Last week was my first back to work *crys* it was also the week of major birthdays (manic doesn't quite cover it). Aunty P was 90 and my Grandad was 70 ~ It baffles my mind to think that Aunty P was 20 when my Grandad was born!!
So here I am, home alone on the scariest weekend of the year. Hubby has gone out to watch Paranormal Activity 3 with his brother. The kids are in bed, well, I say in bed but I can hear some thumping and chatting coming from Harvey's room so either......
My boy is possessed!! eeeek!! (not such a stretch tonight)
The little monster is playing when he should be sleeping.
I am totally freaked out! Just before my hubby left me, all alone, our microwave blew up (No exaggeration!! The thing popped and there was smoke!!)
Then, about 10 minutes later all our lights went out!!
Luckily Bradders was on hand to save the day ~ Before he buggered off and left me to fight the ghosts, vampires and zombies by myself, Damon Salvatore excluded "swit-swoo, you naughty vampire!!"
Anyhoo, back to the cakies......
I was absolutely delighted when my friend text to say she had given birth to a beautiful baby girl on Tuesday, we are going to visit them tomorrow and I am keeping my, freaking out, mind busy by baking her some girly cakes.
Also it's my Great Aunt-in-laws (a mouthful, I know) 90th birthday next Thursday so I am also taking her over a few cakes.
Aunt and friend live in the same town, just so ya know.
I haven't got the time to do two different flavoured cakes so I've plumped for my Vanilla Cupcakes and decorated them differently.
So here's my One Cake Two Ways
Aunty P's Vanilla Cake (she can't have too much icing)
So when the opportunity came for me to review the Cafe Cookie collection from Byron Bay Cookie Company I jumped at it like a sugar starved ninja!!
I've never done a review before and thought I'd get a small, bitesized cookie to taste. Oh no, not from Byron Bay, I got a whacking great box with full sized cookies of each flavour ~ BTW Byron Bay Cafe Cookies are the size of wagon wheels...... happy days!
This month challenge is to come up with a recipe that includes both Chocolate and Chilli. It's not a cupcake challenge. The founders of the challenge are Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot as you can guess they are chocolate blogs. If you want to have a go to make absolutely ANYTHING that includes chocolate and chilli and enter it yourself, please visit Choclette for all the details and rules.
So I was searching the net for a fun cupcakey style something to give me an excuse to keep baking ~ this is due to my hubby getting fed up of me baking for no reason and, as he puts it, "crapping up the kitchen!!" Anyway I got a bit bored so checked out my flickr page (yes I am on flickr). I was looking at cupcakey groups and found the British Cupcake Challenge 2011. At the beginning of every month they give you some ingredients and you have to create yummy tasting/looking cupcakes, post the picture of the finished cupcakes to the group, then wait to be judged at the end of the month!!
It was my father-in-law's birthday on 10th so I made him his favourite cake, Coffee & Walnut - well actually I made two and had leftovers so made some cupcakes too :-) These are the two cakes... I apologise for the poor icing technique!! This is my first attempt at frosting an entire cake (confectionery course is desperately needed methinks!!)
The sponge on these beauties is amazing!! Really Walnutty with a definite crunch to it....perfect in my book :-)
Put the walnuts in a hand-held elec chopper and chop until fine (almost powder) don't worry if there are larger pieces at the top - these add to the texture of the finished sponge - just make sure they're no bigger than a mini smartie.
When butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy add the eggs one at a time, making sure one is fully incorperated before adding the next.
Add the vanilla.
When the vanilla is fully incorperated sift in half the flour and baking powder, take the bowl off the mixer and fold this in gently by hand.
Add half the milk and fold this in.
Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk.
Add the walnuts and fold in gently until evenly distributed.
Fill both sandwich tin 2/3's full.
Place in the over for 25-30mins - if you move them too early they will sink in the middle.
When baked, place tins on cooling rack for 10mins, then take the cakes out of the tins and place on racks to cool completely.
