Category Archives: dessert

Banoffee Cupcakes

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And with this recipe, I declare myself done with baking for at least a month! Not sure if it’s just the food blog thing, but I really felt an obligation to celebrate Cupcake Week to the full. Funny how this feeling doesn’t include all food holidays. This week is Welsh Food Appreciation Week. Hmmmm….I think I’ll pass on the Laver Bread and Cockles. Bleh…..

I first tasted Banoffee Pie when my friend Sara made it many years ago. Her father was living and studying in London and when he came home to visit, he brought home tales of this very British dessert. Fast forward five years, now I live in the UK and it is everywhere! If you have never heard of it, banoffee pie is a graham cracker (digestive biscuit) crust, topped with toffee sauce, freshly sliced bananas and whipped cream. Some drizzle chocolate on top, some don’t. It is rich and gooey and fresh all at the same time.

While I love the pie, this recipe takes the cake! (pun intended)

banoffee cupcakes

Banoffee Cupcakes

Ingredients:

sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup bananas, mashed

1/4 cup milk

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

freshly whipped cream, shaved chocolate and sliced banana* to garnish

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F (175*C). Line a muffin tin with baking papers.

2. Pour the condensed milk into a small oven proof dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a casserole dish of water. Bake in the oven for about 2 hours, or until it turns light brown and thick (dulce de leche).

3. Meanwhile, make the cupcake batter. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and milk, stirring until combined.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add to the butter and sugar mix, stirring until completely mixed.

5. Spoon into baking papers and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

6. Once cool, cut a cone into each cake, filling with the dulce de leche. Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate and bananas.

*Note: Bananas oxidize when cut; to prevent browning, squeeze some lemon juice on top.*

Recipe adapted from: http://www.squidoo.com/banana-cupcake-recipe

Apple Pie Cupcakes

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So, I have a confession to make.  I am addicted to cooking shows.  Like, bad!  They are great because, I always feel inspired to try new things, but bad because inspiration usually strikes late at night.

Ah, well.

Sidenote–why are competive cooking shows so dramatic?! I get that it is stressful, but they seem to take it a bit overboard.

On Food Network, they have just added the new show Cupcake Wars to the line-up.  Love this show!  It’s just amazing the diversity that one can achieve in such a little cake.  Filling them has taken this form of baking to a whole new level for me. *sigh*  My ass will never be the same.  😛

I looked around for a recipe for apple pie cupcakes, but in the end decided to just mash together my own.  The cake is an adaptation of a pecan pie cake that I found in a Southern Living cookbook; but instead of pecans, I used walnuts.

My vision was to make a cinnamon buttercream, but I ran out of cinnamon ( 😦 ) so, I just used a vanilla buttercream and drizzled some caramel sauce over the top.  This made the cupcake very sweet.  I love it that way, but if it is too much for your palate, consider using freshly whipped cream on top.

apple pie cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 batch of walnut cupcakes (recipe follows)

1 batch of caramel apple filling, reserving some of the caramel for garnish (recipe follows)

1 batch of vanilla buttercream frosting

Method:

1. Once cupcakes are cool, make a well in each cake by cutting a cone into the top, then removing the narrow point.

2. Fill each cake with a spoonful of apple pie filling.

3. Frost with the buttercream and drizzle a little caramel on the top.

Walnut Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup milk

1 cup walnut pieces

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F (160*C).  Line a muffin tin with baking papers.

2. Cream together butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until blended.  Stir in the vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda. Sift into the wet ingredients.

4. Add the milk, stirring just enough to incorporate into the batter.

5. Fold in the walnuts.

6. Spoon into baking papers and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Caramel Apple Filling

Ingredients:

3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped very small

1 tbsp butter

4 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.

2. Add the apples and cook until starting to soften, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and cinnamon.

4.  Stirring every few minutes, cook until the caramel sauce reduces and becomes thick.

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream Frosting

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And, round two of National Cupcake Week bake-off!!

Generally speaking, I tend to make the same kind of cake over and over again.  So, in honor of this most prestigious of holidays, I was on the hunt to branch out and try something just a bit different.  And, purely by chance, I came across the Cupcake Bakeshop.  It was almost a religious moment for me!  😛

So many new and different combinations of cakes to try!  Yum!

The one that screamed out to me first to try was this one.  I love chocolate and mint together! And, per this genius woman’s suggestion, I ousted the ganache filling; so they were actually very easy to make.

Saying that, though, I doubt I will use this cake recipe again.  8 eggs is a bit over the top…

Then again, you could almost call these nutritious!  Antioxidants from the dark chocolate and crazy amounts of protein and iron from the eggs.  😀

Definitely, though, the mint buttercream is worth another go.  It’s a very mild flavor, as it doesn’t call for too much peppermint extract.  What it does add is a really nice cool after feeling in your mouth.

Very yum!

choc cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

200g bar of high quality dark chocolate (I used 70%), chopped into small pieces

1 1/2 cups butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

8 eggs

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C). Line a muffin tin with baking cups or grease and flour.

2. Using a ghetto double boiler method,  place the chocolate pieces and butter in a bowl over simmering water.  Stir until everything has melted.  Remove from heat, add the sugar and let cool for ten minutes.

