Sunday, 27 January 2013

Chocolate Mud Cake and Marshmallows

For the last two weeks I've been craving marshmallows: gooey, creamy, tasty marshmallows, and I have no idea why. I finally went and bought some this weekend and decided to combine it with my new favourite chocolate cake recipe - Chocolate Mud Cake by Planet Cake. In the spirit of the new year, I thought I'd adapt this recipe to use as cupcakes.

Now as the wise Jill Scott once said, "everything ain't for everybody". 

As in life, where some things or some people, just aren't meant to go together, no matter how much you might want it to work; so too in the case of the chocolate mud cake recipe and cupcake cases. I tried it once earlier on in the week and wasn't that happy so this weekend I tried something slightly different but the results stayed the same. It just wasn't meant to be.

I will say that as a cake, it is amazing; rich, moist and generally delicious. But as cupcakes, it's not so great. Not terrible mind, but definitely nowhere near as wonderful. So my advice is that if you want to make great chocolate cupcakes use this recipe* instead.

And if I haven't put you off the chocolate mud cake recipe, (which I sincerely hope I haven't), then I have included it below. It is truly a delicious cake and best made as per the instructions- I know because I have done it!

Mud Cake Recipe from Planet Cake (8" square cake)

220g (7 3/4 oz) butter
220g (7 3/4 oz) dark chocolate chopped
25g (1 oz/ half cup) coffee granules
125 g (4 1/2 oz) self raising flour
125 g (4 1/2 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
50 g (1 1/2 oz / 1/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
480g (1lb 1 oz / 1 3/4 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
4 eggs lightly beaten
7 teaspoons vegetable oil
100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (315 deg F /gas 2-3)
Grease tin and line the base and sides with a collar. 
2. Put the butter, chocolate and coffee in a saucepan with 160 ml water and stir over low heat until melted then remove from heat.
3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and make well in centre. Add the combined egg, oil and buttermilk and chocolate mixture, stir with a large spoon till completely combined.
4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes. Leave in the tin until it's completely chilled. 

How many times do we try to make things into what they are not? I'll leave you with this well known prayer & I wish you all serenity, courage & wisdom.

Peace & Love


* I covered my chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow fluff, chopped marshmallows and chocolate chips. It was exactly what I was after, a complete sugar overload!

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow & Chocolate Teaspoon Biscuits

Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers. 

Let it snow! 

After a mild spell of weather, winter made her presence felt with a week of snow fall.  I must say that we don't do 'snow' very well here: from the time we know that it's coming, we start  planning to stop work and play in the snow!

The snow had barely settled & I was already trying to make snow angels!
There's something magical about snow. You go to bed with the world looking one way & wake up to find it transformed and full of possibilities. As a general rule, people are friendlier, children come out on the street to play and sometimes if you're lucky, you don't have to go to work!

Me hard at work!
This week was cool because I had my very first set of visitors in my new home (well ones that stayed over anyway!) Maarten and Liz from Belgium came to re-live our festival days at the Worldwide Festival Awards show at Koko in Camden. We had a lovely weekend but to be honest it was too cold to do any sightseeing with them. As wonderful as snow is, after a few minutes you just want to get inside and get warm already!

My Belgian Homies :)
I did manage to squeeze some baking into my chilled (get it!) weekend and made chocolate biscuits while the guys were finishing up their Sunday lunch. We nibbled on them while we listened to good music and watched classic movies. Yay for lazy weekends and good company!

The recipe for the chocolate biscuits, comes from one of my most recent books, Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen. You can also click here for the recipe. They are really easy to make and you can make them in any shape you like...

I'll leave you with this cool snow quote;

"Advice is like the snow; the softer it falls, the longer it stays and the deeper it sinks into the mind" Samuel Coleridge

Have a great week!

Peace & Love


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Monday, 14 January 2013

Happy (Belated) New Year!

I promised myself that I would never begin a post with 'sorry I haven't blogged in a while", and I have no intention of breaking that promise now, although I will say that I have missed you very much! Also a very belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! :)

The last few months of 2012 were filled with an incredible amount of upheaval and change for me. I've got a new job, a new home; there have been deaths and births, tears and laughter, and everything in between. I've been forced to take a good hard look at myself and the decisions that I have made and what they have produced in my life.

Most of all though, I have learned so much about myself and what I can do if I put my mind to it.  I also appreciate how blessed I am and how much love I have around me. I don't know what it is about hardship but somehow it seems to be the greatest teacher. How cool it would be, if I could grow and mature whilst having a great time, or if I could close my eyes, make a wish & everything that I want would magically appear? But apparently that's not quite how it works!

I also realise that the saying 'life is short', is not strictly accurate because life can be extremely long! I know that I need to be mindful of the foundations that I am laying, and that I stay purposeful, to be the person I want to be and live the life that I want to live...

Not that I have attained this as yet, but I'm on the journey. I have so many exciting plans for 2013, I've given it the tag line of 'love, money and happiness' (in no particular order). I look forward to sharing my journey with you this year & promise to be more consistent!

What are your plans for 2013?

Peace & Love


Oh before I forget (wow, I'm so out of practice!), the cakies in the picture are Gingerbread Cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Book - Cake Days, click here for a link to a recipe. They are definitely great for winter with a cup of tea and a whole new outlook on life! :)

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