Tag: buttercream

Prohibition Bakery book review & giveaway

Prohbition bakery review and giveaway Prohibition Bakery book review and giveaway

I bet the title of this post grabbed your attention. Prohibition Bakery! Prohibition = alcohol and in cakes that can only be a good thing.

I’ve made quite a few boozy cakes here on CakesBakesAndCookies.Com, The whisky cake aimed at my dad, the Black forrest gateau aimed at the husband and don’t get me started on boozy mince pies -aimed at everyone! So when I saw this book was about to land in the UK I had to get my hands on it. It is literally bursting with amazing cupcakes all with a touch of the hard stuff. I’m not a big drinker (unless it’s Dr Pepper!) but I love an alcoholic cake. The flavour just adds that little something extra.

The Prohibition Bakery

The Prohibition bakery isn’t just a book. It’s an actual bakery in New York City run by the very talented Leslie Feinberg and Brook Siem. The duo set up the bakery in 2011 transforming your favourite cocktails into tasty cupcakes. Flavour is the name of the game and every conceivable flavour is included in this book. Fifty five recipes to be exact.

So, what’s the book all about?

You’re gonna love this. Here’s a run down of the contents titles and just one example of what you can bake !!!!

  • Vodka – White Russian anyone? Super cute looking cupcake.
  • Rum -This is a nice big chapter.  Mojito cupcake- probably one of my all time favourite cocktails. Definitely going to make this one!
  • Whisky – The Sherlock and Watson cake sounds like it has a powerful punch, with an Earl grey and Highland scotch filling. There are eight Whisky cakes to try. Eeek!
  • Gin – It’s not everyday you come across a cupcake named ‘Suffering bastard’ It’s a ‘hair of the dog’ cupcake with gin and bourbon!
  • Tequila -Margarita. What more can I say?
  • Wine – Port in the storm. I love port and these cute little chocolate cupcakes look too good to miss.
  • Beer/Cider – The ‘apples to apples’ cupcake sounds amazing – pumpkin, cinnamon and applejack brandy. Niiiice!
  • Liqueur – For me it has to be Amaretto sour. Amaretto is basically alcoholic Dr Pepper to me. ?
  • Cocktails  – Not the cake variety. Actual cocktail recipes. A great end to a great book.

Prohbition bakery review and giveawayI love it that the introduction of this book includes everything you need to know to make a great cupcake – from building a baking kitchen, equipment and the basics right through to creating new flavours, frosting tips and everything you need to know about infusions and fillings. Once you have these down you can make all sorts of flavours using their guidelines. Tips like making an infused jelly will bring out the flavour more than just adding that ingredient to your cake mix.

The photography is dark and moody with loads of old photos from during the prohibition age. I love the shot of the ‘ladies against prohibition’ with their old time fashions and serious faces. The pages have sticky tape marks on them like the book’s a scrap book – nice touch. The photos of the cakes are really close and make you want to learn how to get those pretty star topping effects so big on the top of a cupcake – they’re perfect! The recipes are easy to follow and look sooooo delish! I want to eat every single one – especially in the liqueurs section.

I should mention that these are little cupcakes. Eat too many and you know what effect they’ll have.

I really like this book. It’s got a great vibe to it, lots of Leslie and Brook’s personality coming through in the writing which makes it feel really friendly. As much as I think this would make a fantastic gift for a friend I think my mates would prefer a box of cakes made from the book more!

The Prohibition Bakery by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem, Sterling Epicure publishing, is available on Amazon through my affiliate link here

Prohbition bakery review and giveaway

And what about the giveaway?

The lovely publishers of  The Prohibition Bakery by Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem, Sterling Epicure publishing, have given me not one, not two but THREE copies of this great book to giveaway to my lovely readers. Wanna win one?

To enter all you need to do is share at least one image from this post on Pinterest AND leave a comment below telling me what your ideal alcoholic flavour cake would be and why. Winners will be drawn at midday Thursday 2nd June 2016.

