Thursday, 31 March 2011

Mint Aero Cupcakes

I just had to share these with you.  I made them with my Nephew the other week and they are just amazing.  The flavour is incredible.  I took my Nephew for a walk round to the local shop one morning in search of your normal-nothing-special mint chocolate bars to put into some cupcakes.  Yet I couldn't find any anywhere and just as we were about to head back I spotted the Aero's hiding on one of the shelves.  I grabbed a couple, not sure if they'd work or not and headed home.
Turns out that chopped up mint Aero's in a cupcake are one of the most amazing things ever.  It's rather strange how they cooked and I wish I'd taken a photo of the inside of one but the delicious bubbly inside of the Aero's completely disappeared.  All that was left was a tiny hole and a pale green colouring to the sponge where it had once been.  However the mint chocolate flavour had somehow infused through the whole cupcake.

A recipe really isn't needed here, just add a few chopped up mint Aero bars to your favourite vanilla cupcake mix and once cooked top with vanilla buttercream and a chunk of mint Aero.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Red Nose Cake Balls

I'm really sorry for posting this late, I know its not Red Nose Day anymore but I still wanted to share these with you.  Yesterday ended up being far busier than I expected and I only had time to take the photo's.  So for anyone who doesn't know, it was Red Nose Day yesterday for Comic Relief where they try and raise as much money as possible for vulnerable people here in the UK and in Africa.  

I just so happened to be going to a little house warming party last night with my Mum and decided that some kind of Red Nose themed cake was needed.  So, inspired by the lovely Bakerella, I decided to make some cake balls since I didn't have any lollypop sticks needed for Cake Pops.  I wanted them to be roughly the same size as the actual red nose's that you buy in the shops, so they were pretty big. 

Anyways my idea didn't really go to plan as you can probably tell, they didn't end up like I wanted looks wise but they taste amazing.  Who knew that just by mixing sponge cake and buttercream together that you'd get such an incredible tasting cake!  I will definately be trying to make them again, my only problem is covering them with melted chocolate. 
Now, anytime I try and do anything with melted chocolate I end up in a right mess.  Chocolate everywhere, nothing looking how I wanted and the chocolate always starts to harden before I've had chance to do anything!  But I won't give in, I am going to master working with melted day...

For the chocolate cake and buttercream I used the same recipe as I did here for my Mint Choc Chip cupcakes just without the chocolate chunks and peppermint essence. 
They are really simple to make, just crumble up your chocolate cake into a bowl and add in the buttercream.  Give it a good stir to mix it all together and once combined you can take out spoonfuls and shape into balls.  Place the cake balls onto a tray covered with greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for a few hours.  Finally you can cover them with melted chocolate (I used white chocolate with red food colouring) and decorate however you wish. 
My plan was to try and make them look just like the Red Nose's that I'd bought but after the mess I had with the melted chocolate I gave up and covered them in edible glitter instead!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Lime and Coconut Cupcakes

Apologies for the slowness of posts lately, I don't always get the chance to take photo's when I'm baking.  Just lately I'm baking a lot with my little Nephew which is incredibly fun as he sings along when he's helping me but I don't get much chance to take photo's and when I do it's usually of him!

A few weeks ago I made these lime and coconut cupcakes, I had the idea because my Mum came home from work one day atfer discussing my baking with a friend and the friend told her how her boyfriend made the most amazing lime and coconut cake.  Lime and coconut is not a flavour that I've experimented with before, so I was up for giving it a go.

The cake mix is slightly adapted from my Cupcakes, Cheesecakes and Cookies book whilst the buttercream is of my own making.  At first bite I wasn't too impressed by them, I thought the cake a little on the dry side but after the next mouthfull and the next I couldn't get enough.  The more I ate the more I wanted, I think I definately ate more of them than anyone else in the house!

Lime and Coconut Cupcakes - Slightly adapted from The Complete Book of Cupcakes, Cheesecakes and Cookies

125g margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
145g caster sugar
2 eggs
80ml milk
60g desiccated coconut
188g self raising flour
1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line your pan with cupcake cases.
2. Beat margarine, vanilla, zest, sugar and eggs until combined.
3. Stir in the milk and coconut. - I'm not going to lie, at this stage the mixture looked pretty gross so I was very surprised when it all came out ok!
4. Then stir in the sifted flour until combined.
5. Divide mixture amongst cases and cook for about 25 minutes.

Lime buttercream - my own recipe

75g margarine
150 - 200g sifted icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of half to 1 lime
Green food colouring - I just added a little for a nice pastel green shade

1. Beat margarine until soft.
2. Add in a few tablespoons of icing sugar at a time and beat until combined, leaving about 50g icing sugar left.
3. Beat in zest and half of lime juice.
4. At this stage its completely upto you what you do next, try the buttercream and see if you like the lime taste.  Add more if you need to.  Also tip the bowl on its side, if the buttercream drops quickly then add more icing sugar and beat again until the consistency gets a bit thicker.  If you plan on just spreading the buttercream on top of the cupcakes with a knife like I have then it doesn't need to be as thick as it would if you were piping.
Lastly add the buttercream to the tops of your cupcakes and cover with more desiccated coconut.  To make this easier you can pour the coconut into a cup and just dunk each cupcake upside down into it and tap off any excess.

As it's Red Nose Day on Friday I have a few idea's which I'm rather excited about.  So pop back Friday and as long as I don't have any major disasters I should have something fun to share!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cake

I'm pretty certain I've found my go-to brownie recipe.  I know only a while ago I was saying how I had yet to find that elusive perfect brownie recipe, and all the while the recipe was sat on my desk waiting for me to use it.  I had printed it out months ago and put it in my recipe book amongst all the other print outs that are waiting for me to stick in or throw out.  A friend had mentioned how great this recipe was and I made a mental note to hurry up and bake them, but I guess that mental note got lost, along with the things that I needed for the shop... 
Anywho a couple of weeks ago I realised I still had not made them so I went ahead and did it, and oh my, they are amazing.  A lovely crusty top, perfectly gooey in the middle and a deliciously chewy bottom.  Everything I ever wanted in a brownie.
The recipe itself comes straight from the BBC, only I added some left over clotted cream fudge that I had lying around.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cake - from the BBC

100g margarine
175g caster sugar
75g brown or muscovado sugar
125g chocolate (plain or milk)
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g fudge - optional

1. Heat oven to 180c, grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
2. Gently melt the butter, sugars, chocolate and golden syrup in a pan until smooth.  Remove from the heat.
3. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk until light and frothy.
4. Add the eggs and the remaining ingredients into the chocolate mix and stir well.
5. Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for about 30 minutes.