Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ice-cream Cone Cupcakes

I was wandering through the supermarket when a box of ice-cream cones caught my eye. It was a pretty coloured box with rainbow ice-creams and sprinkles, I instantly knew I had to make ice-cream cone cupcakes.

So I whipped out my Martha Stewarts Cupcakes and tried out some little cakes that I had been eyeing off for a while. That was when things went a little funny. I have been happy with all the recipes I had tried so far, but this one left me a tad unimpressed.

The cupcakes took twice as long to cook as the recipe said and ended up very dense, like mud cake dense. The taste was still good, very sweet but yummy, just not light and fluffy like I was expecting. Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe it’s just how they were meant to be. Has anyone else tried it out?

Questionable cake aside, I was very happy with how cute the ice-cream cones ended up looking. Everyone I shared them with enjoyed them a lot.

Just a quick share of some of my non baking activities. My Mum has a Nursery and gardens that she is constantly working on, this week I got to paint a big sign on her new shop.

Cupcakes ( from Martha Stewart Cupcakes)

12 sugar cones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk


80 grams unsalted softened butter
2 ½ cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Small amount of milk (if necessary)


Pink food colouring
Melted chocolate
Chopped nuts
Maraschino cherries
Assorted candy sprinkles
Funsize flakes

To make the cupcakes- Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Gently place a cone in each cup of a mini cupcake tray. (A mini tray is the perfect size for flat bottom ice cream cones)

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. (watch out for batter stealing boyfriends)

Fill each cone with 2 to 3 tablespoons batter.

Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. (My cupcakes took close to 40 minutes, I wish I knew why)

Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream- beat the butter in a medium bowl until it is pale.
Gradually beat in the icing sugar, followed by the vanilla extract and milk if needed. Continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy.

To decorate the cupcakes- Tint half of the buttercream pink with gel-paste food color, if desired. Use an ice cream scoop to place buttercream (untinted or pink) on top of cupcake, then top with sprinkles. For "soft-serve" cones, use a pastry bag fitted with only a coupler (or a large plain tip) to pipe buttercream in a swirl over cone, then top with multicolored sprinkles; or, for "sundae" cones, drizzle melted chocolate over buttercream, then sprinkle with peanuts and top with a cherry or flake. For soft-serve "twist" cones, fill a pastry bag fitted with an open-star tip with buttercream, pipe swirls. Serve immediately

Monday, August 23, 2010

Deep Fried Ice-cream

I have had deep fried ice-cream at a restaurant on only 2 occasions. The first time was at a sushi restaurant, the ice-cream was rolled in cake then fried in tempura batter. The fried ice-cream was then hidden under a mountain of multi-coloured whipped cream, it was fun but didn’t really live up to expectations.

The second occasion was at the end of the most amazing Thai banquet, sadly the ice-cream wasn’t fried at all, just rolled in toasted coconut.

I was having Dad over for dinner and these were the perfect dessert to go with a green Thai curry. The mix of breadcrumbs and coconut made for a tasty, crispy outside that cracked nicely open to reveal the soft ice-cream surprise inside. They were everything I hoped for.

These are yum Yum YUM! Deep frying plus ice-cream plus caramel sauce, what’s not to like.

Ice-cream balls (makes 5)

1 litre vanilla ice-cream
Plain flour
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
½ cup coconut
Oil for deep-frying

To make the ice-cream balls- firstly make sure everything is super cold. Place a tray in the freezer to chill before starting and make sure ice-cream is hard frozen.

Scoop the ice-cream into balls using an ice-cream scoop, place the balls onto the chilled tray and return to the freezer until hard.

Working fast to ensure the ice-cream doesn’t soften too much, lightly coat the balls in flour, dip in the combined egg and milk, then coat firmly with the mixed coconut and breadcrumbs. Place the coated ice-cream back in the freezer to harden.

When the ice-cream is hard repeat the coating process, to give a firm shell. Freeze the ice-cream balls until ready to serve.

To fry the ice-cream, place the balls one at a time, into deep hot oil. Fry the balls for about 30 seconds, until golden brown, remove from oil with a slotted spoon. Absorb any excess oil with paper towel.

