Coca-Cola Cupcakes

I know it sounds weird but they are amazing. From my favourite book, Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess, these cupcakes can be made into a whole cake instead and either way it is an incredible chocolate cake unlike anything you have ever tasted before!

1 1/3 cups plain flour

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1/3 cup coca-cola or coke zero

Icing

1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons coca-cola

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 180’C and put a baking sheet into the oven. Place 12 cupcake lines into a 12 hole cupcake tin. Have some spare in case you need more. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring jug. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and coca-cola, heating gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well, then add the liquid ingredients, beating until everything is well blended. Pour into the cupcake liner to about 2/3 full. I got 18 from this mix. Place tray on top of the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, they are cooked when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Immediately make the icing to pour over the cupcakes. Sift the icing sugar  and set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine butter, cocoa and coca-cola and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Spoon in the icing sugar beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good spreadable but running icing. Pour over each cupcake while they are still warm. Before the icing sets hard stud the top of each cupcake with a walnut or coke bottle lolly.

I have been afraid of this recipe since I received this book for Christmas last year. Something about adding soft drink to a cake didn’t sit quite right with me. As I am not a straight coke drinker I substituted coke zero for the regular coke and it worked out perfectly. I rack my brains every time a special friend’s birthday comes around trying to come up with the perfect cake for that person. This year for Daniel’s best friend Jono I was really struggling. I had planned on baking apple pie spring rolls but they required immediate eating so were a no go. After half a day of magazine flicking, flagging, digging and corner folding I resorted to Nigella giving me the cake I was after. This cake, although listed in the children’s section is very much a decadent adult worthy cupcake.

The faint hint of coke and the soft dense crumb of this chocolate cake make it impossible to stop at one. This recipe made 18. One was eaten before it was even iced, to test that they were cooked of course! I took 11 to Jono for his birthday, enough for dessert and one each for him and his girlfriend for morning tea the next day and the remaining 6 were ours to eat and share. They were even better the next day and I gave 2 to people at work to try.

There was nothing difficult about this recipe, I had them baked and iced in the time that it took Daniel to go to the car wash and back. Easy enough to take to a morning tea or afternoon tea and make the same day. They are scrumptious enough for dessert or just as a midday treat. I used silver wrappers but brown or red would work equally as well. The coke bottle lollies can be hard to get a hold of in supermarkets but most if not all lolly stores have them and I managed to pick up a packet of about 50 for $2. Big W also have them but in a much larger packet. I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe with diet coke but if anyone is game enough to try let me know!

I would make these again any day, maybe the whole cake next time!

 

Love Sonia

Cupcake Hamburgers

These are the cutest little cupcakes and I knew as soon as I saw them that I had to make them for Daniel’s birthday. They are a cheating cake but the effort involved in assembly makes up for the fact that you use packet cakes.

 

1 packet of vanilla cupcakes (Greens or Betty Crocker both work well)

1 packet brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker reduced fat brownies)

1 tub pre made vanilla icing ( I used Duncan Hines)

Red, green and yellow food colouring

Sesame seeds

Other ingredients you need to make the packet mixes

Bake cupcakes as per instructions and cool completely. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake brownies as per instructions, in a larger tray than recommended or use less of the mixture so the brownie “patties” aren’t too thick. Cool brownies. Cut the base out of a cupcake liner and use this to cut around the brownies in a circular shape to make patty. Cut in half through the middle if they are too thick. Remove cupcake liners from the cupcakes and cut in half using a serrated knife. Divide the icing between 3 small bowls, about half a cup each for red and yellow and more for the green. Mix in approximately 10 drops of each food colouring and stir, adjust colour to suit your preference. Spoon icing into zip lock bags and seal, snip off a small amount from the corner of the bag. Place brownie disk onto base of cupcake, pipe a thin wiggly line of yellow icing around the edge of the brownie, followed by the same with the red icing. Then with the green icing, pipe a thicker line around the edge of the brownie and then squiggle some over the top of the brownie to help the top part of the “bun” stick. Stick the top of the bun on very carefully and place on serving plate or into container being careful not to touch the “sauce”.  Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

I absolutely loved these cupcakes, I think they are just so cute and would be perfect for a themed party. Daniel loved them, so did our colleagues at work. The cute size and their relative likeness to a real hamburger makes them all the more fun and exciting to eat. They have the usual packet cake mix flavour and the brownie mixture was surprisingly good. There was a lot of brownie left over that I brought into work and it was demolished in a couple of days. It is really hard to get the red colour to be red, mine was more of a dark pink, I used about 10 drops of red food colouring but it wouldn’t take.

