Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Apricot Crunchies

I was intending to make the Sweet and Salty Chocolate cake this weekend along side the Jasmine cupcakes. Bought all of the ingredients and started off making the salted caramel first, as the recipe states. Everything was going fine, the sugar was boiling away into a syrup and the cream was heating up nicely. Just as the timer was coming up to the allotted 10 minutes the sugar mixture looked a little too dark in colour to me. I wasn't sure if it has burnt a little or if that was right so added the hot cream to it to see how it turned out. Had a little taste and it was disgusting! Obviously I had burnt it, was on the hob for 30 seconds too long and so that went straight in the bin. Didn't have enough cream left over to make up a second batch and to be honest I was really 100% invested in making this cake now so decided to put it on hold and make something else. This is where the Apricot Crunchies come in.

Has most of the items needed to make these bars. Just had to pop out and grab some orange juice, apricots, sultanas and wholemeal flour. The first step is to soak the fruit in the juice whilst you mix the chilled butter with the flour and oats. This is done with your hands, rubbing it together until it becomes crumb like. It took me ages as the butter was harder than what I usually use in the batters and in the end it become more of a dough than crumb like. Did a few double takes of the cook book to make sure I hadn't misread the butter quantity. That done you add in the two types of sugar, the soft dark and light brown and stir that in well. This again took me a while due to the consistency of the mixture. Hubby was watching me the whole time, reassuring me that once the fruit had been added it will be fine he was sure.

So as you have guessed it the next stage was to mix in the fruit, after the juice had been drained from it first. That wasn't so difficult to stir in as it just needed to be incorporated enough that it was spread evenly throughout. Tipped it into the greaseproof paper lined tray and used my hands to make sure it was spread out well and level.

Into the oven for 30 minutes until it was a golden brown colour. It still felt a little springy when touched. Left it on the side for a few hours to cool whilst I sorted out the little Missy with her dinner and bath, then took it out of the tray and off the greaseproof paper so Hubby could have a slice to tide him over whilst we waited for out pizza delivery. It was crunchy on top but then chew underneath and the fruit added another softness to it as well as the main flavours. Without the fruit the dough is a little plain and savoury. Not my favourite bars to make, I think the Coconut Jam Sandwich ones are still top of our list.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Jasmine Cupcakes

I was planning on making these cupcakes last weekend but to call of the cookies was too strong. Have been wanting to make some more of the floral range for some time, the other recipes were so tasty and I haven't ever eaten anything jasmine flavoured. Also managed to track down some Jasmine Blossom tea bags, after buying jasmine with green tea ones first by mistake, must take my glasses with me shopping sometimes.

Off we go with the baking and first step to let the three teabags brew in only 35ml of boiled water for around 30 minutes. I set these to stew and mixed the dry ingredients all together. Love making cupcakes, everything all in at once, minimum fussy and thinking involved. I don't know if I left the tea the full 30 minutes but regardless I added it into the milk and egg mixture and in it went. It made the batter a little yellow in colour but smelt good. Spooned it into the cases, 16 in total as is the standard now. As usual got about 2 tablespoons per cupcake. Put them into the oven for 20 minutes, decided to go for the maximum time as the oven is having its funny phase again and couldn't be bothered with the faffing of checking them every few minutes.

They came out brilliant and whilst cooling I set about making the icing. I had already put the previous three already brewed teabags into the milk to fuse before mixing the butter with the icing sugar. I did use my shield to stop the dust explosion but took it off a little too soon. The downside to using it is that whilst mixing, it traps the dust under the shield which obscures the view and so it makes it difficult to see how well the butter has blended with the sugar. Thought it was all mixed well so off it came and yet wasn't quite there yet so I can it another quick whirl with the whisk and covered the kitchen in the unavoidable dust storm. Ah well I Had been doing so well so far. I had halved the icing quantities, mixed in the milk in two batches until it was smooth but it looked a little runnier than usual. Put that thought aside and just got on with frosting the cupcakes. It was as I was smoothing this on with the pallette knife that I realised that although I had used half the amount of sugar and butter, I forgot to only use half the jasmine infused milk. Rookie mistake. Was due a slip up around now. The cupcakes with frosting all finished came out fine, picture taken and writing commences.

As I am about to finish this blog I have just remembered that I haven't actually eaten a cupcake yet to taste them..Luckily as I speak I can feel my tummy calling for some food..I shall be right back...

