Tag Archives: Cake

Ridiculous Baking: Make Your Own Mini Lollipop Cupcakes!

Ok. I have been told off a bit recently for posting too many cake-themed posts. Personally, I think that this is ridiculous because who can possibly have too many cakes?

And, anyway, I have no choice: I must show you this recipe because I just think that these are too adorable for words! In fact, if I could make them every week and just have them as a permanent fixture in my kitchen, I so would.

What you’ll need:

1 batch of Foolproof Basic Mini Cupcakes  (I’ve made the mini version here but you can always make full-sized ones if you like)

1 batch of Foolproof Frosting in the colour of your choice – it doesn’t have to be pink!

A bag of clear, hard-boiled sweets, the old-fashioned kind. (I bought mine from Marks & Spencer, they were 99p for a big bag)

Wooden cocktail sticks, or proper lolly sticks (you can buy these from craft shops such as Cake Craft World or HobbyCraft)

Sprinkles and edible glitter to decorate, if you like to go a bit overboard, like me

A baking tray lined with silicon or greaseproof paper

Step One:

Once your cakes are baked and cooled, you can begin by icing them! But first, you need to make sure your oven’s hot. If it’s still on from the cakes, turn it up to 200 degrees Celsius, and if you’ve made your cakes in advance, turn it on.

You can use a teaspoon or a piping bag and nozzle, whichever you like.

(I use, and really recommend, these Easy Squeezers by Cuisipro – they cost under five pounds and I know that they are stocked in Selfridges but I am sure other stores sell them too.

Somewhat embarrassingly they are designed for children, but I find them perfect for icing smaller cakes quickly and neatly! Cuisipro haven’t paid me any money to say this, or sent me any free stuff, by the way.)

However, you choose to ice your cakes, ice them carefully with a swirl and pop them back on the cooling rack when done.

If you are decorating them with sprinkles or edible glitter, do this now before the icing has set.

Step Two:

Take a boiled sweet in the colour of your choice and, using a sharp knife, cut it into quarters or halves, depending on how big you’d like your lollipop to be. I quartered mine.

Cut through the sweet by very carefully placing the blade of the knife over the top of the sweet and, in one firm motion, pushing down to break apart the sweet. This ought to give you a clean break. For goodness’ sakes, be careful of your fingers!

Now, place your quartered pieces of boiled sweet onto your lined baking tray, making sure that they are evenly spaced:

Now, pop the tray in the oven, but leave the door ever so slightly ajar. These need hardly any time at all – usually about 60 seconds – to melt. Keep a close eye on them, and once they have melted and begun to bubble slightly, take them out at once.

Be warned: I f you leave them in for too long they will very suddenly lose their colour and go all syrupy.

Step Three:

Now, working very quickly before the sweets set again, gently pop your toothpicks or lolly sticks into the bottom of each sweet. Press it in and roll it over slightly, to ensure it is surrounded by the sweet and will be held in place firmly when it sets.

Repeat this with all of your sweets.

If you’d like a perfectly round edge to your lolly, take a butter knife and gently oil the blade with olive oil. Carefully squidge and press in the sides of the lolly in when it’s still melted to smooth and mould it, and this will give you a perfect edge.

You don’t have to do this, though; I think it’s quite fun to leave them a bit rustic, it looks adorable.

When you are happy with the shape of your lollies, just leave them on the tray for a minute to cool and harden fully!

Step Four:

Once your lollies have fully hardened, remove them from the baking tray by gently pushing the blade of a knife underneath them and pulling them off. They ought to pull off quite easily.

Repeat the above steps until you have all the lollies you need!

Now, if you have made mini cupcakes and used cocktail sticks for your lollies, you will need to just trim the sticks slightly to make sure that they fit in the cakes properly.

Just take about an inch or so off for mini cakes, or leave them at the full size for standard-sized cakes.

Now for the fun bit! Gently push your lollipops into the top of each cupcake:

…and repeat with the rest!

Try varying the design and arranging on a pretty stand or plate to make even more of a visual impression.

Now eat and enjoy!

See you tomorrow, and thank you very much for reading my post!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Video Tip! How To Peel Ginger With A Teaspoon

Well…so this is exciting! The Daily Home has officially now entered the world of the moving picture. How amazingly modern.

This video illustrates a genuinely useful method which has saved me loads of time and countless bits of ginger. Enjoy!

(Also, please bear with me; I know that my filmaking skills are worse than rubbish, but they will get better. Ahem…)

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Foolproof Frosting: Easy Buttercream Icing

As promised, to go with the Foolproof Basic Cupcake Recipe, here’s my recipe for easy buttercream icing.

This is the simplest way to get that lovely, light whipped cupcake frosting and it’s never gone wrong!

What you’ll need:

This quantity will yield enough to cover the quantity listed in my Basic Cupcake Recipe; approximately 12-14 standard sized cupcakes, and about 30 mini cupcakes.

100 softened butter (unsalted, if possible)

150g icing sugar

1 tablespoon hot water

1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence

Equipment:

A bowl

A wooden spoon or spatula

A handheld electric whisk, balloon whisk or freestanding electric mixer with whisk attachment

Step One:

Put the butter in your mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon for a minute or so until really soft.

Then, using your electric or handheld whisk, beat it for two minutes until fluffy.

Step Two:

Add your icing sugar, and whisk in carefully – you might want to give it a stir into the butter first to avoid having an icing sugar explosion in the kitchen!

Now, add the hot water and vanilla essence and whisk on high speed for at least three to four minutes – the longer you whisk it for, the lighter and fluffier your buttercream will be.

Around five minutes is ideal!

