Sunday, 22 January 2012

A brief pause.......

Hello all,

I am taking, what I hope to be, a short break from baking and blogging to spend a bit of time concentrating on myself. I seem to have taken on too much recently and have realised I have spread myself far too thinly (I am sure eveyone feels like this!). Unfortunately blogging is the only thing I can put to the side for the moment.

I hope to come back to baking and blogging soon. In the meantime, feel free to look at, comment on or try any of the treats I have made in the past.

Thank you for all your great comments over the past year and a bit, you have all been great!

Cake Fairy

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Peppermint Tea Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I was racking my brains for a "healthy" ingredient to go with chocolate for this months We Should Cocoa set by Chele from Chocolate Teapot.

I was browsing around the different blogs I follow and found Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog and What Kate Baked talking about types of tea.

Tea is healthy! Thanks for the inspiration girls!

So I went with a peppermint tea cake with a chocolate cream cheese icing.

Peppermint tea is not only healthy, it's almost medicinal and will help you meet the love of your life! Okay maybe I'm exaggerating but it is good for your tummy, does help with stress and gives you minty fresh breathe for all that potential smooching!

Peppermint tea cake - This recipe is adapted for a 9" cake from the Hummingbird Bakery Book - Cakes days Earl Grey cupcake recipe.

4 peppermint tea bags
4tbsp boiled water
105g softened, butter
320g plain flour
340g caster sugar
small tsp salt
1 tbsp and 1/2 tsp baking powder
270ml milk
3 medium eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 190C and put a shelf in the middle of your oven. Line and grease your 9" cake tin.
2. Leave the tea bags to soak in the boiled water for 30mins.
3. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric whisk.
4. Whisk in the eggs.
5. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Put your whisk on a low speed or stir until just combined.
6. Squeeze every last drop of water out of the tea bags and combine with the milk.
7. Pour in a quarter of the milk mixture  in to the batter and combine. Stir in the rest of the milk until the batter is smooth. Don't over mix.
8. Pour in to your greased baking tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 mins. Until when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean. Try not to open the oven too early as your cake might sink.
9. Leave the cake to cool and slather with chocolate cream cheese icing or cut the cake in half and sandwich with  icing.

Chocolate cream cheese icing

This recipe has real melted chocolate in it and can be found here, over at the cupcake project.


I used my new mini whisk and a heart stencil to make this cute heart (remember peppermint tea helps you find love!). I sifted cocoa powder over the stencil and voila! Cheap and easy way to decorate but looks quite striking I think.

Happy weekend x

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Caramel Cupcakes

Did everyone enjoy the sport relief bake off? I certainly did. 

I sat on the edge of my seat when Anita couldn't get the millionaires short bread of out the tin. 5 mins before I was shouting "line the tin, line the tin!" at the screen.

I chuckled as Angela went slightly manic and started speaking really fast, then breathed a sigh of relief that all her fondant diasys all lined up.

AND I loved seeing last years gbbo contestants in the first episode!

Well done to the winner Anita, her mad hatter cake was fab.

I've been baking mad this week for three reasons. One because of sport relief bake off, two because I had a long hard week at work and needed some baking to cheer me up and three I got a new free standing mixer. 

Whoop, no more hand mixer for me. You can turn it on and walk away!

I baked up a storm on Friday with these caramel cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Book Cake Days. I am so pleased with these cupcakes! The cake is fluffy yet moist with a mild yet consistent caramel taste. The buttercream is airy and not too rich. Perfect with a cup of tea or for dessert.

Caramel Cupcakes

80g unsalted butter (much be soft!)
280g golden sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
240ml milk
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 eggs
160g carnation caramel

1. Preheat your oven to 190C and out a shelf in the middle of the oven. Line your muffin tin with muffin cases.
2. Using an electric whisk, whisk up the butter then add flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. When this has been whisked it should resemble bread crumbs.
3. Whisk up your eggs, milk and vanilla bean paste and our in to the "breadcrumb" mixture.
4. Whisk until combined then add the caramel and again whisk until combined. Try not to over whisk as you won't get rounded tops.
5. Fill your muffin cases up two thirds. I use a jug for this as the mixture is fairly runny.
6. Bake for 18 mins or until a skewer come out clean.

Caramel Buttercream 

500g icing sugar (sounds like a lot but it does work!)
160 butter (must be soft too)
50ml milk
100g carnation caramel

1. Using an electric whisk, whisk together the icing sugar and butter until it again reaches a breadcrumb consistency.
2. Whisk in the milk and caramel. Whisk for ages until it's beautifully fluffy.

Definitely a recipe to be repeated, Delicious.

You can see a sneak preview of my "stained glass windows stars" on top too. Happy Baking!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Raspberry and Baileys Pavlova Roulade and twitter @cakefairyblog

I really don't know what to say about this.

I mean, it's:





and Meringue! Did I say meringue? You know chewy sugary deliciousness. Yes, that meringue.

All rolled up together in a creamy, boozy, yummy greatness. Okay I've lost it - but I just loved this whole dessert.