A cupcake has now been eaten..It rather reminds me of the Earl Grey cupcakes. Similar sort of taste in the icing although it is less intense. The sponge is amazingly moist though and the taste of that isn't as similar as the icing taste. A nice cupcake but not the flavour I was expecting..rather hoped they would be more floral than tea. Still lovely.

Apricot and Almond Cookies

Sorry it has taken me to long to get this blog up, I made these cookies almost a week ago, what a slacker!
Well the recipe is basically the same as the Apple and Oatmeal cookies, just minus the rolled oats and apples and adding in the apricots and ground almonds.

The decision to whip these up on the Sunday evening, instead of making the Jasmine cupcakes as I originally said I was going to make, was because the other cookies went down so well and I had gotten the baking bug for them. Also wanted Hubby to have another flavour to take with him in his work lunch.

Mixed up both types of sugar together with the butter until wonderfully fluffy. Then the egg and vanilla essence is mixed in. Add in the dry ingredients, and the most important main flavours and there we have it. I used soft dried apricots and just cut them up into rough pieces. Thought they would give it a bit more of a chew than the usual dried fruit.

Took me a long time again to get the dough rolled and flattened equally on the lined baking tray. I think my obsessiveness of making sure they are all perfect in size is a slight hindrance. Kept taking bits out of some that looked too big and adding them into a 'smaller' sized ones. Finally they seemed roughly the same size so into the oven they went for the full 20 minutes. On one tray they must have been a bit to closely spaced and did start to spread towards one another but luckily it didn't become one giant cookie, much to my husband disappointment. He recommended I do this the next time I make them, just one or two huge cookies. Guess it will save me time in trying to get the measurements of each cookie just right.

The cooking time meant they came out lovely and crispy on the outside edge and soft and chewy in the middle, just how we like them. They smelt wonderful. I had even roasted the flaked almond in a saucepan before adding them onto the top of the cookies prior to baking. Let the cool down on the top of the oven before stacking them up for a photo and then me and hubby split one to try out. They were yummy, not as strong a flavour as the Apple and Oatmeal variety but I think I actually prefer these ones. Either way both recipes were delicious and baking cookies have sped up to the top of my list over a weekend.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Apple and Oatmeal Cookies

Hooray, the first of the cookie recipes to be attempted. I haven't made any until now as 1) there are only four cookie recipes in the cook book and two of them are Christmas themed, 2) As you all know I don't like making doughs and 3) The cookies aren't chocolate and don't seem that tempting. Time to suck it up though and have a go at them.

The first thing I notice about this recipe is that it uses both light brown and caster sugar, which is mixed with the butter until fluffy. The vanilla essence and egg are in the bowl next and whisked together. The rest of the dry ingredients are sifted as one and added in two batches as always, unsure why this always is but hey I just do as I'm told. These have to be mixed in a mixer, which I don't own, or by hand. This is where I admit to something stupid..I started using my actual hands, rubbing them together like other recipes state. It wasn't working very well and questioned whether it meant hands or by hand with a spoon, but then it usually says that in the cook book. It was just covering my fingers and so I washed it off and tried with a wooden spoon instead. This turned out a much better technique and I felt a bit of a fool afterwards.

The apples needed to be peeled and then grated. This was a nightmare as the Granny Smiths are full of juice they just turn to mush. Managed to keep my thumb and fingers clear of the grater this time and after slaving away for what seemed like ages I had managed to get as much of the apple grated as possible. Next it was time to squeeze the juice out of the flesh. I had grated them into a sieve and used this to press them against to remove the juice. It took a while and just as it was almost finished I figured out that crushing it in my hands actually removed more juice than the sieve idea and was quicker too. Another fail but its all trial and error in this business I guess.

The liquid is thrown away and the apples and oats are mixed in, by hand (with a spoon this time) and the dough is finished. Removing my wedding rings, I set about grabbing chunks, rolling them in my palms and then placing onto the baking trays covered with greaseproof paper. I flattened them a little before they went into the oven. I cooked them midway between the 15 – 20 minutes stated, I think about 18 in total as I like them crisp around the edges and soft in the middle and this time frame seemed to cook them like that perfectly. Once out and had cooled just enough to handle, Hubby nicked one straight away, whilst they were warm and said they were delicious. I was next and they were yum, not what I was expecting at all. You could taste the sweet and also salty mix to the cookies and they were quite more-ish. So much so that the dozen baked on Saturday afternoon were gone by early Sunday morning and Hubby persuaded me to make another dozen on Sunday..they aren't lasting much longer either lol.

