Midnight Cupcake

Why sleep when you can bake?

German-style Christmas Biscuits “Engelsaugen” (Angel Eyes)

Ever since my first Christmas living in Germany, these traditional biscuits have been my favourite Advent-time snack to dip in my tea.

photo (8)

This year, for the first time, I decided to integrate a little bit more into my new home country and try baking “German-style”. The good thing about German biscuits are  that they are super tiny in comparison to for example US cookies – only around 4cm in diameter – So eat more with less guilt:-)

They turned out FABULOUSLY! Do give this recipe a try this Advent  and send me a comment as to what you thought of these tiny little treats.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Mix all the ingredients together simultaneously with a hook/kneading attachment on a hand mixer til a soft dough is formed
  • Refigerate for an hour
  • Preheat oven to 180(350) degrees
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Divide batter into tiny little balls – around the size of a large marble or a large round gum ball.
  • Spread out on baking tray allowing at least 1cm space in between.
  • Now take  the handle of a wooden spoon and dip it into some flour briefly. Start sticking holes in the little balls –  be careful not to go all the way down. There still needs to be a bottom to hold the jam. I wiggled the stick left and right to make the whole a little wider too.

photo (6)

  • Next give the jam a quick stir with a spoon and fill into a small piping bag or ziplock bag with a tiny end cut off. Start filling the holes with jam – all the way to the top.

photo (2)

  • Bake for 12-14 minutes – do NOT allow to turn brown.
  • Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and enjoy the taste of Good Ol’ Germany🙂

 

Happy Holidays!

Exotic Mango Cupcakes with Mango-Lime Buttercream

The weather has been horribly cold and “yucky” lately in the Northern hemisphere and that tends to affect my mood negatively.

So I decided to get my sunshine in cupcake form with this unbelievably flavourful cupcake:-)

cupcakes

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups  Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamon Powder
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups Mango Pulp/Puree (available at Asian supermarkets or make your own)
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract
  • 1 Egg

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 3 cups Icing (confectioners’) Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Mango Pulp/Puree Zest of One Lime
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • a little milk to reach perfect piping consistency
  • food colouring of choice (I went with pinkish-violet cos I was in that kinda mood:-))

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven 350 (180) degrees and line a 12 cup standard-sized muffin pan lined with cupcake liners.
  • Sift all the ingredients(except coconut and sugar) into a bowl. Add coconut, stir together with a spoon and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients and sugar together until the sugar is nicely dissolved.
  • Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk just until you have a smooth batter. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the batter equally among the 12 cups – smoothing down the tops with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake in preheated oven for around 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Start on the frosting in the meantime as follows:
  • In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk or electric hand mixer, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add vanilla, lime juice, zest and food colouring and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk if needed for piping consistency.
  • Once the Cupcakes have cooled down, decorate with piped on frosting and sprinkles of your choice.

Enjoy the sunshine taste:-) *YAY*!!!!

The most divine Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I wish you could smell these cupcakes right now -gorgeously spicy and cinammony. For a carrot cake lover like me, these cupcakes are a real treat and for the first time ever, I polished off two cupcakes by myself – one after the other…So I probably won’t be making these too often:-) 

carrot cake cupcake

The unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months in airtight containers and frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

Here’s the recipe for you to try out and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 450g carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 4 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract/essence
  • 1/2 cup raisins/sultanas
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (sieved)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • pinch ground cloves

Cream cheese frosting

  • 250g Philadelphia Cream cheese (full/double fat)
  • 125g icing sugar (sieved)
  • 125g salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice/orange juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together (with hand whisk) carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and raisins.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together sieved flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  4. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
  5. Divide batter among 2 muffin trays lined with paper cases, filling each 3/4 full.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted into centres come out clean, around 23 minutes.
  7. Turn out cupcakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely before frosting.
  8. Make cream cheese frosting
  9. With a hand mixer whisk the cream cheese on a medium setting until light and fluffy. Add the sieved icing sugar and continue to mix.
  10. In a separate bowl whisk the butter until light and creamy.
  11. Then add the butter to cream cheese mixture and mix for around 1 minute with the mixer.
  12. Finally stir in the lemon/orange juice.
  13. Refrigerate until cupcakes are fully cooled.
  14. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting using a piping bag or simply spoon mixture on and decorate as desired.
  15. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cupcake decorating course in Munich, Germany

I am seriously looking forward to my cupcake decorating course this evening with the award-winning pastry chef, Beate Wöllstein:-) #takingthisseriously
http://www.woellsteins-desserthaus.de/

 

Light as Air – Spongy Caramel Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love a really good, airy, fluffy sponge cake?

caramel sponge

I recently found a video for an American Sponge Cake on my trusted “Joy of Baking” site (http://www.joyofbaking.com/AmericanSpongeCake.html), The recipe looked so good that I decided to experiment with a cupcake version thereof.

