Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Munchies: En Ocasiones Veo Cupcakes Workshop!

Hey everyone!

How's Monday going? Mine's pretty lazy so far... haven't done much aside from taking and editing a few photos, and watching some Bones.

Today for Monday Munchies I'm not exactly sharing a recipe, but I'm sharing some yummy photos of one of the two cupcake workshops I attended last week!

Somehow through Facebook I stumbled upon this amazing lady, Gloria, from En Ocasiones Veo Cupcakes that happens to live and run workshops in Alcalá, where I live! I was soooo excited!  So, when she offered a flowers cupcakes workshop, I signed up immediately! Also, very good news is that the places where she organizes the workshops is inside a shop that sells baking supplies! So, after the workshop, you can stock up on things you need, as I did!

I went to this workshop right after working night shift, and with quite a cold and a raspy throat, but even if I should have been feeling super tired and sleepy and like crap... I didn't! Gloria brought some absolutely awesome Violet Cupcakes to start the morning, and since it was just two of us in this particular workshop, it was more of a one on one class! 

I had an absolutely amazing time, and finally managed to get the hang of the damned sillicon molds for the fondant! I loved this workshop, and I can't wait to enroll in another one! Next time, I'm aiming at her Decorated Cookies one! Hopefully I won't do another night shift - workshop day and can remember to take a pic with Gloria! Thank you, Gloria!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Traveling Thursday: Scotland part 2: Rosslyn Chapel

Hiya there!

How's everyone doing? I've been a bit sick as of late, getting slightly better today, though I still have a bit of a cough and sniffles... my nose is a bit raw already, G called me Rudolphina today!

For today's Traveling Thursday is part 2 of my trip to Scotland! I'm sharing some photos of my trip to Rosslyn Chapel. If you've read the Da Vinci Code or seen the movie you will have heard about this place. It is really a remarkable building, worth of any and all praises, and of all the new visitors that the book and movie are bringing there. Full of carvings, and when I say full, I really mean full! From the ceiling to the floor all the walls are covered with carvings! I'm really thankful to Dan Brown for helping discover such an amazing place! You can think whatever of his books, but they do make you want to visit places, and some are less well known than others, and well worth the visit!

Rosslyn Chapel, proper name being Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, is located at the village of Roslin, and nearby the ruins of Roslin Castle. It was a day trip for me and Patri, by bus, not too long a journey, and a totally worth one! The weather wasn't too bad, but cloudy and threatening some rain, which I guess it's not that rare for Scotland.

When we arrived, the chapel was undergoing some maintenance and rehabilitation work, so a giant structure was all over it, which meant no proper photos of the outside for me, but I took many many photos in the inside, and also a few ones of the corners that were free of the metal structure. And when I say many, I do really mean MANY! I'm so thankful for digital cameras!

Thanks to the rehab work you could go up and see the ruins of Roslin Castle

Pale is one thing, a ghost is more accurately describe me here!

The Apprentice column

The Master column

There are some unusual stained glass windows in the newest part of the chapel

Rosslyn Chapel is a wonderful place to visit, and I'd love to go back there, and also take some time to visit the ruins of Roslin Castle that we couldn't visit cause we were running out of time to catch the bus back to Edinburgh!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Munchies: Mimosa cupcakes & a bonus recipe for healthier than usual cupcakes

Hello everyone! It's a new Monday, and that means either a recipe or a book recommendation, but giving my latest obsession with baking, it's once again time for Monday Munchies, and this time I'm not sharing one but two recipes! And to make the start of Monday better, both are for cupcakes!

I'm gonna start with a recipe of my own invention for Mimosa cupcakes, based on a recipe from Alma's Cupcakes I modified and using some other bits from a recipe for The Cookie Girl's book.

