Monday, 16 December 2013

Almond cupcakes with mascarpone frosting

Those aromatic, rich and dense almond cupcakes are perfect for Christmas. Topped with Mascarpone frosting which should resemble Christmas trees. They are easy to make and look lovely. Perfect as a small Christmas gift or edible table decoration. 
The recipe for a cupcakes comes from this web site and the one for frosting from this one

Ingredients for 12-15 cupcakes:
  • 140g flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g natural yogurt 
  • 175g melted butter

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.
Melt the butter down and set aside to cool down. Place the flour, almonds, baking powder, sugar in a bowl and mix them together. Set aside. In separate bowl whisk the eggs, almond extract and natural yogurt.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ones add the melted butter and mix until combined. 

Spoon the batter into paper cases, about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 -25 minutes. Bake until skewer inserted in the middle on the cake comes out clean.

Transfer baked cupcakes into a wire rack to cool them down completely before piping the frosting.

Ingredients for frosting 12 cupcakes:
  • 100ml cold double cream
  • 250g Mascarpone cheese
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar*
  • green food colouring
  • almond essence
  • chocolate starts
  • sugar sprinkles

* if you wish you can add more sugar as those frosting is not very sweet
Place the Mascarpone cheese, sugar and food colouring in a bowl and mix them until smooth . 
With an electric whisk whisk the double cream until foamy. Then add the almond essence and Mascarpone mixture. Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Put the frosting into piping bag with nozzle and decorate the cupcakes. Place the chocolate star on top and sprinkle with some sugar sprinkles. 

For recipe in Polish please click here.


Enjoy !

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Gingerbread and banana muffins

Today I would like to present gingerbread and banana muffins. They were really good, moist, dense, spicy .... in my opinion they were just perfect. I have decorated them with white frosting, the same which is used to decorate gingerbread cookies. For additional spice I have sprinkled them with chopped crystallized ginger. What is worth to mention those muffins are egg free and they contain some wholewheat flour. The recipe comes form this website. 

Ingredients for 12 - 16 muffins *:
  • 130g wholewheat flour
  • 175g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 90g Dark Muscovado sugar
  • 3 bananas (about 275g mashed bananas)
  • 145g black treacle
  • 112g buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
* I have baked mine in muffin cases and cardboard molds.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

In a big bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.

With a fork mash the bananas. Add the sugar, black treacle, buttermilk, canola oil and mix until smooth. 

Pour the wet ingredients into a bowl with dry ones. Mix until all ingredients just combined. Spoon the batter into paper cases, about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes. Check with skewer. If skewer inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean the cake is ready. 

Transfer to the wire rack to cool down.

In a meantime prepare the frosting. 

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • chopped crystallized ginger

Place the egg white and icing sugar in a bowl and stir with spoon until smooth and white. Drizzle over each cooled down muffin. Then sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger. 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Mint snowman cupcakes

Mint snowman cupcakes were baked and decorated for purpose of school Winter Fair which took place last weekend. We had great day out. Children prepared lovely Christmas decorations and toys for sale. There were arts and crafts corner, face painting, singing shows ...  There were also a stall with baked goodies and I was happy to participate in that part.  My contribution was small but I was really happy that the snowman cupcakes were quickly gone. If you would like to prepare some yourself here is the recipe.

Ingredients for 8 - 12 cupcakes:
  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mint essence
For snowman:
  • 2 pack 500g each of ready to roll icing
  • paste food colouring
Preheat the oven to  180C. line muffin tin with paper cases.

Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and mint essence in an electric mixer bowl. Mix the ingredients until smooth. Spoon the batter into prepared earlier muffin tin about 3/4 full. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until skewer interested in the middle comes out clean.

Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool them down completely.

Dust the worktop with icing sugar. Roll about 300g of ready to roll icing and with circle cookie cutter cut 12 circles. 
Dab small amount of cooled boiled water on the fondant circle and stick it to the top of cupcake. Water will help the fondant to stick to the cake. 

