Archives

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes

So… tomorrow is Fathers day in the UK. Bakers at the ready. I have memories of todays recipe, from childhood. I can remember the taste and having this before. A longterm friend of Mum must be the culprit baker. Regardless of how odd it may be it does work, genuinely. The recipe comes from deep within the pages of ‘how to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson. Not sure if this constitutes becoming a domestic goddess – loading guests/friends/kids and the unannounced with the biggest sugar rush they will ever get from a cake – but okay!

For those that are new to such a concoction I introduce to you;

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes
yields 18 standard size cupcakes

20120616-231334.jpg

I would recommend any baker looking for a seriously moist but not at all oily cupcake to give this a try. The chocolate flavour is barely there, I struggle with calling this chocolate at all infact but I know it’s in there, I put it there. It’s subtle caramel undertones expected from coke, not much sweetness – considering what your adding to the cake you expect it to be very sickly sweet. I’ve topped mine today with a Coca-Cola buttercream and a cola syrup. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

You will need;
A large mixing bowl
A measuring jug
A heavy bottom pan
A sieve
Weighing scales
A wooden spoon
A metal spoon
Cupcake tin
18 paper cases
200g plain flour
250g caster sugar (white or golden)
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4tsp salt
125ml buttermilk
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
125g butter (I always happen to use salted, but unsalted is fine)
2tbsp quality cocoa powder
175ml Coca-Cola

Preheat your oven to gas mark 5 (180c)
Firstly your going to sieve together the flour and bicarbonate, straight into the mixing mixing bowl. Next, add the sugar and salt. Over in your measuring jug beat the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Separately, get your pan warm on a low heat, melt the butter with cocoa powder and Coca-Cola. When this has all melted beat into the dry ingredients until smooth and velvety, do the same again with the buttermilk mixture from the jug. When all the ingredients are combined its ready to be poured into cupcake cases. I filled mine 3/4 and they came out perfect. Simply pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Decorate as desired. I experimented at this point, coming up with Coca-Cola buttercream by adding icing sugar and cola to 100g of softened butter until I reached the taste and texture I required to pipe. I also put around 100ml of cola and 40g of sugar into a pan and heated over a low heat, reducing to a thick toffee like syrup. On a few I drizzled over the buttercream (after cooled) on others I experimented further. Finding it hardened enough when swirled into water and quickly dried off to stand in the cupcake I did this on a few too.

20120616-231347.jpg

I didn’t mention my daughter was assistant baker throughout the whole bake and made the biggest mess ever of the kitchen – flour clouds, sugar rain. But after, all I heard was..
“Mummy, I’m going to lick this bowl for about an hour, while the cakes cook”. Okay.
All in a successful bake for the special daddy in our house.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Shortbread. Among one of my favourites. Everything about it is a winner in my eyes, the simplicity, handmade charm, texture, buttery taste. It’s my biscuity weakness. Having said this, I have never even attempted to make it, ever. So today, I tried. From a few days research, reading other recipes I came up with my balance. This is something I always do, instead of copying recipes from around cyber space I find a few, take the differences, balance them out, change it around a bit and make them my own. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t but I don’t like to just read, copy and bake. To me there’s nothing in that. I have no creative freedom I suppose.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

20120611-213109.jpg

You hear a lot of stories about bad shortbread, it being hard to make. Mine was fine. Am I a natural? I can hardly believe this. I also find it hard to believe its hard to make. The key is cold butter, straight from the fridge. I also hear you should never use anything other than your hands to mix and rub in the butter. Shortbread should be made with love, as deserved. With this in mind, give it a go. It is so simple, you will wish you made it sooner.

You will need;
A large bowl
Weighing scales
300g Plain flour
100g Sugar
240g Salted butter
Chocolate chips as required
Baking paper
Cake tin

Set your oven to gas mark 4 (180c). Weigh out your flour and sugar straight out into the bowl and mix together quickly with your fingers. Next weigh out your butter cutting into 1cm cubes as you go, once weighed put into the bowl with the sugar and flour. Now your going to just get right in the bowl, squish and squeeze the dry ingriedients into the butter, keep going, until you end up with a nice crumbly mixture (exactly like you would want on top of your fruit crumble) not too fine though, I like it a bit rough and ready. Add your chocolate chips evenly throughout the mix. It is as simple as that, now just pour it out into a lined baking tray and press down gently to fit the tray. Pop in the oven for 20-40 minutes depending on the depth of your shortbread. Its ready when it’s turning slightly golden on top, don’t worry if it’s a little soft to the touch, it will firm as it cools. When still warm cut with a knife and leave to cool in the tray.

20120611-213240.jpg
Enjoy with tea, perfect.

Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies

Hello friends! Welcome back me.

