At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Anyone would think you bought these in the shops. ;)

Muffin cases are often to be found amongst the various other items in the shopping trolley on Friday, when Mam and I make our weekly trip to Tescos. I'm always making cupcakes, it is true to say. Firstly, because they are just so popular with everyone...everybody loves being given a little box of adorable homemade cupcakes, smothered in lots of pretty iceing. And they are (well, sort of, depending on what you put on them I guess. ;) ) so portable too, so handy for being popped in packed lunches or for grabbing out the tin for a quick bite when you're on the go. And of course...cupcake making is just so fun, so rewarding, so enjoyable. I just love the creative side of cupcake-making...there are just so many different varieties, flavours, icings to choose from; and the way in which they are utilised or applied is all in the hands of the baker.  There's a cupcake for every mood and every occasion, I believe. If it's Halloween or Bonfire night...well I most certainly have an excuse to make my little spider cupcakes. Christmas time curtails the making of holly-leaf cupcakes, and in summertime only fresh strawberry-topped cupcakes will do. If I'm feeling a little sluggish, a coffee cupcake ticks all the right boxes; if I can't make up my mind as to whether I want a cupcake or a biccie, flapjack cupcakes help to solve my dilemma somewhat. And of course, if I am feeling in the need of both chocolate and cupcake in one...simarly, these cupcakes are very useful indeed in putting all my problems to bed. ;)image
I must admit, I do have qualms about giving these as gifts to people...not because I'm worried that they won't be appreciated, oh no. These cupcakes are everything which a chocolate cupcake-lover could ask for...a light chocolatey sponge WITH lots of chunky chocolate chips; topped with a beautiful smooth silky chocolatey icing. (that being ganache, of course.) Oh no, it's not that. It's just I worry that people might indeed assume I went to the shop to buy a few packs of these, and that I did not make them especially with them in mind. Applying the ganache when it is still runny, you see, means that you have a cupcake with a smooth covering of ganache that looks very pretty, but also meaning that they are often mistaken for shop-bought; when they are anything but. Perhpas the taste would give them away, though. I like to think that my homemade cakes taste much nicer than the shop-bought variety, after all, so one hopes that a difference can be distinguished. ;) Do try to use light muscovado sugar for these, by the lends a lovely caramelly flavour to the finished product.:)
  • 125 g butter/margarine, softened
  • 125 g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 250 g plain chocolate
  • 150 ml single cream

  • Preheat oven to 180c/fan 160. Place 14 paper muffin cases in muffin trays.

  • Chop 125g of the plain chocolate into large-sized chips.

  • Beat the butter/margarine in a large bowl until really soft with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Add the sugar (see my tip from my triple choc chip cookie recipe about brown sugar and its occasional lumps! :) ) and continue to beat until lighter in colour and fluffy.

  • Beat the eggs lightly in a jug, then add about a quarter to the creamed bbbutter and sugar. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a metal spoon or spatula every now and again to ensure it’s all mixed in with not bits sticking to the sides. Continue this process, adding the egg a quarter at a time until it’s all used up.

  • Sift in the cocoa powder and the flour. Replace your mixer/wooden spoon for a large metal spoon and fold the flour and cocoa gently into the mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips next.

  • Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, making sure it is equally distributed amongst them all.

  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and springy to the touch. Check after 15 minutes, testing by gently pressing the top of one cupcake with your fingertip – it should spring back when you remove your fingertip.
    • Leave the cupcakes in the muffin tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Leave to cool completely before you make the ganache. (this ganache is made a teency bit differently to the normal method…you just don’t chill it at all before adding to the cupcakes ;)

    • For the ganache: put the cream and the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate has melted remove from the heat and stir until smooth and satiny.

    • Pour a little ganache on each cupcake so that each one has a smooth, shiny covering. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until set.

No comments:

Post a Comment