After last weeks very sentimental post (sniff) it is time to give you more cake! What better way to say I love you than to combine stormy sea views with warming stem ginger cupcakes lavished with smooth dreamy white chocolate buttercream.
We ventured to Westward Ho! for a secret break I organised for our anniversary to a seaside town in North Devon, UK. You can see more of my photography on my Flickr gallery. He did not have a clue where we were going but chouxchouxbedoo guessed it!
Westward Ho! is one of the 2 locations in the World which offically has an exclamation mark as part of its name. I am known to overindulge in my exclamation mark use so it seemed fitting to go somewhere where it’s an acceptable part of conversation.
I love this place and in my dream I will live by the sea, waking up to uninterrupted views of the ocean every morning. Of course on the bedside table there is a steaming mug of coffee and a freshly baked cupcake to compliment the dreaminess of the view and as this is a dream it will have no calories.
Sprinkles and cupcakes are an iconic duo like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers they are destined to dance together so heart-shaped chocolate sprinkles had to be included. I created mini handmade chocolate fondant roses (my first ever attempt) and made larger white chocolate roses.
Maisie Fantasie Cupcakes Ebook
This dream was originally inspired by Maisie Fantasie a London wedding cake designer. Her ebook on cupcakes is truly heavenly and if you only get one cupcake book ever then this truly is the one and at a £4.99 it represents a real bargain. There are 20 cupcake recipes and each one has beautiful imagery and simple recipes which are easy to follow and recreate at home.
Often I find cake books do not seem to translate well to conventional ovens and the results are then disappointing but so far each recipe has been great (no I did not get sent a copy I paid for it!). Whilst I love her ginger cupcakes my Husband wanted more ginger kick so I worked to adapt the recipe which is below.
Top with fresh strawberries or chocolate roses made from chocolate fondant icing or use sprinkles – anything goes really!
Ruffle Mini Cake
I used two cupcakes minus their wrappers - one placed upside down on top of the first which is right side up. I then used a pallete knife to spread buttercream around their join. The buttercream was piped in zig zag ruffles up the side using a small petal tip (click to see a video where I got the idea from – I love this video as the little boy makes me chuckle as kids love to get involved at the most awkward of times). This was not as daunting as I first thought. Just keep on piping and you will be amazed how simple it is! The cake was topped with a choclate from Hotel Chocolat a strawberry and black pepper (Read all about this divine chocolate here). The result was simple yet elegant and as my husband noted two cupcakes together are more man-sized! Another review on Hotel Chocolat will be coming this way shortly.
I Heart Rocky (Story Time – if you don’t do stories hurry on down for the instructions)
As any respecting parent should do on holiday I forced my Son to partake in two walks with me per day which he throughly enjoyed after protesting and sulking for at least twenty minutes each time. In the mornings we would venture off towards Cornborough Beach for a spot of rock and pebble hunting. On the last day we finally found a rock with a funny face for my best friend and a heart shaped one for my Husband after a week long search.
Instantly I went into ‘be prepared’ Girl Guide mode and pulled out a carrier bag to put the prized treasures in, well you never know when you might need a carrier bag even on a cliff top walk.
As we had been succesful we called it a day and jubilantly bounced back up the steep and rugged hill, battling the wind as we went. My happiness was fuelled with excitement of finding shaped rocks as it is always the little things that do it for me. My Son’s happiness was because he no longer had to search for stupid shaped rocks and could go back and play on the Wii in peace.
Towards the top of the hill my Son searched out my other hand to hold and I took a sharp intake of breath and smiled. As he is nearly a teenager this struck my heart strings and reminded me of years gone by that I miss. Sighing with happiness I swung the bag in time with my steps until on the backward swing the bag split and rocks tumbled in all directions back down the hill. We laughed as we ran after them clomping down the hill noisly in our wellies and we managed to rescue the heart and Rocky. I was so determined to take them home that mere lack of bag did not deter me and I carried them both like a small rock child the whole two miles home taking comfort in the fact that at least this one did not complain. Coffee and cupcakes greeted us at the apartment which was a good job as my arms were locked in rock holding position but luckily I found this worked in my favour for plate to mouth movement..
Finally – here are the instructions!
Ginger cupcake recipe ( my own adaption )
200g self raising flour / cake flour
200g softened butter
200g dark muscavado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
4 medium eggs at room temperature
5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
1 tsp homemade vanilla extract (or shop brought)
5 pieces of stem ginger (approx 50g)
1. Preheat the oven to 170 / Gas 4 / 150 fan and line a muffin tin with large cupcake / muffin cases
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approx 5 mins it will begin to pale in colour)
3. Add two eggs to the creamed butter and sugar and mix to combine fully
4. Add half the flour and mix until it is incorporated
5. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour
6. Add the ginger, black treacle and golden syrup and mix to combine fully
7. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases ( I always use a cookie scoop to get the right amount)
8. Wash the stem ginger under the tap and cut into small pieces
9. Sprinkle the pieces of stem ginger onto the top of the cupcakes evenly
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden, springy to the touch and a skewer or cake tester is clean when removed
White Chocolate Buttercream
200g icing sugar
100g white chocolate ( I used Belgian)
100ml double cream
1. Pour cream into the pan and bring slowly to a boil
2. Immediately pour cream over the white chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has melted
3. Leave the chocolate mixture (ganache) to cool
4. Beat together the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. Once the chocolate has cooled to about body temperature add to the butter mixture and beat together until smooth.
5. Add the mixture to the top of the cupcakes either using a palette knife or a piping bag and get creative!
Westward Ho! you have my heart and I will be back x