Firstly I cannot believe I’ve allowed myself to get sucked into not blogging since January. Oops! I made a pact with myself on the creation on this blog that I wouldn’t dwindle away, stray from blogging or just generally not blog for any time longer than 2 weeks. Yeah right, well.. I’m sorry inner conscience. People out there, take note of my perfectly named blog, for reality these last few months is the excuse for my absence. I’ve actually barely baked. I wanted to, I’ve thought up a million bakes in the depths of my mind and ill admit I’ve drooled over the bakes of many a blogger on WordPress – but that is as far as its gone. This makes me very sad! *Deep Breath* Diving in..

Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies
yields 12 cookies

20120527-171345.jpg

I really wanted to bake some form of cookies with hazelnut. I’ve always been a nut and chocolate fan. Always. I needed simple and quick as my baker in training toddler was all hands on deck to get stuck in, of course. She wanted dark chocolate, yes she’s one of those kids. I think, given a line up, she would possibly now opt for the darkest chocolate she could over it’s milk or white variant. Shame her taste buds can’t opt for the grown up stuff at mealtimes but that’s a progressing work right there – in my flipping dreams!

You will need;
A Sturdy Bowl.
A Wooden Spoon.
A Optional Toddler.
A Whacking Instrument rolling pin.
Weighing Scales.
150g Softened Butter.
120g Light Brown Sugar.
30g Dark Brown Sugar.
1 Egg.
1tsp Vanilla Extract.
300g Plain Flour.
1/2tsp Baking Powder.
100g 70% Dark Chocolate.
100g Whole Hazelnuts.
Wire Cooling Rack.
Baking Sheet.

First off, set your oven to GM5/180 Celsius. You need to start by creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, followed by the egg until fully incorporated. Next add the vanilla extract and give it a little mix. At the point you need to set the bowl aside. Now this is where the optional toddler has fun, and becomes frankly armed and dangerous. Pop your 100g bar of finest quality dark chocolate and all the hazelnuts into a sealing freezer bag, pass the rolling pin (or such whacking instrument) to the toddler and tell them to let loose. Anger management! Allow toddler, or yourself 2 minutes of fun until you have your desired chunk sizes. I had crumbs, boulders, whole nuts, half nuts, slabs of chocolate. Prize said whacking instrument out of the hands of the user and calmly put away. Enough is enough. Chuck the bags contents into the bowl of mixture along with half the flour and the baking powder. Once it’s all combined add the remaining flour until that too has become engulfed in the batter. Spoon desert spoon size dollops onto the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 mins. Leave to cool. Enjoy!

20120527-171317.jpg

Rose & Vanilla Triple Layer Cake

If you have an occasion coming up this is a amazing cake to turn up with. Today Im spending all day in the kitchen to produce a knock out cake for my daughters 3rd birthday tomorrow. I was going to do a tortoise cupcake cake, no need to slice just pull an individual cupcake from the design, ingenius. She decided against that idea but instead opted for a pink cake, typical! Although I think to myself how boring, I came up with a cake that will taste sensual and will look fun. I decided on a 3 layer cake first off! Secondly I thought about flavours, rose popped into my head straight away, I’d been waiting to use it since new year, this was my chance. Finally! So Rose, got that, but what else? How about a different flavour, I instantly thought of a vanilla layer centered in the middle of the 3 layers. Beautiful. So 3 layers consisting of rose flavoured ‘pink’ sponge on top and bottom, with a layer of vanilla sponge in the middle, but what about icing? Vanilla icing? Rose Icing? Possibly even Raspberry? I opted for a pink tinted vanilla buttercream, decoration hit me straight away. Flumps, the barratts marshmallow twists (unsure of their availability in the US or worldwide but they are definitely still avialable in the UK) they are the perfect colour to dress my cake. Topped with pink and white pearls. We should of had glitter too but it was unavailable in my supermarket much to my disappointment.

Im excited for this cake, I am sure its going to look and taste amazing. Votes in tomorrow. If you have an upcoming occasion why not come back and try this recipe. Its adapted by myself from various flavoured sponge cakes across the web, as with most of my recipes unless stated. Would make the perfect alternative wedding cake with its delicate rose flavouring and scent (I hope).

Rose & Vanilla Triple Layer Cake

20120201-005242.jpg

You will need;

Basis-
400g of unsalted butter.
400g of caster sugar (Once again I use half brown half white)
400g self rasising flour.
8 medium eggs.
2tsp of baking powder.

Vanilla sponge-
1.5tsp of high quality vanilla extract.
2tbsp of milk.

Rose sponge-
3-4tsp of rose syrup (available in the world food section of large supermarkets)
0.5-1tsp of red food colouring (depending on the depth of colour you wish to achieve)
1tbsp of milk.

