Friday, 21 November 2014

#5 Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

I've used quite a few chocolate cupcake recipes before, but there has always been something that didn't sit well. My criteria for a chocolate cupcake calls for a cake that actually tastes like chocolate, not just a hint of cocoa. I also wanted a cake that wasn't too heavy, one that I could use with a wide variety of frostings and fillings. Surprise, surprise I found what I was looking for on Sally's Baking Addiction. I haven't come across a recipe of Sally's that I don't adore....... and so I got the recipe for the frosting from her as well.

The batter has cocoa as well as a small amount of chocolate which is melted with the butter, which is something often done in brownie mixtures. However this cake is not like a brownie. It is light, yet rich and full of chocolate flavour. The batter is like pudding, making it super easy to put into your cupcake tray with a cookie scoop (my favourite part!).

And the frosting..... oh my. It may look like a simple buttercream, but the white chocolate flavour is perfect. It's pretty much just a vanilla buttercream with melted (and cooled) white chocolate added. I made sure to beat the butter (room temp!) for a good few minutes before adding any sugar and the end product was so soft, but perfect for piping with my Wilton 1M. I've made white chocolate frostings before, and to be honest they just tasted like butter. I highly recommend Sally's recipe and the combo with the cupcake is perfection!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

#4 Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I've made a couple of red velvet recipes recently, but I wasn't getting the texture and flavour I wanted.   But then I came across this one by Brown Eyed Baker and I was so happy with it that I had to make a blog post! Of course I paired it with cream cheese frosting - didn't even have to think twice about that one.

Typical of the red velvet cake, the batter includes buttermilk, vinegar and baking soda (yes you will get some exciting fizzling when the vinegar and baking soda react, yay!). Its hard to describe what is so appealing about red velvet. The cocoa only adds a very subtle flavour, but I think its the light but crumby texture of the cake that makes it so enticing - oh and the vibrant red colour!

In the past I've made a few cream cheese frostings, but never one with a thick consistency for piping. As I said, I didn't follow a recipe, but I used a touch more cream cheese than butter, just to ensure the frosting tasted how it sounded. Of course I also added icing sugar, vanilla and a touch of cream. The Wilton 1M gave me these beautiful swirls and although many of them were lop-sided, I can say that my piping abilities are much better than they were a year ago!

Friday, 7 November 2014

#3 Strawberry Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

I started this one backwards. I'd pretty much like to eat nutella with everything or simply out of the jar, so I decided to make some nutella frosting (a little more civilised?). So I went searching for a cupcake recipe that I thought I could pair it with, and I chose Cooking Classy's Strawberry Cupcakes. For the first time I created my own frosting recipe which wasn't as hard as I thought and turned out pretty delicious!

The recipe called for both strawberry puree and diced strawberries which gives you this awesome pink batter and a slightly pink cupcake. I highly recommend using good quality strawberries. I regrettably used strawberries that didn't have a lot of flavour and found that although the flavour was there it could have been greatly improved if the quality of strawberries was there. The batter was light and the cupcake in general was a great compliment to the smooth nutella frosting. 

I used a large round tip for frosting, and although the icing wasn't incredibly thick, the swirls held their shape. Although I've always known that having your butter room temperature (not cold or melted) makes a huge difference in buttercreams and other baking, I've never had the patience to get my butter out in time to allow it to soften. But lately Ive been allowing my butter to sit out of the fridge for a good while before hand and I've noticed a huge improvement in the consistency of my frostings.

All I wanted for the frosting was for it to actually taste like nutella and not just a basic vanilla buttercream. Most recipes I've seen on the internet use more butter than nutella, so I decided to make my own and surprised myself how with how well it turned out! I tasted like, putting it simply, whipped nutella (if such a thing existed)!

Nutella Frosting Recipe:
- Makes enough for 18-20 cupcakes

  • 155g butter, room temperature
  • 175g nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup icing sugar

  • Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until pale and smooth
  • Add nutella and vanilla, and mix to combine for a further minute
  • Add icing sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, mixing at a low speed after each addition
  • Mix for a further couple of minutes on high speed, scraping down the sides of your bowl if needed
  • Ice your cupcakes once cooled

Friday, 31 October 2014

#2 Giant Cinnamon Scroll

My sister and I have a shameful weakness for the Donut King cinnamon scrolls, so once I saw this giant one on Sally's blog I had to give it a go. I haven't had a huge amount of experience with doughs and half expected mine to be tough and heavy. But no, this was so light and sweet! So dangerously light in fact that I accidentally ate two pieces without even blinking.

The dough needs two rising periods, so it took me a total of 2.5 hours to make, but it was so worth it and in my opinion was better than the ones at DK. I used one 7g sachet of Tandaco dry yeast (found at coles and woolworths) and it rose beautifully. I used a 9 inch (23cm) springform cake tin and during cooking covered it with foil after about 10 minutes.

The glaze was simply icing sugar, milk and vanilla (I omitted the maple syrup to keep it as a standard vanilla flavour) and it poured it on the scroll while it was still warm because unlike other cakes, this is at its best when it has just come out of the oven.

I've already had requests to make this again for breakfast and honestly I don't think I have the willpower strong enough to say no!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

#1 Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

After avidly following my fair share of food blogs, I thought I would create one of my own. Any time I can avoid studying and whip up something in the kitchen I seize the moment. I found the recipe for these delicious apple spice cupcakes on Sally's Baking Addiction along with the salted caramel frosting. Normally I gravitate towards the chocolate upon chocolate option, but testing new recipes is always fun, and the sound of apple and caramel was very tempting. 

The batter is so simple, but the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg and diced apple creates a brilliant combo, and the end product was so light. I may be late to the game, but for one of the first times I used an ice cream/cookie scoop when placing the batter into the patty pans and WOW it makes the job ten times easier, and all my cupcakes were the same size! I do regret not taking a photo of what the cake looks like on the inside (blog fail #1).

The frosting was a new venture for me away from simple butter creams and ganache and it had me making a caramel on the stove which proved easier than I thought. I'm still looking into larger piping tips for that classic cupcake frosting swirl (Wilton 1M has my eye at the moment), so my Wilton #32 had to do. I tried piping the icing while still warm- that produced cupcake fails 1-3, but after about 10 minutes in the freezer swirls held perfectly. 

Nearly everyone who ate these ones commented that the cake itself didn't even need icing, and a little icing went a long way. As usual, Sally's recipe didn't fail to deliver and I will be surely making these ones again!