Gluten-Free S’mores Cupcakes

fullsizeoutput_3b4aThese sweet and sticky cupcakes bring me back to the summer, when I made my first real s’mores with friends on camp. We had a bonfire night in the forest, the stars above us as we danced around the flames in the gathering dark. It may be approaching winter now, but with this new recipe, you’ll be able to savour your sweet summer memories all year round. Unfortunately, we don’t have graham crackers in the UK, so I’ve substituted the classic ingredient with digestive biscuits (much to my American friends’ disgust).

Ingredients (makes 22 cupcakes)

For the cake batter:

300g butter

300g caster sugar

300g gluten-free self-raising flour

5 eggs

2tsp vanilla essence

To decorate:

250g butter

425g icing sugar

75g cocoa powder

100g dark chocolate chips

1 pack mini marshmallows

4 gluten free digestive biscuits

edible glitter (optional)

fullsizeoutput_3b4bMethod

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with cupcake cases
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the eggs, flour and vanilla essence and mix well
  4. Put one and a half ice cream scoopfuls of batter into each cupcake case and put in the oven for 18-20 minutes
  5. To make the chocolate frosting, cream the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder together until smooth and fluffy (add 2tbsp water to loosen if necessary)
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the frosting in a double layered ring on each cupcake using a star tipped piping nozzle
  7. Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave at 20 second intervals, mixing in between, until smooth
  8. Pipe the melted chocolate (using a small piping bag or ziplock bag) on top of the frosting ring, gently guiding it down the sides so that it drips
  9. Top the cupcakes with mini marshmallows and crushed biscuits (and edible glitter, of course)
Advertisements

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

IMG_5753

Ingredients (makes 17 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes 

  • 225g plain flour
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp spice mix
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 50g honey
  • 115g golden syrup
  • 50ml cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80ml orange juice

To decorate

  • 250g Sugar and Crumbs salted caramel icing sugar
  • 50g regular icing sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 1 pack Renshaw dark brown, chocolate flavoured fondant
  • gold edible dust
  • edible glitter

Special equipment needed

  • Fondant decorating stencils
  • Paintbrush
  • Scone cutter
  • Star piping nozzle
  • Palette knife

fullsizeoutput_3b49.jpeg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line a baking tray with cupcake cases
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, caster sugar and spices
  3. Add the honey, golden syrup, cooking oil and eggs
  4. In a small bowl, stir the bicarbonate of soda into the orange juice (it will fizz), then add this to the main batter and beat well
  5. Fill the cupcake cases with 2 ice cream scoops of batter and put in the oven for 20 minutes (until they look golden brown and feel springy on top)
  6. Let the cupcakes cool on a rack while you prepare the frosting
  7. For the frosting, cream the butter until fluffy and gradually sift in the icing sugars
  8. Add 2tbsp milk to make the frosting light and smooth, and cream the ingredients with an electric mixer for several minutes for the best results
  9. Pipe the frosting in a ring on top of each cupcake, dragging the piping nozzle inwards to complete the circle
  10. On a clean and dry surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the fondant to the thickness of a £1 coin and use a scone cutter to cut out 1 disc for each cupcake
  11. Line up your discs and cover them with a stencil, pressing it firmly into place on the fondant
  12. Paint the gold edible dust onto the discs, being careful not to move the stencil out of position
  13. Carefully lift the stencil off the discs and use a palette knife to place one on the centre of each cupcake
  14. Sprinkle some edible glitter on top of the cupcakes for an extra sparkle!

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes

img_0286Delicate and delectable, these cupcakes have an exquisite balance of sweet vanilla, fragrant raspberries, and a white chocolate surprise that will melt in the mouth. These cupcakes are easy to make… but even easier to finish eating… 

 

Ingredients:

For the batter…

200g caster sugar

200g self-raising flour

200g butter

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 box of frozen raspberries

100g white chocolate chips

To decorate…

500g icing sugar

250g butter

1tsp vanilla essence

2 drops raspberry extract (optional)

1 handful freeze-dried raspberries

Method:fullsizeoutput_301c

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Cream the butter and caster sugar together
  • Mix the eggs and vanilla essence together before adding to the sugar and butter
  • Sift the flour into the batter and combine well
  • Add a couple of raspberries to the bottom of each cupcake case
  • Spoon in the cupcake batter until the cupcake cases are 2/3 full
  • Add a generous sprinkle of white chocolate chips on top of the batter before putting in the oven for 20 minutes (take out when they’re a light golden brown colour)
  • To prepare the frosting, cream the icing sugar and butter together with vanilla essence (you can also add a couple of drops of raspberry essence but this is optional)
  • When the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the frosting in a swirl and finish with a sprinkle of freeze-dried raspberries (and edible glitter!)

