28 Mar 2014

Espresso Tiramisu Mini Cupcakes


These yummy cupcakes are from Making cupcakes with lola  (the same book that the red velvet cupcakes are from. I used instant espresso powder instead of ground espresso and the coffee taste just was not strong enough so if you do use instant espresso powder double up the quantities and taste the batter/icing and add more if needed! The recipe says it makes 24 normal cupcakes or 48 mini-I used mini gold cases and think I made much more than 48,so you may want to make half the amount listed below...apart from those disclaimers which I thought I would get out of the way,  these cupcakes are great. The sponge is soft and moist with a nice bite from the chocolate chips and the marscapone and double cream icing is really nice -not too sweet and very flavorful,soft and dreamy-I would definitely use it for other coffee cakes too....












Recipe:

400g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbinate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground espresso
275g sugar
120ml sunflower oil
150 ml plain yoghurt
150 ml milk
2 eggs beaten
200g dark chocolate chips
24 or 48 chocolate covered cocoa beans

Espresso Whip
600 ml double cream
50g confectioners sugar
2 tsp ground espresso
250 g marscapone

Preheat oven to 180◦.
Sift together all the dry ingredients apart from the sugar. Put the sugar, oil, yoghurt,milk, chococolate chips and eggs  into another bowl and whisk well with a balloon whisk. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold in gently -do not overmix. Divide the mixture between cases and smooth tops. Bake for about 25 minutes for normal cupcake size, less for mini ones, until risen and a skewer comes out clean.Let cool before decorating.


3 Mar 2014

Profiteroles




I have been meaning to post these for an age (like all the other trillions of bakes.....). You really can't beat a classic profiterole and they are so much better freshly made than from the supermarket. They might seem a little fiddly to make but actually its fairly straight forward and this recipe is fool proof! And you could make the choux buns the day before you needed them and store in an airtight container and fill with cream on the day you needed them. Recipe is posted below and is from the Great British Bake Off book. I did find the chocolate sauce a bit dark so you could tone it down by substituting some milk chocolate instead of the dark....







Choux pastry (makes 12 eclairs or 48 profiteroles)

100g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
75g unsalted butter, diced
3 free range large eggs at room temperature

Put flour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Put the salt, butter and 175 ml water into a medium-sized pan and heat gently until the butter has melted completely - don't let the water boil and begin to evaporate.Quickly bring the mixture just to the boil, then tip in the flour al in one go.

Remove pan from heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will look a mess at first, but don't worry - as you beat it it will turn into a smooth, heavy dough. Put the pan back on low heat and beat for about 2 minutes to slightly cook the dough until it comes away from the sides of the pan in a smooth glossy ball.

Tip the dough into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool until barely warm. using an electric mixer (wooden spoon won't give same result) gradually beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add enough egg to make a very shiny and paste like dough that just falls from the spoon when lightly shaken. You may not need the last tablespoon or so of egg because the dough has to be stiff enough to pipe and if the dough is too wet it will spread out rather than puff up.

Use immediately or cover tightly and keep at room temp. Use within 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 200 ◦C. Pipe mounds of dough using a piping bag fited with a 1.5 cm round nozzle. Make them about 3cm wide and 2cm high on the prepared baking sheets spacing well apart. dip your finger in water and pat down any point tips on the choux buns.

Lightly brush with beaten egg. Bake for 15 mins then reduce oven temp to 180◦C . Quickly open and close oven door to get rid of steam and the bake for another 5 minutes. Romveove from oven and make a tiny hole (with a toothpick) at one side to let out the steam. Return the sheets to the oven and bake the profiteroles for a final 3 to 4 minutes until firm. cool on a wire rack.

