Iron Cupcake Earth: Challenge One: Chili

I finally got my act together and made my cupcakes for the first Iron Cupcake: Earth challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just to refresh your memory, Iron Cupcake: Earth is a cupcake challenge run by the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner and there are some wicked prizes including:

So, you know, when it’s time to vote, go vote for me as I would love to get my hands on this awesome set of prizes. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, without further ado, I introduce to you……MY CUPCAKE!

Lime Cupcake with Chili, Lime and Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting

Lime Cupcake with Chili, Lime and Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting

As you can see by reading the caption, it’s a lime cupcake with chili, lime and cream cheese frosting and it is delicious.

Recipe:

Makes about 15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cake:

225g (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened

225g (8 oz) caster sugar

225g (8 oz) self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

3 tbsp of lime extract (alternatively you could use fresh lime juice but unfortunately there was no limes in the supermarket when I went shopping)

Freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 180C and line a muffin pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar.
  • Sift together the self-raising flour and the baking powder, add to the butter sugar mixture, and mix together until smooth and pale. If you’re using an electric mixer it should only take a few minutes.
  • Add the lime extract and black pepper and mix.
  • Fill muffin pan and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until golden in colour.
  • Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Frosting:

250g cream cheese, softened

5 cups icing sugar

5 tsp of lime extract

4 tsp of tequila (or more if you want)

4 tsp of dried chili flakes

  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add the cream cheese and stir until smooth.
  • Add the lime extract, tequila and the chili flakes and mix until incorporated.
  • Decorate the cupcakes!

These are delicious. The chili is not strong enough to overpower the lime flavour but it adds a certain warmth to the overall cake.

Voting starts at NOON August 31st at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner so make sure you go vote for me! Don’t worry, I’ll post a reminder closer to the time so you don’t forget. ๐Ÿ˜‰

August 16, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Baking, Chilli, Cupcakes, Iron Cupcake: Earth. 1 comment.

Happy Birthday to Maziah’s Mum!

Well actually her birthday was a week or so ago but the weather was so bad that there was no way to get the cupcakes to Queenstown so unfortunately Maziah had to cancel the order. Anyway, this even I received a text from her asking if I could get them done for tonight as her mum was in town so I baked like crazy and got them done in time for her to pick them up. ๐Ÿ™‚

August 8, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Baking, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Orders. Leave a comment.

Simple White Bread

I was like a baking machine today. Originally I’d only planned to make a loaf of bread and some blondies but then Maziah texted me at 5 to see if I could make her the 25 cupcakes she wanted for tonight. And guess what? I could. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am trรจs awesome. But first off, time to tackle the loaf of bread I made.ย  I’ve made this a few times, in fact I used to make it all the time last year, and there’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread – even the smell of fresh baked cakes can’t top it.

The recipe came from Delia Online (Delia Smith’s website) and it is a brilliant and easy recipe. For those of you who don’t want to click a link I’ll post it here too.

Ingredients:

1lb 8oz (700g) of strong white bread flour (I just used some regular plain/all purpose flour)

1 level tablespoon of salt , or less, according to taste

1 level teaspoon of dried yeast

1 level teaspoon of caster sugar

15 fl oz (425ml) hand hot water

What You Do:

  • Delia Smith says to begin by warming the flour in the oven for about ten minutes but I didn’t do that and it still worked out so really it’s up to you….although you should probably follow the advice of Delia because, well, because she’s Delia Smith.
  • Sift flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the water.
  • Mix the dough, starting off with a wooden spoon and using your hands at the end. Add more water if there’s any dry bits.
  • Wipe the bowl clean with the dough and transfer it to a flat work surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes or until in develops a sheen and is springy and elastic.
  • Put the dough back in the mixing bowl or a clean bowl and leave it covered until it appears to have doubled in bulk ( this should take about 2 hours at room temperature).
  • After that, turn the dough out on to the work surface again and knead for 2 minutes.
  • Now you can either put the dough in a loaf pan or divide it in two to make two smaller loaves. Once you’ve made the life changing decision of how many loaves you want, leave the pan(s) for another hour until the dough rises above the top of the tins. (Delia says to put them inside an oiled polythene bag but that seemed like too much fuss so I just covered it with a clean teatowel and put it in the airing cupboard where it was warm. Delia has her way and I have mine.)
  • While your waiting, turn your oven on to 450F (230C).
  • Bake the bread on the centre shelf, two small loaves for about 30 – 40 minutes and one big loaf for about 35 – 45 minutes, until they sound hollow when the base is tapped.
  • Tip the loaf out of its tin and stick it back in the oven for about 5 minutes to crisp the base and sides.

Mmmm. Delicious.

