[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] Bailey’s laced cupcakes with frostings & marshmallows

After seeing a few tweets on folk stewing over what to bake/make for blognic event (the day before) I frantically decided to rummage through the kitchen for ingredients that would help dictate what to make myself. I eventually decided on some cupcakes thinking “that shouldn’t be too hard to whip up” but having had a disastrous round in the kitchen late in the evening (NEVER AGAIN will i do last-minute baking!!) I managed to put together an edible bunch the second time round to take with me to the picnic! So using the same recipe I used for my St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, the Bailey’s infused cupcakes were topped with chocolate frosting and marshmallows (the latter was an alternative option to my initial plan of strawberries which I realised quite late that I had none left in the house!). blognic-cupcakes blognic-cupcakes-3

[From the Kitchen] Easter cupcakes!

Well folks, I do hope you’ve all had a busy albeit lovely Easter weekend. I for one kept myself buzzing around, especially in the kitchen in the run up to Easter Day but managed to catch up on some much deserved R&R on Monday! Found it hard shifting back to ‘work mode’ today but thankfully it’s only a 4-day week…..phew! Anyhoo, here’s the first part to my culinary antics from the weekend ……Easter cupcakes – made from simple Vanilla sponge with Bailey’s buttercream icing (yes I know, I opted for that again……but it really is far too delicious not to be included!!!) topped with Cadbury’s mini eggs! One batch had chocolate flavoured Bailey’s buttercream icing and the other had a slight pastel pink bailey’s buttercream icing. Nice and simple……but totally looked and tasted the part!! :D xxx

BLOG_STRIP Easter Goodies WEB

[From the Kitchen] St.Patrick’s Day Bake-off

BLOG_STRIP bailey's cupcakes WEBSo, for those who our celebrating St. Patrick’s Day over the weekend, I trust you had a might good one! We sure did, although not everything went quite to plan. The whole of Saturday B and I were busy cooking and backing up a storm for St. Patrick’s Day – B was in charge of the Irish Stew (recipe will follow in the next post!) and I was in charge of the baked delights: Chocolate Bailey’s Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream icing! :) And this post features the latter……..a rather simple recipe that gave some scrumptious results! I really had to try hard to stay clear from the icing which FYI is the BEST flavour I’ve tried to date!! :D I did initially plan on going for Guinness-flavoured cupcakes but since none of us are a huge fans of it I simply omitted the Guinness and opted for Bailey’s instead.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 275g softened butter
  • 25g cocoa powder, sieved and added to some hot water (NB you can melt plain or dark chocolate pieces if you wish for a much richer cupcake)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Baileys or other Irish cream liqueur

For the Buttercream icing:

  • 750g icing sugar
  • 250g softened butter
  • 100ml Bailey’s or other Irish cream liqueur – I may have put a tad bit extra! ;)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • green food colouring – add 1 tsp first and if you want it any greener then add a wee bit more.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  2. Line your 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, gently whisk in the cocoa powder with a bit of hot water until smooth. You can use whole milk instead of the water as another alternative. Then add the softened butter and whisk it all together gently. And yes, it’s only when you start baking do you realise how much butter and sugar goes into these bad boys!! You can only imagine what must go in the next time you’re ordering a slice of cake! It’s quite shocking really but as long as you’re not consuming these on a regular basis, a bit of sugary goodness won’t hurt too much!
  4. In a larger bowl, add the flour using a sieve followed by the caster sugar. Then mix the chocolate mixture and whisk gently making sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Make sure you don’t over-whisk these though! Next comes the eggs – preferably whisked in a separate little bowl before adding this to the mixture. Once again, make sure everything is combined well for a nice smooth batter. At the very end, add the Bailey’s in!
  5. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners dividing evenly so that they are two-thirds full. Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake for around 15-20 minutes if they are  large cupcakes – so just keep an eye out that you don’t burn them. I put mine  for roughly 12-15 minutes, and then turned the tin around on the shelf, leaving them in for another 5 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. You can also insert a toothpick in the middle of the cupcake to check if they are ready – if they come out dry then they’re done! Leaving them in for any further time makes the cupcakes too dry. Oh and if they look like they’ve erupted like a volcano in the middle, don’t worry. you can either trim that off before the icing goes on or use that shape when icing!
  6. Let cupcakes cool slightly and then transfer them onto a wire rack to fully cool, after which the icing goes on.
  7. For the icing, beat the softened butter and Bailey’s in a large bowl (using hand-held mixer, free-standing or by hand which is what I did!)  Sift in the icing sugar followed by the green food colouring, carefully incorporating all the ingredients until light and fluffy. Now, you can place icing in a piping bag with a desired tip or like me spread it on using a spatula for a more rustic look. If you choose to pipe then make sure you start at the outside of the cupcake and pressing out the icing consistently while moving around towards the center.
  8. I wasn’t able to get hold of shamrock-shaped sprinkles in time so kept it simple but if you have them or anything green or St.Patrick’s related then have fun adding that finishing touch!! :D

BLOG_STRIP bailey's cupcakes 1 WEBBLOG_STRIP bailey's cupcakes 3 WEBI did also make a small batch of experimental cupcakes where I added green coloured vanilla batter to the chocolate batter hoping i’d get a marble effect but it came out more ghoulish green than marbled! Tasted just as good though….so fluffy and moist! :D The icing is the best part by a mile!!!

Anyway…….HAPPY BAKING!!!!! :D xx