Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sassy Cheryl’s Challenge #99 – Light Blue and Brown

I was nudged into entering this challenge by Jackie, but I’m glad I was (“,)

This is my first time entering Sassy Cheryls’ challenge.  The theme is ‘Light Blue and Brown’.  I used the digital image ‘Artificial Flower Girl‘ and coloured her with promarkers.

Thanks for looking!

D

Pictures for ME!

Nikki over at Melonheadz Illustrating just drew me some fabulous pictures for my blog. I’m seriously chuffed with them!  Good likeness, don’t ya think? 😀

Do pay a visit to Nikki’s blog, she generously posts FREE images every day.  Also, check out my placecards that she featured here.

Dee*

Proper Chocolate Cupcakes

The best chocolate cakes, in my opinion, are not made with cocoa powder, but with real dark chocolate.  The quality of the chocolate makes a huge difference.  I always use Callebaut chocolate for baking.  It comes in the form of buttons in 2.5kg bags and I could happily sit with a bag on my knee and eat them as is.

Below are some chocolate cupcakes that I made for a first birthday party for a little girl called Laragh.  The big (adult!) ones are topped with mint buttercream and milk chocolate straws, and the mini ones are topped with chocolate buttercream and white chocolate buttons.  I find it best to do mini cupcakes for kids because more often than not, with large ones, they either take one bite, or lick the buttercream off and leave it.  I also do them in silicone mini muffin trays so there’s no messy wrappers.

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Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12-15 large cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 115g (2/3 cup) dark chocolate
  • 85g softened butter
  • 175g (2/3 cup)sugar – white, caster or brown; whatever you have
  • 2 eggs, seperated
  • 185g (1+2/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degC / Gas mark 5.
  2. Melt the chocolate and leave to cool.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the butter & sugar mix.
  5. Add the chocolate and beat well.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder & soda and salt.  Set aside.
  7. Combine the milk and vanilla.  Set aside.
  8. Alternate adding the flour mix and milk mix to the butter/sugar/egg/chocolate, beating each time.
  9. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold them into the batter using a metal spoon.
  10. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes in the tine, then remove to a wire rack.
  11. Top with melted chocolate, or chocolate or mint buttercream.

How to Make Simple Cakepops

I recently discovered cakepops.  If you haven’t tried them yet, they’re like little balls of heaven.  Very rich though; you wouldn’t eat too many.  They’re easy to make, but there are several steps with some waiting times in between so they are quite time consuming.  The result is worth it though.

What you need:

  • Cake, any type.  Use a box of cake mix if desired.
  • Buttercream or a tub of Betty Crocker Frosting.
  • Greaseproof Paper.
  • Cake pop sticks, lollipop sticks, bamboo kebab sticks or coffee stirrers.
  • Milk chocolate for melting plus a little vegetable oil.
  • White chocolate or sprinkles for decorating.
  • Large piece of styrofoam (eg from the box a television came in)
What to do
  1. Crumble the cake into fine crumbs.  Add a little of the buttercream or frosting at a time, mixing as you go.  You want it to be the consistency of cookie dough.
  2. Using your (clean!) hands, roll the mixture into small balls and place them on some greaseproof paper on a tray.  You can also use a meatballer.  Put the tray of balls into the fridge or freezer for a little while to harden. 
  3. Melt some chocolate. Dip the end of the stick into the chocolate, then push it halfway into a ball.  The chocolate will help to stop the ball from coming off the stick. Leave for a few minutes to harden.
  4. Add a little vegetable oil to the melted chocolate, until you get a consistency that is suitable for dipping.  Holding the stick, dip the ball into the melted chocolate, making sure to coat the whole thing.  (Tip – use a tall, narrow container, as this will make it easier to completely submerge the cake pop.)  Hold the pop over the bowl until the chocolate has stopped dripping.  This will ensure you get a nice smooth surface.
  5. Leave the cakepop upright to dry by pushing the stick into a piece of styrofoam. If you don’t have any styrofoam, you can put the  pops onto some greaseproof paper, but they will have flat tops instead of being fully round.
  6. When dry, drizzle some white chocolate over the cakepops.  Leave to set and enjoy! Don’t forget to share (the recipients will be grateful!).

There are so many ways to decorate cakepops.  I haven’t been too adventurous with them yet but you can find lots of inspiration elsewhere online. 

Please leave a comment!

Hallmark Holiday

My first card of the season. I am entering it in Mami Doodles Challenge #41 – ‘White on White, with a splash of colour’.

Mami Doodles Challenge #40 – Daddy’s Desk Calendar

I made this desk calender for hubby from the two boys for Christmas.  I coloured two Mami Doodles images with promarkers.  I would like to enter it into the current MD challenge Altered Art/Home Decor.  Thanks for looking. Please leave a comment!

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