Tag Archives: chocolate

Peppermint Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

Recently I was invited round to a friend’s for a girly night and decided to make some cupcakes to take round.

I turned to the  ‘Cupcakes’ book by Carol Pastor that was given to me. The recipe I chose was for ‘Chocolate Mint-filled cupcakes’. But I changed a couple of things around because this was one of those times when trying to follow recipe doesn’t go as planned Firstly, I couldn’t find any caster sugar so used brown sugar instead. The next problem I had was despite following the instructions I produced far too much peppermint cream for piping inside the cupcakes, so rather than producing a separate chocolate frosting as suggested, I added some cocoa powder to make a peppermint cocoa topping.

Don’t worry, despite the overuse of this cream the cupcake is not overwhelmed by peppermint!

Phwarr, that filling looks so gorgeous

For the peppermint cream I mixed 300ml whipping cream with around 1 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and 2tbsps of icing sugar. Whisk this until almost firm peaks are form. Fill a piping bag with this cream insert a round  tip nossel into the bottom of the cupcakes and squeeze in the cream gently. You should feel the cupcake almost inflate as the cream is piped in but be carefully not to overpipe! You may get one or two slight leaks of cream from the top of the cupcakes if you’ve piped in too much.

So here’s a hopefully simplified and adapted recipe The Kitchen Belle way…

For the Cake

  • 150g butter
  • 300g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease cupcake tin or prepare cupcake liners.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add eggs, milk, peppermint and beat some more.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix in.
  5. Fill the cases/tin with cake mixture and bake for around 15 minutes. My cupcakes were rather large as they went straight into the tin moulds and took around 20 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

They're already bursting out and longing to be eaten! 😀

For the White cream

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  1. Whip cream till it starts to thicken slightly then add sugar and extract and whip till almost stiff.
  2. Spoon into a piping bag with a plain round nozzle.
  3. Stick the nozzle into the bottom of the cake and pipe in, take note of the instructions earlier so you don’t explode your cupcakes with too much filling. Oh and remember to take the cupcake liners off first if you did use them for baking!

For the Cocoa Cream

  • Remaining cream
  • 2  tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  1. Mix the cocoa and sugar into the remaining cream (adding less or more according to taste and depending on how much cream you have left) and rewhip if the cream starts to lose its shape.
  2. Pipe onto the top of the cupcakes in whatever design you like – probably one better than mine! 🙂

My icing skills need a lot of work

The great thing about these cupcakes is that the cool peppermint flavour is very refreshing, so you feel like you can have more than one a day without feeling overwhelmed by sweetness… though maybe having a few cupcakes a day isn’t really a good thing.

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Oreo Brownies

There’s a new BBC cookery show called ‘Baking Made Easy’ hosted by Lorraine Pascale and she has a lot of interesting recipes I want to try out. The first I’ve attempted is her brownies with Oreo chunks, which are really, really gorgeous.

This is a recipe that I will have to share with my brother at some point because he is even more of an Oreo addict than I am; he also makes brilliant Oreo milkshakes! Can you imagine Oreo milkshakes with an Oreo brownie to go with it? Sounds like ridiculously unhealthy snack heaven!

Brownies with squidge and crunch

You can find the recipe for Lorraine Pascale’s Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies on the BBC Food Website. I think her instructions are probably better that any I could reproduce and there’s also currently a video from the show that talks you through the recipe. I hadn’t really heard much about Lorraine Pascale before watching this show but I get the feeling that she is going to be my go to celebrity chef from now on. Unlike other food shows, I find that almost everything she has presented so far is something that I want to try out for myself. So hopefully I’ll keep you updated with more recreations!

I did make a few small changes from her recipe. Firstly, I used just 3 eggs instead of 3 eggs and 2 yolks. The only reason for this was that I was running low on eggs. Secondly, I used slightly fewer Oreos because I wanted to save some to eat later. And the brownies were still delicious so apparently no harm done 😀

Complete grating of the chocolate also isn’t necessary, as you can see…

Grated and small chunks

I baked at 180°for 30 minutes. And they came out of the oven looking like this…

Look at that amazing glossy sheen!

Your instinct is probably to assume that the middle isn’t cooked, and keep it in the oven for longer – but remember, these are brownies and the gooeyness is what makes them so mouth meltingly addictive. You want a little, but not too much wibble in the centre when you take it out.

Some tips for ending up with well presented brownies:

  • Leave the pan alone for about 10 minutes before you lift up the paper overhangs and place the brownie layer on a wire rack so that the mixture has time to settle before you start moving it around.
  • You then want to stay as far away from the smell as possible and allow the brownie layer to cool completely before you start to cut it up to avoid too much crumbling and stickiness.
  • Another small note is that you should try to bury the Oreo chucks in the uncooked mixture strategically so that you can cut the brownies easily into even squares. My brownie pieces ended up being different sizes as they were difficult to cut without crumbling apart due to my haphazard Oreo crumble.

Even with my lazy shortcuts in following the original recipe, I have to admit that these tasted so good that I hoarded more for myself than giving them out for other people to try. Maybe I’ll whip up another batch in a few weeks and try to share more…

Maybe.