Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Caramel Cupcakes

These cupcakes are caramel flavoured, filled with a caramel sauce and topped with caramel buttercream and drizzle. Perfect if you have a sweet tooth! I used my basic cake recipe and replaced caster sugar with muscovado sugar to give it that caramel taste. I had some tinned carnation caramel in my cupboard that needed using, however if I made these again I would definitely make my own sauce (using condensed milk - see my millionaires shortbread recipe!) as I wasn't a fan of the tinned stuff! However it was brilliant for flavouring the buttercream - probably the best buttercream I've had! 


Recipe (Makes 7 cupcakes)
2 eggs
4 ounces (113g) margarine/butter
4 ounces (113g) muscovado or light brown sugar
4 ounces (113g) self raising flour
About 50g caramel sauce for filling

Icing 
330g icing sugar
130g margarine
2 tablespoons milk
30g tinned caramel and caramel sauce


Firstly, heat the oven to 160 degrees. Whisk together the margarine and sugar until fluffy.



Then add eggs and whisk again.
 

 Fold in the flour



Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes (until they spring back when touched and a skewer inserted into the cupcake comes out clean)
 

They come out all golden and delicious :D
 

Dig out the middle of the cupcake using a cupcake corer or a spoon, and fill with a teaspoon of caramel.
 
 

To make the icing, whisk together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the milk, and then the caramel. You can use more or less caramel depending on how much flavour you like. You can then use an piping bag and a star tip to pipe it on to the icing, or simply spread it on.

Drizzle with any leftover caramel, and enjoy!



Liddie xx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Chocolate Fondant

Chocolate fondant, chocolate lava cake, whatever you call them, they're amazing! A gooey chocolate dessert that you can prepare ahead of time and perfect for guests, or for a weekend treat. I used a recipe from BBC Good Food, although slightly adapted it. The cooking time is a bit difficult to get right - Mary Berry wouldn't approve of mine! They aren't gooey enough like typical chocolate fondants, but you might decide you prefer them a little less gooey like we did!


Recipe (makes 4 ramekins)
  • 25g melted butter, for brushing
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 100g butter, in small pieces
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g plain flour 
 Firstly, grease your ramekins with some butter and put in the fridge for 5 minutes to chill. Take them out and grease again (you don't want them to stick!). Put in a tablespoon of cocoa and swirl the ramekin around until the cocoa coats it entirely. I tip the leftover cocoa into the next ramekin, and so on. 


  
Melt the butter and chocolate together. I did this in the microwave, but you can do this in a saucepan too. Make sure you keep an eye on it in the microwave, and stir at regular intervals otherwise it will burn.



In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together with the sugar until thick and pale. I used an electric whisk to make life easier! Then fold in the flour. 




When the flour is folded in completely, stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Pour into the ramekins. 



 Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You could even make them the night before and chill overnight until you need to bake them. To bake, preheat oven to 180 degrees and cook for 10-12 minutes. The tops should be baked and they will be coming away from the sides of the ramekins. You may need to give them a bit longer, just make sure to keep an eye on them. When they come out of the oven, put a knife around the outside to ease them out, and then tip out onto a plate. 


Liddie x

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake


When I remembered it was my boyfriends 23rd birthday coming up, I knew there was only one cake I was going to make him. He's never been a massive fan of icing (which  is difficult because I love working with buttercream!) but he absolutely loves anything to do with chocolate. And he loves the rich, dark chocolate. I had seen a recipe on BBC Good Food that I had been meaning to test out for ages, and I knew I had to use it. It turned out amazingly - so rich and moist, and the ganache just finished it off perfectly. I adapted the ganache recipe to my own recipe which is just a basic chocolate to cream ratio. I then adapted the cake into a 'truffle' cake, surrounded by a chocolate cage (my first try!) and topped it with truffles and white & dark chocolate ganache swirls. It was so intense, but definitely one of the best cakes I've made. If you want to have a go at making it, keep reading for a recipe and my instructions! :)

Recipe
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate
Ganache
  • 200g dark chocolate (or milk if you don't want it to be as rich).
  • 200ml double cream.

