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Things I Need In My Life: More Automated Cakes

I’ve been to Holland a few times with my dad, and our favourite thing was Febo – a chain of automatiek restaurants where you put money in and get fast food out (Hey, I blogged about it in 2008! So long ago!)

As far as I know, we don’t really have anything like this in the UK yet – wouldn’t it be perfect though for those late night snacks after you’ve had a drink or 10? – but I’d be happy never to see one in the UK if we could get one of these

A CUPCAKE ATM.

Its just… beautiful. At Sprinkles in Beverly Hills, the cakes are freshly baked and the machine can dispense so many different types, even cakes for your dog. This video from the Huffington Post shows the machine in action:

The closest we seem to be getting in the UK is the Mr Kipling bus stops which dispence slices of angel cake and smell like cake. Except there aren’t any in Bristol – bah!

If theres a dispenser for macarons though, I’m going to be first in line!

Tea and Cake

I like tea. I know, I’m just as surprised as you. I love baking as well, and have quite a few volunteers to “dispose” of my attempts. I thought I’d look at some new cupcake recipes to see if there was anything that contained tea flavouring. I’ve tried Earl Grey cupcakes at Swinky Sweets, but the bergamot flavouring was just too much. I thought I’d try this recipe from BakingMad.com then top with a lemon flavoured icing. Mmm.

I can’t help it, I like getting all my ingredients together like this, even if I’m not taking pictures of the recipe. Maybe I just watched too much Blue Peter as a kid.

I think the follow-up to this quote should be “Isn’t it dreadful to go to a country where they have crap tea.” AMERICA I AM LOOKING AT YOU.

So the tea flavour in the cake comes from making the worst cup of tea ever. You take 3 tea bags and put them in a saucepan with half a cup or so of milk, then heat up to brew the milk. It smelt lovely, but looked disgusting!

You’re supposed to read the instructions properly and only mix the dry ingredients with the butter, then afterwards mix the milk with the eggs and add that to the main bowl. For some reason, I ignored this bit and mixed everything together which made a dough. I regretted my mistake later!

Well, I had to use these cases really.

So in this picture, pretend that in the saucepan is not just the tea milk, but also eggs, and in the bowl is just butter, flour and sugar. This is where it went a bit wrong, when I ended up with a giant lump of dough on the spoon splashing about in a pool of tea milk. Then I got the electric whisk out and thankfully, it turned out OK

Like this!

The before and after: I suspect that despite having a fan oven, we have a wonky heating thing in there, so some rose nicely and some did not.

This is, surprisingly, the first time I’ve made buttercream! I was surprised how well it turned out, and at how much icing sugar was needed (proportionally). I used the frosting recipe from the Earl Grey cupcake page but instead of brewing the teabags in the milk again, I just added the zest from 2 lemons (That’s, obviously, what the yellow flecks are in the photo)

And the final item! I, of course, had to have a nice cup of Earl Grey tea with the cakes – can’t quite bring myself to drink it without milk and sugar though!

This was the first time I’ve tried to do the icing like this as well – I think it worked OK, although after visiting quite a few kitchen shops this weekend, I now think I need a full set of icing nozzles (along with various other useless kitchen things: oh Lakeland and Kitchens, it was so difficult to not come home with most of your stuff)

And the verdict from my guinea pigs – I mean tasters? The tea flavour isn’t too strong, and goes well with the lemon. Hooray!

 

Disclosure: I recieved a payment for this post, but I didn’t really need much excuse to bake and feed my colleagues more sugary goodness

Cupcake Fondue

Oh. My. Word. Cupcake fondue. CUPCAKE. FONDUE. If you’ve ever read a girly blog in the past year or so, you’ll probably know that bloggers love cupcakes. Like, more than a friend.

I honestly can’t see anything bad with this idea, who doesn’t love dipping food into food? Crazy people, thats who. And they just fling poo about. Anyway. If you would like to come and make this for me, theres a recipe here on Pintsize Social, along with an interview from the amazing genius who came up with it, Amanda from Bake It Pretty.

I need to lie down after thinking about so much sugary goodness.

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