Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Boozy Amaretto Cupcakes

Ok, so it goes without saying that if you don't like amaretto, you won't like these cupcakes. However if, like me, you love amaretto, you have to try these!

I have to say though, the cakes themselves, whilst really lovely, moist and fluffy, weren't perfect. They rose really well, but it seemed as if the amaretto pretty much cooked out of them. Next time I might try a different recipe for the cake, because it was a bit bland, and use the same amaretto icing to see if it tastes better.

However, they still looked really cute and I chucked loads of amaretto in the icing to make up for it.

I decorated with little marzipan hearts coloured with a bit of red food colouring. It's not necessary to put pink food colouring in the icing, I just thought it looked pretty!

Anyway, here's the recipe for the cakes:

55ml Amaretto (but I tripled this and still barely a hint of amaretto!)
230g plain flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter
110ml buttermilk
170g soft brown sugar
  • Preheat overn to 180C and line a muffin tray with paper cases
  • Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and put aside
  • Beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, then beat in eggs one at a time
  • Alternate adding 1/3 of the flour and the buttermilk, followed by 1/3 more of the flour and all of the amaretto. Beat well each time. 
  • Fold in the last of the flour until smooth
  • Spoon mixture into cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.
Ingredients for the icing:
345g icing sugar
180g butter
Lashings of amaretto (recipe says 3tbsp but I poured until it tasted perfect!)
  • Beat butter and sugar then add in amaretto (and food colouring if desired) until smooth and delicious. Then pipe!


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Devil's Food Cupcakes for National Cupcake Week

As I'm sure most of you know, this week in the UK is National Cupcake Week, so I couldn't let it pass without trying a recipe I've been wanting to taste for ages, and it did not disappoint. I can't believe I waited so long to make these cupcakes, because they are, in a word, amazing. Not that I mean to blow my own trumpet, but wow, I loved this recipe so much I made them two nights in a row! But don't worry, I didn't eat them all myself...

Anyway, I'll share the recipe, which is from the Next I <3 Cupcakes book, which someone bought for me as a gift. It's actually quite a nice little book. It says it makes 18 cupcakes, but if you ask me they'd have to be quite stingy cupcakes because I only made 14 in quite small cupcake cases.

Ready for the oven!
You may (or may not) know from reading my previous posts, I'm always a bit skeptical of 'all in the bowl and beat' recipes, probably because my mum taught me to bake a lot as a child in the old wooden spoon and fold in the flour method. But I was pleasantly surprised, because these cakes did actually rise very well, in spite of my cranky old oven. I suppose you do fold in the sour cream, so maybe that traps the air in!

But alas, another failed cupcake case, as these went horribly see-through.

Anyway, here's the recipe, let me know if anyone gives it a try!

For the cakes:

50g butter
115g soft dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
115g plain flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
25g cocoa powder
125ml soured cream

  • Preheat oven to 180⁰C and line a muffin tin with cases
  • Sift flour, and beat sugar, margarine, eggs, flour, cocoa powder and bicarb of soda until just smooth
  • Fold in sour cream with a large metal spoon.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins until well risen and firm

For the icing:

125g plain chocolate
3 tbsp caster sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet you want the icing)
150ml soured cream

  • Melt chocolate, and leave to cool slightly once fully melted, then whisk in sugar and soured cream until combined. Ice each cupcakes and decorate as desired!
The see-through case :(
But oh, the yummy, yummy chocolate!

    Thursday, 1 September 2011

    A trip to Hummingbird Bakery

    My friend Luke and I took a trip to London a while back, so of course I visited a few bakeries, and I've been meaning to blog about them ever since. So lets start with the good for this post... 

    During our day, we visited Portobello Road market. While we were there, I obviously had to visit Hummingbird Bakery - I've got the cookbook, but unbelievably I've never actually been! I opted for something I've never tried before, a mango cupcake, and Luke was served the biggest slice of lemon meringue pie I've ever seen. 

    I was so glad I tried this mango cupcake. After the first bite, I thought I was going to be disappointed, as the 'mango scented frosting' wasn't really to my taste. But that aside, the sponge was light, and moist, and once I got into the middle, I discovered the most amazingly tangy and fresh mango puree. I loved this cake, it was truly yummy. And as Luke was quiet for at least five minutes (a rarity!), I can only assume his lemon meringue was delicious too.

    After I had demolished half of the cake...so gooey and yummy!
    Unfortunately I don't have the mango cupcake recipe in my Hummingbird Bakery book, but if i can get my hands on it I will definitely be giving it a go! I fully recommend it :)