Chocolate Cupakes Two Ways; Chai and Berry/Coconut

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As promised, more cupcakes πŸ™‚ I hope you have been having a nice day, whatever the weather. New Zealand is finally warming up, which means fresh fruit, more ice cream and hopefully some road trips. Everyone’s goal seems to be to get a tan, so if this is yours; good luck!

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I baked cupcakes and sold them at my hall of residence to raise money for Syrian refugees. I got about $80, which is enough to buy both mats and blankets for a family according to the UN Charity. These coconut-berry ones (rather lamington-esque) sold the fastest, but I assure you the chai-frosted ones are just as delicious!

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My exams will be over in a week, and I already have a list of things to bake over summer. I hope you enjoy, and I have some more cupcakes coming up! πŸ™‚

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Chocolate Cupcakes Two Ways: with Chai or Berry Frosting
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup thick yogurt
2 eggs
1.5 cups hot-ish coffee

Icing (for the Chai):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg/allspice/black pepper/cayenne or paprika
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1.5 cups icing sugar
(+extra cocoa or cinnamon to dust)

Icing (for the berry):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam (can just pass normal stuff through a sieve)
1.5 cups icing sugar
+coconut to roll in

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two cupcake tins with paper cases.

For the cakes: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cocoa until combined. In another smaller bowl, mix the oil, yogurt and eggs. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the oil-batter and most of the coffee. Mix well, and add the rest of the coffee a bit at a time. The mixture will be quite runny, not like a butter cake or pound cake! Fill up the cupcake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.

If you should decide to make CHAI frosting, simply mix all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and light. You can add the spices to taste, as yours could be stronger than mine! Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon, through a stencil if you have one!

For the BERRY frosting, again mix all the frosting ingredients until smooth and light. Frost the cupcakes and then dip the top in the coconut. All done!

You could make the cupcakes up to 2 days before, makes about 24!

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Mini Spiced Chocolate Berry Cake for Two (Or Three or One!)

image There is never too little time for birthday cake! Or too few people! This one fits nicely on a saucer and feeds two people more than adequately. It also provided 78% of your daily cuteness and 57.6% of your daily smiles. image It’s also spiced-chocolate flavour, with some delicious tart blackberry jam and mint leaves to decorate πŸ™‚ image Note: I found the jam a little sweet, so maybe use a coulis or a berry reduction πŸ™‚ Mini Spiced Chocolate Berry Cake for Two Ingredients: Mini Cake: 75g butter 2 Tbsp white sugar 1 egg 3/4 tsp baking powder 2 tsp cocoa 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup flour 3 tsp milk Frosting: 2 Tbsp softened butter Vanilla extract 4-6 Tbsp icing sugar 2 tsp milk To decorate and fill: Jam of your choice Mint leaves Walnuts Cinnamon to dust Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and pale. Mix in the egg (don’t worry if it curdles…..!) until combined, this could take a while. Mix in the baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon, followed by the flour and milk. If the mixture still seems a little thick and not very light, add a bit more milk. Spread the batter onto the baking tray in three circles roughly the same size. They will spread so leave some space. Bake for 12 minutes, until the centres spring back when lightly touched. Cool on the trays. When you are ready to assemble, make the frosting. Beat the butter, vanilla and some icing sugar until creamy and light, then add more icing sugar and milk until you have your desired fluffy and delicious consistency! Using a circle cutter of some sort (I used a tin!), cut the three cakes into rounds. Place the bottom layer on a plate, spread on 1/3 of the frosting, followed by some jam. Then place another layer on top and repeat. For the top layer, I iced and decorated it separately before placing it on top so I didn’t squish the cake. Spread on the remaining frosting and arrange the walnuts, jam dots and mint leaves around the edges. Place on top and dust with cinnamon. Done! You could easily do this quite a few hours before, and then present it later. IMG_1975IMG_1973 image image

Easy Chocolate and Blueberry Birthday Cake (August Birthday Cake #2!)

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Admittedly this was from a while back, but why not use the whole month to celebrate the wonderful food that is birthday cake! I don’t know if you have a favourite thing to bake, but birthday cake is mine πŸ™‚

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Baking just does that, it makes you smile on the inside. While you’re baking AND eating your creations! Of course we do have the odd moment of testing (making macarons the other day -_-) but we still hang in there πŸ™‚
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In the background there, you can see a lovely cheesecake a friend of mine made (she forgot to put the sugar in but I think it tasted perfect! Don’t you love it when things work out?
For some reason I always seem to make different cakes of the same flavour, so I have another more impressive blueberry-chocolate cake to post sometime soon πŸ™‚ In the mean time, here is the recipe!

Easy Blueberry and Chocolate Birthday Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
300g flour
200g sugar
2 tsp baking soda
40g cocoa
150mls natural oil
3 Tbsp white vinegar
400mls water
Frosting/Filling:
120g frozen blueberries
85g butter
250g icing sugar
To top:
150g dark chocolate

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 20 cm diameter cake tins.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa together. Make a well and pour in the oil and vinegar. Then pour in the water, making a big mess and mix until smooth. Pour one half into each tin and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins for about half an hour then unmould and cool on wire racks (you could cool completely in the tin if you can’t be bothered).

