Thursday, 18 December 2014

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Peppermint Frosting

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Peppermint Frosting

Remember I told you I love white chocolate and peppermint together and how Christmassy I think it is? Well, I’m using the combo again! But these cupcakes are so nice, I know you won’t mind.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Peppermint Frosting

The cupcakes in the recipe are made using melted white chocolate and have a lot of vanilla extract, which brings out the flavour even more. And as for the topping, it’s a peppermint flavoured buttercream. And to add a little bit of kick I’ve sprinkled on some sea salt. I tried peppermint and salt together recently and it was lovely. Because the cupcakes are sweet, the salt also helps to temper that a little bit too.

To finish, I dunked the frosted cupcakes in some crushed candy canes, for an extra minty hit and a bit of crunch. It’s a really simple recipe that you will love.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
250 grams self-raising flour
175 grams caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 medium eggs
90 ml milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
100 grams white chocolate, melted and cooled

Frosting Ingredients:
100 grams unsalted butter
250 grams icing sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1-2 teaspoon milk
Red food colouring
Sea Salt to sprinkle
6 candy canes, crushed

Cupcake Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12 cupcake tin with liners.

In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and vanilla. Add the cooled butter and milk chocolate, making sure they are cooled as you don’t want scrambled eggs! Beat until fully combined then add to the flour mix and with a spoon mix until the ingredients are combined. Don’t over mix.

Divide the batter equally between the 12 cupcake liners and place in the oven to bake for 15 to 10 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean from the centre of a cupcake and it should be golden brown on top. Allow to cool fully.

Frosting Method:

Beat the butter with the icing sugar and peppermint extract. When it is all combined, if it feels to stiff add a little milk until you get a spreadable consistency. Add some colouring. With a knife, spread the buttercream on top of each cupcake and then sprinkle the tops of each with a little salt (don’t overdo it!). Cover the buttercream in crushed candy canes.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Peppermint Frosting

And that’s it! The white chocolate cupcakes are very sweet, very vanilla. And the contrast of minty and slightly salty is very, very good! Enjoy…

Monday, 15 December 2014

Mince Pie and Custard Bars

shortbread, mincemeat and custard

I never used to like mince pies you know. As with a lot of Christmas sweet treats, they were full of dried fruit such as sultanas, currants, raisins and other things which my palate didn’t really take to.

But as I got older, I got braver and I started to not mind dried fruits quite so much. Now, I still wouldn’t go near a Christmas pudding, but I do quite like a mince pie with its warming, slightly spicy filling.

So this year I decided to bake something with mincemeat in it.  I didn’t quite go the whole hog and make my own mincemeat, but if you are so inclined my good friend Kevin at ‘The Crafty Larder’ has a vegetarian slow-cooker recipe which look simple and delicious.

shortbread, mincemeat and custard

I decided to make my mincemeat treats into bars, or squares, by baking a shortbread type base (replacing pastry), slathered with a jar of mincemeat and then more shortbread crumbled on top. To finish with I wanted something to decorate it with,  which turned out to be a really easy custard drizzle.

So easy, all I did was open a packet of instant custard powder and mixed it with some milk until I got a drizzling consistency. The drizzle set after a little while and added a little extra sweetness from something you would normally associate with mince pies.

Disneyboi is a true lover of mince pies and he gobbled these bars up in no time at all!

225 grams butter
260 grams plain flour
150 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
400 grams mincemeat (1 regular jar)
I packet of instant custard powder
1-2 tablespoons milk

Line a 9”x13” baking pan with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a food processor pulse the butter, flour, sugar, salt, orange rind and cloves until it begins to form a ball. Tip half of it into the lined baking pan and with a spatula press down into an even layer, so the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Reserve the other half.
If using shop-bought mincemeat, warm it slightly in the microwave (about 30 seconds or so) then spread it evenly, all over the layer of dough.

With the remaining dough crumble this over the top of the mincemeat. You should still be able to see patches of the mincemeat peeking through.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top layer of shortbread crumbles is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully. Using the greaseproof paper remove it from the pan and cut into squares.

To make the custard drizzle, empty the packet of instant powder into a jug and add 1 tablespoon of milk, stirring this through so there is no dryness. If it seems too dry add more milk until it’s of drizzling consistency. With a fork or whisk drizzle it over the top of the squares.

Let it set for a while, if you can wait that long!

shortbread, mincemeat and custard

There you have a different take on your festive mince pie. Give it a try!

I am entering these into mine and Kat (The Baking Explorer)'s challenge 'Treat Petite'. Kat is hosting and the theme is Christmas.

And I'm also entering these into this month's Alphabakes hosted by Ros (The More Than Occasional Baker...) and this month Caroline at 'Caroline Makes'. The letter is X and they are accepting any Christmassy treats. Which I believe this treat is!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Win a Baking Substitutions Tea Towel

It’s another festive giveaway here on Cakeyboi. I love to have a few over the Christmas period as a thank you to all my lovely readers.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Eggnog Surprise Smoothie

Eggnog Surprise Smoothie

You may note that I have called this an Eggnog Surprise Smoothie. What is the surprise you might be asking? – read on!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Red Velvet Krispie Roll

red velvet krispie treats in a festive log shape

This Red Velvet Krispie Roll is an easy and tasty treat for kids to both make and enjoy.

Instead of making Krispie treats into squares or other shapes, why not make a festive log, which can be sliced up? It looks very Christmassy with its red and white swirls.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Cakeyboi and the Chocolate Factory

‘I got a golden ticket!’ sang Charlie Bucket once upon a time and to be honest I felt as if I had found such a prize in a bar of chocolate after finding out I was going on a tour of the Thorntons Factory.

You know Thorntons, providing us with chocolate heaven since way back in 1911. They opened their first store in Sheffield that year and haven’t looked back since. Their shops and cafes are now a familiar sight on our high streets.

A few of we food bloggers actually got ‘golden tickets’ and the gathering consisted of myself, my friend Jac from ‘Tinned Tomatoes’ (who invited me along on the trip), Janice from ‘Farmersgirl Kitchen’, Rachel Cotterill from her self-titled blog and Becca from 'Amuse Your Bouche'. Thankfully there was no Verruca Salt or Augustus Gloop joining us!

Friday, 5 December 2014

American Candy Giveaway!

If you are a regular Cakeyboi reader, you will know that I am a bit obsessed with all things American!