Wednesday, 13 June 2012

B is for Buy N Large, Your Very Best Friend

Disney Pixar # 9 - Wall-E

I think I mentioned in the last post that I'd found it particularly tricky to come up with an idea for Wall-E, but once I had that idea, it was a bloody good one! When struggling to come up with ideas for the films, I usually fall back on one of the following three options:
  1. Does any food feature in the film that could be replicated?
  2. Are there and themes or images in the film that can be played on?
  3. Where is it set?
Looking for food that featured in the film, I initially brushed this off - Wall-E is set in an almost post-apocalyptic future where the entire human race lives on a massive spaceship and takes all of their food in liquid form, how was I supposed to bake a liquid cake? When I later came back to this idea, I did a random google search for "cupcake shake" and found out that this was an ACTUAL THING THAT BURGER KING DID IN THE US! Cupcake flavoured milkshakes... now there's an idea.

I wasn't able to find a recipe for the Burger King cupcake shake, so I just made up my own. They were really, really tasty, but I don't even want to think about the sugar/fat/calorie content!

For the Cupcakes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 - 15 minutes
Makes 10-12 cupcakes (in my usual cake pan I can get 12 cupcakes from this mixture, but in a new one I used this time which is smaller but deeper I only got 10!)

100g margarine
100g caster sugar
1 egg
A few drops of vanilla essence (to taste)
1 tbsp milk
A few drops of yellow food colouring (optional)
100g self-raising flour

For the frosting:
75g butter
150g icing sugar
Vanilla essence (to taste)
Up to 2tbsp milk, as necessary
Multi-coloured sprinkles, to decorate

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the egg, vanilla essence, milk and food colouring (if using) and beat until combined. Fold the flour into the mixture, then divide the mixture amongst the prepared cupcakes cases.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and springy to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Prepare the frosting by beating the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence together in a large bowl until creamy. If you find your frosting is too stiff, add a little milk at a time until the desired consistency has been reached. 
  5. Once the cakes have cooled, place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle and pipe a large swirl onto the top of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles then serve. Tip: I LOVE!!! the Wilton 1M nozzle for piping cupcake swirls. Placing even pressure on the piping bag, start your swirl in the centre of the cupcake and pipe almost to the edge, then  - without releasing the pressure - bring your swirl back over itself and into the centre. (I'm not articulating this particularly well, so one day I may venture into video tutorials and post it here...!) 

For the Cupcake Shakes

Prep time: Less then 5 minutes
Cook time: None
Makes 1 Shake!

2 cupcakes, frosting and all
100mls milk
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
Sprinkles, to decorate

  1. Put the cupcakes, milk and 2 scoops of ice cream into the blender and whizz until smooth. Pour into a  cup and plop the final scoop of ice cream on top. Decorate with sprinkles and enjoy!

Next time it's Up!

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Disney Pixar # 8 - Ratatouille

Ratatouille, along with the next film, Wall-E, were the two Disney Pixar films that I really, really struggled to come up with ideas for. They also ended up being my two favourite ideas of this series! For Ratatouille, I really couldn't come up with anything better than to make some little fondant chef hats and veggies to decorate the top of the cupcakes, but then one day I had a random thought: what if I bake ratatouille (of the roasted vegetable variety) INTO the cupcakes...?

I suppose this idea is a little crazy creative!

It actually worked out really, really well! I started with this recipe for ratatouille, and thought about how I could incorporate the ingredients for ratatouille into my cupcakes. In the end I left out the onion and garlic, as I thought they would be too overpowering, and also left out the aubergine as I couldn't figure out how to include it. I also used half olive oil (as per the ratatouille recipe) and half sunflower oil, as again I thought the olive oil may be too overpowering. All in all, I think it was a worthwhile attempt at ratatouille, and they tasted great! (especially when still a little warm!!)

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Makes 12 cupcakes

250g self raising flour
50g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
120ml milk
2 medium eggs
45ml olive oil
45ml sunflower oil
1 medium sized courgette (around 200g whole)
3 pepperdew peppers from a jar
4 sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
1 sprig fresh basil (around 6-7 leaves)

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a bun tray with cases.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper into a large bowl and place to one side.
  3. Whisk the milk and eggs together, then stir in both kinds of oil.
  4. Peel and grate the courgette and pour into the wet mixture. Chop the peppers, tomatoes and basil into small pieces then stir into the wet mixture.
  5. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture a little at a time until all the ingredients have combined. Fill the  cupcake cases 3/4 of the way up with better, then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool slightly in the pan before removing from the cupcake cases. Best served still warm!

Ratatouille Cupcakes

Next time it's Wall-E, and I'll be making cupcakes as they might appear in 2805!

Happy Thoughts