Friday, 30 March 2012

Red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cake is American classic. I decided to try to bake it as cupcakes. I reached for red velvet cupcake recipe from 'Cake days. Recipes to make every day special. The hummingbird bakery'. Have to say that all recipes which comes from that book turn out to be  delicious cakes. This recipe wasn't any different. The cupcakes were moist, rich with sweet and creamy frosting, just perfect. Usually this type of cake is decorated with red cake crumbles or sugar sprinkles. I decided to make them more like spring treat and they are decorated with fondant flowers.

Ingredients for 12-16 cupcakes*:
  •  120g unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 40 ml red food colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 240 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp soda
* If you want to convert this recipe into 3 - layer 20 cm dimension cake you can double the quantities of all ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

Put butter and sugar into the electric mixer bowl and beat them until pale and fluffy. Break the eggs one at a time mixing in the scrapings from the sides of the bowl.

In a small bowl stir together the vanilla essence, cocoa powder and food colouring to form a paste. I didn't have enough of liquid food colouring so I mixed about 17 ml liquid food colouring and 1/2 tsp red food colouring in a paste.
Add this mixture into the batter and mix until is completely incorporated.
In a big bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Then add the flour to the batter into two batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing after each addition.

In another bowl mix the vinegar and soda, and add it to the cake batter. Mix until is fully incorporated.

Spoon the batter into paper cases 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Check with toothpick if baked in the middle. 
Leave the cupcakes in the baking tin for a few minutes then transfer to the wire rack to cool them down completely before you frost them.

Ingredients for frosting:
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 226g cream cheese such as Philadelphia
Put the butter and icing sugar into electric mixer bowl and beat on the low speed until the mixture is sandy in texture.
Add the cream cheese and mix together slowly until everything is incorporated. Then increase the speed and beat the frosting until is soft and fluffy. 

Decorate the cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles or make flowers out of the fondant. Enjoy!

 Happy Easter !

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Herbal muffins with black olives

Today savoury muffins. This time herbal ones  with black olives. I think they are great side dish for soups. Although they can be eaten spread with some butter as a snack to go.
The recipe comes from 'New Italian cuisine. Muffins' cookbook.

Ingredients for 8 muffins:
  • 115g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 40g oil
  • 80 ml milk
  • 1 tsp Provence's herbs
  • pinch of saffron
  • 50g pitted and sliced black olives 
Slice the olives and set aside.

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

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, herbs and saffron into bowl and whisk them together.
In separate jug whisk together the egg, oil and milk. Pour this mixture into dry ingredients. Mix all ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the olives.

Spoon the batter into muffin cases up to the top. Bake for 15-17 minutes until well risen and spongy in touch.

Enjoy !

Monday, 26 March 2012

Tahini bluberry muffins

Those muffins are ideal for halva lovers. Slightly bitter, filled with blueberries and sprinkled with almond flakes mmmmm..... . They not only tasty but healthy too. The tahini paste it made of sesame seeds which are packed with protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium. Moreover the sesame seeds contain nutrient elements which reduce cholesterol. There are also vitamin E and omega 6 acids. Sesame seeds improve metabolism, neural system and  blood circulation.
The recipe comes from this blog. 

Ingredients for 6-9 muffins:
  • 86 wholewheat flour
  • 80g flour
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 130g tahini paste
  • 1 egg
  • 135 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 70g frozen blueberries
  • almond flakes to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

In a big bowl sift the flours, sugar, salt and soda. In separate jug whisk the egg, tahini paste, milk, lemon juice. Pour the wet ingredients mixture in to the dry ingredients. Stir all ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into paper cases 3/4 full. Sprinkle top of  each muffin with almond flakes. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen and golden. Remove from baking tin and transfer to the wire rack to cool down completely. Enjoy !

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Corn muffins

Those corn muffins tasted like plain, butter cookies. They were really nice spread with butter and jam. This is Ina's Garten recipe, which comes form Foodnetwork website. 

Ingredients for 12 muffins:
  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g sugar
  • 75g corn flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 180 ml milk
  • 125g melted butter
  • 1 egg
Preheat the oven to 180. Lightly grease muffin tin cups.

Melt the butter in microwave or in a saucepan and leave it to cool down.

In  a big bowl sift together the flour, sugar, corn flour, baking powder and salt.

In separate bowl whisk the egg, milk and butter. Pour this mixture into dry ingredients mixture. Stir all ingredients together until just combined.
Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling each up to the top. Bake for 25 minutes until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Enjoy !

