Last weekend I made a cake for Easter. Not a fruit or Simnel cake (simple tastes abound in our household), but instead a rainbow cake, frosted and decorated festively with a carrot, which soon attracted these hares…
It’s one of those cakes that is far simpler to make than it may look;
- The rainbow cake recipe and technique is on the blog here, and for the frosting I used Betty Crocker’s own trusted recipe (so simple, but so good).
- To make the shards around the side, I melted a pack of these and smoothed the mixture out between two sheets of greaseproof paper, before rolling it up quickly like a swiss roll. The Candy Melts harden quickly, and when unrolled again break into shards which I gently pressed into the frosting around the sides of the cake. You can find them in Lakeland and Hobbycraft in the UK, and in craft stores and supermarkets in the US and Canada.
- The carrot is a paper-and-raffia Easter decoration that I simply pierced with a wooden skewer, then pushed the skewer down into the cake to hold it in place (remove before serving!). If you made an actual carrot cake, this would look even better.
- The mischievous hares? Again, they were Easter decorations designed to be hung up; I snipped off the hanging threads and let them loose on the cake…
After two days, this was all I managed to rescue for a photo
p.s. On a related subject; a campaign has been launched by the youngest member of the family who is adamant that what our family needs is a pet rabbit. Have you ever had a rabbit, and do they make easy pets? Perhaps we won’t start with one of these…
It’s been a while since Harry and I whipped ourselves up into a culinary frenzy, so with Halloween soon to be upon us we present to you… Halloweenies!! Our homemade concoction is essentially carrot cupcakes (because we love them), with whipped cream cheese frosting and fondant pumpkins (because you can never pack too many calories into a single cupcake…).
For the Carroty Cupcakes you’ll need;
- 100g / 3.5 oz self raising flour
- 100g / 3.5 oz wholemeal self-raising flour
- 175g / 6 oz muscovado sugar
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp mixed spice
- 200g / 7 oz grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
- zest of 1 orange (or a dash of orange extract if you have already accidentally grated your knuckles by this point and are damned if you’re going to try grating anything else)
- 2 eggs
- 175ml of vegetable oil.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, whisk the eggs and oil in a cup and pour in, then sprinkle the carrot over the top. Stir and fold until you have a delicious, gooey brown mess, then spoon it carefully into a lined muffin tin – we managed to fill 12, with Harry eating about 2 further helpings of ‘leftover’ cake mix. The uncooked batter will be thicker than a traditional cupcake batter, which means you should spill less of it en route to the muffin cases. Bake these at 180 degrees C / 350 F for about 20 minutes. Whip them out and they should look a little like this;
Whilst these beauties are cooling, whip up your frosting using 300g cream cheese, 50g softened butter and 200g icing sugar. Then tackle the fondant pumpkins; I used a pre-coloured orange fondant and rolled out 12 small balls. Using a toothpick, find a point and press firmly down the side of the ball, rolling it in your hand. Repeat five times, rotating the ball as you go. Make a small hole with the point of your toothpick at the top, and then press down lightly to flatten the ball slightly and deepen the grooves you’ve made. We then added some tiny pine twigs in the top, having boiled them quickly to remove any gremlins first.
As a final touch, I wrapped each Halloweenie in black ribbon and added a Boo! motif; you can download my template at the bottom of this post.
Now, sit back and admire your efforts. Contemplate inviting friends over to share these then decide, on balance, to eat them one by one until you are entirely unable to move. Check upper lip for tell-tale smudges of frosting before leaving the house.
Halloweenie BOO Stickers