About MissCakeBaker

I spend the week running in heels and the weekends in my apron.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Marian Keyes' Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

I was very excited to find out that Marian Keyes has written a cookbook, especially when I discovered the title was 'Saved by Cake'.  I think I've read all of Marian's books and I'm sure for many people, like me, Watermelon and Sushi For Beginners were a right of passage when growing up.

'Saved by Cake' obviously isn't a novel however but her warm,witty writing means you do end up reading it from cover to cover.  I have a coupe of cookery books which I constantly turn to, one being Bill Granger's 'Everyday' for dinner ideas and I can see that Marian's is going to be my baking one. I literally want to try every recipe. Her book does have a story behind it however. It is a very honest account of how Marian recently suffered from depression and how baking helped her get through it, day by day.

Marian has kindly let me share one of the recipes from the book here.  I decided to go for the Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes as they sounded like they would completely hit the spot - and they did.  Mine came out as the very pale little sisters of Marian's rather more tanned older siblings. I'm not quite sure what happened but it seems like the chocolate in mine sunk to the bottom of the cakes. Oh well, they still tasted delicious and a liberal dusting of cocoa powder, the self tan of the cake world in this case, meant they looked a little more glowing.

As this recipe contains cheese and chocolate, it's my (rather late) entry into this month's We Should Cocoa Challenge too.

The Recipe

100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
250g mascarpone cheese
200g Philadelphia full-fat cheese
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tspn vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate chips

1. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases (or use silicone cupcake cases as I did) and preheat the overn to 150c/gas mark 2.

2. Melt the chocolate (I did mine in the microwave).  Beat the cheeses together, then add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and beat again.  Add the melted chocolate and mix well (Marian advocates the use of a purple spatula - mine is red - spatulas at dawn?), then add in the chocolate chips so they are evenly distributed. 

3. Divide the mixture among the paper case, filling them generously as the mixture doesn't really rise.

4.  Put the cupcakes in a bain-marie and bake for 40 minutes.  Once they are cooked pour the water away and place the cupcake tray on a cooling rack. Leave fora about an hour before you take the cupcakes out of the tin then refrigerate them, overnight if possible (I lasted a couple of hours before trying one!). Serve with whipped cream or just on their own.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Barley & Banana Muffins

I had a bit of a cupboard Spring clean the other day and came across an unopened bag of barley flour that I'd no doubt bought for a recipe that I haven't got round to making.  A google search threw up this recipe for banana muffins which are made using barley flour on www.thekitchn.com (no that isn't a typo).  

It's the first time I've made muffins using cooked porridge before but they turned out really well. They are light and not too sweet - they are definitely a breakfast muffin. The original recipe, which can be found here, is for 'muffin tops'.  As I like to avoid a muffin top at all costs I've made regular muffins!

I'm also entering this post into the Alpha Bakes challenge which is hosted this month by Ros, from The More Than Occasional Baker blog. The aim each month is to bake something with an ingredient that starts with the random alphabet letter chosen for that month, which in April's case is 'B'.  

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Easter Cup Cakes

We had a bake sale in aid of The Heart Yard on Friday at work. The Heart Yard is part of Kids Company which was set up by the wonderful Camila Batmanghelidjh.  As a team from the office, we're going to be doing some gardening at The Heart Yard as part of a bigger campaign (more of which I'll write about at a later date) and we were raising money though this sale to buy the seeds and other bits for the kitchen garden. Any herbs and veg grown will then be used by the kids there during their cooking lessons and eaten by them.

These Easter Cup Cakes were my contribution to the event. I have to say I love any excuse for getting out the mini eggs and fluffy chicks so I needed no persuading to get baking! I made half chocolate and half vanilla cupcakes topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting and of course Cadbury's Mini Eggs.  I find that other miniature eggs just don't cut it for me. I recently got given a 'cupcake corer' so I used this for the plain cupcakes to take out a section of the middle and fill it with strawberry jam.  It's quite a nifty little gadget and definitely makes creating a hole in them a lot quicker and cleaner.

We ended up raising just over £200 which should go a long way to getting the kitchen garden looking good.  

This is also my entry to April's Tea Time Treats whose theme is, of course, Easter, hosted by Kate from What Kate Baked and Karen from Lavender and Lovage. Happy Easter!

The Recipe

280g caster sugar
280g butter
5 eggs
280g self raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the frosting:

200g butter
400g icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
dash of milk
red food colouring
strawberry jam if filling the centre of the cakes

1. Preheat oven to 180c.  Line a cupcake tin with cases (this recipe makes around 26 regular cupcakes). 
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Then add the adds and beat again. Finally mix in the flour.  
3. Spoon half the mixture into the cupcake cases.  Mix the cocoa powder in the remaining half of the mixture and then place the remaining mixture in the cases.
4. Bake for around 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
5. To make the frosting beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth.  I used half the buttercream to decorate the chocolate cupcakes and then added a tiny bit of red food colouring to create pink icing. I then used this on the plain cupcakes. 
6. Decorate with mini eggs, chicks etc.