Show Case

Hello and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s’ 

Each week I normally blog about easy to try recipes ranging from classic soft chewy cookies to making the perfect buttercream to top your cakes and cupcakes.

But this week has been one of those weeks where I don’t know where I’m coming or going…

So I thought I would do a show case of my cake designs that I have previously made for clients.

I hope you enjoy.

Em X 

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The Sceret To Pefect Buttercream

Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Fridays’ 

This week I’m going to let you into a big secret… How to make the perfect buttercream to top your cupcakes, cakes or simply as a delicious filling.

Ok so buttercream isn’t such a big secret, but I do get asked how I make it just perfect for piping and so tasty.

To start with, I used a electric mixer with a rubber paddle attachment, I know that’s cheating but you can do this by hand, with a wooden spoon but you may find you have muscles like popeye by the time you have finished. 

With only a few simple ingredients, you will have delicious and smooth buttercream. This recipe makes enough buttercream to top 24 cupcakes or fill and cover a 7 inch cake

Please do use real butter and not margarine, you will get such a better flavour and texture.

So let’s get started, you will need…

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature (you can microwave for 10 seconds on a non-metallic plate if the butter still seems too hard)

500g icing sugar

2-3 tbsp Milk

Flavouring of your choice. My favourite is salted caramel.

Method

  1. Cut room temperature butter into small cubes and place in mixer.
  2. Either beat with a wooden spoon or in the electric mixer until the butter looks a lighter colour, almost white.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift icing sugar, then add this a tablespoon a time into the butter, with the electric mixer on slow speed, until all the icing sugar is mixed in.
  4. From time to time, you may find you need to add a small amount of milk to help loosen the buttercream. Do this by adding just a teaspoon at a time.
  5. Add flavouring to taste. With the salted caramel, I use a regular Carmel flavouring then table salt until I get the desired flavour.
  6. If using any colouring, mix this in now. Either in separate bowls if requiring many colours or straight into the mixing bowl if only one colour is required.

If you are finding the mixture a little too soft and it doesn’t want to hold its shape, pop the buttercream in the fridge for 20-30 mins. Then beat well again before using.

The brilliance of buttercream is that you can be so crative with it, it is so versatile. 

Here are some suggestions…

  
I brought this tulip tip recently and wow, it’s amazing and very clever. This is just perfect to make Mother’s Day cupcakes!

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Or you can add a small shell of buttercream and ‘dunk’ into a bowl of coloured sugar.

If you don’t have piping tips or piping bags, you could just use and freezer or zip lock bag with just the corner cut off to desired size. Doing this will create a smooth swirl.

Happy baking
Em X

    Peanut Butter & Chocolate Muffins

    Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s’.

    This week, I had the pleasure of being entertained at a very good friend’s house and naturally I brought cake to the occasion.

    My friend really likes peanut butter and chocolate combination. This inspired me to make peanut butter & chocolate muffins.

    Using a classic Marry Berry recipe, The American muffin, I made a few changes to create these gorgeously tasting muffins.

    This recipe makes between 9 – 12 muffins, depending on how big your muffin tin & cases are.

        Ingredients
    250g self raising flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    115g peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

    75g caster sugar

    25g dark chocolate chips

    3 medium eggs

    1 tsp vanilla essence

    250ml milk

    Method

    1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C and line your muffin tray with large muffin cases
    2. In a large bowl, sieve flour and baking powder then add the peanut butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
    3. Add sugar and chocolate chips
    4. In a jug measure milk then add to that the eggs and vanilla and whisk together
    5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mixed well. The mixture should have a lump consistency and be runny.
    6. Spoon into cases filling then quite full.
    7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and firm to touch.
    8. Leave in to muffin tray to cool slightly before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely or eat them when they still slightly warm – delicious and yummmy scrummmy!

    With these muffins, I decorated with solid milk chocolate hearts. I placed the hearts on the moment they came out of the oven so they melts slightly to help the hearts stick.

    Happy Valentine’s Day 
    Em x

    Love Heart Cookies

    Hi and welcome to my blog ‘Scrummmy Friday’s!’ 

    This week I thought I would spread a little love as Valentine’s Day not far away.  I thought I would make my classic shortbread heart cookies. These cookies are very simple to make and taste truely wonderful. These are a great treat or a perfect gift for that Valentine…?

      

    Ingredients

    125g unsalted butter (at room temp)

    200g caster sugar

    1 large egg

    200g plain flour, plus extra for rolling.