What I didn't love was the photos. They do not do the roulade justice.

I followed this recipe for the meringue but I added a teaspoon of cream of tartar to make it chewy and spongy. I also baked it for 23 minutes until it was light golden on top. Making a pavlova roulade isn't that hard, I promise, I think it's easier to roll a soft meringue than a swiss roll anyway, but maybe that's just me. When I mentioned I made a pavlova roulade to some friends they all gasped, but I can guarantee it is not as hard as you may think. In fact as the roulade is essentially just whipped egg white that you chuck fruit and cream in - it's simple! You should really try it. Am I selling it enough? I hope so.

Baileys cream

300ml double cream
1 tbsp Baileys
1 heaped tbsp icing sugar

1. Whip up the cream.
2. Fold in the icing sugar and Baileys. Yum.

Rolling and assembling

1. Lay a sheet of baking paper on your surface and dust with icing sugar.
2. Take your pavlova out of the oven and leave to cool. When cooled, pull out of the baking tray with the baking paper you lined it with.
3. Slowly using the baking paper and your arms tip the  meringue over on to the icing sugar surface.
4. Slather with Baileys cream, but don't cover all the way to the ends. You need the front end clear as you are going to roll up this bit first and the back end will have cream pushed over it as you roll.
5. Sprinkle with raspberries.
6. Lift the baking paper at one end and using the paper do a small fold in the pavlova.
7. After each roll give the pavlova a little squeeze to help it along.
8. Keep lifting the baking paper, rolling the pavlova over and squeezing.
9. Keep going (be brave).
10. When you reach the end, pull the baking paper up and forward so the crease is under the roulade.
11. Dust with icing sugar.

This video is also great to run you through it. Antony makes a great easy raspberry sauce which would be delicious too. Pavlova roulades are great, so versatile. As Antony says in the video, you can do so many combinations. The next one I want to try is whipped cream and passion fruit. Excited already.

If you do anything this week, try this. I beg you! (Oh but also follow me on twitter @cakefairyblog #twitternewbie )

Hehe do you like my usage of a hash tag there - I only found out what it was yesterday #feeling smug and cool!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

"Chambord" Macaroons with "Tangerine" buttercream

So it's January and I'm feeling blue.

I have nothing in my life to complain about, yet I still feel heavy and (as my nieice says) grumps.

I guess after all that Christmas frivolity; a holiday from work, lots of delicious food, presents, dancing, singing, beautiful colours and smells and the overwhelming feeling of excitement because santa is coming (!) you would feel down when it all ends at once....

and to top it all off I have to take the tree. sob.

I thought giving myself a good challenge in the kitchen might give me a boost so I made these macaroons the other day.

They are delicious but they don't taste like Chambord or Tangerine.

This happens to me quite a lot when making macaroons, unless the flavour is chocolatey, coffee, caramel - you know those kind of flavours (Do they have a name?) they just taste like almondy chewi-ness which is fiiiiiiiine but when I am trying to make exciting flavours, I want them!

So I was slightly disappointed with these because I can imagine the taste of chambord macaroons with tangy tangerine buttercream and I think it would be good!

I used this recipe from I should have followed the recipe properly and filled it with jam (which would have been yum) but I haaaaad to experiment! Sometimes this works out well but this time only so so.

I didn't use a trusted buttercream recipe = Fail.

The buttercream tasted too plasticky (?) and there was no flavour of tangerine :(

On another note this is the first time I made macaroons with hot sugar syrup (blimey it's scary to make!) because the boys parents bought me a sugar thermometer for Christmas (plus lots of great baking books!). I have to say I didn't notice a huge difference from the ones I've made before but the boy did say they were the best ones I've made yet.

AND they can't have been that bad because my friend, Hannah, tried them and made an order for her wedding! Looking forward to trying out some more flavours and colours for then but I think I'll stick to trusted recipes this time.

My new years resolution/challenge is to get out of my funk quicker this year. I spent yesterday giving myself at least one thing to look forward to each month. Try it, it worked wonders for me!

Happy January (staying positive!)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year - A 2011 round up of baking

Happy new year!

I hope you had a great evening last night and are not feeling too fragile today. We went for a lovely dinner at the house of our friends Dan and Simon. They cooked us a delicious meal. It was a lovely evening with good company, good wine and good games!

As we say goodbye to 2011, I thought I would reflect on my blogging journey so far.

I have been writing for 8 months, have posted 32 times, roughly 4 times a month. That's approximately one cake a week. Yum!

I have found some great blogs, been inspired and challenged by other bloggers, tried out some great recipes and got some super useful tips.

I am so grateful to all of my followers and viewers. I love and appreciate all the comments, feedback and tips I have got from my readers. I wasn't really sure what would happen when I started this blog but I really enjoy writing it and am looking forward to trying out new recipes and settling in to a blogging style.

Just to round up the year, I am posting the 13 (a bakers dozen) most viewed recipes from my blog in 2011. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and I hope you will continue to follow me and comment.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2012 is a great year for us all.

Lots of love x