I have a long and abiding interest in cupcakes. I love their versatility and convenience – they’re relatively easy to transport and good for giving as gifts or packing as a treat for work. I also love to experiment with them….whether it’s to try out a new kind of icing, or going all out with the topping and having a candy sampler.
I recently experimented with this rocky road cupcake recipe and it definitely satisfied my sweet (sweeeeet) tooth. Actually the sweetness was a little too much for me….after one or two of the cupcakes, I felt like I was drifting in a haze of sugar induced semi-consciousness. I think next time I would consider using a cream cheese instead of buttercream icing which will hopefully offset the sweetness of the chocolate topping. At any rate, I thought the end result looked quite nice and it tasted delicious, although it was (did I mention?) very sweet.
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
100g milk chocolate
125g softened butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
185g softened butter
2 cups icing sugar
About 1 cup mini marshmallows
2 bars Cherry ripe chocolate
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celscius and lightly oil or line muffin pans.
- Combine the milk chocolate and water over low heat. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
- Beat the sugar and butter until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the self raising flour, cocoa and plain flour together. Add gradually into the mixture and stir until just combined.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and spoon into the prepared muffin pans.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the center bounces back when lightly tapped. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- To make the icing, beat 185g butter until light and creamy. Gradually sift in the icing sugar and add vanilla essence. Refridgerate until needed.
- Chop the Cherry Ripe into small cubes.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and top with the chopped Cherry Ripe and mini marshmallows. Sprinkle chocolate sauce on top of the cupcakes.
It’s Mother’s Day and as a gesture of my appreciation for one of the nicest mothers I’ve ever known, I made my mum a batch of *healthy* breakfast muffins. They have a variety of healthy berries but also a generous helping of chocolate guaranteed to help kick start a good day. You can use fresh or frozen berries and any kind of chocolate you like. I used white chocolate which complimented the berries nicely. My mums liked it and of course after breakfast I gave her a bouquet of fresh flowers along with (I couldn’t help it!) a Mother’s Day balloon.
2 C plain flour
3/4 C caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C buttermilk
2/3 C vegetable oil
about 1C fresh or frozen berries
about 1C chopped white chocolate
- Preheat oven the 180 degrees celsius and grease a 12 hole muffin pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Mix in the caster sugar.
- Add the chopped chocolate into the flour mixture.
- In a large pouring jug, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla together.
- Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir in the berries. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Spoon into the prepared muffin pan and bake for about 20-30 mins.
Today is Australia Day and in honor of the day dedicated to the beautiful “sunburnt country” I thought I’d post up a recipe of a traditional Australian treat – the lamington. Although the history of the lamington is somewhat vague, it is popularly believed that the delicious treat was created in Toowomba, Queensland during the summer of 1886. The governor of Queensland had settled in Harlaxton House for that summer and he asked the cook to make his favorite cake snowballs (round cakes served with whipped cream). The kitchen at Harlaxton House was insufficiently equipped to make the desired treat and the inventive cook instead whipped up a concoction of a large sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. The governor’s guests were thrilled with the cake. When asked what the cake was called, Cook responded that it had no name. The guests consequently dubbed it the Lamington Cake in honor of the governor and an Australian icon was born. Interestingly, the governor himself did not seem overly fond of lamingtons and was wont to call them “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits” *
These days the lamington is generally made to raise funds for various school fundraisers, charity drives etc. It’s also no longer made as one large cake but is customarily made into smaller squares and is often filled with cream or jam. This particular recipe uses a plain sponge cake and is dipped in pink jelly icing then covered with coconut.
1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 Tbs boiling water
1 packet strawberry jelly crystals
1 cup boiling water
2 cups desiccated coconut
- Dissolve the jelly mixture into the boiling water and allow it to partially set (about 2-2.5 hours).
- Sift together the flours.
- Whisk the eggs until light and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, creaming well.
- Sift the flour into the eggs and sugar mixture. Add the hot water and vanilla essence. Fold carefully.
- Pour the batter into a greased rectangular cake tin and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees celcius.
- Allow the cake to cool.
- Trim the edges of the cake and cut it into about 16 squares.
- Dip a cake square into the partially set jelly and roll in desiccated coconut. Continue with the remaining cake squares, jelly and coconut.