Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

We go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong…

I’ve been singing this song all weekend, often a capella and much to Luther’s dismay.

Because it is Valentine’s Day next week I was trying to come up with something romantic. Now, I’m not a traditionally romantic big  gestures sort of person. I like cards that say  I like you more than pizza and things like that so for my Valentine’s Day cupcakes I was trying to come up with perfect pairings. Like Brie and Strawberries. Or Mac and Cheese… And I came up with

We go together like peanut butter and jelly.

That is why I have been singing to myself.

Yes, these are pb&j cupcakes! And even better yet, they have a surprise heart on the inside.

I had seen these sorts of hidden image cupcakes before but they always needed to be cut in a particular direction. I wanted you to be able to just take a bite out and have a heart show up. I came up with a way to do it and was really pleased to find out that it works!! I wasn’t the first one to figure it so there is a video for you to reference as well.

If you don’t want to do the heart thing you could just put a dollop of jam on top of the peanut butter batter and maybe swirl it around to make it pretty. Yum!

secret heart cupcake pb and j cupcakes peanut butter and jam cupcake

 

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY CUPCAKES

PREP

1 basic vanilla cake
¼ cup of jam
pink gel food colouring

100g butter
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 170°C.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

DO

Make your favourite vanilla cake and use gel food colours to get a vibrant pink colour. Cut of any browned edges of the cake and crumble into a bowl.

Add jam and mix. You want it to be mouldable (like if you were making cake pops) so add more jam if required.

Roll into ½ inch balls. Roll one end of the ball into a point. Press down on the rounded end with your pinky to make a cone shaped indent. Set aside.

Put all the cupcake ingredients into a mixer and beat until combined (about 2 minutes on medium).

Spoon some mixture into the cupcake cases until they are about half full. Push the hearts in the centre of each cupcake. Spread any extra mixture around the hearts.

Bake at 170°C for 15 minutes (or until the top springs back to the touch).

Allow to cool before icing.

 

what if i write something here

what if i write something here

what if i write something here

what if i write something here
what if i write something here

what if i write something here

what if i write something here

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY BUTTERCREAM ICING

PREP

100g butter
½ cup peanut butter
2 cups icing sugar
¼ cup milk

125g butter
½ cup jam
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

Sit all ingredients until they are at room temp.

DO

Beat peanut butter and butter together until creamy. Add icing sugar in 3 lots, beating well after each addition.

Add milk and beat on high for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Set aside.

In a new bowl, beat together jam and butter. Add icing sugar in 3 lots, beating well after each addition.

Add milk and beat on high for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Set aside.

To ice cupcakes with two-tone icing, prepare a piping bag with a big star tip. Press peanut butter icing into one side of the bag. Press jam icing into the other side of the bag.

Squeeze the icing out until you have both colours coming out. Swirl icing onto cupcakes.

Enojy.

 

pb&j cupcakes

I’ve been really enjoying recipes where I just dump everything in the mixer. There may be a few more like this coming.

Do you have V Day plans?

xo Isabel

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Chocolate Coffee Muffins

I’m not sure if this is a controversial opinion but I don’t think Monday is the worst day of the week. It is Wednesdays.

On Monday I am all refreshed and ready to start a week. It is like a new slate. By Wednesday I am already sick of getting up so early and it is ages away to the weekend. I hate Wednesdays.

These are Wednesday muffins. They have coffee (vital) and chocolate (delicious) and will get you through the dreaded Wednesday morning.

mocha muffins

 

CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE MUFFINS

PREP

1 ½ cups flour
¾ cups sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 ½ tsp baking powder
100g butter, melted
2 eggs
100ml milk
½ cup yoghurt
1 to 1 ½ cups ground coffee
Optional: 12 chocolate buttons

Preheat oven to 175°C.
Grease or line a muffin tray.

DO

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder). 

Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl (melted butter, eggs, yoghurt and milk).

Sprinkle the ground coffee over the dry ingredients. Pour over the wet ingredients and fold until it is just combined.

