Sunday, 20 September 2009

Testing the Primrose Bakery book

Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery arrived on Thursday am at work and it was SOOO beautiful I left as early as possible to test out the vanilla cupcake recipe!

The recipe was quite different to the usual Hummingbird one I use - using self raising and plain flour and more eggs but apart from that it was the usual suspects of the cupcake recipe. I was quite concerned that the recipe kept telling me to mix lots as I'm used to not over-mixing being the norm for my cupcake baking. It was all quite easy except I was a bit worried when I went to fill my cupcake cases and there seemed to be LOADS of mixture! I divided it between the 12 cases recommended and put them in the oven to bake.

Firstly can I say the smell was heavenly - cakes baking always smell good but these ones wafted a gorgeous smell throughout my house. I had a peek half way through cooking time (through the glass door, don't worry!) and they seemed to be doing well, 5 minutes later I looked again and they were rising into MONSTERS!! When they were fully cooked they were HUGE!

I left them to cool and started to make the frosting. It was only then I realised the frosting recipe was for 15-20 cupcakes - which I find quite annoying when the recipes are for 12 cupcakes. What am I going to do with the extra frosting? I know I could eat it but I eat enough frosting without making extra for goodness sake! So I halved the ingredients and thought if there wasn't enough I'd deal with the consequences later. As it turned out there was just enough to cover all the cakes - I think they could've used a smidge more frosting but then that's just because the frosting was TO DIE FOR! Seriously - it was FAB. Very tasty and very much like you get in their shops :)

When it came to frosting them they were quite difficult as they were a bit bumpy on top (and I can never bring myself to cut off the extra cake on top to make a flat surface as I've read some people do!). Next time I'll follow their easy (looking) guide on how to frost a cupcake the Primrose way which calls for lots of frosting!

So the frosting was gorge - the cakes were a little dense, which I think was to do with the over-mixing - next time I'll be a bit more conscious of the mixing. Also I'd have added a wee bit more vanilla to the base - maybe fresh rather than the good quality extract I use. I was a little disappointed on the day with their dense texture however the next day they tasted really good - still a little dense but still much better than some I've had by professionals so I was quite chuffed.

The book is full of really gorgeous sounding recipes including the lovely rose cupcakes I like so much from Primrose - and lots of festive and seasonal cupcakes - I may try out their Halloween suggestions. As well as cupcakes it features a few of their layer cake recipes but none of their yummy biscuits which is a shame. The book photography is pure food porn - just looking at it makes you want to slap on a pinny and get baking - or pop to one of their shops if you don't fancy baking!

Finally as you can see in the pics they're not the prettiest looking cupcakes ever - a bit lumpy and bumpy but the lovely cases do help them look prettier I think. They're from Squires Kitchen and I highly recommend them - the best cupcake cases I've used!


Manny said...

I think you cupcakes looked lovely and more to the point, they tasted amazing :) I've said it before, but you really do have a talent for this baking malarkey!

I heart cupcakes said...

Aw thanks hon x

Anonymous said...

wow the cakes look great! My favourite cupcakes are ones that rise in to monsters - I find them so much easier to frost! Funny about them recommending lots of mixing though, I always find that when I try these recipes handed out from the professional bakeries there is always something not quite right....well they are hardly going to give away their secrets are they? I've tried a number of recipes including one from Fair Cake which was the worst ever!

I heart cupcakes said...

@Anon - these ones were actually quite easy to frost I have to say! I think I shall try them again and mix a bit less and add a bit more vanilla!
I've not tried the Fair Cake recipe - ate one of their cakes and it was quite nice.
True what you say re giving their secrets away - although their frosting was very similar to the one in their bakery

cazzer84may said...

Oh my word!! Hooray! I made these cupcakes on Saturday night and although delicious they were so heavy I nearly broke my wrist! lovely 'vanillaery' flavour, super sweet and delicious icing but the sponge was so dense!

I personally put this down to the lack of beating of the sugar and butter as I had to do it by hand and gave in when they looked mixed but I since hear the mixture should look pale (almost white?!) and creamy which mine certainly didn't - more yellow and gritty!

Great blog, and great to hear other peoples views on the same recipes! xxx

Anonymous said...

I have just tried out a cupcake recipe from the primrose bakery book and also found the cakes to be dense and a bit 'bready'. Not sure why, though I did mix a lot as recommended. Slightly disappointed with the result especially the one I tasted before icing. They look OK and do taste better with the frosting on top. Bethan H x

I heart cupcakes said...

Hi Bethan
I really should do some updates on my cookery books - most of the cakes I've made from Primrose have been quite dense and I don't think that it's my fault as I don't over mix at all. I recommend the new Lola's book or I've put up a good vanilla cupcake recipe on here if you search!
Thanks for commenting

Anonymous said...

Add a teaspoon of baking powder and they are much less dense!

I heart cupcakes said...

Thanks Anon. I have my own recipes now I use and never really bother with the Primrose book, apart from their chocolate frosting which I still like!
I should really do some updates on the books I use/cake places I recommend
Thanks though :)