Now it's time to make snowmen heads, scarfs, hats .... .  To add some colour to the fondant just take the desired amount of fondant add small amount of food colouring and knead them together. 
Winter Fair stall

Friday, 6 December 2013

Mini quiche light

Today I would like to present my try to Lorraine Pascale recipe. This is light version of mini quiche. The regular pastry was replaced with filo pastry, some of eggs with egg whites... I have to say I like them better than regular quiche. The pastry was flaky and crunchy, not soggy. The filling was creamy with crunchy bites of bacon and small onion chunks.  What I like the most was that it took two bites to eat them. This is perfect finger food for this festive season. 

Ingredients for 12 mini quiche:
  • 1 onion
  • 150g bacon trimmed of any fat and diced
  • pinch of thyme
  • 200g half - fat creme fraiche
  • 75 ml low fat milk
  • 25 g finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 and 1/2 sheets filo pastry
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • slat and pepper
  • olive oil

Dice the onion and bacon. Cook the onion until soft then add bacon and thyme and continue to cook until the bacon is cook through. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Brush the muffin tin cups with olive oil. Cut the filo pastry into squares 12 x 12 cm approximately. Line each muffin tin cup with three pieces of filo pastry. Make sure to push the pastry down so it is in the corners of each muffin hole. Then with a brush or your finger spread small amount of mustard on the bottom of each mini quiche. Set aside. 

Pour the milk, creme - fraiche, Parmesan, eggs, egg whites, nutmeg, salt, pepper into a measuring jar and whisk them with fork until smooth. 

Place the muffin tin in front of you divide the fried bacon and onion among all mini quiche bases, then pour in the mixture of eggs and cream. Brush the exposed pastry with a little oil.
Insert the muffin tin into preheated oven. Bake until the filling won't be wobbly in the middle and filo pastry turns gold, about 30 minutes. 
Remove from the oven. Leave for a few minutes in muffin tin. Then holding gently by exposed pastry twist a little and lift up. Sprinkle with chopped chive.

 Enjoy !

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Gingerbread rolls with plum jam

This is lovely combination of flavours. Spicy, chewy dough filled with sweet and sour plum jam sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Yes, they were chewy and dense not as regular yeast dough would be. The sugar gave them a nice crunch. We all enjoy them, even children. For those who willing to try recipe below.

Ingredients for 12 rolls:
  • 250g bread flour (or plain one)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 70g sugar
  • 130ml warm milk
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 20g melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 30g dark chocolate chips
  • jar of plum jam
  • cinnamon sugar to sprinkle (2tbsp sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon)

Put the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon and allspice in an electric mixer bowl. Stir all ingredients together. 
Melt the butter. Warm up the milk. Pour warm milk into the dry ingredients mixture and start mixing with dough hook. Pour in the melted butter. Knead the dough for a while then add salt. Knead a few more minutes and add the chocolate chips. Continue kneading for 5 minutes. 

Then transfer the dough the bowl cover with cling film and leave it to rise in warm place for 1 hour.

Then with a rolling pin roll the dough into relatively thin rectangular. Spread with plum jam and roll along the longer side. Then with a sharp knife cut into 12 slices.  Place each slice in a muffin tin (you can slightly grease the tin before). 

Set aside in a warm place. Cover with kitchen towel and let the rolls prove.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix the sugar and cinnamon. 
Sprinkle the rolls with cinnamon sugar and insert into hot oven. Bake for 30  minutes. When ready remove form the oven, set aside to cool down and enjoy !

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lemon meringue cupcakes

Beautiful lemon cupcakes filled with lemon curd topped with fluffy, sweet meringue. They not only look divine but are extremely tasty. Prefect sweet and tart flavors combination. And they are not so difficult to make. All you need is tested lemon cupcake recipe, jar of lemon curd (although I prefer home made) and a little bit patience during meringue making process. That's it ! 

If you prefer to use home made lemon curd this is the recipe I used. 

Ingredients for 250 - 300ml of lemon curd:
  • 160ml sugar
  • 125 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml unsalted butter
lemon curd
Whisk the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks and egg together in a metal or glass heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and gently whisk the mixture form time to time. Within 15 minutes the mixture should thickened . Remove the curd from the heat and strain into a bowl. Stir in the butter until it melts completely. Pour the mixture into a jar and chill it. The curd will set in the jar. You can use it later in many ways, spread on toast, as crepe filling ... or just eat straight from the jar :) The recipe comes form Anna Olson 'Back to baking' cookbook.