Lemon And Poppy Seed Loaf

Thought it was about time to make another loaf and after spending some time tracking down the poppy seeds, as they don't sell them in the giant Tesco near me, I thought I would give this one a whirl.

Another simple recipe, as all the loaf ones are. I love making loaves, you literally just add all the ingredients into one bowl and mix it up. It turns out wonderfully every time, no matter what the flavouring. My only reservation was the poppy seeds in this particular one as I have never eaten anything other than a bagel covered in them and wondered how they would affect the texture of the loaf once baked.

This recipe uses the usual caster sugar mixed with the butter. The eggs went in next followed by the rest of the dry mixture, which is added in three batches instead of two, adding the milk in after the second batch. Lastly the ricotta cheese is stirred in. This is another unusual addition to the standard loaf batter.

Then it was popped into oven for about 65 minutes, slightly longer than the stated time. Oven seems to go through random stages of cooking things down to the stated minutes perfectly and then it has a funny turn and takes longer on things. Came out looking lovely although I had forgotten to make up the soaking syrup so had to put that on asap. The loaf obviously started to cool before it had the syrup added to it and the top of the loaf deflated a little too. I don't think I left the syrup on the heat for longer enough, it looked reduced by half but once I poured it onto the loaf top it was actually absorbed rather than coating it.

This made the loaf a little difficult to cut, as it was so much more moist with the syrup inside it it fell apart as soon as the knife was run through it. Just meant I had to cut a bigger slice each time, what a shame. I cut two slices off to take to my neighbours then came home to taste it for myself. Texture took me a few bites to get past as not used to the continuous small crunchiness on every mouthful. Otherwise it is nice, the lemon is not too overpowering and it is amazingly moist. Need to try and make it with the actual syrup on top next time as I'm sure this will give it a bit more zing, which is needed.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Chocolate and Lime Cheesecake

Not sure what made me settle on making a cheesecake this weekend, nor the chocolate and lime, as it seems a slightly odd combination. The recipe calls for a chocolate base with a lime filling and decorated with chocolate shavings/curls.

I set about making the base just after I had finished the Fruit Tea cupcakes, since it needed to cool in the fridge slightly. It is basically just double chocolate cookies, for which I used Maryland cookies, and melted butter mixed together to make a paste type consistency. This is pressed into the spring side tin which I lined only on the bottom with greaseproof paper. Into the fridge for 30 minutes and I started on the cheesecake filling.

This is mainly Philadelphia, whisked with icing sugar and then adding the eggs one by one, scraping the sides down after each addition. Then the zest and juice of no less than 6 limes needs to be added into this mixture. It took me a long time to grate and then squeeze the limes as I currently don't own a juicer and had to go it by hand. I also had a little mishap and (stop reading now if you are squirmish) grated a bit of my thumb off..luckily none of it ended up in the zest but it did require a few plasters before baking could continue. Still a bit sore now actually. The smell of the mixture once the limes had been added was amazing.

Base out of the fridge and the cheesecake mixture was poured over it to go into the oven to bake. The mixture looked runnier than usual and it made me a little worried at first. I again didn't sink the tin into the water bath but instead put the tin on the shelf above it. Still seems to work just as well and is less complicated and messy.

The cheesecake must have been a bit more sloppy than previous mixes as it took about an hour to took in total, rather than the 40 minutes I had originally set the time too. It came out well even though was cooking for longer.

Let the tin cool enough to handle and then popped it into the fridge to cool. Didn't try any until Sunday evening when Hubby returned from his fishing trip. The Cheesecake was decorated just before serving and I grated some chocolate over the top and did sprinkle from lime zest on as well but after a small lick (just to check everything was okay obviously) I decided it was too strong a taste and wiped it off. The lime in the filling taste was dulled down by the cream cheese and took the edge off it. It paired well with the chocolate base and all in all it a nice treat. Not one of my favourites though, I actually preferred the previous cheesecake I made, the Butterscotch Pecan one.

Also attaching a photo of my Mini chocolate loaves made on Sunday from the adapted Coffee and Chocolate Loaf Hummingbird recipe. Made up the same quantity of batter for a normal sized loaf.

Fruit Tea Cupcakes

This is the last variation from the Earl Grey Cupcakes recipe. The other was the Peppermint Tea cupcakes which I actually made first. It says to use whatever fruit flavour tea you like so I picked Red Berry.

