Saturday, 8 October 2016

Red Velvet Cupcakes!

I simply cannot resist a good cupcake and so I wanted to recreate the iconic 'Red Velvet' from my favourite company in London, "Hummingbird Bakery".

"The Hummingbird Bakery is a sweet tooth's delight.  The cupcakes are so legendary and our special occasions are always chock full of Hummingbird goodies!" Gwyneth Paltrow.

For the cupcakes you will need:
  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g castar sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 20ml red food colouring
  • 1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract 
  • 120ml butter milk
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tea spoon salt 
  • 1/2 tea spoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tea spoons white wine vinegar

Method for cupcakes:
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  • Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste.  Add this to the butter mixture until everything is combined.
  • Pour in half of the buttermilk and beat until well mixed and then add half of the flour and mix until well incorporated.  Repeat this process until all of the buttermilk and flour has been added and the mixture is smooth. 
  • Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and the vinegar and mix for a couple of minutes.  
  • Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched.  A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  • Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the Cream Cheese Frosting on top.  I kept some of the cupcake crumbs to decorate on top of the frosting to add a bit of colour.

For the cream cheese frosting you will need:
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted 
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold

Method for the frosting:
  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together on a medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  • Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
  • Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
  • Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

And that's how to make the legendary 'Red Velvet Cupcake'... so all you should do now is make a good cup of tea and enjoy!

M x

Monday, 3 October 2016

Flat Iron Review!

The other day Perry and I popped into one of the highly anticipated restaurants in London, "Flat Iron".   It is the type of restaurant where it is first come first serve, because they don't take any reservations and that is one of the reasons why they are so popular.   Every time I walked past it, there was always a huge queue of people waiting patiently for a seat at their table.  That is always a good sign of a great restaurant and we just couldn't wait to get stuck into their food!

When we were seated, we were given a big mug of free salted popcorn, which was really cool and totally unexpected!  It was really comforting to be given a light snack before our main course arrived.

I noticed that the cutlery was so unique, as instead of being given a knife to cut up my steak with, I was given a miniature Chopper instead.  It was so cute as normally choppers are one of the most popular knives for Butchers and so it was really sweet to see mini versions for us to eat with.  

For the main event, we both chose the infamous 'Flat Iron steak' with 'Dripping Cooked Chips', Creamed Spinach' and 'Today's Market Greens'.  It was cooked to absolute perfection and was so tender that it literally melted into my mouth.  All of the side dishes that I chose, matched perfectly with the steak and the whole dish was incredible!  One of the best steaks I've ever had!  I asked my husband, Perry what a 'Flat Iron' steak was and this is what he had to say...
"A flat iron is made from the muscle ,which is taken from the shoulder of the cow and is called the feather blade.  When butchers use precision and seam the gristle properly, it is therefore made into a Flat Iron."  Perry Bartlett, The Ginger Pig

Overall, we had such an amazing time at 'Flat Iron', because the food was insane, the vibe of the restaurant was so casual and laid back and the service was awesome!  Did I forget to mention that after our meal, we were given a casino chip that allowed us to go over to the ice cream station and be greeted with a free homemade chocolate ice cream cone to go... how many restaurants can you name who do that?  I would definitely recommend to you all that if you are in Covent Garden, go and check out 'Flat Iron' and taste their amazing dishes!

M x
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