A blast from the past

Today I got a letter from the past.

I had totally forgotten about this, but one year ago I had written a letter to myself on FutureMe.

{via chestofbooks.com - click for direct link}

So when I just checked my email inbox, I found this:

Dear FutureMe,

it is going to be interesting to see what happened to you since we last saw each other a year ago. 
So, let’s catch up, fill me in: Have you become the cupcake-making award-promising journalist you wanted to be? Did the BBC get back to you? 

And then, after some rambling about coffee amongst other things, it says:

Now, let me tell you a little bit about myself. Today, I cleaned the flat (you remember: London, Kentish Town, the flat you were sharing with the psycho-lady and the other girl) from top to bottom. 3 1/2 Hours pure cleaning. Felt good and everything was sparkling afterwards. Then I made some really delicious cupcakes. I had to change the recipe a little bit, because I bought the wrong ingredients, but they turned out lovely. Watched the X Factor and was slightly annoyed because Simon Cowell insulted New Zealand, sort of. But nevermind. Also, I made a robot-amigurumi. I might take it to work on Monday… we’ll see… 
Let’s catch up and have coffee together at some stage (which would a bit like a sequence from ‘Time Traveller’s Wife, haha).

Love, 
Me.

So funny!

And quite interesting to look back at what I did a year ago and what turns the road of my life has taken.

In case you’re curious: the BBC didn’t get back to me because I didn’t get back to them.

{click for source}

And I’m not a cupcake-making award-promising journo either, but I think it’s fair to say I’m well on the way of becoming a journalism-trained pastry chef (and that’s basically the same, right!?).

And – OMG – I’m so glad I don’t have to share that flat with the psycho lady anymore (the other girl was lovely, by the way, we’re still in touch via facebook)!

You know what happened the day after I had sent the letter to my future self and cleaned the flat from top to bottom?

She (psycho lady – I call her that because she was a psychologist) made a mess and everything was dirty and filthy again. God knows how she managed that.

So all in all I can say I’m quite happy about things have turned out (even without the BBC) and I’m looking forward to see what happens until next year.

Have you ever written a letter to your future self? 

{P.S.: These were the cupcakes we’re talking about.} 

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Popsicle Business

I think I might be opening a popsicle business soon.

Seriously, my cake-sicles turn out so much better than most cupcakes (even though I use the same batter!) – I wonder why!

For this one, I went back to my recipe for Fairytaleicious Cupcakes

Unfortunately, I poured in faaaaar too much sugar so the batter turned out to taste very boring.

So I needed some taste and what does a clever caffein-addict do? Add coffee!

I added about two table spoons of high-quality instant coffee powder and then proceded like nothing had happened.

And the result is… marvellous!

There is one downside to it, though: just like last time I made popsicles and cupcakes but for some reason the cupcakes don’t taste as good as the popsicles.

They are somehow dryer and not as delicious.

Surely that’s a sign, right? 🙂

Cake-sicle craziness

Yesterday I finally made some more cake-sicles!

Last time I made chocolate-flavoured popsicles, this time I decided to make white ones – and created my very own recipe.

It makes 8 popsicle cakes & 12 cupcakes and the secret ingredient I used (and which will not be secret anymore once I hit the publish button on the right) is the nut mix.

For the nut mix, I ground 250 g almonds, mix them with 180 g confectioner’s sugar, then spread the mix on a baking sheet and baked at 130°C for about 10 – 15 minutes.

For the cake-sicles and cupcakes I used:

  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g super-fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 75 g milk
  • 20 g buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons nut mix

The rest is history  super-easy.

Just as with any other muffin or cupcake recipe, you first beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs.

Beat well, then add the remaining ingredients.

Grease your tins (or line them with little paper cases), fill the dough into the molds and put the cake-sicle tray and the muffin mold into the oven.

About 15 – 20 minutes at 180°C should be fine.

I let them cool on a wire rack, then coated the cake-sicles in white chocolate and used the rest to top the cupcakes.

Some chocolate and sugar sprinkles put the finishing touches on my little goodies and the very last spoonful of white chocolate I used to fill some macaron shells I made the other day.

What is your favourite cupcake recipe? 

Flight of the Cupcakes

Once again I’m swept off my feet.

It must be discoverers’ week this week because following yesterdays Batman-style coffee, I am now excited to share another extra-ordinary goodie with you:

Flight of the Conchords-cupcakes!

THE REAL DEAL: Flight of the Conchords-cupcakes {via So Pauvre}

Aren’t they amazing?

“Flight of the Conchords” is a comedy duo from New Zealand and a US TV series of the same title – and they are just as hilarious as these little cakes look delicious.

I found the cupcakes on So Pauvre, “a blog about nothing” as Alicia calls it and I am absolutely amazed by how cute they look.