August 8, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Baking, Bread. Leave a comment.

Iron Cupcake: Earth

Yes I have joined a second baking group – this one being Iron Cupcake: Earth which is run by the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen (by the way, you should totally go check out her blog: No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner). To start with, what an awesome name for a challenge! I am so excited for this to begin. ๐Ÿ™‚ Each month an ingredient is announced and everyone who has signed up has a month to develop and bake their interpretation of the challenge ingredient. In cupcake form, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then, once all the posts and photos have been received, a post will go up on No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner and you can vote for your favourite there. And there are some awesome prizes from a different Etsy artist each month.

Iron Cupcake: Earth is getting bigger everyday and I strongly encourage you to join if cupcakes are your thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ To join, all you need to do is email The Milwaukee Cupcake Queen at ironcupcakeearth@wi.rr.com with the following information:

Name

City, State, Country

Blog Address

Flickr Name

Referral: The name of the blog which referred you ie. The Dunedin Domestic Goddess

Any questions you have can be answered by looking at the Iron Cupcake: Earth blog. So go sign up! It’s going to be heaps of fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

August 1, 2008. Tags: , , , . Baking, Cupcakes. 2 comments.

Ten Little Chocolate Cakes

Maziah came back for another order (this time for ten -$15) and she’s after some more for a present for someone. Hooray! ๐Ÿ™‚

Five of the chocolate cakes were decorated with Vanilla Buttercream and sprinkled with milk chocolate shavings and the other five were decorated with Chocolate Buttercream and sprinkled with shavings of white chocolate. All packed up in a box with silver tissue paper. ๐Ÿ™‚

July 29, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Baking, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Orders. Leave a comment.

My First Order ! :)

Yeah, that’s right. Someone ordered some cupcakes. ๐Ÿ™‚ And that someone was the lovely Maziah. She ordered six and I charged her $10. I hope you enjoy them Maziah!

Yeah….I made a little box for them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re chocolate with Vanilla Buttercream.

July 21, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Baking, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Orders. 3 comments.

Daring Bakers June Challenge: Danish Braid

This month marked my initiation into the Daring Bakers clan and this month’s challenge turned out to be, for me, a bit of a baptism by fire. June’s challenge was to make a Danish Braid (filled with your choice of filling) and it was hosted by Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cooking?. When I saw what the challenge was going to be for my first month I was a little scared to tell you the truth and I had to keep reminding myself that Daring Bakers is all about leaving your comfort zone and making things you wouldn’t normally make. The Danish Braid could have any filling you wanted really, but since this was my first challenge I stuck with the apple filling that came with the recipe because I was scared I’d stuff it up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kneading the Dough

The dough itself was fairly easy to make although I don’t own a stand mixer so I just had to make it the old fashioned way with my fingers. That was alright but there were a few mishaps during the mixing with the liquid escaping and running all over the kitchen bench and me having to build little flour walls to stop it. The only complaint I have about the dough is the fact that you have to chill it for 30 minutes between each turn and for 5 hours (or overnight) after the final turn….but that’s only because I’m really impatient and I kept checking the time constantly when it was in the fridge. Spreading the beurrage onto the dough was another tricky bit as it got everywhere, especially when I was rolling it after it had been folded together for the first time. It kept bursting out of the dough, but that was ok because I just scraped it up and dumped it back on top of it again.

I put the waiting to good use though and I made the apple A fireman leaping into action!filling while I was waiting for the dough to chill. But then something really exciting happened and one of the houses behind my parents house (where I was making the braid) set on fire! So the braid was abandoned and me and my sister ran to watch the firemen. The place was completely gutted and there was a car on the lawn so apparently the firemen were worried there was someone in there but it was alright. Although, according to the news, there is a man missing.

Anyway, back to the baking. Once the dough had chilled for five hours it was time to get it out of the fridge and roll it out again into a big rectangle. That took a while and my arms were sore after all the kneading and rolling but that’s more to do with me being lazy and not exercising than it is to do with the dough. The dough was lovely and very well behaved. Once I’d got it into a big rectangle, I cut it into two smaller ones since I had decided to make two smaller braids – one for my parents and one for me and Michael.

Then it was time for cutting and filling the braid. This part was definitely the easiest bit of the whole thing since it was just making sure there was the same amount of strips on each side and dumping a whole lot of apple and cinnamon filling in the middle. The actual braiding was a little more difficult as I couldn’t quite keep the whole thing together and it kept unfurling whenever I turned my back. So after wrestling with it for a while I gave up and started on the second braid….which actually turned out worse since I made the cuts too long and it didn’t give a solid base for the filling but it’s alright. The first one turned out ok. The recipe was fairly easy to follow and I think I’ll be trying it again at some point.

