Strawberries and Cream Muffins!!

I obviously didn't put any cream on top of mine usually as they get eaten out of the oven it's easier to just cut it in half throw some cream in the middle to melt a little. 

I had thought perhaps one could fill the middle with cream, but what a waste of time if they are just going to get eaten right away? 

Oh, when I added the strawberries to coat I also added a half of cup of white chocolate chips. It made them extremely rich! 

These are my family's favorite! They never last long in our house!! 

adapted from 100 Magnificent Muffins & Scones by Felicity Barnum-Bobb

Strawberrys & Cream Muffins

300g/11oz plain flour
10ml/2 tsp baking powder
175g/6oz golden caster sugar
125g/4oz strawberries chopped (I’ve never weighed the strawberries just chop up a handful and throw them in!!)
3 med eggs
75ml/3fl oz sunflower oil
100ml/4fl oz skimmed milk
5ml/ 1tsp vanilla extract

to serve:
150ml/5fl oz double cream
15ml/1tbsp golden caster sugar
2.5ml/ 1/2tsp vanilla extract
6 whole strawberries (to decorate if you’d like too)

Heat oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas 6, line your muffin tin(s)
Sift flour and baking powder. Add sugar then mix strawberries in to coat.
Beat eggs, oil, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Add wet mixture to dry and stir for 10-15 strokes (don’t over mix)
Fill paper cases bake for 20mins and then cool. (I find that my oven is hotter in the back and after about 10-15 minutes I flip my tin around otherwise the ones in the back get a little brown)
Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla until standing in soft peaks. Dollop each muffin with cream and strawberry!

Surf and Turf Cupcakes

Inspired by a recipe from Better Home and Gardens:

2 16 oz cans vanilla frosting
24 cupcakes any flavor
1 tube blue decorating frosting or gel
12 gummy fish (such as Sweedish Fish)
1/3 C brown sugar (or 2/3 C finely crushed vanilla wafers - about 16 cookies)
6 peanut shaped peanut butter sandwich cookies (such as Nutter Butter)
Licorice laces, cut into small pieces (24) red and/or black
Red and/or black decorating frosting

1. Tint 1 can frosting light blue. Frost half cupcakes blue. Use darker blue decorating frosting or gel to create waves onto blue frosted cupcakes. Place gummy fish on waves.
2. Tint other can frosting light brown. Sprinkle cupcakes generously with brown sugar or crushed wafers to resemble sand. Set aside.
3. For flip flops, separate sandwich cookies; scrape off filling. Use coordinating frosting (or cookie filling) to attach two short pieces of licorice lace on smooth side of cookie to look like straps on the flip flops. Arrange flip flops on the sand cupcakes.

These cupcakes were made for IN Baker's end of school year party!
They were a big hit!!
posted by IN baker!

Cupcakes Collection at Dunelm Mill

I bought this for myself last week at Dunelm Mill! There were other items in the collection I might have to go back for. Possibly the cake tins, but this I thought was a fun tray to serve tea on! I love products with cupcakes or really any kind cake on it!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Twist Cupcake!

From Better Homes and Gardens 

Makes 34-36 cupcakes

1/2 Cups butter
3 eggs
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 Cups creamy peanut butter
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Cup milk
4 oz chocolate, melted
Shaved milk chocolate and/or bite sized pb cups, halved

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temp for 30 min. Meanwhile, line pan with paper bake cups. In a med bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Preheat oven to 375 deg.F. In lg bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on med speed for 30 sec. Add peanut butter; beat until combined. Gradually add brown sugar and granulated sugar, about 1/4 C at a time, beating on med speed until combined. Scrape side of bowl; beat about 2 min more until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined.
3. Place 1/2 the batter into a separate mixing bowl; add melted chocolate.  Beat with electric mixer on low until just combined.
4. Fill prepared muffin cups by alternating spoonfuls of peanut butter batter and chocolate batter, filling each cup until 2/3 full. Use butter knife to swirl batter in each cup.
5. Bake for 15-18 min or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.  Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire racks for 5 min. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Allow one 8 oz pkg cream cheese to stand at room temp for 30 min. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, 1/2 C creamy peanut butter, and 2 tsp. Vanilla with electric mixer on med speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 6 C powdered sugar. Add milk, 1 tsp at a time, until frosting reaches piping consistency. Divide frosting into two portions. Set one portion aside to make Chocolate Frosting. (makes 11/2 C)
In a med bowl combine one portion or the PB Frosting and 4 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled. Beat with electric mixer on med speed until combined. If necessary, beat in additional powdered sugar and milk until frosting reaches piping consistency. (makes about 11/2 C)
6. Fit a pastry bag with round or star tip. Spoon PB Frosting along one side of the bag; spoon Choc Frosting along the other side of the bag ( frostings will be side by side in bag). Pipe frosting in swirls onto cupcakes. Top with shaved chocolate and/or peanut butter cup halves.
IN Baker tip: if you ate making the cupcakes in more than one batch, be sure to refrigerate your frosting in between batches. Before piping, warm frosting slightly in your hands to regain consistency.
Also, I had a little trouble getting the frosting side by side. It would have worked better with an extra set of hands holding the pastry bag while filling.


