Christmas in July 2016


Last week was the Debenhams Christmas in July press show. It was held in the beautiful Fritzroy Square in a gorgeous Georgian town house. I was asked to host a cupcake decorating workshop with the visitors in the stunning kitchen on the ground floor, which was nearly as big as the whole downstairs of my house! It was an invite only event and visitors were journalists and researchers from short lead magazines, newspapers, TV shows and independent writers and bloggers. Debenhams presented products launching in store soon within the house. Including my new Christmas homeware collection which will be out in September.

The event workshop was so much fun, I do lots of baking at home and it was a lovely opportunity to talk to everyone about my new range whilst teaching a simple buttercream icing recipe which I use for my cupcakes.

Here's some of my workshop victims having a go at pipping their own icing onto the cupcakes.
If you want to have a go at home here is the recipe we used...

For the cupcakes...
100g Butter, 100g Caster sugar, 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder, 1 Orange, 2 Eggs,
50g Dark Chocolate, 125g Self-Raising Flour

For the icing...
350g icing sugar, 150g butter, Orange food colouring
Edible silver balls, Edible glitter, A piping bag & nozzle

To Make...
Preheat the oven to 170oC
Beat the sugar and butter together, add the cocoa powder,
grate in half of the zest of the orange and squeeze in 2 tablespoons of the juice.

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and then add to the mixture.
Whisk the eggs together and mix into the mixture well.
Then fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases, they should be 3/4 full.
Bake in the oven for 20mins, allow to cool completely.

Make your buttercream icing in the meantime, 
weigh out 120g/4oz of icing sugar and 50g/2oz of butter.
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
Chop the butter into small cubes and mix in to the sugar using the back of a spoon.

Add a few drops of food colouring to add colour to your icing.
Grate in some of the orange zest or add a few drops of vanilla extract
or caramel flavouring to add flavor to your icing.

Cut the piping bag to fit the nozzle. (about ¾ of the way down)
Insert your nozzle inside and push into the hole to fit snuggly.
Holding onto the end of the nozzle, turn the bag inside out and spoon in your icing.
Shake the icing to the bottom of the bag and twist the end.
Squeeze the bag to decorate your cupcakes.

Use the large open nozzles to create the classic blob or the large star nozzle to create rose and ruffle shapes or use the smaller nozzle for spikes and mini roses.

Top with a variety of decorations such as silver balls,
chocolate stars, twirls, mini jazzies or cherries.

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