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Sunday, 31 March 2013

Creme Egg Cupcakes



These cupcakes are perfect for the chocaholic in your life. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. These are only for those with a serious sweet tooth. Simple to make but who doesn't love a cake with a surprise filling?

Ingredients:
100g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
110g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
140g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml buttermilk
12 creme egg minis

Icing and topping:
70g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
90g very soft unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Creme egg splats
2 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
4 tbsp boiling water (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to gas mark 3/ 170C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water to melt. Remove from the heat once it is fully melted.
  • In the meantime cream the butter and sugars in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add half the eggs and mix well. Add the rest of the eggs and mix well.
  • Fold in the melted chocolate.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in until fully incorporated. 
  • Add the buttermilk and vanilla extra and gently mix in until just incorporated.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. You can either fill them a quarter full, place one creme egg mini in each, and then add the rest of the mix, or fill the cases just over half full and push the creme eggs into the centre (they will naturally sink slightly so don't push them right to the bottom).
  • Bake the cakes for approximately 20 minutes. When testing if the cakes are done remember the creme egg centre which will mean a skewer inserted into the middle will always come out gooey.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the icing melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat once melted. 
  • In a large bowl cream the butter until pale and fluffy. 
  • Sift the icing sugar and beat well. 
  • Add the vanilla extract, salt, and chocolate and beat for several minutes until soft and creamy.
  • This will make quite a thick icing, most suitable for spreading on the cakes with a knife. If you want to pipe the icing on mix 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 4 tbsp boiling water in a cup and gradually add to the icing until you get a suitable consistency. Beat in well. 
  • Pipe or spread the icing on the cakes, chop up a handful of creme egg splats and sprinkle on top.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Sticky Plum Jam Cake

This cake is based on a marmalade cake recipe from Linda Collister. Not being a huge fan of marmalade I decided to make a few adjustments and turn it in to a lovely, sticky jam cake. This is a simple cake, and the taste is by no means complex, but it is tasty, and really, that's the main thing isn't it?

Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp good quality plum jam (with nice big chunks of fruit in)
  • 2 tbsp full fat milk
For the top:
  • 3 tbsp plum jam
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp warm water
Method:

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
  • Beat the butter in a bowl until creamy. 
  • Gradually add the sugar, beating all the while. Continue to beat until the mix is pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add one tablespoon of the flour with the last bit of egg.
  • Sift the rest of the flour, salt, and baking powder in and gently fold in with a large metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the jam and milk and stir in. (It is tempting at this point to add extra jam, but try to resist this temptation - too much and the cake will sink).
  • Spoon the mixture in to the cake tin and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and leave on a cooling rack.
  • Put the rest of the jam in a small saucepan and gently heat. Brush over the top of the cake (you can pierce the top of the cake in a few places to allow extra jammy goodness to seep in to the cake, but it's just as tasty if you don't). Leave to cool completely before adding the icing.
  • Mix the icing sugar and water in a bowl until smooth. This should make icing of a runny consistency which is what we want for the icing to run down the sides of the cake, and to have bits of the jam showing through. Drizzle or spoon the icing over the cake, and enjoy.