Spoon batter into the muffin tray and bake at 175°C for 12-14 minutes (or until the muffin tops springs back to the touch).

Optional: put a chocolate button on the top of each muffin prior to baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

breakfast muffins i hate mondays

xo Isabel

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Homemade Thin Mints

peppermint cookies

There are some biscuits that are hidden from children and consumed straight from their hiding spot in the freezer on weekday evenings. Those biscuits are Thin Mints.

Thin Mints are like the after dinner mint but in biscuit form and more delicious. If it was a choice between nutella and these bikkies, nutella would get kicked to the curb.

There are a few steps to this recipe but it is actually really easy. You should definitely give them a go.

thin mint cookies

Homemade Thin Mints:

CHOCOLATE COOKIE:

  • 150g butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar until just combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl. Add flour mixture in parts, stirring well after each addition. Chill the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes before using.

Roll to ½ inch thick and cut into circles. Cook for 7 minutes at 180°C. Cool on a rack before the next step.

PEPPERMINT FILLING:

  • 3 cup icing sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Mix butter, icing sugar and extracts until well combined. Add milk until it gets to a similar consistency to the uncooked cookie dough.

Spread over cooled chocolate cookies in a layer about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.

COATING:

  • Dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Melt chocolate and oil together. Combine well and allow to cool slightly (don’t want to melt that filling!) Dunk cookies in the melted chocolate and allow to harden on a greased tray.

Enjoy!

dark chocolate peppermint

I was serious about eating them straight from the freezer. The biscuit base goes hard and the mint filling is cold and it’s just so. damn. good.

I also bought some cute patterned crockery to use for blog photos. What do you think?

What is your favourite treat for the middleoftheworkweek blues?

xo Isabel

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Old post circa March 2014

Plum Krummeltorte (crumble cake)

german crumble cake

It is the time of year that my parents house is overloaded with plums. They only have two small plum trees but man, they produce a lot of plums! We have had plum jams and sauces and ice cream. And freezers full of plums of course.

So when I went home this past weekend I had to do some baking with them. We went out to visit my Nana and I made this Plum Krummeltorte to bring for afternoon tea.

It was super easy and super tasty. I based it off the krummeltorte recipe by The Destitute Gourmet. A krummeltorte is a German crumble cake (according to my friend Google) so eat this one with a plate.

plum crumble slice

Plum Krummeltorte

  • ~500g whole plums, pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp corn flour

Simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in corn flour thoroughly.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 100g butter, diced
  • 2 eggs

Place everything but eggs in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add in the eggs and pulse again. The mixture should be quite crumbly but presses together.

Press two thirds of the mix into a lined slice tin. Pour the stewed plums over, and finish by crumbling the remaining flour mixture over top.

Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.

Powder with icing sugar before serving.

ice cream

And we of course finished the day with a couple of hours at the beach and a Tip Top ice cream.

xo Isabel

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Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

Valentine's cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away so I thought I would start posting some things related to that. The only problem is that I am absolutely the least romantic person I know. If there was a class in preschool teaching kids how to be romantic, I missed it. Amongst my plans for Valentine’s posts I tried to come up with cool card designs and things like that. The best I could come up with was

“If you were on fire and I had a glass of water, I wouldn’t drink it.”

Ooh, doesn’t that just fill you with feelings of love and affection? Yeah nah. I think I will stick to the baking.

raspberry frosting

Chocolate is one of those foods that seem to work with every special occasion. We eat it at Christmas, Easter and birthdays. Summer or Winter, night or day, chocolate works. It is no wonder that people give it on Valentine’s! There is a 90% chance that the recipient will enjoy it.

For the season of luuuurve, I developed these raspberry and dark chocolate cupcakes. They can be made with frozen or fresh raspberries, and are a lovely gift for that special someone.

real raspberry buttercream

Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 1 cup milk
  • 140g raspberries

Method:

Beat butter until pale and light. Add sugar and beat until lovely and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Make sure all of this is well combined.

Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the mixture in parts. It will be quite a thick mixture at this point.

Melt chocolate and milk together. I find using a double boiler is the best way to do this. Allow to cool slightly, then a pour into the mixture. It may take a little while for it to combine. If at first it seems like clumps of mixture in the chocolate you need to keep mixing.

Carefully fold in the raspberries. Fill cupcake cases about 3/4 full. Place in the oven at 180°C (360°F) for 15-20 minutes. They are ready when they spring back when touched lightly. The best placement is to have the bottom of the tray in the middle of the oven.

Allow to cool before icing.

Raspberry Buttercream:

Ingredients:

  • 75g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup raspberries (defrosted if using frozen)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk (optional)

Method:

Beat butter until pale and creamy. Add raspberries and Vanilla. Beat until well combined. Sift icing sugar into the bowl. It is best to do this in parts as the amount you need may change slightly depending on how much juice was released by the raspberries you used. Combine well. Add a little milk if you would like a smoother consistency.

I melted some chocolate and piped it over a baking sheet into the shapes I wanted. Any chocolate and berry combination would work with these. The raspberries develop this amazing molten texture after baking. It almost creates its own filling!

white chocolate cupcake

Although this may seem like a lot of steps and ingredients, the cupcakes are quite easy to whip up and are sure to impress.

xo Isabel

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Old post circa Feb 2014

Creme Brulee for Two!

valentines day dessert

Are you (or someone you love) the sort of person that loves peeling the protective plastic off screens? Do you have a severe addiction to popping bubble wrap? Some may say you take a sick pleasure in things like that but those aren’t the sort of people worth talking to anyway. If that spoke to you, then creme brulee is your dessert!

The best creme brulees have a crunchy top and deliciously smooth custard. Cracking the sugar with a spoon is soooooo satisfying!

This is a super easy dessert and can be planned well in advance. For those planning a date night this would be perfect.

easy creme brulee

Creme Brulee (serves 2)

  • 100ml cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp castor sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar

Place the cream and the vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat. When there are a few rolling bubbles around the edges of the pan it is ready to take off the heat.

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly pour the cream into the bowl as you stir.

Pour the mixture into two ramekins. Place these in a roasting dish and half-fill the dish with water. (A bain marie.) It should come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes. Then take out of the oven but leave in the water filled dish for another ten minutes. Then remove to cool. It should be set but a little jiggly in the centre.

Once cool sprinkle a layer of demerara sugar on top. Try to make sure it is all even. Melt the sugar with a brulee torch (or under the grill. You want to keep it under the grill for the shortest amount of time possible if using that method.) Cool and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Take out of the fridge about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Valentine's

The Boy liked melting the sugar as much as eating it.  I think I preferred the results. What do you think is the best bit? It was the perfect amount for 2.

xo Isabel

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Old post circa February 2014

 

Star Wars Sugar Cookies

In my family there are a fair few Star Wars fans. So I got these cookie cutters in October last year and have just been waiting for the opportunity to use. I waited until I had some spare time with my little brothers and we whipped up a batch of star wars cookies.

anakin skywalker cookies

Chewbacca Cookies

These may be sugar cookies but they are not dry! And if you didn’t want to have different colours then you can always make it up as one batch . The Yoda cookies we added a little bit of green food colouring. I recommend using the gel colouring as they don’t change the consistency of the dough.

Chocolate and Orange Sugar Cookies

  • 280g butter , softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • Zest of one orange and 2 Tbsp orange juice

Beat butter and sugar together. Add in egg and mix well.

Split dough between two bowls (265-275g each bowl).

Orange: Mix in 1 1/3 cups flour, orange zest and orange juice.

Chocolate: Mix in cocoa and 2/3 + ¼ cup flour.

Chill the dough for half an hour before rolling out. Make sure to flour your rolling surface well. Bake at 180°C for 7-10 minutes.

star wars cookies

chewie cookies

These were lots of fun to make and the green ones even look a little bit intergalactic.

xo Isabel

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