Saturday, 17 December 2011

Chocolate Orange Checkerboard Christmas Cake and a Tigger!

The wonderful thing about Christmas is......

Sometimes it speaks for itself....

Then you find yourself right in the middle of all the excitement....

Feeling thankful.

This cake has been bought to you today by:

Ingredients;  chocolate, chocolate oranges and tangy oranges ,  simple orange buttercream and chocolate buttercream. My recipe chequerboard or checkerboard cake, use orange in the first batter, orange and light cocoa in the second and dark cocoa in the third. 

Great smells;  Zest of oranges, melting chocolate

Grrreat Ideas: inspiration from blogger Becky for ' Tigger ' Writing @ Cakes by Becky

Excitement: Only 7 days left 'til Christmas....

Remembering to say thank you to ALL my Worldwide Friends and wish you

'Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas !'

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Bah Humbug Cupcakes !

Bah Humbug Cupcakes ! The Christmas Machine is in full swing here in the UK, in fact with only two weeks to go, the Cadbury's cream eggs are just around the corner, literally. So spend, buy, consume..... Bah Humbug! or have I turned into Ma Humbug? It's funny what sets you off and for the post of most cringe worthy gift..... I would like to nominate the Baa Humbug Candy Pooping Sheep!

Time for a nice cup of tea and a tiny cupcake to lift your spirits up and a calm down. After all 'Misery loves company' but even Scrooge's 'Bah Humbug' couldn't last. So for this penultimate post of the year, the humble humbug has been my inspiration. With it's lovely stripey peppermint coat and a toffee centre, it is a traditional old English candy. Was Scrooge referring to these sweets? Probably not, as the word also meant hoax or jest, maybe he would have been sweeter for one or two?

What I really fancy, is a cake......

I haven't included a full recipe as the flavourings are very simple. Use you favourite cupcake recipe and substitute the white sugar for light brown sugar. Flavour with dark caramel or toffee essence.

 Cut a small teaspoon of cake from the middle and pop some caramel sauce or dulche de leche in and replace the cake piece.

Treat yourself to this from Waitrose. In the States, lots of caramel sauces, you are the King of Caramel sauces! Of course you could make your own.....

Cover the top with a simple buttercream flavoured with a few drops of peppermint essence*.

For the fondant topping; first flavour the fondant with a couple of drops of peppermint flavouring and extra icing sugar to stop it getting sticky, *the idea is not to overdo it but build up the peppermint flavouring on the top. Now you have a choice; you can cut circles out of the fondant and paint stripes on them with black colouring or; roll out thin strips of black fondant, place and roll them into the white fondant, then cut the circles out. You can see the different ones below:

You can make little humbug shapes and add Christmas Decorations if you want to get carried away. Give to anyone who is looking miserable and cheer them up. Meanwhile if you fancy the real thing;

From A Quarter Of

From Amazon USA
Of course, while looking for additional images I got side tracked because Mother Nature has the best stripes courtesy of WebEcoist:

Cor Humbug !