There’s absolutely no oil or butter in this cake, which I thought was especially convenient as I am currently on a bit of a diet:-)

Anyways, it was the fluffliest, lightest, yummiest sponge ever! I baked  them in somewhat deeper cupcake forms/holders/liners (around 5cm high) – those stand-alone forms. If the cupcake is too low it will be too light and in my opinion you need more cake for more “bite”. Fill the holder around 2/3 full. Worked really well.

I topped them with a thin layer of canned caramel from Nestle Carnation and some grated Toblerone chocolate. Not very helpful for the diet I know but absolutely TO DIE FOR!!!

Alternatively, you could always decorate them with whipped cream and fresh berries or some yummy jam.

Should you have trouble finding caramel, you can also make your own by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk for a few hours. See method 2  here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Caramel-from-Sweetened-Condensed-Milk

Makes around 24 cupcakes. Enjoy!

Super Quick and Easy Banana-Walnut Muffins

The intense smell of 3 over-ripe bananas greeted me when I got home from cinema late last night.  A craving for banana bread (no, not cupcakes) then popped into my mind – but that takes long to bake and it was VERY late already. Yes, even the Midnight Baker tires at some point:-)

So I googled for a simple banana muffin recipe and came across one on Allrecipes.com which got very good ratings.

I tried it out – but tweaked it a little to suit my tastebuds (and oven) a bit more…I added a handful of walnuts and some ground cinnamon. These can easily be omitted though.

These muffins are super delicious and moist and were PERFECT for breakfast! I loved them slightly warm with butter *sinfully delicious* They would also be great for kid’s lunchboxes  or that late-morning coffee-snack.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

banana muffin

Super Quick and Easy Banana-Walnut Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 handful walnuts – chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

3 large bananas, mashed

3/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract

1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and optional cinnamon. Add walnuts – set aside.
  3. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla and melted butter in a large bowl and mix until smooth.
  4. Fold into flour mixture using a wooden spoon. Do not over mix.
  5. Scoop into muffin pans (at least 2/3 full).
  6. Bake in preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped and a toothpick inserted will come out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Sparkly Blingly Cupcakes…YAY!

Anybody who knows me for more than 5 minutes – errr ok…make that 5 SECONDS would know about my insane love for bling. I “bedazzle” almost anything I get my hands on – from my i-phone cover to my netbook to my jackets. I even own a pair of spectacles that are completely covered in Swarowski crystals!!!

So imagine the huge smile on my face when I discovered edible glitter on my recent trip to South Africa! I mean “Heeeeelllo – Pure Genius!”

I bought 3 colours, bronze, silver and a gorgeous mother-of-pearl.

Tonight I tried out the bronze glitter (or “Shake and Shine Sparkles” as it says on the bottle *dreamy sigh*) on a chocolate ganache (*double dreamy sigh*). Served up as a midnight dessert to my late night dinner guests – the look on their faces were hilarious. “Oh boy. Nu has gone and done it again. Now she’s even blinged up the cupcakes” :-))))

glitter2

Self-made Self-Raising flour

Ah, the power of the blog. I love it. The exchange of information. The willingness to share…

Yesterday I came across an interesting recipe for kiddie’s Angry Bird Cupcakes on the Bee’s Bakery wordpress site  (http://beesbakeryblog.wordpress.com) which called for the use of Self-Raising flour.

Now growing up in South Africa, this type of flour is readily available – but in Germany, where I currently reside, it’s sooooo hard to find. Guess that’s because most German cakes/sweet bakes are quite flat and/or dense actually (think apple strudel or plum crumble), so the demand is not high enough.

snowflake

So since living here, I try to avoid all recipes which call for the self-raising option. I once tried simply adding baking powder to all purpose flour, but I guess I didn’t get the dosage right because that cake flopped completely:-(

So after reading this Angry Bird recipe needed self-raising flour, I was discouraged. However, I thought “Hey, theses guys seem to know their stuff” and I decided to ask them (Bee’s Bakery) if they had any tip on how to make the perfect Self-Raising flour.

I was overjoyed at their hasty response:

How to make Self-Raising Flour.

Thank you Bee’s Bakery for being so kind. May all your cakes rise to perfection always:-)

Describe your Favourite Cupcake

 

Any Additional Comments/Descriptions would also be appreciated!

Thanks so much in advance for your input…

Nu

Isn’t it hard?

Last night an ex-colleague mentioned that his girlfriend has now gone completely vegan and that it’s become quite troublesome for her to find appropriate food in “normal” restaurants or when they get invited for dinner somewhere. So much so that she now always carries some suitable food around with her in her handbag.

The vegan diet is a form of vegetarianism which eliminates all animal products – that means no eggs, milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese etc.

Image

Personally, this would be no option for me as I feel it would be “too much of a fuss”  – I love going to restaurants and when other people cook for me. But each to his own and I truly respect people with that type of discipline.

Made me wonder though about vegan-friendly cupcakes.

I’m sure there are tons of recipes out there on the web. But I just can’t imagine it as being very yummy – without eggs, butter, milk or cream cheese for certain frostings.

I am ready to be proven wrong though and would WELCOME any tried and trusted vegan cupcake recipes. *hoping someone accepts the challenge*

What are your feelings? Would you try out vegan bakes?

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