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It’s time for all things heart shaped, kind words and date nights. Or, at least for sharing a bottle of wine in front of the TV and some Valentine Vanilla Cupcakes after dinner,  which is probably as far as we’ll stretch in our house. I have to admit I’m not the most romantic person so my efforts are sometimes not the most thought through but I do always try to show some love through cake. 
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When rummaging around my baking drawer today I found some cupcake cases that I forgot I had. I bought them in IKEA together with the cupcake pan (both called “Drömmar” in case you want to get them) but then proceeded never to use either. Until now. They are tall, narrow cakes and I really liked the way they came out – a little bit different to all the standard cupcakes out there!
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I made a simple vanilla cake with a hint of lemon, topped with a very coral pink vanilla buttercream and a simple love-heart topper. The cupcake recipe comes from this book and uses the method I prefer when making sponge cakes; whisking eggs and sugar before adding butter, milk and dry ingredients. I think it makes a fluffier and lighter cake 
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Have a very Happy Valentine’s day everyone! 

Valentine's Vanilla Cupcakes
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 225 g sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla sugar or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 100 g unsalted butter
  5. 100 ml milk
  6. 210 g plain flour
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. pinch of salt
  9. zest and juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175C and line a cupcake pan with cases.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick, light and fluffy.
  3. Melt the butter, pour in the milk and mix into the egg mixture.
  4. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and carefully fold into the mixture.
  5. Lastly, add the lemon zest and juice.
  6. Fill the cases 2/3 full and bake for around 15 minutes until they are lightly golden and springs back at the touch.
  7. Leave to cool completely.
  8. Make a simple buttercream, pipe on top the cakes and top off with a love heart topper (cut out a double sided heart from coloured paper and glue on to a cocktail stick).
  9. Serve with love.
Bakernaut http://www.bakernaut.com/

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Ok, so first of all, this is (sadly) NOT my cake. I didn’t make it, the amazing Lyndsay from Coco Cake Land did (check out her website for great cake ideas!) It’s just the happiest cake I think I’ve ever seen and just what you need on a gloomy day like today! 

With a full-on head cold and incredibly annoying cough, I’m staying in, feeling just a little bit sorry for myself and hoping that sitting on the sofa under a blanket will allow me to recover relatively quickly.  It also means I have a little time left over to write a long overdue post. Saying that, I won’t actually include a recipe. I know.

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything for such a long time. I’ve been a real bore since Christmas, focusing on my upcoming Marathon (first ever, very nervous) which has led me to eat less cake (boooo) and also spend less time in the kitchen as I’ve been out running and going to classes when I would normally be putting something or other in the oven. My attempt at a more gluten-free diet has also meant that I’ve not been as enthusiatsic about baking as I normally am. I know there are thousands of amazing gluten free recipes out there so it’s not really that, more that I have generally been staying clear of bread and cake of any description in order to try and resolve my insane tiredness problem (not yet quite resolved but getting there…).

I will be back very soon with an actual post about actual cake that I have actually made myself. Promise. 

 

 

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Bakernaut would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas with this lovely Bear Cake! 

It’s a very simple, lightly spiced cake that tastes like all things Christmas to me (it tastes particularly great with a glass of mulled wine). The recipe is my grandmother’s and makes a really fluffy but moist cake. 

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This gluten free chocolate and hazelnut torte with peanut butter frosting was baked out of necessity and desperation the other day!

I have recently become a bit suspicious that I might have some sort of bad reaction to gluten or wheat – extreme tiredness after meals has rendered me unable to function normally and it has been a really frustrating time. Not knowing the reason why I felt this way, I decided to give diet change a go and gave up sugar and gluten for a week.

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In yesterday’s post I talked about my new-found interest in fruit-cakes and well, it extends to fruit bread as well. This Rye and Raisin loaf did not get a great reception in my house as it’s just my 3-year old, and more recently me, that will eat raisins voluntarily. But while the others wouldn’t even entertain the thought of giving it a try, the two of us have had a feast!

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These fantastically delicious Chocolate Sablés also comes from Edd Kimber’s “Patisserie Made Simple” book that I wrote about here last week. They are melt-in-the-mouth heavenly with a very rich chocolate flavour thanks to a fairly substantial amount of chopped 70% dark chocolate added to the mix!

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After missing out when Edd Kimber signed his latest book “Patisserie Made Simple” at the Cake and Bake show earlier this month, I advance ordered it on Amazon and received it in the post a few days before it hit the shops! It such a beautiful book, and for a patisserie lover like myself a real gem for the bookshelf.

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These spicy gingerbreads thins are fantastic. Cut thinly and baked to the perfect snap, with lots of warming spices, almonds and citrus peel they are incredibly moreish and perfect for autumn. I don’t think there is any reason to hold gingerbread back until Christmas!

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This Neapolitan cake with piped chocolate names was made for my oldest daughter and 5 of her friends who all celebrate their birthday within a month of each other. A little gathering was had and this four layer cake with the classic Neapolitan flavours of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla was devoured.