Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Cupcake Jemma: Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Hey everyone :)

I wanted something chocolatey over the weekend and so I decided to make these lovely gooey cupcakes!

Ingredients (cupcakes): 
75g dark chocolate
175g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
185g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 large free-range eggs
120ml cooled coffee
120ml buttermilk
105ml vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 12 holed muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Finely chop the chocolate and add to a medium sized bowl.
3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the same bowl using a sieve - so ... the plain flour, cocoa powder, caster sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Mix with a whisk so everything is combined.
4. In a free standing mixer bowl - add the eggs, cooled coffee, buttermilk and vegetable oil and beat for a minute or so until combined.
5. With the mixer on slow - gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat for a couple of minutes until everything is combined.
6. Transfer the mixture to a jug as it will be too runny to spoon into the cases.
7. Fill the paper cases 2/3 full and use a spoon to catch the drips from the jug as you fill up each case.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until they spring back when touched.
9. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Ingredients (buttercream):
180g dark chocolate
300g un-salted butter, soft
540g sifted icing sugar
4 tablespoon whole milk

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling water. Ensure the water does not touch the bottom/side of the bowl. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
2. Put the butter in a bowl of a free standing mixer and beat for about 10 minutes - the butter should be pale white and whip-like.
3. Add half of the sifted icing sugar and beat for a further 5 minutes.
4. Add the last of the sifted icing sugar and beat for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the whole milk and again beat for another 5 minutes.
6. Gradually add the chocolate and beat for another 5 minutes (ensure the chocolate is cool and not still hot as you don't want to melt the butter in the icing and end up with a sloppy mess).

Then you can pipe or dollop the icing onto the cupcakes.

Let me know in the comments below if you have made any of Cupcake Jemma's recipes :)


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Cupcake Jemma: Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes

Hi everyone :)

I realised that I had not posted any cupcake recipes or made any new cupcakes for sometime now and I decided that I needed to change that! So I was sitting at work and I asked everyone ... if I was to make any cupcakes what flavours would peak their interest?!

We somehow got onto the Nutella cupcake and I started searching for recipes and guess who had a recipe for it ... none other than CUPCAKE JEMMA!

So here we go ...

50g roasted hazelnuts
100g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
140g unsalted butter, soft
2 large free range eggs
1 1/2 tbsp whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

100g unsalted butter, soft
150g Nutella
225g icing, sifted
3-4 tbsp whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 170°C
2. Firstly you want to throw the hazelnuts in a food processor (or a nutri-bullet, or some kind of small hand blender) to pulverise them into grains - not powder though.
3. Pop them into the mixing bowl, then with the sieve on top of the mixing bowl - add the flour, cocoa powder, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda and the pinch of salt in and pass through the sieve.
4. Add the butter and 2 eggs and mix for about 1 minute on medium to high speed.
5. Mix the milk and vanilla together in a little dish and turn the mixer to slow and add the vanilla/milk mixture.
6. Turn the mixture back up to medium/high for another 30 seconds and then your done.
7. Scoop out the mixture into a prepared 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
8. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes until springy to the touch.

Now for the butercream ...

1. In a mixing bowl add the butter and nutella and beat for about 10 minutes on a high speed until pale and fluffy.
2. Sieve the icing sugar and add half to the mixing bowl - start it on slow and then once incorporated turn up the speed again to high - beat for another 5 mins.
3. Repeat with the last of the icing and go for another 5 mins.
4. The amount of whole milk you need to add depends on the consistency but you want it "sloppy" for mine I used 3 tbsp and it was a good consistency.
5. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a star or round tip (I used a star) and pipe away on the cupcakes.

Let me know what you think of the cupcakes in the comment below!


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Jus Rol Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough

Hey everyone :)

I came across these one day when I was shopping - and in about a week I think I had bought about 10 packs of them. You can get them in Tesco for £2 and it makes 12 cookies.

The reason I love them is that you don't need to use them all in one go. You can cook 4 and put the rest in the fridge or the freezer and bring them out another day. They are already separated into twelve for you and you can break them away very easily.

You can take them straight out the fridge and then put them straight into the oven and they tend to keep their square shape or if you leave them out for half an hour and then just round the corners with your fingers you end up with a more circular cookie - however that being said - nothing wrong with a square cookie!

Another thing I do enjoy is the smell they make - it makes my whole flat get the warm cookie smell and it reminds me of my mum/gran/nana's cooking and being back in Scotland!

Depending on how you like the cookies - the guidelines say 11-13 minutes ... I find that 11 minutes they are still soft and chewy or you can go 13 minutes and you get a nice crunch to them !!

Let me know in the comments below if you've tried them!


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Salted Caramel Dreams

Hey everyone :)

I can't remember how I started following Fatties Bakery. I have been following them on Instagram for ages! When I found out they had a book during the Christmas period - I just had to get it off Amazon.

Like the masses I fell in love with salted caramel - it's one of my favourite flavours now and the amount of things it can be added too, made with, mixed with ... the possibilities are endless.

My favourite salted caramel thing at the moment is Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream - it's currently on special in Tesco for £2.50 (half price) and I think so far I'm on my ninth or tenth tub! I can't help myself - if you haven't already go and buy a tub! I can't stop thinking about it!!

There are over 70 different recipes in the book. My favourite parts of the book are the techniques and equipment sections - they explain what ingredients you should be using to achieve the best end product and what equipment you should have or be using when making caramel.

It also explains the difference between wet and dry caramel - YES there is such a thing and they are both quite different!

One of my favourite recipes in the book and that features on the Fatties Bakery Instagram page quite a lot is the "Cornflake Bocaditos" - they are basically made with salted caramel and cornflakes and then sprayed gold!

Let me know if you have ever been down to their market stall (which I need to do) or if you have bought the book and made anything!


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

LUSH Sleepy Body Lotion

Hi everyone :)

You all obviously know that I'm a self-confessed Lush fan! I love the products, he brand and everything they stand for. If your new to my blog - then "Hi I'm John, and I love Lush".

Just before Christmas someone I work with - who also happens to love Lush asked me if I had tried their "Sleepy" body lotion and as it happens I hadn't!

Now I won't lie - the price is maybe why I stayed away from it - it costs £13.95 for 215g tub (price check 05/02/18). But that is still a decent sized tub.

The lotion is made from lavender oil, oatmeal infusion, ylang ylang oil and tonka absolute. The lavender oil being the biggest player - it smells amazing! The lotion as you can see in the picture above is a lovely pale lilac colour.

One of my favourite things to do when using this lotion is go for a lovely warm shower, then once I'm out and dry I smear it everywhere ... let it dry for a bit and then throw my pyjamas on (or a pair of boxers and a t-shirt) and then if I've happened to change the bed covers that just makes it 10 times better! It's one of my favourite things to do - the scent just makes you sleepy - like the name suggests!

Let me know in the comments below if you have bought/used this product...

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