Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fig & Walnut Crumble

I realise this blog is called The Cake Boutique but I just had to share the excitement of this ridiculously delicious fig and walnut crumble I made.
Figs are in season and they are really good in this part of the world. To be honest, they taste so good I've never had the need to go on and make something out of them. However I had crumble topping in the freezer, figs in the fridge and I was craving something dessert-like and ... well you know what happened next...

Now I'm not going to bother with the exact recipe (Google crumble topping) but I like crumbles with less flour and more oats. So with a little bit of the basic flour, butter and sugar, I added rich muscavado sugar, lots of rolled oats, chopped walnuts and flax seed. It's up to you what you add, plus or minus anything, you can't go wrong really. This crumble topping is good to sit in the freezer for when the craving arises. 
I chopped up the figs, sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on them, topped it with the crumble mixture and drizzled with some melted butter. All of it goes in the oven for 25-30 minutes at a temperature I took no notice of. (Probably 380?). 

Bring a Brit I topped mine with thick custard :-) Mmmm!

Yes, I realise the custard is a bit lumpy - perfect! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back Home

I didn't end up making that Korean themed cake after all as the order was cancelled (a blessing !? ).
However, as you can see I did end up making something slightly more elegant - finally getting my fix of royal icing work :-) This is the kind of cake I feel at home with. I can sit for hours piping designs, making sugar flowers and everything just seems to flow. I do like this cake, the piped necklace, the simplicity of colours and of course the beautiful rose. I hope I get more requests like this.....

I have also made a few 'basic cakes' i.e. without the whole icing shebang going on. Below is 10/10 carrot & walnut cake. In fact so many people like this, I'll try and put up the recipe soon.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweet-Sixteen, Korean style? Help.

I feel like making a really elegant, chic, minimalist wedding cake. Simple yet precise royal icing work, smooth outlines, maybe some detailed floral lace effect. A project that would take at least two days to make. That's what I feel like working on. That's what I want to focus on.

Instead, I get asked to make cake for a sweet-sixteen birthday - with a korean theme! Oh the joy. I'm intrigued by the idea nevertheless, I have no idea where I'm going to start (suggestions are more than welcome). All I know is that the birthday girl likes all things korean, the language, the entertainment, korean movie stars etc... Let's see where this takes me. It needs to be ready for Tuesday, so I will update soon after.

I'll leave with a bright & cheerful photo of one of my latest creations.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things to do in Amman before you leave...

Make a Hawaiian themed engagement cake! What else?

I had a lot of fun making this cake for a whole host of reasons. Firstly, I haven't drawn anything in ages and this gave me the opportunity to draw Hawaiian hibiscus flowers along with pretty leaves n things. Two, I got to play around with slightly exotic flavours - lemon zest with coconut cream cheese frosting (exotic compared to the basic vanilla and chocolate cakes I make). And thirdly, it was surprisingly straightforward to make, yet seemed to produce quite a stunning result!

Oh and for the record, I said I would blog within two weeks - and I have managed to blog within two days! So all is good...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh yes...I have a blog!

I think the last time I blogged was nearly 2 months ago! Not very bloggy am I? Oh well.
I haven't yet turned my house into a bakery (which is probably a blessing), however I have been making cakes here n there. Here is an update:

This I made as a personal cake for someone who had passed some exams. Three layers of chocolate cake, filled with ganache, covered with chocolate fingers and fresh strawberries!

Then there was this funky thing for a colleague who was into hip hop, heading off to India on a new contract and has a rather trendy shoe collection!

And more recently I made a pony themed cake for some children. I googled this idea and although I don't think the ponies are overly pony like - they are still cute!

I leave with a promise to blog within the next 2 weeks - rather than 2 months!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Display

I've been working on making four different dummy cakes (which will hopefully end up in a local shop tomorrow!). I figured that I ought to produce a few different styles, appealing to different folk so I went for:

Believe it or not, I've made a hole in the centre and added florists' foam inside the hollowed cake shell! All in an attempt to keep the flowers fresh for as long as possible whilst on display. Who would have thought?

