Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baby Chocolate Mud Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

When I saw that this month’s blog hop was Love at First Bite
I thought long and hard about what to make. What do I really 
love in baking terms; baby baked goodies, cupcakes, chocolate
and salted caramel. So there was my answer staring right back
at me; Baby Chocolate Mud Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.  

I wasn't sure if I was going to make this months hop as this last 
week has been full of ups and downs in our house. I had to make 
the frosting twice as my first batch didn't turn out to great (butter soup). 
Oh well. The second batch turned out better, although I still wasn't entirely 
happy with the result. I'll have to try it again. Regardless of the 
difficulties they taste indulgently delicious and as of this moment only
5 out of 36 remain. My family has gobbled up the rest. 

Baby Chocolate Mud Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting 
Makes 36 baby cupcakes. 
(Cupcake recipe from; Women's Weekly - Cupcakes,cheesecake,cookies)
(Frosting recipe adapted from; Best friends for frosting - Salted caramel frosting)

60g dark eating chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup of water (160ml)
90g butter,softened
1 cup (220g) brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2/3 cup (100g) Self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
1/3 cup (40g) Almond meal 

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. 
Line baby cupcake tray with muffin pans. 
In a saucepan, combine chocolate and water. Over low heat
stir until melted and smooth. Set aside. Beat together butter,
sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted flour, cocoa and
almond meal along with warm chocolate mixture. Divide among
muffin pans filling 3/4 full. Smooth surface with the back of a teaspoon. 
Bake for 25 mins. Cool on a rack. Tip** Make sure your oven 
temperature doesn't fall when you put in your cupcakes otherwise 
you will end up with flat muffin tops. A oven thermometer is handy
for this. 

3/4 cup caster sugar
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, slightly softened
3 cups icing sugar

Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in colour, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. (Be careful, mixture will bubble up and possibly splatter a bit as you add in the cream).  Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes. If it turns hard or into a sticky consistency, place back onto low heat for a minute and add a few drops of water water. 
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (Make sure butter is not sloppy soft other wise when you add in the caramel it will turn into butter soup.) Reduce speed to low, add icing sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
On a low setting mix in caramel by slowly pouring it in. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.  ( My mixture did not turn fluffy. I had to refridgerate and then mix again before it resembled anything like spreadable, pipe-able frosting.) Refrigerate if not using immediately or refrigerate to harden the frosting a bit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Afternoon Tea Tuesday: Teacup candles

I love teacups and candles. So put them together to get teacup candles
and its the next best thing since sliced bread...well, in my mind. 

These beautiful candles are from the Etsy shop, The Pink Fence
The collection of 36 soy wax candles are exquisite and dainty with each
one unique as you can pick your own fragrance. The Pink Fence also 
makes perfumed lockets and jewellery. I especially love how the candle
colour compliments the design. I'm just having trouble picking which one
I want to add to my growing collection. I don't think I'll be able to stop
at just one. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine themed baked goodies

Heart macaroons

Image via: Pinterest - Bubble and Sweet

I'm one of those people who thinks Valentines day is an over
commercialised marketing ploy resulting in; expensive red roses 
and awkward candlelight dinners. But I have a confession...........
I love all the beautiful valentine themed baked treats that pop up
in February. Love them. I've been gawking at all the valentine post in the 
blogsphere / pinterest and trying to determine what to bake for the next 
Sweet Adventures blog hop - Love at first bite. I'm so excited and have 
been planning and brainstorming madly. Fingers crossed my idea works
out to how I imagine it to look. 

Happy Valentines Day. 

Afternoon Tea Tuesdays: Butter cream roses

honeyed Italian meringue buttercream

Image via: Pinterest

One thing I really would like to learn how to make is butter cream roses. 
I think they are so beautiful how they suddenly appear after a few delicately
piped layers of frosting. I love smaller roses on baby cupcakes. 

This tutorial video from CHOW makes it look easy and quite possible to attempt.
I'm determined to give it a go sometime soon. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Classic Bakes: Honey Drop Cookies

This past week has been so busy with work its flown by in no time.
I managed to quickly whip up a small batch of Honey Drop cookies.

These cookies are so easy to make and bake in around 20mins from 
prep to finish. This batch of cookies I used creamed lemon myrtle honey. 
It made them divine. 

Honey Drop Cookies
(Recipe adapted from; Frankie Mag - Afternoon Tea)
Makes 12 - 16 cookies 

3 tablespoons of honey (if creamed use 2)
1 tablespoon of sugar 
50g butter unsalted
1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt 
1/2 teaspoon of; cinnamon or ginger or mixed spice 
(take your pick; I love mixed spice) 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with grease
proof paper. In a saucepan combine; honey sugar and butter over low
heat until melted. Remove from heat.

Sift dry ingredients into the honey mix and stir till thoroughly combined. 
Drop one teaspoon of mixture onto the papered tray. Leave a 5cm
gap between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake for 10 mins but 
keep a close eye as they burn very easily due to high sugar content. 
Store in airtight container. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Afternoon Tea Tuesdays: Teacup 3 tier stand

Alice Finds an Orange Rose, Vintage China Jewelry Stand Display in 3 Black Japanese Tiers -- FREE SHIPPING

I spotted this beautiful jewellery stands from  High Tea for Alice  on Etsy. 
I think they would still be great for a high tea stand as you could place
long thin biscuits in the tea cup. Her entire collection is gorgeous.
Hard part is choosing just one. 

I know this post is not actually posted on Tuesday.
I ran out of time during the day. Sorry. 

(Photos: High Tea for Alice)

Alice Eats a Peach, Floral Vintage China Cake Stand Pedestal in 2 Tiers for Cupcakes, High Tea, Birthday, Shower or Wedding Candy Bar