Serve the ice-cream immediately with warm caramel sauce.

Caramel sauce

30 grams butter
¼ cup brown sugar
100 mls cream

To make the caramel sauce- melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Gradually add the cream and stir until well combined, remove from the heat. Serve warm over ice-cream.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cookies

I was very lucky to have a 5 day weekend last week, too bad it was cold, rainy and windy for most of it. Other than the bad weather it was still a very nice break, we got a lot of stuff organised for the upcoming America trip and I went to the Ekka twice.

For those outside of Queensland Australia, the Ekka is our version of a state fair. The highlights for me were the baby animals and the St. Bernard puppies and the squishy faced kitties, oh and the decorated cakes and a bertie bettle showbag.

I got a few quick pictures of the cakes, they’re not the best, most are taken over the shoulders of the crowds of people.

After all the food and chocolate at the show I didn’t feel much like baking anything super sweet this week, but the cold weather made me crave hot tea and cookies.

I have never eaten or made snickerdoodle cookies before. Call me childish but their name makes me giggle. Snickerdoodles! These cookies were perfect, crispy with a little bit of spice and perfect dipped in tea.

(from Cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies)

250 grams softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 ¾ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon caster sugar (extra)
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
(makes 42 cookies)

To make the cookies- beat butter, brown sugar, caster sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined

Mix in the sifted flour, soda and nutmeg, one half at a time.

Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Cover baking trays with baking paper.

In a small shallow bowl, combine the extra caster sugar and cinnamon.

Roll out level tablespoons of the cookie dough into balls.

Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar.

Place the cookie balls on a tray, space them about 7cm apart.

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, remove from oven and allow them to cool on the trays.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Snickers Cupcakes

These cupcakes come with some warnings! They are sweet! They are gooey! And I think most people would have a hard time eating more than one in a sitting.

Its not often boyfriend makes a baking request, so when he jokingly asked if I could make cupcakes that taste like a snickers bar I was all over it! He was very surprised to come home from work and find a plate of snickers cupcakes waiting for him.

They may not be the prettiest cupcakes, but they sure are pretty delicious! Boyfriend said they are even better than the chocolate bars that inspired them.

For the cupcakes I tried the Devils food cupcake recipe from Martha Stewarts Cupcakes, it worked out beautifully. The recipe said it makes 32, I halved the recipe and ended up with 16 perfect cupcakes.

To make these little chocolate cupcakes into snickers flavoured treats, I filled them with caramel and topped them with peanut butter frosting. To finish them off I added a small swirl of chocolate buttercream and a drizzle of caramel.

Devils Food Cupcakes (from Martha Stewart Cupcakes)

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

To make the cupcakes- Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Line your cupcake pans with paper liners.
Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl.
With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes, turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Caramel Filling

200ml can sweetened condensed milk

To make the caramel- remove the label from the condensed milk can, with a can opener, make two small holes in the top. Place the can in a saucepan, open side up. Fill the saucepan up with cool water to come to about 1cm from the top of the can.

Bring the water to the boil, then reduce it to a simmer for around 3 hours. Keep an eye on the water level, making sure to keep it at the same level until caramel forms. Remove the tin carefully from the pan and let it cool before using.

Peanutbutter Buttercream

½ cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
60 grams softened butter
2 cups icing sugar
Small amount of milk (if needed)

To make the frosting- in a medium bowl beat together butter and peanut butter until smooth and lighter in colour. Gradually add the icing sugar, continue beating to make a light and fluffy buttercream. If the frosting is too stiff add a little milk at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Chocolate frosting

30 grams softened butter
1 cup icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp milk (approx)

To make the chocolate frosting- cream the butter in a medium bowl. Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa, gradually beat into the butter. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until smooth.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Makings of a Cake Slice Cake.

As promised, how to make a cake slice cake and also the recipe for a yummy orange and poppy seed cake. I hope it all makes sense.

This was another one of those recipes that said just to put all ingredients in a bowl and mix together, can anyone tell me if doing it this way would give the same results?