Cream and chocolate sauce:
cream:
250 mls double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

whisk until firm enough to hold a peak

Chocolate sauce:
100g dark chocolate
25g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons icing sugar
100 ml water

Put all ingredients into a small pan and heat gently until smooth

Just before serving fill profiteroles with cream by piping in through a hole or by splitting the buns in half and drizzle over the hot sauce 

   

23 Feb 2014

Grown up go-to chocolate cupcakes


Yes I know I sound a bit american with the "go-to" but seriously every time I think of making of chocolate cupcakes this is the recipe I go to. Never mind all those recipes earmarked in the Hummingbird bakery books....I say grow up because they have lots of dark chocolate in them. I have been making them for a long time and have made them a lot over the years so I can't believe I am only just sharing them with you now!  You have to try them to know what I mean when I say they are really good! Tender, soft, very chocolatey sponge topped with a thin cap of crisp dark chocolate. And super easy to make too. Recipe is from the book by the author of fave blog Orangette "A Homemade life". A little instruction from experience: do not overfill the cases-the batter is very liquid and the cakes rise quite a lot and will be very soft when cooked. So under fill if anything! And seeing they are delicate when taken out of the oven use foil or thick cupcake cases if you can.



For the cupcakes:
1 oz finely chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup hot coffee
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbinate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:
8 oz dark chocolate 

Preheat oven to 300 ◦ F or 150 ◦C
Pour hot coffee over the chocolate and leave to melt stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl whisk sugar, flour, cocoa powder,baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl/mixer beat the egg on medium speed until it is pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add the oil,yoghurt and vanilla, beating well.Gradually beat in the chocolate mixture. add the dry ingredients all at once, and beat on low speed until the batter is just combined. Spoon batter in cupcake cases. bake for 20-25 mins or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing. To glaze, melt chocolate and spread a thin layer on each cupcake with a teaspoon. let the glaze harden before serving.
Recipe in book says this makes 12 muffin size cupcakes but with the gold liner I use I always end with 25-30! I also also have melted chocolate left over so you may want to melt less than 8 oz for the glaze.....   
   







29 Dec 2013

All butter vanilla pod and chocolate wedding favor iced biscuits



I have been wanting to try iced cookies for awhile now (or sugar cookies as they are called in the states). I finally got the chance to make them for a friends beautiful small wedding. My first time attending a wedding with only 21 people and my first time making iced biscuits too! So I was a little nervous and planned well ahead (oh what fun it was looking at all the different cookie cutters and decorations!) I had to restrain myself and stick to two shapes and two beaded decorations. I looked up how to make the cookies on lots of different websites. You could take a look here and here. I had Miranda Gore Browns book Biscuit from the library so I used her cookie and icing recipe..Purple was the colour to go with the brides flowers hence the purple-I used violet gel colouring from Wilton.    I bought the little bead decorations when I went to the cake and bake show. The biscuits were really delicious-buttery and crisp, I made them a week in advance and stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge. They stayed nice and fresh and were still crunchy. However when you do the icing you have to leave them overnight to dry (yes it really is a bit like painting!) and this is when they go a bit soft-they still tasted great though and I do not think you can avoid that. I used the writing tubes to do the outline on the cookies and the squeezy bottles to do the filling in (best thing for the job). You make a slightly stiffer icing for the outline and a thinner one for filling in. I made way too much icing (have frozen half) but seeing as it was the first time I made it I didn't want to run out! Toothpicks were very useful for smoothing out bubbles when doing the filling in. I also put toothpicks into the writing tips to stop them drying out. Equipment and recipes listed below pics:





























Here's the equipment I used:
Heart cookie cutter
wedding cake cookie cutter
PME writing tube No.2 (X2)

3 oz Squeezy bottles (x2)
4 bowls 
2 piping bags
toothpicks 
trays for drying cookies

Recipes:
Royal icing
Makes enough to cover at least 24 biscuits
13g Merriwhite (dried pasteurised egg white powder)
500g icing sugar
150 ml warm water
1 tbsp lemon juice or flavouring,such as lemon,orange or lime juice (optional)

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl, add the warm water and lemon juice and beat well to form a thick paste (this will take about 7 minutes in a mixer on the highest speed.) You can then add a tiny bit of extra water to make it a good thickness and even more water to make run-out icing. To check the consistency of the run-out icing,pull a spoon through the mixture-the icingh should return to being completely smooth.

