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Mrs Stanton’s Makes has moved…

Hello all,

This is a personal note from me to say THANK YOU for all your support and follows over the past couple of years and to let you know that Mrs Stanton’s Makes has rebranded and moved here to Mrs Stanton Makes to coincide with the launch of my Etsy shop.

You’ll find all the same recipes, tutorials and reviews, plus added extras, so head over there and click follow to keep baking, crafting and creating with Mrs Stanton.

This is the last post on this blog, so thank you and Happy Creating! See you on the other site…

mrs-stanton-makes-banner

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Oreo cupcakes

oreo-cupcakeRecently, I’ve been baking a weekly batch of cupcakes to share with a charity I’m volunteering at. Every Friday we sit down together to enjoy a home-cooked lunch, finished off with a freshly baked cupcake. This week, I arrived with a batch of Oreo cupcakes – a chocolate sponge, topped with a mound of sweet Oreo buttercream and a whole Oreo cookie, plus there’s a sneaky Oreo surprise in the bottom too! I’d underestimated quite how popular this little cookie is, and before long the cakes were mere crumbs on a serving plate…

You will need

(for the cupcakes)
175g Stork
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs (beaten)
175g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
60g cocoa powder
1tbsp golden syrup
12 Oreos

(for the buttercream/decoration)
250g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1 packet Oreos
12 whole Oreos

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cake cases. Place a whole Oreo in the bottom of each case.

Cream together the Stork and caster sugar until creamy and paler in colour. Mix in a little of the beaten eggs, then a little of the flour (mixed with the baking powder), and repeat until all of the flour and eggs are added. Mix the cocoa powder with enough hot water to make a thick paste, and add it to the batter with the golden syrup. Mix until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the cake cases – I prefer to use an ice-cream scoop to ensure uniformity – and bake for 25-30mins, or until they are springy to touch and a inserted skewer comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Cube the butter and beat until it is creamy and a lot whiter in colour. Add the icing sugar a little at a time and beat until fully combined. In a food processor, blitz a packet of Oreos into fine crumbs, then add these to the butter and icing sugar mixture. Mix well to make Oreo buttercream.

When the cupcakes have cooled, heap a mound of Oreo buttercream on top of each cupcake using an ice-cream scoop. Finish with a whole Oreo for decoration

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Mrs Stanton Makes on Etsy

mrs-stanton-makes-logoThose of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I always have a project on the go, whether it’s a new recipe for a bake or a handmade gift for one of my friends or family. After many years of crafting as a hobby, I have decided to open an Etsy shop to sell my handmade, and often hand-painted creations. Each item is created to order and can be personalised with a name or message for that perfect gift or home decor piece. The shop is a true work of love and I hope others will like it as much as me…

My dream for Mrs Stanton Makes is that buyers will find presents and keepsakes for their loved ones – something personal that will be treasured and remembered for years to come, or a decorative piece to add that finishing touch to the home. Their are gifts for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, new homes and new babies, for couples, students and families.

So, without further ado, I invite you into Mrs Stanton Makes on Etsy! Here’s a sneak peek of the products I have on offer…

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Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

lemon-meringue-cupcakesI love the idea of turning much-loved desserts into cupcakes, whether something fun and nostalgic like a whippy ice-cream or an age-old favourite like cherry bakewell. Lemon Meringue Pie has been one of my most loved puddings since I first tasted it many years ago. The zingy zestiness of the lemon coupled with sweet and fluffy meringue is a combination that works so well, it can be irresistible. So this week, armed with my blowtorch and my sugar thermometer, I created my own lemon meringue cupcake…

You will need
(for the cupcakes)
175g margarine/butter
175g caster sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
zest and juice of two lemons
2 tbsp caster sugar
lemon curd

(for the meringue)
130g egg whites
350g caster sugar
140ml cold water

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a twelve-hole muffin tin with cake cases. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and lighter in colour – the more you beat the mixture at this stage, the lighter your sponge will be. In a separate bowl, weigh out the flour and baking powder, then add a little of the beaten egg to the butter and sugar mixture followed by a little of the flour. Continue to add the egg and the flour a little at a time to the batter until it is all fully incorporated, then stir in the zest of two lemons. Keep the juice to one side. Spoon the mixture into the cake cases and bake for 25-30minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are still hot, mix the lemon juice with 2tbsp of caster sugar and pour the juice over the cupcakes – this will add a extra lemony zing and ensure that the sponge stays moist. When the cupcakes have cooled, make a hole in the centre of each using a cupcake corer, teaspoon, or your finger, and spoon in a generous helping of lemon curd.