3. Beat the mixture for three minutes.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring for a good 30 seconds in between.

5. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Sift into the wet ingredients, stirring constantly.

6. Spoon into baking cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Mint Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

4-5 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)

1/4 cup milk

1/8 to 1/4 tsp peppermint extract, depending on taste

green food coloring (optional)

Method:

1. Combine the butter and powdered sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer.

2. Add the milk, peppermint extract and enough food coloring to get a light green tint.

3. Frosting should be smooth and spreadable, yet still “peak”.  Adjust by adding extra powdered sugar if too runny or adding milk if too stiff.

4. Pipe onto cool cupcakes and decorate with an edible silver bead.

Recipe taken from: http://cupcakeblog.com/?p=44

Aren’t they pretty?!

cupcake week!!

Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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It’s National Cupcake Week here in the UK!!!!  So, of course, I’ve been celebrating.  Last night, I had a couple of my gal pals over to help bake some cakes.  Nikki (or Mikki, if you ask Myles :P) was kind enough to teach me how to pipe icing onto these cakes, as my decorating skills are rather depressing.  And Stacie….well, she just came to eat some cake!  😀

I first made these lemon curd cupcakes when I was in labor with Spencer.  I had a home birth-best decision EVER!- so, I had plenty of time at home to waste whilst the contractions did their work.  Of course, I couldn’t eat any while everything was going on, but the midwives, my husband and I all had a cake in Spencer’s honor after he was born.  It was kinda like his first ever birth day cake.

So, these cakes are very dear to my heart.  I hope that you enjoy them.     🙂

lemon curd filled cupcakes

Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

1 batch of white cupcakes (recipe follows)

lemon curd

1 batch of vanilla buttercream (recipe follows)

sugarpaste flowers to decorate (optional)

Method:

1. Once the cupcakes are cool, make a well in the middle by cutting a cone into the top (wide base on the top) using a sharp knife.  Taking the cone, cut off the narrow bit, reserving the cake top.

2. Fill the well with lemon curd and replace the cake top.

3. Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cake and finish with a small flower.

 

Simple White Cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup of sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F (160*C). Line a muffin tin with baking cups or grease and flour.

2. Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until mixed.

3. Stir in the dry ingredients.

4. Add the milk and stir until well mixed.

5. Spoon batter into each baking cup til they are 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 to 2 tbsp milk

Method:

1. In a small electric mixer, combine the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. This will be dry and crumbly.

2. Add the milk, a tbsp at a time until the frosting is smooth and spreadable, yet still “peaks”.  If too thin, add powdered sugar; if to thick add milk.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Literally the king of all cookies!  My little men had a slumber party with their BFFs over the weekend, so Myles and I made cookies for the event!  It was probably the calmest part of my day, as juggling four little ones single-handed was (unsurprisingly) loud and stressful.

The thing with baking during the day, though, is that it can’t tie me to the oven for too long.  My three month old won’t allow it! 😉

So, instead of making the entire batch into cookies, I made half into mini cookie muffins.  They don’t really rise in the middle, but you could just add some nice buttercream frosting in the hole, a la Millie’s Cookies and no one would ever know!

Though the recipe calls for chocolate chips, I just chopped up a large bar of plain baking chocolate instead. It added a more rustic look to the cookies, which I really liked.

chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate, chopped into tiny chunks

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 375*F (190*C).

2. Cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly incorporate into the wet ingredients.

4. Once the dough is formed, add the chocolate chunks.

5. In an ungreased muffin tin, fill the individual cups half way.  Or drop dough by the Tbsp onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Space each cookie at least 2 inches apart.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they are light brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted fromhttp://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-cookies/088ce72b-53b0-470b-8919-8e0a03a693cc

 

Crepes with Bananas and Chocolate Sauce

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Nom, nom, nom!!!

While I much prefer American pancakes, crepes (or English pancakes) are nice for a dessert every once in awhile.  And since they only take five ingredients, they are very cupboard friendly!  If the banana/chocolate combo doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to fill them with any fresh fruit that you want!

Crepes

Crepes with Bananas and chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 banana, sliced

chocolate sauce

Method:

1. Place a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

2. Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Make a well in the middle and add the milk and egg.  Whisk until no lumps remain.

4. Lightly oil pan, then add a dollop of batter to the pan, tilting it back and forth until thin and complete (no holes).

5. Cook on both sides for about two minutes until light brown.

6. Transfer to a plate and fill with bananas. Roll and top with more bananas and chocolate sauce.

Recipe from: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/1249/claire-s-cr-pes.aspx

 

 

Nutella Brownie Bites

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😀

Found this recipe yesterday and had to make them that night.  Ooh!!! And they are just as good as they sound!

Yum.

nutella brownies

Nutella Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

2 Tbsp chocolate syrup

1/2 cup Nutella

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla

5 Tbsp flour

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F (160* C).

2. Combine butter, chocolate syrup and Nutella in a medium bowl. Stir until well mixed.

3. Add the egg and the vanilla; mix.

4. One Tbsp at a time, incorporate the flour.

5. Pour batter into individual cups of a  lightly greased muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

Recipe from the fabulous: http://onehungrymama.com/2011/02/nutella-brownies-brownie-bites-nutella-hot-chocolate/