Not knowing and not wanting a poorly mixed cake I made this cake the way I would most cakes, it turned out perfectly. The recipe I found was for an orange cake, I just added the poppy seeds at the end.

I used double the following recipe to make two 8 inch square cakes. I was left with quite a lot of cake off cuts, but boyfriend was happy to help get rid of those.

Orange Poppy Seed Cake
(Adapted from The essential Baking Cookbook)

2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup custard powder
1 1/3 cup caster sugar
80 grams softened butter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup poppy seeds

To make the cake- preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. Lightly grease and flour the cake tin.

Sift flour and custard powder together into a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Mix in half of the sifted flour, followed by half the juice. Repeat with remaining flour and juice, mixing until smooth. Stir through the zest and poppy seeds.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake come out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Orange Buttercream
80 grams unsalted softened butter
2 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 teaspoons orange zest

To make the Frosting- beat the butter in a medium bowl until it is pale.

Gradually beat in the icing sugar (remove 5 tablespoons of buttercream before adding the orange and reserve for piping) followed by the orange juice and zest. Continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy.

To Decorate
2 8inch square cakes
1.5 kg fondant
Red, yellow, green and pink food colouring
Lemon flavouring
13 inch round cake board
wooden skewer

Day 1
Colour enough fondant to make 2 strawberries with dark red food dye. Shape fondant into strawberries, using a toothpick press in small holes to look like pips. Colour a small amount of fondant green and shape to resemble the green top of the strawberry, secure with a dampened paintbrush.

To make the candle, roll out a thin rope of white fondant and twirl around a wooden skewer. For the flame colour a small ball of fondant orange and shape into a tear drop. Press the flame onto the top of the candle skewer.

For the flowers, colour a small amount of the fondant pink and roll out thinly. Using a small flower cutter, cut out a bunch of pink blossoms. I used various spoons to shape my flowers.

Cover the cake board with a thin layer of white fondant. For the painted plate details mix together a few drops of pink colouring and ½ a teaspoon of lemon flavouring. Paint a pin ring around the outside of the cake board followed by another around 2 inches in. Using a fine paintbrush paint on the flower detail.

Allow to dry overnight.

Day 2
To shape the cakes make a slice template out of baking paper.
Cut the tops off each of the cakes leaving a flat surface.
Lay the template on the cake and trim to shape.
With a pastry brush, brush all excess crumbs off the cake.

Sandwich the 2 cake halves together with a layer of buttercream, spread the remaining frosting in an even layer over the rest of the cake.
Carefully place the frosted cake onto the cake board.

To decorate the cake colour a third of the remaining fondant light yellow and roll out thinly. Cut shapes and cover the flat sides of the cake. Form a few cake crumb shapes out of any leftover yellow icing

Set aside a small amount of the let over fondant, colour the remaining pink. Roll the pink fondant out thinly and cut to cover the curved back and top of the cake. Cut out a number of various sized tear drops from the pink fondant. Attach the pink drips to the side of the cake using a damp paintbrush.

Roll the set aside white fondant into a thin rope and use to form loops on the back of the cake.

Using a large star tip, pipe swirls of white buttercream onto the top of the cake.

Paint two lines of white buttercream and red food colouring onto the sides of the cake.

For the finishing touches place the strawberries crumbs and flowers, securing with a little buttercream or royal icing. Carefully skewer the candle into the top of the cake.

Now step back and admire what you’ve made, poke your sleeping boyfriend awake and happily show him the cake.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Slice of Cake...Cake

Happy Birthday Mum and many thanks for being as wonderful as you are!

Im soo happy with how this cake worked out, it all went perfectly to plan, I'm pretty proud. The inside of he cake is orange poppy seed, Mums favorite,she loved it!

The scariest part of the whole thing was getting it to my Mum. I packed it up the best I could, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. A bit of a walk and 2 bus trips later I handed it over to Mum, the cake got there pretty and intact. I have to say it was one of the more stressful bus trips I've been on.

The step by step makings of this cake are coming soon.