Orange, Choc Chip & Crystallised Ginger Cake with Buttercream

fussyeater.netIt was my good friend’s birthday and I couldn’t decide what cake to make. I asked M, my mum, my collegues at work; I asked more or less everyone I met what cake I should make lol. They gave me plenty of ideas but nothing felt right. That’s one thing I say all the time. I only bake things that ‘feel’ right. I add fruit or nut or spices because I feel like it fits in this mix not because the recipe says so. In fact, I very rarely follow recipes, I like making them up.

So I sat at the dining table and thought very carefully. What did I want to bake? … Orange. I wanted to make something orangey and choc chippy with a hint of warmth. But what? And what goes well with orange and with chocolate? I got it – Ginger!

Then came the next dilema, what kind of ginger. Should I use ground ginger? or stem ginger? All these questions were giving me a headache. I decided to just go to the shops to get the oranges. While I’m there I can have a nosey at the bakery section and see what’s there. I’m really glad I did. I spied a tub of crystallised ginger and knew immediately that’s what I was going to use.

So that’s the cake I made. Sponge cake with orange zest, chocolate chip (the very last of my Lime Tree Larder chocs) and crystallised ginger. That was topped with buttercream that had orange zest, dark chocolate shards and crystallised ginger mixed in.

Cranberry & Pistachio Cupcake with White Chocolate Buttercream

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I’m favouring a new cup cake flavour combination these days. Well… its not really new as such. Its white choc + pistachios + cranberries soaked in Southern Comfort. Yep you read it right, Cranberries soaked in Southern Comfort! I first made this cupcake at christmas. I’ve made several variations of the white choc, pistachio and cranberry combination but I don’t usually soak the cranberries.

Last christmas, whilst prepping for my marathon cake making session, I was looking at all the booze I had in the house to see what would be best to soak the cranberries in. All I had were various Bailey’s and Marsala. Then I spied a bottle of M’s Southern Comfort. Perfect! That was just what I needed. The cranberries were plump and juicy and the southern comfort in the background gave the cake a little air of mystery. Everyone kept saying, ‘There’s something else in this cake…I just can’t put my finger on it’. It was a roaring success 🙂