Sunday, 11 August 2013

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

*Note - as you can tell if you read the introduction, this post is from the very beginning of summer. I just found it in my list of posts, and decided that as I am away, I would post it! This is again a scheduled post as I am still in America.

The weather has finally started getting warmer here (at last!), and we had the first barbecue of the year with my best friend and her family, and my friend and I decided to make cupcakes.

My all time favourite flavour combination is berries with any type of chocolate - especially raspberries or strawberries <3 hence the dark chocolate and raspberry cupcakes, and why the last post was also a type of chocolate and raspberry cupcake! 


The frosting is two-tone raspberry and chocolate frosting, and there's a raspberry in the middle of the cupcakes for a little surprise. These are so easy to make and they taste so good, I had at least three that day.



Sponge:

115g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
85g butter, softened
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated
185g plain flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
250ml milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

In the middle: 24 raspberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C Fan/ 190 C/ 375 F/ Gas Mark 5 and line two 12-hole muffin trays with cases.
  2. Melt the chocolate by breaking the chocolate pieces into a heatproof bowl. Place on top of a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water, or the chocolate will burn. Stir occasionally. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale, smooth and light. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks for several minutes. Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and beta well.
  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. 
  6. Mix the milk and vanilla extract in a jug.
  7. Add one third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated. Then add one half of the milk, and beat well. Repeat until all of the flour and milk is used, ending on the flour. 
  8. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter, using a metal spoon. Do not beat or all the air you've added by whisking will be lost.
  9. Carefully scoop the mixture into cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full - this is a fairly liquid batter, so be careful not to be messy. place one raspberry in the middle of the batter, and do not push down, as it ill sink into the batter itself. 
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer into the middle, and when it comes out clean they are cooked. Leave in the tins to cool for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the cupcakes I made, I used two different frostings to make two-toned icing, but you can just do, one or the other if you prefer.

Raspberry Frosting:

55g butter, softened
30ml milk, room temperature
250g icing sugar, sifted
2 1/2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, milk and half the icing sugar until smooth. 
  2. Add the raspberry jam and start beating, whilst gradually adding the remaining icing sugar.
  3. Once incorporated, beat for another minute, and leave it.

Chocolate Frosting:

55g butter, softened
30ml milk, room temperature
15g cocoa powder
235g icing sugar, sifted

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, milk, cocoa powder and half the icing sugar until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar, whilst beating.
  3. Once incorporated, beat for another 2 minutes, and leave it.
To decorated the cupcakes, I laid a piping bag on it's side, and put the raspberry frosting on the bottom. I then turned it upright and put the chocolate frosting on the other side, so that when you pipe, the two colours come out at the same time, creating a two-toned swirl.

If you try these, tell me how they go, I hope you like them!

Thanks for reading :) 



Monday, 5 August 2013

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

*Note - this is a scheduled post, as I am currently on holiday in America!!! I will be back on the 21st of August, and will probably have a few things to post about!

Last weekend it was my cousin's 13th birthday, so I baked her - and my whole extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents) - these White Chocolate and Raspberry cupcakes. They all loved them!



The sponge mix is a basic vanilla sponge with raspberry jam stirred in, and once it has cooled after baking, you take a small piece out of the centre and put a teaspoon of raspberry jam into the middle. For the frosting, you make a basic vanilla frosting and then stir in melted white chocolate and double cream - it tastes just like melted white chocolate poured over the cake, divine!


Sponge:

110g Butter, softened 
180g Caster Sugar
2 Large eggs
125g Self-Raising Flour, sifted
120g Plain Flour, sifted
125ml Milk, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp Raspberry Jam, preferably seedless

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C Fan/ 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas Mark 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with big cases ( I managed to get 14 cupcakes out of this batch, but I was making them slightly smaller than usual as my grandparents and lots of adults were eating them.)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth, pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until they are fully incorporated. 
  3. Sift the flours into a bowl, and mix the mil and vanilla together in a jug.
  4. Add one third of the flour mix to the butter mix, then add one half of the milk mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Repeat this until all the flour and milk is used up, and finish on the flour.
  5. Fold in the raspberry jam to give a good rippled effect. 
  6. Scoop the mixture into the muffin cases, until the cases are just over 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Leave to rest in the tray for about 10 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack.

