Saturday, 23 April 2011

Lemon cup cakes

It is almost Easter. Because of that I baked lemon cup cakes form Rachel Allen book 'Bake" and decorated them whit shell eggs.

Ingredients for 12 cup cakes:
  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1tsp lemon extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
For decorations: eggs in a crisp shell, white chocolate, ready to use cream or butter cream

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Using electric mixer cream the butter  add sugar and lemon extract and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs. Then gently fold in the flour and baking powder. Spoon the batter into paper cases. bake for 20 min until well risen and golden. When baked cool on a wire rack.

To decorate I melt white chocolate and spread it over cupcakes.
Serving suggestion

I had  ready to use Dr. Oetker green cream too.You can also make your own butter cream from the recipe for Vanilla cupcakes

Serving suggestion
Happy Easter !!

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

This nursery rhyme refers to buns which are usually bake on Good Friday in Ireland and UK. Hot cross buns are yeast - leavened, sweet, spiced, made with raisins buns with a cross on top of them. The cross is a symbol of The Crucifixion. I haven't made traditional buns, as my blog is devoted to muffins and cup cakes. I have chosen recipe for no fuss buns from BBC Good Food which are baked in muffin tin.
As I am Polish and live for a few years in Ireland, I combine customs and I put hot cross buns into Easter basket. Traditionally in Poland, Easter baskets are prepared on Holy Saturday filled with boiled coloured eggs, slice of bread, ham, sweets and taken to a Church for blessing. This food is served for Easter breakfast, most important meal for Polish during Easter and everybody have to take a piece of blessed food. 

Ingredients for 12 buns:
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried yeast or 3g fresh one
  • handful raisins
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g marzipan
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
In a large bowl place the flour, raisins, mixed spice and add 350 ml of warm water. If you use dry yeast simply put them into flour before water. When you add fresh yeast instead of dry ones dissolve them in the water. Stir everything together, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for 3 hours. You can also place the bowl in the warm oven (no more then 50C) for 1 1/2 hour.

Before baking

Heat up the oven to 180C. Butter a 12 hole muffin tin. Sprinkle a worktop with some flour put the dough on it. The dough is a little bit sticky. Divide it into 12 balls and drop each into muffin hole. Leave them again to rise for 10 min. In a meantime dissolve 1 tbsp of sugar in 2 tbsp of water. Brush each bun with sugary water. Bake for 20 min. If they don't turn brown after 15 min in the oven you may brush them again. 
When baked remove them from the oven. Brush again it will help to stick marzipan cross better. Use golden marzipan, make small stripes, roll it in your hands as play dough, and lay cross on the top of each bun. Return to the oven for 5 min.

Before returning to the oven

Happy Easter !!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bacon and hazelnut muffins

It's time for something different today. I checked my fridge and there was  a piece of bacon sitting on a shelf. I wasn't really sure if I can use it for muffins, but found interesting recipe in  a book 'New Italian Cuisine. Muffins'. These muffins taste like scramble eggs with bacon and onion for me. Maybe because they contain fried onion ? And thanks hazelnuts they are very crunchy :)  

Ingredients for 6 muffins:
  • 125g diced bacon
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 25g chopped hazelnuts
  • 110g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 45g melted butter
  • 60ml natural yogurt
  • 100ml milk
  • butter for greasing baking tin
Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease 6 hole muffin tin.
On a Teflon frying pan fry bacon for 3-4 min until brown. Then add the onion and nuts, fry them until onion gets soft. Leave on a side to cool down.
Into a bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl whisk the egg, butter, milk and yogurt. Whisk them well. Gradually add dry ingredients and fried bacon, onion and nuts. Mix only to combine all ingredients. 
Spoon the batter into baking tin. Bake for 20 min until muffin well risen and spongy. 
After baking leave muffins in the tin to cool down. Muffins are very good warm and cold.