To make the meringue, mix the sugar with the cold water and put in a saucepan over a high heat. Use the sugar thermometer to heat the mixture until it becomes a sugar syrup and reaches 114C. As the syrup starts to approach 114C, start to whisk the egg whites on a high speed so they start to form stiff white peaks. When the syrup is at the right temperature, ensure the egg whites are being whisked at a high speed, and pour in the sugar syrup. Continue to whisk the egg white and sugar syrup mixture for at least ten minutes, or until the temperature of the outside of the bowl has started to cool down.

Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe swirls of the fluffy mixture onto the top of each cupcake. Finish off with a blowtorch for that beautiful golden glow, or pop the cupcakes under the grill for a few seconds until the meringue starts to caramelise.

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Cake International London

cake-international-logoThose of you who are regular readers of this blog will know that I love cake. I love to bake cakes, look at cakes, think about cakes and eat cakes…No one knows this better than my husband, who spotted this year’s Cake International advertised in a daily newspaper and suggested we get tickets – what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than immersed in a colourful and quirky cake haven…

Cake International brings together the best of the world’s bakers, creators and sugarcrafters, all housed in the magnificent exhibition space at Alexandra Palace. Whether attending the show to buy the latest in cake decorating paraphernalia, meet some of the best cake-decorators in the business, or just to gather a little inspiration for your next big project, Cake International is definitely the place for all things cake.

kate-stanton-alexandra-palace

As a baker whose storage cupboard of baking and decorating equipment is already affectionately termed the ‘Cake Cupboard of Doom’, I was not in the market for buying any more bits and bobs for the time being – however tempting it might have been…Instead I spent the afternoon knowing I was surrounded by people with a shared passion and marveling at the beautiful creations that had been created from such a simple ingredient as sugarpaste.

The highlight of my trip was the competition space, where decorators from all over the globe displayed their very best creations for judging by a team of esteemed decorators – they were incredible! As someone who has been praised for her own decorating skills in the past, I was in awe at the talent, creativity and level of pure perfection on display in the competition zone – not only was it a place to garner new ideas, but it left me eager to learn more and pursue my skills in sugarcraft. Here are a few of my favourites:

The eager-eyed among you may have noticed that while we have spent a lot of time looking at and talking about cake, there has not been a lot of eating cake at Cake International. Alas, have no fear, we did not leave the show without first sampling something sweet and delicious… On first sight, we were sold on Flower & White’s Tweeners. Designed to share, Tweeners come in a variety of flavours and we were tempted by the Quadruple Chocolate and Cherry Bakewell offerings – needless to say, they didn’t disappoint and went down very nicely with a cup of hot chocolate…

flour-and-white-cake-break
And so, our trip to Cake International concluded with full tummies and a head bursting with ideas and the desire to get creative with cake. If this all sounds like your cup of tea (or slice of cake, perhaps?) Cake International will be in Birmingham later this year and back in London next Spring. Check out Groupon for some great deals on tickets.

 

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Saturday Sewing Session: Luxe Lined Leather Clutch workshop

saturday-sewing-sessions-montageSewing has become a passion of mine since designing my first cushion last year. I was lucky enough to receive a professional sewing machine for Christmas, and have since made simple cotton dresses, bunting and many more cushions. Saturday Sewing Session gives sewers the chance to create something truly unique, and work with materials that we might not have come across in our own projects. The opportunity to work with leather was a biggie for me, and it’s now something I will definitely be working with more…

The Saturday Sewing Session studio can be found in Chelsea, a short walk from Fulham Broadway Underground Station, and is a quaint and quirky haven of all things creative. Having made a separate trip to Goldhawk Road to choose my leather and lining, the studio had all the necessary equipment and extras to create a luxury leather clutch. The class was an intimate affair with five sewers under the expert guidance of bespoke tailor Krystel Quilantang, whose patience and knowledge allowed even the most beginner of sewers to leave with a good quality product.

saturday-sewing-sessions-kate-cuttingWe were shown how to mark out and cut the pattern from our leather and lining, taught how to tackle the much-feared zip and made tassles as a finishing touch for our masterpieces; all while enjoying cups of tea, crafty chat and a cheeky slice of chocolate cake – provided by Krystel too celebrate the thirtieth birthday of one of our group.saturday-sewing-sessions-kate-with-bagThe three-hour session sped by with each sewer leaving with a bespoke, handmade leather clutch bag, a new skill, and enough spare leather and lining to create a matching purse or three…
saturday-sewing-sessions-kate-sewing-machineSaturday Sewing Session was a fantastic way to spend a weekend afternoon in a colourful studio space that didn’t fail to inspire creativity. Priced at £55 for the three hours, it is not something I could afford to do regularly, but for a special occasion or one-off treat I would highly recommend it to those looking for a different kind of experience. If making a leather clutch doesn’t float your boat, there are many more workshops on offer from dressmaking to lingerie – the biggest challenge will be choosing what to make first!

