What I baked in August

In the month of August I did some baking, after a very long time. Not much, just a bit; but it was really nice to be able to set aside some time for a much neglected hobby.

At the beginning of the month, I baked Apple and Cinnamon Muffins from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen.

The recipe called for either spelt or plain flour. I don’t think spelt is available in India and since I wanted it to be as healthy as possible, I contemplated using whole wheat flour. But I wasn’t sure what the result would be, so I thought who better to ask and I tweeted Nigella.

Guess what – NIGELLA LAWSON REPLIED TO MY TWEET!

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Like I needed any more reasons to love this lady!

It took me a week to get down to the actual baking and I made the last minute executive decision to use half wholewheat and half plain flour. As with all the Nigella recipes I have tried, the muffins too turned out great.

A couple of weeks later, I did something that I have never done before – bake on my birthday! Since it was a Saturday, my 4-year old son was at home and he helped me bake Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing, a recipe I found on kidspot.com.au and altered a bit.

This is one of the easiest recipes I have come across and the cupcakes are really delicious.

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Here is my modified version of the recipe:

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 100 g butter
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten with 1 tsp vanilla essence)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp whole milk*

Ingredients for chocolate butter cream icing:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup icing sugar**
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp whole milk

Method:

Using a fine sieve, sift together the cocoa powder and self-raising flour. Add the baking soda and set aside.

– Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Line cupcake tins with paper cases.

– Using an electric hand-held mixer, cream butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Gradually add beaten eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined.

– Add dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, soda mix) to creamed mixture, bit by bit, with milk and continue beating until just combined.

– Spoon mixture into liners until each case is one-third full. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

– Check if cupcakes are ready by inserting a toothpick into the centre of one or two. It should come out dry.

– Remove from oven. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then remove from tin and set cupcakes (in their papers) to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the butter cream icing:

-Beat butter with a fork until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and cocoa and combine well. Beat in milk until mixture is fluffy.

– Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, spoon icing on top of each and run the back of a fork over the icing in a circular motion. Or you could use a piping bag, if you prefer.

As you can imagine, mini-me was rather excited to enjoy the fruits of his labour at tea time, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream for good measure.

 

Note:

* The original recipe called for ½ cup milk, but I mis-read it! (This is what happens I guess when half of your attention is on what the 4-year old is up to with the egg carton) However, I really liked the texture of the end product with just 2 tbsp milk, hence will stick with that when I make these cupcakes again.

** The original recipe called for 1 ¼ cup icing sugar and 1 tbsp cocoa, but even with only 1 cup icing sugar and 2 tbsp cocoa I still found it slightly too sweet, so I suggest tasting as you go.

You can view the original recipe here:

 

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