photo from magazine
Posted by IN Baker!

Cupcakes in the City

As I was surfing the web I came across this blog post! I want to go to New York just for the food. I think I'd plan my whole vacation by where I was going to eat next! 
All you have to do is type in 'cupcakes in new york' and you get a list of what looks like a million bakery websites. I think you'd need six months to get to all of them!! That is why it would be good to have a friend who lives in NY or find blog posts that review bakeries-like the one I posted above.
 I follow this blog, it's written by a mom of 2 boys exploring the culinary delights of Brooklyn.

Teacake Whoopie

taken from The Whoopie Pie Book by Claire Ptak
I was first introduced to whoopie pies by Sainsbury's Magazine where I made a couple batches with good success. So, when books started to be published I couldn't resist to get a hold of one. I choose this one out of all the others because the author is an American married to a Brit and living in London. She has her own bakery called Violet (it's on my list for the bakery tour!).
She based this whoopie off of a popular tea cake called Tunnock's Tea Cakes, I first had a Tunnock Tea Cake when I went up to Scotland to meet my husband's extended family. Recently my husband made a trip up and I made these to have him take with.

lake of marshmallow goo
But they didn't turn out as I wanted or expected. I obviously didn't whip the marshmallow filling* long enough to make it stiff enough. I should have stopped when I knew it was too gooey, but it was late and I didn't want the hassle of doing it in the morning. Taste was not affected very yummy but extra gooey and not easy to eat because of it. The recipe also had a lot of extra chocolate glaze and marshmallow cream so I took a silicone ice cube tray and made chocolate and marshmallow squares!!  

still very yummy
for the cake makes 9 large or 24 mini (I had 12 medium)

280g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
A pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks (save the egg whites for the marshmallow filling)
50ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl sift the flour, baking powder, and bicarb. Stir in salt. Set aside
In the bowl of freestanding mixer (or big mixing bowl) cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well. Mix cream and vanilla together then pour into butter mixture and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients until just incorporated (don't over mix) Chill for 30 minutes
Preheat over to 180*C/gas 4. Line two trays with baking paper (I have whoopie pie trays- useful but not necessary)

fluffy marshmallow filling (makes a lot!!!)
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Weigh all the ingredients in a heat proof bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water. Whisk by hand until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is frothy and slightly opaque (10-15 minutes) *this is where I might have gone wrong as I thought it looked frothy and opaque just under ten minutes!
Remove from heat and whip on high speed in a freestanding mixer. I don't have a free standing mixture I used my hand held one....which might have also been my downfall as my arm got tired! ;0) Whip until white and holds it's shape!

Back to the cakes......
drop large or small scoops of batter onto prepared trays and bake in the middle of the oven 10-12 mins for large ones and 8-10 for small. When touched with a finger a slight impression should be left.

chocolate glaze
500g of milk or dark chocolate
Melt half in a bowl over a bowling pot of water take off heat and melt the rest.
This makes a lot of chocolate I'd half it at least I think next time.

Now fill the cooled cakes with marshmallow filling and glaze them!

Birthday's Past

C.A.'s (husband) 27th birthday Cake 2008
Mini-Baker first birthday cake 2008
Mr. Knightly's birthday cake 2009
Mini-Baker's birthday cake (it was actually a brownie) 2009
Mr. Knightly's Victoria Sponge birthday cake 2010
As you may have noticed I don't make cakes for my own birthday! No particular reason why just usually don't think of it! Also, since the chocolate chip whooopie pies were so popular at AM's birthday I made them for LJ's first birthday too. I don't seem to have taken any photos though.... it's true what they say when you have a second baby! oops!