These cupcakes would be ideal to bake with kids, providing an adult did all the cutting. The icing is easiest to use in zip lock bags but if you had lots of piping bags with small tips that would work well too. The tops of the cupcakes become sticky after a few days because of the milk that is brushed on the top, this doesn’t affect the taste at all, just results in messy fingers, so eat within 2 days if you want to avoid this. I highly recommend making these if you get the chance, the original “recipe” came from thecakemistress.com and she made sugar cookie fries to go with it, which would be great for a kids party or even an adults 50’s diner themed party.

 

Love Sonia

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

The lightest, lemoniest, tartest, sweetest and most desirable cupcakes I have ever tried. One recipe that is worth every second of preparation time!

Cupcakes
1 cup pure cream

1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Lemon curd
1/2 cup lemon juice
100g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Meringue
3 egg whites

1/2 cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180’C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan. Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.
Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.
For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.
For meringue, beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form, gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag. To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd.  Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Makes 12 cupcakes.

This recipe originally from Junior Masterchef is so simple it is hard to believe that you hadn’t thought of it yourself. Cupcakes with no butter, what a brilliant idea, no waiting around for it to soften! Just pour it all into a mixer in 2 batches and it’s done, bake them, cool them, make the curd, fill, make the meringue, pipe, grill and you are done. The perfect cupcakes every time! This is the fourth time I have baked these and every person I know loves them. Even people who don’t like meringue love them! There is just something about the light lemony cake with the tart curd topped with the squishy meringue that makes this one of the best recipes I have.

The hard points in this recipe. Number one, do not grate your fingers when you are zesting the lemons, it makes squeezing the lemons for the curd almost unbearable! Number two, try your hardest not to scramble the curd, if it happens, which has happened to me twice, remove from the heat and stir gently until thickened then strain through a fine sieve to remove the cooked egg. Number four, do not burn the meringue, it looks nowhere near as pretty and tastes a bit horrible when it burns, so keep your eye on it, or even better if you have a blowtorch, do it with that. Number four, leave plenty of time to make these, it is a lot easier to spoon the curd when it is cool, the meringue will hold its shape a lot better if it gets enough beating, it will sag and droop and look wrinkly if it doesn’t. Don’t let this put you off baking these, it is just a few points to take note of from someone that has had all of these things happen to her!

If I ever had a recipe to encourage you to try it would have to be these. You might be thinking, oh they sound hard, or Junior Masterchef, I don’t know about that, but trust me, and almost all my family and friends, these are sensational. I would even go as far as saying they are scrumptious and delicious.

Love Sonia x

Lemonade Scones

What happens when it is day before pay day, there is nothing to eat in the house yet you still want something sweet and indulgent. Scones! Cheap, delicious and ready in 15 minutes.

2 cups Self Raising flour, sifted

¼ cup caster sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup lemonade

½ cup thickened cream

2 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 220’C. Grease or cover a baking tray. Place the flour, sugar and ½ tsp of salt in a large bowl. Add the cream and lemonade and mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until combined. Press the dough with your hands to a thickness of 4cm. Use a 6cm cutter to cut out 8 or so scones. Place on the baking tray, brush the tops with milk and bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Serve warm with your favourite jam and some cream if you wish.

I made 7, and one small ball of dough. I also used sugarfree lemonade and they were sweet enough like that. For me this recipe was a little strange, having been a flour, margarine and milk girl, not adding milk or marg to this seemed strange, but it did work! They have a different texture to my usual scones but they still have that delicious, warming, comforting feeling accompanying them. I think that the cream makes them a little softer, more like bread.

I had no issues making these, in fact they took a lot less time than my normal scones and were a lot better as a dessert scone as they were sweeter. A beautiful last minute dessert for a cold Canberra night. Spread with raspberry jam from the handmade markets and a little thickened cream mixed with a teaspoon of icing sugar which ran all over the scone to make a very cheap indulgent dessert.

