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Luscious Lime and Coconut Cupcakes

5 Apr

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Every year, I make an Easter basket full of baked goods for our neighbors and friends. I do it for most holidays and I always vary what I put in them but the one thing I always include is a cupcake. This year for Easter I decided to make a lime and coconut cupcake because, well, I think we all have to agree that that sounds pretty darn amazing! It was a fairly straight forward recipe, except for all that zesting of limes! But the flavors worked together even better then I had imagined and the fresh, tropical combination is perfect to put a “spring” in your step! 🙂 If you wanted to make it more coconuty you could use coconut extract instead of vanilla. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my hands on any! 😦 But they were still unbelievably delicious so its all good!

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Luscious Lime and Coconut Cupcakes (Makes about 24)

Cupcakes:

2 cups caster sugar

3 limes, zest only

340g butter, softened

6 eggs

1 1/2tsp vanilla extract

3 cups plain flour

1tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 cup buttermilk

150g shredded coconut

Frosting:

225g cream cheese, room temperature

115g butter, softened

1tsp vanilla extract

1 lime, zest only

500-600g icing sugar, depending on desired consistency

  • Preheat the oven to 160°c/325°f and line 2 x 12 hole cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and lime zest until the zest is evenly distributed.
  • In a large bowl cream together the zesty sugar and butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly then beat in your vanilla.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.
  • Mix in the flour mix and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until everything is combined. Fold in the shredded coconut.
  • Fill the cupcake cases to the top with the batter and bake in the oven for 25-30mins or until they are light golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, make your frosting.
  • For the frosting beat together the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and lime zest until combined.
  • Add the icing sugar in small batches, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition until you achieve the right consistency.
  • Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes and decorate as you want. I used extra shredded coconut and mini sugar coated chocolate eggs.

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Insanely Fudgy Chocolate Cake Pops

2 Apr

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Cake pops are definitely going to be the new cupcake soon, especially if they all turn out anything like these ones. The only word to describe these is AMAZING! They are really fun to make and decorate and would be ideal to give kids the brownie and ganache mixtures and just let them run amuck! Not only are they ridiculously fun to make but they also taste like a combination on the best truffle you have ever had along with the best chocolate fudge cake you have ever had and then dip it all in melted chocolate and sprinkles! 🙂 I know, just go check now if you have all the ingredients!

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Insanely Fudgy Chocolate Cake Pops (Makes about 30 pops)

1 cup butter

2 1/4 cups caster sugar

1 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder

1/2tsp salt

1tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

  • Preheat the oven to 175ºc/350ºf and grease and line a 9″ x 13″ tin.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan or a bowl in the microwave. Once melted, stir in the sugar and either return to the heat or the microwave and heat until the sugar is more dissolved and the mixture comes away from the sides when you stir it.
  • Mix in the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time until they are all incorporated and you have a smooth glossy mixture.
  • Fold in the flour then pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Let cool completely then crumble into a large bowl and set aside to make the ganache.

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Ganache:

200g dark chocolate

250ml fresh pouring cream

2tbsp caster sugar

  • Break the chocolate into a glass bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the cream and sugar in a small pot over a medium heat until just under the boil.
  • Pour onto the chocolate pieces and whisk until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Leave to set in the fridge for 30mins-1hr or until it is quite a thick consistency.

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To Prepare the Cake Pops:

about 30 lolly pop sticks or skewers cut in half

200g milk/white chocolate

an upside down box with holes big enough to fit the lolly pop sticks in them

sprinkles and cocoa powder to decorate

  • Mix the ganache and crumbled brownie mixture together in a large bowl. Use your hands to smoosh the ganache and brownie together until it starts to stick together and form lumps.
  • Then pick up pieces of the mixture and shape them into balls roughly the same size as a golf ball and place on a plate.
  • Once all the mixture has been shaped into balls, stick a lolly pop stick into each one and chill in the fridge for about 1hr.
  • Melt and chocolate in 30sec bursts in the microwave stirring between each interval until fully melted and smooth.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush the melted chocolate onto the chilled cake pops then dust them with sprinkles or cocoa powder.
  • Stick them in the upside down box and leave to set.
  • Then gobble them all up as fast as you can because they won’t stay long!

