Baking with Tala


As I'm sure you'll have become aware from previous blog posts, I've become somewhat addicted to The Great British Bake Off on BBC2. For those non UK-resident readers, it's a bakery competition programme hosted by comediennes Mel and Sue and featuring cookery world stalwarts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as judges. The programme sees amateur bakers compete week by week to produce the best bakes as part of signature, technical and showstopper challenges. It is completely addictive and I can't get enough of it. Last week I was inspired to reach for my book of the series to make lemon curd (which I am demolishing at a rate of knots) and this week, aided by some wonderful bakingware from Tala, I thought I'd have a go at making some cupcakes.

Now, baking really isn't a talent of mine. So as you'll see from the photos, my cakes don't look as pretty as those displayed on 'proper' cookery websites or blogs. Nonetheless, they went down a treat and were actually quite tasty which, lets be honest, is all a baker can really hope for, in my opinion. I followed a recipe card sent by Tala, a British home cooking brand established in 1899. Their products are gorgeously retro in styling, which fits right into the decor of my kitchen, and additionally easy to use, easy to clean, oven proof and reliable, as well as being affordably priced for everyone to enjoy. I'll share the recipe here but I amended it slightly to produce cupcakes rather than fairy cakes, though I'll definitely make it again to try the fairy cakes too. 

Ingredients:
250g butter
250g caster sugar
4 small eggs
310g self raising flour

Decoration:
120g butter
250g icing sugar
6 drops strawberry flavouring
red food colouring
strawberry jam
icing sugar
silver balls/sprinkes to decorate

Serves 8-12

Method:

-Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs and flour (you'll see I used the flour sifter to make sure the flour wasn't grainy or lumpy and this makes it much easier to beat the mixture together.)

-Spoon into bun tins and bake for 15-20 minutes at 190 degrees C (I baked mine in cute cupcake cases)

-Allow to cool and turn out onto a cooling tray

-To decorate, make a strawberry butter icing by creaming the butter, icing sugar, strawberry flavouring and colouring ( You'll notice I added a few drops of red food colouring to the creamed sponge mixture in step 1 to produce pretty marbled pink cakes)

-When soft and well mixed, spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle (sadly this is lacking from my bakery arsenal so I spread the butter icing onto the cakes in peaks using a palette knife.)

-Using a small round cutter, remove the centre of each cake and cut the circle of cake you have removed in half.

-Spoon a little jam into each cake then pipe a swirl of pink icing into it

-Arrange the two half circles on the icing in the shape of butterfly wings

-Decorate each cake with silver balls or sprinkles and dredge with icing sugar

You'll notice I didn't follow the final 4 points here. All I did was spread a little jam onto the top of each cake and then cover the jam with a swirl of pink icing. These were more strawberry jam and cream cakes than butterfly cakes but they still tasted delicious!

For more baking ideas, and lots of yummy cake inspiration, visit talacooking.com

XO Amie
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