Lots of Little Cupcakes!

My regular posts on this blog have gone AWOL but I assure you that there has still been lots of baking going on when possible πŸ™‚ I have been so obsessed with mini cupcakes lately! Instead of a recipe I’ll just explain them because there are so many….!

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These babies above are plain vanilla with vanilla buttercream that I spread on lazily with a knife and sprinkled with confetti, and below are some chocolate ones with piped chocolate buttercream πŸ™‚ It’s the same batch but I added cocoa to half the mixture.

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The cuties above had some lemon zest and juice added to plain vanilla batter and I piped some buttercream flavoured with zest and juice on top, with a slice of more lemon zest.

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I got a bit extravagant when I photographed these ones and added some MAC… why not?! They are plan vanilla with soaked some Monin rose syrup and then some piped Rose Monin-flavoured buttercream and a dried rose petal.

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These ones are just vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream and a cute pink jellybean on top. And below are a cute mix of them!

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These ones weren’t as pretty as I expected 😦 But hey, they are all chocolate flavoured! I found those white chocolate disks with sprinkles on top at a pick’n’mix in a store close to where I work and I had to use them somehow….!

Anyway, that’s a small update on my baking adventures lately, I promise I have some recipes coming soon!

Happy Easter and happy baking!

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes

Did you ever eat gingerbread men as a child, the ones with the chocolate coated hands and feet? Maybe that was just a New Zealand thing…. my friends and I would always save the chocolate pieces for last, prizing the sprinkle-coated pieces of chocolate which were already melting in ours hands….!

Anyway, I made cupcakes which remind me of those glory days:

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They look just like gingernut biscuits (which for those of you who don’t have these in your home country, are these). They look even more delicious when topped with a dark chocolate ganache πŸ˜€

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I decorated them with an almond sliver (you should avoid this if you have nut allergies to cater for!) and a sprinkle of cinnamon which just happened to be in a shaker at work πŸ™‚

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
One batch of these cupcakes made without the nutmeg and cloves, half the cinnamon and twice the ginger!
For the ganache:
200g dark dairy free chocolate
150g coconut cream
To decorate (optional):
Almond slivers
Ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Bake the cupcakes and while they cool, work on the ganache.

Chop the chocolate finely and heat the coconut cream in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds on high, then repeat until warm but not boiled. Tip in the chocolate and whisk until combined. Heat for 10 seconds if all the chocolate doesn’t melt. Cool then chill until spreadable.

Ice the cupcakes however you wish (I didn’t have my piping bag at work so I just flat-top iced them) and decorate with the almond sliver and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

Makes 12 and they are still delicious 2 days later. I kept mine chilled so the ganache didn’t melt and then let them come to room temperature before serving.

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Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake

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I do still exist! So does my baking πŸ™‚ and this time I have a funny story. When I was walking to work with this cake in a box to assemble later, I had the honeycomb in a plastic container on top of the box. It was 6am, pitch black, wind in a full blown gale. And what did I do? I walked past the windiest place I know in my city.

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And proceeded to watch as the box of honeycomb blew from my reach and onto the ground 5 metres away. After a split second of hope when the box didn’t open, it blew another metre and burst into a glorious explosion of caramelised sugar shards and that was that. The box and honeycomb blew into the distance and I could only laugh at my stupidity.

Two weeks ago I woke up and my first thought was ‘oh my gosh, I have a baking blog!’

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Yes, I forgot, completely 😦 I’m sure we all do that from time to time. Like we forget the keys or our passwords to how many ever accounts we seem to accumulate!

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Anyway, this cake was made as one of my first proper cake orders in a while for a ‘crunchie bar’ lover. It’s chocolate cake filled with honey buttercream (was meant to be filled with honey comb too but sadly my second batch hadn’t set when I was assembling) and topped with hokey pokey squiggles cookies, and honey comb and chocolate shards.
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I couldn’t find my nice piping tip a ziplock bag had to do. Any way, it turned out to be a very large cake indeed, with added height thanks to the toppings. Here’s roughly how to make it:

Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake
Make 1.5 times this chocolate cake recipe here, making three layers
Make a batch of this honey comb
For the butter cream, whip 150g softened butter, 3 cups icing sugar, 3 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp (or more if needed) milk until light and super fluffy.

To assemble, spread butter cream on top of all the layers and stack them, then pipe some leftover buttercream around the top and arrange hokey pokey squiggles, honey comb shards and chocolate shards around the top. Voila! Makes a big cake….

