Coconut Surprise Cupcakes…  

  

You need;
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
40g unsalted butter – room temperature
120 ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
9 tinned pineapple rings chopped into small pieces
desiccated coconut to decorate  

for the icing;
250 icing sugar
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
25 ml coconut milk  

12 hole cupcake tray lined with paper cases  

  

Preheat the oven to 170c  

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat slowly until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.  

Mix the coconut milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and beat until well combined, add the egg and beat well, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl.  

Divide the chopped pineapple between the paper cases and spoon the cake mixture over the top until they are about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bouncy to your touch, when ready leave them to cool completely on a wire rack.  

For the icing; beat the icing sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn your speed down and slowly add the coconut milk, once it is well incorporated turn your mixer up to a high speed and beat until light and fluffy (c. 5-10 minutes) ice your cakes when they have cooled, finish with a sprinkle of coconut.  

Next time I make these I will probably add more coconut, I love the taste and although these were great they were not coconuty enough!  

  

Then I jumped on a train with a paper, coffee and my tupperware into the countryside, going past cider orchards, I love train journeys when you’re going somewhere nice!  

  

And off I went to watch my cousin and his wife Baptise their twins Thomas and Poppy at an amazing village Church…  

  

  

…then afterwards to had a huge feast back at their house an amazing Somerset view… please ignore the road! Lots of green and sky… lovely…  

  

in the sunshine filled garden… where a ballpit kept both children and adults entertained…  

  

we got the drinks out first… has to be Pimms on a day like this in an English country garden right?  

  

  

jackets were left on chairs… while we all dashed to fill our plates…  

  

I love a good buffet, especially one with crisps…  

  

… plus a huge ham…  

  

…homemade quiches… and best of all cheese!  

  

and after we had made a dent in all of that we start on desserts… mini profiteroles, strawberry cheesecakes and chocolate covered ice creams…  

  

… strawberries and cream…  

  

And my Coconut Surprise Cupcakes… which to my delight went down very well, I really should have made more!  

  

and if that wasn’t enough a proper iced cake for the twins…  

I made these cupcakes for my godson, his Mum and Grandmother, and they went down a treat! This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery book, this is a really cute cupcake shop in London one of the first! Well worth a visit. You can buy the book here.

The book is really good, all the recipes are easy to follow and simple. The only complaint I have is that they don’t tell you what your recipe should look like at various stages, but some would see that as a good thing as it stops you from fretting and you just get on with baking. I have never had a problem with any of the recipes.

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch salt
40g unsalted butter – room temp
120ml whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
12 large strawberries chopped into small pieces
200g digestive biscuits
1 quantity cream cheese icing (recipe below)

12 hole cupcake tray

makes 12

Preheat oven to 170c

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment or use a handheld electric whisk and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined

Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on a medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side with a rubber spatula)
Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated

Divide the chopped strawberries between the paper cases. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them into a food processor, process until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cold spoon the cream cheese frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of finely ground biscuits.

Icing

300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter room temp
125g cream cheese

Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on a med speed until the mixture comes together and is well-mixed.
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
Turn the mixer up to med-high speed.
Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny

A May Wedding

June 11, 2010

Over the May bank holiday I went to see two friends get married in Bristol, it was such a nice relaxed day with so many cute touches that I had to share…

They tied the knot in the Council House on College Green, we sat in councillors seats, there were even microphones (although there were not working, we did check), and the aisle was strewn with rose petals…

The bride looked stunning in a fifties homage outfit, complete with pillbox hat style facinator and veil, peep toes platforms and a Dior new look style strapless dress, the Groom wore a smart single breasted suit with a pink tie to match his button-hole and the brides bouquet

I loved how it looked when she sat with the black petticoat popping out…

The brides bouquet was a small hand tie of pink and white roses

The bridemaids were a highlight as well, all in little black dresses, halterneck also in the Dior new look style, with little kitten heels with bows (bows are an obsession of mine at the moment)

The dresses all had a little waist belt to match the brides dress and show off those tiny waists

A halterneck and gorgeous fifties style hair

And the present from the happy couple? A Tiffany necklace, lucky girls!

The story behind the necklaces comes from the proposal, which is a good ones, boys if you’re listening this is a tough one to beat…

So Paul and Caroline are in New York on holiday and they take a walk up Fifth Avenue where they come across Tiffany’s, where he takes her up to the engagement ring room and asks her to marry him…

well done Paul!

