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 !