Plus: They are not only cupcakes, but also New Zealand-related.

Class act.

Or – to put it in Murray’s words: “They came. They saw. They chonchord.”

Fairytaleicious revisited | WEEKEND WIND UP #28

The more I bake, the more is being eaten.

It’s ridiculous when you think about it.

There were times when I would do some baking every fortnight, then I’d bake every weekend – and now I bake a few times a week.

Take this weekend, for instance.

On Friday night I felt like having a cake. And in saying that, I mean a simple, big, delicious stirred cake. One that would last at least until Tuesday.

Well, today is Sunday, the cake is gone and I was back in the kitchen, because my family told me how much they’d appreciate to have more cake.

So I made cupcakes instead.

I wanted to keep it simple, so I went back to the Fairytaleicious Chocolate Cupcakes à la Sabrina I made in October.

But I also felt a little bit adventurous and decided to go with another topping.

Instead of the chocolate icing I used last time, I decided to go for cream cheese topping.

I still had some cream cheese at home from the other night when I tried to make Oreo Truffles – but let’s talk about that another time.

So for the frosting, I used

  • 125 g butter (room temp.)
  • 125 g cream cheese (Philadelphia, actually)
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • a few drops vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • yellow and red food colouring

I mixed the butter with the cream cheese, added sugar and vanilla essence and then poured half of the frosting into another bowl. I added a few drops of yellow food colouring to one half of the frosting, a few drops of red food colouring to the other half.

Then I filled a pastry tube with the yellow frosting and put it on top of the cupcakes, later I finished off with the red (or actually pink) frosting.

Now my cupcakes look a bit like sweet little roses.

I am actually quite happy how they turned out – especially when you take into account that when I made the dough for the cakes, I didn’t use as much liquid as the recipe required, so the cakes are quite dry.

But the sweetness and moisture of the cream cheese frosting totally makes up for it.

What’s your favourite frosting?

I’m always on the look for new recipes and I find that especially with cupcakes you find thousands of good recipes – but try and find a good recipe for a topping… it’s like looking for the proverbial needle in the hay stack.

So if you know of a good recipe for frosting/icing/topping, please let me know!

One day I will be a journalistic baker | WEEKEND WIND UP #26

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned the recipe I created and today I can finally present it to you.

It’s nothing special, just some basic ingredients mixed together and put into a cupcake mold, but

a) it’s my own recipe (own as in “not from a recipe book/friend/internet/other source of information and hence uniquely invented”)

b) so it might as well just be the beginning of my aspiring double-career as a jorunalistic baker or rather baking journalist (not quite sure which one I’ll end up being, but we’ll find out eventually)

and c) it’s the right mix that makes these cupcakes/muffins DE-LI-CI-OUS!

So here it is, exclusively developed and created in coffeerocketfairyland:

This recipe suits everyone who is hungry/keen to try something I’ve invented (no risk – no fun, aye!)/new to baking (relatively easy to do, I’d say) or needs a quick idea for the Sunday Bake Off (if you are in Wellington).

So yeah, off to your kitchen, go ahead, try it, test it and make sure you let me know what you think!

[Note: Unless you are living in Germany or close-by, you might not be able to get hold of vanilla sugar. Doesn’t really matter, to be honest, it just would make your baking nicer if you had some. Alternatively, you could use a few drops of vanilla essence or – if you allow yourself a couple of weeks time – make your own vanilla sugar: get yourself a vanilla pod and put the whole thing in an airtight container and cover with sugar, then leave for about two weeks. Done.]

Special Saturday | WEEKEND WIND UP #17

Do you know that feeling when you are really tired and know you should really go to sleep now, but you can’t because you are too excited?

That’s what I feel like at the moment, as too many exciting things happened today all at once.

My reasons for excitement:

1) Cupcakes.


I tried this new recipe (once again, modified it to meet my needs) and it just turned out soooo perfect!

2) This facebook status update:


…which then turned into this…

 

{click to visit the artist's website}

 

… and this…


A ticket to see Bruce Springsteen’s movie “The Promise”! Excited much? Oh, hell, yes!

And last, but not least:

3) The latest additions to my iTunes library:


What do you get excited about? And what was the last time you couldn’t go to sleep because you were too excited about something?

Koffeinkick: The Cupcake Maker Game

It’s no big secret that I love baking – and especially muffins and cupcakes.

So the other day when I was hunting for new recipes on the net, I found this little fun game: the Cupcake Maker Game!

Obviously, I tried it straight away and I have to say that it is actually quite hard to decorate these cupcakes nicely.

It sounds so simple, though: all you have to do is to decorate your cupcake, so that it looks exactly like the first cupcake…

Completely nonsense, but sometimes you just need a little time-waster… so go on and have a go and make your first 100 bucks!