There isn’t much else to say about scones apart from the fact that they are one of my favourite baked treats and as far as this recipe goes I’d definitely use it again. If you run out of food like we did or you just love scones or your mother in law is on her way over and you only just found out, lemonade scones are the way to go.

Love Sonia

Chocolate Cake Pops

 

Cake. Check. Icing. Check. Chocolate. Check. Sprinkles. Check. This may be the perfect work birthday cake ever designed. No cutting, no plates, little left overs. Cake Pops, growing in popularity and I can see why!

 

1 bought cake, packet cake or basic home cooked cake around 400-500g

Pre-made frosting (like betty crocker tub) or ½ cup of chocolate ganache

500g chocolate melts

Coloured sprinkles to match your theme

Lolly pop sticks or straws

Once you have your cake (I baked a packet chocolate cake) as long as it is cool you are good to go. Crumble the cake into a large bowl until it forms fine crumbs. Stir in a tablespoon of frosting at a time, you will use about half a cup. Using your hands form into even size balls. Place balls on a tray and pop them into the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer. In a large bowl melt half of the chocolate melts. Dip the stick or straw 1cm into the chocolate and insert into the cake ball. Place back into the freezer for 5 minutes until chocolate has hardened. Remove a few cake pops from the freezer and dip them into the melted chocolate, a spoon may be required to help smooth and coat them. Cover in desired sprinkles and put aside to set. A large piece of Styrofoam will help with this. Repeat with remaining pops, removing only a few from the freezer at a time so that the chocolate sets quickly. Store in a container lined with greaseproof paper. Store in the fridge if the temperature is over 20’.

I will admit that I struggled with these. That they were extremely time consuming and I can see why people pay a premium for them. Firstly this is possibly one of the most devastating desserts I have ever made. Bake a cake, let it cool, smash it to pieces and turn it into a bowl of crumbs, not my ideal Thursday night. It is the strangest feeling destroying something that you have just lovingly baked even if it is to make something even better out of. I struggled to get the straws to stay in, 3 ended up being dessert for Daniel and I as they made death jumps off the straws and deep into the melted chocolate. The other issue with this, is baking the cake the same night is not a good plan, as I found out at 11pm last night when I had started at 7.30pm.

I made these golf ball size, large than the traditional, but I had issues trying to get a smaller amount to stick together.  They aren’t as perfect or pretty as the ones you see in the magazines but they taste amazing and the crack of chocolate followed by the rich fudgey cake in the middle more than makes up for their looks. As I mentioned in my intro these are the perfect cake for a work birthday because not everyone has to eat at the same time, you don’t need a plate, just a well positioned hand and no one feels forced to have one (but they will have one, trust me).

Any kind of cake would be great for this, just use your favourite flavour and use a suitable frosting or cream cheese. You don’t have to add sprinkles, but they help to hide the unevenness (especially with mine). You could pipe lines or patterns with melted chocolate or decorate with icing flowers or something else to suit your theme. Even double dipping these with different colours would be really nice if you can deal with double the chocolate.

The main thing about these is that Rancell loved them as his birthday cake and they are still super fresh and moist today, must be the seal of chocolate. If you want a non traditional cake and can deal with destroying one cake to make lots of others I would say give this a crack.

Love Sonia x

 

Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes

Light, fluffy, perfect amount of vanilla and oh so moreish. Topped with Donna Hay’s vanilla icing these are the perfect Sunday night cupcake.

1 ½ cups self raising flour

1 ¼ cups plain flour

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups caster sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Place 24 cupcake papers in muffin trays. In a small bowl, sift the flours together and set aside. In a large bowl or bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth, gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with adding the vanilla and milk. With each addition beat until all ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to over mix. Using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently mix though to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners filling half way. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 – 15 minutes then remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Whipped Vanilla Icing (Donna Hay)

250g butter, softened

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 3-5 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla and beat for a further 5 minutes or until light and creamy. You can add food colouring if you desire.

Feeling a longing to go back to the big apple and a desire to bake cupcakes I spent Saturday morning looking at New York cupcake bakeries on the internet came across hundreds of people who have tested or at least eaten these cupcakes. While we were in New York in 2010 we didn’t go to the Magnolia Bakery, it was one of those blizzardy days where we just kept walking. Wishing I stopped in now but at the time it didn’t seem worth it to line up out the door in a blizzard. These cupcakes certainly have a name for themselves and for all the right reasons.

