Thursday, December 09, 2010

#52 Learn about Wine

My name is Rhian and I like a glass of wine. There, I said it!

I don't drink every night, but I will have a glass of wine more evenings than not. Sometimes with water or as a spritzer, and I am happy to just have the one glass.

One of my favourite quotes is:

"I love to cook with wine....sometimes I'll even put it in the food!"

And it's true. If I am cooking a nice meal, I'll get out my knife, chopping board, ingredients and a glass of wine. Mainly it will sit there until I've finished cooking, but there's always something missing if it's not there - especially on a Friday night.

My preference is white wine, but if the mood or food is right, I will have a glass of red and I do tend to use red wine rather than white in cooking. 

Item number 52 on my 101 things list to to learn about wine. I know what I like and I enjoy finding new wines, but I don't think I could identify grape types and I can't pick out flavours or match with food (apart from the basic fish & chicken = white wine, red meat = red wine). 

So, I have decided I will start to learn a bit more about wine. I'll blog about my findings partly to share with you what I learn, partly to record my progress and remind me what I've learnt. If you fancy joining me on my little quest let me know by commenting below or come and find me on Twitter

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Red Wine Risotto


Ok, so it's not the most appetising of photos - but it tasted lovely! For those that don't know I have a list of 101 Things to do in 1001 Days. On this list is to cook every recipe in Rachel Allen's Home Cooking book.

I tried a version of Red Wine Risotto a few months back, but didn't have an chorizo, so thought we should try it again. Yesterday my copy of Eclipse (the third in the Twilight saga) finally arrived, so my friend (Mrs M) - who was as excited as me - and her husband came round for food & DVD watching. Boys in the kitchen making food, girls watching Edward & Jacob on the TV.

I was a little wary of the risotto (the first time I made it) as it brought back memories of trying to make a red wine sauce with cream when I was in uni...it did not go well! So I have limited my red wine in food to a bolognese sauce or Coq au Vin. However the feedback on the risotto was good. It does completely change the flavour and the chorizo gave it some extra depth. I would defnitely make it again and am happy to experiment with it in the future.

In case you don't know, the Oui Chef Table this month is Red Wine & Cinnamon. Hence the little lego dude below. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

As we have done the last few years, hubby & I have decided to have a sensible Christmas. Making presents, not spending a fortune, and generally trying to be thrifty. But I love Christmas - and am excited, so will try to post an update every day to let you know how our countdown to Christmas is going.

So, on Sunday (28 Nov) we bought a Christmas Tree - pre-lit! It's great. I put it up on Monday (30 Nov), which took 15 minutes rather than the usual 2 hours finding the right parts, clipping it all together, arranging the branches and then dancing round and round and round the thing to put the lights on! Anyway - here it is:


Then today I have started with phase 1 of decorations. This photo is taken with my new favourite app for iPhone : instagram.


I also have a bit of a thing for snowmen. Have been collecting them for a while, so here's a few of my favourites.



Fibre optic snowman

Snowman tree ornament


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You shall go to the ball...

OK, so, here's the deal. I am going to a charity dinner on Friday. it's black tie & there are going to be lots fo fabulously dressed ladies. I am not going to buy another dress to only wear once but can't decide on the ones I have - so it's over to you! :)

What do you think I should wear & how can I bling it up?

I will apologise for the very dodgy photos, but have loads to be getting on with tonight and you should be able to get the general idea from the pics.

Outfit #1 : Red dress from coast with embroidery detail.


Outfit #2 : Purple dress from Per Una

Outfit #3 : Black & White dress from New Look (Bargain - cost £3!!)

Outfit #4 : Skirt from Warehouse - not sure what top to wear with it.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Meal a Week: Spicy Chicken Curry with Spinach


After seeing Atul Kochhar on TV, I bought hubby his book Simple Indian: The Fresh Tastes of India's New Cuisine. It's excellent. We have made lots of the recipes and not one of them has disappointed. Some of the ingredients may need a bit of searching (or online shopping) but it's definitelty worth it. The recipes are easy to follow, the pictures are great and there are sample menus and ingredient descriptions.

Last night I made Palok Diye Tikha Murghi Kalia from the book. Translated as Spicy Chicken Curry with Spinach.

With it we had basmati rice & homemade chapatis. And it was gooood!


