Sunday, 30 October 2011

Raining Blood cupcakes

I thought long and hard about what would be my special ingredient for my Halloween cupcakes this year. About a month ago I decided and tried to source my chosen ingredient from various places including local shops and even resorted to asking a chosen few people on Twitter (thanks for your help if it was you!!).  I then found out a special license was required to handle my chosen ingredient and I didn't fancy getting into trouble just for baking a cake so I kinda gave up for a few minutes. Who'd have thought pigs blood was so difficult to obtain? That's right - pigs blood. Ever since I'd read about Bocca Di Lupo's Sanguinaccio desert, a sweet pate of pig's blood and chocolate I've wanted to try it and thought Halloween would be the perfect time to try my own cupcake version.

Thankfully Bocca Di Lupo's gelato shop, Gelupo, came to my rescue with their Sanguinaccio gelato - a gelato with chocolate, Marsala and PIG'S BLOOD. Perfect.

I pootled on down to their Soho store and got a few scoops of their Sanguinaccio and rushed it home on the bus to New Cross. The girl in the store was lovely and put it in a special take away container thing for me and it was still frozen when I got home.

I weighed out what I'd need and put the rest in the freezer. I'd tried some in the shop and was pleasantly surprised - a friend had bet me it would taste "like black pudding", (gag) but thankfully it didn't. It was very chocolaty, with a hint of cinnamon and an iron background from the blood. Quite tasty actually.

So I took a photo of the ice cream. It looks kinda like poo...

I did warn you.

Anyways, moving on from the poo image. I used one of my own recipes for boozy cupcakes and replaced all of the milk in the recipe with slightly melted gelato, and also replaced some of the booze with it. I added some Marsala to complement the gelato,  and a wee tipple of Cointreau for good measure. I'm not going to type out the recipe as I'm not sure many people want to make pigs blood ice cream cupcakes. If you do, mail me and the recipe is yours.

I covered them in some creamy marscapone frosting - mainly because I wasn't sure what went with blood (does anyone?) and wanted something a bit lighter to balance out the quite brownie like cakes. I resisted covering them in glitter to signify my favourite vampire in the world as Manny would have ridiculed me with his 'ooooh sparkles' routine and I tire of it and instead splattered them with some coulis.

So how did they taste? Rather good actually - they were like a brownie but a bit lighter -quite squidgy and moist with a boozy kick and just a hint of iron'y goodness. While eating them though I couldn't quite get it out of mind that I was eating blood which is odd as I eat meat but in a desert it just seemed different and a little silly really.

Incase you are wondering where the blog title comes from check out my inspiration - the fabulous Slayer covered in blood playing Raining Blood live.

Happy Halloween everyone and remember everyone's entitled to one good scare!

Monday, 17 October 2011

F*%k You Monday cake

Ever have one of those days where everything is going wrong? That happened to me last Monday so I decided to bake a 'f*%k you Monday' cake.

I had a lot of Pink Lady apples in the house so decided to make my f*%k you Monday cake my entry into the October challenge from The Pink Whisk where the theme was apples.

The Pink Whisk

I based the cake on one of my favourites from the new Cake Days book from the hummingbird bakery - the apple streusel cake. I have made this twice before - once with apples and once with lemon and blueberries (this was amazing!). The cake is easily adaptable, which is the reason I love it so.

For this one I added one of my favourite ingredients to the apples - Speculoos spread. The recipe below is my adapted recipe - for the original please see Cake Days.

Streusel Topping:
1 tsp cinnamon
40g cold unsalted butter, diced
70g soft light brown sugar
70g plain flour

60g unsalted butter at room temp
100g caster sugar
140g plan flour
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
80ml milk
3 pink lady apples
Speculoos spread (optional)

Preheat oven to 170 . Grease 8 inch tin (I line with parchment circles from Lakeland and brush with cake release).

First make the streusel. Put flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the butter and rub until they resemble breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and set aside.

Now the cake - cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add half to the creamed sugar and butter, followed by half the milk. Mix well on medium, scraping down the sides frequently. Repeat with the rest of the dry and wet ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.

Peel, core and slice the apples into thin(ish) slices. Arrange on top of the cake batter, and if using dollop spoonfuls of Speculoos on top of the apples, before sprinkling with the streusel topping to form an even layer.

Bake in over for about 35 - 45 mins - until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool in tin, the scoff with a cup of tea, and some cream/ice cream if you choose and your Monday blues will disappear.

Sorry about the photos - it was a dark and dank day in my New Cross kitchen (f'ing Monday) and our light was all being blocked by scaffolding outside!