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Welcome to my blog- A place of food, cakes and bakes! Just a fun-loving student who loves to bake!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Chocolate Mini Eggs Cupcakes For Easter

Me and my mum always celebrate Easter but it wasn't until this year that I realised all the baking opportunities! I just had to find something that used the iconic mini eggs! And so the Mini Egg Cupcakes were born (or should I say baked!) They were fun to make as I love the smell of chocolate cupcakes baking in the oven and I one or two eggs make have cheekily found their way into my mouth. Also, the actual cupcake has a lovely consistency and goes together really well with the fluffy butter cream. These were baked for my Godmother and her family, whom we always see at Easter. They went down very well for after dinner despite in being spoilt by her fabulous cooking!

This recipe is from one of my favourite books Cupcakes by Susanna Tee. This also had the recipe in for my Light and Fluffy Lemon Cakes
For the cupcakes: 
115g (4oz) Butter, at room temperature ( I used Stork Margarine) 
115g (4oz) Caster Sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
85g (3oz) Self- Raising White Flour
25g (1oz) Cocoa Powder

Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Put 12 baking cases into a bun tray.

Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. For best results, use an electric hand mixer. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold in the mixture. To see how to fold, click here. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until just under half full.

Bake the cupcakes in for 15-20 minutes until well risen and firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:
85g (3oz) Butter, at room temperature (I used stork)
175g (6oz) Icing Sugar, sifted
1 tbsp Milk
2-3 drops of vanilla essence
2 130g packs of Cadbury's Mini Eggs (or equivalent) 

Put the butter into a bowl and beat until fluffy. Add a third of the icing sugar and beat together until well combined. Repeat for the remaining icing sugar. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat in well.

Put the icing into and icing bag, fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe around the edge of the cupcake to create a "nest" Place 3 eggs in the centre of each nest. I experimented and used a large star nozzle to get the lined effect on the nest but also used a different star nozzle to create the swirly look in the picture below. 

The Swirly Effect.

The Lined Effect.

The large Star Nozzle.

The Swirly Star Nozzle.

Happy Baking! 

Please leave a comment below! 
Follow @NicckkNackk and @nicsfeats

Sunday, 3 March 2013

A Heavenly White Loaf

After the fail of my first loaf of bread didn't go quite to plan and didn't cook properly, I thought I'd try again with a recipe from Jo Wheatley. I thought this would be a good idea as so far all her recipes have worked out. I actually found the kneading of the dough really relaxing so it wasn't like hard work. And then the fact that it turned out well and tasted delicious was a bonus!

500g Strong White Bread Flour, plus some Plain Flour for kneading
3 large pinches of Sea Salt
3 large pinches of Caster Sugar
7g Dried Yeast
100ml Milk (Semi Skimmed or Full Fat)
200ml Water
25g Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Egg Yolk, beaten (optional)

Tip all the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Heat the milk and water together until lukewarm. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.

If using a machine with a bread hook, combine the ingredients with a slow to medium speed until the dough comes together. If mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon or spatula. Continue to knead the dough for 7 minutes in the machine or for 10-12 minutes by hand until you have a smooth elastic dough.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until it's doubled in size.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute to knock back the dough. Mould it into a sausage shape and pop it into a greased 900g (2lb) loaf tin. Cover it with oiled cling film and leave to prove for 40-60 minutes until the dough has doubled and feels springy.

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6.  If you choose to, gently brush the top of the loaf with egg and bake for 30 minutes. I noticed halfway through that it was looking very golden on top so I covered it with foil to stop it from burning. The loaf will be done when golden brown and the underside sounds hollow when tapped. 

Cool the loaf for 10 minutes in its tin and then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely. Leave until cold before slicing. 

 Happy Baking! 

Please leave a comment below! 
Follow @nicsfeasts and @NicckkNackk