[From the Kitchen]: Drunken Reindeer Christmas cupcakes!

MbM_Reindeer-Cupcakes_1Good morning folks! I hope your weekend-before-Christmas has been wonderful so far!

Well, in the spirit of Christmas, and seeing as I’ve not done a ‘from the kitchen‘ post in aaages, I’m going to share with you my recent festive baking shenanigans; making Reindeer cupcakes! :) I took inspiration from this recipe I found on BBC Food by Mari Williams which I thought was incredibly adorable, and oh-so clever! I tweaked the recipe by adding a festive concoction of spices (ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and whisky to the chocolate batter……to basically become ‘spiced whisky chocolate cupcakes’ a.k.a my Drunken Reindeer Cupcakes. ;) It turned out amazingly and the entire house smelt so Chrismassy – it was divine! So, if you fancy some easy Sunday afternoon baking fun, then give this chocolate cupcakes with a ‘festive twist’ a go because I promise you, you’ll love it. It totally brings out the inner child in you….actually it’s a perfect one to do with your kids too….obviously, minus the alcohol! That is strictly for adults! :)

What you’ll need:

125g (4½oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
200g (7oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100ml (3½fl oz) milk
100g (3½oz) dark 70% cocoa solids chocolate, melted
2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur (optional)

For the chocolate icing
50g dark chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp double cream

To decorate
giant chocolate buttons
crisp-coated chocolates (such as Smarties or M&Ms)
mini pretzels
black writing icing
mini marshmallows, sliced

[Reference: Mari Williams, BBC Food]

I replaced the Irish cream with 2 tbsp of Whisky and added 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to improvise the recipe. You can do the same and add your own flavours to suit. It takes less than 30minures to prepare and 30minutes to cook. For instructions on the preparation process, click on the BBC Food link above. Note that the above is for 12 cupcakes so just double the measurements/quantities if you want to make 24.

Happy baking and hope these go down a treat just as they have done here at MbM HQ!! ;)

MbM_Reindeer-Cupcakes_1-WEB[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[From the Kitchen] Easter eggs!

BLOG_STRIP Easter Goodies1WEB Next up….chocolate Easter eggs! :D

What you’ll need:

  • Chocolate Egg Mould – I bought mine from Lakeland
  • atleast 600g of chocolate bars – Cadbury’s, Galaxy or Green & Black’s milk or dark chocolates are good for these.
  • Glass bowl to melt the chocolate in
  • Saucepan for hot water
  • Spatula
  • Decorations: Ribbons, Sprinkles, Foil, Cocoa dust, Royal Icing – I ran out of time to pipe the icing onto the chocolate shells so filled my eggs with Cadbury’s mini Eggs!

BLOG_STRIP Easter Goodies2 WEBWhat you’ll need to do:

  1. is start by melting the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water, stirring gently. While this is pretty straightforward, make sure you keep an eye on the temperature so that it doesn’t rise above 27C (for milk or white chocolate) or 37C (for dark chocolate) What this does is maintain the shine and snap once it resets.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat once the optimum temperature is reached and continuing stirring a bit more vigorously than before until all the chocolate is melted.
  3. Pour the chocolate into the bottom base of the mould – judge it so it’s thick enough to cover the entire mould. And then start rotating the mould so that you gently cover the entire mould. Keep doing this until you evenly distribute the chocolate around the mould. I  added more chocolate as I wanted it to be a bit thicker and by doing so it turned out a bit more rustic as it gradually set! Also, if it goes over the sides, try to clean it off then and there. Mine wasn’t as neat as hoped as trying to juggle taking photos while making these were a tad bit tricky!
  4. Do these to both your moulds (or however many you have) and then place them in the fridge for about 20mins to properly set.
  5. Take the moulds out of the fridge and gently tap the halves out of the moulds.
  6. To stick the two halves together you can go for various methods. One, you can dip brush in melted chocolate and line the edges of the shells – this will act as the glue to stick them together. Or for a slightly cleaner option place the shells onto a warm saucepan for a couple of seconds until you see the edges melt. Quickly stick the two halves together.
  7. Obviously, if you fancy putting some treats inside the Eggs, then make sure you do that before sticking the two halves together! Once your Eggs shells are stuck together you are ready to decorate them however way you wish! Since I was a bit tight for time I tied ribbons around mine. Et Voila! I’m hoping to put some proper chocolate decorating skills to test another time!

Pretty simple right? So there you go….a ‘must try’ for next Easter! :) xx