Being home means unlimited access to ingredients. We have a few shelves in the kitchen that I refer to as 'The Baking Cupboard' - which is pretty much my version of Disneyland. Along with the essentials (flour, sugar etc.) there are lots of other little nifty bits that are always useful when having a spur-of-the-moment cake making sesh. Which would count for the majority of times that I decide to be baker for the day. There is a rainbow-inspired assortment of food colourings: Dr. Oetker is a big fan of labelling them with fancy names, Sunshine Yellow and Ultra Violet being my favourite. Then there's the various packets of nuts and dried fruits, vanilla pods, sprinkles, chocolate pieces... You name it, it's in there.
Wednesday this week was a productive day. I made two different types of cupcake. Chocolate chips were the major feature, with vanilla buttercream making an appearance on both, except one had a little twist. I added peanut butter to the mix, and also after piping the buttercream on top I left a space in the middle to spoon on a mouthful-sized amount of peanut butter, straight out of the jar. Yummy yummy. Next time though, I think I might work on making the peanut butter ones a little bit lighter. I think there was possibly a lil' bit too much flour in there. My Dad very much enjoyed it, however I'm my worst critic and I say they weren't quite there. Mary Berry would have had some comments to make, I feel.
What a babe.
Sooooo. Let's go by the usual cupcake mix. (Click here.)
Good ol' choccy chip...
If you follow all those instructions apart from putting in the oven (I'm being lazy and not bothering to rewrite. Or copy and paste. Hang on, that would have been a splendid idea...), you need to add about 200g of chopped chocolate into the bowl, and mix it in with the cupcake batter. Make sure the chocolate is cut up into small pieces, much like chocolate drops. You could use those if you prefer. I also used milk chocolate for this, but I suppose dark or white works beautifully as well. Bake like usual.
Pipe on your buttercream in a swirl and add on some decoration. I chose to alternate between coloured hundreds and thousands and chocolate sprinkles, adding white chocolate chunks to the top of each.
What you'll need for the buttercream...
140g butter or margarine
300g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Making sure the butter is soft, start beating it and add in the icing sugar in small amounts, sieving it as you go.
2. If the mixture becomes too stiff to cream together, add a little bit of the milk.
3. When all is combined, pour in the icing sugar, mixing the buttercream well until all the ingredients are combined.
4. There you have it! Scrummy vanilla buttercream. Pop in a piping bag and away you go. Or just dollop on top for an effortless look! Time for decoration.
The peanut butter ones are a little different. I'd use the same cupcake recipe again, but I'd probably only use 110g of flour, then add about 3 large tablespoons (just stick your spoon in that jar and go for it. Don't forget to lick the spoon afterwards. But don't put it in the bowl after, you minger). Add in 200g of chocolate pieces like before and fold that all in. Cook like usual.
The next bit is icing the cupcakes. Leave a space in the middle after piping on the buttercream. You can pop a dollop of peanut butter there and then decorate that with milk chocolate chunks. I also chose to add a couple of mixed nut pieces on there too.
Hello sugar rush!
Big love, xo
P.S. I'm still really excited about baking a cake for my brother's birthday. Maybe I can make two cakes... A pre-birthday and actual birthday cake? That would work, right?