Coming back to cupcake recipe :) This time it is Rachel Allen recipe.
Ingredients for 8 - 12 lemon cupcakes:
  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g sugar
  • freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.
Place all the ingredients in an electric mixer bowl. Mix them with paddle attachment until smooth. Spoon the batter into paper cases. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until cupcakes  rise and be springy in touch. Baked cupcakes transform to the wire rack to cool down.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled spoon a little cake out of the centre of each cupcake. Spoon lemon curd in and set aside while preparing meringue. 

Prepare the meringue. Again Anna Olson recipe. 

Ingredients for meringue:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 80 ml sugar
Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, then slowly add the sugar while whipping. Whip the egg whites until the stiff. Spoon the meringue into  a piping bag and  pipe swirls on top of each cupcake.

Insert the cupcakes into preheated oven and bake in 190C for 10 - 15 minutes until the meringue browns slightly. Cool the cupcakes into a room temperature.

If you have any remaining meringue in a piping bag. Pipe small swirls on parchment paper and bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes. Then leave them inside until the oven cools down completely. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Cinnamon, courgette, carrot and cranberry muffins

I have recently came across this interesting recipe. And because I had all necessary ingredients home I gave it a try immediately. I was especially happy to use frozen cranberries as I had a pack of them in my freezer for ages. Muffins were very tasty. Soft, moist, not too sweet a little bit sour  with lovely crust. I think one of my favourite. What more important my children eat them despite the fact they were packed with vegetables.

Ingredients for 12 big or 24 smaller muffins:
  • 320g flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 220g sugar
  • 230 ml canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium size carrot about 80 g
  • 1 medium size courgette 180g
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 120g frozen cranberries

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

Finely grate the carrot and courgette.

Place the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg ans sugar in a big bowl and mix all ingredients together. 

In separate bowl whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla. Pour this mixture in a  bowl with grated veggies add frozen cranberries and mix. Add everything into a dry ingredients. Mix everything until just combined.

Spoon the batter into paper cases, about 3/4 full. 

Bake 25 - 30 minutes. When ready remove form the oven. Let the muffin cool for a few minutes in baking tin then transfer to the wire rack to cool down completely.  

Repeat with remaining batter.

Enjoy ! 

For recipe in Polish look here.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Chocolate mini cheesecaces

I like all types of cheesecakes. I have already bake a few mini versions of different flavors cheesecakes. Already you can find on my blog :
This time I have decided to try chocolate cheesecake baked in small, made of bourbon biscuits, bowls. And they were divine ! Crunchy, chocolaty shells filled with creamy, velvety, chocolaty cheesecake. I think they worth to try. 
Ingredients for 12 mini cheesecakes - shells/bowls:
  • 400g Bourbon biscuits
  • 90g butter
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool it down. Place the biscuits in the blender and blend them until remains fine crumbs. Pour the butter into crumbs and mix until all crumbs are evenly coated.

Divide this mixture among all muffin tin cups (about two heaped tablespoons of crumbs into each cup). Press with you fingers or with back of the spoon until cover the bottom and edges of each cup. If you like you can first line muffin tin with paper cases. It will definitely help you remove ready baked cheesecakes form the tin but it is not necessary.  

Insert muffin tin into the oven and bake the shells for about 10 minutes. Then remove form the oven and set aside to cool down a bit.

In a meantime prepare the cheesecake filling.

Ingredients for the filling:
  • 600g cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp semolina
Place all the ingredients in a blender and  blend until smooth. Divide the cream cheese mixture among baked shells. Remaining cream cheese filling lace in a ramekin and bake placing beside muffin tin. 
Bake the mini cheesecakes for about 20 minutes until the cream cheese won't be wobbly. 