The chapatis were delicious and easy to make - just chapati flour & water, mix to a dough, leave for 10 minutes, then roll out & dry fry. Mmmm. Just buy some chapati flour and follow the recipe on the packet. :)

Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding

I have a real issue with soggy bread. I can't touch it or look at it - let alone eat it. Makes me shudder just thinking about it... bleuch. This means I have never tried bread & butter pudding. I imagine it's much nicer than it sounds and isn't really just bread soaked in milk.....I hope!

My husband really loves bread & butter pudding, so being the good wifey that I am, and in the spirit of trying new things I made it for pudding. Hubby is on the Weightwatchers plan, so I found this recipe and thought I'd give it a go. However, I'm a bit of a bugger for changing recipes to suit, so while my pudding is based on the weightwatchers recipe, I have made a few changes to create one 'normal' pudding with vanilla & nutmeg and 1 chocolate version with Baileys. As baby puddings this recipe is ideal for trying new combinations without having to make one huge one that may not taste right.

Here's how I did it.

Get  2 ramekins and cut 6 circles of white bread using a patry cutter so that they fit nicely inside the ramekins.
Line the ramekins using fry-light butter spray (or real butter if you're not concerned about the calories!).
For  the normal pudding, lightly butter one side of 3 of the bread rounds.
For the chocolate pudding, spread chocolate spread on one side of the remaining 3 rounds.
Put the chocolate rounds in one ramekin, all chocolate spread side up.

Chocolate rounds in ramekin
 Put the buttered rounds in the other ramkin, butter side up, but put a few sultanas between each layer (I used 12g for one pudding).

Buttered rounds & sultanas in ramekin

Put 250ml skimmed milk (again, you could use semi-skimmed or whole milk, even a mix of milk & cream) into a saucepan with 1.5 tablespoons of vanilla sugar & bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat & allow to cool a little.
Beat 1 medium egg, then add the warm milk, and beat together.
Split this mix bewteen the 2 ramekins, making sure it goes down the sides of the dish.
Optional - add 1 tablespoon of baileys to the chocolate pud & sprinkle nutmeg on top of the normal pud.
Leave this to soak in (so you get really soggy bread) for a minimum of 3o minutes (I left mine for a few hours & it was fine.)
Heat overn to Gas Mark 5, 190 degrees C, 375 degrees F.
Put the ramekins into a roasting dish filled with hot water, so it comes about 2/3 of the way up the side of the pans.
Cook for 20-30 minutes until risen & golden brown.
Leave to stand (coz it'll be very hot!) and eat.

Blurry pic of Vanilla Bread & Butter Pudding

Finished Chocolate & Baileys Bread & Butter Pudding

My verdict? Well, it wasn't as bad as I expected! :) It tasted lovely and it definitely wasn't soggy bread. But there was just something not right about it. Having said that - I would try it again and the possible flavour combinations could definitely be interestng.

Hubby's verdict - It did taste nice, but wasn't as rich as a full-fat version! For those on the WeightWatchers plan, the Vanilla pudding worked out at 8 ProPoints.

Let me know if you do try these, especially with any other flavours. :)

Edited, 2nd December 2010: Oh my, have just found out that this post was a winner in the Beckicklesie Oui Chef Competition for November!! Am SOOO very excited. Thank you so much to Beckicklesie for selecting it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chocolate Cake Pops & a Cupcake Tower

On the weekend I was asked to make a cupcake tower & cake pops for a friend's son's naming ceremony. The civil ceremony version of a Christening. So I made 50 each of chocolate fudge and vanilla cupcakes and cake pops, with a blue & white colour scheme. Although a little stressed (beacuse I left some of it til the last minute) I was really pleased with the way it turned out and had lots of compliments - which is always nice! Not many people in this part of the country (Swansea, South Wales) had come across cake pops, so it was very much a novelty and very well recieved.

This was a first for me in a few ways (hence worthy of a blog post!).

1. My first naming ceremony/christening cupcake tower.
2. My first cake pops order.
3. My first chocolate cake pops.

Cupcake Tower & Cake Pops

Vanilla & Chocolate Fudge Cake Pops

Close up of Cupcake Tower

Close up of Cupcake Tower

Top of Cupcake Tower with Personalised 'S' toppers.



November is full of chocolate!

This month over on the Beckicklesie blog, the Oui Chef Challenge theme is - Chocolate!

Wonderful! :) I bet there's a few things I can write about on this, so there's likely to be a few blog posts.

