Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Spot o' Baking and a marshmallow tip!

I have been trying to bake a bit more often. Truth is I really enjoy baking and decorating treats that family and friends ooh and aahh over and then devour silently, just enjoying the tastes and textures.

 My favourite thing to make is cupcakes. They mostly please any age and they are a pleasure to decorate. You can literally use ANYTHING to decorate it and they go down well with just plain old icing if inspiration doesn't strike.

I decided to test out my new food colour gels. Since I have a boy and a girl, the first colours to be used were the red and blue gels. I decided to make coloured sugar, to be able to sprinkle it over nicely piped icing. This was the simplest thing to do. Literally add caster sugar to a clean dry (glass) bottle, then I dipped the end of a teaspoon (not the spoon bit, the handle) into the gel, so that both sides of the handle is coated with a thin layer of gel about 2ml high) you only need a small amount. then Stir the handle though the sugar in the bottle, and keep stirring until all the sugar is coated and coloured and the spoon is clean. Easy peasy, just keep the bottle closed, away from direct sunlight and away from moisture. Sprinkle over plain icing to increase the oooh factor. Failing that feed each child a spoon of coloured sugar of their cereal in the mornings.

I also decided to use the sugar to create "marshmallow petals" for my cupcakes. Also simple to do. Just use scissors to cut marshmallows. Sounds easy. Well the first 3 cuts are. Then the marshmallow clogs up the blades and then any cuts after that are messy. I discovered my super tip: wet the scissors after every 2nd or 3rd snip and the scissors glides through the marshmallow.

I snipped my marshmallows over bowls of coloured sugar, so that the wet/sticky sides of marshmallow then stuck to the coloured sugar, making "petals", which I then stuck into the icing in a flower pattern. Dead Simple.

So now all you need is a recipe for the cupcakes, and this is my favourite recipe to knock up when I am in a hurry. It is a simple recipe that has hardly let me down. Its a Catherine Leydon / Odlums recipe that I saw on TV3 about 3 years ago. You literally just chuck everything into a mixing bowl, mix it up, divide it into cupcake cases and bung it in the oven. There are loads of recipes icing on the web. so I won't bore you with that :

175g/6 tablespoons Odlums Self Raising Flour
125g/4 tablespoons Caster Sugar
125g Margarine/butter
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons cold water

You will also need:
a bowl and wooden spoon
a electric mixer (optional)
paper cases & a bun tray
a wire tray for cooling

Ensure oven is fully preheated to 200°C, Gas 6.
Next, put bun paper cases into bun tins.
Put the flour, sugar, margarine, eggs and water into a bowl. Beat all the ingredients together with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.
Put heaped teaspoons of the mixture into each bun case.
Place in the oven on the top shelf and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a wire tray. Decorate with whatever you please...


  1. they look too pretty to eat :).......

  2. They're so cute! I love baking too, cupcakes are favourites of mine as well! x


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