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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.