What goes on in the kitschy kitchen? Recipes and ramblings from the home of Kitschy Cupcakes.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Birthday boy

Sunday was my little bro's birthday and we had a lovely family meet up to celebrate. No birthday would be complete without cupcakes of course, and to satisfy the marzipan monster that is my brother (well, and me actually) I created a retro pink and yellow battenburg cupcake. I think he enjoyed them...

The topping was an experiment - essentially a frangipan, equal quantities of butter, icing sugar and ground almonds, and egg. I used about 75g each of butter, almonds and icing sugar for 12 cupcakes.

Beat the softened butter until smooth and mix in the (sieved) almonds and about half the sugar. Add one egg yolk and cook slowly over a bain marie for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly (until the egg cooked and the almonds no longer taste 'raw'). Leave to cool slightly then add the remainder of the icing sugar a little at a time until you get a consistency you're happy with (for spreading, piping etc).

Friday, 26 March 2010

Kitschy Cupcakes goes global!

Well, we're not quite talking world domination, but this week I had my first international order! A very lovely cupcake (and piste) fan from Switzerland wanted some cupcakes delivered as a birthday gift to a friend in Taunton. How cool is that?!

I have heard that the recipient enjoyed her cupcakes (jolly good) and it was a pleasure to have helped sweeten the path of true friendship against long-distance odds!

Am thinking I should include a birthday cupcakes option on the website for those seeking non-seasonal gifts. Although of course there's the thorny issue of the day job to consider...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

First Wivey Market sale

I've been having a well earned rest this afternoon after my first Wivey Market sale (plus a bit of tea and cake of course). All went well and I sold 40 cupcakes in total, which was not bad at all for three hours on a drizzly Somerset morning. Not quite enough to be giving up the day job just yet, but one has to start somewhere!

The punters' favourite flavours were Chocolate Chocolate (popular with those who planned to eat immediately!) and Luscious Lemon (sold out!). The WI ladies confirmed that lemon is often the most popular cake choice (followed by ginger, so I can sense a new recipe coming on...). Delectable Date 'n' Walnut obviously didn't look delectable enough, so I'll need a new flavour for next month's sale anyway. I also didn't need to take as many Very Vanilla, which I thought would be more popular, and they looked so pretty in their spotty cases (thanks Ann!).

All in all not a bad day's work, and at least we have plenty of neighbours willing to eat the leftovers...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Cupcakes on everything

I wandered into Paperchase the other day (as one does of a lunch break) and have fallen in love with their new cupcakes range. More cupcake than kitsch, but the tea towels would be so cute in the kitschy kitchen!

I’ve already acquired a couple of pinnies for ‘corporate clothing’ and am thinking I should take home the lovely notebook for my recipe scribblings….

Lovers of all things cupcake click here.
Look at the Paperchase website

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Victoria's Victoria Sponge

The star cupcake in the ‘Women’s Institute’ Collection I’m creating for this summer’s fetes will have to be the Victoria sponge. I’ve been developing this recipe in honour of our friend Victoria who recently had baby Lucy, hence the double Victorias.

There has been much tinkering with the basic vanilla sponge recipe as this one will really have to stand up on its own and needs to be both light and moist. I think the old trick of weighing your eggs and using equal quantities of butter, sugar and flour has had the best results. As well as good quality vanilla (of course), I think that good quality (well beaten) unsalted butter is a must, but then I do love my butter as anyone who knows me well will testify!

With the sponge is wrapped up I’ve finally Victoria’d it by adding jam inside the sponge and whipped cream on top. Yes, jam in the middle really does work! It’s a bit of a faff as you need to be careful to seal the jam in the sponge mix while also keeping a good amount of cake mix underneath (because it sinks). The first ones I tried were with cherry jam (because the jar was open!), which was fine, but for traditional Victoria Sponge taste, the ones pictured contain raspberry jam. I’m hoping a seedless raspberry jelly may be better behaved and sink less – that and better cream presentation are my next tweaks.

I hope Victoria likes them!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Cupcake accoutrements

Sadly, my wrist is giving me too much gip this week for there to be much activity in the kitschy kitchen, so I have been busying myself with preparations for my first ‘sale’.

Monday I got myself officially booked in for the next Wivey market – 20 March – where I will be putting my wares on display. At this point I realised I would actually have to display the cupcakes. What in? What on? Help! EBAY!

Goth cake stand
So, I am now the proud owner of this rather goth-cutesy cake stand (from the highly recommended lovetoplan25 if anyone is an obsessive ebayer ); I patiently await more kitsch in the form of a red and white polka dot stand and Allan is on the scrounge for some plastic trays for transporting from his chum at the greengrocers. I think we may be bartering trays for cupcakes….

I can’t think of anything else at the moment. I’ll have to sell 40 cupcakes to make enough profit to pay for the stand, so it’ll probably have to wait anyway!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Kitschy web

Well, there's not been a lot going on in the kitschy kitchen this weekend, but the kitschy computer has been very busy! I've now tarted up the kitschy website, with some fabulous paisley wallpaper (and much improved content, but paisley is the most fun bit!)

Hopefully, we'll be able to add lots more info about new flavours and cupcake collections over spring and summer, with photos and dates for stalls etc. Online ordering soon too if I can make it work....

Check out the updated www.kitschycupcakes.co.uk and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Death by white chocolate: Episode II

Well, Green & Blacks made no difference at all. In fact it split from the butter in the melting stage and was only rescued with some very vigorous whisking (a drop of milk really helped to save this mix). So, tasty and organic it may be, but a solution to the problems of baking with white chocolate it is not.

I've put the goal of a gluten free white chocolate cupcake on hold for now and have started from scratch with a standard white chocolate sponge. This seems to have worked out ok - hurrah! Just as well, as I've had an order being collected this morning...

The recipe is: 125g caster sugar mixed into 125g soft butter, add two eggs and mix until light and fluffy; add 150g well-sieved plain flour and 2 tsp baking powder, plus about 70g grated white chocolate. Leave to sit in the cupcake cups for 20 mins or so before bunging in the oven at 180c for 25 mins (or until golden brown on top). This makes 12 'normal size' cupcakes or about 8 'power' cupcakes! (ie made in a muffin tin, as pictured.)