The wedding breakfast and reception was held at Goldbrick House, an amazing building on park Street that used to be a jewellers, until the current owners gutted the building and built a cafe bar (ground floor), restaurant (first floor), with a champagne bar (second floor front) and lots of mini rooms dotted up and around such as the library where people could sit or dance or eat or drink.

There is also a roof terrace overlooking the rooftops and although it was a bit of a grey day it didn’t rain and on arrival we all went up there for the welcome drinks of Pimms or elderflower presse

And I adore the chandeliers and the art…

The wedding breakfast was in the restaurant and because of the restaurant space there cannot be a top table as such, the Bride and Groom and their family all sat together but there were just lots of big tables which added to the informal and relaxed atmosphere

The tables were gorgeous, strewn with black and white petals and pink diamonds!

With bread ready for the starving guests (we did have to walk up the big hill after all!) and we got stuck straight into the wine, I’m afraid I didn’t write down what we drank but it was very good, the red was a Malbec which the Boy loved

And we all had cameras on our table so the couple get photos of everyone

They even had cider, a must for a Bristol wedding

The Menu…

I had the beef…

The Boy had smoked salmon… this was strange, as I always go for fish and he for beef but I am glad I picked the beef, it was so pink it just melted!

 
I had the chicken… with pomme Anna…

The salmon looked good though, love the presentation

Chocolate shortbread

Sticky toffee

I have the Pannacotta… a favourite but one I have not attempted to make myself yet!

The cake was a mountain of chocolate cupcakes with pink and white icing and edible flowers, I took mine home and ate it for breakfast the next day, it was goooooooooood

Another bridesmaid highlight was their speech, they spoke about the bride instead of having a father-of-the-bride speech which was really nice.

Caroline had a childhood friend, a uni friend and a grown up friend, people from every stage of her life who gave really funny and heartfelt speeches

Another cool touch was that for the toast while we all had a glass of the traditional champagne Caroline’s table of uni buddies had a shot of sambuca!

Then the party started… with the first dance…

Then later more food to keep us all going… Mini fish and chips, bacon rolls and mini quiches, a really fun touch and just what you want after a few cocktails!

The cocktails are very good at Goldbrick, I had an espresso martini first to wake me up after dinner…

then I found something very special that has become my all time favourite drink that I have ever had anywhere (it was that good)… the Spiced cucumber martini, not too sweet or strong and really refreshing go and try it.

Thanks for the lovely day you two!

The Baby Shower

June 11, 2010

So my first ever post is about my friend Michele’s baby shower.
 
Michele is married to one of my best friends Jon and their son Phoenix is my godson.
They are amazing hosts and their parties are famous, although not as wild as they used to be now they are a Mum and Dad!
 
Michele is pregnant with a baby girl so threw a very girly baby shower…
 
 
 
 
Drinks were served in their amazing sun lounge decked out with pink bunting…
 
 
…and one of my absolute favourite flowers, Peonies…
 
 

…with vintage china tea cups…
 
 

 
 
… and cupcakes from another friends of ours Nikki, you can find them here; Country Cupcakes based in Bath and started from her kitchen these cupcakes are delicious and look amazing!
 
  
 
Plus a proper afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, Vol Au Von’s, mini eclairs and more cakes
 
 
Afternoon tea is possibly my favourite meal ever, add peach Bellini’s and you have a party!

 
 
My contribution was a courgette cake from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ book filled with lime curd but not iced, I think it’s better this way… almost feels like a healthy treat rather than being naughty with icing that gives me tooth ache!
  
 
 Flora’s Famous Courgette Cake
250g (2 or 3) courgettes weighed before grating 2 large eggs (or 3 medium)
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 x 23 cm sandwich tins, greased and lined
 
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C
 
Wipe courgettes with kitchen towel then grate with the coarse side of an ordinary grater. When you’ve grated them, turn them into a sieve over the sink to remove excess water.
 
Put eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy.
Sieve in flour, bicarb and baking powder and continue to beat until well combined.Now stir in the grated courgette
Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for about 30 minutes, or until slightly browned and firm to the touch.
Leave in their tins for 5-10 minutes then turn out and let cool on the rack until your filling is ready. Lime Curd Filling
 
75g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
125ml lime juice (about 4 limes)
zest of 1 lime
 
to make about 350ml
Melt the butter in a saucepan, than add all other ingredients and whisk together on a gentle heat
Let it cool before filling the cake

 

…sweetiesa little nod to Alice in Wonderland with some old school