My husband has told me that I am a snob. And I'm quite happy with that in some ways. I like to own nice things, (can't always afford to, but I'd like to!) I like to eat good food, drink nice wine....but I also LOVE a bargain. Chocolate, I think, is a luxurious product, and one that doesn't always come with a high price tag!

I am a fan of chocolate, and am a bit of a sucker for packagaing, gimmicks, brand, marketing etc, so anything new or different I am more than happy to try out. Like the recent 'Screme Eggs' - Halloween themed Cadbury's Creme Egg, with a green 'yolk'.

I read a book called The Chocolate Connoisseur: For Everyone with a Passion for Chocolate which discusses how chocolate is made, types of chocolate, even how to taste it. In this book it mentions that one of the top chocolatiers in the world is based in Pisa, Italy - something I happened to find out just before going to Pisa!

This chocolate is made by Amedei and I made it my mission to go and find some of this chocolate. Which I did. And it was gooooood!

Now one thing the book says is that 'Chocolate Purists' only accept bars of chocolate as chocolate. Truffles etc, are not the same. And apparently white chocolate is not chocolate either - but I can't remember why right now...

This has turned into a bit of a rambling post, but I'm hoping it'll set me up for a few posts to follow.

To include (hopefully):

- My first chocolate cake pops
- My favourite chocolate bars
- Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding (recipe) (Added 21/11/2010)


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

vlogging

Vlogging or Video Blogging means using a video as a blog post. It intrigues me. I am a big fan of social media, social networking, social marketing - whatever you want to call it - and really wish I had the time to really understand it. I love Twitter and Facebook, have finally set up a You Tube account. I'm on LinkedIn, goodreads.com, I have a digg and StumbleUpon account - but don't use them enough to really 'get it'.

I'm going off on a tangent a little bit...

Vlogging has been around for a while, but it's not something I've particuarly followed until recently. And I quite fancy having a go. There are a lot of people doing it, and I've done a bit of research looking at different styles, etc. I'd also like to do some quick videos for the web design company I work for.

My problem is this - will people be interested in what I have to say? What do I talk about? In some ways I figure if people are reading my blog (and yes, I do have the odd visitor every now and then) then there's not much difference between what I write about and what I'd vlog about. Right? Alternatively, if people aren't insterested then no one's going to watch them anyway, so I still have nothing to lose, right?

I guess it's going to come down to just doing it, have a go and see what happens.

Watch this space guys - you never know what may happen! But if you do have any advice on how to get started, or examples of your first vlog I'd love to see them! Post a comment below or send me a message on Twitter (@rhiandaniel)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Supporting TREAT Trust Wales

In June of this year I recieved a phone call in work from a lady called Melanie who wanted me to do some work on a website for free. I admit that at first I was not overly impressed and didn't really want to get involved. We had already sponsored websites for Llys Nini, a local animal centre, Waunarlwydd RFC and The William King Educational Trust (of which my parents are patrons) and didn't feel we had time to get involved with another project.

However, Mel explained about TREAT and what their aim was and told me a little bit about herself, so I had a chat with my boss and we decided that if the time we could spare was enough to help them achieve what they wanted, then we'd go from there. So we arranged a meeting with Mel and Mike of TREAT and myself and a designer from work and off we went for lunch.

I spent a few hours with Mel and Mike and couldn't help but be impressed by Mel's drive and ambition. Despite being in a wheelchair following a motorbike accident when she was 15 and surviving cancer Mel was completely focused on raising £10 million to build a therapy centre in Swansea. Mel is an amazing woman, and an inspiration to many. She has written a book (Never Say Die
) and won a bronze medal in athletics for Wales.

Over the last few months working on the website with Mel, I have come to fully understand the project and the need for a centre like this in Wales. It is not aimed just at people with disabilities, it's for everyone and their families. For people living with cancer, for injured soldiers and sportsmen, for people suffering with diabetes, for anyone with - or without - a health issue. It is intended to provide a space that everyone can use regardless of ability, offering treatments that may not otherwise be available and providing support where NHS care finishes.

This is just a quick snapshot of what TREAT wants to do and there's plenty more information on their website: www.treattrust.org.uk

Mel's drive is contagious & has definitely rubbed off on me. Life is too short to not do what you want, to not have something to aim for. So - go for it, dudes!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Today is Halloween - but as it falls on a Sunday we decided it would be best to celebrate it on a night when we didnt have work the next day. I've never been a huge fan of Halloween, didn't go Trick or Treat-ing as a child and don't like the fact that teenagers feel they can put on a mask, come to my house and expect sweets!