Photography by Emma Cole, Rachel Christopher, Kirsty Bennett and Kate Stanton

 

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Super chocolaty Easter drip cake

easter-drip-cakeFor me, Easter is all about celebrating new beginnings, spending time with family and friends and enjoying copious amounts of delicious chocolate. This Easter weekend will be no different, and I decided to bake a cake for the occasion. This Easter drip cake is a true showstopper. Baked in the Wilton’s layer cake pans I used one 3 egg cake recipe to create towering layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate buttercream, dark chocolate drips and an array of brightly coloured chocolate eggs…

You will need
(for the cake)
175g Stork
175g dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
60g cocoa powder
1tbsp treacle
(for the buttercream)
250g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
200g milk chocolate
(for the decoration)
100g dark chocolate
chocolate eggs

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and cover your cake pans with cake release. Beat together the Stork and sugar until the mixture is creamy and paler in colour – the longer that you beat the mixture at this stage, the lighter your cake will be. In a jug, beat together your eggs and leave to one side. Weigh out the flour and baking powder and mix together in a separate bowl. Gradually add the eggs and flour to your butter and sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition. Mix the cocoa powder with a little hot water to create a thick paste and add this to the mixture along with the treacle. Mix until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.

For the buttercream, cube the butter and beat it for at least ten minutes until creamy and whiter in colour. Add the icing sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave, or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, and mix it into the buttercream. Once the sponges are cool, use a little of the buttercream to sandwich them together,then use a palette knife to spread a thin layer of buttercream over the cake to seal in the crumbs. Put the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set. Use a palette knife to spread a thicker layer of buttercream over the cake smoothing it as you go to create an even finish, then return the cake to the fridge for it to harden up slightly.

While the cake is in the fridge, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave, or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, then remove it from the heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly. Take the cake out of the fridge and pour the melted dark chocolate over the top of the cake. Use a spoon to tease the chocolate over the sides of the cake until drips form. Return to the fridge for five minutes to help the chocolate set.

Spoon any leftover buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a design onto the top of the cake, then decorate with chocolate eggs and other chocolate shapes.

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Folk It!

starter-kit-box
Since watching a demonstration on their stall at Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair last September, I have been intrigued by the idea of Folk It! painting and in February 2016 I finally got my hands on the Folk It! Series 1 Starter Kit – I wasn’t disappointed. The kit has allowed me to create simple, but beautiful hand-painted crafts and is super versatile and fun to use. Since getting the set, I’ve spent a day painting with friends and created a range of Mother’s Day and birthday gifts –  I’m a self-confessed Folk It! addict…

The kit, priced at £25, comes with everything you need to learn three beautiful designs, including an instructional DVD, six small bottles of paint, two brushes and a dotting tool. There is also a MDF heart and greetings card to get you started on your painting adventure, and – if you’re feeling particularly crafty – you can paint the box it all comes in too!

starter-kit-contents

The Series 1 Starter Kit teaches three designs: hearts, daisies and roses, each of which can be achieved by learning simple dotting techniques. Once mastered these techniques can be used to decorate any number of things including furniture, candles and other home decor items. Or, if you’re appetite for learning Folk It! techniques as been sufficiently whetted after the starter kit, there are many other kits to choose from which increase in complexity as you scale the levels.

After one session of Folk It! I was fully inspired, and with Mother’s Day around the corner, I used my creativity to paint a whole range of items for my Mum…

folk-it-mothers-day-range

…and even painted an alternative Valentine’s card for my husband, who is a fan of a certain franchise…

darth-vader-valentines-card.jpg

The possibilities really are endless, so why not pick up a dotting tool and see where a little creative inspiration takes you? Share your ideas in the comments below, or tag me @MrsKStanton22 on Instagram – Happy Folking!