Peanut Butter Bars

from Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery by Patricia Helding with Bryna Levin

2 large eggs
1cup granulated sugar
1/2cup packed light brown sugar
1/2cup chunky p.butter
1tsp pure vanilla extract
2tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4cups unbleached flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2 cup chips (optional) I used a mix of semi sweet chocolate and p.butter

Grease 9x9 inch pan w/butter and dust w/flour
Preheat to 350*F
Beat eggs and both sugars until smooth, Add p.butter mix, Beat in vanilla and butter mix thoroughly.
Measure flour, b.powder, salt and sift together directly into the batter mix gently (although I don't know why the author tells you that as it's a very heavy batter and it's hard to mix any other way but gently when doing it by hand!)
Fold in chips
Spread in pan as evenly as possible Bake for 25 mins or until toothpick comes out clean!
1hr to cool
And obviously adjust time depending on your pan!!

before going in the oven
I love peanut butter!! Here in England, in my experience, I have not met a lot of people who like Peanut Butter. I guess I need to be careful what I say because I don't really remember asking people in America on their opinion of Peanut Butter- I just assumed everyone loved it!
I happened to make a friend who likes PB as much as me! It's a good thing too otherwise I'd eat all of these myself. The said friend's birthday was last Sunday so I made her a batch of these! The pictures are from a previous batch with just chocolate chips, but I made hers with a mix of chocolate and pb chips. If you are a PB lover or know one this is a must have recipe. I also have a lot to say about the Fat Witch Brownie book but that will be another post! :0)

Note: I sometimes am in a rush when copying down recipes and I sometimes feel they are wordy so this is my less wordy directions. If you have any questions about the directions please ask!

Apple & Cinnamon Crumble Muffins

I chopped up my pecans with a knife as I didn't see the point in using a food processor just for that. 

It's a perfect recipe to use up old fruit! I always seem to have a only apple sitting around. They were very good and didn't last long! ;0)

Apple & Cinnamon Crumble Muffins

adapted from 100 Magnificent Muffins & Scones by Felicity Barnum-Bobb

225g plain flour
75g golden caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 medium egg
150 ml semi skimmed milk
2 apples peeled cores and finely chopped
50ml sunflower oil
25g pecan nuts
50g light muscovado sugar

Preheat oven 190*C/375*F/ gas 5
Put the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, 1/2tsp cinnamon and salt in a bowl
Add the egg, milk, apple, and oil and stir for a few secs until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into paper muffin cases
Put the pecans into a processor and whiz to chop finely, add muscovado sugar and the remaining cinnamon. Sprinkle over each muffin.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and firm. Serve warm. 

Cake Days

Everything I've baked from the hummingbird bakery: Cake Days so far...I wanted to bake everything from this book sort of like a Julia/Julia project, but I have so much I want to bake and so little time. I did decide to list everything I baked from the book as I went along! :0)
Visit the Hummingbird Bakery site! They are also on Facebook!! I have yet to get to London to visit them in person, but as you see I have a Bakery Tour I'm trying to arrange! More on that later!

15, April ~Boston Cream Cupcakes pg 60
+ Amazing

21, April ~Breakfast Bran Muffins pg 48
+ These were good, but need to be eaten out of the oven! It has only 3 stars because it makes 12 or more muffins and for a family of 4 there is no way we'd eat that many in one morning!

24, April ~Coconut Cream Pie pg 88
+ Tasty, but I had a few issues. I left it in the fridge for more then an hour and it wasn't completely set. I think I needed a bigger pie dish/tart tin. Then I over whipped the whipped cream topping. But it was still tasty!!

30, April ~Blueberry and Soured Cream Loaf pg 109
+ It's good! Perfect partner to tea or coffee!

5, May ~ Apple and Oatmeal Cookies pg 156.
+ Awesome!! Trying hard not eat them all at once!! ;0]

27, May ~Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf pg 91.
+ Stars to be updated later as I've made it for my moms group. I have a feeling I didn't reduce the soaking syrup enough. I also took it out at 45 mins because the top smelt and looked a little burnt. When I inserted a tooth pick it came out clean so I hope that means it's fine! update: I think I reduced the syrup too much as the cake wasn't soaked enough! Well, now I know for next time!


my first post

I'm busy trying to design this blog to my liking (expect it to change here and there) but to get started I'm going to share a link to my cousin's blog where I guest blogged my first experience with whoopie pies!!