Chocolate biscuits
Makes 24
55g dark chocolate
200g soft unsalted buter
160g caster sugar or vanilla sugar
50g golden syrup
1 egg lightly beaten
350g plain flour
50g cocoa powder

You will also need
5-6 cm cutters (to make 24 biscuits)
Preheat oven to 180 ◦C
Melt the chocolate (see page 6). Cream the butter with the sugar,then beat in the melted chocolate and syrup until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix well. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then mix together until dough forms . Bring together with your hands and divide in half. Roll each half into a ball and flatten into a disc.wrap each disc in clingfilm and put in fridge for atleast 1 hour. Roll out each chilled disc between two sheets of clingfilm, then stamp out your shapes. Place on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper spacing them atleast 3cm apart, and chill for another 15 minutes.
 Bake for about 10 minutes until surface is dry and the base is firm. Allow to cool on the tray for 10minutes, then use a palette knife to transfer to a cooling rack. Decorate when complete cold.

Vanilla pod butter biscuits
Makes about 24
200g soft unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
seeds from 2 vanilla pods
1 large egg lightly beaten
400g plain flour preferably 00
 you will also need 6 cm cutters

Preheat oven to 180 ◦C
Cream butter,sugar and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then add flour and mix on a low speed until dough forms. Shape into two flat discs and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for atleast 30 minutes. roll out dough between two sheets of clingfil and cut out your shapes. place on baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper atleast 3 cmm apart. Chill for atleast 15 minutes. Bake for about 9 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Allow to cool on trays for about 5 minutes the use a palette knife to transfer to a wire rack. decorate when complete cold.
  

       

23 Dec 2013

Cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting (cinnabon stylee)



These are from the Hummingbird Bakerys' latest book Home Sweet Home. They are very american style cinnamon buns. Rich and soft and covered with a generous dollop of gooey cream cheese icing which melts on the warm buns. You really can get away with half the icing I had plenty left over-I often find this with Hummingbird recipe-there just too much icing! The buns however went very fast. Although it says makes around 16-that's fairly small ones and it's very easy to eat two! Just saying. You could, I reckon, make these the day before and leave in the fridge and then take them out about three hours before you wanted to bake them for the final rise. Or freeze them before the second rise and then leave them out overnight....Just thinking maybe if you wanted to make them for Christmas morning/tea or something... Full recipe below the pics.

1. Make the dough and let it rise

2. Roll out and dot with butter


3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar


4. Roll up and slice


5. Leave the buns to rise in a warm place


6. Bake until golden and delicious

 

7. Smother with as much icing as you like and eat!





Recipe:
Makes 16-18 buns
for the dough
300ml lukewarm water
25g caster sugar
1.5 tp dried active yeast
500g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter

For the filling
80g unsalted butter softened
80g soft dark brown sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg beaten

For the glaze
50g unsalted butter softened,softened
300g icing sugar,sifted
125g full fat cream cheese

one 25 cm or two 20 cm tins/pie dishes.

1. mix milk,sugar and yeast and stir well. leave for 20 mins until mixture becomes frothy
2.sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into dry ingredients to form a crumb like consistency with no large lumps of butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and and yeast. Using the spoon, bring the mixture together to form a dough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until soft and smooth. Place the dough back into a large,lightly floured mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place to allow the dough to rise for approximately 40 minutes or doubled in size.
4. Once the dough has risen,knock it back in the bowl and turn it out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead it gently to get the dough smooth, then roll it out into a rough triangle, about 1.5cm thick.
5. Gently spread the soft butter evenly over the dough. In a small bowl mix the dark brown sugar and ground cinnamon together. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up lengthways like a swiss roll. Using a sharp knife cut he roll into 16-18 slices.
6. Line the cake tin with baking parchment or butter the pie dish. Very gently place slices,flattest side down,into the tin, arranging them snugly.   

15 Nov 2013

Cinnamon and cardamom buns


It is SO cinnamon bun season if there ever was one. Especially here in London where it has suddenly turned cold. Just look at them so beautifully snuggled. Sorry no in-process pictures. I have high hopes of trying some more cinnamon buns this weekend from the new Hummingbird book that I got for my Birthday :) . So will try to take some then, you can find very good pictures on the blog that I got the recipe from. I used half the amount of cardamom-a tablespoon seemed a little excessive to me and I thought half a tablespoon worked great. I also put chopped pecans in half the batch. I loved them with out any icing and so did everyone else.They are so comforting to make- its lovely watching the spirals swell up in the oven and the house smells amazing. And while we are on the topic of buns smitten kitchen just did a post on some orange and cranberry ones, very seasonal.