Sunday, 30 September 2012

Browned Butter and Cinnamon Teacakes

This is the second time I have made these beautiful cinnamon morsels. How does everyone feel about cinnamon? It is my favourite spice and has been for many years now. There is nothing more inviting than walking into a bakery, a supermarket, or your own kitchen, that smells of warm cinnamon. Some say it's purely a Christmas spice. I think this is horribly restrictive and my taste buds couldn't cope without it for long! So it lives with me all year long. I love it in cakes, biscuits, porridge. It's the spice that just keeps on giving.

I made these from one of my favourite baking books, Homestyle Cookies, Muffins and Cakes. It can be bought here from The Book People for anyone who would like to buy it. It's a fabulous book with lots of choice. It's a go to book for me as I have made three or four things out of it which have been a success. 

The picture in the book is a little deceiving compared with my results though. They look like they have a lot of depth and mine look about half the size of them. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, if at all, as I know pictures in books can be misleading. Sometimes I could do with a 50p for scale so I can compare!

Despite the discrepancy in size, they are absolutely gorgeous. They taste like cinnamon brownies to me. Very rich, dense and soft.  I like that they wouldn't win the competition for the prettiest cakes, as sometimes you really don't want to slave away crumb coating on a Sunday!

1st birthday cake and 90th birthday cake

I wanted to show you a few pictures of the cakes I've made recently. One for Elizabeth's daughter's first birthday (Elizabeth is my boyfriend's cousin) and the other for my Grandma's 90th. I did think that the ages couldn't be more at the opposite end of the spectrum!

Elizabeth wanted a lovely pink cake with polka dots for Mya. I suggested the baby blocks as I have seen it on so many Christening and 1st birthday cakes. I feel that on big cakes, it's a very tasteful and dainty way to incorporate their name and show their age in such a way that isn't obvious.

You will have to forgive me on the photos, I didn't have time to stage a lovely backdrop sadly. So the humble worktop scenery it is! 

I thought that just the one butterfly was enough for this cake to remain simple and classy.
  The birthday girl had her first taste of cake at her party and she loved it.  
A child's first taste of sugar or cake is one to remember!  If I had it my way, it would go down as one of the firsts -  first tooth, first word, first taste of sugar...

Moving onto the other cake.  I made this for my Grandma and I had a brief from my mum - a vanilla sponge, almond filling and bunting style. So that is exactly what I did and my Grandma loved it! I feel like it's a nice September cake, almost marking the end of summer, as I don't think this bunting style can be used into autumn and winter (unless someone asked for it) as it's just too summery! It's a bit like wearing shorts in winter, I just wouldn't go there!

I covered the cake in almond flavoured buttercream first, then marzipan to enhance the almond experience, then sugarpaste.  I textured the bunting with a vintage vine embossing sheet.  I cut out sugarpaste letters to say 'Happy Birthday Grandma' around the circumference of the cake. Those cutters are amazing. I got them from Ebay for approximately £1.80 and the postage about the same and they're wonderful value for money. If you are interested and have been looking for a while for something like this just like I was, you can buy them here.  

I used tappits for the 90 on the bunting.  Tappits are brilliant and I urge anyone to use them.  I had given them a wide birth for months thinking they'd be too hard to use... turns out I was wrong! You need to know that 1) you will need to use flower paste and roll it out very thin 2) dust a little cornflour on the tappit and 3) you'll need to air dry the flower paste on both sides for a few minutes before cutting out.  If you stick to these rules, you can't go wrong.  The best part of all is tapping them out.  A few of my numbers went flying across the room as I've been too heavy handed!  All part of the fun.  I got my tappits and embossing sheet from Purple Cupcakes if anyone is interested in them.

Thanks for reading as always!