Valentine's Hidden Hearts

Ok, I know I'm a little late for Valentines day but Mr Chris has come to expect this from me. He knows I live in a different time zone to everyone else. As it happens it worked out better this way as Mr Chris was still working his way through my Lemon Meringue cupcakes on Valentines day.

To be honest we don't normally do anything for Valentines but I had this idea and I really wanted to give it a go.

Again putting my stencils and impression mats to good use - I don't think I can do cupcakes without them now.

But where is the hidden heart?

It's baked inside....

Lucky for me I wasn't the first to have this idea and found lots of helpful tips out there. If you want to give these a go I can highly recommend following instructions from Made with love by me. I don't think mine would have turned out so well on my first attempt without them.


Owl Cake Pops

These little treats were made as a belated birthday gift for my friend Stephanie - very belated as her birthday was actually on the 25th December :/

I wanted to try something completely different for Steph as she is incredibly creative (very talented with a needle and thread!) and always encouraging my baking. So scoping out the latest trends on the baking scene I discover cake pops are all the rage, and they look like fun too.

I decided to make Owl cake pops as they're pretty cute and Owls are cool. I didn't follow it exactly, but I used a
tutorial from Dessert Decorating that gives a great demonstration on how to construct the cake pops.

I got 16 cake pops from a regular batch of cupcake mixture that would usually make 12 cupcakes. Only 8 passed quality control as I was too eager at the start and attached their features before the chocolate had set. I could only laugh when I opened the fridge to find a bunch of mutant Owls whose eyes and beaks had slid down to meet their feet. My tummy wasn't too concerned with their mutant appearance though and they tasted like gooey chocolate brownies.

I wasn't entirely confident with my gift of cake pops so I made a batch of backup cupcakes. I used my stencils again as they were such a success last time, but I also gave my newly purchased impression mats a go.

I think Steph was pleased with her gift, all I have to do next time is deliver them on her actual birthday :)


Chocolate Overload

Mr Steves birthday, what to do? Some sort of igloo cake with fondant penguins? Nope, forget that, just bring on the chocolate!

This is probably the easiest cake I've made but definitely my favourite - maybe because I got to eat all the left over sweets that wouldn't fit on top :)

I'd love to know how many calories are in a slice of this bad boy, actually, probably best I don't...

This really is for chocolate lovers, Mr Steves being the only person I'd place above me on the chocoholic scale, this should go down well...

Chocolate sponge, filled and covered with chocolate butter-cream icing, topped with white mice, chocolate flakes, and slices of chocolate orange, and surrounded by chocolate fingers - two and a half packs of chocolate fingers.

But wait... Mr Steves shares his birthday with his mummy Babs. I couldn't possibly give Steves a cake without whipping up a little something special for Babs too....
Probably my finest cupcakes to date, I owe my thanks to Lindy's Cakes for the inspiration, the stencils and gold dust. I swear I could shop forever at Lindy's... so many cake gadgets :)


Brûlée and Meringues

For a while now I've been telling Mr Chris I can make a very nice crème brûlée, so this weekend I decided to prove it.

Every time I make these I forget just how easy they are. I use a recipe from the BBC GoodFood website, I've tried some others but this is definitely the one that works and gives the perfect consistency. If you don't have a chefs blowtorch you can place the ramekins under the grill to caramelise the sugary tops. The blowtorch is much more fun though!

If you are a
crème brûlée fan, you must give these a go, Mr Chris was not disappointed.

And what follows brûlée? Meringue!

I hate food waste so I used the left over egg whites to make some Lemon Meringue cupcakes. Mr Chris was full of brûlée so he struggled to make his way through these but I had no trouble giving them away.

I took some to work but as I didn't have enough for all of my colleagues it was first come first served. 
They were gone in less then a minute :)

Lemon flavoured sponge, filled with lemon curd and topped with tasty meringue.


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