It's an Annabel Karmel day on LivingwithKids today. Not only are we running two brilliant recipes from her gorgeous brand new recipe collection Princess Party Cookbook, which is perfect for party planning and entertaining (read my review of Princess Party Cookbook). You could also win one of 10 copies of the book in our fab competition – see how to enter at the end of this post!
'Every girl – big or little – needs to release her inner princess now and then,' Annabel says. 'By empowering your child to live out her dreams and by nurturing her vivid imagination, you can help her discover more about who she really is.' (And of course boys, big and little, will love making and eating the recipes too.)
Have a wonderful weekend.
written by Liz Jarvis
Annabel says: 'Let your party girls create their own jewelled cupcakes, topped with a swirl of icing and a variety of ‘gems’. You could use ready-made buttercream instead of the cream cheese icing, if you prefer.'
125 g (4 1/2 oz) butter or margarine
125 g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
125 g (4 1/2 oz) self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Cream cheese icing:
110 g (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
110 g (4 oz) butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
85 g (3 oz) icing sugar
Edible food colouring
Jelly beans in bright colours
Smarties or M&Ms in bright colours
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 10 paper cases. Cream the butter or margarine in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, then mix in the lemon zest. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add 1 tablespoon of the flour with the second egg, beating continuously. Sift over the remaining flour and baking powder then fold in gently. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst the cupcakes are baking you can prepare the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Beat in the vanilla, then sift over the sugar and stir in until the sugar is combined. Beat for 1 minute until fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in the fridge. If you wish, you can divide the icing into two bowls and colour each with a few drops of the different food colourings. Once the cakes are cold, swirl some of the icing on top of them and stick a selection of decorations into the icing. Leave to stand for around 30 minutes to allow the icing to set.
Annabel says: 'A very delicious way to say I love you.'
Makes 8 (easily doubled)
55 g (2 oz) butter, softened
30 g (1 oz) caster sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
85 g (3 oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
To sandwich the hearts:
40 g (1 1/2 oz) white chocolate, chopped
Icing sugar, for dusting
Approx. 1 tbsp raspberry jam (preferably seedless)
You will also need 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters, one 6 cm (2 1/2 in) and the other a little smaller
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt until combined. Add the flour and stir in with a wooden spoon, then bring the dough together with your hands. If the dough is very soft, wrap in cling film and chill for around 30 minutes. Roll the shortbread dough out on a lightly floured surface to around 2 mm (1/16 in) thick. Cut out 16 heart shapes using a 6 cm (2 1/2 in) cookie cutter, re-rolling the scraps as necessary. Put 8 dough hearts on one lightly greased baking sheet. Cut out heart centres from the remaining 8 dough hearts, using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer the shortbread with the hearts cut out to a second lightly greased baking sheet. Chill both baking sheets for 10 minutes in the freezer or 1 hour in the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Bake the shortbread until slightly golden around the edges – this will take about 10–12 minutes for the ones with hearts cut out of the centre and 13–15 minutes for the solid ones. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over, not in, a pan of warm water. Stir frequently and watch it carefully, as white chocolate can overheat very easily. Remove the bowl from the pan when you can still see a few un-melted lumps of chocolate and stir the mixture until smooth. Set aside for 10–20 minutes to let the chocolate cool and thicken slightly. Meanwhile, dust the cookies with the cut-out centres with icing sugar. When cool, spread a scant 1/2 tablespoon of white chocolate over each solid heart cookie, leaving a border around the edge (the chocolate will spread as you sandwich the cookies). Put a blob of jam, about 1/4 teaspoon, in the centre of each. Sandwich the cookies with the sugar-dusted tops (hold by the edges to avoid fingerprints in the icing sugar) and add a little extra jam in the cut-out centre, if needed. Chill for 10–20 minutes, until the chocolate has set, then store in a cool place.
*Win! a copy of Annabel Karmel's Princess Party Cookbook
To celebrate the launch of Annabel's fantastic new book, we're giving you the chance to win one of 10 copies. Simply email us from your KidStart registered email by the closing date Friday October 16 with 'Annabel Karmel' in the title. If you're not a KidStart member, click here to join. (Please note that entries from non KidStart registered email addresses will be disqualified.)