    Tuesday, 19 April 2011

    Little Louise cupcakes

    I had guests the other day and wanted to prepare something really nice. I used recipe from BBC Good Food. I hope my guests enjoyed those cup cakes :)

    Ingredients for 12 cup cakes :
    • 175g soft butter
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 175g plain flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 150 ml milk
    Jam filling:
    • 12 tsp raspberry jam
    Meringue topping:
    • 4 egg whites
    • 125 g sugar
    • 85g desiccated coconut

    Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

    In a large bowl with electric mixer beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat in the whole egg, then add one by one egg yolks. At last briefly beat in the flour, baking powder and milk until smooth. Spoon into cases. Original recipe recommends to divide two-thirds of batter among the cases then one tsp of jam into each case and cover with the rest of the batter. I think it is not necessary as the jam goes down the cake anyway. I divided all the batter among muffin cases and put jam on the top of each. 
    Bake for 18-22 min. Check with toothpick if baked inside.
    Leave cup cakes to cool down. 
    Lower oven to 110C.
    In a meantime using clean, large bowl beat the 4 egg whites until stiff. Add gradually sugar whisking continuously. When mixture is thick and shiny fold in the coconut gently. With this mixture top each cake. Bake for 30-35 min or longer touch meringue to check if is crisp. Cool before serving.

    Monday, 18 April 2011

    Carrot, courgette and raisins muffins

    Sometimes my daughter doesn't want to eat veggies. To make her eat dinner I have to promise a sweet treat after. Today I prepared for her carrot, courgette and raisins muffin. I wonder if she will like them. I found this recipe on CBeebies

    Ingredients for 6 muffins:
    • 20g grated courgette
    • 20g grated carrot
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp milk
    • 1 tbsp raisins
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 75g plain flour
    • 15g light soft brown sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    Preheat the oven to 200C. Line muffin tin with paper cases. As all holes will not be taken you may put a few drops of water into one which stay empty. This will make muffins more moisture. 

    Into one bowl put the courgette, carrot, beaten egg, milk, raisins and sunflower oil. In separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Spoon batter into muffin cases. Bake 12-15 min. Let them cool down for a while in baking tin. Enjoy !  

    Saturday, 16 April 2011

    Cream cheese and peach muffin

    It happened that I had soft cream cheese in my fridge. This cheese was sitting there for a while so I browsed Internet and found recipe for muffins with cream cheese. These muffins taste is interesting, almost like small cheesecakes.

    Ingredients for 12 muffins:
    • 150g flour
    • 70g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 egg
    • 50 ml sunflower oil
    • 100 ml milk
     Cream cheese filling:
    •  150g cream cheese 
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
    • 4 halves of tinned peaches
    Icing sugar for dusting

    Heat up the oven to 180C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

    In one bowl sift dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, salt and add the sugar. In a separate bowl whisk the milk, egg  and oil. Leave them on a side.
    Prepare cream cheese filling. Put the cream cheese, egg, sugar into bowl and mix it well.
    Slice or dice peaches. 
    Go back to batter ingredients. Combine dry and wet ingredients together and spoon evenly ready cake mixture into paper cases. Then on a top spoon the cheese mixture and decorate with fruits. Bake for 20-30min.

    Cool them on a wire rack dust with icing sugar. Enjoy :)

    Friday, 15 April 2011

    Fudge nut muffins

    They are sweet, crunchy ... yummy :)

    Ingredients for 12 muffins:
    • 250g plain flour
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 85g caster sugar
    • 6 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 55g melted butter
    • 175 ml milk
    • 150g diced fudge
    • 3 tbsp roughly chopped unsalted peanuts
    Preheat the oven to 200C. Line 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
    Sift the flour and baking powder into large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Add the peanut butter and mix until the mixture change into crumbles. 
    In a separate bowl put the egg, butter and milk. Beat together.
    Combine dry and wet ingredients. Lightly stir in the fudge pieces. The mixture should be a little lumpy.
    With two spoons or ice cream scoop put the mixture evenly into paper cases. 
    Sprinkle the peanuts on the top and bake for 20-25 min until well risen.
    Cool down on a wire rack. They can be served warm.

