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!)

The Beauty Blogger Tag

As you can tell, I am not a beauty blogger. I don’t have any beauty hacks for you, I don’t know anything about fashion, and I wouldn’t consider ‘beauty’ to be an important factor in my daily life. However, I feel honoured to have been nominated by TheTeeKayTake blog to participate in the Beauty Blogger Tag, so I figured I would give it a shot!

The rules for this tag…

  • Tag the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the questions you were given
  • Nominate 10 bloggers whose blog is about beauty/lifestyle/fashion
  • Mention 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Inform the bloggers you chose that you nominated them

My answers…

What is your go-to hairstyle?

My hair is getting quite long now so I tend to put it up in two plaits, or leave it loose in waves (created by the plaits).

How often do you wear makeup?

Not very often- usually only at the weekend or if I have a smart event to go to. I definitely feel more relaxed and less self conscious when I don’t have to worry about wearing makeup.

What is your favourite song/artist/album?

Currently, I’m obsessed with ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes‘ by Panic! At the Disco (song), ‘A Head Full of Dreams‘ by Coldplay (album) and I’m grateful to have rediscovered MIKA (artist).

Who is your favourite blogger and/or YouTuber?

I don’t follow blogs religiously but YouTube is another matter… I’ll just list a few of my most recent obsessions, though: Daz Games (I find Daz’s ‘react’ style videos hilarious), How To Cake It (Yolanda’s extreme baking videos are fun to watch and give me cake decorating ideas), Soul Pancake (they’ve just started a series called ‘New Age Creators’ hosted by young creators my age, and I find them very inspiring/relatable), and The Scran Line (I might just throw out all my recipes because Nick’s cupcakes and macarons look insane).

Why did you start your blog?

When I was in Year 10, baking was my life and all I wanted to do was leave school to open a cupcake bakery! My parents obviously wouldn’t let me, so I decided to set up a baking blog to at least share my recipes with the world until I had the means to put myself out there on a larger scale. I actually only started posting recipes fairly recently (despite the thousands of cupcake photos clogging up my parents’ computer) because there are other things that I have to contribute to this online creative portfolio of mine.

What are your favourite brands to recommend for makeup?

The main brands I use are ‘Bobbi Brown’ (which is great for skin care products) and ‘Benefit’ (the ‘That Gal’ primer and ‘They’re Real’ mascara are my staples). I would also recommend clear mascara from ‘The Body Shop’ and the ‘Miss Sporty’ eyeliner pencils as makeup bag must-haves.

Out of cake/ ice cream/ chocolates, what do you prefer?

Cake. Always cake. If you want to make me happy, cake is all it takes.

What is your favourite beauty tip ever?

Smile!

Who is your celebrity style icon?

I think Kate Middleton comes across as a stylish and classy lady; she also has some lovely outfits that I wouldn’t mind borrowing…

What are your favourite TV shows?

‘Come Fly With Me’ is my all-time favourite, but I’m currently into ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and I love all the quirky documentaries that pop up on TLC or Channel 4!

My questions…

(1) Have you had any disasters with beauty products?

(2) If you could dye your hair any colour of the rainbow (non-permanently), what would you choose?

(3) What makes you feel beautiful?

(4) How would you describe your style?

(5) Do you have any beauty tips for travel?

(6) What is your advice for the next generation?

(7) What is your motivation to blog?

(8) What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?

(9) What is your favourite cake flavour?

(10) If you could swap lives with a celebrity for a day, whose life would you want to experience?

My nominees…

Blue-Eyed Mutant

The Alternative

ERIN MARIE

bake cake eat cake

thefangirlclub

Riku’s Randoms

Marisa Lopes

Gluten-Free Honey Cupcakes

IMG_8014On Rosh Hashanah, the
Jewish new year, it is customary to dip apple in honey and wish friends and family a ‘sweet’ new year. Honey cake is also
very popular at this time of year as it incorporates this symbolic ingredient. I decided to use a simple honey cake recipe for cupcakes to give as gifts to loved ones for the new year. I can safely say that they are absolutely delicious and will make sweet treats for Rosh Hashanah (the warm spices also give them an autumnal feel so will be perfect for the coming months).

Ingredients (makes 18)

For the cake batter:

2 eggs

150g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup boiling water

200g golden syrup

1/2 cup sunflower oil

300g Dove’s Farm gluten-free self raising flour

2 heaped tsp cinnamon

3 heaped tsp ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

For the frosting/decoration:

250g margarine

500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tbsp mixed spices

2 tbsp water

1 Crunchie bar or any other chocolate-covered honeycomb

gold decorative sprinkles


How to make the cake batter:

  • IMG_0001Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Beat the caster sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the sunflower oil and vanilla essence
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, spices and bicarb) into a separate bowl
  • Add the boiling water to the syrup in a separate container and stir them until they have dissolved together (if you don’t have enough golden syrup, feel free to compensate with honey or a butterscotch syrup)
  • Add the flour mixture and syrup mixture alternately to the bowl with the other wet ingredients
  • Use an ice cream scoop to put the cake batter into cupcake cases as is a very sloppy mixture (2 scoops for regular cupcake cases or 3 scoops for larger cases – like the brown paper ones in my photos)
  • Put the cupcakes in the oven for 20 minutes and then check to see whether they need to stay in for a few extra minutes (they should be a golden brown colour, spongy and moist – do not over-bake!)