Mimosa cupcakes
Makes 12


For the base cupcakes:
- 115 gr unsalted butter
- 220 gr granulated sugar
- 250 gr plain flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 70 ml skimmed milk
- 50 ml champagne
- 2 eggs

For the orange curd filling:
- 85 gr unsalted butter
- 60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 large eggs plus two egg yolks
- 110 gr caster sugar
- grated zest of one big orange
- 1-2 tablespoons champagne

For the buttercream:
- 250 gr unsalted butter, room temperature
- 300 gr icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons champagne
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- grated zest of 1 orange
- Orange colouring to taste


For the base cupcake:
- Preheat over 180ºC/350ºF and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Beat sugar and butter together till well mixed and it starts to lighten. Add eggs, one by one, beating well till they're well integrated.
- Sift flour with baking powder together, add half of it to the butter and beat at low speed, add the milk. Then add the other half of the flour to the mixture and lastly add the champagne.
- Distribute the butter evenly between the paper cases till they're 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes. Make sure they're done by inserting a toothpick, it will come out clean. Let them cool in the pan for 5 mins and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling completely.

For the orange curd filling:
- While the cupcakes are baking, heat the butter and orange juice in a pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together, pour the butter & orange mix, whisk everything together well, and put it back into the pan.
- Continue cooking over medium heat until it reaches boiling point and it starts to thicken, it should be about 5 minutes, remember to stir often so it doesn't stick to the pan.
- Remove from the heat into the bowl and add the orange zest. Once it cools, add the champagne to taste.
- Any left overs can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Now fill the cupcakes with the curd, using an apple corer to make your holes in the cupcakes, fill them with the curd and add a little bit of the cupcake you took out to close it again.

For the champagne buttercream:
- This is the moment that I absolutely adore my KitchenAid more than I could ever think I'd love a kitchen appliance, and also the moment when I need to cover my dear Miss Marple (yes, I named her Miss Marple) with a kitchen towel to avoid the dreaded icing sugar storm!
- Sift the icing sugar and add it with the butter and the champagne to the KA bowl. Start mixing first at low speed for about 1 minute and then for 5 more minutes at high speed.
- Now you can use the food colouring. I wanted the frosting to look a bit like orange juice, but I only had an Americolor orange, and ended up with these lovely salmon cupcakes instead. I just didn't want to add more colour and end up with neon orange cupcakes!
- Decorate using Wilton's 2D pipping tip to make pretty roses and add some sprinkles to top them up. Some sugarpaste orange wedges would have looked very cute too!

And now, for today's second recipe, one that I was super happy to find at La Dulce Magdalena's blog! This recipe is for more-healthy-than-usual Red Berries Cupcakes! As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it for my parents (their high cholesterol leves means they can't really eat any butter-filled cupcakes) and also, it's ideal for my vegan friends to try, since they only have to find a replacement for the eggs and egg whites in the frosting! So without further ado, I give you Magda's Red Berries Cupcakes!

Red Berries Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes 12


For the cupcakes:
- 150 gr non-hydrogenated soy margarine
- 190 gr cane brown sugar (non refined)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
- 80 ml soy milk
- 190 gr whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- A handful of frozen or fresh red berries, I added red cranberries

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 4 pasteurized egg whites (or egg whites replacer)
- 220 gr granulated sugar (important, NOT icing sugar for this one)
- 340 gr non-hydrogenated soy margarine
- Here the recipe called for raspberry extract and pureed red berries to add, but since I had only the red cranberries for the butter and no raspberry extract, I added 1 teaspoon lemon extract.


For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF and line the cupcake pan with paper liners.
- With a knife open the vanilla bean and scrap the seeds. Mix them with the sugar and soy margarine and cream together for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each one. Next, add the soy milk beating till well incorporated.
- Sift together flour and bicarbonate of soda and add to the batter, mixing till well incorporated, don't overbeat. Now add the red berries mixing with a spatula.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the paper liners, about 3/4 full, depending on how many berries you've added, the more berries the less they'll rise in the oven.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, test with a toothpick. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Heat up water in wide pan, put the egg whites and sugar in a medium bowl (that will fit our pan) and using the bain-marie method, heat up the egg whites and sugar, it should reach 60ºC, but if you don't have thermometre, leave it on medium heat and stir till all the sugar is well integrated, no grains left.
- Tranfer this to the cold KA bowl (I left it for a while in the balcony in Jan, very effective), let it cool for a bit, and beat on high speed till the meringe starts forming soft peaks, and they're cooled off (that's very important!) we start adding little by little the soy margarine in pieces. Again I'll say it, make sure when you start adding the margarine, the egg whites mix are not hot, or the margarine will melt and it'll be a disaster of epic proportions and non-salvageable.
- After adding all the margarine, add the extract and beat on high speed for about 8 to 10 minutes. Now, in the beginning it'll look all curdled and icky, but no worries, it'll get better! Keep on beating and you'll get the most light, bright and fuffly meringe buttercream ever! If you wanna add the the pureed berries, lower the speed, add it and beat till combined.
- I used Wilton 1M pipping tip to create some nice roses with it!

