Nature’s Candy

 

I like to try adding new and interesting things to my baking and I have always loved the sweet crunch and ‘pop’ of pomegranate seeds.  Their glossy jewel like appearance makes them so easy to admire with a certain rich charm you can’t quite place.  I decided to create a vanilla and pomegranate cupcake mixing the brightly coloured seeds into both the sponge and lavishly sprinkling them over the buttercream.  Finally I added a little bit of sparkle and here are the results…

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Are you afraid of Spiders?!

There are two key things to remember at Halloween in my kitchen:

1. There is an abundance of pumpkin entrails (come on it’s halloween I had to get that word in somewhere!)

2. Anything goes – although I prefer to stay with the idea of cute rather than too gross to eat!

Now the first feedback I received when I said I was going to use the mountainous pile of pumpkin to create a sweet pumpkin cupcake was not exactly encouraging.  It was more like the way you shout at the TV ‘don’t do that!’ as the girl in a horror film has made the lame decision to go down the stairs into the basement having heard something that is probably going to result in her sudden and untimely gruesome death…

I decided to work on the idea of similar ingredients to that of a carrot cake, using lots of warming cinnamon and allspice combined with chopped walnuts and a little white chocolate to add a more distinct sweetness.

The cupcakes were then finished with a simple vanilla buttercream so not to distract from all the flavours in the sponge (although I do think they would be delicious with a Cream Cheese Frosting!).  This was coloured bright orange – obviously a typical halloween festivity colour but also very autumnal as are pumpkins!

Then my favourite part…Oreo Spiders!  I placed a variety of Oreo cookies on to the cupcakes (Regular & Snack Size) and then used sugarpaste in white and black to create little eyes and of course as reminded by a close friend the 8 legs that makes a spider a spider rather than an insect (see I do listen!)

The Spiders were super cute and a little Sesame Street-esque but at the same time had that Halloween theme that I was aiming for.  I have to give a big shout out to the amazing pumpkin carvings done too! (mine was the cat!) See for yourselves…

And…most importantly for all the doubters out there…the cakes were wickedly good (sorry I couldn’t resist one last Halloween word play!)

Happy Halloween everyone x

National Baking Week – Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

As it was Chocolate Week last week and I had a big bowl of left over chocolate custard/ganache sat in the fridge it seemed only right to get it used up!  So I decided to combine this with the beginning of National Baking Week 17th-23rd October 2011.  

I chose to make Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes topped with a caramel and nougat enrobbed in milk chocolate slice cut from a well known branded bar…rhymes with ‘Cars’…here are the results…

Red and yellow and pink and green…

I recently made some out of the ordinary wedding cupcake favours – by this I mean with a rainbow theme! Usually when I am asked to make these it is based on a simple cream buttercream and then a little hint of the chosen colours of the Bride and Groom’s wedding theme.  The two Groomsmen had chosen a rainbow style tie for the wedding suits and wanted the favours to match – and I certainly wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for the spreading of multicoloured love!

As the wedding party had chosen to arrive in a pink Fiat 500 it seemed only right that the main colour for the cupcakes would have to be a sexy hot pink!  I decided to swirl the hot pink in with the cream buttercream and then add multi-coloured sprinkles.

 The cupcake favours were doubling up as place cards so they were finished in little clear gift bags, tied with a ribbon (multi-coloured of course!) and the hand-made place-card/thank you’s were attached.

 

 

These were then put at the head of each place setting at the wedding breakfast.  From what I can tell there were two types of reactions to these cupcake favours – 1. Devoured immediately 2. Hidden in bag to take home and admire before no.1 takes place, either way this was a happy brightly coloured day for me!

 

The now happily married couple are emmigrating to New Zealand in the New Year and I wish them all the success and happiness that life can offer.

Ooo La La – Cupcake Camp Paris

Cupcake Camp is quite simply described as “an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment.” Cupcake Camp (2011)

The second annual event took place this past weekend and over 2600 cupcakes were sold and devoured! If you wanted to find out more information check out their beautiful blog over at cupcakecampparis.blogspot.com 

Below are a few photographs of some of the winning cupcakes;

Marie Grave won Best Fall Inspired Cupcake with her Apple, Nut and Maple Syrup cupcakes.

Rose of Rose and Cook won Most Unusal Ingredient with her Vitelotte Potato and Violet Syrup cupcake.

The big winner of the day, Rahima Mohammad a.k.a Fairy Cooker, won not only Most Parisian Cupcake and The Make a Wish contest, but she also won Best in Show.

If you wanted to check this out further with some enchanting pictures that really capture the day in all its colourful sugar filled glory please click here for the wordpress freshly pressed choice of the day ‘Colourful Concoctions at Cupcake Camp’

Claire x