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

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Don't fancy yours much

Ok. Maybe I'm being a little unfair, as I have destroyed this cupcake - it looked quite pretty beforehand...

On noticing a tray of cupcakes in the window of Gregg's yesterday I decided to buy one to check out the competition. Seriously for research purposes - I only go into Gregg's once every three years, under duress from other parties to buy sausage rolls while out shopping.

Anyway, I would consider the Gregg's cupcake a low-end product, selling for 55p (or 4 for £1 I think, though that doesn't really make sense), and I wondered what they were like versus my 70p-90p cupcakes. As it turns out, they don't travel awfully well when you forget you've bought it and leave it in your laptop bag.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Carrot, Apple, Ginger

Success! After a couple of attempts and some different options (see right in their colour-coded cases), I have fixed upon the final recipe for Carrot, Apple, Ginger.

This one has a lot of ingredients but is actually really easy to make. You basically have some dry ingredients, some fruit ingredients and some wet ingredients. Mix them separately, then mix 'em together!

So, preheat oven to 180C (160C fan; 350F; Gas Mark 4). Prepare your muffin tin with 12 cupcake/muffin cases.

150g wholemeal flour (sifted)
30g demerara sugar (or caster or muscavado, or even granulated would do, this isn't a dainty, fussy cake)
25g skimmed milk powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
0.25 tsp salt
Mix these together.

125ml vegetable oil
60ml runny honey
60ml maple syrup
2 eggs
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk these together.

FRUIT - leave this until last so that your apple doesn't brown while you're doing everything else:
75g carrot, peeled and grated (I think a small grate works best)
75g chopped crystalised ginger (small dice)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
(nb this makes for a very gingery cake - if you want less zing and a bit more sweet, you could replace some of the ginger with chopped dried apple)

The easy bit: add the fruit to the dry and mix it about a bit, but don't fuss too much; add the wet to the dry and fold in. Spoon the mix into 12 cupcake cases (about 3/4 full), and bake for 20-25 mins. nb you might want to turn the heat down 5-10 degrees (C) after about 10 minutes, as it's quite a wet mix and if your oven is too hot it will brown on top before cooked through (but the cakes need the heat to start with).

I'm sure this would also make a great loaf cake, although I'm not sure what timings you'd need. If you experiment - let me know!

Friday, 23 April 2010

It's not healthy

Today I've had one of those days when I've been so busy I didn't really have time to stop for lunch, so with my cup of afternoon green tea I had a left over barbecued sausage and, you've guessed it, a cupcake (Luscious Lemon). That can't be healthy, can it?

Thank goodness this weekend I'll be working on my Carrot, Apple, Ginger recipe which is 'almost healthy'. Wholemeal flour, honey instead of sugar and packed with fruity goodness (if you class carrots as a fruit, which they apparently do in some obscure region of Spain or something). Anyway, I'm also going to try a lighter apple juice icing rather than butter-based or cream cheese topping (which is what I used last time round) which will make it an entirely dairy-free recipe too.

Watch this space for updates and hopefully photos over the weekend....

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Cupcake tasters

A little selection of minis and maxis!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I can't believe it's not butter

Back from Glasgow (boy, was that a train journey!) and already been back baking in the kitschy kitchen. I haven’t posted for while as my laptop isn’t connecting to the internet at home (so I’m currently in the day-job office - shhhhh).

Anyway, had my first experiment with (gasp! horror!) butter-free cupcakes this week. A very nice bride-to-be with intolerance to lactose came round for a tasting. I think it went ok!

The sponge mixture was very light and the cupcakes rose really well, so I was unexpectedly pleased with the results. If it wasn’t counter to my principles of using good natural stuff, I’d be tempted to change to margarine! (Just like mother used to make!)

I also tried a range of I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter-icing toppings, and took the opportunity to go like a kid in a sweet shop on a range of decorations (I’ll post some pictures when I’m back online at home). What fun! If it wasn’t so impractical to have a different topping style on every cake I think I’d decorate all my cupcakes in this haphazard manner – a bit of this, a sprinkle of that!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Flavour of the month: Introducing Lady Marmalade

April's flavour of the month! Hey sister, go sister, eat sister, cupcake sister!

Now all those chocolate mini eggs are out of the way, it's time to have some fun! This month's flavour is a sponge recipe sent to me by mum, with a kitschy twist of course!

Lady Marmalade is a delicious sponge (a basic vanilla recipe minus vanilla), flavoured with orange marmalade, which makes it extra moist too. I've opted for shredless marmalade in the final recipe as the 'shreds' are quite long and unruly. My tip would be to make sure the mixture hasn't got too wet with the addition of the marmalade - add a bit more flour if necessary. The topping is a standard butter-cream with a healthy dollop (or two) of fine-shred orange marmalade (let the shreds fall where they will in the topping!).

A bit zingy, but still quite sweet and perfect with a nice cup of earl grey tea.

Perhaps next month we'll have the Mocha Chocolata ya ya (whatever that means).

Saturday, 3 April 2010

More Easter bunnies!

Easter orders are now awaiting delivery by the Easter bunnies...!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Easter bunnies

I'm getting ready for the Easter bake off!

I've bought a mountain of chocolate (to add to some gratefully received supplies from Mum) and bags full of fair trade mini eggs (I've now ditched Cadbury's in favour of Traidcraft). I'm still not happy about the white chocolate - baking with it always seems to throw up new problems (see earlier ramblings on Death by white chocolate). I can always recover it (adding milk to split white chocolate and whisking really does work every time), but I wish it wouldn't be so darned difficult in the first place.

I also have a wedding anniversary order to fulfil Sunday morning (let's hope I don't interrupt the celebrating couple!). At least that includes some Lemon Lovehearts cupcakes so I'll have a bit of a break from chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate...