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Strawberry Sweetheart

Today the UK celebrates Mothering Sunday, and like I always say, there’s no better way to celebrate an occasion than with cake! Although I do have a confession to make, this is the first time in all my years of Adulthood that I  have eaten so much cake that I can’t see straight! Yup that’s me right now, (somehow typing this out while cross-eyed).

Earlier today I indulged in a plethora of sweet delicacies – from pistachio to carrot to lemon cake. Well, at least I slotted in my 5 a day *shrugs* The sweet treat that I created today was inspired by the incredible Hummingbird Bakery, one of my favourite UK high street bakeries.

As I nurse my headache and throbbing teeth, I leave you to admire these bite-size, mouth watering delights… Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes. A crunchy biscuit base, topped with a light vanilla sponge and fresh strawberries embedded in between each crumb. Top this off with a fresh buttercream frosting and a sprinkling of biscuits for a finishing touch.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Tracey xo

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Queen of Hearts

14 February…

This is either a date that you look forward to with eager anticipation, or a day that you may refer to as S.A.D (Single’s Awareness Day). Yes, people do use this acronym. Whichever way you look at it, today is a day to indulge in cakes and bakes.

While couples empty the seasonal aisle of it’s chocolates, stuffed toys and novelty cards, you may want to consider this simple sugar cookie recipe…Wait! Before you reject the idea of baking for your valentine, believe me when I say that this is one of the simplest recipes you’ll come across – even for a beginner. If you’re valentine is a lover of cakes and bakes, then seducing their sweet tooth will definitely win you brownie points (yes, there’s a recipe for this too!)

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

Unsalted butter 200g
Caster sugar 280g
Vanilla Extract 1/4 tsp.
Egg x1
Plain flour x400g
Pinch of salt7
Cream of tartar 1/2 tsp.
Royal Icing (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas Mark 5

Put the butter, sugar* and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar,** being careful not to over mix. The dough should be light, soft and easy to handle.

Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. (I usually sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin too, to avoid the dough sticking). Cut out shapes with your choice of cookie cutters and place them on a baking tray with greaseproof paper. (Optional: Use a pastry brush to base the unbaked cookies with milk for a slightly golden colour).

Bake for 10-12 mins, regularly checking that they don’t burn. The cookies should be light and golden on the outer edges and paler in the centre. Leave to cool on a rack before either decorating with royal icing sugar or sprinkling with dry icing sugar.

*I usually reduce the sugar quantity by 80-100g and it still tastes sweet enough.

**Cream of tartar can be found in the baking aisle, along side baking soda (powder).

[If your cookies don’t happen to turn out the way you planned, present them in a box all the same, with a tag saying “Made with Love”. It’s kind of hard to resist a home-baked gift that was made with loving hands!]

Happy Valentines xo

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Merry Berry Christmas

Merry Christmas cake angels!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day surrounded by friends, family, rich foods, desserts, and sweet wines!

Christmas always seems to be a time of repeated recipes in my household. Despite my eagerness to flaunt my baking abilities and showcase new recipes, my household love to request their favourite bakes… This Christmas I baked two light and crunchy Apple Streusel cakes, with a warm berry compote. Close your eyes and picture this, a light and fluffy vanilla cake lying beneath a layer of apples, and a crunchy bed of streusel topping. Drizzled over the cake is a cocktail of sweet n sour summer berries, the perfect winter warmer.

These are two of the simplest recipes you’ll find on the cupcakinglydelicious blog. Check out the Recipes page for the how-to.

Have yourself a Merry Berry Christmas!

Love, Peace & Joy,

Tracey xo

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Death by Chocolate

It’s no secret that Autumn (Fall) has made a swift exit and Winter is here to stay. The thought of being snowed in for days on end sends shivers creeping down my spine.*  If you’re fortunate enough to live near the Equator, the Autumn and Winter seasons may be a fantasy only seen in movies (lucky you!) As painful as it was packing away my Summer wardrobe, I soon found comfort in knowing that this is the season of chunky knitwear, double duvets and hot bakes :)

For some time now I’ve been promising my readers that I would move away from the safe place of cakes and explore other bakes, today is that day! *Finally! I hear you exhale*  Despite my sweet tooth, it may surprise you to know that I’m relatively health-conscious… that said, the Winter months are the perfect excuse for a foodie like me to experiment with mouth-watering and gluttonous bakes. 

My first baking venture is a deadly combination of sugary afrodisiacs. A dark and rich bake that it often described with a deep sigh of satisfaction:

C H O C O L A T E  .  B  R O W N I E S. This is the perfect sweet treat to have besides a cup of your favourite tea, whilst wrapped up in a blanket, and watching a movie. That is exactly how I enjoyed my plate of gluttony. 

(N.B. I am not responsible for any weight gain following the consumption of these brownies. I highly recommend that you have a side of cardio for lunch. Eat responsibly.)

Love & Brownies,

Tracey xo

*Let’s face it, there are far worse things than being snowed-in… 1) Being snowed-in without eggs. 2) Being snowed in without flour. 3) Being snowed in without chocolate! 

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Swiss Roll Sunday

The avid cake-lovers amongst us will know that this was an exciting week in the baking world. This week British TV viewers saw the return of one of my favourite ‘cakespiration’ shows, The Great British Bake Off (GBBO).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, it consists of 12 bakers and two judges – the majestic Mary Berry, and top bread-maker Paul Hollywood. Each week the contestant bakers are given recipes which they must execute with poise and precision. Many recipes are British classics, and other recipes were created by the judges themselves! (Imagine the creator of a recipe looking over your shoulder as you attempt to re-create it, crumb for crumb!) If that’s not pressure then I don’t know what is.

In this week’s return to Season 5 the baker’s first task was to make a Swiss Roll. Feeling very inspired by the enthusiasm of the bakers I too made an attempt to recreate this baking classic…

Although this was a simple recipe  I broke the ultimate baking rule and overcooked the cake *covers face* I didn’t want to believe that the cake could bake so fast! Had I followed instructions the cake would have been the perfect consistency. Nevertheless it was the perfect end to a Sunday Funday :)

Swiss Roll

 

Swiss Roll Sunday

Happy Sunday bakers!

Tracey xo

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Sweet ‘n’ Zesty

Happy Mother’s Day ladies! 

What a beautiful thing to celebrate the Superwomen in our lives – and what better way to do it than with a spot of tea and cake!

My Mother requested a plain Vanilla Sponge cake, but I also surprised her with a new recipe, a Classic Cherry Cake

Classic Cherry Cake

 

A loaf of sponge cake embedded with sticky Glacé cherries, with a blend of flaked almonds and a light hint of lemon. My taste buds were tantilised with the sweetness of the fruit, the wholeness of the nuts and the crumbly-softness of the cake. I can see that this could fast become my new favourite! I’ve quickly learnt that the flavours of berry-based cakes and bakes can be enhanced by the zest and juice of lemon; so if you’re a lover of the sweet ‘n’ zesty then this is a cake for you. 

 

 

‘Strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them’ ~ Anon.

 

Have a wonderful day Superwomen!

Tracey xo

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Flippin’ Frenzy!

Happy Pancake day!

It’s my third favourite day of the year, after Christmas and my birthday! Now, you must understand that the depth of love I have for pancakes is the type of love that most people have for pizza. (As you may have seen throughout my blog, pancakes are a regular part of my diet.) 

For the past couple of years I’ve promised myself that I would venture away from the traditional pancakes and attempt something a bit more adventurous. This year I’ve been willing to deny my sweet tooth its sickly pleasures and I attempted my first savoury pancake. I admit, the idea wasn’t wholly my own; on my first trip to NYC in 2008 the idea of a savoury pancake was thrust upon me when the waitress delivered my maple syrup pancakes, topped with sausages, bacon and eggs! Eggs! On my pancakes! I was mortified! It took me the entire trip to warm to the idea of mixing sweet & savoury, but once I caved in I became a slave to idea! Today’s pancake isn’t my own recipe, but adapted from a menu at one of my favourite London eateries, My Old Dutch. The recipe I adapted is also called My Old Dutch, but I’ve re-named this version, Firecracker!

Firecracker Pancakes!

Pancake dinner

My Firecracker pancake began with the classic Crêpe recipe, and stuffed with sweet peppers, onion, sweetcorn, bacon and Jerk chicken. I fried the vegetables for a few mins and added a little All Purpose Seasoning and White pepper before adding the bacon. (The chicken was pre-cooked in the oven beforehand). The Crêpes took little over 10mins to prepare and the chopping and cooking of the vegetables took around the same amount of time, the lengthiest part was cooking the chicken. When all was cooked, I tucked and wrapped that baby up like a hot Fajita and made a fresh fruit smoothie to wash it down… After two of these hearty pancakes I was only seconds away from a food coma, which is always a good sign that my gut is content. 

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I couldn’t keep my sweet tooth at bay for long enough, by law a dessert must follow the mains! A friend of mine recently introduced me to the sweet marriage of peanut butter and Nutella pancakes and my oh my did I fall in love! This is definitely in my top 10 favourite pancake combos. 

Sweet n Savoury pancakes

Who would have thought that a few basic ingredients could create something so tantalising? A basic recipe, yet with a few creative toppings and fillings, you can create a masterpiece. I hope you’ve all had a tasty Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday and eaten yourselves silly!

Love & Peanut butter,

Tracey xoxo