Sunday, 2 May 2010

Primrose Peanut Butter & Chocolate cupcakes

I'm currently in the midst of moving house and like anybody else i absolutely despise packing. As an excuse to get out of it for an hour or two, i decided to use up some ingredients by baking Primrose's Peanut Butter & Chocolate cupcakes.

Peanut Butter is my absolute favourite and these cupcakes were pretty tasty, although not as peanuty as Hummingbirds cookies I baked last month. The sponge was a tad on the dry side too, but i'm guessing that's a result of the salty peanut butter.

I didn't follow the suggested milk chocolate topping, firstly because I didn't have any cream and secondly I wanted to use up my remaining cocoa powder instead of trundling down to the shops for more green & blacks. This worked nicely, so don't feel the need to buy up loads of extra ingredients if you don't already have them in your storecupboard.

Overall i'd give the peanut butter sponge a 7/10, but i'd like to come back to this recipe with the correct frosting at a later date.

As always, Happy Baking xxx

Friday, 9 April 2010

Hummingbird's peanut butter cookies

Oh wow! these peanut butter cookies from the Hummingbird recipe book were AMAZING! Hummingbird, you are firmly back in my good books.

I knew it was a good sign when i couldn't stop eating the leftover cookie dough and the final product was probably the best cookie i've ever tasted and definately the best i've ever made.

I have absolutely no criticism of this recipe, all i'm going to say is you should absolutely try baking these beauties on the weekend. The combination of crunchy peanut butter and Green & Blacks dark chocolate was delicious, but then I am a big fan of salty/sweet flavours.

Only tips I can really give you are to buy the best ingredients you can afford, use whole milk and crunchy over smooth peanut butter.

Happy Baking! xxx

Friday, 2 April 2010

Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes

I've ignored the Hummingbird Cupcake book for a while, having had quite a few disappointments, but these lemon buttercream cupcakes turned out much better than i'd initially expected.

The recipe only uses one egg, replacing it with more milk, i'm not entirely convinced of this method and the sponge broke apart when prised from the cases. Another minor criticism is the use of plain flour instead of a combination of plain and self raising. The cupcakes didn't rise as much as usual and I prefer mine to rise into domes which makes the buttercream look more impressive. That being said, the sponge was just lemon-y enough without being overpowering.

Using plain flour and bicarb made the cupcakes pretty flat!

From experience with the Hummingbird recipe book i know that the buttercream quantities are a little mean, so i decided to double the quantity. I guess this is down to personal preference and the style in which you decorate, but I just like lashings of the stuff! The buttercream was ok, but i'd definately recommend using less butter and milk and replacing with more icing sugar, the texture was a bit too sloppy for my liking. I also prefer to use both the rind and juice in lemon buttercream (Hummingbird only used the rind) to give an extra zesty kick

Do excuse the rather garish colour of these cupcakes, the yellow food colouring from Waitrose came out somewhat brighter than i'd imagined! I also thought i'd better have some sort of nod to Easter, hence the mini egg decoration.

Finally for the scoring, a respectable 7/10.

Happy Easter Baking xxx

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Green and Blacks lemon drizzle cake

It may not look too pretty, but it was delicious!

Ok so I know this isn't a cupcake post, but its definately worth a mention! After twittering about what I should make over the Easter holiday, my friend Daisy suggested I make the Green & Blacks lemon drizzle cake with sunken dark chococlate. Hubby was reluctant as he wanted, quote 'a proper cake' but I ignored his pleas for yet another victoria sponge and persevered and it was AMAZING!

It's definately the best lemon drizzle cake I have ever made and the dark chocolate (I used G&B's cooks choc) went beautifully with the lemon. Orignally I was baking this to take home for Easter weekend for my family and friends to enjoy, but I have to confess that hubby and I ate most of it whilst it was still warm, so tomorrow I shall make another.

I followed the G&B recipe to the letter, aside from using caster sugar for the topping instead of golden granulated sugar. Daisy's other suggestion, which I shall definately try another time, was to slice the cake in half and add a lemon zest cream cheese filling...yummers!

Happy Easter Baking xxx

Friday, 19 February 2010

Coconut and Lime cupcakes

Sorry for the lack of blogging recently, I was on the traditional post Christmas diet, but it was only a matter of time before the steamed veggies made way for cupcake baking again.

I'm entering Northampton's first Iron Cupcake challenge in March with the theme of Alice in Wonderland, so I thought i'd better start perfecting my sponge before tackling the altogether more scary challenge of sugarcraft!

Today I made the coconut and lime cupcakes from Primrose's book. Hubby and I got married in Antigua a few years back and these ingredients evoke fond memories from sunnier climes.

The sponge was a basic vanilla, but i've got to say I wasn't all that impressed with the taste. It could have definately done with a tablespoon of vanilla rather than the teaspoon, they were just a bit too bland for my liking.

The lime and coconut buttercream was lovely, but definately add some milk to the mix. The lime juice on its own makes the icing too sticky and it doesn't spread on the cupcakes very well.

With a few tweaks i think this recipe would be amazing, i'm going to try them again for parties during the summertime. As they stand, the score is 7/10.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A belated Christmas post...mince pie cupcakes!

Happy (belated) New Year everyone! Apologies to the outrageous delay to the final Christmas post. I've got no other excuse other than running around after my son who is now crawling and standing on any piece of furniture available to him, honestly I need eyes in the back of my head!

So anyway, whilst with the family in Swansea I made these cute little mince pie cupcakes. I noticed the recipe in the Christmas edition of Delicious and it of course comes from those wonderful Primrose ladies.

As i expected the cakes did have a mixed reaction. With a mincemeat filling and brandy butter frosting these are definately for the adults. Hubby's younger sister and her friends begged for chocolate cupcakes instead!

The recipe was pretty easy to follow, although i had to cook mine for an extra 5 minutes. This could have been because i was working with a different oven though.

They were good to try, but to make life easier next Christmas i'll probably try chocolate sponge with brandy butter frosting, that way everyone will be happy!