Josuke Cupcakes

You know when you love something so much you just have to make it into cake? That’s what I did with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. For those of you who haven’t read or watched Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, I implore you to do so. You’re in for a wild ride.

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For those of you who have and are right now enjoying season four, ‘Diamond is Unbreakable’, I have created these cakes inspired by none other than Josuke Higashikata.

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A soft lemon sponge cake with navy blue vanilla icing, an edible golden sheen, and golden fondant, these cakes are incredibly fun to make. I hope to be making them for friends and family in the near future.

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Along with these Josuke cakes, I intend to make unique designs for other JJBA characters, including Kakyoin, Polnareff, Jolyne, Bruno, Giorno, Dio, and Jotaro. I will base the deigns on colour scheme and the outfits/accessories of each character.

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Things are a bit hectic at the moment what with finding a new job, so I’m afraid I can’t do home delivery at the moment. However, If you are ever willing to come to Leicestershire, I can whip up a batch of these for you no problem!

 

Lemon Drizzle Cake (V)

It was my best friend’s birthday this weekend and I thought, what better way to celebrate than to make her a cake! Lemon drizzle cake is a simple, easy bake with a lot of flavour. It is easily adaptable for different kinds of icing and decoration, as well as being a great cake for summer time. The citrusy taste goes perfectly with a cold drink on a hot day!

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Cake Ingredients

175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g margarine
175g caster sugar
3 tbsp apple sauce
2 tbsp almond/rice/soya milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

Icing Ingredients

1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon essence
4 tbsp icing sugar

Method

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Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder) into a bowl and mix.

Then add all of the wet ingredient into that mixture, as well as the caster sugar and margarine.

Spoon the mixture into your two cake tins. Make sure the tins are greased with butter or margarine so that the two cake layers won’t stick!

Put into the same shelf on your oven and bake for about 1 hour, checking that they don’t burn and that the centre of the cake isn’t wet.

When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire wrack/trey.

While the cake is cooling, make the lemon drizzle icing.

Put all of the icing ingredients together in a bowl and mix until smooth. You can add colouring to this if you want, but white tends to be the traditional colour for this cake.

You can also make an alternative drizzle using only lemon juice and sugar, for a more syrupy mixture.

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Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes

These cupcakes are the embodiment of a good time. And if you’re a cookie addict like me, they will be absolute heaven. They are the best of both worlds, the perfect duality of cake and cookie.

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Cookie Dough Filling Ingredients:

  • 90g plain flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 45g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 grams chocolate chips

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170 ml water
  • 110g vegetable or canola oil

Cookie Dough Frosting Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Make the cookie dough filling first. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla.

Stir the dry mixture and the chocolate chips into the wet mixture.

Roll the dough into small balls, put into a baking tray and put in the fridge until the cakes are baked.

Next, make the cakes! Like the cookies dough, put the dry ingredients into one bowl and the wet ingredients into another, then fold the dry mixture into the wet one.

Put cupcake cases onto baking trays. Fill the cases up half way with cupcake mixture. Get the cookie dough to of the fridge. Place one ball of cookie dough into the middle of each cupcake case with the mixture. Then, cover the cookie balls with the rest of the chocolate cupcake mixture.

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Bake the cupcakes for up to 10-20, keep checking that they are not burned. When cooked, take out of the oven and let them cool completely.

Now, we make the frosting! In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Then mix in the flour, milk, and vanilla. Continue to mix until the frosting is combines.

Pipe the frosting onto the cakes and add flakes chocolate onto the top. Enjoy this decadence!

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Alex’s multi-purpose jam

I call this a ‘multi-purpose’ because you can use this to make jam with any kind of fruit. The only difference between the various fruits is the amount of water that you add to the mixture in the pan.

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Ingredients:

  • 900g fruit (any kind!)
  • 900g golden granulated sugar
  • little bit of butter

Method:

Put the fruit into a large saucepan, then add water.

For blackberries, add 50ml of water and 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice. For plums use 150ml of water. For strawberries, add 3tbsp lemon juice and no water. For raspberries, add nothing.

Bring the fruit and water to a boil, then lower the heat.

