Wednesday, 24 September 2014

What I've Been Baking & Recipe for Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Wow wasn't that a mouthful of a title! The last few months I have been trying a few different new recipes. Nothing I can take credit for but I wanted to share in case you're lacking some inspiration! I also thought I would share what I've been doing along with a recipe for some really cute mini cupcakes with a decadent chocolate ganache frosting. I made these for a baby shower recently and they went down an absolute treat!

The minute I saw this recipe for NO CHOCOLATE chocolate brownie over at The Bubbalino Kitchen, I knew I had to make it. You've heard me lament before about how I can't quite get a brownie right! The other problem I have is that I never have a block of chocolate in my cupboard for this purpose. The main reason for that is that there's lots of half eaten chocolate! This recipe was quick, lovely and moist, and you don't even miss the chocolate. I adapted it a little by adding ¾- 1 cup of chopped dates, and (if I have them) about a half a cup of chocolate chips. The dates definitely add a lovely texture and denseness, they just melt into the brownie. I took some into my work and it was demolished! I've made it several times now with a few tweaks, I think it's my favourite brownie recipe now!

Loving the set of cloud mugs from Farmers I was given this Mother's Day!

Another recipe from the same blog I made recently was a really decadent Chocolate Chunk Cinnamon Banana Cake. I was having some new friends over for afternoon tea, and we had some ripe bananas. It seems very serendipitous that whenever I want to bake, Vanessa has a new recipe up on her blog that is perfect for me! It was so delicious that I didn't even get a chance to take a photo, except for this one on Instagram where I was scoffing it with ice cream!!

I also baked some goodies for a special person. The challenge here was making something both gluten and dairy free. Because no one in my household has any food allergies or intolerance, I usually use just standard ingredients for everything. I knew I could make my One Step Peanut Butter Cookies (recipe here), but I also wanted to make something else. I went to the Petite Kitchen website, searched "dairy free" and came up with this recipe for Apricot Coconut Lemon Snack Bars. Practically the easiest recipe EVER. All ingredients in the food processor, press into a tin, chill. DONE. Amazingly delicious. I am not usually a coconut fan and I really loved it. I would definitely make this again and I'm recommending it to everyone I know with food allergies or intolerances! 

A couple weeks ago we had a special morning tea for a work colleague who was leaving. We all brought a plate and I decided I wanted to make some mini cupcakes. I haven't really much experience with cupcakes, so I needed a good recipe. The first recipe I tried was a MEGA fail. I overfilled my cases so they just exploded everywhere. I changed recipe and precision measured my batter with a syringe, and ended up with 72 near perfect mini cupcakes. While this is a giant amount, it was brilliant because I needed to bake something for a baby shower in a few weeks time. So half I took to work, and half I froze. This weekend I defrosted the cupcakes and made a gorgeous chocolate ganache frosting. 

Proving things don't always go well for me!
The recipe for the Chocolate Cupcakes I made is from the Chelsea Sugar website, and you can find it here. It was an easy recipe, made really light moist cupcakes, and was great for my bulk baking! Definitely a recipe that I would make again. 

For the icing/frosting I wanted something a little special, so I decided to do a chocolate ganache. This recipe is one my sister gave me from one of her cookbooks, I think it may be Donna Hay. Although chocolate + chocolate might seem a bit of an overload, it actually works really well together, especially with a mini cupcake. It's great for piping, just don't cool it too much or beat too long otherwise it will begin to set (speaking from experience!) and become too hard to pipe or lumpy. 

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

(or Chocolate Fudge Icing)

250g Dark Chocolate (I use either 50% or 70% Whittakers)
½ cup cream
70g butter

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water. Stir until melted and smooth. 
Remove and cool completely, you can speed this process up by freezing or putting in the fridge, but check frequently to make sure it isn't frozen or setting. 
Once cool, beat with electric beaters until thick and fluffy. 
Use for icing a cake or put into piping back for frosting cupcakes. 

I did some pretty crazy piping as my frosting was a little too hard...I decorated the frosted cupcakes with sugar balls from our local supermarket. These would be really cute at any kind of party. My son loved them so awesome for kids too :D

Have you stumbled across any great recipes recently? Happy Baking!

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