After recovering from the dreaded cold that is working its way around our work I just didn’t feel up to baking (shock horror). Sunday night different storey, I couldn’t wait to get into it, after the endless wait for the butter to soften I finally got to baking. The batter itself is super easy. I made a half batch which made 12 cupcakes. I also used the caster sugar that I stored the halved vanilla pods in from the last vanilla cupcakes I made. It was beautifully fragranced with vanilla bean with a few seeds speckled through. Everything else is easy to halve. I halved the icing also and it made more than enough for the 12 cupcakes, I had to throw away the last bit because there is such a thing as too much icing on a cupcake.

Unlike the last vanilla cupcakes I made these are far more budget friendly and I had everything I needed in the fridge and pantry. My favourite kind of baking is reading a recipe and saying in my head, yep, yep, got it, yes I have all those things. I means no trips to the supermarket and it also means instant baking gratification. They hardest part about these cupcakes is again the waiting! Waiting for the butter to soften, waiting for them to cool so the icing doesn’t melt and then the next morning waiting for an acceptable cupcake eating hour because telling you co-workers that its morning tea at 8.30 doesn’t quite work.

There isn’t much more to say except make them. Enjoy them. A little handful of New York has never been so easily attainable!

Love Sonia

 

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

This recipe comes from http://www.cupcakeproject.com where it is called the ultimate vanilla cupcake. I’m not entirely sure it is the ultimate, but I tell you what they are beautiful vanilla bean cupcakes none the less.

    1 cup (225 grams) caster sugar
    1 vanilla bean
    1 3/4 cups (175 grams) plain flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 large eggs, room temperature
    1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream
    1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
    1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
    2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk

Preheat oven to 175 C . Line a 12 cup muffin tray with cupcake liners. (You may need to do more than one batch, this mix made 22 for me)
In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavour into the sugar. Set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the vanilla bean sugar to the flour mix and mix until well combined.
To this add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.  Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid.  (Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s supposed to be that way.)  Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again in two minutes.  If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

This recipe states it makes 16, I got 22, just see how you go, you can always eat the batter!

The most incredible tasting icing to accompany (also from cupcake project):

 1 1/2 cup icing sugar.
 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (add more to taste if you want and do not lick    the spoon it’s not as tasty as you would think!)
 1 tablespoon milk

Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and continue to beat for another minute. If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste, or more confectioners’ sugar to make it stiffer.

 Now don’t let my interpretation that these aren’t the utimate put you off them, they are soft, fluffy, sweet and definately vanillary. The reason I don’t think they are the ultimate is because the amount it costs to make them does not correspond with the happiness whilst eating them and that they weren’t as light as other cupcake recipes I have tried. When deciding to make these you do need to weigh up if you want to pay the $10 for vanilla bean paste and $8 for 2 vanilla beans. You do have one left over and heaps of paste left over but it makes for a very expensive inital outlay. I will need to re try these in different paper cases as I am not 100% sure that the denseness of the cupcakes isnt due to the paper cases I used.

A few of the cupcakes sank in the middle, it may have been because I panic removed them from the oven because the recipe says they shouldn’t brown and when they started browning I pulled them out. In hindsight I should have left them in and just covered the browned bits with icing. The cake mix is really lovely, it has a soft vanilla flavour and a light speckle of the vanilla seeds throughout. The icing is to die for, it is better eaten cool because otherwise it is a bit buttery on the palate. As described on cupcake project this icing tastes like vanilla icecream, it would be amazing spread over a plain sponge or buttercake.

The main challenges with this recipe are getting the seeds through the sugar, I ended up sieving the sugar to break up the clumps, trying to get the right amount of batter into the cases so that they are risen enough to ice but not overflowing, and icing them. To ice the cupcakes I put the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and piped a swirl on the top of each cupcake. The icing was just enough for this batch which was 22, minus the 2 that sank so 20, but it wasn’t a lot of icing on each. You might need an extra half a batch if you wanted an impressive swirl of icing to top them off.

