Banana Nut Muffins with a Cinnamon Streusel Topping!

Have you ever thrown a house party for no particular reason? Well, if you have you’ll know that having 50 people ’round Isn’t an easy undertaking. Between the mountain of food the needs to be cooked, the house that needs to be tidied and the entertainment to be organised it’s a hell of a lot of work.

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So these were one of the only foods that I managed to photograph (they were out of the oven first) while the light was good. I know I’ve done a lot of muffins and cupcakes, but they really are my favourite things! And these ones are especially good.

The excessive amount of brown sugar makes these muffins almost caramelly! There’s barely any granulated in this recipe at all. And brown sugar is a bit healthier, right?

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Weirdly enough I don’t find many people who get as excited over a muffin as I do. There’s just something about the warm spongey cake studded with chocolate chips (always necessary) and hidden under the disguise of ‘a fairly healthy breakfast option’  that’s just so comforting! So these muffins are for anyone who joins me in the muffin fan club, they’ve even got a brown sugar cinnamon streusel on top! 🙂

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/02/18/master-muffin-mix/ This is the link to the original recipe. All credit goes to Sally.

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These high rise muffins have to most glorious crispy crust on top. It’s the initial high baking temperature that makes them rise so high and form that amazing crust. The brown sugar in the streusel also gave them a caramel sheen.  I think that these muffin tops would be worthy of Lorelai any day. If she were around I’d be making a muffin bottom pie for sure! (Sorry about that ‘Gilmore Girls’ reference there!)

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These muffins were gobbled up in no time. They were devoured even before the Avoca Carrot Cake, which is a sure fire favourite around here. It must have been that they were freshly baked and still steaming with the melted chocolate chips still warm in their centres and the aroma of cinnamon just drifting…… Sorry, I got a bit carried away there! All I meant to say was that these muffins are divine. And an amazing Autumnal treat. Perfect for the changing of the season.

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Well, happy baking guys! Hope you’ve had a good first month back to school.

xxxxx

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And so my affair with Frosting began!

As you can probably tell from almost everything I’ve posted so far, I’ve been veering away from frosting. The sky high towers of sweet,buttery, creamy heaven haven’t had much of a show on this blog so far. This is mainly because I know that once I’d taken a single bite off the top of a ‘Vanilla Buttercream Frosted Fudge Chocolate Cupcake’ I’d never go back! And now I have, and I don’t think that I will.

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These chocolate cupcakes are SO moist! It’s almost unreal. They definitely deserve a picture to themselves. I almost felt bad putting icing on top of them. But then I didn’t!

Is it just me or do these look like whippy ice-creams on a cupcake? I almost feel as though I should have put little flakes sticking out of the top! Maybe I’ll do that next time!

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There is actually no chocolate in these cupcakes. It’s the cocoa that give them they’re perfect chocolaty taste and texture. Sometimes I find that putting chocolate in cupcakes or brownies can give them a slightly greasy texture. Try and use a good brand of preferably dutch processed cocoa such as Bourneville for best results. Drinking chocolate (Cadburys etc.) is usually about 50% sugar which will really change the taste and colour of your cupcakes. So basically, Emergencies Only!

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This picture here is a great example of ‘The End of the Piping Bag Conundrum’.

That was a mouthful!

What I mean by this is: With any icing I’ve piped from a piping bag I’ve always found that the last cupcake, or whatever you’re using the bit of icing at the bottom of the bag for comes out wonky. I reckon it’s that there just isn’t enough icing left to pull it off smoothly. And that would be perfectly fine if every time I took the nozzle out of the piping bag there wasn’t a good spoonful of icing just sitting there. It’s infuriating!

I usually just decorate the cupcake with something to take your eye off of the blobby mess underneath, chocolate chips in this case. Any comments or solutions would be appreciated!

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So here’s the link to the original recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/03/classic-chocolate-cupcakes-with-vanilla-frosting/ 

Happy Baking!

xxxxx

My First Paid Gig! Wedding Cake.

I’m going to start with a back story, just to get you in the loop. My friend’s dad does wedding ceremonies. They’re usually relatively small and independent, but really beautiful too. One day he asked me and his 2 daughters if we wanted to make a cake for this wedding. The only brief was that they wanted it to be chocolate. Perfect! 

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Needless to say, it took us quite a while to make! We decided to go for a devil’s food chocolate cake. They had asked for chocolate after all. It took us a little bit longer to decide on the style, but classics win every time, so a three tiered cake it was. Not the most innovative idea anyone has ever had but this really couldn’t be a flop. This cake really is my pride and joy! Me and my friends just sat staring at it for ages when it was finally finished, which happened to be about 6 hours after we started!

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The play mobile pieces on the top were a genius idea of my friend’s 10 year old sister. She even matched the hair colours on the dolls to the ones of the bride and groom! The only slight problem was the eye-patch, we’re just hoping that the groom didn’t notice. 🙂

 

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This cake has a secret… Do you want to know what it is? To make this cake extra special and extra tall we decided that instead of 3 layers of cake we’d make 6. So in each tier of the cake there happens to be 2 devils food cakes separated by a thin layer of vanilla buttercream icing. I hope the wedding party didn’t die of a heart attack after all the butter that went in.

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I reckon that the hardest part of this cake was the icing. The crumb proof layer was one of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever done! But we managed it! The cake stayed in one piece.

One of the greatest things about this cake is that it’s super easy. It’s just an easy peasy devils food chocolate cake recipe:

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/DEVILS-FOOD-CAKE-5310

I got mine off Nigella Lawson.

Topped off with an even easy peasier buttercream icing:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/quick-vanilla-buttercream-frosting-recipe.html

To this I just added a small amount of cocoa powder until it reached the colour I wanted. And voila! Cake made!

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Now, I know in the title I said paid gig. I wasn’t lying, it was paid. Even if it was only 6 euro once we’d paid for food and divided it up between ourselves. 🙂 But it was a million times worth the effort.

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‘Till next time my friends. 

xxx