Monday, December 13, 2010

jungle cupcakes (a)

It was katrinas birthday on sunday


she asked if I would make the (cup)cake for her birthday, and I said my birthday present to her, I would provide 36 cupcakes to enjoy. Kat was having a explorer themed party, so I decided that cupcakes with animals on them would be a great idea :) I used the magnolia bakery cupcake recipe, but reduced the sugar by 3/4 (yes..and they still tasted amazing). I still havent quite managed to get that melt in your mouth cupcake feel...i mean, it tasted great...but maybe i didnt beat it long enough...who knows, but they were perfectly formed and tasted amazing.

Its an easy recipe too...and then, i just used buttercream frosting and licorice/lollies to decorate the cupcakes. Looking back, I probably should have invested in a black icing pen, would have been quicker and alot more professional...but i get to eat licorice...hahahaha. next time (I'm open to orders! promise they will look better!)

so, got a kids birthday or just want some exciting cupcakes...try these!!


To make 24:
1 1/2 c SR flour
1 1/4 c plain flour
1 c unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 c sugar
4 large eggs at room temp
1 c milk
1 tspn vanilla

Preheat oven to 180 celcius.
Line cupcake tray with 24 cupcake papers.
Place flours into a small ball and stir to combine.
Cream butter with a beater until light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating to combine between each addition.
Add eggs, one at a time, beat to combine.
Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk. With each addition, beat until combined but DO NOT overbeat.
Add the vanilla and mix in.
Place 1tbspn of mix in each cupcake case and cook for 20 minutes (or until golden on top).
Leave to cool


125 g softened butter
1 1/2 c icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla
2 tbspn milk
approx 2 drops of food colouring (green, yellow, red)
1 strap of licorice
snakes or lollie animals

Mix the butter and icing sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and milk.
Split into four bowls, one for orange (tigers), yellow (lions), white (zebra) and green (lollies)
Green cupcakes: ice with green frosting and decorate with lollie animals
Lion cupcakes: ice with yellow frosting and decorate with licorice and an orange snake for a mane
Tiger cupcakes: ice with orange frosting (one drop yellow, one drop red food colouring) and decorate with licorice
Zebra cupcakes: ice with normal icing and decorate with licorice (baisclaly the same as the tiger)

Cupcakes can be iced the day after, just store in an airtight container OR freeze and use a week later (etc)
To make eggs at room temp (if you forget to take them out of the fridge early like me) place them in a bowl of water and change the water frequently until they have warmed up.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to sterilise a jar (a)

Mum taught me how to sterilise a jar the other day...because you need them to put jam, fruitmince and lemon curd in (which will be the next few posts). I thought I better tell everyone else too...because its such a ridiculous thing we are supposed to know, but we dont.
My mum uses quattro stagioni jars to store preserves. But I know alot of people just re-use store jam jars.

How to sterilise a jar

Clean jar well.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place in oven for 20 minutes (make the preserve while you wait).
Remove from oven with extreme caution as they will be HOT and place on heat mats.
Be careful not to put them straight onto a cold surface as the glass will crack
Fill hot jars with hot preserve.

If the preserve is cold, let the jars cool before you add the preserve.

How to sterilise a lid

Clean lid well.
Place in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil.
Let it boil for 10 minutes.
Remove with a tong and let drip dry (on a clean teatowel is good, or in the oven with the jars)
Place ontop of the jar once full - putting hot preserve in a hot jar with a hot lid helps it to seal better.

The 'pop' button on the lids should go down, if not, there was no seal created between the lid and jar, so make sure you use it sooner, as it wont keep as well :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spaghetti toasties (a)

Ok, so this is a fairly easy recipe. But believe it or not, some people have not been introduced to the amazingness of spaghetti toasties.


I dont know how you could have lived without spaghetti toasties. When I was little they were a staple in my house...usually with alot of sauce everywhere too.
Spaghetti toasties are a great way to finish off a few bits in the fridge, or for a wholesome dinner when you just dont feel like cooking.
The way I cook it means you have soft bread on the bottom (like sizzler cheesebread) and crunchy melty cheese ontop...mmmmmmmm

So next time you have a night in, try this 5 minute meal....


2 slices bread
200g watties tinned spaghetti (watties spaghetti is the best)
50g ham
2 handfulls of grated cheese (or 4 slices)

Turn the grill function on the oven.
Place bread on a tray, and place under the grill.
Pour half the spaghetti into a bowl and warm in the microwave (about 30 sec)
Take the bread out from the grill (shouldn't be brown, but just a little crispy)
Lay the ham over the bread.
Divide the spaghetti ontop of the ham
Lay cheese overtop
Place tray back under the grill for about 2 min, or until cheese is slightly brown.
Eat with fingers.

Add thinly sliced capsicum, mushrooms or zuchini to the spaghetti when you warm it for a healthier more substantial meal.
Use wholegrain bread.