If you hover over the images on this post a little ‘pin it’ sign will appear to make sharing super easy. Don’t forget to leave a comment too!

 

Good luck!

EmmaMT x

 

CakesBakesAndCookies.com Terms & Conditions

This giveaway will close at 12:00 midday on 2nd June 2016. Sharing an image from this post on Pinterest and leaving a blog post comment is a mandatory entry option. This prize is offered by Sterling Epicure. I am hosting it on behalf of Sterling Epicure. Please note, I am not responsible for posting the prizes out or providing it. Sterling Epicure or their representative will send out the prizes, the winners must provide their name and address once contacted. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. The winner will be notified within 3 days of the closing date. The prize is one copy of the ‘Prohibition Bakery’ book, no cash alternatives are available. This giveaway is open only to residents in mainland UK (excluding Northern Ireland and Scottish Highlands and Islands) and entrants must be over 18.

Amaretto and Apricot cake with ameretto buttercream and glaze

Amaretto cake with buttercream and glazeSometimes we all need a showstopper cake in our repertoire and this is one of mine.I love a bit of Amaretto and Apricot cake and I seem to be making more and more tall cakes with a touch of alcohol in the ingredients…. and I’m practically teetotal. Well, designated driver at least!

This is a cake I came up with after my lovely friend Jane gave me a beautiful bottle of Disaranno after I made her daughters Minecraft cake.( I’ll have to share that with you sometime. It was a girl version of this one.) The reason Jane bought me this rather than any other drink is because Dr Pepper is my drink of choice – I love the stuff, and amaretto and coke is like alchoholic Dr P. Very good on a school mum’s night out.

Anyway, I was talking to my sister about the disaranno and she said that Amaretto is made from apricots and I was surprised as I always thought it came from almonds. It turns out that it can be made from either.  What a good way to flavour a cake I thought. So I did.

 

Amaretto and apricot cake

For the cake

  • 150g dried apricots (cut into small pieces)
  • 100ml Amaretto
  • 175g butter at room temperature
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto
  • 200g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Amaretto Buttercream

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)  this could be increased according to your preferred taste

Amaretto Glaze

  • 50g butter
  • 50ml honey
  • 1 tbsp ameretto
  1. Cut up the apricots into small pieces and soak in an air tight container for 24-72 hours – or longer if you want a boozier cake. Give the container a shake every now and then.
  2. To make the cake: Pre heat the oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC) and line a deep 6″ cake tin or four 6″ sandwich tins- You can use disposable foil ones for a quick clean up.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs slowly and whisk thoroughly. Add the Amaretto
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mix and fold in gently.
  6. Add the chopped apricots and whatever Amaretto hasn’t been absorbed.
  7. Place the cake mix in the cake tin, smooth with the back of a spoon and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes for sandwich tins (40-50 minutes for a deep tin) until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and after ten minutes take the cake/s out of the tins and leave to cool completely on a rack.
  9. Once the cake is completely cold whisk all the ingredients for the buttercream together in a bowl for 4-5 minutes until it’s really light and fluffy.
  10. Slice the large cake into four layers.
  11. Layer up the cake with a decent amount of buttercream between each layer finishing with a smooth top. You can use a palette knife or place the buttercream in a piping bag for a really easy assembly. Set to one side.
  12. To make the glaze place the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Add the honey and Amaretto then leave to bubble for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is a rich golden brown colour, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before pouring into a jug.
  13. When nearly completely cold pour the glaze over the whole cake so it dribbles down the sides. Ensure the glaze isn’t too warm or it will completely melt the butter cream.
  14. Serve straight away

Apricot and Amaretto cake

Enjoy!

 

EmmaMT

x

Beau’s 11th Birthday cakes – yes cakes! Plural

IMG_6759Beau turned 11 years old on the 14th November which just happened to be a Friday. Scouts is on Fridays, so I hatched a cunning plan. Her Scout group were going into London to see the poppies at The Tower of London. It was a ‘Poppies and Pizza’ evening but as there were 25 of them they couldn’t get a table in London and came back to the Bromley Pizza Express for the pizza part.