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Mint Chocolate Bark

1 Apr

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This is a fantastic way or using up any stray bits of chocolate you may have leftover from Easter  if you have any chocolate left that is! It is really moreish and absolutely great to give as gifts as it looks and tastes good and it can be really easily popped in bags. This is really a base recipe that you can change up to suit whats in your cupboard. It looks so fancy and yet could easily be made by kids, with adult supervision. Who doesn’t love a recipe like that? I know, I do! 😀 I hope you all had a lovely Easter and cooked and baked lots of yummy things.

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Mint Chocolate Bark

450g white chocolate

green food coloring

450g dark chocolate

150-200g after eights or a similar mint chocolate, chopped roughly

mint leaves, to decorate (optional)

  • Grease and line a large baking sheet with baking parchemnet.
  • Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler/bain marie or in 30sec bursts in a microwave stirring between each interval until completely melted and smooth.
  • Mix in you green food coloring until you reach the desired color then evenly spread the melted chocolate in a large square/rectangle on the  baking sheet in a reasonably thin layer. Leave to set.
  • Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in the same way as the white chocolate then spread all over the hardened white chocolate in an even layer so that all the white is being covered by dark chocolate.
  • Scatter the chopped after eights all over the top while the dark chocolate is still melted and gently press the pieces down into the chocolate.
  • Scatter with mint leaves if using and leave to set.
  • Break or cut into large chunks.

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Hot Cross Buns

30 Mar

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These are definitely a must have around the easter holidays. It just wouldn’t be right without tucking into one… or a few hot out of the oven! This is a pretty standard recipe for hot cross buns. I figured it didn’t need any messing around with. The only unusual thing about this recipe is the chopped apple but it adds lovely moistness to the dough and who doesn’t love biting into a soft, hot piece of cinnamony apple? 🙂 In the original recipe, it said to glaze with apricot jam but of course did I check if we had apricot jam before I started? No! So when these came out of the oven, I was in a “mild panic”! I rooted around the fridge and pulled out the only thing that even slightly resembled what I needed, lime marmalade. I brushed it on, quite hastily I must add, in fear of my buns getting too cold. It turned out to be a fantastic mistake and one I would highly recommend everyone else to make too. The lime went so well with the spicy, zesty buns.

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Hot Cross Buns

300ml milk

500g strong white flour

70g caster sugar

1/2tsp salt

7g sachet fast action dried yeast

1tsp cinnamon

50g butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

zest of 1 orange

80g mixed dried fruit

1 small apple, cored and diced

sunflower oil, for greasing

For the Cross:

80g plain flour

For Glazing:

3tbsp apricot jam/lime marmalade

  • In a small saucepan, bring the milk to the boil then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, put the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cinnamon in a large bowl. Rub in the butter using your fingertips then stir in the beaten egg and orange zest.
  • Slowly add the tepid milk until it forms a oft, sticky dough. Add the mixed dried fruit and diced apple and tip it out onto the counter.
  • Knead the dough for around 5mins until it becomes a smooth, elastic dough.
  • Oil a large bowl lightly and place the dough in. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise for around 1hr or until it has roughly doubled in size.
  • Grease and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and roll into smooth balls in your hands or on a floured surface.
  • Place them on your baking sheet in lines, fairly close together. They should be about 1 1/2cm apart.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise again for 1hr.
  • Preheat the oven to 210°c/410°f. For the cross mix the flour with about 5tbsp water or enough to make a thick paste.
  • Spoon it into a piping bag and pipe crosses over your buns. It’s easiest if you do one big line over each row of buns.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden. As soon as they come out of the oven, brush the apricot jam/lime marmalade over the top of them, generously.
  • Leave to cool or just tuck in if you really can’t resist! 😀

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