    Thursday, 14 April 2011

    Vanilla cup cakes with buttercream

    This recipe comes from Rachel Allan 'Bake" cookbook. You have to believe me they not only look good but they are very tasty too :)

    Ingredients for 12 cup cakes:
    • 125g butter
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 150g flour
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder

    Heat up the oven to 200C. Line 12 hole tin with paper cases.

    In electric mixer cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, blend together until soft and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time blending continuously. At the end add flour and baking powder.  Spoon into paper cases. Bake 8-12 min until golden and spongy. Cool them down on a wire rack.

    Ingredients for buttercream:
    • 150 ml milk
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 175g soft butter
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    Place the milk and sugar into sauce pan. Heat it up until the sugar dissolve. Stir all the time. Bring it to a gentle boil. In separate bowl whisk the yolks. While whisking pour small amount of milk onto the yolks. Then return the mixture to the sauce pan. Heat it up again stirring all the time. The mixture should get thicker, it should coat back of the spoon you stir with. It can last up to 10 min. You should avoid  the mixture to get too hot or it will scramble (if it does immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour it through sieve). Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. You can place sauce pan in bigger container filled with cold water, as this will speed up cooling down process. In a mean time in electric mixer cream the butter until soft and light. Gradually add the almost cooled  custard to the butter, whisking all the time, until it is combined. Add the vanilla extract.
    Then spoon or pipe buttercream on top of each cup cake.
    I piped the cream on top of 6 cup cakes. The other six I decorated differently, I cut off the cup cake hill,  then piped cream on the remaining cup cake and then placed the half into cream as if they were butterfly wings. 

    Wednesday, 13 April 2011

    Chocolate cup cake with fondant

    The Academy of Drama where my daughter attends to organized a cup cake sale to rise some founds. I have decided to donate some cupcakes and I baked chocolate cupcakes, decorated them with fondant. And recipe? It belongs to me since I remember, usually I use it to bake big chocolate cake. This time I baked 24 cupcakes out of it.

    Ingredients for 24 cup cakes:
    • 250g margarine for baking
    • 4 tbsp milk
    • 4 tbsp baking cocoa
    • 1 1/2 mug* of sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 1/2 mug* of flour
    • 2 tbsp baking powder
    • 16 g vanilla sugar
     *take regular coffee mug

    Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
    In a sauce pan put the margarine, milk, sugar, cocoa powder and bring it to boil stirring all the time. When it is boiled let the mixture to cool down. After some time, when the mixture is room temperature, add the flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar and egg yolks. Give it a good stir. In separate bowl whisk egg whites until stiff (add pinch of salt). Gently fold the egg white foam into the batter. Spoon the batter in paper cases 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 min. Check with toothpick if baked in the middle. 

    When cup cakes are cooled down decorate them with fondant for ideas use your imagination. Fondant and ready to roll icing are available in all colours check shops with baking equipment and groceries.
    Here you are a few ideas.





    Tuesday, 12 April 2011

    Double Chocolate muffins

    I was in a mood for something chocolaty and couldn't made up my mind if it  was white or dark chocolate. So I baked double chocolate muffins - recipe from 'Home baking cookbook'

    Ingredients for 12 muffins:

    • 200g plain flour
    • 25g cocoa powder
    • 1tbsp baking powder
    • 1tsp ground cinnamon
    • 115g caster sugar
    • 185g white chocolate broken into pieces (125g for batter, 60g for decoration)
    • 2 eggs
    • 100ml sunflower oil
    • 225 ml milk
     Preheat the oven to 200C. Line muffin tin with muffin cases. 

    Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon together into large bowl. Add sugar and chocolate. 
    In separate bowl whisk the eggs and oil until frothy, gradually add milk. Stir the mixture of wet ingredients into dry one until just blended. Spoon the batter into muffin cases 3/4 full. 
    Bake for 20 min until well risen and springy in touch. Leave the muffins to cool down a little bit in the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
    Melt the remaining chocolate in microwave and spread over the tops of muffins. 


