Chocolate Surprise Cupcake Sandwiches

What better way to show your loved one what they mean to you than with chocolate cake? Exactly, there isn’t one. So you must make them these Chocolate Surprise Cupcake Sandwiches:

Ingredients

  • 175g of Butter
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 75g of Flour
  • 50g of Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 75g of Icing Sugar
Chocolate Surprise Cupcake Sandwiches

Chocolate Surprise Cupcake Sandwiches

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Fan Oven) and place your cupcake cases into your cupcake tin
  2. In a bowl sift the sugar and 100g of butter and cream until smooth
  3. Then sift in the flour, 25g of cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix until crumbly
  4. Then the eggs and whisk until smooth
  5. Pour into your cupcake cases evenly
  6. Place into the preheated oven for between 10-12 minutes. You can check if the cupcakes are ready by lightly touching the top to see if it springs back
  7. Get the cupcakes out and allow to cool
  8. Once cool takes the cakes out of the cases and cut evenly across the centre
  9. You can then prepare the frosting
  10. Place 75g of butter and the icing sugar into a bowl with the rest of your cocoa and cream together until smooth
  11. Then taking one cupcake at a time place a large dollop of frosting onto the base and squeeze the top part of so it oozes to the sides
  12. Dust with icing sugar to finish then enjoy!

I hope you made these Chocolate Surprise Cupcake Sandwiches  today and I hope they were the perfect accompaniment to your romantic evening, or to an evening alone on your sofa… they really work either way!

Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate sandwiched into goodness!

Banana and Oat Healthy Muffins

So like the rest of you it is the start of a new year, I am going to eat better, bla bla bla! Well actually I have sort of been sticking to it and have been investigating some baking that will fit in with this theme. There are not that many healthy and super yummy baking recipes out there but this winning combination is always guaranteed to work. A recipe for Banana and Oat Healthy Muffins:

Ingredients

  • 200g of Flour
  • 80g of Rolled Oasts
  • 50g of Sugar
  • 2tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Egg
  • 175ml of Milk
  • 75ml of Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2tsp of Vanilla Essence
  • 250g of Mashed Bananas
Banana and Oat Healthy Muffins

Banana and Oat Healthy Muffins

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C and line a cupcake tin with cases
  2. Put the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and combine
  3. In another bowl beat the eggs lightly
  4. Then add the milk, oil and vanilla essence and stir
  5. Add the banana and mix thoroughly
  6. Gradually combine the dry ingredients into the banana mix until you all used all of the mix
  7. The pour the mixture into the cases and put into the oven for 18-20 minutes
  8. To make sure they are cooked through you can use a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are ready to go!
  9. Cool and Serve!

If you are trying to eat well but sometimes have to give into that craving then these Banana and Oat Healthy Muffins are just the right thing for you! They are sweet enough to satisfy the urge to snack but they have enough goodness to make them OK. A winning combination when they taste great too!

Do you have any healthy baking recipes? I would love to hear them!

Vanilla Tray Bake with Lemon Frosting

A couple of weeks ago I promised my colleagues I would bake something over the weekend for Monday at work. Normally I limit it to Birthdays or special occasions, or I could be doing it everyday. But as it turns out after a relaxing Sunday I actually felt like baking. There was however one small problem… I had no cupcake cases! Generally I am not a fan of baking big cakes as they just never taste quite as good, this time however my hands were tied. So I decided that a tray bake may be more successful and would also go further at work! So looking through the ingredients I had in (not a lot) I went for a Vanilla Tray Bake with Lemon Frosting. Here is my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 350g of Butter
  • 200g of Sugar
  • 200g of Flour
  • 2 tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • 1 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp of Lemon Essence
  • 150g of Icing Sugar
  • Hundreds and Thousands
Vanilla Tray Bake with Lemon Frosting

Vanilla Tray Bake with Lemon Frosting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Fan Oven) and line the base of a deep tray with baking paper
  2. In a bowl sift the sugar and 200g of butter and cream until smooth
  3. Then sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix until crumbly
  4. Then the eggs and vanilla essence and whisk until smooth
  5. Pour into your tray and allow it to settle evenly for a few minutes
  6. Once complete place into your preheated oven for between 25-30 minutes. You can check if the cake is ready by gently touching the top of one, if it springs back then you are good to go!
  7. Get the cake out and allow to cool
  8. Once cool you can prepare the frosting
  9. Place 150g of butter and the icing sugar into a bowl with the lemon essence and cream together until smooth
  10. Use this to decorate the top of your tray bake (it does not need to be neat, perfect right)
  11. Finally scatter your hundreds and thousands over the top
  12. Then enjoy!

I can actually say that I was really pleased with how well this Vanilla Tray Bake with Lemon Frosting came out. It smelt, looked and tasted great! Possibly my best improvised large cake to date! It is a recipe for every occasion as it onlz takes an hour or so to make and will easily give you 16 good sized portion. You could also be more experimental with the decoration if the feeling takes you!

Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshake

The other night I had a real craving for something sweet, however I did not have anything in and I knew that if I baked I would probably lose interest by the time it was cooked so I decided to go for a Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshake. Not my usual baking recipes but here goes:

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas
  • 2tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • 2tsp of Cocoa Powder
  • 300ml of Milk
Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshake

Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshake

Method

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a jug or blender
  2. Blend until completely combined
  3. Pour into a large glass and serve with a straw!

To be a true critic this Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshake was actually far too sweet and sickly for me, I think I went to heavy on the cocoa. However if sweet and sickly is your vice then this is the milkshake for you!

I am really into smoothies and milkshakes at the moments so would love to hear your favourite recipes!

Cupcake Lessons – Chocolate Cupcakes

My Portuguese colleague had her son staying with her in Berlin this Christmas and wanted to introduce her to all of her friends and what she loved to do. So we decided that we would have dinner and teach him how to make cupcakes. It was really fun as I love seeing kids have fun learning to bake and the pride they have when it works out just as they wanted. So in Martim’s cupcake lessons we made Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting:

Ingredients

  • 175g of Butter
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 75g of Flour
  • 50g of Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 50g of Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Orange Essence
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Fan Oven) and put your cupcake cases into your baking tray
  2. In a bowl sift the sugar and 100g of butter and cream until smooth
  3. Then sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix until crumbly
  4. Then add the eggs and whisk until smooth
  5. Place into the oven for between 10-12 minutes. You can check if the cupcakes are good by gently touching the top of one, if it springs back then you are good to go!
  6. Get the cupcakes out and allow to cool
  7. Once cool you can prepare the frosting
  8. Place 75g of butter and 50g of icing sugar into a bowl with 1 tbsp of orange essence and cream together until smooth
  9. Use this to decorate your cupcakes as well as some sugar decorations I had at home
  10. Then enjoy!

These Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Orange Frosting and I think Martim was really pleased he could say that he helped. I think he was even more pleased when I gave him the leftovers in a box to take home with him!

This was great fun and as someone who got into baking when I was older, it makes me think that just one day I might like to look at giving lessons to children….

Christmas Chocolates

This Christmas I wanted to add an extra special touch to my presents so I decided to make Homemade Christmas Chocolates for all of us to enjoy on Christmas Day. I made 2 different types of chocolate, the first was chunks of Chocolate Tiffin Bar, perfect for this purpose and the rest can be enjoyed too!

The second were Chocolate Almond Truffles and here is how I made them:

Ingredients

  • 200g of Dark Chocolate (at least 75% cocoa)
  • 200ml of Double Cream
  • 35g of Butter
  • 2 tbsp of Almond Essence
  • Chocolate Vermicelli
Christmas Chocolates

Christmas Chocolates

Method

  • Break the chocolate up into a bowl and set aside
  • Put the butter, cream iand almond essence nto a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the cream begins to simmer
  • Then pour the cream mix over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is combined and smooth
  • Place the mixture into the fridge and leave to cool for around 4 hours
  • Once cool you can make your truffles
  • To start placed all of your toppings onto plates so the truffles can be easily rolled
  • Take a teaspoon of the mix and gently roll into a ball using your hands (you may want to wash your hands in very cold water before doing this)
  • Then roll your truffle in your chocolate vermicelli until it is well covered
  • Then place them in a tin one by one until all of the mixture is gone
  • I would recommend cooling them for a further 30 minutes or so as they get quite sticky when being rolled
  • I then packaged them with the Chocolate Tiffin into a clear bag adding a Christmas ribbon to present to our guests!

My Christmas Chocolates were well received and I thought they were the perfect extra touch to make a truly special gift.

Note to my friends, watch out 2015 maybe the year that you get chocolates for all of your special occasions!

Christmas in Berlin

Christmas 2014 was our 4th since moving to Berlin and as usual we were staying here for Christmas. Although we miss our family at this time of year, Berlin is just too magical to leave behind with the endless Christmas markets, Gluhwein and increased chance of a White Christmas. I also love to make Christmas dinner and entertain for our friends in Berlin, who are as close as family at this time of year. We always make a traditional turkey roast and I have far too many homemade (and naughty) snacks floating around. This years Christmas in Berlin was the best of them yet and here a few of my memories from it:

My Secret Santa

My Secret Santa Gift

 

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping

 

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

 

Enjoying a Gluhwein

Enjoying a Gluhwein

 

Snow - One Day Late

Snow – One Day Late

 

Merry Christmas from Berlin

Merry Christmas from Berlin

Every Christmas I think we should truly appreciate those people that we have in our lives everyday, who really love us, support us and are there for us no matter what. I am lucky to be spoiled by my husband every year but I think that it is important for this time of year not to be materialistic or about possessions but about making memories with those we love.

I truly wish you all had a wonderful Christmas 2014!

