It was the annual Macmillan bake sale at work on Friday and my contribution was these bad boys. Alert!! You will find chocolate in every part of these cupcakes, the cakes chocolate chipped, it’s in the filling, buttercream and on top. These little (big) treats may look a bit tricky to make but were actually very easy, and I only had a whisk and a wooden spoon (I really am in need of a kitchen aid, a girl can dream).
You will need:
- 225g Butter, melted
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- 225g Self Raising Flour
- 100g Chocolate Chips
- 1 jar of Nutella
for or the buttercream/ toppings:
- 300g butter, soft
- 450g Icing sugar
- 2 bars of Bueno, broken into the individual pieces
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, milk and sugar until well combined then one by on add the eggs and whisk in.
- Mix in the flour until you have a nice thick cake mix.
- Add 2 tablespoons of Nutella and the chocolate chips and stir in until the chocolate chips are evenly spread out.
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases, add a dessert spoon of mix to each of the cases.
- Top the cake mix with a heaped teaspoon of Nutella and then top each one with another spoon of cake mix.
- Bake in the oven for 20 mins until the cakes are golden and spring back up when softly pressed down.
- Transfer the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
- While the cakes are cooling to make the buttercream mix together the butter, icing sugar and the rest of the Nutella from the jar until a light fluffy light brown buttercream is formed.
- When the cakes are cooled pipe on the buttercream and top with a piece of Bueno. Voila!!
Hurrah, it’s getting colder and it’s pie time, yes yes yes!!! As an alternative to Sunday roast I love a good old Cottage Pie, rich, meaty and covered in bubbling cheese. Served with my Yorkshire puddings this goes down a treat and makes enough for leftover snap to take to work. This recipe is for 2 so just add more ingredients if you have more mouths to feed.
You will need:
- 250g lean Minced Beef
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Onion
- 2 Rich Beef Stock cubes
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- good glug of Hendersons Relish
- 300ml water
- 1 tablespoon Bisto Beef Gravy Granuals
- 5 Potatoes
- Butter and Milk for Mash Potato
- Salt and Pepper to season
- 150g Mature Cheddar, grated
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Finely dice the onion and carrots and fry over a medium heat for 5 mins until the onions start to turn translucent, turn up the heat and add the mince to the pan.
- While the meat is cooking, peel and chop the potatoes and start to boil to make the mash.
- Once the mince is cooked, add the stock cubes, herdersons, salt, pepper and water to the pan, turn down the heat and simmer. Add the gravy granuals to the pan and turn off he heat, mix until the liquid starts to thicken and transfer to an oven proof dish. (I know it’s a bit of a cheat move but it’s just an easy way to thicken the gravy and add more meaty flavour, forgive me?)
- After 10- 15 minutes of boiling the potatoes should be soft enough to drain and mash, then cream in the milk and butter and season.
- Top the meat mix with the mash flatten down, then sprinkle over cheese (of which I like to use a lot) and bake for 30 mins until the cheese is golden and the pie is bubbling. Mmmmmm.
- Serve with veg and Yorkshire puddings. Enjoy!!
Last weekend it was birthday time, which means…. Cake time!!!!! Or cupcake time in this instance. For my dad’s birthday I decided on cupcakes but to go down a classic Victoria sponge route, then I couldn’t decide on strawberry or chocolate, strawberry or chocolate, strawberry or chocolate. Cue brainwave….. I’ll do both.
This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, 12 strawberry and 12 chocolate. After all, when there’s your family and a cake fiend boyfriend to feed there can never be too much.
You will need:
- 350g Self Raising Flour
- 350g Butter
- 350g Caster Sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 tablespoons Baking Powder
- 500ml Double Cream
- 12 heaped teaspoons Strawberry Jam
- 12 Strawberries
- 12 heaped teaspoons Nutella
- 12 chunks of Chocolate
- 1 tablespoon Icing Sugar
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- One by one mix in the eggs until thoroughly mixed in. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder until a thick cake mix is formed.
- Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
- for the strawberry, add a heaped teaspoon of cake mix to each of the cases, then add a heaped teaspoon on strawberry jam on top of the mix, then add another heaped teaspoons of cake mix to top it all off.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20 mins until golden and the cakes spring back up when lightly pressed.
- for the chocolate, repeat the same process as the strawberry except use Nutella in the place of strawberry jam.
- When the cakes are cooled its time to decorate. Whip up the double cream and icing sugar until stiff and forms peaks. Using a piping bags pipe the cream onto each of the cupcakes.
- Top each one with a strawberry or chunk of chocolate and enjoy!!
You will notice that these cupcakes use fresh cream and strawberries so won’t last as long as other cupcakes, not that we ever have a problem I’m our house.
Okay, okay. I admit that I have a bit of a thing for a dark chocolate and hazelnut combination but when something works, it just works, right? Here it is, the recipe for my dark chocolate and hazelnut fudge, I made this using a few leftover buts I had from when I made my Caramel Fudge (see earlier post) it makes enough if just for yourself and a friend but for bigger portions just double (or triple needed) the quantities used.
You will need:
- 100g Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts
- 120ml Double Cream
- 180g Caster Sugar
- 40g Butter
- 4 tablespoons Glucose Syrup
- 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- Sugar thermometer
- Line a high sided baking tin with baking paper and grease well.
- Roughly chop the chocolate to break up the hazelnuts.
- In a medium pan add the double cream, sugar, butter and glucose and melt together over a medium heat. Once all the ingredients have combined together, turn up the heat and continue to heat until 110 degree Celsius (this is where you will need the sugar thermometer). Try not to stir the mixture too much but you will need to to prevent the mix burning and just remember be careful because sugar work is hot!!
- Once the mix is up to temperature, take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until fully mixed in and the mix is smooth and glossy.
- Next, whisk in the cocoa and icing sugar, be careful as the mix will still be extremely hot.
- Once everything is all mixed in pour the fudge mix into your prepared tin and leave to cool and set for a few hours.
- When the mixture is set chop up into nice little (big) squares and enjoy.
I’m getting into the swing of fudge making and really happy with the results, can’t wait to start experiment with some new flavours. If you have any that are worth a try, let me know.