Red Velvet Cupcakes!

It’s freezing here! Not snowing, because sadly the salt in the air stops that from happening, but freezing all the same. It’s the kind of cold that has your fingers screaming for mercy the second you leave the house and your stomach constantly growling for more food! So in the midst of this cold weather I decided that the perfect antidote would be a rich cupcake that, though Christmas is officially over, would keep some of the spirit alive. Hmmm, what jumps out? A RED VELVET CUPCAKE of course!!!

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These little beauties are rich, moist and best of all… Drumroll please! CHOCOLATEY! And what’s even better about them? Nobody has to know that you’re really eating a cupcake filled with the best quality dark cocoa. For all they know it could be strawberry. 🙂

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Now these cupcakes don’t necessarily have to be Christmassy. If you’re one of those people who, on the 6th of January when the decorations come down doesn’t want to have to think about, in my opinion, what is the best time of year until next December, you can always omit the sprinkles. These cupcakes are just as good without them!

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Charmingly naked, you see?

I love chocolate. That’s a fact of life. And normally for me any part of a dessert that contains chocolate would be the star of the show for me. Well, that was until I met this frosting. It’s a little cloud of heaven just perched on top of a cupcake! My usual problem with cream cheese frosting is that it doesn’t hold it’s shape. I’m all for a thin icing on occasion, but usually I want my thick, pretty swirl on top of a cupcake. That was a problem, until I found a blog post from a genius at justataste! The secret: Heavy cream! Look at my cream cheese frosting, isn’t it just perfect! Here’s the link:http://www.justataste.com/2014/01/red-velvet-cupcakes-piped-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/ 

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So here’s the link to the recipe I used for the cupcakes themselves. I just know you’re going to love them! They were a massive hit here.

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/10/29/red-velvet-cupcakes/

xxx

Happy Baking!

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

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

Summer, and special chocolate cookies…

The summer it is!

Alas, at last it has arrived, those long endless days and those months that seem to go on and on forever. We no longer live for the days during which the sun beats down on us as we cool ourselves off in the ocean, we are in those days!

So because of my truly contradictory nature and the fact that as I’m cycling up to 10 miles a day I decided to go for something a bit unorthodox but never unwelcome for this time of year. Chocolate!

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COOKIES!

And now you ask… ‘What’s so special about these cookies? They look pretty ordinary to me.’

And with a smile I reply ‘They are protein packed, on the cookie scale are rather healthy and are still absolutely delicious!’

Now do you see why they’re special? They taste like some sort of incredible fudge, except they’re cookies!

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The secret? No flour, lots of peanut-butter. I must admit, I was terrified when making the dough. When you find yourself scooping almost a WHOLE JAR of peanut-butter into a batch of cookies you can’t judge me for beginning to freak! But I had already gotten myself in too deep, I had to keep going. And anyways I thought, I’m giving most of the batch away.  Well, about this much of the batch!

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They’re like some funny little army getting ready to march out!!!

These cookies are full of cocoa. I added chocolate chips instead of the recommended peanut-butter chips which was perfect for me because I have a really sweet tooth and though these cookies are absolutely out of this world they would be even better suited to someone who rathers dark chocolate to milk as they had that same slightly bitter tang to them. But regardless, everyone adored them!

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They would also be perfect to fuel a morning run, I know, chocolate for breakfast is frowned upon by a lot of people but with the amount of protein packed peanuts in this recipe it would keep you fueled for hours!

And an extra bonus is that they’re gluten free!

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So here’s a link to the recipe, SBA (yes I have started abbreviating it! :)) if you’re interested. Go on, add these to your get in shape for summer (or during summer) routine!

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/06/flourless-peanut-butter-brownie-cookies/

Hope you enjoy!

xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!!!!

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These completely 100% deserve those capital letters!

Chocolate chip cookies are one of the most used and loved inventions in the whole of the baking world. And because of this they are also one of the most difficult. Not difficult to bake, not difficult to bake AT ALL! They are in fact some of the easiest and most forgiving baked goods out there. What is difficult is finding the right recipe. Some people are lucky, they have their great-great-great grandmother’s recipe that has been passed down through the centuries and is usually unrivaled by any other cookie recipe! However, not all of us are that lucky. Most of us have to scour cookbooks and the internet for that recipe.