Marble Cupcakes

In December David turned the big 3-0 so I wanted to make something a little bit special for his birthday and at his request I made Marble Cupcakes for his party and this is how I did it:

Ingredients 

  • 350g of Butter
  • 200g of Sugar
  • 175g of Flour
  • 50g of Cocoa
  • 1 tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • 1 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • 125g of Icing Sugar
Marble Cupcake Mixture

Marble Cupcake Mixture

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Fan Oven) and put your cupcake cases (this recipe makes 24 cupcakes) into your baking tray
  2. In one bowl sift 100g of the sugar and 100g of butter and cream until smooth
  3. Then sift in 100g of the flour, ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp of baking powder and mix until crumbly
  4. Then add 2 eggs and 1 tbsp of vanilla and whisk until smooth
  5. Set aside
  6. In a second bowl sift 100g of the sugar and 100g of butter and cream until smooth
  7. Then sift in 100g of the flour 25g of cocoa, ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp of baking powder and mix until crumbly
  8. Then add 2 eggs and whisk until smooth
  9. Now add one dollop (around one tablespoon) of the vanilla mixture to each cupcake case
  10. Then add around the same amount of the chocolate mixture to each cupcake case
  11. Repeat this process until all of the mixture is used and each case (of 24) has roughly the same amount of cake batter in it
  12. Then you take a toothpick and place into the centre of the case swirling gently out to the edge (do not swirl it too much or you will just mix the batters together)
  13. Repeat this process for each cupcake
  14. Once complete place into your preheated oven for between 10-12 minutes. You can check if the cupcakes are good by gently touching the top of one, if it springs back then you are good to go!
  15. Get the cupcakes out and allow to cool
  16. Once cool you can prepare the frosting, I made half vanilla and half chocolate for them
  17. Place 75g of butter and 75g of icing sugar into a bowl with 1 tbsp of vanilla essence and cream together until smooth
  18. Use this to decorate 12 of your cupcakes
  19. Then place 75g of butter, 50g of icing sugar and 25g of cocoa into a bowl and cream together until smooth
  20. Use this to decorate the remaining cupcakes
  21. Alternatively, you could gently swirl the two frostings together gently and also decorate them in this style (regretting only just thinking of this)
  22. Then enjoy!
Marble Cupcakes Ready for the Oven

Marble Cupcakes Ready for the Oven

These Marble Cupcakes have a really great effect when served and they look truly spectacular!

Marble Cupcakes

Marble Cupcakes

But the beauty of Marble Cupcakes is, that they aren’t hard to make and you just cannot go wrong as the pattern is abstract so who cal tell if you did go wrong? They are also taste yummy!

I think I will be trying this recipe with different flavour combinations and possibly just different colour combinations in the future… so watch this space!

My Best Friends Wedding

Just 9 weeks after our wedding we were thrilled to be a part of My Best Friends Wedding. With a whistle stop tour it was back to England for less than 48 hours for us so we could attend the big day and here are a few keepsakes that we have from our trip:

David and I

David and I

Wedding Favour

Wedding Favour

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

 

It was both an honour and a blessing to be a part of My Best Friends Wedding day. I could not be happier to see them finally become a married couple and am blessed to have them in my life everyday!

Vanilla Cake Pops with Lemon Icing

As you know I got a Cake Pop Maker for my birthday and I could not wait to try it out, we had cake pops for the kids at our wedding and they just looked so perfect that I already doubted how my own would live up to them but here is how I make my Vanilla Cake Pops with Lemon Frosting:

Ingredients

  • 100g of Butter
  • 100g of Sugar
  • 100g of Flour
  • 1 tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • ½ tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g of Icing Sugar
  • Few drops of Lemon Juice
  • Few drops of Water
  • Hundreds and Thousands
Vanilla Cake Pops with Lemon Icing

Vanilla Cake Pops with Lemon Icing

Method

  1. Turn on your cake pop maker so it can preheat
  2. Sift the sugar into a bowl and add the butter and cream until smooth
  3. Then sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix until crumbly
  4. Then add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth
  5. The cake pop maker will be hot by now (follow the instructions specific to your model)
  6. Open it and brush a light layer of butter onto each mould before spooning your mixer into them, I did this to the top of the bottom mould as I thought this got the best result of a full pop
  7. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes
  8. Once ready open and carefully remove from the mould onto a cooling rack
  9. Repeat this process until you have used alll of your mixture, I found this got around 30 pops
  10. Once your pops are cool you can make your icing by mixing the icing sugar and lemon juice together and gradually adding water until you have a smooth and thick mixture
  11. The pick up a pop and dip into the icing then directly into the hundreds and thousands
  12. Balance carefully on your cooling rack until they have set
  13. You can then eat and enjoy!

I could not have been more thrilled with the final results of these Vanilla Cake Pops with Lemon Frosting. They simply looked amazing and tasted so good too. probably too good! These little mouthfuls get eaten soooo quickly so if you are trying to be good this New Years just do not even consider this recipe. That is a warning!

However for the price of the machines, I would really recommend these as an investment as they are really simple, I think it would be a great task to get the kids involved with, probably not when using the machine as it gets really really hot but the decorating and eating of course!