Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

On Saturday I am attending my first fete. I will have my very own stall selling cakes & cookies. I am really looking forward tro it, but can't decide what I should take with me & how much. I've had an idea for lemon meringue cakes for a while & finally got around to trying some.

My first attempt ended up with glass and meringue icing all over my kitchen when the glass bowl I was using to make the frosting exploded. (Note: Do not use a glass bowl over heat to make meringue frosting!!) So, still a little bit afraid to try it again I found an alternative meringue recipe that didn't require heat.

I won't post complete recipe details here, for copyright reasons, but I'll tell you where to find them.

First make a lemon sponge. I used a standard 100g cake mix, but left out the vanilla extract and added the grated zest of 1 lemon. This made 8 cupcakes. When cooked and cooled, cut out a small circle from the top of the cake and fill with lemon curd - made using the recipe from Rachel Allen's Bake book (p.278) - and put the cut out bit of cake back. Then I made the meringue frosting recipe from Bake Me I'm Yours: Cup Cake (p.72) and spread over the top. Finally browing the top slightly with my cooks blowtorch - be careful not to set the paper cases alight! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A is for Attitude...

Lottie's first challenge is to think about 'what makes you happy about yourself?'

So. Here goes.

  • I like that I am small-built & only 5 foot tall. It means that I am naturally small and get away with eating what I want, plus I can wear kids clothes, and when I DO make the effort, I think I look pretty ok. 
  • I like that I have recently got off my arse and started a part time cake making business. It's still early days but I am usually a bit of worrier & dreamer, so this is the start of something new for me.
  • I like that I am doing well in my full time job too, and am proud when I get complimented on my work.
  • I like that I am generally socialable and friendly, I now have a large group of friends who I spend time with and get on with.
  • I like that my husband and I started raising money for the local rugby club and am pleased that we have raised over £22,000 in just over 3 years.
And there you have it. Some things I like about myself. Maybe I am ok after all. ;) 

Finishing School - A is for Attitude, B is for Bra...

A few weeks ago I came across the tweets & blog of @LottieLoves1 where I discovered 'Think Frock it's Friday' a campaign to get ladies wearing dresses. It's great and it brings a fabulous sense of occasion to a Friday. :)

This morning I discovered Lottie's Finishing School Workshop, the A-Z of becoming feminine and fabulous. Now based on the difference Think Frock has already made to my Friday, surely this can only be a great thing? So I have definitely decided to sign up!

As a brief overview - Lottie will be posting a challenge every other Wednesday for all ladies. For more information, check out her blog, but it really is that simple. Read it, carry out the task and either blog about it or don't. Either way, jump in and let's all become Fabulous! :)

I need to catch up on tasks, so posts to follow. First A is for Attitude...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fairy Cake or Cupcake?

The Cupcake tower I made on the weekend sparked a discussion about the difference between Fairy Cakes and Cupcakes. Which got me thinking. In my mind there was no difference, they just had different names, fairy cakes in the UK, cupcakes in America.

In my kitchen, fairy cakes are smaller, made in 'bun' tins, while cupcakes are larger and made in deeper muffin tins. (There is quite a difference between a muffin & a cupcake, which maybe I'll cover in another post!) For example, with my standard cake mix I get anything up to 16 fairy cakes and 9 cupcakes. So they're not quite twice the size, but not far off.

I found this article by WiseGeek that talks about the main difference between British fairy cakes and American cupcakes being that cupcakes use a denser cake mix, while fairy cakes tend to be lighter.

There's also a mini cupcake that is smaller than a fairy cake - pretty much a bite size cake. 

I hope this clears it up a little. And if you want any cakes - cup, fairy or mini, please give me a shout. :)