And guess what?!? I’ve found it!!!!!

I’ve tried many cookie recipes in the last while, ones that call for cooking directly from the bowl to ones that call for refrigerating for almost a full week! (Insane I know, there was barely any dough left to bake by the end of it !) And even in these cases I found that I ate more of Sally’s dough in the 1 hour period than I did in nearly a week! So of all the cookies I’ve tried so far this one has to be the best, I’ve still got a couple to try so if I find anything on a par to Sally’s one I’ll send it on out! 

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And on that note, I was thinking a couple of nights ago: ‘I cook so much off Sally’s Baking Addiction that I might as well just stop writing this blog and send you over to hers instead’, so I went to one of the many trusted recipe books on our shelf and rustled up two batches of muffins for our guests. A triple chocolate batch and a lemon and blueberry chocolate chip batch. 

The verdict: ‘Nah!’ They were dry, the lemon was overpowering, and there WASN’T ENOUGH CHOCOLATE! So, my guilty feelings appeased for the time being I went back to my trusted baking adviser and made these cookies.

And they were good. ALMOST as good as the dough. Which is saying something! They were moist and fluffy and soft and chewy with the perfect chocolate to dough ratio (though I did use chopped up chocolate chinks instead of the chips as I had none on hand).

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I do believe that they were perfect. 

As far as I’m aware it’s the cornstarch that gives them their amazing texture. This, I believe, is what seperates the men from the boys, or in this case the good cookies from the not so good!

So now that I’m done tooting these cookie’s horns I think I’ll leave you this evening with an apology for the time between this post and the last and yet another photo of these cookies!

🙂

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(And also the link) 

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/08/06/the-chocolate-chip-cookie/

 

My First Go at Baking in our New House!

It  was a very nerve wracking day for me. I hadn’t baked in a gas oven for over half a year! Can you believe it? I know I certainly can’t. But for those of you who’ve been converted to either one or the other for the whole of your life I’ll just verify, it’s a very different experience.

So I decided to try something very easy, scones.

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Scones for me are the constant of the baking world. They’re hearty, delicious and always remind me of my grandmother. But as they do not contain chocolate there’s always a slight reluctance in me to choose them over, let’s say, chocolate muffins. But  every time I eat them I remember why they are worshipped all over the world.                                                 They’re delicious. They’re scrumptious. They’re yum-diddly-umptious!

And what’s even better is that yesterday I happened to find an especially amazing recipe. The cookbooks aren’t yet unpacked and that includes our Avoca one within which lies my go to recipe for scones. The recipe contains cream, which always bodes well. However, yesterday, as I wasn’t about to go rummaging through boxes I resorted to the internet. BBC GoodFood to be precise. And the scones were magnificent.

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And what’s even better than all of that is that they only use basic store-cupboard ingredients. The only one I had to pop down to the shop for was a lemon, but that’s only because that’s not the kind of food you carry with you while moving.

These scones are also  very quick and easy to make, they only take about 30 minutes altogether. For me they took a bit longer than stated in the recipe but not an awful lot, about 5 or 10 minutes. They were so worth the wait though. Fresh out of the oven… Yum!

I wonder where that one went?????

I wonder where that one went????? 😀

I added raisins to the scones that you see here. I really think that they give the scones a little bit more ‘oomph’! As I call it. Just a little something extra.

These scones were the perfect texture, they were moist and soft. Not too heavy but they weren’t about to float away on you either. Especially not with the amount of Jam and cream that I bogged them down with! (Absolutely necessary in my opinion).

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These scones were polished off in a matter of hours.  As scone recipes go, this was one of the easiest and the best I’ve tried.

Here’s the link:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4622/classic-scones-with-jam-and-clotted-cream

Hope you try them,                                                                                                                                                               They’re really good.

xxxxx

 

 

Apologies, a birthday cake shortlist and also a smoothie?!?!