Marble Monogram Cookies

In need of some sugar and spice? Treat yo’self to these aromatic gingerbread-esque cookies. They’re quick and easy to make, and are great as homemade, personalised gifts this winter. Will you save these as late-night snacks with a cup of tea, or gift them to a friend with pumpkin spice withdrawal symptoms?

Ingredients (makes about 20 discs):IMG_0353.JPG

  • 175g plain flour (plus extra to roll)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 85g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 2 colours of fondant
  • icing sugar to roll
  • gold piping gel
  • glitter to decorate

Method:IMG_0352.JPG

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C 
  • Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and sugar) in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients (golden syrup or honey, vanilla essence and egg) to the mixture and combine well
  • Soften the butter in the microwave and use your finger tips to rub the butter into the mixture as best as you can – you’re aiming for a squishy crumb-like consistency
  • Use your hands to gather the crumbs in the mixing bowl and pack together to form a dough
  • Dust a surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll the dough out to the thickness of a £1 coin
  • Use a round cutter to cut out discs of the dough and place on a lined baking tray
  • Bake for 10 minutes and check, but they’ll likely need an extra 2 minutes (they should be golden brown in colour and shouldn’t be rock hard – they’ll harden as they cool)
  • Warm up the fondant in your hands to soften it – use 2 shades of the same colour
  • Roll the two colours into sausage shapes and twist them together before rolling them out (on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar) to create a marble effect
  • Use the same cutter to cut out discs of the marble fondant
  • Make a simple icing to glue the fondant discs to the cookie discs (add a drop of water to some icing sugar) when the cookies have cooled
  • Use gold piping gel to monogram your cookies – if you have a fine nib you can probably do 2 initials on each cookie, but I could only fit 1 letter on each
  • Dust your monogram cookies with glitter (obviously)

Circus Meringues

These soft, gooey meringue drops are a fun way to add colour to your dessert! Piped in a gorgeous rainbow swirl and topped with Funfetti sprinkles (and a generous dusting of glitter, of course), these meringues are sure to brighten your day. 

IMG_0277.JPGIngredients: 

  • 4 egg whites
  • 160g caster sugar
  • vanilla essence
  • food colouring
  • Funfetti sprinkles
  • Edible glitter

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 100°C
  • Ensure all of your equipment/utensils are free from grease/oil
  • Measure the weight of the egg whites
  • Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until you get stiff peaks (you’ll know it’s ready when you turn the bowl upside down and the mixture stays put)
  • Measure out double the weight of the egg whites in caster sugar (approx. 40g per egg white, so I’ve suggested 160g of caster sugar)
  • Keep the electric mixer on and add the caster sugar spoonful by spoonful (it’s a slow process but it works)
  • Keep mixing until all of the sugar is combined and you have stiff, glossy peaks (turn the bowl upside down again to check)
  • In a piping bag, drip/paint your chosen food colourings down the insides, all the way round (I used red, green, yellow and blue, and they merge as you pipe to form a rainbow), then cut the end off and insert a round piping nozzle
  • Put your meringue mixture into the piping bag and pipe a blob in each corner of a baking tray to glue down your grease-proof baking paper
  • Pipe the meringue onto the baking paper (leaving room around each one for them to expand in the oven) by squeezing down and lifting up quickly to get a delicate point on your meringue drops
  • Add Funfetti sprinkles before baking
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (you’ll know they’re ready when you can pick the meringue drops off the baking paper without the bottoms collapsing)
  • Dust with edible glitter for the finishing touch!
Recipe adapted from ‘Cupcake Jemma’ on YouTube