Put the tea on to brew, which was looking like a nice red colour and started on the dry mixture. All went fine and so added the red tea to the milk and egg mixture as stated. This is where things got interesting...expected it to stay red but the milk diluted the colour and it went a sort of violet when all combined. Though this would make an interesting sponge and so assumed the icing would match too. How wrong I was. When the milk mixture was added to the dry ingredients it then diluted the colour even more and turned a strange sort of metallic silver with a blue tinge.

Spooned it into the cases and got 16 in total, managed to get the measurements for each cupcakes right this time and didn't over or under fill them like the previous few times. Seem to have go my mojo back on that front. I had to take a picture of them before they went in to bake as it was such a strange sight, being the colour the batter had turned out in the end. Wondered how they would look once cooked now.

Timer on and I popped the brewed and strained tea bags into the milk which is to make up the frosting. Cupcakes cooling and went back to the tea milk to check how that was doing and remove the teabags. Things hadn't gone to plan and the milk had looked like it had curdled slightly as it seemed to have flecks in it. I strained the teabags and give it a mix first before deciding what to do with it. Seems that fate made the decision for me, as when I squeezed the final of the three teabags it burst and tea leaves spilled into the milk mixture so I had to start again regardless. This time I made sure to give it a stir every so often and not just leave it like before and this seemed to do the trick in getting it combined and smooth.

Whisked the icing sugar and butter together then added the milk mixture it. It was a reddish/pink colour, not violet like before. Think this is because it was brewed with the actual teabags and not the tea like the milk mixture for the sponge. The lack of eggs might have also been a factor too. Either way it made the frosting a light pink colour in the end. All iced and the cupcakes looked and smelt fab, although you could see a slight blue hue through the casings.

The first to taste one was actually the 4 year old daughter of my friend who popped over just after they had been completed. She knows I bake a lot and always have cupcakes around so asked for one the minute she was through the door. It seemed to go down a treat, even the icing, which surprised me as some of the other cupcakes she has sampled, the icing was a bit too strong for her. I tucked into a cake afterwards and have to say they were yummy but the sponge colour as a grey/blue and did look a bit off putting. My friend did decline my kind offer of a cupcake due to this, just couldn't sway her..oh well more for me then!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Custard and Cinnamon Tart

After making the Coconut Cream Pie, I thought I would give the Custard and Cinnamon Tart a go. This is another recipe that requires me to make a dough as the base and this one made me a little more than frustrated.

Used my hands again to rub together the flour and butter until they got to a crumb like consistency and then mixed in the sugar and egg with a spoon. Once it started to come together as a dough it is kneaded before being covered in clingfilm and left to settle in the fridge for 30 minutes. then the nightmare of trying to get the dough rolled out to the right thickness without it either getting stuck to the work surface or falling apart when lifted into the tin began. It took me several attempts and even once I had managed to press it into the tin I had to do a little patching up to make sure the sides were high enough to hold the filling.

Back into the fridge again and then straight into the oven to bake blind for 12 minutes. I still haven't got round to purchasing any baking beans so used uncooked rice again on the grease proof paper. Then, once these have been removed, the base goes into the oven again or 15 minutes to golden in colour. Whilst it was in for the second time I started warming the milk up to boiling point and getting the other custard filling ingredients into a thick paste. Did need to add a little more milk than suggested to loosen it. The paste gets added to the boiling milk, reducing the temperature and keep cooking until the flour is cooked throughly  and it basically looks like a custard. mine got a little lumpy as I was stirring it rather than whisking which is what the recipe states but even after the butter had been added I still couldn't get rid of the lumpy texture.

The warm mixture has the stiff egg whites folded into it then this all goes into the tin and into the fridge to be left to set overnight. I tried a slice of tart after lunch on Monday and realised after I has cut into it that I had actually run out of cinnamon so had to try it without. After getting over the odd texture, not helped by the lumps I failed to remove it was actually a nice dessert. The base is lovely, not too hard or crumbly and went well with the creamy custard on top I managed to pick up some ground cinnamon the next day and tried it again as it is meant to be. It definately added something having that dusted over the slice. Next time I am going to whisk it to get it a little smoother and that might not be as off putting when you first bite into it.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cranberry Magic Bars

Where to start off...firstly I am writing this on my fancy new Archos tablet so might take me a little while to write this one. Decided to make some bars as not made many still and feel like I'm starting to enter into the slightly unappetising recipes now.