After making this amazing Swiss Meringue buttercream I just had to kiss my KA!

And I leave you with these two recipes and some nice & yummy looking photos. Have a great week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Song: Summer Wine by The Corrs & Bono

In the morning today I woke up to the happy surprise of having some amazing looking strawberries that my mum had bought, since she had found them in a shop and they weren't too expensive, and while I was washing one, the first line of a song came to my mind "Strawberries, cherries and an angel's kiss in spring..." and I knew what song I had to share with you all today as Saturday Song!

This is the first time I had heard the song, the version of The Corrs, with Andrea singing with Bono (from U2, in case there's still someone who doesn't know who Bono is...) and fell in love with the song! I know it's a version from an older song, and I heard the original while waiting for a lift in a mall in Delhi (of all places) but maybe cause I heard it first, or maybe cause I like Andrea's voice better, this one remains my favourite version!

Have a good Saturday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Traveling Thursday: Scotland, part 1: Edinburgh!!

Hey there everyone! This week I'm a bit more motivated to blog, so I'm keeping up a bit better with my blogging.

Today's Traveling Thursday is gonna be part 1 of a series of 3! I want to share photos of my trip to Scotland in 2006, and even though I didn't visit as many places as I wanted, I want to share many of the photos  I took with you guys!

Back in 2006 one of my best friends since childhood was living in Edinburgh to improve her English, so in July I used my vacation time to spend a week there with her! Today's photos are from Edinburgh itself, and in the weeks to come I'll share some photos of Rosslyn Chapel and Stirling and the Wallace Monument.

 Patri and me in Victoria Street

 With the Bobby dog

 Braveheart Cow! Freedoooooom!

 Carlton Hill

 Edinburgh city centre

 A view of Edinburgh from  Carlton Hill

 Going up to Carlton Hill and the view!

 Yep, that's a Vader tee I'm wearing, yep, total geek!

 A flower clock in the park at the centre of Edinburgh

At the entrance to Edinburgh castle, we wanted a pic with men in kilts!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wearing Handmade Wednesday: Fabulously Fierce and my Kitchen Aid!

Hello everyone! I'm finally returning with a Wearing Handmade Wednesday entry this week!

As you might already know, I got an awesome purple KA for Reyes, and soon after I opened it, I got a package from Kylie from Fabulously Fierce with a new awesome embroidered apron (that I will show off properly along with another super cute apron from her when I get my new camera remote) and a special white kitchen towel embroidered with a tower of cupcakes!

You might be wondering what is the KA doing covered with said kitchen towel? Well, when making buttercream, the cover that comes with the KA is no use to avoid getting the whole freaking kitchen (and yourself) covered with icing sugar, and after seeing Alma from Alma's Cupcakes use a kitchen towel that way to avoid the icing sugar storm, I knew it was an idea to add a cute touch, and that a white towel with some cute embroidery was a must!

Don't those cupcakes look absolutely delish? Aside from keeping my kitchen safe from the icing sugar storm (already tested yesterday while making Mimosa cupcakes, recipe next Monday here!) they kinda inspire me to keep on making more!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Munchies: Veggies & beef!

Hello everyone! Monday is here again, starting a new week, and I'm finally returning to blogging again. Last week was a busy week for me, and work was leaving me completely drained and tired.