I’m so sorry! I just realised that I forgot to put up the link to the original recipe for the ‘Belated Mothers Day Cake! It was (of course) on Sally’s website originally. I was just so busy on Saturday between a 1500 word essay and everything else that my mind was a bit scattered!

So anyway, here’s the link:

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/02/09/lemon-blueberry-layer-cake/

And plus I want to say congrats to Sally on her TV appearance!!!!!!!!!!! You really should check out her blog.

Ooh, and also, I just made a lovely smoothie! Banana, peanut butter and natural yoghurt with a splash of vanilla essence really is the only way to start off a Monday morning.

And (I know you’re sick of hearing my ands by now but please persevere, it’s about to get interesting) today’s the big day! I’ve compiled a list of about 10 cakes 7 cakes (I edited in the process, my tastes seem to have changed significantly since yesterday) that are all possibilities for the birthday. I of course have some preferences but I can’t make a decision for my life so I’d love any help I can get. 🙂 It’s not often that I get the chance to bake a full out whatever I want cake without feeling guilty in the slightest. But here’s my chance, and I’m taking it very seriously!

So (drumroll please) cake number 1:                                                                                                                        This is SprinkleBakes Chocolate Quake Cake. It looks divine!                                                                   And yes, there is a double layer chocolate cake with frosting under all of that!

                                                        And the link:   http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2011/11/chocolate-quake-cake.html

 

Cake number 2.                                                                                                                                                                    This is a CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER TORTE. Please just sit and take that in for a minute, really absorb those words. Pretty mind blowing, right? And just wait until you see the picture. :p

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This is a Brown Eyed Baker recipe. I believe that she has the same tastes as I do!                          Link:   http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/04/15/chocolate-peanut-butter-torte/

 

Cake 3:                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a high likelihood that this will be the only non chocolate cake on this list! But it does look amazing. Brown Eyed Baker again. This woman does good cakes. 🙂

Blueberry Buckle Recipe on @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Link:     http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2013/07/15/blueberry-buckle-recipe/

 

Number 4:                                                                                                                                                                                 Holy sugar. I am positively drooling over this one. Peanut butter and chocolate in bulk in cake form, all in the one place. Have I died and gone to heaven? Hold your eyes in for this next one, they may just fall out of your head.

Peanut Butter Cup Cake

This is from Bakerella’s food blog. Look at how moist the chocolate cake is!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s the link to her site and the recipe:  http://www.bakerella.com/got-milk-i-hope-so%E2%80%A6/  Also, if I’m cooking this, instead of Devils food Cake mix I’m going to use the recipe from this site: http://www.food.com/recipe/the-only-chocolate-cake-recipe-youll-ever-need-devils-food-26370

 

And now for Cake Number 5:                                                                                                                                         I couldn’t not have one from Sally’s blog on my list so I chose this one, it looks so good. But because of this I have to go back on my word. It isn’t entirely chocolate. So it turns out that the the Blueberry Buckle isn’t the only non chocolate cake on this list. This is her Raspberry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Layer Cake - super moist chocolate chip cake with raspberries and creamy, velvety milk chocolate frosting. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

And the link to her site: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/03/28/raspberry-chocolate-chip-layer-cake/

 

Cake Number 6:                                                                                                                                                                      This cake here is Brown Eyed Baker’s Snickers cake.

Snickers Cake

Link:  http://www.browneyedbaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/snickers-cake-28-600.jpg

 

And the final one, Cake Number 7.                                                                                                                             This has fudge brownie in a vanilla cheesecake on top of an Oreo crust with a chocolate coating. Need I say any more?

Link:   http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2008/10/11/brownie-mosaic-cheesecake/

 

Did you know that when I started writing this it was meant to be a 2-3 line post apologising for the lack of a link in Saturday’s post? Well, it was! But I got caught up in the addictive world of blogging and cakes and just couldn’t pull myself away. And now we’re late for the boat of course! So please have a look at these cakes if at all possible and comment if you have a preference or inclination. I’d love to know what the rest of the world thinks about these lovely cakes. I’ll let you know as soon as I do which one I’m going to bake (and then conseqentially eat)!

Have a lovely Monday (and rest of the week).

xxxxx