Vanilla buttercream-
650g icing sugar
200g butter
.05tsp red food colouring
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp milk

Tools-
17inch cake tin with loose bottom.
Wooden spoon.
2 large bowls.
Measuring spoon.
Weighing scales.
Electric mixer.
Baking Paper.

To start, preheat oven to gas mark 4/180 celcius. Cream butter (at room temperature) and sugar together until fluffy, then your going to add 2 eggs with 100g of flour each time until incorporated into the mixture, with the last 100g of flour add the baking powder and blitz. At this point I removed 1/3 of the mixture into a separate bowl. Into the 1/3 of the mixture I added the ‘vanilla ingriedients’ as listed under vanilla sponge until incorporated. Now go back to the bowl containing the 2/3 mixture and add the ‘rose ingriedients’ as above until incorporated fully. I’m using one cake tin for this, so I’m cooking in 3 seperate batches but you dont need to do this if you have 3 of the same tin. Wet the inside of the tin slightly to help the baking paper stick neater, you want it sitting as flat to the sides and bottom as possible. Fill each with 1/3 of the mixtures and bake for 25-30 minutes (rose cake will need up to 50 minutes) until a cake tester comes out clean or when touched the sponge springs back. While the cake is baking get started on your buttercream (feel free to use the provided recipe, or your go to buttercream) all you need to do for this is mix butter and icing sugar and your chosen flavour until you form a thick paste suitable for spreading. Your going to need a lot to cover the whole cake outside and between each layer so be prepared. After each cake comes out leave to cool on a wire rack until completely cooled then remove the baking paper and place on the surface you will be using to carry the cake. It will be quite hard to move from one surface to another after iced and decorated. I want to achieve the flattest ‘stack’ with the cakes so I start with one rose top down, then vanilla top down, finally the other rose top down. With a layer of your buttercream between each. Each layer of buttercream should just overflow a little, you then need to start to cover the whole cake (there are good tutorials for this on youtube if you havent done this before), when finished decorate with whatever you wish, its entirely upto you at this stage.

20120201-205655.jpg

Update: Cake was amazing, cut beautifully and the rose was lovely and delicate. Winner all round, definitely worth a try. Just disappointed I didn’t decorate it different now, oh well, next time.

Blueberry Marshmallow Cupcakes

I think I dreamt about these last night, during the tossing and turning, added to the toddler kicking me after howling to get in our bed early morning *yawn*. To keep her entertained today we baked – together. She always loves to get involved where blueberries are concerned. I’m suprised she hasnt turned into a blueberry, the rate she gets through them. Im also suprised there were some left in the fridge to do this bake. What a suprising day! Wish I could call these muffins, but im afraid that would be baking fraud. The rise and texture isnt in keeping with a muffin although you rarely seen fruit in a cupcake. But im not going to commit a crime and call this a muffin, maybe a muffin recipe to follow in the coming weeks. To bake this yummyness, follow the steps below..

Blueberry & Marshmallow Cupcakes

20120120-154559.jpg

You will need;

A large mixing bowl.
A wooden spoon.
Weighing scales.
A toddler – optional.
12 deep muffin cases.
12 hole baking tray.
250g of salted butter.
250g of caster sugar.
220g of self raising flour.
1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract.
4 tbsp of milk.
blueberries – preferably fresh, but frozen would be fine id imagine – amount optional
mini marshmallows – amount optional
a few pinches of dark brown sugar

To start preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180 celcius. In your mixing bowl cream your butter until smooth, then beat in the sugar until fluffy and fully incorporated. Mind toddler fingers (!), if using, they like to dip and lick already. For the next stage I like to add 1 egg and 1/4 of the flour together and incorporate in batches, repeat until youve added all your eggs. After measure out your milk and vanilla and gently fold into the mixture. Add the desired amount of blueberries and marshmallow and set bowl to the side. Be quick here, if using optional toddler, they will take handfuls when your back is turned. Place each muffin case in the allocated slot for baking. Fill each one 3/4s full, allow a little space for a rise. WARNING – dont be a spoil sport, allow the toddler to get its head in the bowl and clean it for you! My daughter told me off for using all the mixture in all the cases and demanded some was put back into the bowl. Beggar! Sprinkle each cake with a pinch or 2 of dark brown sugar for a nice crunchy top and golden colour. Throw in the oven for between 30-40 minutes until risen and golden, or until cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes or so and enjoy with a nice cup of tea, I like earl grey with blueberry, lovely!

Hope youve enjoyed todays bake, I know we have. Try it, its beautiful. So beautiful infact they probably wont last very long at all, even in a household of 2 or 3. I might even suggest doubling the measurements for a household of over 4, they deserve it! Please feel free to follow, comment and share on..

