Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Only 87 days till Christmas

I've been feeling very festive recently and now that Next have launched their Cupcake Christmas guide I'm ready to put up the tree and turn the fairy lights on!

Every year they seem to bring out new things I want - this year the ceramic rolling pin is on my must have list.

Last year lots of you missed out on the ceramic measuring cups and I still receive emails asking me to find them, or sell mine to people, so if you want them this year you'd best be quick. I also love the heart measuring spoons. I can never have too many measuring spoons.

I spotted the cupcake stand mixer some time ago, and had hoped to give one away on the blog but alas it wasn't to happen. It's cute though and good for young bakers I'd say. There is also a cute cupcake kit for beginners.

Also perfect for the cold weather ahead - the cupcake draught excluder. I have to get one to keep out the winter chills!

I also like how Next have incorporated the cupcake phenomenon in with crafting - the little sewing kit is very cute.

If you want any of the cupcake items I say buy them asap as they really do sell out quickly - last year we had to schlep to Bromley to get some of it!

Thanks to TCake for alerting me to the new guide being online.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Introducing the Lemmy

This is a cupcake for beer drinkers and hellraisers, for fans of rock and roll, and more importantly, Lemmy and Jack Daniels.

I once presented Lemmy with a Jack Daniels cake and a giant bottle of JD on his birthday following another legendary gig at Hammersmith Odeon so it seemed fitting that I name a cupcake featuring his favourite tipple in his honour.

I have made some JD and coke cupcakes before following a recipe in a book where lounging on a set looking like Little Red Riding Hood appears to have been more important than recipes that resulted in flavoursome cupcakes so this time I went with a coca cola cake from Nigella, tweaked slightly and a chocolate and Jack Daniels frosting using my favourite chocolate frosting recipe. The Lemmy - aka the Jack Daniels and coke cupcake was born.

Then came a little twist.

I've been thinking of ways to ensure alcoholic cupcakes retain that boozy element. All too often they are disappointing.  If you bake it into the cake it bakes away. Make a sugar syrup with alcohol and it burns off, too much in the frosting can react badly with the sugar. My plan was instead to inject it into the sponge, but instead of injecting it in pre-frosting which can result in a soggy bottom, I decided instead to use a pipette featuring a shot of JD which you can inject into the base when you're about to eat it - giving the cupcake a good boozy kick and ensuring no soggy bottoms!

While the cake tasted fab with the JD shot in it I wasn't impressed with the coke cake by itself - it was rather bland, so next time I shall use my own recipe. Then again it wouldn't be a Lemmy cupcake without the Jack Daniels now would it?
Turn the stereo to 11, put on the Ace of Spades and enjoy \m/

Lemmy photographed at the Sheraton Park Tower,London, November 2010 Photograph: Levon Biss

Turn the stereo up to 11, bung on the Ace of Spades and enjoy \m/