This is a very simple recipe and is only in two parts. The first is to make the base which is a biscuit type. I get so frustrated making dough but this went surprising well.  Since I don't have a mixer I had to rub the butter together with the flour and icing sugar with my finger tips. I softened the butter in the microwave before taking off the wedding rings (making sure they were safe and secure on the side) before diving in. It didn't take me too long to get it to a dough. I didn't have a tin the size needed so used a slightly smaller one that I have used in ther recipes, so know it works okay. I rolled the dough out a little with a rolling pin to try and level it out bit before pressing it into the lined baking tray with floury fingers.

Popped it into the oven and it came out slightly golden all over, rather than just around the edges but looked good. Whilst it was cooking I made up the topping which is just white chocolate (I used milk chocolate too) cranberries, desiccated coconut, pecans, which i chopped a bit rather than leaving them as halves and condensed milk all mixed together. Nothing hard there. The recipe call for unsweetened milk but I couldn't find any in my local supermarket.

No need to allow the base to cool as once the topping is added it goes back into the oven for another 20 minutes. As soon as the bars were cooked they had a few minutes to cool before I had to whip them out of the tin in their lining still and into a container to be transported with me to collect my sister from the airport and delivering her to my Dad's house as they were allheading off on holiday early Sunday morning. They love my almost weekly baking treats and these bars aren't something I would eat a lot of and didn't want it to go to awaste at my house.

The first to have a taste was my Dad, Sister, Cousin and her Husband, who has just returned for his two weeks rest and relaxation during a 6 months tour of Afghanistan. I only has a few crumbs as, for once, I wasn't in a cake mood.

I had a few different reactions. Everyone agreed they were tasty. My cousin wanted more nuts in it whilst my Dad wanted the base to be more chewy. I personally thought the mixture of a bar topping on a biscuit base was a little odd. They seemed to come away from each other once cut and so it was almost like they were meant to be seperate. Not sure if this was down to something I did or if it just naturally turns out this way. Maybe if the base was chewier as my Dad suggested it might seem to gel much more. Not a recipe I will make often, just not to my tastes 

even though it was nice.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

This was actually meant to be the Jasmine cupcakes. I stomped around the shops and thought I had scored with the Jasmine tea bags but when it came to gathering all the ingredients together before embarking on the cake baking I found they actually had green tea in smaller letters above the jasmine..not what I wanted and I was bummed out that I now still have to hunt another specialist item down. Having been all geared up I check to see if I had any fruit teas but again no such luck so settled on Earl Grey instead, seeing as I had the good sense to pick some tea bags up on my last shop.

I have never actually drank Early Grey tea but the description of it, with citrus tastes, sounded promising. Had to stew the tea bags in water first for 30 minutes before you can add it into the milk and egg mixture which goes into the dry ingredients like any other cupcake recipe. Not sure how it happened but I managed to get the rather odd number of 21 cupcakes from this batter, although they were just under being level with the cases so I think I was a little too cautious with my portions again. Seems like the chocolate mishap has shaken me a little bit deeper than just the unfortunate batch that it was. Hopefully the next cupcakes I make will help shrug this off.

I didn't have enough icing sugar to make the full amount, which uses 500g. I usually half the icing for cupcakes but since I made so many I was going to make it all..alas I couldn't due to my lack of forward planning so I passed off 5 to my husband to eat plain and then had 16 to ice which is the usual amount I make with 250g icing sugar.

Since the cupcakes were just under the casing height, it was a lot easier to ice as it was all contained inside the casing barrier and took me no time at all to get them all frosted with a little swirl. Snapped my pics and then took some over to my neighbours along with a slice of the coconut jam sandwich bar. Once home I made my, now standard, cup of tea, grabbed a cupcake and settled in front of the tv. I was unsure what to expect and thought it might be similar to a normal tea but it had such a lovely mix of tastes they were rather delicious. Another cupcake to add to my ever expanding favourites list.

Coconut Jam Sandwich Bars

I haven't made many bars, in fact if my memory serves me right I have only made one, The Chewy Monkey bars. These look to be the most appealing, bars are not really my thing as most of them are chock full of nuts. Thought these would be scrummy and decided to make them with raspberry rather than strawberry jam.

First you make up the base. It says to whisk it up but once all of the ingredients have been added it turns into a sort of dough. Its not as sticky or thick as a dough but not a sponge either. Very off and I had to get Hubby to help hold the grease proof paper in place inside the tray whilst I used a small rolling pin to flatter it out a little being using my, very clean, fingers to squish it into the corners, sides and flatten it out.