For blackberries, simmer for 15 mins. For plums, simmer for 30 mins. For raspberries, simmer for 2 mins. For strawberries, simmer for 5 mins.

The fruit should be simmered till it’s soft.

Tip in the sugar and stir the mixture over a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Then raise the heat, bring to a rolling boil, the rapidly boil for between 10-20 minutes. Remember not to stir the mixture until the setting paid when then jam gets more solid.

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Remove from the heat, the stir the butter over the surface, this will get rid of any excess on the surface.

Leave the jam to cool, then pour into sterilised jars. You can decorate the jars and label them with the type of jam and the date, if you’re sentimental, like me.

And there you go, summer fruit berry jam perfect for toast, scones, crumpets, and more.

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Ginger parkin with rhubarb and spiced syrup

This fantastic sweet from Yorkshire is perfect as both a summer and winter dessert. The rich, spiced syrup will warm you up from the inside and fulfil those christmas time cravings. Serve it with vanilla ice cream and the rhubarb and you have yourself a delightful pudding to eat outside on a sunny evening.

I will be including both the vegan and non vegan ingredients for this recipe. With now being the perfect time to harvest rhubarb, I recommend you get stocked up for winter!

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Ingredients

  • 110g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 75g oatflakes
  • 175g golden syrup
  • 50g black treacle
  • 110g margarine
  • 110g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg (or 2 tbsp applesauce)
  • 2 tsp milk (or soy/almond/rice milk)

For the spiced syrup

  • 200g golden syrup (or half light, half dark agave nectar)
  • 4 tsp cider
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

For the rhubarb

  • 255g rhubarb
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • water to boil

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 140C. Although this is a low heat it will need to bake for a while; it needs to be low so that the edges don’t burn.

Grease a large square cake tin with margarine.

Sieve the flour, ginger, and nutmeg into a large bowl and mix. Then fold the oats into the mixture.

Measure out the syrup, treacle, butter and soft brown sugar into a small saucepan and melt over a gentle heat.

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Bring the mixture up to a simmer, but don’t boil as this will burn it!

Stir the flour mixture into the syrupy one in the saucepan.

Beat the egg/applesauce and milk together in a small bowl. Add this to the saucepan to produce a soft consistency, making sure to get rid of lumps.

Pour the mixture into the greased tin and bake for 1h 15mins.

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Bake till firm but not crispy, needs to be a bit bouncy in the middle.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for a few minutes to cool before turning out and cutting it up.

For the hot spiced syrup, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a pan and warm. Again, don’t boil as this will make it disparate and thin.

Place the rhubarb into another saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, be careful not to stew. This will make it really sloppy, we don’t want that.

To serve, drizzle the parkin with spiced sauce, and place some rhubarb on the side of the dish along with a ball of your favourite ice cream.

Voilà!

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A trip to Leeds for the Yorkshire Vegan Festival

Last weekend I embarked upon a pilgrimage to my home away from home, my university city of Leeds, for a very exciting green event. This was my first time attending the Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival; my friends had raved about it for years and I just had to experience it for myself.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect initially; a politically charged atmosphere, a venue full of hippies and yoga classes, or curious foodies making the most out of the ‘alternative’ food on offer. Thankfully, it turned out to be a fantastic amalgamation of all of these things.

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Arriving at the Leeds Town Hall, a plethora of senses hit me at all at once. The juicy smells of BBQ mixed with the hearty goodness of vegan pizza filled my nostrils from the outside food stalls, my eyes twinkled as a jostling ocean of interesting people with hair of every colour traveled up and down the steps, and my ears were caressed with the soft voice of a woman with an acoustic guitar singing a peaceful song about the ways we can help to stop climate change. It’s safe to say I’ve missed being around an alternative community, especially one concerned with global ethical issues.

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There was so much to see at the festival and the venue was packed to the brim full of all kinds of people; it was great to see so much of Yorkshire getting involved. There were was food, clothing, cosmetics, home wear, toys, jewellery, soap, and more in stalls dotted in various rooms of the town hall.