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    A jar of your favourite jam, in my case, raspberry

    Method

    1. Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper.
    2. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together well.
    3. Add egg and beat well
    4. Add vanilla and mix in well
    5. Gradually add flour. You may need to use your hands to kneed the mixture by the end.
    6. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick.
    7. Using a large heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out your shape and place it straight onto the baking tray. Then using a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the middle of half your larger hearts. Remember you will need to make pairs as these are sandwiched together. If you accidentally miscounted, never mind they taste just as yummmy on their own.
    8. Place the trays in the fridge for 30 mins to chill. This will help the cookies to keep their shape when baking.
    9. Whilst the cookies are chilling in the fridge, pre heat the oven to 150C
    10. Remove cookies from fridge and place straight into the oven and bake for 15-20 mins or until the edges go a light golden brown. 
    11. Allow to cool for 10 mins on the trays and then lift and put them in a wire rack to completely cool. Don’t worry when you get them out of the oven that they seem soft, they will harden when they cool.
    12. In a small saucepan, warm a few teaspoons of your favourite jam. This helps it to spend easier.
    13. Take your cooled heart shaped cookie (without the heart shaped hole) and spread the jam on and then place the other cookie (the one with a heart shaped hole) on top and allow the jam to go cold setting the cookies together.

    And there you have it, the best tasting shortbread heart! 

    Em X

    Quote “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt” – Charles M. Schulz


    Soft Warm Chewy Cookies

    Hi cake fans! It’s another Scrummmy Friday and this week I have a real treat! 

    It has been so cold outside and when it’s cold, I don’t really think about eating all too healthily  (Bang… There goes my New Year’s resolution!) 

    This week my daughter and I decided to make cookies to go with our hot chocolate!

    These are our favourite type of cookies! They are really great and very easy to make. There is no chilling involved with these cookies either!

    So let’s get baking…!

    Ingredients

    200g plain flour

    1 tsp bicarbonate soda

    Pinch of salt

    125g unsalted butter at room temp

    105g light brown sugar

    6 tbsp granulated sugar

    1 egg

    1 tsp vanilla ext

    3 small tubes of smarties
    Method

    I find it is easier to mix by hand with a wooden spoon rather than a food mixer.

    1. Combine butter (that is softened) and both sugars in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
    2. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
    3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate soda and salt.
    4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend until well incorporated.
    5. Add one tube of smarties to the mixture and fold in.
    6. Preheat oven to 160C (for fan oven) and line baking trays with grease proof paper.
    7. Using two teaspoons, scoop out a small about of dough and round it by scrapping from spoon to spoon.
    8. Place dough on the tray but allow enough space between them as they do spread out whilst baking.
    9. Place in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden round the edges.
    10. Then remove from oven and put a few smarties on top for decoration.
    11. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. But they are at their best when they are still a warm. Yummm!

    Enjoy with your chosen hot drink, like us!

      

    Happy Baking!

    Em X

    No Added Sugar Fruit Loaf

    As I am still sticking to my ‘New Years resolution’ of a healthier beginning. I am still researching ‘better options’ for treats to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

    I have had this recipe for a while and it is favoured by my dad (as he is diabetic) but the rest of the family love it too. Obvisouly this doesn’t give a diabetic an excuse to eat the whole thing in one sitting, but it can be kept in an airtight container for a few days or even freeze for a month.

    It is great because it has no added sugar. The only sugar this recipe contains is from natural sugar from the dried fruit used. You could also make it low in fat by substituting the butter for a low-fat margarine. Then here comes the bonus… This recipe also uses wholemeal flour that provides a source of fibre too.

    lowsugarfruitcake-7036

    Ingredients 

    100g mixed dried fruit

    50g butter or margarine

    150ml skimmed milk or soya/almond milk

    150g wholemeal flour

    2 tsp baking power

    1/2 tsp mixed spice

    1 tsp cinnamon

    1 large egg, beaten

    Method

    1. Pre heat oven to 180C or for fan 160C. Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin
    2. In a small pan, put butter, milk and dried fruit in and bring to the boil then simmer for 10 mins
    3. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding the beaten egg.
    4. In a seperate bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then gradually add dry mix to fruit mix.
    5. If the mixture seems a little stiff just add a little milk until you get a ‘slow drop’ off the spoon.
    6. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 30-40 mins or until firm on top and screwer comes out clean.
    7. Leave in the tin for 15 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Serve sliced, as it is or with a little butter or low-fat spread.

