Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cake Decorating Border

Rainbow Cake


125g butter , softened, plus a little extra for greasing
225g plain flour
150g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs (very important to use the correct size)
pinch of salt
edible food colouring - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, plus optional pink (see below)
3 x 250g tubs light cream cheese or mascarpone
350g icing sugar

1.   Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Tip all the sponge ingredients, apart from the food colouring, into a mixing bowl, then beat with an electric whisk until smooth.
2.   Working quickly, weigh the mixture into another bowl to work out the total weight, then weigh exactly half the mixture back into the mixing bowl. Pick 2 of your colours and stir a little into each mix. Keep going until you are happy with the colour - the colour of the batter now will be very similar to the finished cake, so be brave! Scrape the different batters into the tins, trying to spread and smooth as much as possible - but try not to waste a drop of the batter - a rubber spatula will help you. Bake on the same oven shelf for 12 mins until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.
3.   Gently turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool. Wash the tins and bowls thoroughly, and start again from step 1 - this time using another 2 colours. Unless you're making the optional pink layer, repeat one more time to get 6 sponges, all of different colours. Leave them all to cool.
4.   To make the icing, very briefly beat the vanilla and cream cheese or mascarpone with an electric whisk until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and gently fold in with a spatula. Be careful - the more you work it, the runnier it will get, increasing the chance of splitting.
5.   Smear a little icing on your cake stand or plate - just a splodge to stick the first sponge. Start with the red, then spread with some icing right to the very edge. Repeat, sandwiching on top the orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple sponges. Spread the remaining icing thickly all over the sides and top of the cake.

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Make Mini Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

300g dark chocolate , broken into chunks - don't use one with a high cocoa content
200g self-raising flour
200g light muscovado sugar , plus 3 tbsp extra
6 tbsp cocoa
150ml sunflower oil , plus a little extra for greasing
284ml pot soured cream

1.   Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and line a 10-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Whizz the chocolate into small pieces in a food processor. In the largest mixing bowl you have, tip in the flour, sugar, cocoa, oil, 100ml soured cream, eggs, vanilla and 100ml water. Whisk everything together with electric beaters until smooth, then quickly stir in 100g of the whizzed-up chocolate bits. Divide between the 10 cases, then bake for 20 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean (make sure you don't poke it into a chocolate chip bit). Cool on a wire rack.
2.   To make the icing, put the remaining chocolate bits, soured cream and 3 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth icing. Chill in the fridge until firm enough to swirl on top of the muffins, then tuck in.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cake Decorating Techniques

Mango & Passion Fruit Roulade

85g golden caster sugar , plus 1 tbsp
85g plain flour , sifted
1 tsp baking powder , sifted
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
flesh from 2 large, ripe passion fruits
mangoes , peeled and cut into small chunks
250g frozen raspberries , defrosted
200g tub 2% Greek yogurt or very low-fat fromage frais

1.   Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Grease and line a 30 x 24cm Swiss roll tin with nonstick paper. Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and beat with electric beaters until thick and light, about 5 mins. Fold in the flour and baking powder, then the vanilla. Tip into the tin, tilt to level the mix, then bake for 12-15 mins until golden and just springy. Turn onto another sheet of paper, dusted with 1 tbsp caster sugar. Roll the paper up inside the sponge, then leave to cool completely. Sponge can be frozen for up to 1 month.
2.   Fold sugar, passion fruit pulp and one-third of the mango and raspberries into the yogurt. Unroll the sponge, spread with filling, then roll up. Serve with the rest of the fruit on the side. Roulade can be filled and rolled up to 2 hrs before serving and kept in the fridge.

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Cake Decorating Borders

Cornish Fish Pie

1kg potato , cut into large chunks
150g butter
750ml milk
700g skinless white fish
2 bay leaves
100g prawns , cooked and peeled
eggs , hard boiled and quartered
60g plain flour
small bunch parsley , chopped
100g grated cheddar cheese

