Coconut and lemon, Easter nest cupcakes…

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I realise I’m not the first person to create a cupcake like this but having seen pictures of something similar I wanted to try and recreate them myself! Every recipe I had seen called for shredded coconut to create the ‘straw’ of the nest. As far as I know this is slightly different to desiccated coconut and isn’t readily available in the UK so off I popped down the shops searching for an alternative! I finally settled on coconut flakes which I bought from Sainsburys. These pieces are larger than desiccated coconut but I was able to slice the large pieces into strips quite easily and mix them with the smaller pieces already in the packet!

 

The recipe I used made 12 large cupcakes but the mixture could easily be used to make smaller fairy cakes more suitable for kids!

 

Ingredients: Cakes

175g Soft Unsalted Butter

175g Caster Sugar

3 Medium Eggs, Lightly Beaten

175g Self Raising Flour, Sieved

1 tbsp Milk

1 Large Lemon

3 tsp Caster Sugar

 

Ingredients: Topping

75g Unsalted Butter

75g Cream Cheese

Icing Sugar

Coconut Flakes

Cadbury Mini Eggs

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C (Gas Mark 5 or fan 170C).

2. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

3. Cream the butter ad sugar in a bowl with either a wooden spoon or electric whisk until pale and creamy.IMG_4004

4. Gradually whisk in the eggs until just combined..

5. Add the flour and milk. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined and fluffy.

6. Add the zest of the lemon and 1 tbsp. of lemon juice. Keep the rest of the lemon to one side for the topping and syrup.

7. Divide the mix equally between the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen.IMG_4006

8. While the cakes are cooking, squeeze into a bowl the remaining juice of half the lemon and mix with 3 tsp of caster sugar. When the cakes are removed from the oven, prick the cakes all over with a toothpick and spoon a teaspoon of the syrup mix over each cake while they are still warm.

9. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Topping Method

1. To create the topping, mix the butter and cream cheese together thoroughly. Gradually add icing sugar until the topping will hold in medium peaks. To flavour the topping add 2 tsp of lemon juice and 2 or 3 tsp of icing sugar to prevent it from becoming too runny.IMG_4010

2. To prepare the coconut, slice the large pieces into strips and mix with the smaller pieces from the packet. Place a small frying pan on a medium heat and add the coconut to the dry pan. Turn regularly until the coconut colours slightly and remove from the pan.

3. When the cakes have fully cooled either pipe the topping onto the cakes or spread it on with a knife. It doesn’t need to be too tidy as it will be covered with the coconut! Sprinkle the coconut around the edges of the cakes and finish with two mini eggs in the centre.

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Blackberry and Lemon Cupcakes!

I tried to make these cupcakes this week and I had a bit of a fail with the topping! I’m going to try it again soon but here’s a picture of my first attempt! For some reason I couldn’t get the topping to thicken! If anyone has a recipe for an amazing flavoured frosting please let me know!

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Blueberry Muffin Fail!

It’s not too often thank god that I post about disastrous recipes but unfortunately this is one of them! Having never made muffins before I tried this week to combine Delia Smith’s basic blueberry muffin recipe with some hints of lemon that I took from the Hairy Bikers muffin recipe. The result was horrendous! The recipe uses a method where you add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with minimal stirring. Apparently this keeps the muffins light!

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I added lemon zest to the mix and a blob of lemon curd to the top as mentioned in the Hairy Bikers recipe. Instead of sinking to the middle as mentioned in their recipe it simply sunk the muffins in the centre! To top it all off the mix was very savoury and not sweet enough for my liking! I read and re-read the recipe and I had the quantities correct but things obviously just didn’t go my way! As I didn’t like the flavour either I decided next time I’ll be trying another recipe!If anyone has any hints, tips or recommended recipes for blueberry muffins I would really appreciate it!

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Lemon and Lime Citrus Tray Bake…

This is a recipe I have adapted from a recipe book. The original recipe made one round cake but sometimes I find bite size pieces work better! This cake is very moist and also very sharp and full of citrus flavour! I made it with lemon and lime but you could use lemon and orange instead! Enjoy!

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This cake makes one 30cm x 20cm tray plus a bit extra, which I made into mini cupcakes! If you have a larger rectangular tin though which will fit all the mix use that! I filled my tin about an inch and a half deep!

Ingredients

200g Unsalted Butter (soft)

250g Caster Sugar

3 Medium Eggs

Zest of two lemons (retain some for decoration)

Zest of two limes (retain some for decoration)

2550g Self Raising Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

100ml Milk

For the drizzle you will need….

3 tbsp Caster Sugar

Juice of One Lime

Juice of One Lemon

For the icing you will need…

Icing Sugar

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

 

Method

1. To begin preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

2. Next put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

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3. Then add the eggs and lemon and lime zest and beat again until evenly combined.

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4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture followed by the milk and mix well until all ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth. (I used an electric hand whisk, if you have one its easier!)

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5. Next up grease and line your tin with baking paper.

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6. Add the mixture to the prepared tin and smooth over. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean!

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7. Next its time to prepare the drizzle and icing. In a small bowl mix the drizzle ingredients together with a spoon. In another bowl place the icing sugar. Add the lemon and lime juice to the icing sugar to create a good medium drizzling consistency icing.

8. When the cake has been removed from the oven, immediately prick the cake all over with a skewer and spoon over all the drizzle. Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely.

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9. When the cake is fully cooled drizzle over the icing and decorate with the remaining zest! Slice into squares and enjoy with a nice brew! hehe

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies…

I have a recipe for thumbprint cookies which I’m yet to try and it uses jam. After stumbling across this I’m considering trying the recipe but using lemon curd as in this image! I’m not sure how they would taste but if anyone has made them before let me know! I might have to give these a try!

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Lemon Cupcakes Round 2…

When I made my Lemon Cupcakes last time I said the cream cheese frosting didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to. This weekend I made them again for my friend’s birthday. This time I refrigerated the frosting before piping onto the cakes and the finished cakes look far better! I used the exact same recipe but firming the frosting up in the fridge really helped!

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I also used these very cute yellow paper cups to bake the cakes in. I bought them off eBay and I think they look brilliant! I did a Sainsbury’s shop as well and got these fabulous cupcake boxes. They worked out at about £2.50 for two but they make the cakes look really professional! I think what I can say about this post is if it doesn’t work out quite right the first time just give it a go again! hehe

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Lovely Lemon Cupcakes…

After seeing photos of these on the internet I realised I had to give them a try! Sometimes its a nice change to have a lighter fruity cupcake rather than a rich chocolate recipe! These ones are delicious and while I can see ways I could improve them next time I think they worked rather well! If you’d like to make them here’s how!

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Ingredients – Cakes

One Batch of Basic Cupcake Recipe (available here)

2 Lemons

Lemon Curd

Method

1. Make the basic cupcake sponge as per the recipe.

2. Before baking add to the mixture the zest of two lemons.

3. Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4. Once cooled use a toothpick to create a small hole in the top of each cake. Fill a piping bag with lemon curd and using a bismarck nozzle pipe a dollop of lemon curd into the centre of each cake.

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Ingredients – Topping

55g Unsalted Butter

115g Cream Cheese (Philadelphia)

225g Icing Sugar

1 tsp Lemon Zest

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2-3 tsp Lemon Juice

Method

1. Beat the butter until smooth.

2. Add the cream cheese and again beat until smooth.

3. Add the icing sugar followed by the remaining ingredients.

4. Allow the topping to cool and stiffen slightly in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before filling a piping bag and decorating the cupcakes!

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