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Don’t Go Baking My Heart

Valentines and Pancake day are fast approaching. Whether you plan to indulge alone or treat your special someone to breakfast in bed, I have a recipe that will have you salivating from the batter to the plate!

I’ve never been one for boring pancakes (yes, I class English pancakes as boring), so when I stumbled across the Red Velvet pancake on the iHop menu I knew it would become one of my favourite recipes. I admit, this recipe requires a little more patience than most pancakes but believe me when I say it is worth it.

Ingredients

Plain flour 120g
Baking powder 3 tsp

Pinch of salt
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Caster Sugar 3-4 tbsp (or to taste)
Egg x1 (beaten)
Red food colouring x4 tsp
Vanilla Extract x2 tsp
Buttermilk 6fl oz.
Unsalted Butter (melted) x2 tbsp
Bicarbonate of Soda x1 tsp (Optional)
White distilled vinegar x1 tsp (Optional)
Extra butter or Olive oil for greasing the frying pan.

N.B. The brand of cocoa powder and red food colouring are two of the most important ingredients as they will determine the richness of the red colour. If you opt for a cheap cocoa powder and food colouring the pancakes will come out brown. My favourite tried and tested products are Green & Black’s cocoa powder and Dr. Oetker food colouring, for any red velvet bakes. If using the Dr. Oetker food colouring purchase two tubes which measures out at 4 tsp.

Begin by sifting the flour and dry ingredients into a bowl one by one and set aside (i.e. Flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder).

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg for a few seconds until well mixed.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over the lowest heat, ensuring that it does not burn. When melted, add to the egg and butter mixture, along with the vanilla extract and whisk together.

Pour the buttermilk into a measuring jug and add the red food colouring to the jug itself. Mix together with a spoon until the buttermilk is red in colour. Next, add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to the buttermilk and stir in well. (N.B. Although all good red velvet recipes call for this step, I once forgot to add this part to the recipe and I didn’t taste a dramatic difference, so it can be optional)

Add half of the buttermilk to the wet mixture and use the whisk to mix well. Then sift half of the dry ingredients into the bowl and whisk; repeat this process until all ingredients are combined.

The trickiest part of the recipe is ensuring that the pancakes don’t burn. This will require your full attention:
Heat a frying pan on low-medium heat and drop in a small amount of butter or olive oil; tilt the frying pan so that the full surface is covered, and using a ladle pour a small amount of the batter into the centre of the pan.

Once you begin to see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake, flip it over using a spatula. Warning, if the pancakes are looking too dark they may be burning! Don’t panic, turn down the temperature and cook them on a lower heat. (That’s the most tedious part).

Serve with a drizzle (or dollop) of cream cheese frosting, sprinkle with icing sugar, drown in maple syrup or marry with a sweet berry compote.

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National Cookie Day

December is here. The skies are littered with Christmas lights and the scent of freshly chopped trees fill the market areas. While there are many beautiful and significant things about this season, there is no doubt that indulgence has become one of them!

I admit, I took some time in deciding which recipe would kick start the Christmas season, then I stumbled across three very profound words: National Cookie Day.  What better way to begin the Christmas season of cupcakingly delicious recipes!

Thanks to my new friend Pinterest  I learnt some interesting facts about the history of the cookie:

  1. The name cookie derives from the Dutch word koekje, which means little cake.
  2. Cookies are typically made of eggs, flour, sugar, butter or cooking oil. Common ingredients are raisins, chocolate chips or oats.
  3. Popular American cookies were traditionally Macaroons or Gingerbread Cookies.

With Christmas just on our doorsteps, what better recipe to share other than the Gingerbread Cookie.

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

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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 your 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