Keeping busy in Tier 2: Tiptop icing recipe

Birkbeck student Pav returns with more lockdown baking recipes to get the tastebuds tingling.

Picture of Pav

 

Hello guys, it’s me, your Pav. I hope that you are all well and keeping warm and safe. As Londoners look for ways to keep busy during the Tier 2 lockdown, please see a new addition to your baking adventures.

This time, I’m sharing my tiptop icing recipe, which you can pair with the perfect muffin recipe I promised in my last blog.

What you need:

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 450 grams (1pound) icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons double cream or semi-skimmed milk
  • Pinch of salt

How to do it:

1. Mix the butter for 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry about overdoing it – the more you mix it, the better it gets.

2. Add sifted 225 grams of icing sugar (cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel to prevent icing going everywhere) – mix for approximately 5 minutes. The key is to ensure that you sift the icing sugar before mixing it to avoid big lumps of sugar and to make sure that all the icing sugar incorporates nicely with the butter.

3. Include 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and mix for another minute. During mixing, add one tablespoon at a time of double cream or milk up to 2 tablespoons. Don’t forget to leave the last tablespoon for the second part of the icing.

Top tip – the higher quality of vanilla extract you use, the better the icing will taste.

4. Once the icing is coming nicely together, add the second half of sifted icing sugar and a pinch of salt and mix for 2-3 minutes. After 3 minutes, add the last tablespoon of milk and mix for another 5 -6 minutes.

Should I use milk or double cream for the icing?

The difference is in consistency – double cream is creamier, where milk is better for basic icing on fairy cupcakes. However, it does depend on preference and season. I tend to use double cream in winter and milk in summer.

How do I know when the icing is ready?

Try it and if you feel sugar bits, continue mixing. If the icing is too watery, add a bit of sifted icing sugar at a time to change the consistency. If your frosting is too dry, add a tablespoon of milk. The key is in proportion and mixing it all well together.

How to decorate with your icing

Before decorating, be mindful of the current season – in summer ingredients get wet very quickly. That is why in summer, I tend to put the icing in the fridge for 10 minutes to reach a thick consistency for the best decoration. However, not too thick – the best icing is the one which creates strong shapes once squeezed through the icing bag.

In terms of piping and decoration, the world is your oyster – so enjoy your baking and do not forget to let me see your creation on Instagram adding #lifeofpav♈️.

Your Pav.

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Easy vanilla cupcake recipe

Third year Marketing student Pav is back to help beat the lockdown blues. This time, he shares his recipe for easy vanilla cupcakes.
Pitcure of cupcakes

Hello everyone!

It’s your Pav here. I hope that you are all keeping well and staying healthy. This time I would like to share a quick recipe for 24 cupcakes.

 

What you need: 

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 or 2 x 12-hole muffin tins, lined with paper cases
  • and a bit of joy 🙂

Chef Pav!

Method for your happy baking:

1) Take the butter out of the fridge – keep it out for 30 minutes for perfect room temperature (ensure the butter is not very hard or very soft).

2) Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4. If you need more information, visit the BBC Good Food website for conversion guides.

3) Using a seive for all the dry ingredients, add the butter, sugar, flour, salt, eggs and whisk until the mixture is smooth – do not under or over mix. The right amount of time is 1 minute and 30 seconds at the highest speed.

5) Add any additional colouring or flavours together with milk and vanilla extract first before mixing with the dough. Once all together, mix it for another 30 seconds.

6) Use a traditional ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons to divide the mixture between all the paper cases (if you only have one tin, just split the dough and do this step twice).

7) Place both muffin tins in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then swap over the position of the tins over and bake for a further 5 minutes. 

8) Test cupcakes with a tooth pick to see whether they are ready. The best cupcakes are golden on the top and the toothpick should come out clean.

9) Decorate with icing on top or with fresh strawberries.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and getting creative with decoration – next time I will share the best recipe for icing sugar and blueberry muffins (which you can see in the picture of me).

Until then, stay well and don’t forget to share your creation on Instagram #Lifeofpavand @birkbeckbei.

Pav 🙂

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Tackling lockdown boredom? Pavol is here to help.

BSc Marketing student Pavol spreads the joy and shares some tips for beating boredom during coronavirus lockdown.

Pavol, BSc Marketing student

Hey everyone!

My name is Pavol, but my friends call me Pav. I am currently in my fourth year at Birkbeck studying Marketing BSc. I decided that I would like to share a bit of joy, happiness and love with everyone who is currently #stayinghome and maybe create a ripple effect on sharing positive vibes.

I am currently sitting home and thinking about where to start. Well, I love baking, but I am not professional. I like exercising, but I am not full of muscles. I do like reading, but I have not read the whole library. So I hope you get what I mean when I say I am a regular guy with a tiny bit of quirkiness, fun and passion. I am 27 years young , and I would like to do something for our community of students. We are like a family, so I would like to share a bit of #LifeofPav with you all. Yes, it is my hashtag which I use on Instagram so please do get in touch and lets share our stories, pictures or drop me a message for an informal chat.

In the first chapter of this adventure, I would like to tell you about a great opportunity which I tried recently. My friend has been talking to me about this for the last six months, but you know how it is. You keep trying to do everything, and you say yes I will give it a go, but down the line, I forgot to do it. Six months ago I heard for the first time about the 16personalities.com website. Well, I finally tried it, and I am still shocked at how correct a few of the attributes are.

There are four main categories, and once you know your type, you can easily find a group on Facebook or research about famous people who are the same personality type as you. I am aware that this may not be for everyone, but maybe you would like to learn something more about yourself while we have a bit more time on our hands. The website is entirely free for the basic test, which will give you more than enough information about your personality. I find it fascinating, and I am eager to learn more about myself. Just in case you are the same and would like to share it with me or discuss your answers, I will be more than happy to do this. 

16 personalities wheel

The 16 personalities.

Until next time please all stay well, try the website, find me on Instagram as Pavol Weiss or under #LifeofPav♈ – I cannot wait to hear from you.

Your (ENFP) Pav 🙂

 

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