week nineteen

nine recipes made

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wedding madness.

Well, a friend of mine is getting married after being with her guy for years and years - he turned out to be quite the romantic, who'd have guessed? - and she asked her facebook friends if anyone was up for making some desserts for her reception. Obviously I volunteered. I'm not sure if that was a good idea yet, but I figured it was a good opportunity to get some experience, and maybe try my hand at some more elaborate decorating.

She's having about seventy guests so I'm going to try to make between 50 and 70 cupcakes (she'll have more dessert options so she's not counting on me solely - thank God and I've figured out how I want to decorate them. The wedding colors are lime green and wine red, so I'm going to work with those.

About that time, my mom told me about this new cupcake shop in Antwerp, called Mayas. It's one of the only ones we have in Belgium, and the only one close to me, so I was extatic. They have just about everything you need to decorate cupcakes and the owner is very friendly - she gave me some great tips and we had a lovely chat.

If you guys are from Belgium, you should definately check it out. http://mayas.be

My initial idea was butter-creme, but the shop owner told me that butter creme would melt really fast in this kind of weather (I should have figured that out by myself, smart) and that a better option would be icing. They have it already made, so that's really handy, I'd just have to add the food colorant.

So, the idea to use lime-green icing, and then roll some wine-red-ish roses from rolling fondant, to put on top.

My inspiration came from the following, which are just plain adorable.

I'm worrying a little bit about time, since it's already on the 13th of July and I'm going to a music festival until the 5th, but I hope that a week is enough to roll, ice, bake and decorate. I guess I better step it up a bit.


And we're back to cupcakes. I don't know, I think cupcakes have more charm than regular cakes. Plus, it's easier to get rid of them in the end. You can take them with you when you're going somewhere, whereas that's harder when you've got an entire cake. I like mini, better.

Lavender-honey cupcakes.
from "500 cakejes" by Fergal Connoly.


for the cupcakes:
230g soft butter
230g fine white sugar
230g selfrising flour
4 eggs
1 theespoon vanilla-extracts

for the frosting:
240g fresh cream cheese
300g powdered sugar (filtered)
115g lavender-honey
blue food colorant
2 spoons of dried up lavender

Preheat the oven to 200°C and get about 18 cupcake-shapes ready.

Mix all the ingredients for the cupcakes to a smooth, pale mixture and fill the cupcake forms. Bake them about twenty minutes and let them cool of for five minutes in the oven before taking them out. I actually mixed the lavender - except for a few pieces I saved for on top of the cupcakes - through the cupcake mix.

For the frosting, mix the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until it's light and creamy. Mix the lavender honey thruogh it, and add some drops of colorant.

Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting and the rest of the lavender.

I've never tried anything food with flowers in it. In fact, I even googled lavender to double-check that it's really edible - it just doesn't make sense to me (much like the savoury cupcakes before). Did you know how many flowers are edible? Quite a lot, actually. Anyway, I figured it was worth the shot and that I - probably - wouldn't die if lavender turned out to be not-so-edible-after-all.

The taste is very peculiar, but pretty subtile in the cupcakes. The frosting turned out much, much too runny so I didn't end up using it on all the cupcakes (which is quite a waste..) to avoid sticky situations. They turned out alright, nothing too fancy, but original and definately not poisonate. Hey, I'm still alive to type this, right?


Since the last big cake - my first one - turned out pretty good, I wanted to try another one. I did this one in the same week as the last one (my scedual only went wrong AFTER that), but the result was.. well, a little different.

White chocolate and raspberries
from ""500 taarten & cakes" by Fergal Connoly.

140g white chocolate
110g butter
140g fine white sugar
4 large eggs, split
1 teaspoon vanilla-extract
85g flour
35g almonds
200g fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 160°C and get a round cake-shape ready.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it au bain marie. Let it cool for about ten minutes.

Mix the butter and half of the sugar to a smooth, creamy whole and mix the egg yellows through. Stir the vanilla-extract and the melted chocolate through it. Filter the flour in the mix, add the almonds and fold everything through eachother. In a different bowl, mix the eggwhites until they're foamy, then add the rest of the sugar and mix it until it's thick and shiny and you're able to make peeks with it.

Fold the eggwhite through the chocolate mix in small portions.

Bake the whole for about 40 minutes (I think I baked mine for an hour and it still didn't turn out that good, though), until it's risen and golden yellow. Add the raspberries on top.

Like I said, even after an hour, it seemed underbaked. The texture was almost like bread-pudding and I really don't think that was the intention of the recipe. The taste wasn't so bad, but the texture kind of ruined it...


Another much too late reply but hey, I've learned to live with it. I keep wondering how the hell Julie Powell ever made 524 recipes in one year. The woman must not have a life, because the more I think about the task, the more I realize that it's simply crazy. I can't even seem to do 52 cupcakes in a year - how did she manage? Time to read the book, I'd say.

Anyway, even though there's a hugeeee time-frame in between my posts, I actually made this one rather shortly after the previous post. Like I said, I tried my hand at a big cake. I've never made big cakes before and - even though this is the cupcake project - I really wanted to give it a try (and dessert project just didn't sound as catchy). It turned out pretty good, but I'll pick cupcakes over cakes any day, thanks.

Mocha-chocolate cake.
from "500 taarten & cakes" by Fergal Connoly.

250g dark chocolate
170g butter, in cubes
200g fine white sugar
3 large eggs
70g flour
2 spoons of instant coffee, in 2 spoons of boiling water

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Get a shape ready for the cake and grease it.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it together with the butter au bain marie. Let the butter-chocolate
mixture cool of for about five minutes. Mix the sugar through the mixture and add the eggs next. Filter the flour through and, last, add the coffee.

Bake the cake about an hour, the top should be firm but the inside should still be mushy.

 I really liked this cake, actually, it was simple, but the flavour was lovely - the mocha was nice and subtile, not overruling. The inside melts in your mouth, almost like chocolate mousse and in combination with the crispy outside, it's quite tasty. The top of the cake kind of crumbled, so it ended up looking a little weird, but the taste really made up for that.

Next: another big cake!