Popped it into the oven and waited for it to cool a little before making up the coconut topping. You have to mix the desiccated coconut with sugar and a one of the egg whites and let it cook for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. I didn't read through all the recipe steps beforehand and cracked all the egg whites into one bowl so had to measure it out, half it, then half again to get 'one' egg white needed. Then add the flour in and cook that for a little bit longer before folding it into the remaining whipped eggs whites. Before this is spread onto the base you have to put the jam layer on first. I made sure there was a thick layer of raspberry jam on before spreading the coconut mixture on top and whacking it back into the oven for 30 minutes until golden.

It came out looking bronzed and baked to perfection. Smelt yummy with the hot jam inside and so left it into the tin on top of the oven to chill for a few hours whilst we popped to the in-laws to try and take a dip in the pool with the little miss. We were back about an hour after, pool was too chill as the thermostat is broken and poor baby girl shivered the whole time. Back home for a nap for her and a cuppa and some cake for me and the husband. He was the first to try it, I got a 'mm nice' at the beginning which I didn't quite know how to gauge. I had a little slice myself and it was quite yummy. I was expecting more coconut to come through but then it could be that I used a fair bit of jam. I didn't measure the jam out, just slapped it on so not sure exactly how much was in there but it worked well. The base was strange but in a good way..not squishy like a cookie dough but not as solid as a biscuit. These bars you could easily eat many in one sitting, they aren't too sickly or heavy and go well with a cuppa.

Orange Blossom Cupcakes

I have been waiting to make some more of the flowery flavoured cupcakes and was intending to make the Apple Blossom cupcakes but have been struggling to source the apple iced tea powder and happened to pass by some Orange Blossom water in the Baking section in my local supermarket which was the next best thing.

We had two BBQ's to attend to this Saturday, one at my cousin's in aid of their recently landscaped garden and then onto my Parents-in-law after another in the early evening. Due to this I decided to make more than the usual 16 cupcakes so used one and half times the quantity of ingredients in the hope to make 8 extra cakes and round it up to 24. This would make enough to take some to each party and everybody to have one each. Made them up on Friday as we had to leave ours before lunchtime on Saturday.

Managed to figure out the extra measurements and got stuck into making up the batter. I was surprised at how unappealing the smell of the Orange blossom water was. I was expecting it to smell wonderful like the Rose water but it was a rather unpleasant fragrance. Started to worry if they finished product would smell the same, as this would put me off a tasting.

Spooning the batter into the 24 cases, I was a little cautious as to how much I put in, after the chocolate cupcake disaster I have lost my confidence in the ability to get the cakes all equal sized. Even though the measurements to get the extra cupcakes should have worked out perfectly, I actually managed to get 24 cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes. I didn't want to wait for the cupcake trays to come out of the oven and cool down enough to reuse so decided to make a few mini ones and not ice them as Hubby can have them all to himself. He prefers them without icing as its too rich for his taste. Not sure why it didn't work out to just make the extra normal sized sponges. Could be down to my filling though.

Waiting for the cakes to cook, I kept an eye on them to make sure they didn't overspill like the chocolate ones the previous week. They started to rise above the casings and I did fret a bit that they would collapse. Need not have worried, they came out perfectly fine in the end.

It was getting late by this point as started to make the cakes and had to pause on their creation so see to my little one's dinner and bed and then sort myself and Hubby out in terms of tea too. I managed to whip up the icing, which tasted lovely and put my mind at rest as to the taste of the sponge after the off putting smell from the straight orange blossom water. Having frosted all the cupcakes, I left the finishing touches till the morning.

Since Saturdays are Hubby's turn to look after the little one through her routine, I had a little spare time before we had to head out so I got out my rolled fondant and cut out some little orange flowers with edible silver balls in the centre. Made two flowers to top each cupcake and thought they make it look fab. Packed them up and headed off out for the day of sun and fun.

The tasting didn't come until the second BBQ at the parents-in-law. My pregnant sister-in-law had the first one as the huge feast of meat and salad obviously didn't satisfy her appetite. I quickly followed suit and grabbed one too, and they were lovely. A different flavour all together than the Fizzy Orange cupcakes, it has a subtle orange taste but there was something else behind it too, that I can't quite put my finger one. The sister-in-law agreed and said the fondant flowers make the look great and also tasted scrummy too. A success and now cannot wait to try the Apple and Cherry Blossom variations, if I can track down those elusive ingredients.