"It's the little things in life which make it magical..."

Monday, 14 May 2012

Frosting - Raspberry Cheesecake

I really struggle with making decisions. Even those which are not important in the scheme of things. The same applies to baking. Unless I have discovered a really exciting recipe I want to try, it takes me ages to decide on what to bake, and Friday was no exception.

See, there are two sides of me. The one that wants to create something I’ve never made before, expanding one’s repertoire…and then the side that wants to make something I already know is delish and capable of satisfying the sweets-fairy ever-present on my shoulder...

So although chocolate was calling me (like usual), I went with the experimental side, luckily, because the result was yummo! Another frosting created by yours truly, a lovely raspberry-infused cream cheese creation, atop a cupcake I’ve been meaning to make for a while…and I think I’m gonna be making this recipe a whole lot more! Although it’s not as economical as my go-to 2468 recipe, It. Is. Del-ic-i-ous. 

It’s called the ‘ultimate vanilla cupcake’ by The Cupcake Project, a fun and creative blog dedicated to the art of the cupcake. The texture of this cupcake is wonderfully dense, yet it's not heavy eating. It's like eating pure cake, in all its cakey-goodness : D Albeit butter being delish in baking, it's lovely to enjoy cake-flavoured cake, just to mix things up a bit :) 

Note: When I made this recipe, it made 21 cupcakes (but you could stretch this a little further), and I baked them at 170°C (fan forced) for 17 minutes.

Ingredients (frosts 20-24 cupcakes)

150g Frozen Raspberries (room temperature)
60g Butter (room temperature)
250g Light Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 cup Icing Sugar
1-2 tbs Milk


Puree raspberries with a hand blender.

Push puree through a fine sieve, until you collect as much of the raspberry as you can in a small bowl, with only the seeds remaining in the sieve.

In a large bowl beat butter until smooth.

Add cream cheese, and beat until smooth.

Add puree and beat until fully combined.

Sift in the icing sugar, add some milk, then beat until fully combined. Add additional milk if you want a thinner consistency.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes, and enjoy!


Experiment with this frosting to make it your own by adding more puree for a stronger raspberry hit, or additional icing sugar to make it sweeter, or using a little red or pink food colouring, to make a bright-hued frosting for a fun addition to a party dessert table : )

Happy Baking =D

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Frosting - Mocha Latté

It’s been ages since I’ve done a baking post, but alas calories are back in vogue in the a little pinch of fairy dust household! This doesn’t mean that I haven’t been baking, no not all all…I just haven’t been eating–and–telling! =D

In an attempt to keep my creative meter up, I had a thought that I would embark on a theme (I love themes if you couldn’t tell by my Princess series, and future Nursery Rhyme series). The theme being the creation of all sorts of different and wonderful cupcake frostings! Seeing as basic cupcakes are already awesome, I felt it would be only natural to have fun with the toppings, rather than mess with perfectly good cake!

So….I have a whole list of frosting to-do’s, but here’s the first…a dreamy creamy cocoa and espresso infused concoction =D I’m really happy with it, as it’s not too sweet, and it’s a good consistency for piping!

Whilst this frosting would work perfectly well on a vanilla cupcake, why not up the stakes and place it atop a dense chocolate one? Here’s my favourite choccie cupcake recipe, which I shall refer you to whenever a new frosting calls for a chocolate foundation! : D

And on a final note, when you’re a kid you’re pretty stoked when you get to lick the bowl, right? But once you get older you realise it kinda just tastes like a funky flour paste…this batter however is an exception to the rule…

If you’re depressed, or experiencing intense chocolate cravings, whip up this batter and serve yourself a bowl of it like custard….seriously. Go on, do it. I won’t judge ; P

Chocolate Cupcake

Lovingly adapted from ‘Mandy’s Chocolate Cake’ in Delicious Magazine.

Ingredients (makes 10)

3 tbs Espresso Coffee (freshly brewed)
50g Butter
100g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa)
100g Brown Sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup Sour Cream
½ tsp Bicarbonate Soda
100g Plain Flour


Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced), and line a muffin tray with 10 cupcake papers.

Brew coffee and collect a few tablespoons in a cup (make sure you collect extra than needed to allow for evaporation as it cools), set aside.

Place sugar in a large high-sided mixing bowl and set aside.

Melt butter and chocolate in a heat-proof jug, for a couple of minutes on medium-low in the microwave, mixing every 30s–1min, until the chocolate is nearly melted. When nearly melted, remove from microwave, and stir until completely melted (the process will become second nature after a few tries!). Allow to cool a little.

Add the melted chocolate mixture into the sugar and beat well with an electric mixer.

Add the egg and beat well.

Add the espresso and beat well.

In a small bowl, mix the bi-carb thoroughly into the sour cream.

Add the sour cream mixture and beat well.

Just add a straw and drink!
Sift in the flour, then slowly fold until completely incorporated and lump-free.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before placing cupcakes onto a wire rack.

Smell amazing don't they...?

A shorter baking time will leave the centre of these babies deliciously fudgy, but timing will vary from oven to oven.

Mocha Latté Frosting

Ingredients (frosts 10-12 cupcakes)

65g Butter (room temperature)
250g Light Cream Cheese (room temperature)
¼ cup Pure Cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 cup Icing Sugar (add extra if you like it sweeter)
2 Tbs Espresso Coffee (freshly brewed)


Beat butter with an electric mixer.

Add the cream cheese and beat until there are no butter lumps.

Sift in the cocoa, and carefully beat in.

Sift in the icing sugar, add the espresso, then carefully beat until really smooth.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes, garnish with some coffee beans and enjoy!


There is plenty of frosting for a more generous serve on each cupcake to that shown in the pictures, but alas my piping bag was in the fridge with leftover frosting from making bunny cookies at Easter, so I couldn’t get a more generous serve of frosting to look pretty with a knife…

Friday, 4 May 2012

Nursery Rhyme Series

Here's just a small post of a few quick sketches I made upon experimenting with the idea of a starting a 'nursery rhyme' series...

Meet 'Lil' Red Hoodie'...

and 'Jill' (from Jack and Jill, who is wearing Jack's "Crown")...

I'll most likely do 'grown up' interpretations of childhood characters instead of cutesy ones...I'm thinking of illustrating characters such as Goldilocks, Bo Peep, Miss Muffet, Mary Contrary and so forth...What do you think?

Also, I've got Princess 'Odette' (Swan Princess), and 'Giselle' (Enchanted) in working progress, but only time will tell when I finally get them done!

Happy Drawing! : D