Red Velvet Cupcakes

I cannot believe it has been 3 months since my last blog post! Glad to be back and sharing my favourite Red Velvet Cupcake recipe, just in time for Valentine’s day

I have messed around with a few recipes for a while now and this is one I’m happy with. I also use the same recipe for large cakes. It is adapted from Magnolia Bakery’s recipe

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 18 cupcakes)

120g unsalted butter at room temperature

300g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 level teaspoon Sugarflair red extra (or other red paste food colouring)

5 teaspoons water

1 level tablespoon cocoa powder (about 7g)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300g plain flour

1 level teaspoon salt

220ml buttermilk

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

 

Method

 

  • Preheat oven to 160°C Fan/ 180°C Conventional
  • Sift flour together with salt and set aside
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mix well
  • In a small bowl, mix together red food colouring, water, vanilla extract and cocoa powder into a smooth paste. Add to butter mixture and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed so colour is evenly distributed
  • Turn mixer down to low and add about a third of the flour, then half the buttermilk, followed by another third of the flour, then the rest of the buttermilk and flour. Mix well (but do not overbeat)
  • In a small bowl mix together vinegar and soda then pour into batter. Mix well and divide into prepared muffin pans
  • Bake for around 25 minutes/ until skewer comes out clean

Have a Happy Valentine’s day and happy baking!

 

 

 

The Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

This has to be the my absolute favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, and happens to be my most request cupcake too. I have gone back and forth trying different chocolate cupcake recipes. Reason I fell out with most recipes was I was searching for one with an intense chocolate flavour, but still light, moist but not dense like a brownie

How to get the dark almost black colour

Chocolate cupcake

It’s in the brand of cocoa powder! I find Cadburys cocoa powder will not give this intense colour. My personal favourite of the fairtrade varieties is the  Green and Blacks Cocoa Powder

Other brands i’ve tried and will give intense colour are:

  • Morrisons own cocoa powder
  • Marks and Spencers
  • Tescos own
  • Asdas own
  • Waitrose own but seems to have been discontinued as I’ve not seen it in store for a while

Ultimate Chocolate fudge cupcake

Ingredients

  • 115g plain flour
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 120ml freshly brewed coffee

Method

  • Preheat oven to 150°C Fan/ 170°C Conventional
  • Sift flour together with salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into stand mixer bowl. Add sugar and mix well (I use my stand mixer with paddle attachment for this.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, egg and vegetable oil. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well on low speed.
  •  Add the hot coffee to batter keeping the mixer speed on low. It will be quite a runny batter (almost like the consistency of double cream) but don’t despair
  • Pour into into prepared muffin pans and bake for around 25 minutes/ until skewer comes out clean

Mango and Lime Muffins

Mango and lime Muffins

I happened to have some mango pulp leftover from when I was having a go at replicating Nandos Mango and lime chicken from scratch. I love mango cake but have actually never had mango muffins. (I am a big fan of muffins, they make me feel like I’m being good too, though I get carried away and eat too much at times which defeats the whole purpose!)

I decided to throw bits together hoping it would work and it did! They came out really well, moist and fluffy.

I used:

  • 100ml oil
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 250g self raising flour, sifted
  • 240ml mango pulp (available in foods of the world isles in supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Method:

  1. Prepare your muffin tin with liners if using and preheat oven to 170ºC fan/ 190ºC Conventional
  2. Beat together oil,egg, lime zest  and caster sugar until well mixed
  3. Stir in flour alternating with the mango juice (I mixed the lime juice with mango pulp beforehand), beginning and ending with the flour. I use a metal spoon for this to avoid overmixing
  4. Spoon into prepared tins,I use an ice cream scoop so my muffins are the same size
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes (Tops should be golden and if skewer is inserted in the centre it should come out clean)

How to Make Chocolate Ganache With Milk

Do you ever go to the store to buy an item and come back with all sorts of items excluding the one thing you went for in the first place?

Or no matter how thorough you are about writing a shopping list there is always a vital item which you almost always seem to forget?

Mine has to be fresh cream for making chocolate ganache! I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught out but never seem to learn my lesson.

White chocolate ganache with milk

This recipe was developed out of desperation. My husband was away, kids were on bed (10pm) and there was no way I could pop out to buy some. I was going to have to attempt using just what I had, which was just milk and chocolate. I guess as the saying goes necessity is the master of all invention

White Chocolate ganache without cream

Since I started covering my cakes using ganache before fondant (sugarpaste) I have not looked back. It helps give the most amazing and flawless finish to cakes, makes getting sharp edges easier and best of all it is utterly delicious

ganache without cream

I’m going to share the white chocolate ganache recipe today, and the dark in an upcoming post.