Last year hubby & I decided we would host a little gathering (fancy dress a must) to celebrate Halloween as there were a few friends we hadn't seen for a while and, well, it was just a good excuse. Everyone really enjoyed, and it saw the start of the 'Chilli-Off' between hubby and one of our friends, Mr M.

Anyway, here is a tiny selection of photos from this year's Halloween party.

Hubby's (rather happy) Pumpkin

My Vampire themed pumpkin

Yes - I event dressed up the bears! Bella (as Bella Swan), Edward (as a Mummy) & Sookie (as a Witch)

Matthew (my hubby) as Zombie Huw (long story)

Me - as The Evil Drinking Pixie (explanation below)
The Winning Charades Team

The Losing Charades Team

Ok - so - The Evil Drinking Pixie is a nickname I earned from friends of ours. I'm not going into details, but I thought it would be a good costume. I even made my own wings!

The charades was all horror movie related - and I'm sure we only lost because one of our team members kept giving points away....not that I'm bitter! We all took it well, but I was surprised at how the actions for ghoul, zombie, ghost, gremlin, demon all appeared to be the same. ;)

So Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you have a sppok-tacular time tonight, whatever you do!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mum's Cooking!

The first prompt for the Oui Chef challenge is: Mum's Cooking!

I am not a mum, but have borrowed and adpated many of my mum's recipes. I enjoy cooking, have no problem trying anything once but do have a tendency to just chuck stuff in a pan and hope for the best. I have always helped my mum out in the kitchen, whether measuring & mixing or washing up, but I never paid much attention to the actual recipes until I left for university and realised I had no idea what the 'secret ingredients' were for bolognaise, chilli, stew etc.

One of the big things I learned from both my parents was to just try it out, to experiment. Once you have the basis of a curry or chilli - try adding other stuff and see what happens. Carrots maybe, a different type of bean, even a touch of cocoa powder. My dad was a big fan of getting out a pan and adding whatever was in the cupboard (hence my tendency above!) - baked beans, crisps, tuna - most of the time it was quite awful, but sometimes it worked. So mum having a night out was a little hit and miss. ;)

The first recipe I remember my mum teaching me was spag bol. A great classic. Just before I left university. And then the most wonderful cheat in the world - how to turn bolognaise into chilli!! Genius! All it took was a bit of chilli powder and some kidney beans and all of a sudden 2 meals for the price of one.

The second meal was beef stew & dumplings. When I left for uni I was in halls with 5 other people and for the first few weeks we would all eat together. Each of us taking it in turns or pairing up with someone else. So I decided to make stew. I called my mum and wrote down the recipe then went shopping. What I hadn't realised is that stew does actually take a lot of peeling and chopping veg and a lot of time to cook, and I spent all day making this stew. Luckily for me, it turned out great and tasted nearly as good as my mum's! Nearly!

The 3rd recipe I have taken from my mum was always a Friday evening meal at home and one I didn't really bother with until I left university as for some reason, I would never think about it - Stroganoff! Beef fillet and mushrooms in a creamy mustard sauce, with saute potatoes and asparagus. It is such a simple dish, but so effect. It's quick, ideal for a dinner party and can be made with whatever you like. I'll post the method below, because I couldn't tell you quantities. I do it all by sight & feel, but every time it works out ok.

Basically, heat some oil in a pan, add onions and cook until soft and slightly golden. Add garlic and cook until also slightly golden in colour. Remove from the pan (add a little oil if needed) and put in whatever meat (or mushrooms) you want to 'stroganoff' and cook until you're happy with them. While the meat is cooking mix (about a small tub of) soured cream (althoug creme fraiche can work too) and 1 large teaspon of mustard, plus about 1/2 teaspon of cornflour in a separate bowl*. Put the onions and garlic back in then add a splash of maderia/masarla/sherry to deglaze the pan.When this has reduced to practically nothing, add your soured cream mixture, mix and heat through. Then serve!

* In theory, think about how much sauce you want at the end and make up this quantity. It will reduce slightly. The mixture at this point should not be thick - the flour is there just to stiffen the mixture a touch not thichen it as it can go very globby. << Technical speak! ;)

My final cookery tip is how to cook rice. This is the only way I have been able to cook rice without it going sticky (unless it's meant to be!). Boil plenty of water (the more, the merrier), add salt, put in the rice and LEAVE IT ALONE! Give it one QUICK stir to make sure its not sticking to the sides, but then just leave it. Time it according to whatever it says on the packet and don't touch it until it beeps. Then drain it and serve.

