Summer has well and truly hit Yorkshire this last week or so. With the sun shining it has lead me towards some more summer themed recipes. Along with a visit to the York food festival, which is just brimming with local food produce. I stocked up on various things (that my budget allowed) and came home with some Chorizo, Brie, Oak Smoked Cheddar and fresh Strawberries. There was infinitely more that I wanted, but I just couldn’t justify it. The trip to York was a delight, involving sun, food, ice cream, sights, beer and good company. There isn’t much of a better time to visit York (apart from maybe just before Christmas, when all the decorations are up). When the sun is out it is undoubtedly one of the prettiest cities in the UK. Even if, to me, it has the whole “hometown” dullness that happens when you live somewhere for your teenage years.
The pieces I picked up prompted me to make a couple of different things and over the next couple of days I’ll be uploading a couple of different recipes. This one involves the strawberries I picked up; Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes. It’s a quick recipe and absolutely perfect for summer. Especially if you are a Wimbledon fan. Strawberries and Cream is just one of the best simple combinations possible. Coupled with the surprise of a Strawberry Jam centre to add that extra hit of flavour these cupcakes can be put together quickly and don’t even feel unhealthy. Keeping them small and topped with a fresh strawberry you just can’t go wrong.
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
- 200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
- 200g/7oz caster sugar
- 4 free-range eggs
- 200g/7oz self-raising flour
- 4 tbsp good-quality strawberry jam
- 250ml/9fl oz lightly whipped double cream
- 250g/9oz strawberries, hulled
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Line a cupcake tray with cases.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, this can take several minutes, so persevere.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beating well after each addition.
- Fold in the flour until you have a smooth mixture, it will be quite thick.
- Spoon the mixture into the cases, filling about half way. Spoon about ½ a teaspoon of jam into the middle of each case. Cover with more cake mix. The final case should be around ¾ full.
- Place in the centre of your preheated oven and bake for between 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set to cool on a wire rack.
- Once they have cooled, whip up the double cream. With a small sharp knife, cut a small well into the top of each cake.
- Pipe the cream into the well and top with a strawberry. Dust with icing sugar.
- Store in the fridge, these are best eaten straight away.
You’ve all seen my Oreo Truffle recipe. Something quick and easy that tastes incredible. Well what happens if you take that, and put it inside a cake? I already had a recipe that I’d used a few times for gooey centred cupcakes. It works great, rising up around the cream cheese filling. I had a bit of a brainwave to take the Oreo truffles I loved so much and put them in place of the chocolate/cream cheese filling from that recipe (I of course Googled it and realised that I wasn’t the first one to think of it). These cakes are decadent and once they’ve been topped off with a wonderful Oreo frosting they just taste incredible. Coupled with the look of surprise on most people’s faces when they reach the truffle centre. Oreo Truffle cupcakes are born.
Oreo Truffle Cupcakes with Oreo Frosting
- For the truffles:
- 250g Cream Cheese
- 2 x Packets Oreos
- For the cupcakes:
- 190g all-purpose flour
- 200g granulated sugar
- 64g sifted cocoa powder (for chocolate cupcakes)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, cracked into a small cup or saucer
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 120ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120ml hot water
- For the Frosting:
- 100g Cream Cheese
- ¾ Packet Oreos (put the others aside for decoration)
- 100g Powdered Sugar
- 100g Unsalted Butter
- Start with the truffles. Obliterate the Oreos, mix in with the cream cheese. Form in to balls and place in the fridge to chill while you make the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and line your muffin tin with cases.
- Mix together the “dry” ingredients; flour, salt, baking soda (and cocoa powder if using). In the bowl of your electric mixer cream together the butter and the sugar.
- Mix in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Then, alternate between adding the flour and the hot water in three stages. Starting and ending with the flour. Beat on a medium speed until smooth (this can take a few minutes).
- Divide the batter out between the cases. The cases should be filled to around ⅘ of the case. Drop a truffle into the centre of each cake. They are fairly heavy, so will probably sink towards the bottom, but make sure you don’t push them.
- Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until they have risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- While they are cooling, make the frosting. Cream together the butter and the powdered sugar. Add the cream cheese and Oreos and beat together. If you want to thicken it up, add more powdered sugar and more butter if you want it thinner.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, ice them with a knife. Decorate with remaining Oreos.
Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes. I’ve been doing far too many cookies lately, or else various non-cake related things. It is high time that I got my first cupcake recipe up here. There is little story to tell this time around. It was a Wednesday, I was trying to think on what to bake, and my workmate let slip that it was his Birthday. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve been getting the urge to do something minty of late, which is very not me. It’s not that I don’t like mint with sweet things (the odd after eight isn’t too bad), but I just don’t love it. I prefer my mint with my savoury foods, like lamb, or mint sauce with a pork pie. But as I said, I just got one of those urges to make something minty. So I started having a look around for some good looking mint frosting recipes. The best I came across was this one here on Sally’s Baking Addiction, which included the lovely addition of chocolate chips to give that added Mint Choc’ Chip ice cream nostalgia. Coupling mint with chocolate just has to be done, which lead me to tracking down the moistest cupcakes possible. The best recipe I found was here. The combination of the two was phenomenal, it had to be said.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Choc Chip Icing
- For the cakes:
- 130g all-purpose flour
- 200g granulated sugar
- 65g cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 120 ml milk
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 120 boiling water
- For the Frosting:
- 225g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 385-500g powdered (confectioners') sugar
- 2 Tablespoons double cream
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract (or more if you want)
- 2 drops green food colouring (I used a tad more than this)
- 100-200g mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 150°C and line your cake tray with cases.
- Mix together the flour, sugar, cocao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until it’s well mixed.
- Add the “wet” ingredients, apart from the boiling water, and mix on a medium speed until well combined.
- Reduce the speed and very carefully add the boiling water. Slowly up the speed until it’s on high and allow to mix for around 1 minute. This will get a good amount of air into the mix.
- Distribute the batter evenly into the cases. Fill to around ¾ of the case. Depending on the size of the case you’ll get between 12 and 18 cakes, but always fill to about ¾.
- Bake for 12-25 minutes. The cakes will be done when a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the tray before transferring to a rack.
- While they are cooling, prepare the frosting.
- Take the softened butter and beat it until smooth and creamy, using a medium speed.
- Add 385g of icing sugar, saving the rest just in case. Also add the cream, peppermint and food colouring. Be sparing with both the peppermint and colouring. You can always add more, remember.
- Beat on a high speed for around 3 minutes. Scraping down the sides from time to time. Add more icing sugar if it is too thin, or more cream if it’s too thick. If you want to make it greener or mintier, add more of either but again do it in stages.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Apply to the cupcakes, ensuring that they are cool first. This frosting looks great pretty rough so don’t worry overly about presentation.