Firstly, prepare your cake tin and preheat your oven to 160 c (140 if you have a fan oven). Put the butter, chocolate and coffee granules mixed in with 125ml cold water into a microwavable bowl or a saucepan. Heat until melted. 





Next, mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Beat together eggs into a bowl or cup and stir in the buttermilk. Add both the buttermilk mixture and the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold it in gently so you don't knock out the air. 






 Put this in the oven for 1 hour and 25-30 minutes. Although keep an eye on it, because mine took less than that. After its cooled, split it into two (unless you baked it in two tins). I got a bit too confident and tried to cut it into three, and the whole top cracked into pieces - as you can see! It's not a strong cake because it's so moist, but because you cover it with ganache it doesn't matter too much if it cracks/breaks. After it came out of the oven, I whipped up some double cream to go in the middle.



 To make the ganache, I heated up cream in a saucepan until it was just boiling. Have your chocolate ready in a separate bowl and pour the heated cream onto it. Leave it alone for a few minutes, and then begin to stir it together. It will look as though it's not coming together, but bare with it - as you can see from my photos it does start to look like ganache eventually! 







It makes quite a lucious thick ganache so I poured it straight on and spread it on, but you can pop it in the fridge for it to thicken if yours is a bit runny. 
 

This was my first time making a chocolate cage. They say to avoid white chocolate because its temperamental but mine worked just fine! My boyfriend chose the white cage.. dark may have been better :P 
To make the cage, measure out some greaseproof so it fits around your cake and make it the height you want it. Melt some chocolate -I used about 100g for my cage. Pop it into a piping bag and pipe any design you like. Now you have to watch it - you don't want it to set completely so it cracks but you want it to start setting so that it loses its shine but can still bend. Wrap it around the cake and make sure you get it into the right position - it will smear if you move it! Pop it into the fridge until it sets. 
 

 Voila! Decorate it however you like. I made truffles to go on the top. To do this, use any extra ganache (or make more) and let it set in the fridge. Roll it into balls of your desired size, and dip into cocoa, sprinkles or melted chocolate. I then swirled extra ganache on top -both dark and white chocolate. May be a chocolate overload to some but to us it was amazing!




Liddie x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Millionaires Shortbread

Millionaires shortbread have always been one of my favourite treats. Gooey caramel sandwiched between thick chocolate and tasty shortbread, who could not love them? I'll admit that I have not tried and tested many millionaires shortbread recipes, but this recipe has never failed me and they taste amazing, like they are straight from a bakery. So I've never felt the need to try another! This recipe was originally by Nigella Lawson, it's so good and worth a try! 



Recipe


Shortbread
225 g. plain flour
75 g. caster sugar
175g. unsalted butter

Caramel 
200g unsalted butter
379g. can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons golden syrup

Topping - 300 g. plain chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Mix the flour and sugar together and then rub in the butter (or use a stand mixer if you have one - those things are a god send for recipes like this!). The dough will come together and be quite crumbly, but don't worry, press it into a tin (I used an 8x8 square tin) and prick with a fork. Cook for 5 minutes and then turn the oven down to 150 C and cook for 30-40 minutes until a very pale golden brown. 




While the shortbread is cooking, you could make a start on the caramel. Melt the butter and then add the condensed milk and golden syrup. You can either do this in the microwave, keeping an eye on it and mixing every 30 seconds or so, or do it in the saucepan. Surprisingly (I usually prefer microwaves) I do this in a saucepan, because I find it easier to constantly stir it.  DO NOT leave it, I thought it would be a good idea to tidy a few bits up for about 10 seconds and when I came back I had burnt a bit of it! So be very careful. If you watch it you shouldn't go wrong. It takes about 10 minutes to thicken up and turn a lovely golden caramel colour, so when it gets to that stage take it off the heat and pour on to the shortbread. Leave this to cool until it sets. 



Once the caramel has set, melt the chocolate and pour it over, tilting the tin so it covers it nice and evenly. Leave to set completely and then cut into about 16 pieces. Enjoy!  