I'm not sure if I'm overly keen on this - but hey it's certainly something different from my usuals.

Serious (Royalty)
If I could only present this to the man himself - King Abdullah :-)


Oh So Pretty!

I'll be eagerly waiting to see what passers by have to say!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Strawberries & Chocolate

Strawberries are in season and my local fruit & veg shop owner claims he has the best in town - and I believe him, they are really good. I bought a punnet or so last night, dipped them in chocolate and used them to dress a chocolate fudge cake I was making for a friend's BBQ.

And what to do with left over frosting? Vanilla cupcakes, swirls of buttercream with chocolate covered strawberries to complement. Mmmm!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretty Dummies

So I've been working on producing cake dummies (fake cakes). These are useful for the image bank I'm slowly but surely creating, they can also go in shop windows and plus they allow me to explore different designs.

This is the first show: one cake dummy, different outfits.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes

Can I follow a recipe? No.
I found a recipe for moist chocolate cupcakes online and along with my own ideas and a bit of this and that, made these lovely delicate cupcakes this evening. Absolutely scrumptious! I ate the first one and it was so light, so melt-in-your-mouth, so quick to disappear - that I honestly thought well what was the point of that? Until I realised that I just 'had' to have another. And another....
They are luxurious but I assure you, one per person is just cruel. I'd recommend at least two cupcakes per serving. And considering they are so quick and easy to make, why not?

Recipe -  Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes

100g Flour (Self-Raising or All-purpose+Baking Powder)
20g Cocoa Powder (Good quality makes all the difference)
130g Soft Brown Sugar ; 40g Butter/Marge
Pinch of Salt; 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
100ml milk; 1 egg; 20ml Double Cream
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Beat the butter and sugar together. Then add the remaining dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder) and combine.

2. Whisk wet ingredients together in a separate bowl (milk, egg, cream and vanilla).

3. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture beating slowly and then on high, until the batter is light and glossy.

4. Spoon batter into cupcake tin. Bake for 20-25 mins at 170C/340F (or lower for flat top cupcakes).

I frosted these with a basic ganache (unwhipped) frosting, however any sort of frosting which isn't too heavy would work well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Honey & Oatmeal Bread

I've been wanting to use the dough hook on my mixer for quite a while, in fact I don't think I have ever used it. I always use the beater/whisk attachments for cakes and icings while the dough hook sits alone in the corner watching the show. Well, tonight it was the dough hook's turn to shine and shine it did!
I baked three loaves of seriously irresistible Honey & Oatmeal bread, probably the best I have ever tasted. Warm and fresh out of the oven, served with generous helpings of good quality butter, it was divine. I also managed to pick up some rich Yemeni honey (sold by a Yemeni - if that makes a difference) to use in the recipe which made it even more delicious.
If you eat bread (and I think you do) - then I seriously recommend you try making a batch.

Recipe - Honey & Oatmeal Bread
380ml water ; 130ml honey ; 80g butter
1300g plain flour (or bread flour)
240g oats ; 2 tsp salt ; 20g yeast
2 large eggs
1 egg white

1. Combine oats, 1200g of the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl.

2. Heat the water, honey and butter in a pan over low heat until 'warm' (120-130F/ 49-54C)

3. Pour in warm mixture into the flour mixture and let the dough hook do its thing on slow (speed setting 2) for around a minute. [Or combine with wooden spoon and bring together by hand].
4. Whisk the 2 eggs and add to the mixture. Continue mixing for another minute.
5. Slowly add the last 100g of flour and let the mixer knead for another 3-4 minutes. By this time the dough should be coming clean off the sides of the bowl.
6. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let it rise (45-60 mins) in a warm place until nearly doubled in size. 

7. Punch down, roll into loaves (seam side down) divide into tins, cover and let it rise again as before (45-60 mins).
8. Mix egg-white with water and brush the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle with oats and bake for 30-40 mins @ 375F / 190C. Remove from pans immediately when done.