Spicy Apple and Blackberry Cake

August 17th, 2009 by Gilly
Spicey Apple and Blackberry Cake

Spicey Apple and Blackberry Cake

I’m going on holiday to Norfolk for a few days tomorrow, so no time to post new stuff today. This cake was made a few weeks ago for the Autumn issue of UK Handmade magazine, due to come out at the end of September, so you’ll be able to find the recipe in there :) It’s a family recipe, and a real favourite in our house! We often make it with raisins instead of blackberries and a little less sugar, but I love adding the blackberries to make it even more Autumny :) It’s decorated with crab apples from my garden, fresh blackberries and a little sugar butterfly.

Sunflower Cupcakes

August 4th, 2009 by Gilly
Sunflower Cupcakes

Sunflower Cupcakes

These were made with the leftover sunflowers from Grandad’s cake. Lemon sponge  with lemon curd filling, topped with a swirl of lemon zest buttercream and a fondant sunflower. Summery :)

Update: I’ve now written a tutorial on how to make them for UK Handmade magazine’s summer 2011 issue – check it out here: www.ukhandmade.co.uk or see my recent blog post  xx

Maple Leaf Cupcakes

August 3rd, 2009 by Gilly
Maple Syrup Cupcakes

Maple Syrup Cupcakes

Just trying out my leaf cutters and veiners. Maple syrup cupcakes with fondant maple leaves. They’d be great for an Autumn birthday…. Nom :)

Happy Birthday Grandad!

August 2nd, 2009 by Gilly
Grandad Birthday Cake

Grandad's Birthday Cake

I haven’t blogged for a while, as I’ve been baking like crazy for various occasions… This weekend I made the Nigella marzipan cake again, but flavoured with orange rind and a little juice, and then divided between three 8″ cake tins. When cool, they were sandwiched together with orange zest buttercream and then covered in marzipan and fondant. It’s a trial run of my Grandad’s birthday cake for next weekend – he’ll be 84! Aw :) I had fun making a fondant Grandad, I think it kind of looks like him, lol…. Once I’d finished playing around, I used up the left-over fondant to cover the cake in daises, and took it out into the garden for afternoon tea with the family, yum! It’s my first time doing a fondant cake, so I hope I’ll get better at it, and faster too, as I spent way too long in the kitchen today!

Daisy Cake

Daisy Cake

UK Handmade Summer 2009

July 24th, 2009 by Gilly
UK Handmade Summer 2009

UK Handmade Summer 2009

It’s out! Our new Summer issue is live, so head over to the UK Handmade website to browse the magazine :) This quarter is full of inspiring interviews, summery tutorials, gardening & business advice, crafty book reviews and lots more!

P.S Learn how to make your own herbal hand balm using herbs from your garden by following my tutorial on pg.8.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

July 18th, 2009 by Gilly
Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Last night I decided to whip up a batch of chocolate fudge cakes from Maise Fantasie’s Party Cakes book. I think the cake is pretty yummy, but more of a coffee & chocolate taste than a fudgy flavour. Next time I’m going to leave out the coffee and substitute some of the dark chocolate for a little milk choc.

I’ve been waiting to use my red cases, so I thought some little red fondant roses would match perfectly :) The roses  still need some work to look good, but I’m getting there slowly. I think they’re a definite improvement on the pink ones I made last time, and the little green leaves give them a lift. I had to cut the leaves out by hand, so they’re a bit naff, but this afternoon I bought myself a rose leaf plunger cutter from Sheila’s Cakes in town- will be very time saving! I’ve also nabbed some red glitter (I used pink on the roses) and some green for the leaves, for next time. Oh, and a large sunflower cutter – can’t wait to try it out with some lemon cupcakes!

Marzipan Cake with Fresh Berries

July 12th, 2009 by Gilly
Marzipan Cake with Fresh Berries

Marzipan Cake with Fresh Berries

The inspiration for baking today was twofold: Grandad was coming round for lunch & afternoon tea, but, even more importantly, I bought a new pink cake stand yesterday, hehe! It’s gorgeous, in pink ceramic, and I think it was quite a bargain at £15 in the sale from John Lewis. I paid a visit to Highcross in Leicester for the first time, mainly to visit the Genius bar in the Apple Store as my trusty little iBook seems to be on it’s last legs (sob), so I picked up this lovely cake stand while I was there plus a really handy white square plate for cupcakes for £8 from House of Frazer. Yay :)

Anyway, to try out my new stand, I made a marzipan cake this morning from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. I’m not a fan of plain vanilla sponge, so I thought her Easy Almond Cake on pg6 would be yummy, especially as I LOVE marzipan. The cake is supposed to be baked in a springform tube pan or ring mould, but as I only had a 23cm springform round cake tin, I baked it in that with a well-greased ramekin placed in the centre of the tin, which seemed to work fine.

The cake has turned out extremely well, with a lovely light but moist texture and a delicate almond flavour. I drizzled chocolate over the icing sugar dusted top, and then filled the centre with fresh raspberries (and a few blackberries) as recommended. It’s a rich cake, so only a little slice each is needed, but we all loved it. And the all-important Grandad verdict? “Perfection”. Yippee :)

Party Cakes

July 10th, 2009 by Gilly
Butterfly & Flower Party Cakes

Butterfly & Flower Party Cakes

I made some practice cupcakes today – just plain vanilla sponge with strawberry flavoured pink buttercream or lemon yellow buttercream. I’ve had a lot of fun making the sugarcraft decorations, although I messed up the butterfly bodies, oops!

Thanks Cuteable!

July 9th, 2009 by Gilly
Coffee and Cream Brooch by Swirly Arts

Coffee and Cream Brooch by Swirly Arts

The lovely Lyndey of Swirly Arts featured my summer cupcakes on Cuteable today, which was a nice surprise! Check out the blog for a plethora of cuteness :)

Summer Cupcakes

July 6th, 2009 by Gilly
Summer Cupcakes

Summer Cupcakes

I made some lemon cupcakes today, topped with lemon glace icing and sugared rose petals and lemonbalm leaves. I think they look summery with the lavender ones on my pink cake stand :)

The sugared rose petals turned out much better than last time, as I remembered to sugar both sides this time! The lemonbalm leaves are delicious – crunchy and lemony. So now I’m going to raid my herb patch for the next experiment – mint would obviously work….

Drying Sugared Rose Petals and Lemonbalm

Drying Sugared Rose Petals and Lemonbalm Leaves

The cupcakes are just a basic lemon sponge with 2 T of lemon juice substituted  for the milk and the grated zest of 2 lemons. The glace icing is made with 150g icing sugar and 1 1/2 T lemon juice, plus the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon.

Lemon Cupcakes Topped with Sugared Rose Petals and Lemonbalm Leaves

Lemon Cupcakes Topped with Sugared Rose Petals and Lemonbalm Leaves