Monday, 27 August 2007

Cupcakes and memories....

This morning I made coffee Cupcakes! Since my last attempt I have done a bit of research. In the UK we call a cupcake a 'fairy cake' or 'bun'. and We don't decorate them quite as elaborate as their American cousins.

My mum used to make 'buns' all the time for Birthdays, Christmas or any time we were craving something sweet. I have many fond memories of these little buns .....decorated with glace royal icing with silver balls, sugared diamonds in pretty patterns, and the bun dipped upside down in hundreds and thousands (sprinkles)! My mum was an avid baker, she too loved to spend many hour in the kitchen learning all she could, over the years mum has collected many decorating and recipe books. When I moved house earlier this year I took the books with me, last night I was up till 3.30 am reading them! The books are from 1979 - 80s, yes I am a 80s child! They are full of tried and tested recipes and beautiful blissful images. The centre folds are full of typical 70s party tables complete with over decorated iced cakes! ha,ha. I was drooling and indulging in the past I nearly started baking there and then at 3.00am.........

One of the books is from the company who produce flour 'Be-Ro'. Again this book has a pretty 70s lady on the front in her kitchen whipping up some confectionery dream.... This book contains the recipe I used to make my new updated buns/cupcakes. At some point I hope to share these images with you........

Here is the recipe for Coffee Cupcakes/fairy cakes......

4 oz Margarine/Butter

4 oz Sugar

6 oz Self Raising Flour

2 Eggs

1 & half tsp Coffee

If you would like to convert these measurement to cups or grams etc, here is a fantastic converter at 'Diana's Deserts'

1. Cream the butter and sugar until pale in colour and fluffy.
2. Add Egg and tbsp Flour. Beat well. Add second egg and another spoon of flour (stops Egg curdling) Beat until combined
3. Dissolve coffee in just enough hot water for coffee to dissolve. Let cool.
4. Add coffee to egg mix, beat in.
5. On slow speed fold in flour to egg mixture. Adding in stages until well combined.
6. Spoon into cases half full. Bake in a moderate oven. 170-180 C. 20-25 mins.

I am quite pleased with the way these cupcakes turned are my family! I think this is a basic cupcake recipe that can be fine tuned into a more elaborate cake using advanced flavours and designs, the mixture is firm enough to hold nuts choc chips etc.....

To complete the cupcake I made Coffee Butter cream
2 oz Margarine
6 oz Icing (powdered) Sugar
2 tsp Spoon Coffee - dissolved in small amount hot water

1. Cream margarine, add icing sugar beat slowly until combined
2. Add cooled coffee, add remaining icing sugar beat well until stiff consistency. Add more icing if too soft.
3. Pipe using a icing nozzle of choice. Add sieved coco powder to top.

The Be-Ro website has many great recipes. Somewhat different to the old book I own but still as good. here is the link

I hope to improve my cupcake decorating techniques in the future! and plan on bringing more try outs to the blog, I might leave baking for a while and get back to my Halloween stitching that's waiting for me.

I am making door hanging pillows, I really want to complete them in time for fall so until next time................I hope you like the recipe, let me know if you try it, I would love to hear how you used it.
See you soon
Priscilla x

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Baking Day...

Recently the weather has been so dull it has led me to start thinking about Autumn, planning seasonal decor, get-together's and recipes...... My first thoughts were to baking. As it happens it was a beautiful summer day yesterday so I put some cheery music on and decided I would try my hand at making cupcakes. I am used to making cakes but never made cupcakes, I chose my usual sponge cake recipe to split between the muffin tin. I have just moved into my very first house, and been able to bake and have more room has been greatly anticipated,It was a love I had not been able to thoroughly indulge in till now. I must say I was rather excited! A new oven, new kitchen, new pans oh the thrill....ha,ha.

At Christmas my parents bought me a kenwood mixer, I had been thinking about moving out for a while, so every Christmas or Birthday I would be bought something for my 'Bottom Drawer' Last Christmas I was given the ultimate present, which I love them for and will always treasure.

I gathered all the ingredients, prepared my pan etc and came to weigh the ingredients to find the battery had give up in my scales! I didn't want to quit, I was in the mood to bake and I Was going too....

I own a set of measuring cups, I searched to find a new recipe using cup measurements and couldn't find one, so I guessed.......

This Is the recipe I tried
1 & Half Cup Self Raising Flour
1 & Half Cup Sugar
1 & Half Cup Marg
3 Eggs
Choc Chips

This First batch of Cupcakes did not quite turn out as I had hoped, I placed too much batter in the papers, also not enough flour to keep the shape, I ended up with a run together almost Swiss Roll! I added quite a bit more flour, they turned out ok but the bottoms burned, by this time nearly two hour had passed and I had no cupcakes to show for it....

On My last attempt I lifted the shelf higher and produced 6 cupcakes! Considering so much time, Love (and sweat) went into making them I thought they deserved their photo taken......... The beautiful plate they are on is from a set my Grandma gave me as a moving in present, I am enjoying everything at the moment, it is all new, fresh and a new beginning, admittedly a little strange....

As the evening began to approach, I cleared everything away and looked for something to store the cupcakes in. Many years ago we had a biscuit tin containing Cadburys biscuits, I think the tin was celebrating an anniversary. I absolutely adore this tin, it has such a vintage feel of times gone.

I have been searching the web for recipes, I hope to post more pictures of my trials with cupcakes, I plan on making some for Halloween.I have found some fantastic Blogs full of recipes and Inspiration

As I walked back to my parents house from my house that evening I had a chance to take some photos,

the sun was just setting at the point where it makes everything look beautiful, here are some pictures of my new home.........

My home is part of a barn conversion, it used to be a cattle barn. There are 4 cottages in the building, mine is the end no 4.

A little peek into the woods........
It was such a lovley day baking and spending time at home, getting to know my new enviroment. I even met the neighbours, the ones who own two goats, I see them outside on a morning, their cat walks on my lawn. I feel lucky to indulge in such simple pleasures......

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Enjoying the Sunshine....


What a gorgeous day its been here in the uk, I am especially pleased to be a part of the blogging community although I must admit it feels strange to think anyone will actually read my blog, 'Will any one be interested in the type of things I put on here'? I am just hoping that sharing the things I love will also appeal to others......

Yesterday the rain came and didnt let up, so I got one of my autumn craft projects together and spent the day snuggled inside working on that, but today is so very warm I had to get out and take some pictures of a rose bush I have growing at my parents house, I have recently gained a love for gardening and enjoying the simple pleasure of looking out at the delicate blooms and colours.

Don't you just love a good book on a nice day? I have just finished reading Laura childs - jasmine moon murder and i am itching to read the rest in the series, such cozy pretty descriptions of country villages, baking, holidays and an un-expected murder!
The Jasmine Moon Murder (Tea Shop Mysteries)

I love summer reading, I place these amongst my 'to read' pile of books . Alongside decor magazines, recipe books, craft projects and finishing Harry Potter book 6 so I can read the last book 7!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

First Blog.......
This is the first blog I have ever created, I am new to all this and not too sure what I am doing! I have an idea of the way I want the blog to look and the type of things I hope to place on here. I would really like to have a vintage background and share photos of my family, home, things I love and crafting projects. (The photo to the left is from a vintage postcard which I adore) I would like this blog to be a place that other families and friends can visit and share what they love also. I hope it will be a place to meet new friends from all over the world, that would be lovely........

Books I have read and enjoyed

I am counting down..