Posts Tagged ‘icing’

Lemon Cupcakes

November 17, 2008


I tried another recipe from The Perfect Cookbook by David Herbert today, Cupcakes. The recipe for the actual cupcakes is quite plain, so I adapted the recipe to make it a bit more interesting. Here is my amended version:

You will need:

1 & 1/2 cups Self Raising flour

125g butter, softened

3/4 cup Caster Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

2 eggs

1/2 cup Milk

Zest of two large lemons


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and prepare 2 muffin trays with patty pans.

Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth (I found the butter needs to be very soft otherwise the lumps won’t come out).

Spoon mixture into prepared patty pans. I found that about two thirds full gives nice rounded cupcakes. Let cool completely before icing.

Lemon Icing: (different from the frosting recipe in the book)

Juice of 1 large lemon

About 1 cup of sifted icing sugar

Tiny amount of yellow food colouring (I use Wiltons Colour Pastes)

In a medium bowl, use an electric beater while slowly adding icing sugar to the lemon juice. Keep adding until your desired consistency is reached… For example, if you are going to drizzle the icing over the cupcakes & let it run down the sides, you’ll need a little less sugar. I made my icing a little thicker so I could spread it with a knife onto the top of the cupcake only. This icing has a very lemony flavour, but since there is only a small amount on each cupcake it complements it perfectly (in fact, it is so delicious, that my helper ate all the leftover icing straight out of the bowl!).

And that’s it! I don’t often use self raising flour, but found it worked really well for this recipe. Perfect, light & fluffy cupcakes 🙂


Cookies & Spring

July 27, 2008

Signs that Spring isn’t too far away!! Some Daffodils are flowering on my deck, but the ones in the garden haven’t started yet. I also have some Snowdrops in pots which are such a pretty sight in the morning. Another discovery I made while out in the garden today was my Delphiniums sprouting already, so I quickly put some snail bait on them before they got chewed up.

I decided this weekend I would make some cookies! I used this recipe (from one my favourite bloggers, Lex Culinaria!), except I pretty much tripled the amount of Lavender & lemon in them.

I used my mortar & pestle to grind up the Lavender a little before putting them in the mixture. The fragrance that this produced was phenomenal, I couldn’t stop smelling it! The lemon rind too is gorgeously fragrant.

I won’t repost the whole recipe over here, but I did make a few changes…I rolled out the dough a little thicker then the original says, and when doing complex shapes like the snowflake (like I have in the past) it’s a little hard to “transfer cookies to cookie sheet using a spatula”, I found doing this made the cookie go all out of shape. So I rolled out the dough directly onto my baking paper, cut out all the shapes, and then removed the excess dough from between the shapes, and then put the whole sheet on a baking tray.

This time I just made round ones because I wanted to experiment with different decorating techniques.

After they cooled I made a batch of royal icing using 4 egg whites and about 700 grams of sifted icing sugar. To make royal icing, start by beating the egg whites, and gradually add the icing sugar. Keep adding icing sugar until your icing is quite thick (my hand beater starts to sound a bit stressed at this point). When it’s ready, you’ll need a bunch of little bowls and some baggies. Decide on how many colours of icing you want, and put a couple of tablespoons of icing into each bowl. Wilton colour paste is fantastic for stuff like this, and I am trying out a new colour today, Red Red. I read warnings that this colouring could make the icing bitter, but I decided to try it anyway & there was only a hint of bitterness when tasted by itself, but on the cookie with the rest of the icing it was fine. Here are all my little baggies I used today:

The baggies are to make little piping bags for drawing on your cookies. You’ll need one filled with plain white icing too. Make sure to keep some white icing separate for coating the cookies. To do this, cut a tiny bit of a corner off your baggie and pipe an outline in white (or any colour, really) leave it to dry for 15 minutes or so & fill it in with the plain icing (you may need to add a little water to make it easier). Then, before it dries completely, you can make pretty pictures like this:

And this:

Or even this:

All these designs were created by piping parallel lines into the wet white icing and dragging a skewer across it. You can do them in alternating directions or, like the pink & blue one in the second photo, all in the same direction to make them look like French awnings 🙂

You can make lots of different designs by using this technique, let your imagination run wild:

Let the cookies dry completely before packaging them up for your friends 🙂