Honey Chocolate Oat Cookies

Today’s bake is simple, my cupboards are lacking anything interesting as my daughters birthday is just around the corner. My budget is stretched, so my baking is stretched too! This bake is simple, even for the most unorganised, or amateur baker. Most ingredients are lingering in your cupboards, I bet you. You may have to take a trip to the back, but I’m sure every household has the required ‘staples’ here goes..

Honey & Chocolate Oat Cookies!

20120118-165128.jpg

I love the odd cookie bake, I don’t do it often. Both my partner and daughter love a good homemade cookie, the bigger the better of course, but they get what they are given. I never force a cookie to be something it doesn’t want to be. For this reason they never let me down. Plus this one is a tad healthy. Follow me..

You will need;

A sturdy bowl.
Weighing scales.
A wooden spoon (although I prefer a electric mixer for a quick bake).
Wire cooling rack.
50g of butter.
50g of sugar (I use half brown half white).
1 egg.
50g wholemeal flour.
1tsp baking powder.
80g of oats.
3tbsp of honey.
2tbsp of maple syrup.
A pinch of sea salt.
80g of smashed up 74% chocolate.

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees. Start by creaming your butter and sugars until light, add the egg, mix until incorporated. Then mix in your flour and baking powder, followed by the oats. Indulge in your honey and syrup, and add your chocolate (you can use nuts, fruit, raisins if you prefer, I would of added raisins but they don’t go down well with the cookie monsters. Huff!)
Using a dessert spoon, spoon dollops of mixture onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Make sure to leave about 5cms between each cookie to let them have space to spread their wings if they do wish, remember don’t force them! When done pop into the oven for 15 minutes, I don’t like a crunch with this cookies, they are quite soft. If you wish for a crunch cook for longer until they start to brown, although be warned they won’t be very crunchy as the recipe is rather moist. Cool on a wire rack! This recipe and quantity will yield 12 cookies.

Hope you enjoy, please, as always check back soon for more recipes. Don’t eat them all at once 😉 although we probably will. Bakes around here don’t tend to last after a few hours, if that! Happy baking x

20120118-165031.jpg

Chocolate Oil Cake w/ A Cheeky Almond Addition

Nightmare! Open fridge, no butter.. Hate it when this happens. But my baking revolves round a strict budget, so when there’s no butter, I mean there is NO BUTTER.

I want to bake, there is a way around my butter free fridge. One word, oil. It is your friend. If you want a light fluffy cake. I’m talking, it feels like you have a cloud in your mouth (yes, a cloud!).

Chocolate Oil Cake & A Cheeky Almond Addition

20120114-144218.jpg

So I have a need to bake, I’m an addict. Today is this moist, fluffy chocolate cake. I’m making into cupcakes today, and adding ground almond to half the mixture for an added something. If you want to try this recipe follow as below, it’s the perfect treat for someone that cannot have diary, and it’s a delicious treat for anyone (they won’t even notice the missing egg, or butter – I promise).

You will need;

A wooden spoon.
A large mixing bowl.
A sieve.
12 hole muffin tray.
Weighing scales.
24 cupcake cases.
250g white sugar.
230g of plain flour.
3g baking powder.
3g bicarbonate of soda.
A pinch of salt.
40g cocoa powder.
280ml of water.
150ml of vegetable oil.
2tsp quality vanilla extract.
1.5tsp distilled vinegar.
Optional 100g of ground almond (to be added to remaining mixture, after 12 cupcakes produced)

Go ahead, rev that oven up. Gas mark 4/180 Celsius is best. Get your bowl ready and sieve all the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Measure and pour in all your wet ingredients and beat (I beat by hand when not using butter, but a mixer will do the same job). Don’t worry about the consistency, this is a runny mixture. Voila cake mix done! Arrange your cupcake case into their allocated slot in the tray. Fill each cake about half to 2/3s full to allow space for the rise. Bake for around 20-25 minutes until they spring back when touched and pull out onto a wire rack to cool. I only used half the mix for 12 cupcakes so for the last batch I added around 100g of ground almond to the remaining mixture and place as before in the cupcake tray. Your can add any topping to your finished cupcake. I’m undecided yet, so I’ll leave this to use. Be adventurous and let your creative juices flow. A vanilla buttercream would work well, although the cakes will no longer be dairy free.

Happy baking! Please come back soon for more recipes. Enjoy your cakes, and always be proud of your make. It’s too easy to stroll to the shop and pick up your favourite packet mix or ready made cake.

Announcing the birth of a baking blog..

After deliberating for a few months I’ve finally taken the plunge into the world that is blogging. Really dont know where I am right now, besides my cosy South London living room. Lord, this is going to take some getting used to. I’ll annouce the birth of ‘realitybitesbaking’ today inspired by baking in the world that is reality. Running around after a 2 year old, running a house. It’s hard work, but my passion helps me out a lot. I hope you enjoy my blog, and walk through the many ups and (hopefully not so many) downs.