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There were also loads of classes and talks happening, although sadly I didn’t get to attend any of those! I did however buy myself some gorgeous chocolate orange cake from That Old Chestnut, some amazingly soft and tasty soda break from Leeds Bread Co-op, and a bunch of stuff from the Teen Vgn stand, designed by Lucy Gilkes.

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After eating a ridiculous amount of food I then sat outside with the rest of the festival goers with a vegan mango cider in hand. I listened to some music and watched people learning circus skills and paint each others’ faces. With all of the stress I have been under lately, this day of good will, good people, and good food was exactly what the doctor ordered.

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I drew a lot of inspiration from the cakes and biscuits I saw at the festival and shall get straight back to baking once I have returned from Austria!

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Here are some of my other favourite vegan stores that featured in the festival: Ananda Foods, Cool Jerk Vegan, Vegan Tuck Box.

 

 

Florentines (V)

These rich, chewy biscuits from 17th century Europe are perhaps one of the easiest biscuits to make. They are also totally vegan without having to alter or replace any of the traditional ingredients. They are light, delicate, and great for afternoon tea as well as a sweet snack.

You can add different kinds of nuts and toppings to your Florentines, but this is a basic recipe for you to start with!

Ingredients:

50g/1¾oz butter
50g/1¾oz demerara sugar
50g/1¾oz golden syrup
50g/1¾oz plain flour
25g/1oz dried cranberries or glacé cherries, finely chopped
50g/1¾oz candied peel, finely chopped
25g/1oz almonds, finely chopped
25g/1oz walnut pieces, finely chopped
200g/7oz dark chocolate

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line your baking trays with baking parchment.

Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, chopped cranberries or cherries, candied peel and nuts to the pan. Stir really well to to turn that mixture into a putty-like dough.

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Spoon tablefuls of the mixture on to each of the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during cooking. They will become very flat, but don’t worry, they are meant to!

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave the florentines to cool before lifting onto a cooling rack using a palette knife. Be careful not to let these get too crispy as you don’t want them to be brittle.

Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water. Temper the chocolate by breaking half of the chocolate into the bowl. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Meanwhile, finely chop or grate the remaining chocolate.

Be careful not to let it burn on keep it on the heat for too long!

Carefully remove the bowl from the pan, add the rest of the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has cooled.

Spread a little melted chocolate over the flat base of each florentine and leave to cool slightly before marking a zigzag in the chocolate with a fork.

Leave to set, chocolate side up on a cooling rack. You can put them in the fridge to cool and to keep.

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Almond White Chocolate Blondies (V)

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I have to consume cake at least four times a week. Only problem is, I am trying to become vegan again and everything in the Gu cookbook is incredibly dairy heavy. But it is entirely possible to take any of the recipes in this book and tweak them in order to make them suitable for vegans. And this is just what I did with these scrumptious vegan blondies. So I’m going to share the recipe with you guys right now, so that you too may enjoy this guilt-free sweet treat!

Ingredients:

100g vegan spread/soya butter

40g agave nectar

280g white vegan chocolate (I use the organic chocolate from Plamil foods)

180g caster sugar

190g plain flour

1 tsp baking power

2 tablespoons soya/rice/almond milk

1 tablespoon canola oil

80g applesauce

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees/Gas mark 3, and prep your cake tin with foil, parchment, or soya butter so that the blondies don’t stick.

Tip the butter, agave nectar, and chocolate into a pan, place over a very low heat, and stir till melted together. Keep an eye on this so it doesn’t burn!

Mix the apple sauce, milk, canola oil, and sugar in one bowl, and sift the flour along with the baking powder into another bowl.

When the chocolate mixture has all melted, stir in the sugar/egg replacement mixture. When that is nicely combined, carefully and gradually fold in the flour mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepped cake tin and bake for 25-30 mins. It may take longer, I’d advise you just to keep checking until the blondies are lightly golden brown on top, and soft but not fudge on the inside. A simple knife test will do.

When baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes. When suitably cool, transfer to a wire rack. Cut into pieces and share with all of your loved ones!

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And there you have it! Some simple, delicious vegan blondies that anyone and everyone can enjoy.