My cunning plan was to make a cake and deliver it to the Pizza Express while they were out. When I dropped Beau off at the train station I told the leader my plan but she wasn’t expecting me to make sure there was enough for everyone. She obviously doesn’t understand how a Jewish mum’s mind works. Food is king and there’s always enough to go around. IMG_6758

The cake was a 10″ Madeira cake with a mint green coloured buttercream filling. I also coated the cake in the same buttercream and rolled it in 100’s and 1000’s. I’ve made a few cakes now which are covered in sprinkles and I am yet to do it without making a huge mess!

How to decorate a cake with sprinkles

I always start by giving the cake a butter cream crumb coating followed by twenty minutes in the fridge for that first layer to firm up. I then add a second butter cream coating to the sides which the sprinkles stick to when I lift the cake up and hold it sideways between my hands from the top and bottom and roll it in a tray full of sprinkles. I then pop the cake back in the fridge for the butter cream and sprinkles to firm up enough to decorate the top of the cake. I add a generous amount of butter cream with a spatula to the top and give it 10 minutes to chill then I position the name and age cut out on the top and press down gently around the edges of the letters and numbers so no sprinkles can get underneath the paper. I then gently add sprinkles to the top. I brush off the excess with a bristle pastry brush and then – you’ve guessed it – pop it back in the fridge, this time for ten minutes. Then I remove the paper letters and numbers and carefully transfer the cake onto a cake board, put it in a box, take a few snap shots and shoot out to Pizza Express.

Beau was really stunned and I think just a little bit chuffed with the surprise. When the parents got there to collect their scouts there was tons of cake left over so there was definitely plenty to go around. We even cut some up for people to take home. I definitely didn’t want any at home as we had the second birthday cake and that was also a biggie.

The birthday party cake

IMG_2349

When I asked Beau what cake she wanted for her birthday party this year she already had it planned. Her one word answer was “Smarties”. For some strange reason she has got really into Smarties recently. I think it’s the boxes with the letters on the lids. Have I ever mentioned that Beau is really into crafting and a lot of that revolves around making things from boxes. I’m in big trouble if I try to throw out a toilet roll tube!

Well, for the cake she wanted to have two tiers and it be Madeira cake with chocolate butter cream as the filling and on the outside with the whole thing covered in Smarites. I chose to add a few of the Renshaw mini bean cake toppers to the cake to add a bit of scale. Tim managed to get hold of one of those tubes of just pink Smarties so I could use them for the words and ’11’. Beau loved it and I’m not sure how we managed to get the cake to the bowling party without any going missing!

IMG_2351 IMG_2362I think she liked it. Judging from this smile I think it was a winner! I must say that I seem to have a recurring theme with photos of my daughters and their birthday cakes. They always seem to be wielding massive knives! IMG_2359

I can’t actually believe that I now have an eleven year old. When did that happen. She’s so young and grown up all at the same time.

 

Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you soooooo much. 

Mama. x

5 things I learnt making a Lego man birthday cake

Lego man birthday cakeSometimes cakes go wrong! Sometimes they go REALLY wrong and other times, if you’re lucky, you can get away with it. Like when it’s a cake for your 6 year old nephew!

Asher is mad on Lego and wanted a Lego Policeman birthday cake this year. “No problem” I said. Anything for the other man in my life. I thought. And then he gave me his little Lego policeman and I had to make it! What was I thinking? I was completely stumped. How was I going to get the proportions right? How would I make him stand up without falling over? There were endless questions and not all of them were answered.

How I made a Lego man birthday cake and where I went wrong

Lego man birthday cake1. The arms were too heavy

I started off with four Madeira cakes made using almond rather than vanilla essence (try it. You won’t go back) One square 6″ cake was for the legs and feet, one 5″ square cake for the body. One small 4″ pie tin  for the head and one loaf tin (half filled) for the arms. This was mistake number one! The arms didn’t need to be made from cake covered in buttercream and sugarpaste. They should have been thinner and made just of sugarpaste. That way they would have stuck to the side of the cake better.