 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Caramel Cupcakes

These cupcakes are caramel flavoured, filled with a caramel sauce and topped with caramel buttercream and drizzle. Perfect if you have a sweet tooth! I used my basic cake recipe and replaced caster sugar with muscovado sugar to give it that caramel taste. I had some tinned carnation caramel in my cupboard that needed using, however if I made these again I would definitely make my own sauce (using condensed milk - see my millionaires shortbread recipe!) as I wasn't a fan of the tinned stuff! However it was brilliant for flavouring the buttercream - probably the best buttercream I've had! 


Recipe (Makes 7 cupcakes)
2 eggs
4 ounces (113g) margarine/butter
4 ounces (113g) muscovado or light brown sugar
4 ounces (113g) self raising flour
About 50g caramel sauce for filling

Icing 
330g icing sugar
130g margarine
2 tablespoons milk
30g tinned caramel and caramel sauce


Firstly, heat the oven to 160 degrees. Whisk together the margarine and sugar until fluffy.



Then add eggs and whisk again.
 

 Fold in the flour



Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes (until they spring back when touched and a skewer inserted into the cupcake comes out clean)
 

They come out all golden and delicious :D
 

Dig out the middle of the cupcake using a cupcake corer or a spoon, and fill with a teaspoon of caramel.
 
 

To make the icing, whisk together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the milk, and then the caramel. You can use more or less caramel depending on how much flavour you like. You can then use an piping bag and a star tip to pipe it on to the icing, or simply spread it on.

Drizzle with any leftover caramel, and enjoy!



Liddie xx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Chocolate Fondant

Chocolate fondant, chocolate lava cake, whatever you call them, they're amazing! A gooey chocolate dessert that you can prepare ahead of time and perfect for guests, or for a weekend treat. I used a recipe from BBC Good Food, although slightly adapted it. The cooking time is a bit difficult to get right - Mary Berry wouldn't approve of mine! They aren't gooey enough like typical chocolate fondants, but you might decide you prefer them a little less gooey like we did!


Recipe (makes 4 ramekins)
  • 25g melted butter, for brushing
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 100g butter, in small pieces
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g plain flour 
 Firstly, grease your ramekins with some butter and put in the fridge for 5 minutes to chill. Take them out and grease again (you don't want them to stick!). Put in a tablespoon of cocoa and swirl the ramekin around until the cocoa coats it entirely. I tip the leftover cocoa into the next ramekin, and so on. 


  
Melt the butter and chocolate together. I did this in the microwave, but you can do this in a saucepan too. Make sure you keep an eye on it in the microwave, and stir at regular intervals otherwise it will burn.



In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together with the sugar until thick and pale. I used an electric whisk to make life easier! Then fold in the flour. 




When the flour is folded in completely, stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Pour into the ramekins. 



 Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You could even make them the night before and chill overnight until you need to bake them. To bake, preheat oven to 180 degrees and cook for 10-12 minutes. The tops should be baked and they will be coming away from the sides of the ramekins. You may need to give them a bit longer, just make sure to keep an eye on them. When they come out of the oven, put a knife around the outside to ease them out, and then tip out onto a plate. 


Liddie x

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake


When I remembered it was my boyfriends 23rd birthday coming up, I knew there was only one cake I was going to make him. He's never been a massive fan of icing (which  is difficult because I love working with buttercream!) but he absolutely loves anything to do with chocolate. And he loves the rich, dark chocolate. I had seen a recipe on BBC Good Food that I had been meaning to test out for ages, and I knew I had to use it. It turned out amazingly - so rich and moist, and the ganache just finished it off perfectly. I adapted the ganache recipe to my own recipe which is just a basic chocolate to cream ratio. I then adapted the cake into a 'truffle' cake, surrounded by a chocolate cage (my first try!) and topped it with truffles and white & dark chocolate ganache swirls. It was so intense, but definitely one of the best cakes I've made. If you want to have a go at making it, keep reading for a recipe and my instructions! :)

Recipe
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate
Ganache
  • 200g dark chocolate (or milk if you don't want it to be as rich).
  • 200ml double cream.

