I got a lot done on the jewellery front this weekend, fuelled mainly by a batch of long awaited cupcakes.
I haven’t made cupcakes successfully* for about two years, since my cupcake tins were lost during a house move. I kept forgetting to buy new ones, but I finally picked up some at the weekend and realised just exactly what I had been missing!
In an old oven like ours, where cakes take an age to cook through, cupcakes are just the right thing, they cook quickly and properly in about 15minutes, perfect. There isn’t a recipe per se for these as I made it up as I went along!
I had a bit of cocoa, a bit of dark chocolate and some coffee in the cupboard that I wanted to use.
I used a standard Victoria sponge recipe, 100g each of butter, sugar and self raising flour and two eggs. It makes quite a thick mixture so it is ideal for adding things too without making the mixture too runny. I added three tablespoons of coffee (2 teaspoons of instant dissolved in a tiny bit of hot water), about 3 tablespoons of cocoa and some chunks of about 100g chocolate cut into pieces. Mixed it up and spooned about a tablespoon in to 12 cupcake cases, gas mark 5 for about 15minutes and they were all done!
I lacked ingredients for icing but they would be perfect with a bit of buttercream on top.
* My unsuccessful attempt involved me thinking that cupcake cases wedged closely together on a baking tray would be absolutely fine. Result – lots of cake batter spilling out of cake cases and onto my tin – not good! You need proper cupcake tins.
Lately I’ve been cooking a lot with chocolate – brownies, biscotti, more brownies – I was really craving oatmeal raisin cookies after this blog post on Smitten Kitchen. I tried the recipe from Friends (I’m not sure if it was an official Friends recipe though, lol) a couple of years ago and they were indeed the best oatmeal raisin cookies ever. I don’t know why it took me such a long time to make them again, they are perfect cookies.
I used the recipe from A Spoonful of Sugar in the end and it turned out some gorgeous cookies – crumbly, chewy and crispy.
The only thing I’d change about this is the amount of sugar, as they are a bit too sweet, even for me. I think next time I will go down to 200g in total of brown sugar. The mixture was quite dry anyway so I think taking out the sugar will help next time.
The beauty of this recipe is that it makes LOTS of cookies, my batch made about 45 – probably more if I hadn’t made the first batch bigger than I should have, the cookies spread out quite a bit when they bake.
I froze half of the mixture. To do this form into dough balls, freeze on a tray and then chuck them in a freezer bag – you can cook them from frozen (I’d double the cooking time for this). I like doing this, nothing cheers up a bad day like fresh cookies made with no effort.
I think next time I am going to experiment with a bit of lemon zest or maybe cranberries and raisins.
I am not responsible for any diets broken by this blog post.
Today I made double chocolate chip cookies, I have recently managed to perfect making brownies, after several failed attempts in the past, so I have been a bit brownie made recently and fancied a change.
I know these are still chocolate but cookies are something quite different They are much better with tea (or milk of course) too.
These are adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe (I can’t bear Nigella Lawson herself but she does have some great recipes) which was really really heavy on the chocolate. I admit to having to tone it down a little bit – for the sake of my health and the fact that I didn’t have 500g of chocolate, which is what the recipe required. Instead I used 100g of chocolate and about 75g for the chips. I used chopped up dark chocolate rather than cooking chocolate chips as I prefer to use proper chocolate.
These are great soft cookies and they are so chocolatey but not too cakey and bakey so they aren’t too dense. These are the best ones I’ve ever made. The only problem with these is that you have to wait at least 5 or 10 mins for them to crisp up a bit and the chocolate to set before stuffing your face.
If you have broken your diet with these, you probably won’t care anyway because they are too good.
This has to be the easiest cake to make ever, and its very very tasty too.
The recipe basically calls for putting everything in the bowl at once (except the nutella) and mixing it all up, no creaming of butter and sugar or sifting of flour needed. I even melted the butter in the oven entirely, so it saved me a job there too.
This is a great cake to make in the evening or on a Sunday afternoon when you have little motivation to make something and all the shops are closed- but you NEED cake.
I had a bit of Hotel Chocolate Smudge in the cupboard, which I used instead, its a lot more hazlenutty which made up for the fact that I had no hazlenuts in the cupboard either.
Was gorgeous with a steaming mug of tea, just the thing for a rainy weekend!
And because I haven’t blogged about jewellery for a while… these are my newest creations.
Lovely vintage pink chalcedony with tanzanite and pearls on oxidized silver.
A bit of a mixed last couple of days…
Firstly, I finally succeeded to make lemon drizzle cake! Normally it turns out a bit of a sunken mess, but this time it rose perfectly, was light and the topping nice and sweet and tangy and crunchy.
I used this recipe (it doesn’t come out as grey brown looking as that picture though, its very much golden and a lovely lemony colour inside).
It was gorgeous with a bit of ice cream.
We’ve also had a bit of cat drama in our household! We cooked a lovely roast chicken yesterday too, and kept the rest in the fridge to eat today. Got home from work this evening to find the fridge door broken into and a very greasy and guilty looking cat. She has had to be washed with pet shampoo as she had a greasy head, so that was her punishment. Look at the guilt:
She’s in the dog/cathouse this evening!