Archives for category: Raspberry

First off, let me tell you how much I loved making these little penguin guys for this cake. They are so sweet, if a little chubby. The lovely recipient of this cake is being taken to the Antarctic as their birthday present (how cool is that?!) so that was the theme! Since making this cake I’ve learnt that there are apparently no igloos in the Antarctic (doh!). Although, I’m almost certain Pingu lived in an igloo? I moulded the igloo using flower paste and made the penguins out of fondant. For the pole I used a red paper straw that was surprisingly sturdy so held in the cake well. The cake itself was a vanilla sponge with coconut buttercream and raspberry jam – A flavour combination I’m loving at the moment! I hope Richard had a special birthday and has the most incredible adventure to the Antarctic! x

I’m tired of everyone telling me to not eat sugar. What is that. It’s all over the newspaper and magazines. Ugh. As long as I’m consuming less than I did over Christmas it’s ok right? They can drop it now. I’m not interested. I am however, majorly interested and excited about these macarons. Plus I’m sure one or two of these won’t do any harm. It’s been a good while since I’ve made macarons (you can see my previous attempts here) and I’ve kind of missed making them. Sure, they can be temperamental and messy, but, the results are always rewarding especially when you customise the outsides and use dreamy flavours. I thought it being a new year and all I would try out making them a different way. Normally I use the french method, mostly because it means I don’t have to deal with pouring boiling sugar. However, today I was feeling brave and gave it a go. I used this Peggy Porschen recipe which was great and a lot easier than I thought. I think the candy stripe is cute on the macarons and think it looks like raspberry ripple ice cream. For the filling I made a white chocolate ganache using the one and only Green and Black’s white chocolate which I’m obsessed with. I love that you can see and taste the vanilla in it. I then used it to make a white chocolate buttercream. For the raspberry I mashed up some fresh raspberries into this jam. I filled them and left them in the fridge to chill. 

White Chocolate Ganache

200g Green and Blacks white chocolate

100g double cream

Break up the chocolate and put in a glass bowl. Melt the white chocolate. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just begins to boil. Pour the cream on to the white chocolate and mix until completely combined. Leave to cool.

White Chocolate Buttercream

250g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter

25ml milk

5 big spoonfuls of the white chocolate ganache

Beat the icing sugar, butter and milk together until smooth. Stir in the white chocolate ganache. The ganache should be soft or room temperature. If it’s been in the fridge and firmer than the buttercream, heat for a few seconds until it is the same consistency.

I know nothing about beer. I know I like a cold Bud or a limey Corona every now and then but nothing about specialty or craft beers. The most adventurous one I’ve ever tried was a banana bread beer which tasted like those foamy banana sweets you get at the cinema. But while my cousin, Christopher, was visiting this week we went on a sort of craft beer crawl and tasted lots, including cherry beer, coconut beer (served in a coconut) and limoncello beer. I wanted to bake him something while he was over as he lives in America so we never see him for his birthday. I bought these raspberry Ferrari gummy sweets from Sugar Sin last week in the hope of making something for Christopher while he was over (he also loves cars), but wasn’t really sure what. As soon as he told me about his favourite beer over a family lunch I knew it would be fun to make it into a cupcake. Cantillon beer is from a brewery in Belgium which produces lambic beer, made by the fermentation of the natural yeast known to be in that area. He also told me this particular one was raspberry flavour (perfect for the sweets I’d bought) and that it had a naked lady on the label, probably the real reason why he likes it. Apparently it’s super rare in America and not the easiest thing to find here in the UK either. I managed to track some down at The Hops & Glory who had a case in their basement and my lovely sister picked it up and brought it back on the train. To make the cupcakes I doubled this recipe but instead of using all milk for the liquid used some beer. I added the first 120ml and then with the eggs added the other 60ml and then 60ml of beer. When they had come out of the oven and were still warm I poked the tops with a cocktail stick and brushed more of the beer on top so it would soak in. To be certain the flavour came across I also put some in the frosting and topped it with some raspberry sherbet to lift the flavour a bit and balance out the sour beer. I knew something was working when I was told the kitchen smelt like a brewery but they really did have that rich beer flavour. It was cool to make something unique and memorable for my cousin. Although we miss him already and want him to come back SOON I’ll be happy to go back to drinking cocktails and cider for a bit.

When I was at university my friend Astrid made similar butterfly cupcakes using the Hello, Cupcake! book. I remember thinking how amazing they looked and knew I wanted to give it a go myself one day. I found the perfect opportunity to make them this week for Heeral, my sister’s work bestie, who is leaving. The hardest part about making the butterflies was working quickly before the chocolate and candy set, it took a few tries to get my timings right. I placed the wings on to vanilla cupcakes topped with raspberry jam frosting. I decided to leave out the body and antenna and go for a more minimal look, they kind of remind me of those butterfly cupcakes you make when you are little where you make the wings with the top of the cupcake. I hope she likes them! x

In my mind macarons have always been one of those things that are super difficult to make and you have to be professional and delicate and French to make them properly. Saying that, they have been on top of my list of things to learn/attempt for ages now but I’ve been putting it off for fear of total failure. After making these I can say that they are really simple and fun to make. There’s more than one way of making macarons but I decided to look around for the simplest recipe, anticipating that lots of steps, ingredients and time would be involved in the process. I chose this recipe because it seemed friendly, and it was. Only a couple of things to note: I added food colouring to the meringue, the temperature is 140°C, and they only really take about 12 minutes to bake. Oh and another thing, do not use greeseproof paper like I did on my first batch. They stick, so badly (Doh!). Use baking paper or those wonderful reusable baking sheets. Because I didn’t want to make anything too serious I chose to make raspberry sherbet flavour. I did this by sprinkling some raspberry sherbet on the macarons just after I piped them, before they had formed a skin, and then baked them. For the filling I made a buttercream with jam, fresh raspberries and more sherbet (recipe below). I put them in the fridge after assembling them which makes them taste even better. I survived my first macaron attempt and can’t wait to try some more complex combinations!

Macaron Filling

(for approx 20 whole macarons)

250g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter (room temperature)

2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

splash of milk

a handful of fresh raspberries

2 tsp of raspberry sherbet

Beat together the icing sugar, butter and milk. Then add the jam and sherbet and mix until smooth. Add in the fresh raspberries and mix until the berries are broken up in to large pieces.