1.   Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Simmer the potatoes for about 20 minutes until tender, then drain and mash with half the butter and a little milk. Season.
2.   Meanwhile, bring the rest of the milk to a simmer in a frying pan, add the fish and bay leaves, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove the fish (keep the poaching milk) and flake into a dish, sprinkle the prawns and egg on top.
3.   Melt the rest of the butter in a pan, add the flour and mix, then gradually add 300ml of the poaching milk, mixing constantly until all the milk has been absorbed. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes then take off the heat and mix in the parsley. Season. Pour over the fish and prawns. Spoon the mash over so it covers everything, then sprinkle with the cheese.
4.   Cook for 20 minutes in the oven until the top is golden.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Fondant Cake Decorating - Making Flowers

Simple Chocolate Button Egg

200g good-quality dark chocolate , plus a little extra for decorating (we used Green & Black's 82%)
25g bag chocolate buttons
25g bag white chocolate buttons , with speckles
ribbon , approx 50 cm long
2 chocolate egg moulds, clean flat pastry brush or small paintbrush

1.   Break the chocolate into pieces and gently melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and leave until cool, but still runny. Spoon a quarter of the chocolate into one of the egg moulds and spread thickly over the inside with a flat pastry brush or paintbrush. Be sure to cover the sides well, as this makes it easier to join the edges. Check that the chocolate is even by holding the mould up to the light. Repeat with the other mould. Leave in a cool place to set, then chill for 5 mins. TIP: Putting the egg halves in the fridge once the chocolate has set makes it easier to add another layer of warm chocolate. Don't be tempted to leave the moulds in the fridge any longer than necessary as condensation could cause the chocolate to discolour.
2.   Re-warm the remaining chocolate and repeat the process for each side of the mould, saving about 1 tbsp of chocolate for later. Use a knife to scrape away any excess around the rim of the mould to give a clean, straight edge. Turn out each half onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, carefully pulling away the mould until it releases itself.
3.   Place one half of the egg on its back (you can create a nest of scrunched greaseproof paper to stop it from rolling about). Warm the reserved chocolate and brush around the edge of the egg. Place the other half on top and press together. You can seal the join further by brushing with a little more chocolate and filling in any jagged edges or holes. Leave in a cool place to set firm.
4.   To decorate, use the paintbrush to dab a little chocolate on the backs of the chocolate buttons. Gently press them onto the egg. For the finishing touch, tie the ribbon around the middle to hide the join.

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Fondant Cake Decorating

Jo Wheatley’s Raspberry Red Velvet Cake

280g golden caster sugar
175g butter , softened
3 large eggs
280g self-raising flour
75g cocoa powder
150ml buttermilk
1 tsp white wine vinegar
85g full-fat cream cheese
75g puréed raspberries , sieved to remove seeds
¼ tsp red food gel
150g punnet raspberries , optional

200g icing sugar
50g butter , softened
140g cream cheese
  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment. Using an electric hand whisk, beat together the caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add half to the egg mixture and fold in carefully. Mix together the buttermilk, vinegar, cream cheese, raspberry purée and food gel. Fold half the buttermilk mixture into the cake batter and repeat the process with both the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture.
  • Spoon the combined mixtures into your prepared tins and cook for about 25-30 mins, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack.
  • For the frosting, mix together the icing sugar and butter until soft and creamy, then stir in the cream cheese. Sandwich the cooled cakes together with half of the frosting, adding 150g fresh raspberries if you like, then spread the remaining frosting over the top. Will keep for up to 3 days in a cool place.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make A Giant Cupcake Pinata from Chocolate for Easter

Edd Kimber’s Bakewell Ombre Cake

325g plain flour
25g cornflour
4½ tsp baking powder
225g butter , at room temperature
400g golden caster sugar
2 tsp almond extract
5 medium egg whites , lightly beaten
300ml whole milk
300g butter , at room temperature
625g icing sugar
450g full-fat cream cheese
300g seedless raspberry jam
red paste food colouring

