This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Entries in "Marvin the pug" (3)


    Baking Straight Cupcakes

                              peace on earth cupcake

    I was thrilled to be invited to give a ten question interview on the gorgeous blog "Haniela's", pop on over and read the interview here and whilst there don't miss Haniela's too, too beautiful Christmas cookie collection!! 

    "Ignorance is bliss"

    Wow, if you use gmail you'll know it stacks your emails under what google call "conversation" view. I turned off conversation view today and now I'm feeling sick! I've only answered the first and second mail from each batch coming from The Lone Baker, I didn't realise there was more mails in the "stack". I think we can safely say that I'm being cursed all around the world for not answering the July wedding emergency emails! Sorry ):

    One of the most popular questions is "how do you bake your cupcakes to look so straight". I do like the look of straight sides on a cupcake and really came across how to do it when I was tackling the other most asked question "cupcake case fall". 

    There is three elements to baking cupcakes with straight sides; 

    Firstly the cupcake tin/pan... I use Wilton, it's not the heaviest/best quality tin on the market but the cup holes have straighter sides.

                        Wilton cupcake tin

    Secondly the liner... You're looking for liners that have straighter sides, higher too if possible.


                the centre liner has higher sides

    the centre liner is less flared & perfect for straight cupcakes


                               the fit of the liner

    These cupcake liners in the pan demonstrate liners "fit", the black fox run liner fits perfectly into the tin, the donna hay liner will drop into pan hole with the weight of the batter and the last one is a Wilton case that does not fit the Wilton pan! Note the folding around the edges that happens once it is weighted, this is exactly how they bake with over half the cupcakes I baked with these liners having folds around the side. 

    Thirdly the batter... You need a cupcake batter that isn't too high in fat, (butter, cream, oil, chocolate) so the double choc sour cream cupcake won't be as straight as a sponge or standard cupcake batter. Also avoid the liquid batters that you pour into the cases if you are after straight cupcakes. 

    All these elements will also reduce to eliminate "case fall" too. Other tips for reducing case fall is to remove the cupcakes from the tin as soon as possible to reduce "sweating"; moisture from being left to cool in the pan and humidity can both lead to case fall. Also you might be tempted to under-fill the cases with cake batter so you have more decorating room once baked, however under-filled cases can lead to case fall simply because the case doesn't have enough cake batter to grip onto. 

    Those dreaded minis and that "case fall"

    Alas too late??  I've found a type of mini cupcakes cases that don't fall... I've tried three batters in them, left them to dry, tested refrigerated and froze/defrosted and they've stayed in place. They are the "minis" part of the High Tea range.

    Since they have the same base diameter, it has to be the height of the case that is keeping the case on. 

    Now we come the "alas" part; I went to buy more and I can't find them now, the standard sized 'High tea' range is everywhere but not the mini's... if you have spotted them please let everyone know. 

    It's always nice to get thank you emails and this is an especially nice one from Sophie;

    Subject: Thankyou
    Message: Hi,
     My name is 
     I am 11 years old,
     I would just like to say thank you for giving me this great advice on how to clean my toffee pan because I couldn't find any other way.
    So Thank you

    Thank you Sophie, glad I could be of some help :) 

    Clean you toffee pan the easy way

     You may also be interested in Twirly Swirly Chocolate Decoration ... fab for New Year & Celebrations; 

    Lastly, thank you everyone who phoned/text/messaged/emailed condolence messages on the passing of our beloved 'Marvin the Pug'. He was our darling boy. 

    Back mid week with more Christmas goodies. Happy Baking :)


    Dove cupcake pick by Birchcraft has now been discontinued... a shame, their metal cupcake picks were lovely... today's dove I painted the toothpick with blue lustre edible paint. Do look for metal charms, scrap booking pieces or metallic dresden's to turn into cupcake picks, you'll end up with something unique & perfect for gift giving. 

    Wilton cupcakes tins ; Australia Everten Online  UK Cakes, Cookies and Crafts  US  


    Marvin the Pug


    Sadly our beautiful pug Marvin was put to sleep today due to an age related brain tumour. Much beloved family pet for over a dozen years, constant companion & loyal friend to my step son Daniel.

    Broken hearted ):


    Edible diamonds, Daniel, Pugs & the "emails"

    vienna almonds

    *Sigh* I'm a little (ok, a lot) behind in answering the lone baker emails. If I haven't answered your mail I will soon... promise! 

    For now I'll answer few questions from the back log and one that came in last night asking "what are vienna almonds?" from urbakingnow. 

    Thank you for the email urbakingnow. In Australia vienna almonds are double caramelised almonds. They are made with an odd method; adding the almonds to hot toffee in a pot and stirring to crystallise the sugar, the almonds are removed, the sugar in the pot is re-melted and the almonds are quickly added back in to receive a second coat. This is why the finished almonds have a "whiteish tinge" in the coating it's the combination of crystallised sugar and caramel. If you were planning on making yesterdays recipe, any caramel or toffee coated almonds would be a suitable substitute. 

    edible sugar diamonds handled with tweezers

    Kerryn, Nisha and Nhung had queries about handling edible sugar diamonds, whether to make or buy them ready made & stockists.

    Kerryn the "mist" that is on the surface of some your diamonds is caused by moisture, either weather related, from your hands/storage or by placing the gems moist surfaces such icings/frostings.

    Handling; It's best to handle your sugar diamonds with tweezers, bent tweezers are perfect as they give you a clear view of where the gem is to be placed. 

    Storing; store your diamonds/gems in the original packaging along with the silica sachet that came with them to absorb excess moisture. Try to store your diamonds so they aren't touching each other, gems that touch cause scratching and loss of clarity. 

    Mist; If you're diamonds have already developed the "mist", you can lightly coat the gems with clear vegetable oil to restore the clarity. 

    Using; Add your diamonds at the last minute. If it's a wedding cake add the gems once the cake is in place at the reception centre just before the cake is needed. For cupcakes at home, add the gems to your decorated cupcakes immediately before serving. 

    Nhung to answer your question about whether to buy or make edible diamonds;

    Short answer; I'd buy them!!

    Long answer; you will need to invest in isomalt (the form of sugar that is necessary to produce the "clarity"), hard plastic or silicone diamond/gem moulds, silica gel sachet for storage, some kind of storage tray to keep the gems from touching. Filling those small gem holes with burning hot isomalt can be tricky and time consuming. That said if you want to produce a gem in an unusual colour or shape, making them your self is a great option and you do get that "oh, wow look what I made" feeling when the shiny sparkly gems pop out their moulds.

    Nisha, I'm not sure where you are located? However, here are stockists of premade diamond/gems and gem moulds.

    Fancy Flours (US) for a range of colours/shaped gems, they also stock a few moulds. 

    Cakes Around Town (AU) stock diamonds, emeralds & pink diamonds including bulk packs & moulds.

    Cakes Cookies & Craft Shop (UK) diamonds in two sizes, bulk packs available

    Hope this helped Kerryn, Nisha and Nhung. Thank you all for your questions, I love receiving your emails.

    maggie may the pug watches over a sleeping marvin

    Thank you everyone for "get well" and "best wishes" messages for Marvin the Pug. Marvin has started a medication course and is sleeping much of the time and feeling a little better :) 


    Notice to stepson Daniel; there is mini vienna almond chocolate bars packed in a seperate container for you, away from "he who has been known to steal away the last treat" also known as your Dad.

    Happy Baking :)