Phew, it's the weekend again. I'm not saying that because I've had a horribly busy week but because I've had a frustrating week where I've not really known what I've been doing most of the time. I'm sure everyone will agree that is a horrible feeling. I feel like I have spent more time this week wandering around the science building corridors and up and down the stairs trying to figure out what to do and looking for people, than I have done actual science. I don't know what next week will bring, whether it will be any better or worse but for now I'm having a breather and writing about cake. Much more enjoyable.
I might not have known what I was doing for placement work and getting horribly stressed over that (not to mention the uni house freezer breaking on Thursday when I had filled it with a lot of batch made meals only the previous weekend) but I had a crystal clear image of what I wanted to do for these cakes. I very rarely make Halloween based stuff because it's not something we celebrate in our house so it was lovely to get to play about. I've spent far too long looking at some amazing ideas (yep, Pinterest again) so when I saw that two of the baking challenges that I follow had the theme of Halloween I was determined to come up with something. Still, due to uni work and placement, not to mention my amazing procrastinating skills, it had to be something reasonably simple. I think these cakes achieve to simple yet fun Halloweeny feel I was after while being rather yummy to eat too!
From the base up we have a classic soft and velvety vanilla sponge cupcake drizzled with warmed jam just as they come out of the oven as a cross between the American poke cake and the drizzle cakes I'm more used to. Then to cap it all all is a thick layer of white chocolate with a cobweb on top. You can see the jam peeping through the white of the cases but it's when you bit into the deliciousness that they cakes really start to bleed. Because who doesn't want a bit of gruesomeness around Halloween?
I think these would be perfect for a themed party or if you were baking with children, they would find it fun to feather the chocolate to make the cobwebs. I would have loved to have made a full size batch of these but seeing as there is only me in the house who could eat these because I didn't make them with gluten free flour I was sensible and only made four. I think I must have used enough chocolate to make the full batch though because I kept, erm, sampling the white chocolate then the dark chocolate. Then I got into a mess when I started the decoration and had to melt another lot but I most certainly wasn't going to let the previous stuff go to waste. My uni friends wouldn't have minded helping me out though if I had made the full batch. One morning I had been sat with a few of the guys for five minutes before heading up to the lab when one said "Have you got any cake?". No 'Have fun in the lab Laura'. They just wanted feeding.That's charm for you. At least I got a 'good morning' first. Then throughout the rest of the week I've been asked for Millionaire's Shortbread multiple times, the same with a giant Rolo, a giant Jaffa cake has been mentioned, a cake version of these ginger bonfire toffee crinkles as well as more bonfire themed food. I think they like my cooking. Maybe.
As mentioned I'm sharing these with two challenges this month. Treat Petite is being hosted this month by Stuart from Cakeyboi who created the challenge along with Kat from Baking Explorer.
Calendar Cakes is being hosted by Rachel from Dollybakes this month as it was Laura from Laura Loves Cakes turn last month. The theme is all things wicked so I think my cakes fit!
I love all of these blogs and am already looking forward to seeing what other bakers have come up with. I've got a feeling I'll be adding to my Pinterest boards when the round-ups are out!
Bleeding Cobweb Cupcakes
A sweet vanilla sponge topped with a blood red jam and a thick layer of white chocolate and cobwebs red to be broken and bled.
- 175g butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g self raising flour
- A few scoops of red jam, sieved and heated
- 150g white chocolate, chopped
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped
1. Set the oven to 190 C/170 C fan and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. Beat the butter until creamy then add in the sugar and cream until light and fluffy.2. Mix the vanilla and eggs then beat into the sugar/butter a little at a time, scraping down the sides as you go. If the mixture threatens to curdle then add in a spoonful of the measured flour.3. Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture until no streaks remain. Fold in a little milk if the mixture is too stiff. Divide between the cases and bake in the preheated oven for around 18-20 mins until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.4. Use a fork to poke holes in the cakes when they come out of the oven.Spoon the jam over the cakes, focussing on the holes if you can. Remove the cakes from the tin and cool completely on the wire rack.5. Melt both the chocolates in separate bowls and allow to cool to room temperature. Spoon the white chocolate over the cooled cakes. Fill a piping bag with a small holed nozzle with the dark chocolate and pipe a spiral onto each cake. Use a toothpick to drag out the lines to create the cobwebs. Leave the chocolate to set or enjoy warm as you wish.