Enjoy - and if you do try the Stroganoff and have measurements please feel free to add them below. ;)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No. 82: Vegetarian Week [Done]

So last week hubby & I decided that we would try to be vegetarian for a week. No particular reason really, just to see if we could do it & to save a bit of cash.

Hubby didn't manage the full week, but I'm not going to go on about it!

I did 'cheat' a little - at about 10pm on the Saturday night (we started on the previous Sunday). 10 of us had gone for a Chinese to celebrate a friends birthday. I was determined to stay veggie, but they had all of about 6 vegetable options, 4 of them containing fish. So, it was (very logically) pointed out to me that technically I had managed 7 days, from 10pm the previous Saturday to 10pm this Saturday....so I tucked into Spare Ribs, Aromatic Crispy Duck, Fillet Steak cantonese style, King Prawns, Chicken in Black bean & Special Fried Rice - not all to myself, obviously! :)

What did I learn from Vegetarian Week?

1. I 'could' be vegetarian, if I had to. I didn't miss meat - well, not until we went to The Brasserie in Swansea on the Friday night, where I know they do the best fillet steak. Again the menu consisted of about 3 veg starters and 6 main courses, but enough for me to choose from - they do, after all, specialise in meat and fish.

2. Not to make meat or fish the main ingredient of every dish. I love mushroom stroganoff, and made a great sweet potato curry.

3. I definitely could not be vegan. I ate a lot of cheese this week, and would have really struggled without cheese, milk, cream, eggs, etc.

4. That alcohol affects hubby a lot more on vegetarian week! Not sure if this is a fact of life, but he was definitely more tipsy this week than 'normal'.

5. It's a lot easier to get in your 5-a-day if that's all you eat. Obvious I know, but it hadn't really dawned on me before.

What I do it again? Definitely! I am not going to switch to a vegetarian diet but I am going to make an effort to eat less meat, more vegetables and fish. And we are going to try it again but adding meat to the diet. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oui Chef: A(nother) challenge

So apparently life isn't challenging enough and I need to seek out challenges to keep me on my toes. So far I am in the middle of Lottie's Finishing School and have started a 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge, which fetaures a few mini challenges. I have just finished Vegetarian Week, am trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks, trying to not buy clothes for 3 months ..... um ..... I think that's it for now!

Today I discovered beckicklesie.com and their Oui Chef Challenge. I love my food - so how could I not get involved?

First challenge is due end of the month - watch this space.

I is for .... IMAGE

Lottie's next challenge it to look at our current image, write down what image we'd like to have and how to get there.

1. Write down 3 words that describe your image now.


  • Grey: because I tend to opt for dark, grey/black clothes. They are easy to match and I don't have to worry about standing out. 
  • Quirky: this one I actually borrowed from a friend who once used it to describe my dress sense. I quite like it and want to keep the 'edge'. My sister, on the other hand, laughs because I try to match everything - but I put this down as another quirk. :)
  • Casual: I love my jeans and denim skirts, and often get told I'm too casual for work. I suppose this could also be described as sloppy . Often I will dress up only to leave the 'glamour' behind but wearing my Ugg  boots or chucking a chunky cardigan on top, rather than some nice shoes and a blazer jacket.   
2. Write down 3 words you would like to use to describe your image.


  • Professional: for me this encompasses quite a range - smart, confident, assertive - but it doesn't necessarily mean suits and court shoes. If I am doing my web design/marketing it's a very different professional to baking. For example, red nail varnish would look great at a business lunch, but doesn't go down well in the kitchen!
  • Fun: I suppose another version of quirky! I like statement jewellery, scarves and bags and is one way of adding something a bit different to an outfit. 
  • Fabulous: well, isn't this the point of this course? :) Also to include feminine, obviously!