Firstly, prepare your cake tin and preheat your oven to 160 c (140 if you have a fan oven). Put the butter, chocolate and coffee granules mixed in with 125ml cold water into a microwavable bowl or a saucepan. Heat until melted. 





Next, mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Beat together eggs into a bowl or cup and stir in the buttermilk. Add both the buttermilk mixture and the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold it in gently so you don't knock out the air. 






 Put this in the oven for 1 hour and 25-30 minutes. Although keep an eye on it, because mine took less than that. After its cooled, split it into two (unless you baked it in two tins). I got a bit too confident and tried to cut it into three, and the whole top cracked into pieces - as you can see! It's not a strong cake because it's so moist, but because you cover it with ganache it doesn't matter too much if it cracks/breaks. After it came out of the oven, I whipped up some double cream to go in the middle.



 To make the ganache, I heated up cream in a saucepan until it was just boiling. Have your chocolate ready in a separate bowl and pour the heated cream onto it. Leave it alone for a few minutes, and then begin to stir it together. It will look as though it's not coming together, but bare with it - as you can see from my photos it does start to look like ganache eventually! 







It makes quite a lucious thick ganache so I poured it straight on and spread it on, but you can pop it in the fridge for it to thicken if yours is a bit runny. 
 

This was my first time making a chocolate cage. They say to avoid white chocolate because its temperamental but mine worked just fine! My boyfriend chose the white cage.. dark may have been better :P 
To make the cage, measure out some greaseproof so it fits around your cake and make it the height you want it. Melt some chocolate -I used about 100g for my cage. Pop it into a piping bag and pipe any design you like. Now you have to watch it - you don't want it to set completely so it cracks but you want it to start setting so that it loses its shine but can still bend. Wrap it around the cake and make sure you get it into the right position - it will smear if you move it! Pop it into the fridge until it sets. 
 

 Voila! Decorate it however you like. I made truffles to go on the top. To do this, use any extra ganache (or make more) and let it set in the fridge. Roll it into balls of your desired size, and dip into cocoa, sprinkles or melted chocolate. I then swirled extra ganache on top -both dark and white chocolate. May be a chocolate overload to some but to us it was amazing!




Liddie x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Millionaires Shortbread

Millionaires shortbread have always been one of my favourite treats. Gooey caramel sandwiched between thick chocolate and tasty shortbread, who could not love them? I'll admit that I have not tried and tested many millionaires shortbread recipes, but this recipe has never failed me and they taste amazing, like they are straight from a bakery. So I've never felt the need to try another! This recipe was originally by Nigella Lawson, it's so good and worth a try! 



Recipe


Shortbread
225 g. plain flour
75 g. caster sugar
175g. unsalted butter

Caramel 
200g unsalted butter
379g. can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons golden syrup

Topping - 300 g. plain chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Mix the flour and sugar together and then rub in the butter (or use a stand mixer if you have one - those things are a god send for recipes like this!). The dough will come together and be quite crumbly, but don't worry, press it into a tin (I used an 8x8 square tin) and prick with a fork. Cook for 5 minutes and then turn the oven down to 150 C and cook for 30-40 minutes until a very pale golden brown. 




While the shortbread is cooking, you could make a start on the caramel. Melt the butter and then add the condensed milk and golden syrup. You can either do this in the microwave, keeping an eye on it and mixing every 30 seconds or so, or do it in the saucepan. Surprisingly (I usually prefer microwaves) I do this in a saucepan, because I find it easier to constantly stir it.  DO NOT leave it, I thought it would be a good idea to tidy a few bits up for about 10 seconds and when I came back I had burnt a bit of it! So be very careful. If you watch it you shouldn't go wrong. It takes about 10 minutes to thicken up and turn a lovely golden caramel colour, so when it gets to that stage take it off the heat and pour on to the shortbread. Leave this to cool until it sets. 



Once the caramel has set, melt the chocolate and pour it over, tilting the tin so it covers it nice and evenly. Leave to set completely and then cut into about 16 pieces. Enjoy!  



 
 

Pink Sugar Goodies Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design