1.   Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease 3 x 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment, greasing the parchment, too.
2.   In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt, then set aside. Put the butter in a large bowl and beat for about 3 mins until smooth and creamy. Add the caster sugar and beat for about 5 mins until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and mix to combine.
3.   Add the egg white a little at a time, beating until fully combined. Sift in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, but starting and finishing with the flour.
4.   Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins, gently levelling out. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 mins before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. The sponge is quite delicate, so take care when working with the cooled cake.
5.   For the frosting, beat the butter for about 3 mins until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar, a little bit at a time, until fully combined. Beat the frosting until light and smooth, then add the cream cheese and half the jam. Mix until just smooth - don't overmix as it will get thinner the more you stir.
6.   Put the first cake on a serving plate and spread a layer of the frosting over the top. Then spread half the remaining jam evenly over the frosting. Repeat with the second cake and finally place the third cake on top. Cover the outside of the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting using a palette knife, and put it in the fridge while you prepare the frosting for the decoration.
7.   Divide the remaining frosting between 3 small bowls. Add about ½ tsp of red paste colouring to one of the bowls and about 1 tsp colouring to another bowl, leaving the third bowl as it is. You want to have three bowls of frosting with clearly different colours.
8.   To decorate the cakes, put each frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip. Pipe 6 dots of frosting up the cake, 2 of each colour, with the darkest at the base of the cake. Use a teaspoon or small palette knife to smear the frosting to the right. Repeat the piping process, moving the dots up one so that as you pipe around the cake the colour will graduate in a swirl. For the top, pipe 2 rings of the darker pink dots around the outside, spreading the frosting in the same fashion, followed by 2 rings of the medium pink dots, and finish with the lighter frosting in the middle. Will keep for up to 3 days, chilled.

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How to Bake and Decorate a Cake

John Whaite's Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Salted Caramel Butter Cream


125ml sunflower oil , plus extra for greasing
7 large eggs , separated
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
375g golden caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g light soft brown sugar
150ml double cream
140g butter , softened
250ml double cream
250g dark chocolate , finely chopped or grated
sea salt crystals, to decorate

1.   Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 25cm round deep cake tin with baking parchment. In a large bowl, mix the oil, egg yolks, vanilla paste, caster sugar and 200ml water until well combined. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
2.   Sift in the flour, bicarb and 1 tsp salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into the batter with a large metal spoon and mix until everything is well combined.
3.   Gently pour the mixture into your cake tin, then bang it on the work surface twice to expel any large air pockets. Bake for 1 hr 10 mins or until the cake springs back when gently prodded and an inserted skewer comes out clean. (Cover with foil after 1 hr if the cake starts to get too dark.) Remove from the oven, cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a large wire rack and peel off the parchment. Leave until the cake is completely cool.
4.   Make the salted caramel icing while the cake bakes. Heat the brown sugar, ½ tsp salt and cream in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Bubble for a few mins, then leave to cool completely. Beat the butter until smooth, pour in the cooled cream mixture and continue mixing until softly whipped. Chill until needed.
5.   To make the ganache, heat the cream until just boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a few mins until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth sauce consistency. Leave to cool at room temperature until the ganache is a pipeable thickness, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. To finish the cake, slice in half and fill with the salted caramel buttercream. Pipe tall spikes of chocolate ganache on top and decorate with the sea salt crystals. Will keep for up to 2 days in a cool place.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Multi Tone Cake and Swirls

Cherry & Almond Cake


250g butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
eggs , beaten
250g self-raising flour , plus an extra 2 tbsp
zest 1 orange , plus 2 tbsp of the juice
250g natural marzipan , coarsely grated (easiest if chilled beforehand)
½ tsp almond essence, optional
200g glacé cherries , halved
100g icing sugar , sifted
50g toasted flaked almonds
12 natural glacé cherries
zest 1 orange

1.   Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and butter and line a 20cm round, loose-bottomed deep cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar together with electric beaters or a tabletop mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 250g flour, baking powder, orange zest and juice and beat well till thick, creamy and evenly mixed.
2.   Toss cherries in the extra 2 tbsp flour and fold into the batter along with grated marzipan and almond essence (if using). Spoon into the prepared tin, level and bake for 1 hr 30 mins, or until well risen and golden. A skewer will come out clean when ready. Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins, then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
3.   Mix the icing sugar with just over 1 tbsp water to make a loose but not-too-runny icing. Scatter the almonds over the top of the cake and position the 12 glace cherries around the edge, using a dot of the icing to fix. Drizzle the icing over the cake and finish with a scattering of orange zest.