 

Lego man birthday cake

Each cake was cut to size and shaped.

Lego man birthday cake

And was then covered in a buttercream crumb coating and then a top coating of buttercream which was smoothed as much as possible.

Lego man birthday cake

I thought that covering a square cake in sugarpaste when it was turned up onto one side was going to be impossible but it wasn’t too difficult. I made sure that the sugarpaste was really thick when it was rolled out so that when I picked it up to smooth it over the cake it moulded perfectly without cracking or tearing.

Lego man birthday cake Lego man birthday cake

Next the legs were covered in blue sugarpaste. I made a neat line in the cake for the crease in the trousers.

Lego man birthday cake

2. Where’s the support? 

I used one plastic dowel to support the top half of the cake and keep him upright – which didn’t actually work! I thought that if the dowel went from the cake board right up to his head then that would be enough to keep him sitting – not slouching. It didn’t work!

What I should have done was placed a thin cake board underneath the body part of the cake and supported him from underneath in the legs. Then had another small cakeboard under the head cake and supported through the body. Cake is heavy, especially when there’s a ton of sugarpaste on top.

Lego man birthday cake

The head was cut to size and shaped then the face was added.

Lego man birthday cake

PC Legoman is a  cheeky chappy complete with stublble.

Lego man birthday cake

3. I added stubble

Now I wanted to make the little Lego figure’s face as close to the one Asher had given to me to copy. I made the eyes out of black and white sugarpaste and then used black food colour gel on a dry paint brush to create the stubble. In hindsight a 6 year old doesn’t really need stubble on his birthday cake and it just made the cake look a bit dirty.

Lego man birthday cake

4. Too much hair makes your cake top heavy!

I used a ton of black sugarpaste to make the hair and although it looked good when I finished it was so heavy that it weighed down the rest of the cake making it impossible for the Lego man to stay upright. What I should have done was to leave as much cake on the top of the head and add as little black sugarpaste as possible. This is the one time you want the cake to dome!

After I attached the arms and head I had the cake resting against a food box. It was supposed to support the cake just while the arms were ‘sticking’. I turned my back for literally a minute and when I turned back again he had fallen backwards, leaning right on the box causing a massive crease all the way across the back of the cake. To make matters worse the arms just wouldn’t stay on. I gently rubbed the back sugarpaste to blend the crease in but it was just too deep. I had to leave it.

 

Lego man birthday cake

5. The hands weren’t quite right. 

I wished I had made the hands well in advance so they were hardened and stayed in shape but I didn’t have the time with this cake so, I had to make them on the day. In future when I make a Lego man cake (because I am not beaten yet!) I will make the arms and hands in advance when I cover the cake board so that they are really firm and I can place cocktail sticks in them to attach them to the  cake with sugarpaste.

Lego man birthday cake

All I can say is that Asher liked the cake and at the end of the day (when PC Lego man did literally topple over!) that’s all that matters.

Happy Birthday Asher. I love you. xx

 

EmmaMT

Buttercream recipe

buttercream for cake decoratingButtercream is one of those parts of cake decorating that I do without really thinking about it, which is why it’s never really occurred to me to share my recipe with you all. That is until I was asked to by a reader. I mean I have included the recipe in the past but when it comes to searching blogs for anything specific you do tend to get all sorts of other random stuff mixed in with it and actually the reader wanted to know how much to use for different sized cakes. So anyway, here it is. Nice and easy to find.