I would highly reccomend making these cupcakes but I would make them for a good reason that the $28 spend can be justified for. A birthday would be perfect, not just midweek cupcakes like I did. They are perfectly vanillary, not too sweet because the flavour comes from the vanilla and not the sugar and feel a little bit special to eat.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, this week I will also post anzac biscuits and chapter 4 of cake decorating. Have a great week.

Love Sonia xx

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cupcakes

For Valentine’s Day I think the nicest things are something sweet, something shared and a few nice words. These combine all three and are sure to impress whomever it is you are trying to impress this year. Super easy cupcakes with a gorgeous glossy ganache and a few nice words for my loved one. The recipe for the cupcakes is another Nigella Lawson one, but I actually got it off another food blog, the ganache and the decorating ideas came from the Martha Stewart website, a bit from everywhere, but isn’t that what cooking is all about?

Food Processor Cupcakes

125g butter, softened
125g sugar
125g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (leave this out to make vanilla cupcakes)
 
Chocolate Ganache
113g Dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 tablespoon glucose syrup
2/3 cup thickened cream
 
A handful of white chocolate melts for decorating

Preheat oven to 200C, or 180C if using fan-forced.

Place all the ingredients except the milk into a food processor. Blitz in short bursts until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

Whilst pulsing the mixture, gradually pour in the two tablespoons of milk through the food processor funnel. Blitz until the milk has been incoporated. The mixture should look smooth and creamy.  Add another tablespoon of milk if necessary.

Divide the mixture across a patty-lined 12-muffin tin. A tablespoon or two should be sufficient, as the mixture should triple in size when baked.

Bake for 15-20min or until risen and tops spring back to the touch. Cool on a cooling rack. Ice when cool.

To make the ganache, heat cream in a saucepan over a medium high heat. In a heatproof bowl add broken chocolate and glucose syrup. Once the cream is hot (DO NOT BOIL) pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy. Let cool for one minute. Either dip or spoon and spread the icing onto to cupcakes. Let set for thirty minutes. Store in an airtight container.

To decorate for Valentine’s Day or other special occasion. Using white chocolate melts, put a handful in a mug in the microwave for 60 seconds, once done stir until smooth. Fit a piping bag (I use multix disposable ones) with a size 2 piping nozzle and pour chocolate into the bag. Pipe words that mean something to you or to fit a theme.

I am ever so happy with how these turned out. Admittedly I did practice the piping onto baking paper twice this week just to work out the best angle for getting fluent and legible words. Some of the final product aren’t quite perfect, but hey they will still get eaten. The white chocolate sets hard which is a nice little crunch against the silky runny icing and the soft and fluffy cupcake. The cupcakes are quite plain, but it is a basic mixture. I also found that the icing is quite bitter being all dark chocolate, next time I would use half dark and half milk, even though Daniel loves the dark chocolate bitterness. Equally if you don’t like dark chocolate use milk otherwise you could find these inedible.

This is my favourite cupcake mainly because I didn’t stick my finger in the icing and the piping didn’t run together. After trying one of the cupcakes for dessert I definately think they would be even better as just vanilla or something like raspberry and coconut. I think for a chocolate cake I would like it to be a little denser, but it still has a great flavour and texture.

I will do another post during this week for the cheesecake I make for Valentine’s Day dessert, so get baking. I’m sure your Valentine will love these gorgeous cupcakes as much as mine does.

Love Sonia xx

Sour Cream Cupcakes

I have made these cupcakes a couple of times now, all for “special” occasions. Once for a family birthday, once for a friends birthday and for my dear friend Eliza today. They are a really basic cupcake with a twist because of the almond meal and sour cream. Light and sweet, not overly moist but it has a lovely crumb.

* 125g unsalted butter, softened

* 1 cup (200g) caster sugar

* 3 eggs

* 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour

* 1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour

* 1/2 cup (55g) almond meal

* 1/3 cup (80g) sour cream

* Icing flowers, to decorate

* Icing

* 2 cups (300g) icing sugar mixture

* 10g softened butter

* 2 tbs hot water

* 2-3 drops pink liquid food colouring

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 20 1/3-cup (80ml) muffin pans with paper cases.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the flours, almond meal and sour cream, in alternate batches, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

3. Spoon mixture evenly among the lined pans and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Gradually add enough water, stirring with a wooden spoon, until a smooth paste forms. Add the food colouring and stir until well combined.