Step Three:

If you are colouring your buttercream (the example here is pale pink), add a couple of drops of natural food colouring of your choice to the mixture, and beat for another minute or so until the colour is even and thoroughly incorporated.

If you are icing your cakes immediately, your buttercream is ready to use straight away! If not, it will keep happily in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

 

 

 

 

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Ridiculous Baking: How To Make A Book Cake!

Ok – this may seem like a weird post. Bear with me though, friends.

Last night, I was hosting my first book club. This made me feel very excited, and also very intelligent and bookish.

Therefore, I began racking my brains over something suitably bookish to serve.

So, I thought, why not make a cake? With books on it!

It’s surprisingly easy, I promise, and there are so many things you can do. All you need is a bit of patience. Why not make some book cupcakes? A birthday cake with someone’s favourite novel on it? The possibilities are endless!

Please Note: This is a post on decorating your cake, not making the actual cake. However, tomorrow I will be posting a really quick and pretty much foolproof sponge cake recipe, so you can use this if you wish.

What you will need:

A packet of plain white fondant icing. You can buy this in most large supermarkets, including Waitrose and Tesco.

Food colouring, in the colours of your choice

Icing sugar

One plain iced cake (tomorrow I’ll be doing a quick foolproof sponge cake recipe, if you need a hand with that)

Equipment:

A rolling pin

A sharp knife or flat-edged spatula

Step One:

Decide on the size of your book. This does not have to be exact but if you have space limitations – for instance, if you are putting these on cupcakes – you don’t want to make them too big.

Now, take your piece of white fondant and cut a little off the end. The first thing you are going to do is make the pages of your book.

Sprinkle your worksurface with icing sugar; in this case, icing sugar works the same as flour when rolling dough, in that it stops the fondant from becoming overly sticky when the heat of your hands warms it.

Roll out your piece of fondant to approximately the thickness of a pound coin; this is just a rough guideline – your books can be as thick or thin as you like.

Now, trim your rolled out piece of fondant until it is in a neat rectangle. This will be slightly smaller than the eventual size of your whole book.

Step Two:

Now you have the pages, you are going to make the cover! Take a piece of fondant roughly twice the size of your pages. Don’t worry about taking too much; fondant is very versatile and can always be re-used.

Now, decide on the colour of your jacket! In my case I went for pink.

To dye your fondant, pick up the fondant in your hand and gently dab a small drop of food colouring onto the fondant. Start to squish and roll it together in your hand – don’t worry, the colour will wash off your hands.

Keep rolling, squishing and kneading the fondant until the colour starts to distribute evenly throughout your block of fondant. If you want to make the colour more intense, just add an extra drop of food colouring.

After a couple of minutes, your fondant will begin to look marbled, like this:

You can make different shades by mixing food colouring exactly as you would using paint – for example, add a tiny drop of blue to a bit of red to make lilac.

Keep kneading until the colour is nice and even, and it is the shade you want.

Step Three:

Sprinkle a little more icing sugar on your worksurface and gently roll your coloured dough out until it is nice and thin – ideally, a couple of millimetres, or whatever thickness you are happy working with.

Make sure it is more than twice the size of your block of ‘pages’.

Place it next to your white block of ‘pages’.

Before you go any further, carefully tidy up the edges of your ‘pages’ by gently pressing the flat end of your knife or spatula into the fondant and moulding with your fingers until the edges are as neat as possible.

Step Four:

Now, carefully pick up your block of ‘pages’, and place it into the centre and slightly to the right of your rolled-out piece of coloured fondant.

To make the jacket, simply cut around the white fondant leaving a millimetre or so each side.

Carefully fold the left side of the jacket over the pages, mark the edge, fold it back and trim it off, so that it is the same length as the underneath side.

Step Five:

Now, gently lift the left side of the ‘jacket’ up and fold it over your ‘pages’.

Hurrah, you now have the basic shape of your book!

Step Six:

Before you proceed, neaten the edges of your book up as before, using the edge of your knife or spatula.

When you are happy that it is as neat as possible (not easy, I know, when you are working with something this small), you are ready to make your spine.

Using the edge of your knife or spatula, simply press into the left hand side of your book shape very gently, to create an indentation to resemble the binding.

Step Seven:

Now, gently pick up your book (a metal cake slice works well for this) and place it carefully on a plate. Leave it here for about thirty minutes until it has hardened slightly and is no longer quite so squidgy. This will mean that it keeps it shape when you put it on your cake.

Step Eight:

Repeat as many times as you like! Be creative – make different sized books with different coloured jackets.

You don’t have to make them all closed, either; you can have lots of fun making them appear half open, such as my slightly poor (and rather rushed) attempt below:

Step Nine:

Now for the final step – you need to give your books titles! Obviously you can choose whatever you like.

Short titles are the easiest – I chose Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ and Jilly Cooper’s ‘Score!’ (amazing book) because they were one-word and easy, and Waugh’s ‘Vile Bodies’ because that it what we were reading in book club that evening (although, ‘Vile Bodies’ did resemble ‘Vile Boobies’ a bit which was highly unfortunate).

You can pipe these on with writing icing, which is easiest, in whatever colour you like, or you can use melted white chocolate (which I did; however, this did prove to be extremely fiddly and I wished I had used icing instead).

Step Ten:

When your lovely books are all finished and have hardened slightly, and you are ready to decorate your cake, simply pick them up very carefully and stick them to the top of your cake using a blob of slightly cooled, melted chocolate (a little bit of jam or buttercream also works well).

Now, sit back and admire! Yay, you made a book cake!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

PS: Journalist extraordinaire Kat Brown has featured this cake on the utterly fabulous Domestic Sluttery. Yay! xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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