Chica’s Cupcakes from Five Night’s at Freddy’s (V)

The other day I made a first attempt at Chica’s cupcakes from indie horror game Five Night’s at Freddy’s. Chica is an animatronic chicken, similar to something you’d see at Chuck E. Cheese’s, who carries around these delightfully terrifying cupcakes with gaping eye sockets and amazing magenta icing. I got the idea from a Feast of Fiction video, but modified the recipe slightly to make it vegan friendly.

So without further ado I’m going to show you how to make these nightmarish sweets!

So for these creations you will need: an even number of vegan or non-vegan chocolate cupcakes, butter-cream frosting, vegan or non vegan fondant icing in pink, black, and white, and edible marker pens.

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Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe:

240 ml soy milk or almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar or apple sauce

150g granulated sugar

80 ml canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

120g all-purpose flour

40g cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Cook at 180C for 20 minutes and they should end up looking like the beauties in that picture above .

Leave your chocolate cupcakes to cool and then start on the butter-cream frosting.

Butter-cream Frosting Recipe:

360g icing sugar

80g soya/vegetable butter

1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons soya/almond milk (don’t make it too runny!!)

Directions:

Half of these cupcakes are going to become one with the other half. By that, I mean you’re going to stick two cupcakes together to provide a solid head structure for the fondant! Sounds complicated but it really isn’t!

Get half of your cupcakes and slice the tops off that are overhanging the cupcake cases to provide a flat surface for your other cupcakes.

Take the other half of your cupcakes, remove them from their cases, and also remove their tops, so you will have two flat surfaces sticking together.

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Spread the butter cream icing over the flat top of your base cupcakes, ready to stick on the other ones, or the ‘skulls’, as I like to call them. Once stuck together, round off the top of the skulls with a knife as best you can.

Then cover your skulls in butter cream frosting, so that the fondant will stick to them. Try and do a couple of layers if possible and try and cover every little bit of the cake evenly. It should look something like this.

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Put them in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill. Next let’s start shaping the fondant!

So the Feast of Fiction video has a link to an aluminium fondant cutter that they fashioned to cut out the icing to go on the top of Chica’s cupcakes, but I just used a knife to cut the fondant. This way I could tailor them to each individual size of the cupcake.

Roll your pink fondant out and cut a shape that kind of resembled a flower or cloud. Neaten up the edges with your fingers if you feel comfortable doing that.

Take your cupcakes out of the fridge, and carefully layer your fondant over the butter-cream layer. You can always cut bits off that overlap, or merge splits together using a bit of water and your fingertips.

With the back side of a teaspoon, press eye-sockets into the pink fondant skulls. They need to be deep enough to hold two more layers of fondant. The cupcakes should now look like this.

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Now get the black fondant, roll it out, and make some small black circles. Try and get these relatively thin, as they will be the eye-sockets for the actual eyeballs.

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Ok, now it’s time to make the eyeballs! Get your white fondant and make small balls with it, small enough so they will fit happily in the black fondant eye-sockets. Then get some edible markers and draw pupils. I also drew blood vessels but you don’t have to.

Stick a kid’s birthday candle in each one (I didn’t have birthday candles so I stuck these weird jewels cocktail sticks into them, d’oh!)

And hey presto, your cupcakes are ready! Dare you eat them is a different matter entirely…

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I hope you enjoyed this! Keep an eye out on here for more geeky treats soon.

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American Style Pancakes (V)

Lately I have become a pancake master. After multiple attempts, I have perfected these flawless sweet, fluffy american pancakes, vegan style. I have enjoyed them with maple syrup, soya ice-cream, fruit and berries, and even veggie bacon. Here is the easy recipe for you to follow and enjoy.

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Ingredients:

  • 135g/4¾oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml/4½fl oz almond/rice/soya milk (I use almond)
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce or egg replacement
  • 2 tbsp melted margarine or olive oil, plus extra for cooking

Method:

Sift all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, caster sugar) into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg replacement, then add in the melted butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture. Beat until you have a smooth batter. Make sure you beat out any lumps!

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the cooking butter or oil. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter. It will seem thick but this is how it should be, more than crepes. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.

Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.

Serve with all the extra bits and enjoy fluffy golden goodness.

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