Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hallowe'en Pumpkin Crafting

Just a quick post to show that i've not been totally neglecting my crafting.

I am rather obsessed with the Rocky Horror Show, and Rocky Horror Picture Show so when I saw a new Dr Frank-N-Furter pumpkin pattern on Zombie Pumpkins I knew I just had to have a go.  So here is he is:

And for those of you who aren't familiar with him in the flesh:

Not a bad likeness, even if I do say so myself!

Have a good weekend!
Ruthie x

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Hallowe'en Challenge (and more baking!)

Craft Fairy (Lisa) has launched a new die cutting challenge over on her blog to create a Hallowe'en themed card or project using a die-cutting machine.  There are not a lot of  challenges geared-up towards die-cutting specifically so it makes a nice change.

Here's my card:
Happy Halloween Card

To fit in with the challenge I used Nestabilities circle and scalloped circle dies and used a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the background paper. I also used a digital stamp from here, Fiskars edge punch, ribbon from my local market and a bit of pen stitching.

Get over to Lisa's blog and check out the dare!

As I said in the post title I have done a bit more baking.  Yes my cupcake baking addiction has not yet subsided!. After watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall making rhubarb compote this week  I started thinking about rhubarb and custard and how it would make a lovely cupcake.  So yesterday I got busy in the kitchen and came up with my take on rhubarb and custard cupcakes:

Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes

It's a vanilla cupcake with a portion of rhubarb and ginger compote inside and topped with custard buttercream icing.

The reason there is a tub of Bird's custard powder in the background is because that's what I used in the 'custard' buttercream icing.  Yes I am a child of the 1970s and absolutely LOVE Bird's custard (particularly on Jamaica Ginger Cake).

Also as a child of the 1970s Rhubarb (or should I say Roobarb) and Custard also has another meaning:

Thanks for looking.

Ruthie x

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Birthday Boy Card and Cupcakes

Yesterday was Mr Crafty Blogger's birthday.  I was tempted to buy a card due to my love of making men's cards, but I resisted temptation and made this instead:

Ingredients: Kraft card stock, Basic Grey Offbeat papers, Nestabilities circle and scalloped circle dies, lettering and tag cut using Cuttlebug Red Tag Sale alphabet set, garden twine from Wilko, eyelet and peel-off from stash, Tigerfrogg image, pen stitching.

Mr Crafty Blogger's favourite chocolates are Thornton's Alpinis which are are hazelnut and almond praline.  Following the success of last week's cookie dough cupcakes (particularly with Mr Crafty Blogger) I decided to try and make some Alpini cupcakes as a birthday treat.

I went in search of suitable recipes and came across this one for chocolate and hazelnut cupcakes on Afeitar's blog, which is originally from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.  I figured that it wouldn't be that difficult to work in a bit of almond, particularly as I had some almond flavouring in the cupboard.  I'm pleased to report they worked and here's the finished cakes:

I didn't follow the recipe for the sponge cakes, I just used my basic cupcake recipe, but the filling and topping is basically the same as the original, with just a bit of almond flavour added.

If anyone fancies trying them, here's my full version of the recipe:

(Makes 12 standard size cupcakes)

For the cakes:
100g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 large eggs
25g cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
120g Nutella spread (or other chocolate hazelnut spread)
Few drops of almond extract

For the buttercream icing:
250g icing sugar (sifted)
80g  unsalted butter (at room temperature)
25 ml milk
80g Nutella (or other chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

To decorate:
Alpini chocolates, or other pralines of your choice.



- Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200c (180c fan)

- Sift the flour and cocoa together

- Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy

- Beat in the vanilla extract

- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour/cocoa after each one

- Fold in the remaining flour/cocoa

- Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk (just enough to make the batter loose enough so it drops off a spoon)

 - Line a 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan with papers and fill each one 2/3 full with batter and bake for 15-18 mins, until the cakes are cooked.  (To test, stick a cocktail stick into the centre, if it comes out clean they are done.)

- While the cakes are baking, mix a few drops of almond extract into the Nutella.

- When the cupcakes are cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire rack.  Once completely cooled cut a little circle out of each one and pop a small amount of Nutella/almond mix in.  Replace the cut piece of cake to reseal the top of the cakes (you will be left with something like this): 

(I found it easier to scoop a tiny bit of cake out once I had cut a 'lid' as this left more room for the filling.)

Buttercream icing:

 - Mix all the ingredients together in a free standing mixer, or with a hand held electric whisk until light and fluffy.

- Pipe or spread onto the top of each cake

- Add a chocolate on top to finish.


I have specified using almond extract in the recipe.  If possible avoid using almond flavouring.  I only had almond flavouring in and I've found it gives a bit of an artificial boozy taste.

I have specified the recipe makes 12 cakes.  I actually got 15 out of the batter but it will depend on your cupcake sizes.

For a variation omit the almond flavour and top with a Ferreo Rocher chocolate in place of the Alpinis.  (It's worth noting that you only get 9 chocolates in the standard Thornton's bags so you either need to buy 2 bags or 3 extra loose chocolates).

Thanks for looking and happy Sunday,

Ruthie x

Saturday, 2 October 2010

More Baking

I've had the house to myself today so I made the most of it by making a lot of mess in the kitchen!  I've made another Christmas cake (destined for my Mum and Dad) and these:

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I saw the recipe on and knew I had to give them a try.  Mine aren't as perfect as Amanda's, and I need to tweak the cookie dough to cake mix ratio, but I am quite pleased with them as a first attempt.  I've not tasted the finished article as yet, but hopefully the cookie dough will still be nice and soft in the middle.

I'm off now to catch up with Strictly Come Dancing.

Enjoy your weekend,

Ruthie x