and as I had used a plain sponge, it was not sickly and I definitely would have had two, if I was feeling better!

Presentation is key in making a cupcake look even better. My mum had some iridescent cellophane in the cupboard and then some pretty 'Cath Kidston' style napkins, so we just arranged them together in the cake holder, so we could transport them easily and still allow them to look presentable and cute.

All in all, it probably took about 45 minutes to an hour to make the cupcakes and I was pretty proud with how they turned out!

I hope this inspires you to put your apron on and get into the kitchen! If I can do it after something as horrific as a Colonoscopy, then I'm sure you can make these with ease! I would love to know how they turn out for you so please do Instagram me some pictures of yours! I find baking such a pleasure to do, especially when the end result is a good one!