 

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Baby Boy themed cupcake toppers

baby-boy-themed-cupcakesThemed cupcakes are so fun to make – I love the freedom and inspiration that comes with making cupcakes for a specific occasion, and delight in creating an array of designs. Last week, a friend from work went on maternity leave to prepare for the arrival of her little boy. I presented her with twelve baby boy cupcakes as a gift. I love the idea that these designs can be personalised with the surname of the baby, and the colours can easily be adapted for a baby girl, or neutralised for parents who don’t yet know what they are expecting… 

You will need
twelve cupcakes decorated with buttercream
fondant
Wilton gel colours
an array of cutters
sugarpaste tools
a letter embosser
edible glue
a garlic press (I have one that I reserve just for sugarcraft!)
a rolling pin

Method
PSX_20150522_082439To make the baby face topper: colour some fondant with gel colour to match the desired skin tone – I used Wilton’s ivory gel colour to make a peachy skin tone. Cut out a circle for the face, and use the offcuts of fondant to make a tiny ball of fondant for the nose. Use the sugarpaste tools to press eyes and a mouth into the face. Cut another circle out of some blue fondant and cut it in half to make a semicircle. Attach this to the top of the face for the baby’s hat. Cut a strip of fondant and mark vertical lines across it – stick it to the base of the hat, and top it with a fondant star, made using a star plunger cutter.

PSX_20150522_082401To make the duck topper: cut a circle of blue fondant using a fluted cutter, and leave it to one side. Emboss a greeting on a strip of green fondant, personalising it with the name of the family if you know it. Cut small triangles from the ends of the named strip, and carefully fold the ends underneath to make a banner. Use yellow fondant to make an oval for the duck’s body, pulling on end out slightly and squeezing it into a point for the duck’s tail. Attach a ball of yellow fondant for the duck’s head, and cut two teardrop shapes for the wings. Finish by imprinting two eye with the sugarpaste tools, and attach an orange cone for the beak. Arrange the duck and the named banner on the circle of blue fondant.

PSX_20150522_082229To make the baby shoes topper: cut a circle of blue fondant using a fluted cutter, and leave it to one side. Emboss a greeting on a strip of purple fondant, personalising it with the name of the family if you know it. Cut small triangles from the ends of the named strip, and carefully fold the ends underneath to make a banner.For the shoes, make two 3D ovals from blue fondant in a lighter shade, using a ball tool to make an indent where the foot would go into the shoe. Use the garlic press to make strips of blue fondant. Put a strip of blue fondant around the opening of the shoe, then add further strips to the front of the shoe for the laces and bow. Arrange the shoes and banner on the circle of darker blue fondant.

PSX_20150522_082319For the baby in a blanket topper: cut a circle of light blue fondant using a fluted cutter, and leave it to one side. Cut a square of darker blue fondant, and turn so that one point of the square is at the top and you are looking at it like a diamond shape. Place a sausage of fondant in the centre of the square, an a skin-coloured ball just below the top point. Fold the bottom point of the square up over the sausage of fondant, then wrap the righthand point over. Seal the ‘blanket’ by folding the left point of the square over the body of the baby, and attach in place with a purple star. Add features to the baby’s face using a ball of fondant for the nose, and drawing on eyes and a mouth with the sugarpaste tools. Use the garlic press to make strands of brown sugarpaste, and attach to the top of the head as hair. Arrange the wrapped baby on top of the circle of fondant.

Attach the toppers to the iced cupcakes, box them up and present to the parents-to-be.

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Rocky Road cookies

Yrocky-road-cookiesou know when you fancy a sweet treat, but don’t feel like changing out of your pyjamas and walking to the shop? You have an array of random ingredients in the cupboard left over for previous baking sessions, and decide to throw them all together to make something epic – a truly indulgent snack! These cookies are the embodiment of that – marshmallows, glace cherries and fudge pieces, mixed into a basic chocolate cookie dough – they can be adapted to whatever’s in the cupboard, and definitely satisfy that sweet craving!

You will need
200g dark chocolate
50g butter/margarine
397g tin of condensed milk
225g self raising flour
a tub of glace cherries
a bag of mini marshmallows
a bag of fudge pieces

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two large baking trays. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals. Stir in the condensed milk, then gradually mix in the flour. Once combined, add the cherries, marshmallows and fudge pieces. Heap messy spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays, and bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes, or until the cookies are beginning to harden on top. Remove from the trays and leave to cool on a wire-rack. Enjoy with a cup of tea, or a mug of hot chocolate.