Meanwhile, to get the coulis done, put the berries into a saucepan and simmer for about half an hour until thick, juicy and cooked through. Chill completely then whiz then up in a blender or pass then through a fine sieve.

For the frosting, soften the butter and whip, then add the sugar in a bit at a time. Beat until thick and soft, then add the blueberry mixture a little at a time, until you have the right shade/ flavour. Any that is leftover can be used to fill the cake.

To assemble, place the bottom layer of the cake onto the serving plate. Spread half the frosting onto it and also spread any leftover coulis on top. Place in the final layer and slather on the rest of that delicious frosting. Yum!

To serve as I did, melt the chocolate and pour it on top. Now is the time to put in some candles if you are presenting it as a birthday cake, otherwise just dig in.

Makes enough for about 12 people, and I’m sorry but I don’t know how longs it lasts as it only was around for ten minutes after the candles were blown out.

I can tell you however that the cakes uniced last well for a few days and you can easily frost/fill the cake up to 12 hours in advance!

Until next time πŸ™‚

Sami xx

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Chocolate and Liquorice Allsort Birthday Cake

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I imagine my little 13-year-old self was quite pleased with this one, as was my grandfather; it was his birthday cake πŸ™‚
There is nothing quite like a good cake, is there? And when celebration is necessary, cake comes with it hand in hand….birthday cake is probably my favorite thing to bake in the world anyway! I am sure you have fond memories of your own birthday cakes, or perhaps ones that you have made for ones you love.
Or perhaps you make cakes for a living, in which case, I both jealous and incredibly happy for you!
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This is just a nice chocolate cake with whipped chocolate ganache frosting, and than a brocade of liqourice allsorts for decoration; there is no liquorice flavour IN the cake (although I do have a recipe for that, which I am quite excited to try….!). You could easily make it with any other decorations on top, or just leave it plain. I have a photo of it without the candy below the recipe, in case you want to check it out.

Chocolate and Liquorice Allsort Birthday Cake

Cake:
170g butter
1/3 cup castor sugar
1&1/2 cups flour
1&1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
Whipped chocolate ganache:
150g milk chocolate
3/4 cup cream
To decorate:
200g liquorice allsorts

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180Β°C and grease two 20cm diameter cake tins.

Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth, then sift together the flour, salt and cocoa. Beat into the butter with the eggs. Combine until smooth. Add the milk if you think the batter is a bit thick. Divide the batter between the tins and smooth over. Bake for about 15 minutes, and until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from tins and cool completely.

Melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Turn off the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Leave until cool. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip high speed, or use a whisk or egg beaters. Beat until light and fluffy.

Level off the top of one of the cakes and spread a bit of icing. Then place the other cake on top. Spread the remaining icing over the cake. Arrange the liquorices allsorts over the cake. Store in an airtight container.

Lasts forΒ  3 days

Makes 12 slices

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Enjoy your birthday cake endeavours, and the rest of your endeavours for that matter πŸ™‚

Easy Chocolate Cake with Berry Frosting

Part two of the “Yay it’s the end of the year!” cake baking day. Even better, the cake itself is vegan!
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The frosting rosettes were ‘just because’ but if it’s not your style, it’s by no means necessary πŸ™‚ I iced the cake in an odd manner in the way that I frosted the top layer first, to make sure I had enough frosting for the rosettes, then did the filling, but you can do it as you wish! Any berries would go nicely, boysenberries and blueberries would give a purple colour and just strawberries would make it a lighter pink.
Anyway, here is the recipe. It’s quite a light cake and I would add about 1/4 cup more sugar next time.
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Easy Chocolate Cake with Berry Frosting
Ingredients:
Cake:
260g flour
10g cocoa
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup brown sugar
Β½ cup neutral oil
4 tsp vinegar
1&1/3 cup water
Frosting and Filling:
200g frozen mixed berries
20g honey
75g butter
150g icing sugar

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 22cm diameter circle cake tins with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil, vinegar and water, then mix until combined. Divide evenly between the tins and bake for 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the berry coulis. Heat the berries and the honey over low heat until thick. Leave to cool and then chill until needed.
When ready to frost, strain about 1/3 of the coulis so it is seedless. Soften the butter and whip until pale, then add the icing sugar bit by bit until combined (I did this with an electric mixer), adding a bit of the strained coulis when it gets too thick. When light and fluffy and thick enough to pipe, spread enough frosting on the layer of cake that will be the top layer, so that there is a nice and smooth layer for the top. Spoon about half of what is left into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a border of frosting on the top layer. Add as much coulis as you like to the rest of the frosting (not too much or the frosting turns a funny texture) then spread it onto the top of the other cake layer. If you have any coulis left, you can spread this on top of the filling. Now place the top cake layer on top of the bottom one, creating a two layered cake with a nice pink filling. Store in an airtight container. Lasts a few days when uniced, the cake keeps well.

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I am looking forward to fresh berries in summer πŸ™‚