    Monday, 11 April 2011

    Ham, peas, sweetcorn muffins

    Those muffin are perfect for breakfast or lunch. I would not recommend them for children's lunch boxes, as children might not like them. Those unusual for muffins ingredients make them taste like quiche, I think it is because of huge amount of Parmesan in them. They are very tasty, especially sliced and spread with butter. To make them I used recipe form "New Italian cuisine. Muffins"

    Ingredients for 12 muffins:
    •  200g plain flour
    • 100g wholemeal flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • pinch of salt and pepper
    • 6 tbsp grated Parmesan
    • 2 large eggs
    • 60g melted butter
    • 150ml milk
    • 50g frozen or tinned peas
    • 50g frozen or tinned sweetcorn
    • 90g diced ham

    Heat up the oven 180C. Line muffin tin with muffin cases.

    In a bowl sift: the flours, baking powder, salt and pepper. In second bowl beat the eggs, add melted butter and  milk. Add peas, sweetcorn, ham and Parmesan into dry ingredients. Pour mixture of wet ingredients in the bowl with dry one. Stir them gently. Do not over stir them. Bake for 20 min. 

    Sunday, 10 April 2011

    Banana - walnut muffins

    I have tried another recipe from joyofbaking    recently, only I have changed it a little bit. I baked classic banana muffin but swap part of white flour with wholegrain one and I did not add any butter. Muffins were very sweet and soft even day after.

    • 115g walnuts
    • 100g wholegrain flour
    • 130g plain flour 
    • 150g sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
    • 1/4 salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp minced ginger
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 3 mashed bananas
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    Preheat oven to 180C. Line muffin tin with muffin wrappers, leave one hole empty and fill in half with water.
    Chop the walnuts into smaller pieces, place them on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 min in 180C.

    Dry ingredients: the flours, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon mix in one bowl. Later add the nuts.
    In second bowl mash the bananas, add ginger, vanilla extract and beaten eggs.

    Pour mixture of the wet ingredients into dry one. Stir them together but do not over stir it. Batter is thick and chunky. Spoon batter into muffin wrappers and bake for 20 min.

    Bon appetite !

    Friday, 8 April 2011

    Vanilla cup cakes

    I have recently tried new vanilla cup cake recipe which I found on the web site joyofbaking . 
    Those cup cakes are soft, fluffy and very yummy. Perfect for children. My daughter's friend asked for one to take home, which was a great prize for me.

    Ingredients for batter: 
    • 113g room temperature butter
    • 130g caster sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • lemon zest (only yellow part) I added lemon essence instead
    • 195g all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 60 ml milk 
    Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
    In electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
    In separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Using two spoons or ice cream scoop fill muffin cases evenly. Bake for 20 min.
    Let them cool down on wire rack. 

      Ingredients for icing/frosting:
      • 230g icing sugar
      • 113 g room temperature butter
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 2 tbsp milk
      • few drops of food colouring if desired

      In electric mixer cream the butter until soft. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. If needed add a little of milk or sugar. Add desired food colouring ( I used the liquid food colouring that is available at grocery shop). Then spoon or pipe the frosting on top of each cup cake.

       Enjoy !

      Raisin, cranberry and chocolate muffins

      I will start with the easiest in my opinion muffin recipe. Making those muffins it is great fun for children and adults. You can add different additions into batter. I have chosen dried cranberries, raisins and milk chocolate chips. I found this recipe in 'Avoca. Tea Time' cook book.

      Ingredients for 12 muffins :
      • 300g self rising flour
      • 150g caster sugar
      • 1 level tsp baking powder
      • 150 ml milk
      • 150g unsalted butter
      • 2 medium - sized eggs, beaten
      • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
      • 1 tbsp raisins
      • 1 tbsp milk chocolate chips
      Preheat the oven to 180C and line 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

      In large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, dried cranberries, raisins and chocolate chips together. Heat the milk and butter together in a souse pan until the butter melts. Allow to cool, then add to the dry mixture. Add the eggs. Combine all ingredients together. 
      Do not over - stir the mixture.

      Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20 min.