Remove form the oven and set aside to cool down. The insert into a fridge to cool them down completely. When cooled remove form the tin. For those who used paper cases it is easy but those who didn't have to use a knife. With a knife gently cut around each cheesecake and try to lift it from the bottom. Cheesecakes should easily 'jump out'. Before served should be kept in the fridge.  To decorate them you may sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

 Enjoy !

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pecan butter tarts

The recipe for this Canadian sweet treat comes from Anna Olson (original recipe here). The tarts were just divine. Those who love flaky crust with sweet caramel filling and crunchy nuts will be delighted. It is one of my favourite puddings recently :)

Ingredients for 12 -14 tarts:
  •  360g flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 150g cold, unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
Place the flour and salt into an eclectic mixer bowl.   Mix them with paddle attachment. Then add cut into a small pieces butter. When all the mixture will turn yellowish bread crumbs pour in water and lemon juice/white vinegar. Mix until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a log. Wrap into a cling film and chill in a fridge for at least two hours (mine was in the fridge overnight).

After that time remove from the fridge at least 20 minutes before  rolling.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Slightly grease the muffin tin.

Dust the worktop with a flour and place unwrapped dough in the middle. Slice the log into 12 pieces. Roll each of them 0,5 cm thin. Use an 11 cm round cookie cutter to cut each into a circle. Line each muffin cup with a pastry so it comes about 1 cm above muffin tin edge (mine were lower). Insert the muffin tin into a fridge to chill.

Meantime prepare the filling.

Ingredients for filling:
  • 95g butter
  • 185g demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • about 40 pecan nuts
 Divide the pecans among all pastry shells. You can roast the pecans on dry pan before.

Place the butter and sugar into a sauce pan. Melt them  over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is bubbling. Remove the pot from the heat. 

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Slowly pour in the  hot sugar mixture while whisking constantly until incorporated. With  a ladle pour the mixture into prepared earlier tart shells.

Insert the muffin tin into preheated oven. Bake them in 200C for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 190C and bake another 10 - 15 minutes. bake until the filling is bubbling and crust edges are brown.

Remove the tin from the oven and set aside to cool down. After 5 minutes twist around in the pan to prevent sticking and keep the in the pan until completely cooled. 

Enjoy !

Friday, 8 November 2013

Pumpkin muffins

This is the last pumpkin muffin recipe in this pumpkin season. I didn't want to bake any pumpkin cakes but I had remaining of pumpkin pure and I found Anna Olson recipe which I wanted to try. Muffin were tender, springy in touch, moist and spicy.

Ingredients for 6 - 9 muffins:
  • 65g wholewheat flour
  • 50g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 190g pumpkin pure
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 75g buttermilk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp canola oil
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

In a big bowl combine the flours, baking powder, soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice and set aside.

In separate bowl stir together the pumpkin pure, sugar, buttermilk, egg white and canola oil. Pour this mixture into a bowl with dry ingredients. Combine all ingredients until just moist.

Spoon the batter into paper cases up to 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes. When baked transfer to a wire rack to cool down.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Pumpkin and mascarpone muffins

Soft, fluffy, moist cake with cinnamon scent. That would be the best description of those muffins. Even children enjoy eating them, which is not so obvious when there are veggies in the cake. 
The rapeseed oil which I used for baking had nutty flavour so I decorated my muffins with some roasted and salted cashew nuts.

Ingredients for 12 - 14 muffins:
  • 170g pumpkin pure
  • 240g flour
  • 170g sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g mascarpone 
  • 120ml oil
  • 1 egg
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with paper cases.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a big bowl. 

In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin pure, oil, egg and mascarpone cheese. Pour this mixture into a bowl with dry ingredients. Combine all ingredients together until just moist. 

Spoon the batter into prepared earlier muffin cases about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes. Check with toothpick if ready. If toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean then cake is ready.

Transfer muffins to the wire rack to cool down. While muffins are cooling down prepare the frosting.

Ingredients for frosting:
  • 125g mascarpone cheese
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • nuts
In a bowl combine the cheese, sugar and vanilla. Chill in a fridge for about 30 minutes.

When muffins are cool down completely spread a thick layer of frosting on top of each muffin and decorate with some nuts. 

Enjoy !