You will need: 5 parts white chocolate to 1 part milk, for example  1kg (1000g) of chocolate to 200g of milk (I weigh the milk too, but there’s not a huge difference if you chose to use a fluid measuring jug)

Place the chocolate (broken into squares if not using callets/ buttons) into a microwavable bowl. Add milk and microwave on full power for 20- 30 second blasts. Mix after each blast and take care not to burn the chocolate

The it should be spreadable consistency, more like cream cheese.

A great video tutorial on how to obtain sharp edges, and recipe for ganache using cream is this one by Michelle of Inspired by Michelle Designs

 

 

Do you prefer ganache or buttercream for crumb coating your cakes?

Quick Meringue Buttercream

I am a huge fan of Swiss Meringue buttercream.Though delicious, it is a little time consuming to make. If you need a great alternative in a rush this will be perfect I have been working on perfecting this for the past few days and I have to say I was most pleased with my last result.

Up until now when in a rush I have been using Jessicakes marshmallow fluff buttercream recipe which is brilliant too. Definitely worth checking out.

To make my version you need:

2 tablespoons (15g)pure albumen powder or Meri white
120ml hot water
200g granulated sugar
450g butter
125g sifted icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Method
Dissolve Meri White in the water and commence mixing using the whisk attachment on your mixer whilst gradually adding the sugar. Continue whisking until full peak is obtained (about 8 to 10 minutes at full speed)

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Once full peak is obtained swap whisk for paddle attachment and add butter gradually (it may curdle,don’t panic just carry on mixing. Add vanilla extract and continue beating mixture for a further 2 to 3 minutes.

Add sifted icing sugar and beat until nice and fluffy.

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Over The Top Chocolate Marble Cupcakes

Who loves marble cake? Who loves marble cake with a few extra goodies? I am definitely one of those people who do!

Chocolate Marble Cupcakes

 

These Aren’t just marble cupcakes, they have a small addition to them which takes them to a whole new level-Dark and white chocolate chips!  They absolutely rock

I had a small amount of each of chocolate and vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream that needed using up my initial thoughts were to mix them together, add more chocolate and make chocolate buttercream.  Then I thought, maybe marble cupcakes and use the buttercreams and get a 2 tone effect. As I was getting my eggs to start baking I suddenly caught a glimpse of my  10kilo bags of chocolate drops… and thought, what better idea than to mix them into the cupcake batter!

callebaut

 

The cupcakes were seriously good! I don’t eat much chocolate myself but I think I am converted! They are very simple make, exactly like normal marble cake with just the addition of chocolate chips

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I used spoons initially to put batter into cases,

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but halfway through it I decided to use my ice cream scoop alternating between the 2 cake batter bowls

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I think it gave a much better marbling effect and similar size cupcakes

chocolate marble cupcakes

 

 

 

Okay, now for the recipe. It makes 18 cupcakes (I use muffin size cases)

Ingredients

250g butter at room temperature
250g caster sugar
4 LARGE eggs
250g self-raising flour
4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder

50g white chocolate chips

50g dark chocolate chips

 

Method

Preheat oven to 150 degrees fan/ 170 conventional

Beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the flour, water and vanilla extract

Divide mixture into 2 bowls, stir in cocoa powder into one of the bowls. Into the bowl with plain vanilla stir in the dark chocolate chips, and into the chocolate batter stir in the white chocolate chips

Using your ice cream scoop fill alternately with batter from the 2 bowl and place into cupcake cases

Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool before frosting.

If you’ve not 2 tone iced cupcakes here is a good video tutorial on How to 2 tone ice cupcakes

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Egg Free Sponge Cake Recipe

My 4th blog post! I know it’s early days yet but am pretty excited that I have kept up with my blog. Hope I keep it up :).

I shared this recipe a little while ago on my old blog which I have since taken down. I felt I needed to start over again in the hope that I will enjoy the new start and  keep myself motivated. Seems to have worked thus far.

A few people have also asked if I have dairy AND egg free version of this recipe. I do not have  tried and tested one yet, but will work on it.

This cake is pretty simple to make and is stays moist for days. I used a 9 inch round pan to make this.

egg free sponge cake

You will need:

315 g Self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
397g can of condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g unsalted butter melted
225 ml orange juice

Method;

  • Preheat oven to 150°C fan/ 180°C Conventional. Grease and line baking pan
  • In a bowl sift together the dry ingredients
  • In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. This takes about 45 minutes in my oven
Happy baking!