I had plans to have shared a recipe of my own creation I was planning on working on Sunday for Mimosa cupcakes, but come Sunday I realized I had not enough butter... and not enough motivation to get in the car and drive to look for a place open to buy it. But, I'll make them sometime this week for sure, so I'll probably share it next Monday! So, for this week's Monday Munchies I have another non-cupcakes recipe!

Veggies & Beef
Serves 4


- 800 gr thin beef steaks
- 1 medium size zucchini
- 2 carrots
- 2 chives
- 1 green pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 spring of parsley
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper


- Wash and cut the ends of the zucchini. Scrape the carrots and wash them. Wash the pepper, cutting off the  seeds. Cut everything in stripes.

- Wash and clean the chives, cutting the roots and the less tender green parts, slice them but not too thin. Cut the beef into thin stripes. Reserve all the ingredients separatedly.

- In a deep frying pan or a wok, heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and sautee first the pepper for a pair of minutes on high heat, add salt and pepper to taste and remove from the pan, draining well. Saute the rest of the veggies separatedly the same way.

- Add the beef stripes to the same pan and saute till they start turning brown. Add salt & pepper to taste and the reserved cooked veggies. Stir everything together for about 1 minute and serve immediately, sprinkled with some chopped parsley.

- Enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Munchies: Curry Pasta!

Monday is here again! And if for quite a number of people it can be a bit of tough Monday, going back to work after the Xmas break (here in Spain), we should always look forward to a new week that starts!

For this week's Monday Munchies I'm gonna take a break from all the cupcake recipes I've been sharing as of late, and share something a bit more healthy and more everyday like meal, which combines two of my fave things: pasta and curry! I love the smell of cooking with curry and spices, it makes me think of India and the bf!

Curry Pasta
Serves 4


- 300 gr farfalle (or any other pasta you have around).
- 2 onions
- 2 apples
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon curry (or more, as you like it)
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 150 ml cream or double cream, the one for cooking only
- olive oil
- salt and pepper


- Peel, core and cut the apples in bite size bits. Squeeze the half lemon and pour it over the apple so it doesn't darken. Peel the onions and slice them, so you get long but thing onion bits.

- In a deep pan, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onion for about 8 mins until it is soft and transparent. Add the apple bits, and also add with curry and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon. Disolve de corn flour in the cream and add it to the pan. Cook in low heat for about 12 minutes stirring with the wooden spoon.

- Boil the pasta in salted water, according to the packet instructions. Drain them and mix them with the onions and apples. 

- Serve hot & Enjoy!

Don't worry if you don't like onions much, I don't and I love this dish! The onions aren't the main flavour here, and if you cook them right, they won't have the crunchy taste you might dislike!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday Song: These Walls by Dream Theater!

Hi there everyone!

Today I was almost expecting not to have a blog entry for you all, but then I started listening to Dream Theater's Live At Budokan, and I knew I needed to share a very special song of them here, so there's a Saturday Song post after all!

These Walls, a fantastic song, and one that I relate quite so much, or should I say, I used to... in the early days, before G & me put the cards face up and told each other we were in love, this song was my inner shouting out my doubts and a way of not going crazy, so when I finally listened to this song live last summer with G by my side, it was such a glorious feeling, cause finally my walls were down, cause there were no need for them anymore!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Photos: I got a KitchenAid for Reyes!!

Hello everyone! Happy Friday!! Today in Spain is gift's day, ¡Día de Reyes!!

So today, I want to show off my gifts, or at least, the big one: My KitchenAid!!

Finally, I can make proper buttercream for my cupcakes without losing my arm! And frankly, it looks so super cute in purple! It matches also my Dolce Gusto coffee maker! I'm really really happy and soooo excited to finally have it here!! I'm thinking of naming her Miss Marple, since it rhymes with purple, and I feel like giving her the name of a British character!

 My dear KA aka Miss Marple with my embroidered apron by Fabulously Fierce and Cookie Girl's cook book!

 These awesome French Toast cupcakes are from Cookie Girl's book: Eat Me!