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bran muffins with bananas, raisins, walnuts and black treacle

This is another recipe for banana and bran muffins on my blog. I wanted to try this one as well because those muffins are packed with goodies and sound very healthy at the same time. The recipe comes from Ina Garten colection

Ingredients for 12 -18 muffins:
  • 40g wheat bran
  • 225ml buttermilk
  • 55g soft butter
  • 60g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 210g flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120g raisins
  • 2 bananas
  • 50g walnuts
Combine buttermilk and wheat bran and set aside.

Dice the bananas, chop the walnuts and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C. line muffin tin with paper cases.

In an electric mixer bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed and add one egg at the time. After the eggs add the black treacle, orange zest, vanilla and bran/buttermilk mixture. Combine all ingredients.

In separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Gently fold in the flour mixture into wet ingredients mixture. Do not over mix it. Fold in the bananas, walnuts and raisins with rubber spatula.

Spoon the batter into paper cases, fill them to the top and bake for 25 minutes.
Enjoy !

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Banoffee cupcakes

Banoffee pie is extremely popular and delicious dessert. In my opinion those cupcakes taste exactly like one. They weren't difficult to make although it took a while to put all parts together. The recipe comes form Carol Pastor '75 best ever muffins' cook book.

Ingredients for 8 cupcakes:
  • 75g butter
  • 115g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g flour
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 orange zest finely grated
  • 30 ml buttermilk
  • 8 tsp dulce de leche
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.
Into electric mixer bowl put the butter and sugar and beat them until creamy. Gradually add the egg.
Sift the flour and baking powder into separate bowl and set aside.
Mash the bananas and fold half into butter-sugar mixture. Then add the orange zest and half of the flour.
When all ingredients combined fold in remaining flour and bananas with a buttermilk, until just combined.

Spoon the batter into muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Transfer them to the wire rack and let them cool completely.

Make the cavity in the top of each muffin and fill with dulce the leche. I put 1 teaspoon into each muffin, but it is really up to you what amount of dulce the leche you put in.

For the frosting*:
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
  •  150ml double cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp dulce the leche
*Those are original quantities while I doubled them as I think those cupcakes taste better with more cream

Pour the coffee, dulce the leche and double cream into electric mixer bowl and whisk the together until stiff. Spread over the cakes. You may put slice of banana on top.

For the coffee syrup:
  • 2 tsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp boiling water
  • 2 tbsp dulce the leche       
Dissolve the sugar into boiling water and add the dulce the leche. Drizzle over the cakes.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Berry brioche muffins

Those muffins are perfect for a special breakfast treat. The only thing you have to remember is to prepare the brioche dough a day ahead. They are easy to make but the yeast dough need some time to rise. Brioche is French pastry with high egg and butter content. This time is baked in muffin tin, so you get lovely light and puffy buns with rich and tender crumb. The addition of fresh blueberries makes them moist. I think they taste the best when served sliced with butter and jam and of course cup of coffee.  
The recipe comes from Carol Pastor '75 best -ever muffins' cook book.

Ingredients for 10 muffins:
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 4 eggs
  • 350g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 115g fresh blueberries
For egg wash:
  • 45 ml milk
  • 1 small egg yolk
Crumble the yeast into electric mixer bowl fitted with dough hook. Add 2 tsp warm water and mix the two together.  The water has to be  body temperature, if it is too hot the yeast won't do their job.
When the yeast is dissolved add the eggs, flour, sugar and salt. Beat at low speed for about 6 minutes.
Turn up the speed and gradually add the butter. Continue beating for 12-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny. 

Put the dough into plastic bag, seal it and chill for 24 hours or overnight.
After that time lightly grease the cups of muffin tin.
Lightly sprinkle the surface with flour, remove the dough from the bag. With the rolling pin flatten the dough 10 cm wide. Press the blueberries into the dough.
Cut the dough into 10 even pieces. Using floured hands, from each into a ball, the press into a muffin tin holes.
Set aside in a warm place to prove.
Preheat the oven to 220C. 
Prepare the egg wash. Mix the egg yolk and milk in a bowl. Brush thinly over each muffin top. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and risen.
Take the muffins out of the muffin tin. Serve fresh for the beats results.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mini nutella muffins with chocolate chip

I baked those mini muffins some time ago. I like this recipe so much that I decided to make those muffins again, but this time with addition of chocolate chips instead of nuts. This is extremely easy to make recipe. With only four ingredients,  fast method and the result is mouth watering. I truly recommend this one and I think is great for any children party.

Ingredients for 12 mini muffins:
  • 90g nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 90g chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease mini muffin tin.

Put the nutella into small bowl, add the egg and  flour. With fork or spoon whisk everything together. When the batter is ready gently fold in chocolate chips. 

Spoon the batter into baking tin about 3/4 full.
Bake for  10-15 minutes. When ready leave them for a while in a baking tin, then transfer to the wire rack. Enjoy !