I am a National Cupcake Championship WINNER!

This is a ‘real time’ post…today I won the ‘free from’ home home baker category in the National Cupcake Championships!  This was my first time entering any kind of baking competition, never mind such a major one.  I’m still pinching myself.

Remember way back at the beginning of all this cake stuff, I made some grown up banoffee cupcakes?  And do you remember me telling you that they were exceptionally good?  Apparently, I didn’t lie!

Banoffee After Dark 1I entered my original  roast banana cupcake recipe, with dulce de leche and dark chocolate buttercream on top, as before.  However, this time I used Italian meringue buttercream rather than American, thus making it 1000x better than the prototype.  I then dressed them in fine jackets and renamed them ‘Banoffee After Dark’.

Banoffee After Dark 2This is what they looked like nekkid.

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Autumn Cupcakes

During October 2013 I did a fair bit of experimentation with cupcake flavours, creating three new recipes with which I was happy.  I’m happy to verify that relaxed bliss can be achieved by taking any of the following Autumnal creations, adding hot chocolate, a snuggly blanket and a black & white afternoon matinee.

Cherry Bakewell CupcakesCherry Bakewell cupcakes: almond sponge cake, centrally filled with morello cherry flavour buttercream, covered with lemon laced fondant and topped with a cherry.  All boxed up ready to go to Mum and Big Sis.

Banoffee grows upGrown up banoffee cupcakes: roasted banana sponge topped with a puddle of dulce de leche (which is just a posh name for caramel made using a boiled tin of condensed milk), dark chocolate buttercream and a banana chip.  These were incredibly good.

Spiced Toffee AppleSpiced toffee apple cupcakes: fresh apple pieces set between two layers of gently spiced vanilla sponge cake (cinnamon and cloves).  Topped with a cloud of vanilla buttercream, drizzled with dulce de leche and sprinkled with toasted nuts and cinnamon spiced dried apple pieces.