There are heaps of sexy looking braids out there and I advise you to go check them out! Either click around on the blogroll or just try a google search. I am particularly fond of Fanny’s Danish Braid with Vanilla Custard and chocolate chips over at foodbeam. I think I might have to give that one a try next time I do this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Recipe:

Danish Dough:

Makes 2 1/2 pounds of dough

For the dough (detrempe):

1 ounce of fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast

1/2 cup of whole milk

1/3 cup of sugar

Zest of one orange, finely grated

3/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom (I left this out since I’m not really a fan of it but it’s up to you)

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped

2 large eggs, chilled

1/4 cup of fresh orange juice

3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

For the butter block (Beurrage):

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

DOUGH
Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the โ€œwallsโ€ of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

BUTTER BLOCK
1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ยผ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ยผ-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

APPLE FILLING
Makes enough for two braids

Ingredients
4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ยผ-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sautรฉ pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sautรฉ until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If youโ€™ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

DANISH BRAID
Makes enough for 2 large braids

Ingredients
1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ยผ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those youโ€™ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling youโ€™ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom โ€œflapsโ€, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom โ€œflapโ€ up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pamโ€ฆ) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

Happy Braiding! ๐Ÿ™‚

June 30, 2008. Tags: , , , . Baking, Daring Bakers, June. 8 comments.

Birthday Cake 2: Taste the Rainbow

Michael\'s 21st Birthday CakeFriday was Michael’s 21st birthday and naturally I decided to make him a cake to celebrate. Woo! AS you can see from the photo I iced it in grey buttercream (oh, and that thing is meant to be a heart although it turned out a bit blobby). I know what you’re thinking, a grey cake? Who would want that? But wait! There’s more to this cake than meets the eye. You may think it’s just a boring, drab, grey cake but really, it’s not.

Behold! The colouful psychedelic inside of the cake! Marvel at the bright colours and how awesome it looks!

Isn’t it great? You know you want one. Anyway, this was actually super easy to do although it was a bit time consuming having to split the batter into seven separate bowls and colouring each lot individually, then spreading them one of top of the other in the cake tins. It was well worth it though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a picture of a slice: Psychedelic Slice

June 21, 2008. Tags: , , , . Baking, Birthday, Cake. 3 comments.

Birthday Cake

Aw yeah!Do you know what time it is? It’s time to ROCK OUT! With this cake that I made for my brother’s 13th birthday on Saturday. It took me six hours and I am so proud of it although I was sick of looking at it by the time it was finished.

It’s made up of three cakes (two rectangle ones and a round one which was cut to be the neck of the guitar) and I made the marshmallow fondant myself. I know that the red isn’t as red as it should be and the black isn’t quite as black but I’m not that fussed because it was my first time messing around with fondant and I’d already used half a bottle of red food colouring. And my wrists and arms were killing me from all the kneading that was involved. In fact, I think making the fondant was the most time consuming part of the process. Anyway, it even has a whammy bar (Is that what it’s called?) which Dad made out of a metal chopstick (he bent it and cut it down to size) and then I stuck a lump of icing on the end of it. Yay!

What an awesome cake. It even got some comments from the other thirteen year old boys that were in the house such as: ‘WOW!’ and ‘That’s the best cake I’ve ever seen!’. Which was nice but, you know, he was thirteen so how many cakes can he have seen in his short life? Anyway, I like the cake so much and I am so proud of it that you’re going to be subjected to several more pictures of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok. I’ll stop now. ๐Ÿ™‚

June 17, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Baking, Birthday, Cake, Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Savoury Muffins

One of the many problems that come with being a poor university student is that it can be incredibly hard to find cheap things for lunch that aren’t instant noodles (and believe me, I’ve had enough instant noodles recently to last me a lifetime), so I decided to bake some savoury muffins that we could eat for lunch over the coming week. I got my cookbooks out and searched for a suitable muffin recipe but, to my surprise, there wasn’t one. Yeah. After dithering for a while, I pulled myself together and adapted a recipe for cheese, bacon and creamed corn muffins that I found in the Edmonds Food for Flatters cookbook.

Cheese and Onion Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups of plain flour

5 tsps of baking powder

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups of milk

salt and pepper to taste

200g of grated cheese

1 large onion (chopped)

Method

1. Grease muffin tins.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder.

3. Make a well in the centre, and add the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

4. Mix until just combined.

5. Stir in cheese and onion.

6. Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full.

7. Bake at 190c for about 20 minutes.

Variation: Ham and Cheese

Use 200g of chopped ham instead of the onion.

These are actually really good and stuffed full of….stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

May 11, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Baking, Cheese, Ham, Muffins, Onion, Savoury. 2 comments.

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