Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes

So it is Mat's second week at his new job, and he loves it - yay! So since his new work is treating him well I thought they deserved another batch of cupcakes. This time it was a recipe that I have been meaning to try for some time because I found the method quite interesting. The end result was really good, the cake has a nice soft crumb, isn't too sweet and has a nice subtle lemon flavour. And how can you ever go wrong with cream cheese frosting?

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (from Better Homes and Gardens - Christmas 2007)
Makes 17 cupcakes

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
1 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup almond meal
160ml cream
100g unsalted butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon

For the frosting:
80g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted (I used 4 cups so that it was nice and stiff)
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
125g cream cheese, softened (I used 250g)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line 2 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases.
  2. Put the eggs, sugar, salt and lemon rind in a medium mixing bowl, and using the whisk attachment on our electric mixer for 3 minutes or until light in colour. Sift in the flour and baking powder with the almond meal and cream. Whisk until well combined. Add melted butter and lemon juice and whisk again.
  3. Spoon mixture into cupcake cases and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. To make the frosting: beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth, slowly add the icing sugar beating continually, finally add the lemon juice and rind and beat until smooth.

Monday, February 22, 2010

20 Sweets in 20 Weeks!

Time for a new project on The Red Deer and this time I thought why limit yourself to just one type of baked good when there is so many different recipes out there? So I present to you 20 Sweets in 20 Weeks. Each week I will pick a different type of sweet food and I will give you, the readers, 3 different recipes to vote on. I will then post that recipe the following week, along with my rating.

So for the first type of sweet, my absolute favourite...

Photo by chernwei


and your choices are...

Classic New York Cheesecake
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

Voting will be opening shortly.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cake Slice - Mississipi Mud Cake (or cupcakes)

The Cake Slice Bakers have struck again! This time the monthly recipe was Mississipi Mudcake from the book Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I wanted to make something that was easy for Mat to take along to his first day at his new job, so I decided to make cupcakes instead of one big cake. As you can see that had some interesting effects on the marshmallow topping. In fact most of the cupcakes had marshmallow oozing down the sides of the paper cases - a huge sticky, delicious mess!

The cake has a Brownie like texture, not muddy like I expected - but it still tasted great. I loved having sweet fluffy melty marshmallows on the top, but that frosting was a bit too sweet for me - and that is saying something, I have a major sweet tooth!

Mississipi Mud Cake (from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
Makes 17 cupcakes

250g unsalted butter
½ cup cocoa powder
4 eggs, beaten well
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups caster sugar
1½ cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I omitted these)

For the Frosting: (I would halve the amount next time)
3 1/4 cups icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
125g unsalted butter, melted
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups mini marshmallows (I used one packet of large marshmallows)
  1. Heat the oven to 180C. Line 2 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases. In a medium saucepan combine the butter and cocoa powder and cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the butter is melted and the mixture is well blended, about 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in the beaten eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt and pecans and beat until the batter is well combined and the flour has disappeared.
  2. Quickly pour the batter into the prepared muffin trays and bake for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched gently in the center.
  3. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the frosting so it is ready to pour over the hot cupcakes. (I wouldn't do this until the cupcakes are ready, as the frosting goes hard very quickly!)
  4. In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and stir to mix well. Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla and beat everything together well. Set aside until the cake is done.
  5. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, scatter the marshmallows over the top and then return the cupcakes to the hot oven for about 2 minutes to soften the marshmallows. (I did mine for a bit too long and they melted too much - so keep an eye on them!)
  6. Place the cupcakes on a wire rack. Pour the frosting all over the marshmallows and eat right away or allow to cool to room temperature.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

Yes I know I have been extremely slack lately - I just can't seem to get myself organised! I promise I will get it together soon though, cross my heart.

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day - I had a lovely sleep in and awoke to all the dishes been done from the dinner party the night before, and then later in the day a lovely bunch of flowers from Mat. What a sweetie my husband is :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pineapple and Carrot Muffins

Okay so here is the thing. I am a little overweight and it is really starting to annoy me. So baking cupcakes and topping them with swiss meringue buttercream all the time is definitely not helping my waist line. So I think some changes might be afoot for this little blog of mine. A bit less super indulgent baked goodies and a few more "healthier" treats methinks. Hopefully everyone is okay with that!

So to start off this new trend, may I present to you, shock-horror..... a muffin recipe!

Pineapple and Carrot Muffins (from New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel)
Makes about 13 muffins

100g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
175ml vegetable oil
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g grated carrots
225g tin crushed pineapple, drained
100g raisins (I used sultanas)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 12-hole muffin trays with paper cases.
  2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well.
  3. Beat the oil, sugar and eggs together until well blended. Add the grated carrots, pineapple and raisins.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just enough to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Spoon the batter into muffin trays and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.



Me - 5/5 - not too sweet and packed full of yummy fruit
Zoe - 5/5 - everytime I get one for her there is a big 'oooooohhhh' :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Back!

Well my friends I have been gone for a very, very long time and for that I sincerely apologise. Life got very busy there for a while, we had my sister and father come to stay with us for a while, Christmas came and went, New Years Eve went off with a bang and Zoe and I have been very busy little beavers!

So let me catch you up on what we have been doing for the past month and a bit...

First of all there was Christmas. Santa left Zoe a lovely set of 150 blocks (I bet he didn't realise that I was going to probably enjoy them more than she did)...

We had our first trip to the beach together as a family...

Zoe absolutely loved the ocean, I don't think I have ever seen her so happy before...

Zoe finally mastered walking, there is no stopping her now...

We had our first trip to the zoo, and saw a lovely big giraffe...

Auntie Emma made sure that Zoe could see all of the good stuff...

Aunty Emma and Zoe had lots of cuddles, laughs and kisses together...

Pop spent lots of time with Zoe at the park, helping her out on the slide...

And having cuddles on the grass...

Zoe created her first crayon masterpiece...

Zoe spent a lot of time outside playing with water during the hot spells...

Zoe created her first chalk on concrete masterpiece (with the help of mummy)...

So we have had a lot of fun during my little blog break, but it is time to get back into it. I will post my first recipe for the year tomorrow night. Until then...

Thanks for sticking around - from Zoe and me :)