I love Christmas! Busy time of year though. Got a few orders coming in which is good. 18th Birthday, Thank You cakes for local vet, Christmas Cupcakes etc.
Anyone been watching Kristie's Homemade Xmas? I love that show. So many fab ideas for Xmas and how much do I want to do Salt dough shapes! ?Takes me back!
Jobs I'm planning to do over the weekend: make candles, make cookies, send xmas cards, order xmas food shop online, make some more chutney and finish sewing bear.
Also I want to update the www.jessicascupcakes.com website. Need to freshen it up a bit, add some more pics and add some more flavour ranges so watch this space!
I'm loving the hummingbird bakery cookbook. I have done 2 recipes so far and both have been fab. Coconut and Pineapple and Strawberry Cheesecake. Yummy!
Couple of weeks ago I held a cupcake party, a girls night in one. They all had a fab time and made some fabulous cupcakes.
Next weekend is my Nephew's birthday so he will be having cupcake decorating and I'm also doing "magic" theme cupcakes for him.
I'm hoping that 2010 the party bookings get a bit busier as I love doing them.
Right must be getting on with things. Will post update and more pics soon, especially of anymore "crafty bits"!
1kg (about 6) ripe pears
150g ready-to-eat dried prunes, chopped
200g shallots, finely sliced
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
300g light muscovado sugar
1 cinnamon stick
600ml cider vinegar
1. Peel and core the pears, then chop them into chunks. Place them in a pan with the prunes, sultanas, raisins, shallots, apples, sugar and cinnamon stick. Pour in half of the cider vinegar, season and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for 25 minutes more, until tender.
2. Pour in the rest of the cider vinegar and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring often, until thickened. If it’s still runny, simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
3. Divide the hot chutney between sterilised jars, place a disc of waxed paper directly onto the chutney and seal with airtight lids or cellophane and elastic bands. Leave to cool.
350g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
200g salted peanuts
1. Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring now and then, until melted. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, in a separate heatproof bowl, melt the dark chocolate over another pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally in the same way.
2. Stir the peanuts into the dark chocolate.
Spread out on a baking paper-lined baking sheet, so that the peanuts form a single layer.
Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate on top, and swirl both chocolates together using a skewer or the end of a spoon (so that it looks like tree bark). Allow to cool.
3. Set in the fridge for about 1 hour. Break the bark into large pieces.
Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest into a saucepan. Place over a low heat and simmer very gently until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat to high and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.
Spoon into sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool before storing in the fridge or cool place.
Been busy baking, getting sorted for my new (day) job which starts tomorrow and sorting out admin.
I have a couple of cupcake parties booked now which is fab, they are great fun and seem to be popular.
Really starting to feel the cold weather now, the slow cooker is out and has been used a fair bit already. Also searched high and low today for a hot water bottle but could not find one anywhere! May have to order one online. Shops are full of these things you put in the microwave- i just want a normal bog standard hot water bottle!
Made my Christmas cake the other day which filled the house with all my favourite smells, also used some of the mixture to make christmas cupcakes which went down lovely with a cup of tea.
Made some sex and the city girlie style cupcakes for a 40th which worked out well, loved the colours- see below
Also have a done a few simple poured fondant cupcakes
This week not many orders to do apart from some wedding samples which is probably a bit of a blessing seeing as this week I am starting my new day job with Nationwide. Wish me luck!
Cupcakes for a 30th birthday
So where is the summer weather? I hope it perks up by the end of the week as we are going camping! Fingers crossed!
Orders have been slow coming in, need to get out there a bit more. I'm going to be at Smart Tots Nursury in Banbury on the 19th Sept selling cupcakes at their open day and also to celebrate Nationa Cupcake Week 14th-19th Sept.
This week i'm going to contact a couple of local cafes to see if they would like to stock my cakes, also want to try and push the parties a bit more.
This week i'm focussing on getting the ball rolling with doing cupcake decorating classes. Insurance etc is all sorted now just need to purchase right equipment. Aprons, bowls, spoons, party bag things and then marketing. Will be providing for kids parties and also adults. Girls night in with wine and nibbles and i bring everything you need to make some yummy cupcakes.
So if you know of anyone wanting something a little different for a party tell them about Jessica's Cupcake parties!!
Got some vanilla cupcakes to make tonight for a lady at work, pretty girly design. Also going to a networking event tomorrow night so want to take some to that.
Weather has been so fab, everything seems so much better when the sun is out. BBQs are my favourite, with cupcakes for afters!!
Looking at drumming up extra business, credit crunch is hitting hard! Advertising is so expensive though so trying other means for now.
Got some Hollywood style cupcakes to make for a 30th Birthday party which should be fun. Will post pics once they are done.
Right i must get baking.
And remember: A cupcake a day keeps insanity away!
Baking wise have done peanut butter, oreo cookie and coffee cupcakes. Made a slight change to my peanut butter ones by spreading peanut butter on top of the cake before putting on the frosting, was extra yummy! Have not yet made the red velvet cupcakes, will be doing those this week.
Things have gone quiet so need to fire up the marketing. Am looking into doing a farmers market. Think that would be a good way of getting the local people aware of me.
Think i am also going to have to fork out some money to get advertised in places too. Everything costs money! Need to also try more local deli's to see if they want to stock any cupcakes.
Got a few to make as a sample for a local farm shop tomorrow. Hopefully they will put in a regular order. Just trying to work out pricing. As I obviously need to charge less than what I would a normal consumer as they need to sell them on. That's a thought for this evening.
Other things to do this weekend:
- More work on press release
- Costings of new recipes
- Order more business cards
- Sort out business bank account, had the form for a while now...
- Buy some fabrics for taking pics
Going to make some Red Velvet Cupcakes this weekend as would like to add it to the range. Below is the recipe i have got hold of, it's the one from Magnolia Bakery in NYC. Enjoy :-)
-3 ⅓ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
-¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
-2 ¼ cups sugar
-3 large eggs, at room temperature
-6 tablespoons red food colouring
-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
-1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 ½ teaspoons salt
-1 ½ cups buttermilk
-1 ½ teaspoons cider vinegar
-1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
-1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
-1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
-5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Grease and lightly flour three muffin tins. Place cupcake papers in the tins.
-To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
-In a small bowl, whisk together the red food colouring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
-In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overheat.
-In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. -Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
-Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake each tray for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
-In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes.
-Add the vanilla and beat well.
-Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy.
-Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.
-When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting liberally on the cupcakes.
-Makes 36 cupcakes.
Looking to write a couple and distribute with the hope that someone somewhere will want to do a piece on me!
Want to try cream cheese frosting, have always used buttercream but quite a lot of people have said cream cheese is yummy so of course i must sample them! Might throw some strawberries in :-)
Have to say I'm really impressed with Twitter. As a business tool it's fab. I've met lots of contacts and people doing the same sort of business and can share hints and tips. Fab. Check out my Twitter http://twitter.com/JessicasCupcake
Here are a couple of pics of some cupcakes I've made over the past couple of weeks (Next thing is to get a better camera and light tent for taking better pics!):
These were for a Royal Mail Team Meeting
For a Man Utd Painter and Decorator
Selection of Lemon, Strawberry and Vanilla Cupcakes