    Happy Baking

    Em x

    Healthier Beginnings!

      
    Happy new year to you all! It’s January, and to many of us, imparticularly me, that means a healthier start to the new year. But hang on, I’m a cake maker, how can I have a healthier year if I bake all those tasty treats, that are full of refinded sugar and butter laced? And yes I am always tempted to eat, sorry I mean ‘test’, what I bake.

    So this has got me thinking….?. Is there such a thing as a ‘healthy’ cake/bake/treat? Well to be honest, no there isn’t, in such, that’s why they are called ‘treats’. But wouldn’t it be great if we could maybe reduce the impact slightly and bake a tasty treat, that is ‘lower in fat &/or sugar’?

    This has lead me on to doing some investigating. I have researched on the Internet and some baking magazines to find these so called ‘healthier’ treats. The search hasn’t been hard, as most celebrities and top chefs have either brought a book out or an article on healthy living.

    I starting off with trying to find my favourite bake, the ‘chocolate brownie’. At this point I’ve either got you intrigued or laughing your head off at the darfed idea of a ‘healthier’ brownie. Come on it has chocolate in it…!

    I was surprised with what I found. There are lots of different variants on the web but the one that really caught my eye was in a popular Sunday newspaper supliment, “You”. I was reading about Davina McCall and there was an article taken from Davina’s new book ‘Smart Carbs’. 

    The exert talks about ‘smart carbs V dumb carbs’ and how we can make wiser choices, not just with sweet treats but also with meals.

    So scanning through, there it was, Davina’s “Chocolate and banana traybake”… now they look good!

    Here is the link to ‘You magazine’ online for Davina’s Smart carbs if you would like to see all of her recipes, they do look good! 

    But I just had to have a go that this chocolate and banana traybake recipe!

    Davina’s recipe uses a 24cm x 24cm tin, which makes approx 16 squares or cut smaller for less calorie intake. You can find the exact amounts used, in the link above.

    For myself, I used at 16cm square tin and these are the amounts of ingredients I used to make 9 squares of loveliness! I have also changed a couple of ingredients as I didn’t have the exact ones in my store cupboard. 

    Ingredients

    134g whole meal plain flour 

    35g cocoa powder 

    1 tsp baking powder

    Pinch of salt

    120g low fat butter/margarine

    100g honey

    2 small ripe bananas, mashed

    4 eggs

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 160 C for a fan oven or 180 C otherwise. Grease and line your tin
    2. Put flour straight into a bowl and add sifted cocoa, pinch of salt and baking powder into that bowl.
    3. In a small pan, melt gently the butter and honey together. once melted remove from heat and mix in mashed bananas.
    4. In a separate bowl, break eggs and whisk until frothy (you may want to use an electric mixer for this) Then add the dry ingredients, then butter, honey and banana mixture and fold in until well mixed. It should be quite runny.
    5. Pour mixture into tin and bake for about 30 mins or until it has risen and is springy to touch.
    6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10mins before transferring to a wire rack and cut into squares.

    You can store in an airtight container for a few days (if they last that long!) or freeze them and consume within a month.

    These are excellent once frozen because you can get one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, on a non-metallic plate, for a minute or 2 and serve warm with berries, fat free natural yoghurt or creme fraiche. Mmm scrummmy!

      
    Have a go yourself and tell me what you think.

    Happy Baking

    Em x

    Merry Christmas!

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    Welcome to the final Scrummmy Friday before Christmas.

    Here is something to get you in the festive mood.

    These Santa and Snow man cupcakes toppers are fun and easy to do.

    Here’s how…

    Starting with Santa

    Bake your favourite cupcake, my was Vanilla.

    Roll out coloured fondant or ready to roll icing with a round cookie cutter, that the same size of the cupcake. Cut out circles to make the base of the faces.

    IMG_1790

    Then with the same colour fondant, roll into balls then press to flatten it out into a nose shape.

    Next roll out red fondant and cut out circles (again with the same size cookie cutter) then move the cutter down to cut a semi-circle to create a hat. Stick together using a small amount to cooled boiled water

    Roll out white fondant and with the jagged edge of the cutter, cut out circles. With the smooth edge of the cutter cut another semi-circle (quite narrow, see picture) to make the woolly edge of Santa’s hat. With the remaining white circle, using a knife, slice across to make Santa’s beard. Again Sticking them together with a little water.