How to make the frosting and decorate the cupcakes:

  • IMG_8008Soften the margarine and cream until smooth
  • Add the icing sugar and mix together until smooth
  • Add the vanilla essence and spices (you can change the quantity of spices depending on personal preference – I’d suggest tasting as you go along until you’re happy)
  • If the frosting is too stiff, add tablespoons of water and mix again until you have your desired consistency
  • Put the Crunchie (or honeycomb) into a ziplock bag and crush it with the end of a rolling pin – you want a range of different sized chunks and lots of crumbs, too
  • Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle the honeycomb crumbs/chunks on top before the frosting sets
  • Alternatively, use gold coloured decorative sprinkles to complement the earthy toned honey cake and spiced frosting

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have enjoyed baking these honey cupcakes! I shall definitely be serving them again next Rosh Hashanah 🙂 Shana Tova to all my Jewish blog followers!

Lemon Cupcakes

unnamed-5

There’s something delightful about mixing sweet and sour flavours to challenge the senses. My lemon cupcakes are light, fluffy and bittersweet – perfect for afternoon tea in the sunshine. Complete with streaky frosting swirls and a cute blueberry and fondant flower, they are sure to brighten up your day.

 

Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)

For the cupcake batter…

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 pinch bicarbonate of soda

1 pinch salt

115g caster sugar

100g butter

2 eggs

1 1/3 tsp lemon zest

1 1/3 tsp lemon juice

70ml milk

For the cupcake frosting…

80g butter

265g icing sugar

2/3 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 tsp lemon zest

2/3 tsp lemon juice

3 tbsp milk

1 drop of blue and yellow food colouring

To decorate…

1/2 pack of fondant

10 blueberries

edible glitter

5 cocktail sticks (not to eat, don’t worry!)

unnamed-6

How to make the cupcakes…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  • Sift the flour into a bowl and add the other dry ingredients (baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt).
  • Put the butter in a second bowl (this bowl needs to be large as it will be the main mixing bowl) and melt in the microwave so that it’s softer and ready for mixing.
  • Add the sugar to the butter and mix them together until creamy.
  • Crack the eggs into a third bowl and whisk gently to get a smooth consistency.
  • Add the remaining wet ingredients to the bowl with the eggs (milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice). Also grate lemon zest into this bowl. Stir everything.
  • Add half of the contents of the first bowl to the second bowl (with the butter and sugar). Fold in the dry ingredients carefully so that the batter will be light and fluffy.
  • Add half of the contents of the third bowl to the second bowl and continue to fold.
  • Repeat the previous two steps so that all the ingredients are now in the large mixing bowl and folded in.
  • Line a baking tray with cupcake cases (the mixture is a little bit greasy so foil cases will work better than paper ones).
  • Spoon the batter into the cases so that they are 2/3 full.
  • Put the tray in the over for 20-25 minutes. Test the cupcakes after 20 minutes with a cocktail stick (if it comes out clean, it’s ready).
  • Place the tray on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes before decorating. Whilst you’re waiting, do some washing up, clear your surface and make the frosting/decorations!

How to make the frosting…

  • Put the butter in a mixing bowl and melt in the microwave to soften it.
  • Sift in the icing sugar in small amounts, mixing it in well before adding the next bit.
  • Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon extract.
  • The milk is simply to make the frosting softer and easier to pipe. If the frosting is already smooth, the milk is not needed, but if it’s still sticky and powdery, keep adding the milk in tablespoons until the consistency is as you desire.

How to decorate the cupcakes…

  • Split the frosting mixture in half and put each half in a separate bowl. 
  • Get two piping bags ready with a star-shaped nozzle in each.
  • Pour a drop of yellow food colouring down the inside of the piping bag so that it makes a streak all the way down. Repeat this so that there are a few streaks running down all the way round the inside. This may be messy so hold the piping bag inside a tall glass to catch stray drops of food colouring if needed. Do the same with blue food colouring in the other piping bag. I chose yellow to represent the lemon flavour, and blue to complement the blueberry decoration.
  • Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, starting in the middle and spiralling outwards. 
  • Roll out your fondant on a suface lightly spinkled with spare icing sugar. 
  • Use flower shaped cutters to make fondant flowers, and gently press them onto the centre of the freshly frosted cupcakes.
  • Snap 5 cocktail sticks in half and push each half through the centre of each cupcake.
  • Attach a blueberry to the top of the cocktail stick, which will hold it in place.
  • Sprinkle edible glitter over the cupcakes to make them sparkle!