Cupcakes For Baby Ella

Isn’t social networking great?
I have recently had the pleasure of meeting with some lovely people I have been chatting with on Twitter through our shared love of baking at a Charity Cupcake Bake-Off in Edinburgh.

About a year and a half ago I was contacted on Facebook by Jill, who I hadn’t seen in over 10 years.
We went to the same High School in Lisburn, Co Antrim, but were an academic year apart.
Jill contacted me after I had put a comment on Facebook about being out and about in Glasgow one day. It turned out we live a 15 minute walk from each other in Glasgow’s West End, so we quickly decided to meet for coffee and cake!
From this quick catch up over coffee and cake, Jill and I have enjoyed many coffee and cake dates over the last 18 months, with the occasional glass of wine too!
As two Northern Irish gals with shared life experiences, living in Glasgow, married to Scots, we have plenty to chat about!
I now consider Jill as one of my closest friends, so was thrilled when she first told me she was pregnant!

In March 2012 Jill gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and named her Ella.
I had been planning these cupcakes for this little one long before her arrival into the world.





Congratulations to Jill & Iain on the birth of their gorgeous baby girl, and Thanks to Facebook for putting me in touch with Jill… a great friend! xx

Spring Flowers Cupcakes

Today I attended a Cupcake Bake-Off at Sofi’s Bar in Edinburgh, to raise money for the MS Society.
The event was planned by 3 very lovely Edinburgh Cake Ladies; Fiona, Katey and Victoria.

I had a lovely afternoon. I met some lovely people who love to bake as much as I do, and sampled some seriously delicious cupcakes! My personal favourites were Melissa‘s Lime & Coconut Cupcakes.
Most importantly, the afternoon raised £460.56 for the MS Society, so well done Fiona, Katey and Victoria, and Thankyou for all your hard work in planning and organising this event.

The theme for the cupcakes was Spring.
Inspired by a recent issue of Cake Craft & Decoration magazine, and Paul Bradford’s How to make a Sugar Daffodil video, I decided to go with Spring Flowers for my decoration, and raspberry & white chocolate for my cupcake. Half were fondant topped, and half with the traditional buttercream.

Of the fondant topped cupcakes the Daffodil, Hyacinth, & Rose cupcakes are my favourites.




For the buttercream-topped cupcakes, I went for a simple flat top of buttercream with a swirl, adorned with rainbow-coloured Hydrangeas.


All boxed up, and ready to go…



There was a great turn out today, with so many delicious cupcakes. I was thrilled and surprised when it was announced that my cupcakes won first prize!
I can’t wait to book my prize of a Chocolate Connoisseur Evening at Coco in Edinburgh. Just have to decide who to take with me…

A Birthday Cake For Fiona

Last night Mr Hungry Squirrel and I went out for dinner to celebrate my Mother-In-Law’s birthday.

I decided to make a birthday cake for Fiona as part of her birthday present.
The inspiration for this cake was Fiona’s engagement ring, which features a beautiful flower of aquamarine petals.


The cake itself was a classic Victoria Sponge, sandwiched with buttercream and raspberry jam.

I used the pretty Hydrangea Cutter for the delicate floral decor, and Ice Blue by Sugarflair colour paste to achieve this beautiful shade of blue.


I was thrilled with how the cake turned out, and it tasted delicious too! Most importantly, Fiona was over the moon.


I couldn’t resist showing you this cheeky looking Hungry Squirrel I picked up in Glasgow’s West End on Monday! :0)

Delia’s Squidgy Chocolate Log

Regular readers will be aware that, inspired by the Edinburgh Cake Ladies and the West Lothian Baking Club, I have recently set up the Glasgow Baking Club.
We had our very first meeting on Sunday April 01. The theme for the first meeting was Your Favourite Bakes.

This was a no-brainer for me… it had to be Delia Smith’s Squidgy Chocolate Log.
This heavenly chocolate mousse and cream-filled flour-less chocolate roulade is one of my earliest food memories.
My Mother would often make this when having friends round for dinner. I would be first in line to lick the bowl when Mum was making this, and was thrilled to help use up the leftovers the day after Mum & Dad’s dinner guests had been.

The other thing I love about this recipe is that the ingredients list is so short and simple.  One of the things I love most about baking is taking 4 or 5 ingredients and creating something so delicious!

Read more about the first meeting of the Glasgow Baking Club, and feast your eyes on all the other beautiful bakes.

The Recipe

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder, sifted
Filling

  • 225g dark chocolate (I use Bournville)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 250ml double cream, softly whipped

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Lightly grease and line a swiss roll tin (29cm x 18cm x 2.5cm) with baking parchment.

Begin by making the filling…

Break the dark chocolate up into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with the water, and place over a pan of simmering water, until melted.

Remove from the heat and combine by stirring until smooth.
Leave until cool.

Beat the 2 egg yolks, lightly, on their own, and then into the chocolate mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then fold into the chocolate mixture (I start by folding in a third of the egg whites to loosen the mixture before folding in the remaining egg whites).


Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate.

Now, time to make the cake…


In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks until they start to thicken, then add the caster sugar and whisk until incorporated. Take care not to let the mixture get too thick.

Add the sifted cocoa powder, and combine until smooth.

In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage, and then fold gently into the chocolate mixture.


Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

When ready the cake will be puffy and springy, and a fine skewer inserted into the bake should come out clean.


Leave in the cake tin to cool completely.
It will shrink considerably as it cools.


For the assembly…

Turn the cake out onto a piece of baking parchment dusted with icing sugar.

Peel the baking parchment away from the bottom of the cake, which should now be facing upwards.

Spread the chocolate filling over the cake, followed by the whipped cream.



Be brave and roll!


Delia rolls with the shortest end nearest you, which, in my opinion, gives you a short stubby-looking roulade.
I prefer a longer roulade, so roll with the longest end nearest me!


Enjoy!

NB – If you don’t have it already, Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course is a bookshelf essential!