5. Use a round-bladed knife or palette knife to spread icing over each cake. Decorate with icing flowers. Put aside for 15 minutes to set.

For the icing I made 2 different colours, a light pink and a bright pink. I just halved the icing ingredients and put them in 2 separate bowls, to one I added about 4 drops of pink food colouring and the other I dipped a wooden skewer into the food colouring bottle and just touched the end into the icing, this makes a really pale pink. You could use any colour you like, yellow would look lovely. The icing flowers I bought from Woolworths a pack of 15 for $4.99. I only used 10 as I didn’t put them on the ones for Daniel and myself. I saw some different designs at Pink Frosting in Fyshwick last week, sold in little packs for about $3.50 and I will try these out next time. The pink striped cupcake pans are also from Pink Frosting and are paper eskimo brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for cupcakes that are a little different from the norm, these are perfect. The sour cream cuts through a lot of the sweetness, but the icing adds a little back in so they are quite well rounded and as I mentioned before the almond meal makes the crumb really lovely and soft. I like these by themselves or with a icy cold glass of lemonade or milk, something light and cold is perfect for these. Daniel is laughing at me for writing lemonade or milk, but I still think they are the best beverages to have with them.

As a present for Eliza I boxed these up in a gift box with some cellophane, they look lovely grouped together or lined up and the alternating colours look really pretty. They would look really good on a cupcake stand or tree if you made enough of them, I got 10 small cupcakes and 6 regular size. From memory it made 12 regular cupcakes the first time I made them. I really like these cupcakes and I hope you do too. Thanks for following scrumptious and delicous,

Love Sonia xx

Banana Choc Chip & Raspberry White Choc Chip Muffins

These have been my stand by muffins since I bought the first Masterchef magazine in 2010.  Easy to whip up for last minute guests or for week day lunches I prefer them with raspberries and white chocolate chips, I’ll give you both versions. Anyone who has worked with me or has been to our house for morning tea, afternoon tea or for a short notice dinner will have tried these and I haven’t had one person say they don’t like them yet. Described to me today at work as ‘deliciously awesome’ I think they will stay my stand by for many years to come.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

300g Self Raising Flour

150g Brown Sugar

200g Milk Chocolate Chips

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

125g unsalted butter, melted

125ml Milk

 1. Pre-heat oven to 200’C. Line 12 hole muffin tin with papers.

2. Combine flour, sugar and choc chips in a large bowl.

3. Whisk together eggs, bananas, butter and milk in a jug and add to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

4. Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.

5. Stand for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes 12 regular size muffins.

 

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

300g Self Raising Flour

150g Brown Sugar

200g White Chocolate Chips

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup frozen raspberries

125g unsalted butter, melted

125ml Milk

 1. Pre-heat oven to 200’C. Line 12 hole muffin tin with papers.

2. Combine flour, sugar and choc chips in a large bowl.

3. Whisk together eggs, butter and milk in a jug and add to flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Fold through raspberries quickly to prevent bleeding.

4. Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.

5. Stand for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes 12 regular size muffins.

For these muffins I made half banana and half raspberry. I just divide all ingredients in half and put them in separate bowls. Do the raspberry ones last so that the liquid that comes out of the raspberries doesn’t bleed through the mixture, if it does it doesn’t matter, it just makes them a pinky colour that doesn’t look nice after baking. I haven’t tried any other combinations but I imagine that blueberries would work well with either white or milk chocolate chips, or you could omit the chocolate completely. The base mixture is nice and sweet and the brown sugar gives it a lovely rich flavour. I have also done half batches just for Daniel and I, just halve all ingredients and the mixture makes about 7. Three each and one to “test” if it is cooked.

They are delicious straight out of the oven, just watch the raspberries because they will still be hot. Eat cold for about two days afterwards, after that they get a little bit hard, a quick zap in the microwave will fix it, but assuming that yours will be devoured as quickly as mine, I doubt that will be needed. If anyone tries the blueberry substitution I would love to know, or I’ll try it myself if I get a chance and post the results for you to see. Thanks to everyone who has checked out my blog ( 226 views  to date) there will be lots more in the year(s) to come and hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to set the recipe tab up to work correctly.

Happy Baking

 Sonia xx