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Chocolate and Boysenberry Melting Moments

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Just a quick recipe before one of the best days of the week begins! (Well, Friday begins anyway). These are a little alternative in terms of melting moment-flavours, which lemon and passionfruit usually reign supreme over, but hey, it’s nice to change it up πŸ™‚ If you don’t have custard powder, use 1/4 cup cornflour instead, should work a treat. Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Chocolate and Boysenberry Melting Moments
Ingredients:
Cookies:
200g butter
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cupΒ custard powder
1/4 cup cocoa
Filling:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp boysenberry jam, plus extra to fill
2/3 cup icing sugar

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Soften the butter and beat with the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, custard powder and cocoa. Mix into the butter until just combined. Divide the dough up into 20 pieces and roll into balls. Place on the baking tray and flatten with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies move when gently nudged. Cool on the tray.

Soften the butter and beat with the jam and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Pipe a ring of frosting onto the bottom of half of the cookies and spoon a bit of jam in the middle. Place another cookie on top and wait for the icing to set. Lasts a few days and makes 10 pretty size-able cookies πŸ™‚

Cinnamon Cookies Two Ways: Belgium or Chocolate-Chai Sandwich Cookies

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I love sandwich cookies. You can do so much with them. So many flavours. Maybe that’s why I love macarons…. on that note, if you can make macarons, I salute you. In my eyes, you are a kitchen master.

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Chocolate-chai may seem like an interesting combination, but it’s glorious. You may have tried ‘dirty-chai’ which is chai with coffee, and I will go a step further to say that chocolate-coffee-chai would probably taste great too… Looks like that’s a new project πŸ™‚

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You could easily use these cookies without any filling but why would you not add butter and sugar if you have the time? As long as you are allowed to eat those things, full respect if you can’t πŸ™‚

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Cinnamon Cookies Two Ways
Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
100g butter
1 (huge) Tbsp honey, melted
Dash of milk
Icing:
50g butter
1 cup icing sugar
For chocolate-chai option:
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Pinch cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch black pepper
Dash milk
For the Belgium biscuit option:
Vanilla essence
Pink food colouring
Raspberry jam

Instructions:
Mix together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar until combined. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. In another bowl, whisk the egg until broken up, then whisk in the honey. Add the egg-honey mix into the dry mixture and knead to combine gently, adding some milk if needed to bring the dough together. Knead very lightly then flatten into a disk and chill for about 10 minutes, until roll-able.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays. (Or just grease them if you are lazy)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 3-4mm thick. Cut out into rounds using your desired cutter (mine was 4cm dimeter fluted circle cutter). Transfer to the trays and bake for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden and the cookies move when budged slightly. Cool on a wire rack. Depending on the size of your tray, you make have to bake them in batches.

For the icing, you have two courses of action! Both begin with softening the butter and beating the icing sugar until super light and fluffy.
For the chocolate-chai version, add the spices and NOT the cocoa to the icing and mix. Spoon half into a piping bag and pipe into the center of HALF of the cookies, on the not-so-pretty undersides. Don’t pipe right to the edges; that comes now. Add the cocoa to the rest of the icing and pipe the chocolate-chai around the edges, being pretty if you like. Now top with another cookie to complete the sandwich.
For the Belgium biscuit version, divide the icing in half. Add the vanilla to one half and the pink food colouring (tinted to your desire) to the other half. Spoon each colour into a piping bag and on the bottom half of a cookie, pipe alternating dots of icing around the edge. Fill the centre with jam and sandwich another cookie on top.

Makes about 40 cookies all up, and they last well for a few days πŸ™‚


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Have the most wonderful week everyone! πŸ™‚ xx

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Pre-sandwich-ing!

Vegan Chocolate Orange Donuts

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Is it just me or are donuts becoming ever more accessible in the kitchen these days? I admit, these were made with a kitchen top donut-maker but even baked donuts are everywhere. Are they the latest cupcake….? Maybe!

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Either way, they are delicious, deep-fried or not. With butter and eggs or without!

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If any of you reading this are following me, I apologise for the lack of posts recently πŸ™‚ I’ll be more onto it when uni starts again!

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Vegan Orange and Chocolate Donuts
Ingredients:
Donuts:
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp plain oil
3 tsp vinegar
Juice of one orange
Roughly 120mls water
Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp margerine
Juice of half an orange
Orange zest
Maybe a little extra water
Orange food colouring (optional)
To decorate: Chocolate sprinkles
Instructions: If you are using the oven to bake these babies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your donut tin.

Mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, vinegar and orange juice. Pour in most of the water and mix well. If the mixture is still too thick to pour, add a little more water and mix again. Preheat your donut maker and pour the batter in, filling to the top. Alternately, fill up your donut tin holes and cook for about 10 minutes, until they spring back when touched lightly. Cool on a rack and make the icing: Chuck all the icing ingredients in a bowl except the food colouring and heat in the microwave for ten seconds. Mix, and if the butter isn’t melted, repeat. When smooth and spreadable, ice the top of the donuts and sprinkle with the chocolate hail/jimmies/sprinkles. Devour!

Makes about 12x5cm diameter donuts

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All the drips and drops of orange icing and sprinkles that managed to miss the donuts themselves…..!

Chocolate Petit Four Stacks with Banana or Berries (Made with a Sandwich Press!)

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Would you guess that these babies didn’t go near the oven? Instead, a sandwich press took the wheel πŸ™‚ Which means that they didn’t take very long to whip up…. 20 minutes!

Simply cut out:

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Pipe outlines of chocolate icing:
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Fill with goodies:
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And stack!

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This would be a good recipe to play around with, lots of flavours and fillings would work well! You could even add some whipped cream on top!

Here is the recipe:

Petit-Four Stacks
Ingredients:
Wafer Pastry layers:
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp sugar
25g butter, melted
Icing/Filling:
15g butter, melted
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa
Hot water
To fill:
Jam or chopped banana
Makes 10, roughly

Instructions:
For the pastry layers, turn on your sandwich press (one with flat grills!). Mix together all the ingredients. When the press is heated, dollop on tablespoon-ful sized amounts and close the lid. After a minute, check to see if it is lightly golden around the edges. Quickly take it out and cut out the layers with your chosen cutter. Leave to cool and repeat the process.

To fill, mix together the butter, icing sugar, cocoa and a dash of hot water until your have a thick icing. Spoon into a piping bag, and onto 2/3 of the pastry wafers, pipe an outline. On the remaining 1/3, pipe whatever pattern you like, squiggles or something! In the the outlines, spoon in some jam or put in a piece of banana. Stack in threes, with your patterned layer on top.

And that’s it! They last quite well, although I would serve on the day you make them. Makes about 10 altogether.

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Vegan and Raw Chocolate Fruit Mince Tarts

Raw ‘baking’, or more creating, could be easier than you think πŸ™‚

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Also healthier, I’m sure I don’t need to go into the details of raw food and vegan baking. I can, however, tell you that it is delicious! πŸ˜€

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I know that Christmas, and therefore the season of fruit mince flavours, has passed but the chocolate-avocado Β filling drags it into the rest of the year’s menu. Although, you can always swap the fruit mince for some medjool dates.

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Here is the recipe πŸ™‚

Raw Fruit Mince and Chocolate Tarts
Ingredients:
Crusts:
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used fruit mince, make sure it’s raw πŸ™‚ )
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
Pinch mixed spice/Chinese 5 spice
Filling:
1/3 cup avocado
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cocoa
To decorate:
Pine nuts

Instructions:
For the crust, whizz up all the ingredients until you have a sticky, crumbly paste. Press into about 10 small cupcake tins and freeze until firm.

When firm, very carefully run a knife around the edges and release them from the mold.

Blend all the filling ingredients until smooth (you may want to adjust the honey for the sweetness) and spoon into the tart tins. Arrange some pine nuts on top and keep in the freezer until you want to serve them; just defrost for about ten minutes before eating.

Makes ten, and they can be made the day before πŸ™‚

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Christmas Cake Bon Bons {AKA how to use up leftover Christmas Cake!}

A huge credit to Christmas cake: It lasts a lifetime. Almost. Which means very often one is left with a lifetime’s supply of Christmas cake after Christmas πŸ™‚

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Dark (or any chocolate) is here to help you, with the aid of some white chocolate or royal icing. Truffles! That you can give away if you feel like it!
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Β apologise for the inferior quality photos; they were about to be devoured πŸ™‚

Christmas Cake Bon Bons
Ingredients:
Leftover Christmas Cake, in any quantity
Chocolate (about 75g grams per cup of cake)
Also, some white chocolate, dried cranberries or red and green gummy lollies etc

Instructions:
Melt your chocolate. Crumble in the Christmas cake, adding a bit at a time, and mix until well combined. If the mixture is not very thick and is quite glossy from the chocolate still, add a bit more cake.

Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and chill until firm.

Melt the white chocolate if using, and dollop a little bit on top of each bon bon (or use the royal icing instead if this is your preferred option). Cut up the dried fruit/lollies/whatever you are using and arrange on top. Leave to set.

Devour!

Lasts well in the fridge for even over a week.

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