Sunday, 8 July 2012

I Smell Of Strawberries

Well, it's been a little quiet around Princess and the Cake HQ of late, so I thought I'd do a little bit of explaining. You see, when we first started the Disney Pixar collection, we were working under the presumption that Brave would be released on June 22nd, and so our plan was to squeeze in all of the Disney Pixar films before then, and have a trip to the cinema to see Brave as our big finale. So June came along and we found ourselves with only three films remaining in the collection: Up, Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. It became a little tricky to schedule them in around everyone's holidays, but we found that if we did all three withing a 10 day period we could squeeze them in before going to see Brave - how exciting! 

However, we then found out that whilst Brave was being released on the 22nd June pretty much everywhere else in the world, we in the UK would have to wait until the 17th August. Whilst this is a little bit annoying - we want to see Brave!! - it left us with MUCH more time for the final three films, so we spread them out a bit. Hence the lack of posts recently!

Anyways, I'll post the recipe and photos for Up as soon as I can, and I'm baking Toy Story 3 as we speak, but by way of apology for getting a bit slack, here's a little teaser recipe to tide you over - the strawberry jam I'm using in my Toy Story 3 cupcakes.

The BEST Home-made Strawberry Jam

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 - 60 mins
Make a large (approx. 450g) jar

350g strawberries (British are best!)
400g Jam Sugar (sugar with added pectin)
75ml cold water

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries, then tip them into a blender. Pulse until a mostly smooth puree has formed, then pour this into a large, heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Add the sugar and water to the saucepan, then put onto a very low heat. Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved, then leave on the low heat until the jam reaches rolling simmer. (It's a good idea now to place a saucer into the freezer to use to test the set later on!) Allow the jam to simmer away, stirring occasionally, until the jam starts to thicken (about 45 minutes). I find that slow and steady wins the race with jam - yes, you could turn up the heat and reach a rolling simmer much faster, but you risk burning the strawberries and in my experience, the jam just doesn't taste as good.
  3. After 45 minutes, remove your testing saucer from the freezer, and pour a teaspoon of jam onto it. After 30 seconds your jam should be set - if so, pour the hot jam into a sterilised jar and leave to cool before placing in the fridge to set completely. If the jam isn't quite set yet, leave it to simmer for a little longer, and test again in 5 minute intervals.
All done!

Next time I'll post the photos and recipe for the candyfloss-flavoured cupcakes I made for Up, but until then,

Happy Thoughts

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