Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Marshmallow Cake

This is a simple cake to make and perfect for a celebration. I made two of these cakes last month, for a family and friend’s Birthday. It's a simple sponge cake filled with vanilla buttercream and mini marshmallows. Although it looks quite massive and perhaps filled with a little too much buttercream, the light sponge and the fact that the filling is mostly marshmallows results in a cake that isn’t at all heavy. A friend commented that it was like eating a cloud!

This cake is a definite hit with me and I’ve also used the marshmallow buttercream on cupcakes, finishing them off with a chunk of Cadbury Flake. If you’d like to do the same, the buttercream recipe below would be enough to decorate 12 cupcakes.

Marshmallow Cake

200g caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
4 medium eggs
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g unsalted butter, softened
375g icing sugar
25ml milk
2-3 drops vanilla extract
100g pink and white mini marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan). Line two 20cm round tins with baking paper and set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and light. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, milk and vanilla extract, and in another bowl combine the flour and baking powder.

3. Beat half of the wet ingredients into the creamed mixture, then mix through half of the flour.

4. Add the other half of wet ingredients and mix until combined. Finally stir in the remaining flour until you have a smooth and light batter.

5. Divide between the two lined tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

6. For the vanilla buttercream, beat the butter with half of the icing sugar until smooth. Then add the remaining icing sugar, milk and vanilla and beat once more until smooth and creamy.

7. Set aside about 4 tablespoons of icing – you’ll need this to decorate the top of the cake. Stir the marshmallows into the rest of the icing until fully incorporated.

8. Pop your one of your cakes onto a cake board (I used a silver one from the supermarket and added a doily from a pack I bought from Lakeland) or plate and pile on the marshmallow icing. Use a palette knife or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly and then place the other cake on top.

9. Pop the icing you put aside earlier into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle, and carefully pipe stars onto the top of the cake.

10. Now for the finishing touches. Dust with icing sugar, sprinkle with pink decorating sugar, add candles... Et Voila! A springy, light, marshmallowy cake. Enjoy :-)

Saturday, 8 June 2013

April and May

This here blog of mine has been rather quiet the past couple of months. I've struggled to find time to blog about my makes and bakes. I know, excuses excuses! Well, this month I will be making time to share some cake and crochet action with you. In the meantime, here's what I've been up to in April and May.

Above, from top:  A horse drawn tram and poster art at the London Transport Museum, the magnolia tree in bloom outside our apartment, Mr Makes' brownie Birthday cake, Singin' in the Rain,  marshmallow cupcakes, cheese scones, brownie ingredients, pretty flowers at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens.

April included two trips to London. The first of these was a girlie weekend with Mrs Norris while the Misters were away chasing zombies (two words: stag do). Singin' in the Rain is my favourite film of all time, and I finally got to see the musical. It was so much fun singing along and drooling over the amazing costumes. Although there is no picture, I went see the Royal Ballet for the very first time with Mrs N. We saw Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, and I was completely blown away. It was magical. I was mesmerised throughout and loved every last second. I cannot wait to go again!

The second London trip was for Mr Makes' Birthday. We went to the London Transport Museum to see the Poster Art 150 exhibition. If you've never been to the museum it is well worth going if you're in Covent Garden. I made the Birthday Boy a chocolate brownie cake filled with chocolate chunks, pecans, sour cherries and jelly bones. The idea was that the cake would be a dinosaur graveyard and you would find bits of bone and mysterious squidgy things, but it didn't really work out that way as you couldn't really distinguish any of it apart from the sour cherries and occasional pecan. Still, it made for tasty brownie!

Above (from top): mouth watering afternoon tea treats at Bettys, flowers in the park, Tyne Bridge, Me thinking something along the lines of 'if only they made real icecreams this big', delicious treacle tart wedding dessert, Mallard at the National Railway Museum in York, Saltburn pier and some y-arrrr-n bombing on the railings.

In May we took a road trip to the beautiful North East of England. We visited our old stomping ground in Newcastle, had a day out at the seaside in Saltburn and did some sightseeing in York. In between all this was the wedding of our good friends, now Mr and Mrs Devonshire! Massive congratulations to a very happy and lovely couple :-)

Finally, I had to share these fantastic posters I spotted at the National Railway Museum. I think they sum up the trip perfectly!