Fairytaleicious Chocolate Cupcakes à la Sabrina | WEEKEND WIND UP #15

This weekend, I spent my Saturday in quite a housewifey manner.

I spent almost four hours cleaning and scrubbing and brushing the entire flat from top to bottom, then I made roast vegetables for dinner and then I made cupcakes.

The most delicious cupcakes I ever made, I have to say.

Although I had read the recipe a few times, before I went grocery shopping on Saturday morning, I still ended up buying the wrong ingredients and so I decided to make the best out of it and create my own recipe with the ingredients that I had bought.

And because it turned out so lovely, I feel like I should share it with you.

Here’s how I made my “Fairytaleicious Chocolate Cupcakes à la Sabrina” (perfect for “Give me the chocolate and no one gets hurt”-moments!)

CAKES

50g margarine
115g soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs
115g plain flour (+ ~3 tbsp)
~ 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
~ 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
100ml double cream

Melt the margarine in a pan or small pot (remember to stir occasionally and remove from the heat as soon as the margarine is melted, as you don’t want it to turn brown!), mix in the sugar, eggs, flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder.

Mix well, then add double cream. You will see that the mix turns out to be quite thin, so you might want to add more flour (I suggest between 2 and 3 tablespoons).

With two spoons, fill the dough into little paper cases in a muffin tin, put it into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes at 180°C. When they cakes slightly spring back when touched, you know that they are done and can be taken out of the oven. Let them cool down a little before removing from the muffin tin.

ICING

100g milk chocolate
~ 5-8 tbsp icing sugar
~ 2-3 tbsp double cream
~ 1 tbsp cocoa powder

For the icing, you need to melt the chocolate first. The best way to do this, is to place a heatproof bowl, in which you put the chocolate, over a pot of simmering water and let it melt, while you stir occasionally. Once the chocolate is melted, allow it to cool down a little, then stir in the icing sugar and add the double cream.

You may want to use more icing sugar to make the icing thicker and that’s when the cocoa powder is needed, because if you use relatively much icing sugar, your icing tastes more like sugar than chocolate, but to get the chocolate taste back, add cocoa powder.

I find that making the perfect icing has a lot to do with practise – and a good amount of luck. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Just remember that you’re icing should taste a bit like chocolate, but still be thick enough so that it stays on top of the cakes. And that’s it.

Put it on top of the cakes and if you wish, decorate them with hundreds and thousands or whatever else comes to your mind.

Enjoy!

I personally would recommend a cup of cappuccino to have with it, because coffee can make them only taste even better! Hope your weekend is as delicious as mine!

Skulls & Bones & Candy | WEEKEND WIND UP #5

One of my favourite German blogs, brezel.me, pointed out earlier this week that amazon is now selling groceries, food and beverages.

That is just crazy.

I decided to investigate on the matter and so while surfing on amazon and looking at all the ridiculous things they sell there, I found the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G cookie cutter:

Isn’t it cool? I think it’s hilarious. Just imagine great-grand-auntie {insert name of nosy relative} invites herself to come to your place for a cup of tea and you dish up these biscuits…

I do realise that most pastry shops will not like the thought of skull-and-bones-shaped confectionery, nevertheless have I been playing with the idea of training as a confectioner with this bickie cutter being the first tool of the trade I’d buy.

Now, here is some other cool stuff I found (click pictures for source):

NESTABLE: Matryoshkas as measuring cups!

CUTE: A "Tweety"-cake tin.

YIN & YANG: Gives your desserts some good feng shui!

ROMANTIC: Heart-shaped love puzzle.

STAND BY YOUR MAN: With some tool-shaped handyman-bickies.

The following are three other things that would come in quite handy, I think (or are just cool in general): This amazing cake tin that makes your cake turn out 3D-pumpkin-shaped. How cool is that?

Then there are those silicon muffin tins (I think they might be worth a try, because you can use them again and again and don’t have to throw them out like the paper cases).

And finally that cake tin on the right. I love how it looks like a soon-to-be-in-full-bloom rose. So beautiful. I bet it makes some yummy cake!

I would love to start baking right away, but before I go, here is one random picture I found.

When I first looked at it, I thought it was an emu or a moa even, but then it occurred to me it might be a dinosaur:

FROM OUTER SPACE: Moa-Dinosaur-Goose.

Well, according to amazon, this is actually meant to be a goose. I reckon it looks like a Moa-Dinosaur-Goose-Alien from outer space, but yeah… it might just be a normal goose with weird feet, who knows.

♨ Enjoy your weekend and lovely baking, everyone! ♨

Do you like baking? What are your favourite baking tins? What is your favourite recipe?