Drip & Drizzle Gingerbread

Jackson Pollock at work

Jackson Pollock at work

The artist Jackson Pollock was an influential figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was born on 28th January 1912, and to honour him on his would-be birthday, I have designed ‘Drip & Drizzle Gingerbread’. The bold decorating colours and splattering I used for the glaze are imitations of his painting technique. This recipe is adapted from Dan and Phil’s ‘Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Cookies’ Halloween Baking video tutorial. I know gingerbread and pumpkin spice are flavours typically associated with autumn and Halloween, but the rich taste and aroma of these cookies are enough to warm me up and put a smile on my face this winter!


Ingredients (makes about 200 small cookies!)

665g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground ginger
225g unsalted butter
395g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
115ml dark molasses (treacle)

To decorate: about 50g icing sugar, a few drops of water, coloured food dyes and coloured fondant

MethodIMG_9248

Part 1 – preparing the dough

  • Create a flour mixture by combining the following dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy 
  • Add the eggs, vanilla and molasses to the creamed mixture
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until a dough is formed
  • Split the dough in half and form large discs with both sections
  • Wrap the discs in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill

Part 2 – baking the cookies IMG_9246

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C
  • Take out the desired amount of dough – either keep the rest in the fridge (for up to 3 days) or in the freezer until your next baking adventure
  • Sprinkle a clean surface and large rolling pin with spare plain flour
  • Roll out the dough and cut 1/4 inch thick shapes with cookie cutters
  • Place the cookies on a baking sheet (leave enough space for them to spread out in the oven)
  • Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes (the cookies will set completely when taken out of the oven so do not wait for them to harden in the oven, otherwise they will be rock solid!)
  • Leave on a cooling rack whilst you prepare the decorations

IMG_9250Part 3 – decorating the cookies

  • Sprinkle a clean surface and a small rolling pin with icing sugar and roll out coloured fondant of your choice
  • Cut out shapes using the same cookie cutters that you used for the cookies themselves (the fondant should be about the same thickness as a £1 coin)
  • Set the fondant shapes to one side and prepare the icing glaze (this dries out quickly so should be done last)
  • Put a few teaspoons of icing sugar into a small bowl and add a drop of water, then mix
  • If the paste is not fluid enough, add a couple more drops of water (you can keep adding water or icing sugar to thin out or thicken the glaze until it reaches your desired consistency)
  • Add coloured food dye to the glaze
  • Take a teaspoon and add a small dollop of glaze on top of each cookie (to act as glue) before placing a fondant shape directly on top
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze on top of the fondant – I lined mine up on the counter and used large sweeping strokes to do this
  • If you have 2 different coloured fondants and food dyes, you can make 2 batches of fondant shapes and glazes and use the opposite coloured glaze on the fondant (this works best with opposite colours, i.e. blue/orange, yellow/purple, red/green)

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes

I made these delicious cupcakes to celebrate my birthday, and they went down a treat! The Nesquik powder and Party Rings make me feel so nostalgic and it’s so exciting to be able to combine them in a fun dessert. The best part is that they actually taste of a strawberry milkshake! Make sure to use colourful cupcake cases and a generous serving of frosting! Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

IMG_9219

On another occasion, I used the left-over strawberry milkshake frosting to decorate vanilla cupcakes and dyed the frosting blue to match the cupcake cases.

For the batter:

430g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

265g granulated sugar

375ml milk

125ml vegetable oil

125g butter

2 tbsp strawberry yoghurt

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

200g strawberry Nesquik powder

For the frosting:

200g butter

400g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

120g strawberry Nesquik powder

Extras:

1 pack of ‘Party Rings’ to decorate

Strawberry jam as a filling

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Cream the butter and sugar together, then add to the dry ingredients
  • Combine all the other wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl, then add to the other mixture
  • Spoon the batter into cupcake cases
  • Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
  • When the cupcakes have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut the core out of each cupcake and fill the hole with a spoonful of strawberry jam
  • To make the frosting, cream the butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, food colouring and Nesquik
  • Pipe onto each cupcake and half-submerge a Party Ring biscuit inside the frosting before it has set