Frosting

30g Butter, softened
15ml Milk, room temperature
A drop of Vanilla Extract
125g Icing Sugar
100g good quality White Chocolate
3 tbsp Double Cream

Filling for cakes: 1 tsp Raspberry jam each
Topping: 1 Raspberry each

  1. In a bowl mix the butter, milk, vanilla and half the sugar for a few minutes until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar, beating well after each addition.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water - make sure the bowl does not touch the water, so the chocolate does not burn. Leave to cool a bit.
  3. Once cooled, add the chocolate to the basic vanilla frosting you already have, along with the double cream. Beat well for a few minutes to make white chocolate frosting.
  4. Make a small hole in the middle of each cupcake, and put a teaspoon of jam in each. Then top with the white chocolate frosting, and finish off with a raspberry.
If you try this, tell me how it goes, hope you like this recipe!

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

My New Obsession: Above-Knuckle Rings


I know it's been a long time since I last posted anything, but I just haven't felt inspired about something to write about - until I made a small purchase in Miss Selfridge on Tuesday. 

I bought a pack of three cute, gold above-knuckle rings, for £8.50, and I love them!



They are so easy to wear and they look good with basically any outfit (and they never fall off!)






What do you think about above-knuckle rings? 
Thanks for reading :)



Sunday, 30 June 2013

30 Day Snap - Day 30

It's the last day of the 30 Day Snap, and I've really enjoyed doing this. It was harder than I thought it would be to post everyday (as you know) but I made up for most of it!


I have a Space NK on my high road, and when i was out walking my dog I remembered that I needed a new concealer, so I went in to see if they had any good ones. I ended up getting the Nars concealer stick, in the shade "Light 2 Vanilla". When I was paying for it, the woman at the till asked me what skin type I had, so i told her I had combination skin, and she then added all those samples to my bag!

I got two sets of the Bumble and bumble thickening shampoo and conditioner, three samples of the nude radiant day moisturiser, a mini tube of Caudalie moisturising matifying fluid, a sample of Algenist oil-free gel moisturiser, and (I'm not done!) a mini vial of Aqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile eau de parfum! I got so much stuff!
Nars Concealer stick
Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

30 Day Snap - Day 29

It's the penultimate day, which means only two more snaps (including todays), and also the end of June. Summer holidays are now only 6 days away and I can't wait! The original post on Louise's blog here explains what the 30 Day Snap is!


I decided to paint my nails today, with this gorgeous orange colour, as it's so summery, and my nails were looking gross so I needed to do something to them!

Thanks for reading :)

30 Day Snap - Day 28

Again, a bit late, but it's only the next morning... I'm getting better ;P The original post on Louise's blog is here i you don't know what the 30 Day Snap is!


I found this amazing top in Camden on wednesday (a very successful trip, I think!) and I love it! The pug is so cute, with the little moustache and everything! I have two dilemmas with this top, however.

First one is, as you can probably see, I'm sewing up the hem of the shirt - this is because I cropped it as it was too long, and I don't know whether to shorten the sleeves as well?! And secondly I bought this as a gift for my friend who is moving to America (she has a pug, called Peanut - how adorable!!) but I don't know if she'll like it, and kinda want to keep it... I think I'll be a nice person and give it to her!

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

30 Day Snap - Day 27

Quick reminder to read this if you're confused, and check out Louise's blog as well - it's amazing!


I also bought these in Camden on Wednesday, for a very specific reason - one of my best friends is leaving my school to go and live in America :'( So I bought her these - some are of London and some are of NYC because she's going to be living very near their! This is making me really sad so I'm not gonna write any more!

Thanks for reading :)