Maybe bun out of the oven is more apt, as the two things I have to tell you today are:
1. My brilliant big sister had a baby boy yesterday! So far my sisters have only had girls so it is super exciting and a little bit scary to have a boy in the family at last! I can’t wait to get the hang of things with my brand new nephew Matthew.
2. I made these cupcakey / muffiny / doughnuty things and they were easy, quick and very tasty even if I was a bit stingy with the Nutella. I won’t make that mistake next time.
Nutella stuffed cinnamon sugar muffins (recipe from Sally’s baking addiction)
1. Cream 1/3 cup soft unsalted butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar with an electric mixer. Mix in 1 large egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup milk.
2. Gently fold in 1 and 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used half plain flour and half whole wheat flour), 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinammon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp salt. As usual with muffins, do not over mix.
3. Grease a muffin tin and spoon 1 heaped tablespoon batter into each bit. You will get 8 or 9 muffins from this mixture so don’t get carried away and fill them all! Spoon 1 generous tsp Nutella on top of the mixture, then cover with another heaped tablespoon of batter. Fill the empty sections with water (apparently this helps with even baking).
4. Bake at 220 c / 425 f for 5 mins to get a good rise, then reduce the heat to 175 c / 350 f for 13- 17 mins until cooked. Cool for about 5 mins.
5. While the muffins are cooling, melt 3 tbsp unsalted butter in a bowl. In another bowl, mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. Dip the top of each muffin in the melted butter and then swirl in the cinnamon sugar to get a nice thick coating.
These keep for up to a week. A quick burst in the microwave gets the Nutella all yummy and melty before eating. Just make sure you have a napkin handy!
Wondering what to do when you’re asked to make a cake to be raffled at a LoveOliver fundraising sale of children’s clothes, books, toys and equipment? Wonder no more.
Step 1: decide not to be over ambitious as you are having a busy week at the end of a manic month.
Step 3: spend hours trawling the internet to find the Lego chef figures with the best facial hair.
Step 4: make two sponges following your favourite recipe (plus all the helpful tips) for celebration cakes. Wonder why, when you’ve done it so often, you are still so rubbish at wrapping the tin in newspaper without it a) falling off entirely or b) nearly setting fire to your oven.
Step 5: purchase fondant icing in classic LoveOliver colours as you don’t want to spend the weekend with blue hands.
Step 6: spend an evening levelling and filling and covering and rolling and icing and cutting and sticking and cursing until it’s really time to go to bed and you just have to stop.
Step 7: raise lots of lovely money and send the cake home with a very happy Lego-loving family!
It would be fun, pretty, not too serious, and perfect for making cakes and taking photographs!
A while ago Kirsty started a game of ‘if my blog were an outfit’. Pretty straightforward, yes? You would think so, but it has taken me this long to figure out the above blog-in-an-outfit. So, why this? Well, blogging has helped me become more confident and creative in how I dress, both by developing my own style through this blog and being inspired by others on theirs. I realise it was probably more fun for me to put this together than it is for you to read it but I couldn’t resist sharing the fab camera necklace, which I might have just ordered …
Blossom seems to be everywhere at the moment, signalling that this long winter has finally given way to spring. I took these photos in Birmingham botanics when visiting my sister last weekend, which were full of spring colour but we still needed to be wrapped up in our coats to keep warm!
We went to a family party the other day, one of those where everyone brings more food than they can eat and you leave about two stone heavier having stuffed yourself with sausage rolls and sandwiches and crispy cakes. My contribution was cupcakes (of course) and never content to make things easy for myself I made two flavours that I had never made before: chocolate liqueur and orange blossom. These orangey ones were especially lovely: delicate and sugary and just different enough to be exciting.
Orange cupcakes with orange blossom buttercream (from the Primrose Bakery book)
1. In a large mixing bowl cream 110g soft unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and smooth, which can take 3-5 mins using an electric hand mixer. This is where my stand mixer comes in very handy! One at a time, add 2 large eggs, mixing well after each one.
2. In another bowl combine 150g self-raising flour and 125 plain flour. Measure 90ml semi-skimmed milk into a jug. Add one third of the flours to the butter mixture and beat well. Pour in half of the milk and beat again. Add another third of flour, then the rest of the milk and 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, then the rest of the flour and grated zest of 1 orange, beating after each addition.
3. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180 C/gas mark 4 for about 25 mins until golden brown. Cool in the tin for 10 mins then place on a wire rack.
4. To make the icing, beat 115g soft unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice and 250g icing sugar until smooth. Again, a stand mixer is very handy here as this can take a few minutes! Gradually add another 250g icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add 1-2 tsp orange blossom water and beat again before bringing cupcake and icing together in a glorious marriage of sugary orangeness.
I’ve moved! Here are some instagram snaps from the last week: lots of boxes, first night champagne in the kitchen, lovely chairs in the living room and wonderful wallpaper in the bedroom. Most of the flat is not yet suitable for public viewing (boxes, boxes everywhere!) but the list of things we love about the place is growing by the day. It’s not just the wallpaper and the big windows, but also the floors, the light, the bath, the dishwasher, the space, the view, the area and the bright yellow front door!
I am moving this weekend so will probably be surrounded by boxes and vans and stairs and aching limbs by the time you read this, but last weekend was very different! We had a walk in the gardens of Hopetoun House on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon, spotted some lovely views and a prominent politician and imagined what it would be like to live in such a lovely place and have random people wandering around your gardens and peering in your windows all day long. Our new home is gorgeous but I’m quite glad it’s not a tourist attraction!