Well I didn’t think I’d be writing a Valentine’s post but Zoe is very excited about it, she made a card for me and her dad in school and is mesmerised by anything heart-shaped. She doesn’t think of Valentine’s as a day of romance but a day to celebrate love and I like that!
Chocolate Butterfly Cakes
So, Zoe decided she’d like to bake butterfly cakes for us and I’m sharing the recipe with you guys as it would be a nice treat for the ones you love today. The ingredients are from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible but the method is different.
- 100g Butter cut into cubes
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 100g Self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
- 3 Tablespoons of Hot Water
- 175g Butter cut into cubes
- 350g Icing Sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand-mixer until soft, gradually add the sugar beating constantly. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat with a fork, gradually add the eggs to the mixture whilst beating with the electric hand-mixer. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir in until the flour has been incorporated into the wet mixture, then beat until smooth.
Fill a 12 bun tray with fairy cake cases and fill each one with the mixture. place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cup cakes on a wire rack to cool.
Add the cocoa powder to the hot water and stir, then leave to cool slightly. In another bowl beat the butter with an electric hand-mixer until soft, sift in the icing sugar and stir, add the cocoa mixture and beat all together until a smooth paste has been formed. Cut the tops off the cupcakes and pipe the icing onto them, cut each top in half and place back onto the cake in a butterfly shape. Zoe also made cupcakes covered in chocolate icing and topped them with some chocolate hearts that we saw in the supermarket today and I thought they looked very appropriate for Valentine’s.
One of the more unusual cakes I have ever made is a birthday cake for my Nana. I asked her what cake she would like and she replied that she would love an apple tart (Easy Peasy I thought) with meringue on top! (Erm… not so easy) and if a cake like that appeals to you, this recipe is a must.
Apple Meringue Cake
First Step is to make the Apple Cake, the recipe for that is here: Make sure that the apple crumble cake is ready and cooled before you make the meringue icing.
- 4 large egg whites
- 250 g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
It is also preferable that you have a piping bag with a 4 or 5 mm star shaped nozzle
Place all the ingredients in a heat proof bowl, add 2 tablespoons of cold water and set over a saucepan of simmering water.
Whisk slowly, using a balloon whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is foamy. Continue to heat and whisk until the mixture reaches 60°C when measured with a sugar thermometer – this will take about 4 minutes.
Quickly remove the bowl from the pan and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric food mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on a high-speed for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the frosting is very thick, glossy and has cooled.
Pour the icing into a piping bag and pipe over the cake in swirling motions.
I warmed the cake up in the oven before serving.
Nana’s Apple Meringue Birthday Cake
This is definitely one to do with the kids. Zoe absolutely loves helping to make these and having total control over the decoration! The recipe for the vanilla sponge is from Rachel Allen’s Food for living with a simple white icing topping.
Zoe, so proud of her work she photo bombed this pic lol
- 75ml milk
- 25g butter
- 75g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 125 g caster sugar
For the Icing
- 200g Icing sugar (sifted)
- Boiled water
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place cupcake cases in a bun tray. The mixture is intended to make 12 cup cakes but I make 24 smaller fairy cakes so there are more to decorate! So if you are planning to the same as me, you will need 2 bun trays.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until it almost comes to the boil, take it off the heat, add the butter and stir until it has melted in the milk. Set aside.
Sift the flour and the baking powder, add the salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla bean paste with an electric hand mixer until it is light and fluffy, about 10mins. (It’s at this point that Zoe usually does some colouring while I mix) Gradually beat in the sugar until thick and moose like. Turn the speed down and blend in the flour then the milk. Stop beating as soon as it’s all mixed in.
Spoon into each paper case and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before moving to the wire rack and icing. Now spooning the mixture in with two spoons is fine but I got a batter pourer and haven’t looked back, makes buns very easy to pour indeed!
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually add 4 table spoonfuls and beat with a spoon until the required texture. You may need to add more water a little at a time to get the right consistency. When ready pour on the cupcakes to cover .
Now for the fun bit:
Decorations! There are too many things to list on here to decorate but some of Zoe’s favourites are mini smarties, pink sparkles, edible flowers, multicoloured sprinkles. Let the little artists do there thing and see the pride in their little faces when they’re finished!
Decorated fairy cakes