3. Write down 3 things you love about the way you present yourself (what you wear, how you act, what you do)
  • I love ... that I keep my make-up fairly natural and don't go overboard on foundation and that I don't use fake tan. I will wear more make up on a night out, and have recently dyed my hair red - so can't say I'm completely natural! 
  • I love ... my hair! It's definitely much better short (and red!) and have had loads of compliments. Plus it's SO easy to do.
  • I love ... my bags, jewellery & shoes and my apparently 'quirky' sense of style. :)

4. Write down 5 things you can do to change your image or further enhance the good bits of your present image.

  • Don't slack! I can be a little bit rubbish at taking my make up off at the end of the day, or always using eye cream, and need to spend more time keeping on top of my general maintenance. Legs, eyebrows, nails, that kind of thing.
  • Get back into a fitness routine & proper sleep pattern.
  • Spend more time planning outfits so I don't just throw on the first thing I find, and inject a bit of colour into my outfits.
  • Don't worry about what people think and add a little fabulous to my day! I know this has been covered before but it's something I need to take more notice of. A pair of heels, a lovely scarf, a fancy brooch or a handbag, some nail varnish (not just left over from the weekend), a different perfume...just something a bit different. 
  • Start an evening class. This is something I've been thinking about for a while. A way to meet people & expand my mind. So will keep an eye out for courses and see what takes my fancy - wine tasting, dress making, a language maybe....
Today is exactly the kind of day I am trying to avoid. I had to take my make up off this morning, and didn't have enough time for my full routine.I am wearing black trousers, black vest, black & grey stripey jumper & black boots. With a black bag, no jewellery and nail varnish I put on to go out on Saturday. I am feeling a bit rubbish - hence the complete lack of interest & staying in bed too late.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cake Pops - my new favourite cakey snack

I first came across Cake Balls & Cake Pops via @cakeballsuk and @mollybakes on Twitter. This lead me to the cakey genius that is Bakerella!

A cake ball is cake that has been crumbed, mixed with buttercream (or alternative frosting) then covered in chocolate or candy. A cake pop is a cake ball on a stick! How can you not like them?

I decided to have a go back in May, with some chocolate cake & dark chocolate coating. They looked ok [pic below], but had a very strange texture. But I hadn't tried a cake pop/ball myself and didn't really know what to expect.


Then, in June, we went to London. I dragged my family to Selfriges where I knew I would be able to get hold of one of MollyBakes cake pops.  Here's my lovely hubby with his. He opened it before we left the shop so had to get a quick photo.


They were lovely!  But it wasn't until last weekend that I attempted them myself. Mainly it was down to a lucky coincidence that meant I had 'spare' cake and candy melts in the house at the same time! So, this is how I made my cake pops.

Crumb cake in a food processor and mix with buttercream, then form into golf-ball shapes. Put them on a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave in the fridge for a few hours until fairly solid. (Or in the freezer for about 15 minutes.)


When they're ready melt a few of the candy melts, dip the end of some lolly sticks in the melts and stick about 2/3 of the way into the balls.To ensure a firm foundation and keep your sticks steady, place a little bit of the melts around the stick to seal any gaps. Then place to side (or briefly in the fridge) to set.
 


When they are set, and the sticks feel pretty firm in the balls, melt some more of the melts and dip the balls in the melts until covered. Then use sprinkles to decorate as you wish!

And ta da - cake pops!


They need a bit of work to get the coating smooth - but they looked good and tasted great!

Here's how they look inside.


But, if this all seems like too much work - just give me a call and I'll make them for you!  :)

Ideal as wedding favours or party bag fillers, they could be wrapped up like a bouquet or presented in a pot. They can be any flavour and colour you want - the only limit is your imagination. Go on, you know you want to.....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Giant Cupcake

I have been wanting to try a Giant Cupcake since I first heard about them. But didn't want to fork out on a proper tin pan until I had at least given it a go. Then I found a silicon baking mould in The Works for £6 and couldn't resist!

So I made my standard Vanilla sponge mix (175g flour/sugar & 3 eggs) and filled the base and made a 100g/2 egg mix for the top. And this is what happened:



Apparently the mix is too light for the depth of the mould and I needed to add some plain flour (about half the quantity of self-raising) to the mixture, thanks to @icemaidencakes.

So, here's my second attempt:


I did lose a little bit of the top to the mould - because I forgot to grease the pan in my excitement - and the top was a little.....overdone in places. But it was nothing a knife and some buttercream wouldn't fix.

Here is the final cupcake.


And here it is in comparison to a standard cupcake:


According to the box, the giant cupcake is 25 times the size of a normal cupcake, and I think that I probably used the equivalent amount of mixture.

The sponge was a little more dense that the one I usually make, but still tasted good and has lasted well.

I'm looking forward to having another go!