If you have any batter left over throw some cupcake cases in a muffin tin and fill them 2/3's full until all the batter is used, I got 6 :-) - place these in the oven for 20 - 25 mins.
Coffee Frosting 200g butter 600g icing sugar 1 tbsp semi skimmed milk 4 tbsp very strong coffee (to make the coffee, pour 1/4 cup boiling water into jug, add 6 tsp coffee granules, mix and set aside to cool)
Cream the butter on low.
Add the icing sugar 100g at a time.
Add the milk and the coffee and mix on medium speed for 3 mins until light and fluffy.
It's tricky to know what to take to a lingerie party, most people take booze, which is fine, but there's always too much; or no-one takes anything as they want to take booze but think everyone else will be doing the same.
So I'm like... "I'm taking cupcakes" and there was booze a'plenty and cakes for everyone, plus sneaky seconds - perfect!!
It's my Nieces 6th Birthday party tomorrow and I am making 12 white chocolate cupcakes and 12 lemon cupcakes. I'm having a bit of a time crisis so I'm doing lots of prep-work to get the fiddly bits out of the way prior to any baking.
As a distraction method, so we wouldn't have to go home, my 2 year old dragged me into the new Charity shop in my High Street.
While he was wandering around going "WOW!" and "COOL!" at old lady shoes, ragged teddies and games with half the bits missing, I decided to have a looksee at what they had.
I found this book Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafeit looks right up my alley, due to my very wierd and uncontrolable love of all things cupcake!! It's chic lit/cookbook as it has recipes inside (genius)!! I can't wait for the hubby to get home tonight so I can take my hour long bath and get reading!!!
I also found The International School of Sugarcraft 1: Beginners Bk.1which I am going to use to help me in my new college course (yes I did eventually organise my enrolment, whoop whoop)
I also made my Raspberry frosting ready for the lingerie party on Saturday night, it is so yummy that I hid the spoon away from Harvey and licked it clean myself - Evil mummy!!
I'll give you the recipe in my next post (on Mondayish) trust me YOU WILL WANT THIS ONE!! :-)
So after weeks of holding everyone in my chain off until we got an answer from our mortgage provider they came back to us!! yey!
THEY REFUSED TO PORT OUR MORTGAGE!! boooo!!
The reason is I have gone part time and we now have 2 children so now they consider the mortgage we currently have, that is easily paid every month, as not affordable! What The...........
When I eventually stopped crying and calling everyone I know to tell them what horrible thicko's my mortgage company are, I thought about it and, although we still won't be near to any family, the town we currently live in has a lot more kid friendly stuff than the town all our family live in. Which is a nice thought.
Plus my hubby just bought me a 100cc scooter, peep peep!!!! Got to do my CBT then I can scoot about as much as I like :-) after years of not having a car when hubby is at work and the car do we have being a diesel guzzling monster, it's gonna be great to nip out when I want to.
My cupcakes have become famous amoung my work colleagues, so when it was time for my first "keeping in touch" day (days I can go into work while I'm on maternity leave) I decided that I would try a new flavour and bribe the lot of them to be nice to me :-)
Yay!!! My fave blogger emailed me yesterday (her time) or this morning (my time) Kristan of Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, she is so nice!! I've been trying to make my blog better so keep editing my posts but something was missing, Kristan gave me some great inspiration and a big "no no" so I've got my base to work on.
Then I had a brainwave ( due to my partially functioning brain and inherited daftness I am ever so slow on the uptake!! )
I was asked by a work colleague to make Noah's Ark themed cupcakes for her grandson's 2nd B-day party, this terrified me to my very soul as I knew it would have to involve lots of animals (that I had never attempted before).
So I start researching the idea and found inspiration online and in the sweet shops.
It was a case of "oooo those will make great ears" and "wow fantastic nostrils!!" the sweetshop lady now thinks I need some serious medicating!!
Anyhoo...... these are the finished products........
I hope they inspire you for your animal themed cakes.
"the animals came in two by two.....hurrah hurrah"