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.