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Butterfly Birthday Cake Decorating Ideas

Chocolate Krispie Chick


175g milk chocolate , broken into pieces, plus extra for decorating
50g Rice Krispies cereal
2 x 50g bags chocolate mini eggs
2 white chocolate buttons
50g golden marzipan
25g white chocolate , broken into pieces, plus extra for decorating, melted and cooled a little
2 chocolate egg moulds,piping bag,rolling pin,flat pastry brush or small paintbrush
1.   Break the chocolate into pieces and gently melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir until smooth, then take off the heat and and stir in the Rice Krispies, mixing well to coat. Spoon half the mix into one of the moulds, then use the back of your spoon to press it into a thick, even layer. Be sure to cover the whole of the inside, leaving a thick edge. Repeat with the other mould and leave in a cool place to set. Put the moulds in the fridge for 5 mins. TIP: Putting the egg halves in the fridge once the chocolate has set makes it easier to add another layer of warm chocolate. Don't be tempted to leave the moulds in the fridge any longer than necessary as condensation could cause the chocolate to discolour.
2.   Carefully unmould the eggs. Fill one half with a few mini eggs, then fix the halves together with melted chocolate. Patch any holes with a few extra Rice Krispies and melted chocolate. Leave in a cool place to set.
3.   To make the eyes, paint blobs of melted milk chocolate onto the white chocolate buttons. Fix onto the egg using a little more chocolate. Spoon the white chocolate into a small piping bag, then pipe a beak and wings onto the egg and allow to set.
4.   For the feet, roll out the marzipan on a sheet of greaseproof paper to about ½ cm thick. Using a knife, cut out two feet, making them large enough for the egg to sit on. Once the egg has completely set, place the chick on its feet, pressing down so that it stays upright. Finish by scattering some mini eggs around your chick to create a nest

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easy Icing

Frosted white chocolate Easter cake


250g butter , plus a little extra for greasing
140g white chocolate , broken into pieces
250ml milk
250g self-raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g caster sugar
2 large eggs , lightly beaten

300g tub Philadelphia cheese
85g butter , softened
100g icing sugar , sifted
mini eggs , to decorate (or use 50g/2oz chopped hazelnuts)

1.   Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Grease a deep 23cm cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Place the butter, white chocolate, milk and vanilla extract in a small saucepan, then heat gently, stirring, until melted. Combine the flour, bicarb and sugar in a large bowl with a pinch of salt, then stir in the melted ingredients and eggs until smooth. Pour the batter into the tin, then bake for 1 hr, or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin. Once cool, the cake can be wrapped in cling film and foil, then frozen for up to 1 month.
2.   To make the frosting, beat together the Philadelphia, butter and icing sugar until smooth. Spread over the cake, then decorate with mini eggs.

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Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate, Orange & Almond Simnel Cake

250g slightly salted butter , plus extra for greasing
100g orange-flavoured plain chocolate or 100g plain chocolate plus 2 tsp orange extract
400g plain flour
500g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa , plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
284ml tub buttermilk
zest and juice 1 orange

85g golden caster sugar
100g icing sugar , plus extra to decorate
200g ground almonds
50g cocoa powder , plus extra for dusting
egg , plus 1 yolk, beaten

2 x 250g/9oz tubs mascarpone
250g butter , softened
250g icing sugar
zest 2 oranges plus 100ml juice

1.   Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of two deep 23cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and chocolate in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in your largest mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, orange zest and juice together in a jug. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 150ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump-free. Divide between the tins and bake for 45 mins - swapping the tins round after 30 mins if on different shelves. To test they're done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins.
2.   Meanwhile, make the marzipan. Mix the sugars, ground almonds and cocoa in a bowl. Make a well in the middle, tip in the egg and egg yolk and mix together with a cutlery knife before kneading with your hands to a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and set aside. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week if making ahead.
3.   Make the frosting: beat the mascarpone and butter together until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, add the zest and juice, then beat again until combined.
4.   To assemble, split each cake in half horizontally. Dot a little frosting on your serving plate and sit one of the cake halves on top. You'll use about half the frosting to sandwich the cakes together - spread the plated-up cake with some frosting, then repeat to sandwich the remaining cakes on top. Brush the top of the cake with a tiny bit more frosting.
5.   Roll out the marzipan, on a dusting of cocoa if you need, to a rough 27cm circle. Using your cake tin like a cookie cutter, stamp out a marzipan circle, then carefully lift this onto the top of your cake. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 small balls and stick them on top, using a little more frosting or water like glue. Spread the remaining frosting round the outside of the cake, then dust the top with a little more cocoa and icing sugar.

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