Very Vanilla Cupcakes

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

I have been trying to create the perfect vanilla cupcake for some time now. There have been some serious trials and errors along the way (they still tasted good when they were smothered in custard!), but I think I have finally created the best vanilla cupcake ever!

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These cupcakes are super moist and are packed with awesome vanilla flavor. The buttercream is lusciously sweet and the sprinkles are just fun!

Too be honest, this recipe has been about a year in the making. Every time that I have made vanilla cupcakes in the past, they haven’t been quite right. It usually came down to texture (either too dry or too dense). There’s nothing worse than a chewy cupcake!

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The recipe is really easy and doesn’t require too much effort. The batter is very runny, but don’t worry, they bake up perfectly. The secret to the ultra-moistness is heating the butter, water, oil and vanilla together in a small saucepan over a low heat, until everything is melted. Once this mixture cools slightly, you mix it into the flour and sugar mix. Just to add even more moisture, I add in some buttermilk, 1 egg and some vanilla paste (for an extra vanilla kick).

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They are so yummy that you might have trouble stopping yourself from eating the entire batch (I know I did)!

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 2hr 30min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 250ml self-raising flour, sifted
  • 250ml sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 62.5g butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

Buttercream:

  • 125g salted butter
  • 3 & 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles to decorate

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake pan with paper cupcake cases.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, water, oil and vanilla extract and stir over a low heat until it all melts & starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 min.
  3. Mix the sifted flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla paste together in a small jug.
  5. Mix the cooled vanilla butter mixture into your dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Mix in the buttermilk, egg and vanilla paste mixture until it’s all combined.
  7. Fill your prepared cupcake pans with the batter. It will be very runny.
  8. Bake for about 15 min in your preheated oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  9. Buttercream: Beat the butter and vanilla paste until smooth. Add in the sifted icing sugar, 1 cup at a time and mix well. Add in 1-2 tbsp of the milk until your frosting is at a pipeable consistency, i.e. it should be soft, but still hold its shape and not drop off the spoon when lifted out of the bowl.
  10. Once your cupcakes are cool, pipe swirls of your vanilla buttercream onto the cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

Nutty Brittle Cookies

Nutty Brittle Cookies

Sweet, crunchy and chewy is the best way to describe these nutty brittle cookies. They’re addictive and so yummy!

Nutty Brittle Cookies. Time: 1 hr 30 min.  Makes: 40

These cookies actually ended up being a happy accident. My initial intention was to make cookies with bits of fudge in them, but I couldn’t get fudge anywhere (I failed dismally at making the fudge myself). I needed to make something different, so the only thing I could think of using was cashew nut brittle! I’m so happy that I was forced into using the brittle because these cookies are delicious. They’re sweet, nutty, crunchy and chewy all at the same time.

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They are so easy to make and make enough to feed a crowd. They are perfect with your morning (or afternoon or evening) coffee or tea!

Check out my recipe below and let me know what you think!

Nutty Brittle Cookies

  • Servings: 40 cookies
  • Time: 1 hr 30 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Nutty Brittle Cookies. Time: 1 hr 30 min.  Makes: 40

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g Nutella
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 300g nut brittle, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line some baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter, sugars and Nutella in a large bowl.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Mix in the flour and bicarbonate soda, then stir in the milk and chopped brittle.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling-wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 min.
  6. Roll level tablespoons on the cookie dough into balls and place about 3cm apart on the baking trays.
  7. Bake for about 12 min and allow to cool on trays.

Chocochino Cupcakes

Chocochino Cupcakes

Coffee cake, chocolate ganache and marshmallow frosting all come together in this yummy filled cupcake.

Chocochino Cupcakes Cover

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These cupcakes are not too sweet and will satisfy your cupcake cravings. When you bite into it, you get a very subtle coffee flavor, then a burst of creamy chocolate ganache and finally the sweet fluffiness of the marshmallow frosting.

