126 Mini Cupcakes

That's right, over two days I make 126 mini cupcakes. Well, it ended up being more like 200 with the dud and practice ones, but those don't count, right? I was asked to make 120 mini cupcakes for a 21st which seemed ok at the time, I mean, they're little, how hard is that? It ended up very very fiddly and while it wasn't difficult, it was definitely time consuming! The girl who's 21st it was wanted 6 different flavours, and they're all flavours (or similar variations) on recipes that I've already done. Except vanilla cupcakes. Weird ae, that I've never done vanilla? I think it has to do with my whole chocolate obsession... But the vanilla ones actually turned out really well! They ended up being vanilla funfetti cupcakes because the sprinkles were really cute. So I had 6 flavours and ended up making 21 of each flavour because it was a 21st, which I thought was a nice touch. :) Apparently they were very well received and although I was exhausted on Friday it was definitely fun and a new experience. So below is the recipe for the vanilla funfetti cupcakes, adapted from Sweetapolita and pictures of the vanilla cupcakes and all of the cupcakes together in a box as well.

Vanilla Funfetti!

Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Madness, Chocolate Bailey's, Vanilla Funfetti, Mojito and Strawberry Lemonade.

Vanilla Funfetti Cupcakes (Makes 24 large cupcakes, halve the recipe for 24-30 mini cupcakes)

1 cup milk
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 egg, whole, at room temperature
1T vanilla essence
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1T baking powder
3/4t salt
175g butter, softened but cool, and cut into cubes
1/2 cup sprinkles (optional)

375g butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
3T milk
1T vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste
Different types of sprinkles for decoration

Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare the muffin pans with your favourite baking liners and set aside. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 cup of milk and vanilla essence. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter, and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. If you're making funfetti cupcakes, simply fold in the sprinkles, until just combined. Divide the batter into your prepared pans, no more than 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake, about 16-18 minutes. Be so careful to not over-bake. Let cool completely before icing.

Vanilla Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then increase to medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. This frosting is best used straight away.


A Norwegian Wedding Cake

When I was asked if I would accept this challenge, I was very unsure how it would turn out. From the photos, it looks like an almost impossible task! Kari is a friend of mum's from work and she asked mum if I would make her wedding cake. She was going to make it herself, but was talked out of it and probably quite luckily, I can't imagine how stressful that would be! So when she asked me, I said I would have a go and see how it went. Kari already had the rings on which you bake them, so that actually made it so much easier. Surprisingly, the cake wasn't actually as difficult as I thought. The dough was fairly easy to make (mostly because I was using mum's stand mixer I think, this would be very hard to do without one!), the most difficult part was actually trying to roll the rings all the same thickness. Then I am also really bad at, well, doing anything straight. As odd as it sounds I can't even walk in a straight line! So to make 37 rings go straight and not diagonal? Huge challenge. Luckily mum isn't as straight-challenged as I am, so it was her job to make sure that the cake was properly aligned! We ended up having two practices before making the actual cake, and I'm glad we did even though we had cake lying around for ages! Also word of warning, if you don't like the taste of marzipan (like me!) then this cake isn't for you. I don't mind it, but I'm not a fan. Luckily my flatmate, Luke, loves marzipan, so he was quite happy to eat all the spare pieces I had lying around! This cake looks amazing as a wedding cake because it's so tall and has the graduating rings, but it's not actually incredibly hard to make. So if you're looking for an impressive cake, like marzipan, and happen to have the Kransekake cake rings lying around, then go for it! I really enjoyed making it and apparently all the guests at the wedding and Kari and her new husband and family all loved it, so I think all in all it was a great success! This recipe is originally from Not Quite Nigella.

Kransekake (This is double the standard recipe, FYI to make a cake with 36 rings)

1.1kg almond meal
1.1kg icing sugar
1/2 cup flour
8-10 egg whites
3t almond essence

3 egg whites
6 cups icing sugar
Lemon juice from 1 lemon

You will have to do this in two parts, because unless you have an industrial mixer, it's not all going to fit! In the large bowl of an electric mixer add the almond meal and flour and sift in the icing sugar. Add 4 of the egg whites into the mix and mix with a paddle on low speed. Add a little 5th egg white until you reach a moist but rollable consistency. Cover your hands lightly in flour and if the dough still sticks to them add a little more flour. Cover with gladwrap so that it doesn't dry out. Repeat this sequence again and you'll have two sets of dough for the cake. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease each Kransekake mold with oil and sift over with flour. Take a small amount of the dough and roll it out and place it in the molds, joining any joins straight away before it dries out. Don’t fill too much as it will expand a little. Cover the dough in the molds with gladwrap so that it doesn't dry out. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it is a light golden shade. Cool in tin and if any are sticking together then quickly run a knife between them before they cool and harden. Remove from the tin once cooled. Sort rings into graduating shapes. Make royal icing by sifting the icing sugar in a bowl and whisking in the lemon juice and egg whites. Using a piping bag fitted with a small plain tube, place some royal icing on the bottom of the largest ring and stick it to the cake board. Then with the royal icing, draw patterns on the rings as seen above. Sandwich these together with more royal icing which sets like glue. Also a good idea is to put a circle of icing underneath each ring before sticking it to the next one because it makes the cake much sturdier. Enjoy your Norwegian cake!


Courtney's Love Affair With A Cookie

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post again! I have actually still been baking, I've just been repeating some things, working on a big project and have been in general really busy! So I'm not sure if I've mentioned before about my new flat, but it's really awesome! I've really been enjoying living here and my flatmates are all really cool. :) Courtney is the other girl living here and she really likes baking as well. She loved this cookie recipe the first time I made it and she's made it twice since! She told me the other day that it was dangerous introducing her to that recipe... Haha. It was originally from Sally's Baking Addiction but I modified the recipe to match my peanut butter addiction. :)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overload Cookies

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1t baking powder
1/4t salt
200g chocolate bits
2 large eggs
1t vanilla extract
75g butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate bits
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup white chocolate (optional)
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir until a smooth consistency is reached. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Set aside. With an electric or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Beat in the sugars, scraping down the sides every 10 seconds or so. The mixture will be grainy. Mix in the beaten egg/vanilla until incorporated. Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until combined. Melt the peanut butter for 30 seconds in the microwave and then add to the mixture. Add the dry ingredients on slow speed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix at any point in this process. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Scoop about 2T of dough and roll into a ball. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies have just begun to set with the centre still appearing very soft. They will firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.