 

My buttercream recipe

My recipe is pretty basic and easy to remember. These ingredients will fill and cover an 9″cake. Some people find that this is too sweet so you can always try it with 50-100g less icing sugar. Taste it till you get it how you like it. I personally think this is a good taste- especially with the vanilla essence.Butter cream recipe

  • 250g butter – at room temperature
  • 500g sieved icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • milk as required.
  1.  Start by beating the butter so it becomes light and fluffy.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar over the top of the butter then mix until well blended. I place a tea towel over my Kitchenaid and hold it carefully in place whilst mixing to prevent the dust from the icing sugar from going everywhere (and I mean everywhere! It will look like you haven’t cleaned your kitchen in a year otherwise!)
  3. Once combined add the vanilla essence and mix for 2-3 minutes so it becomes really light and fluffy. This consistency is good for a filling between two layers of cake as it’s thick. I’ve been piping buttercream between layers recently as it stays thicker than when I used a palette knife. It’s also easier to control and get flat.
  4. When covering a cake with a buttercream crumb coat before adding sugarpaste or for a decorative finish you need the buttercream to be more fluid. You can get this consistency by adding a drop or two of milk and mixing it in well. Do this slowly as once it’s too soft it’s a pain in the bum to get it to firm up again. How soft you want your buttercream is a personal choice. I like to be able to smooth the buttercream on with a palette knife easily and have it come off the sides with a side scraper without breaking the cake, but I don’t want it too soft.  You get a feel quite quickly on how you like it to be.

Chocolate buttercream 

For a chocolate version simply add the cocoa powder when you add the icing sugar but make sure you sieve it or you’ll have lumps.chocolate butter cream recipe

  • 250g butter – at room temperature
  • 500g sieved icing sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • milk as required.

Buttercream will last for two weeks in a sealed container in the fridge but remember to take it out and let it get to room temperature a good few hours before you want to pipe it.

 

Buttercream quantities for different sized cakes

And for that lovely reader who asked for quantities of buttercream for different sized cakes. Here you go…

Buttercream quantities

EmmaMT

Cake kit: The Side Scraper

I’ve decided to start a series of posts on my essential cake decorating kit. When I first started decorating cakes I only had a few tools of the trade, but as time goes on, and you get chatting to other decorators and helpful shop assistants  and you learn about these clever little gadgets that make a job much easier and your cakes look more professional. Over the coming months I’ll be sharing my favorites with you with the hope that they will make your life easier too!

The Side Scraper

side scraper

Have you ever tried to do a buttercream coating on a cake and wanted to get it perfectly straight? By straight I mean at a 90º angle.  I am totally useless at seeing if things are straight – you should see the shelves I put up at home! So I find it really hard to see when a cake looks right. Well ,this nifty tool does it for you. What’s more it’s less than a fiver. Money seriously well spent.

I hadn’t seen one of these before. I always used my Plain Edge Side Scraper  but never really got the hang of getting the cakes to be really straight. There’s far too much room for error! My local cake shop(Cake Craft World)  has a You Tube channel which I found out about in their newsletter. I checked out the video on ‘How to cut and fill a sponge cake on YouTube and saw Louise using this metal edged side scraper and knew I had to have one.  It took me about 5 trips to the cake shop to remember to buy it as usually I go into the shop with a list for boxes, boards, icing and cutters for whatever cake I am about to make and I kept on forgetting to buy the scraper. Then by luck I was chatting to Sue and I remembered and I haven’t looked back since. Sue also showed me a taller scraper for the really big cakes. I really wished I had bought it as I had a 7 tier cake to decorate last weekend and it would have been really useful.

Anyway, the way the scraper works is simple.

Side scraper

Give your filled cake a layer of buttercream on the outside edge.

Press the side scraper against the cake and drag it around the circumference, ensuring the bottom angle is flat on the surface the entire time.

Side scraper

Look how easy that is!
Side scraper

Et Voila! A nice and straight edged cake without any fuss.

Side scraperI mean really. This is as 90ºs as it gets!

You can get a ‘Perfect Angle side scraper’ from your nearest cake decorating shop or check out my fav cake shop for theirs. Here’s the link to it on their website!

enjoy.

EmmaMT

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