    IMG_1791

    With a little pink or red food colouring and a small brush, dabble a little amount of colouring on to santa’s face for his rosie cheeks. Then fix on his nose with a little water. With black fondant, make two tiny eyes and press on.

    Using a small amount of buttercream to fix the faces/toppers to the cupcakes.

    Be creative, imaginative and most important of all….have fun!

    I think Santa would love to get one of these upon delivery of gifts!!

    Merry Christmas All

    And I will be blogging again in the new year.

    Em x

    Quick n Easy Christmas Cake

    Hello and welcome to my blog, SCRUMMMY FRIDAY

    With Christmas only 6 weeks away (ahhhh!) I thought I’d share a fairly easy Christmas cake recipe that I use every year and without a doubt the best tasting and reliable recipe.

    It is best to make it about 5 or 6 weeks before Christmas, this gives the cake time to mature. MMM YUMMMY!

    It’s really not that hard and pretty quick. Stick with it and you won’t regret it at Christmas. So here goes…

    This recipe will make an 8 inch cake, but what I like to do is make a 1lb loaf size, for myself, and some mini cakes (I get the cases from a ‘well known’ supermarket in packs of 10)

    Here are my mini cakes all wrapped up, with handmade gift tags, ready to give as Christmas pressies!

    minixmascakes-6950 minixmascakes-6954

    Tools Needed

    Large Mixing Bowls

    Wooden Spoon

    Greaseproof Paper

    1lb loaf tin

    Mini Loaf Cases

    Rolling pin

    Ingredients

    The Cake

    500g Dried Mixed Fruit with Mixed Peel

    (You can buy separate dried fruit, but the is a quick recipe)

    50g Glace Cherries (Halved)

    45ml/ 3tbsp of brandy (For a non-boozy cake use orange juice instead)

    225g of Plain Flour

    Pinch of salt

    225g of Unsalted Butter, Softened

    ½ tsp of Cinnamon

    ½ tsp of Mixed Spice

    1 tbsp of Cocoa

    225g of Dark Brown Sugar

    4 Eggs

    100g Mixed Nuts (roughly chopped)

    Decorate

    Apricot Jam

    1kg box of Marzipan

    1 kg box of Fondant Icing

    Method

    1 – The day or two before baking the cake, soak the dried mixed fruit with peel in a bowl with the brandy. Cover and leave to soak up the brandy.

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    2 – Grease and line your tin with greaseproof paper. Make the paper stick up above the tin by about 1 or 2 inches. For the mini loaf, lightly grease the case.

    Pre-heat oven to 150 degree C.

    3 – Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at a time whilst beating)

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    4 – Add chopped nuts, glace cherries and the boozy fruit, plus any liquid left over.

    5 – Sift flour, spices, salt and cocoa into a bowl, then add this to the mixture.

    6 – Spoon the mixture into your tin and mini loaf cases. Gently tap on a work surface to disperse air bubbles.

    7 – Put in the oven for approx 30 minutes for the mini loaf and 1 to 1 ½ hours for the 1lb loaf tin or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in to the cake.

    8 – allow the 1lb tin to cool slightly before removing from the tin and transferring to a wire rack. The mini loaf cakes can stay in there cases on the wire rack.

    9 – Once cooled completely, wrap in tin foil (not too tightly and it needs the air)

    Then store in a cool place (like a spare room) in an open box (DO NOT SEAL! this will make the cake go mouldy)

    Then once a week feed your cake(s) with a little brandy.

    10 – A few days before Christmas, you can decorate your cake. YAY!

    11 – Remove cake from greaseproof paper. Warm the apricot jam in a saucepan (this just helps to spread it) Spread all over cake. For the mini loaf cakes spread on top. I use the back of a teaspoon.

    12 – Lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar. Remove marzipan from its packet and gently knead it to soften it up. Then roll out to size to cover the entire cake. For the mini loaf cakes enough to cover the tops.

    13 – Do the same as the marzipan with the Fondant. Trim away excess from the bottom of the cake.

    14 – Now for the really fun part…decorating the cake!

    This I will leave entirely to your creativeness, as it is your cake, it should have your mark on it!

    If your good with a piping bag, them pipe a boarder, if not then I suggest and pretty ribbon around the bottom. Use cookie or fondant cutters to cut some fondant decorations, like traditional holy leaves or snowflakes. How about making a 3D snowman/family for the top. However you decorate it, this is your cake and I would love so much to see what you have baked. Please do show me!

    Em x