weekly blog… I like to sometimes like to add an article which I have written for the local newspaper, so here is this week’s. xx
Hello my fellow bakers, from the dark depths of winter here on Ibiza – OK!! I know the weather is now amazing and we are enjoying some lovely sunshine this January, even the blossom is out early and in full bloom to let us know we are having an easy winter.
So for me it has been back to the kitchen over the past week, hopefully making some nice cupcakes for tastings, friends and charity events.
There are some weird and wonderful flavours out there for what was the humble cupcake, almost anything is possible now. When making cakes for ourselves it is always nice to try ‘new flavours’. But when the cakes are to be for a wedding or gifts, it is better to stay with tried and tested recipes. Some people enjoy new flavours, but others are a little confused or ‘don’t like’. Consequently I do recommend to couples having flavours that people recognize, as long as the cakes are cooked well and are good quality the guests will then enjoy them. Whereas if I were to prepare flavours such as chilli and chocolate, lime and chilli, cardamom and carrot etc: there are many people who would not eat them as they are not used to these ‘new flavours’. It is something worth remembering when making cakes for friends or guests. The humble Victoria sponge cake is liked by the majority of people for example, so make half with this flavour and maybe half of chocolate, you then cover most people’s tastes.
I do of course have requests for unusual flavours, and I am very happy to oblige. My own preference is for ginger cake, a good spicy moist cake, but this is not for everyone so a cup cake tower full of these may not be the right thing to order for a wedding or special occasion.
White chocolate with raspberry is very often asked for. White
chocolate cake is one of the most difficult to make due to the high content of fat in what we call ‘white chocolate’ as there is practically no chocolate in this!! This is a cake which is a true science and needs time to get it to perfection. There are of course new flavour essences on the market which give us all sorts of weird and wonderful flavoured cakes with just a few drops added, this is a bit of a cheat’s way to create something new. We can use our basic Victoria sponge recipe, add a few drops of the flavoured essence of our choice and finish up with a passion fruit cake, cardamom cake, a blueberry cake, etc .etc. Even the icing sugar can now be bought with flavours already added, I am not sure this is a sensible idea, but nonetheless it is available, so butter-cream can now have such weird and wonderful flavours such as: Galia melon, banana split, peach melba or even pear drops!!!
So with all this talk of flavours let me leave you with a lovely little cake which is not to everyone’s taste but well worth a try:
Coconut cream cup cake.
You will need a 12 hole muffin pan lined with large cupcake cases.
Pre heat the oven to 170c. (fan oven)
100g creamed coconut (available from the Asian food shop)
4 large free range eggs
200g self-raising flour -English is best
2 small teaspoons of baking powder
50g desiccated coconut.
Teaspoon of lemon juice
4 tablespoons of milk
Firstly warm the creamed coconut until it is soft and pliable.
Beat the butter with the sugar and the warm creamed coconut until light and fluffy. Then slowly beat in the eggs. If it starts to curdle add a spoon of the flour. Now using a metal spoon fold in the sieved flour and baking powder. Now gently stir through the desiccated coconut and the teaspoon of lemon juice. Warm the milk and stir this through until you have a nice creamy consistency. Pour the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases, then bake in the hot oven for 18/20 minutes.
These are lovely if you add a layer of raspberry jam and then some coconut flavoured butter-cream.
Till next week Ibiza’s Queen of Cakes. xxxxx