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All the elements of this cupcake are really easy to make and don’t require too much effort. I always make the chocolate ganache first, so it has enough time to cool and then chill in the fridge. All you do is heat the cream in a small saucepan on the stove until it starts boiling, then you remove it from the heat and pour it over your chopped chocolate (which is in a heatproof bowl at this point). Leave the mixture for 5 min, then whisk it until it’s smooth and glossy. Easy as that!

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The cupcakes really don’t take long to assemble. You just cut the center out of each cupcake (I have a nifty cupcake corer to do this), fill each one with the chilled chocolate ganache, then pipe a swirl of marshmallow frosting on top and sprinkle some grated chocolate on it as a finishing touch!

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They are fantastic with a cup of coffee or tea and are perfect at any time of day (I sneakily had 1 for breakfast). Really hope you guys enjoy these yummy little filled cupcakes!

Chocochino Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 2hr 30min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Coffee Cupcakes:

  • 62.5g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee (4 tsp coffee powder to 1/2 cup hot water)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 100ml cream
  • 150g milk chocolate, chopped

Marshmallow Frosting:

  • 3 extra large egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Topping:

  • 80g milk chocolate, grated

Directions:

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 5 min.
  3. Whisk the chocolate cream mixture until all the chocolate has melted and it becomes glossy.
  4. Allow to cool for 1 hour, then chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and place cupcake cases into a 12 hole cupcake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in sifted flour and baking powder, alternating with the brewed coffee.
  4. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
  5. Fill cupcake cases to 2/3 full and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 min. Allow to cool in the pan.

Marshmallow Frosting:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Beat with a hand mixer until it all combines and becomes white & fluffy.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and beat on high for 10 min, until it becomes light & fluffy.

Assembly:

  1. Core the cupcakes with a cupcake corer or a small sharp knife.
  2. Fill your cupcakes with the chocolate ganache.
  3. Pipe swirls of marshmallow fluff frosting on top of your filled cupcakes.
  4. Top with grated chocolate.

 

Comfort Food at Home

Comfort Food at Home

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! After pigging out on WAY too many Easter eggs, I’ve decided to skip baking this week (for the sake of my waistline), so unfortunately there won’t be any new recipes this week. Fear not, I will be back with a new cookie recipe next week!

I thought I’d do a post about my favorite comfort food meals that I make for my family. Dinner is definitely the most important meal for me. I’m not a big breakfast eater (mainly just cereal or coffee & biscotti) and I’m not really that fussed about lunch, unless I’m eating out at a nice restaurant. So dinner is the biggest meal of the day in my house. I am trying to lose weight, but I can’t bring myself to eat salad or veggies every night, so I do indulge a bit in my midweek comfort food (midweek, weekend, whenever really!).

One of my absolute favorite meals is the humble burger. I love making fresh beef patties or spicing a perfectly succulent chicken breast and topping it with cheese, tomatoes, pickles, onions and homemade burger sauce. This is definitely my ultimate comfort food! To make it complete I usually add some oven baked fries or homemade onion rings.

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Another firm favorite is Italian food. Mainly pizza and pasta. I make homemade pizza every second Friday night and I usually end up making pasta once a week. I love simple pizzas and pastas. My go-to topping for pizza is Parma ham and I love any pasta in a creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese!

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We’ve also become rather big fish eaters. If you had told my teenage self that I would be indulging in seafood as an adult, I would have fallen on the floor laughing. I used to hate the stuff. Now, there’s nothing better than some good old fish & chips (with tartar sauce of course)!

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And last, but not least, is our love of Asian food. We get major cravings for chow mein, sweet & sour or a good Thai meal. When it comes to Asian food, the simpler the better. I love simple Asian flavors made with only a few ingredients. One of my go-to midweek Asian comfort meals is a cheat’s version of a Korean beef bowl (made with ground beef, soy sauce, sugar, spices, spring onion and rice). It’s SO simple and extremely yummy!

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Obviously, there are many, many more comfort meals that I absolutely love, but these are definitely in my top 10! I’d love to hear what your favorite comfort meals are, so please get in touch with me!