Aldi’s best budget bake – Tiramisu cupcakes

Having been invited to take part in a food blogger challenge to celebrate Aldi Specialbuys Home Baking range which are on sale from Sunday 15th March 2015, we each received a hamper containing some of the range of kitchenware that would be on sale in store, along with a voucher with which to buy our ingredients.

Spurred on by the contents of my hamper, I chose to make some Italian Tiramisu inspired cupcakes and duly nipped out to Aldi to buy my ingredients: Eggs, self raising flour, caster sugar, butter, ground almonds, icing sugar, soft cheese, Amaretto, chocolate sprinkles and cupcake cakes. From my store cupboard I added almond extract and a splash of milk along with some coffee.  Here is how I made them:

For the Cakes (Makes 12):
4 Large free range eggs
140g Self raising flour
200g Caster sugar
200g Butter, softened to room temperature
80g Ground almonds
5ml almond extract
30ml milk
For the icing:
50g Butter, softened to room temperature
50g Soft cheese
250g Icing sugar
20ml Espresso (or very strong) coffee
15ml Amaretto
1 tub Chocolate sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 190℃.
2. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

3. Place a large bowl onto your scales and add your eggs, reset the display to zero, then weigh in the flour, caster sugar, butter, ground almonds, almond extract and milk.

4. Using an electric mixer, thoroughly mix your ingredients together until light and fluffy.
5. Divide the mixture between your cupcake cases, making sure not to overfill the cases more than ¾ full.
6. Bake on the centre shelf of your oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
7. Remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack and leave until cold.

To make the icing:
8. Place a large bowl on to your scales and weigh in the butter and soft cheese.
9. Remove the bowl from the scales, and using your electric mixer, beat these two ingredients together until fully combined.
10. Place the bowl back on your kitchen scales (reset the display to zero) and weigh in the icing sugar.
11. Measure in the espresso coffee and the Amaretto.

12. Starting slowly to prevent a huge dust storm of icing sugar, combine the icing ingredients together.
13. When the icing sugar is fully combined into the butter, soft cheese, coffee and Amaretto mixture, increase the speed then beat for 5 minutes until pale in colour, and light and airy in texture.

14. Spoon this into a disposable icing bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle (I used a Wilton 1M nozzle).
15. Pipe the icing onto the top in spiral pattern.
16. Sprinkle generously with the chocolate sprinkles.

17. Put the kettle on. Make yourself a coffee. Grab yourself a cupcake and enjoy your creations!

From my hamper I chose to use:
12 hole cupcake tin £1.99 This is a lovely and deep, teflon coated, non stick tin. What makes it even better is that you can put it in the dishwasher after you’ve used it! Always a bonus in my eyes being someone who hates washing up and tries to avoid it/delegate the task at all costs!

Slimline Electronic Kitchen Scales £6.99 These have an easy clean, stainless steel finish, are lightweight, slim and have an LED display.  They’re powered by an easily available CR2032 battery (which is included). Not only do they weigh in both imperial and metric weights, but they have the added feature of being able to weigh fluid ounces or millilitres of both milk or water at the touch of a button; truly functional and cook friendly.  With the added ‘tare’ function, you simply weigh your ingredient out, press the button to return the scales to zero and weigh out each additional ingredient in the same way.  Again, this really does appeal to me as I can weigh all my ingredients out in one go and into one bowl; saving washing up!

Double Oven Gloves £2.99 Part of a co-ordinated range of matching products, these are 100% cotton with a 100% polyester filling.  They’re a generous 18x92cm in size and more than big enough for the largest of hands whilst not being too large for little hands like mine. The hanging hook allows you to keep them handy near you oven and they’re washable too.

Party Butler cake container £4.99 The ideal solution to storing and transporting your cakes, snacks or pizzas.  It’s make from temperature resistant plastic which means you can easily clean this in the dishwasher (bonus!) It’s the perfect size to store 24 decorated cupcakes, whilst the two integrated, fold down handles, mean that you can easily carry your bakes to share with friends and family.

I also received but haven’t yet used:
Train silicone baking case £3.49
Measuring Jug Digital Kitchen Scale £6.99

The hamper and contents were provided to me free of charge from Aldi UK.  I was also provided with a gift voucher with which to purchase my ingredients to create my #BestBudgetBake recipe.


Eva’s Mushroom House

Eva is the daughter of one of my children’s former junior school teachers. The original request was for a chocolate giant cupcake, but with the agreement of ‘mum’ she allowed me to play with an idea that I’d got in mind to upturn the base & decorate it as a giant mushroom.

I am so pleased at how this cake turned out. I freestyled with the idea as I went along; simply knowing that I wanted the ‘roof’ to be red with white hearts instead of spots. I also wanted a ‘flying’ butterfly overhead.

Mum tells me that Eva loved her cake, & her grandma tells me she loved it too!

Another successful cake from the kitchen of Freycob.

Laura’s Zebra Cake

Carol is an old work friend of mine going back some 20 years. Laura is her daughter who was celebrating her 16th birthday and wanted a zebra striped chocolate cake with 12 matching cupcakes.

The colours were black and white with a contrasting fuchsia pink, and we all know that a birthday girl’s gotta have what a birthday girl wants 😉

Happy to oblige, this is what I made her. I loved making the zebra cake. I’m on the lookout though for fushcia pink gel paste though now to properly colour my buttercream.

80th Birthday cake for Elaine’s Mother-in-law

I was asked to make a fruit cake for a special lady’s 80th birthday. The lady in question was the mother-in-law of one of my colleagues, Elaine.

We discussed what she would like and settled on two individual cakes (one for the family get together, the other for friends at home). I wanted to do the cake in the shape of the two numbers and also wanted to keep it elegantly simple, fitting a lady of such a wonderful age.

The colours settled on we’re pinks & purples and off I went to create this…

The fruit cake is covered in white marzipan and then white fondant. It’s decorated with tones of pink & purple flowers. I then used white royal icing to add some ‘texture’ in the form of piped dots.

I received some lovely compliments from colleagues when I took it in to work, and some equally lovely ones from relatives of Elaine’s mother-in-law. Seemingly it tasted good too!

I also made 4 co-ordinating cupcakes to go with it for those who don’t love fruit cake.