Lychee cupcakes

Litchi chinensis gives life to a highly demanded tropical fruit throughout the centuries since, guess what, Chinese emperors and other wealthy people kinda liked it.

The lychee tree can be as high as 12 metres and the seeds are toxic… so I can imagine more than one servant on top of a tree thinking about how to sneak a seed or two and get rid of the annoying imperial fondness…

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Lychee Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.
For the cupcakes
  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 lychees in light syrup

Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan. Beat the butter and caster sugar until fluffy, mix in the vanilla and eggs and finally the flour until combined, but don’t overmix! Take 12 lychees and blot them dry with a paper napkin. Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin, fill them 1/3, place one lychee in each cupcake case and cover the lychee with more batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the frosting
  • 100 g butter
  • 200 g powder sugar
  • 1 tbsp of the lychee light syrup
  • Americolor deep pink & lemon yellow soft gel paste
Beat together the butter, lychee juice, and powder sugar with an electric mixer, adding the sugar and light syrup in small portions. Beat for another 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add a couple of drops of each soft gel paste to the buttercream and blend with palette knife. Finally pipe the frosting on top of cooled cupcakes with an open star piping nozzle.
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Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve never understood food scented perfumes. For some reason, stilton cheese, lobster, pizza or sushi perfumes can be found on the market. There’s even an eau de barbecue  (oddly enough, someone thought that was a good idea…).

Today I guessed how Jo Malone’s Orange and Chocolate cologne must smell: the same as my kitchen when I was finishing these up. If I can choose, I’d certainly rather have sitting besides me in the cinema someone smelling like chocolate, than someone smelling of “intoxicating bouquet of spices, smoke, meat & sweet summer sweat”…

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

For the chocolate fudge cupcake (adapted from Nigella, makes 10-12 cupcakes)

  • 130 g flour 
  • 80 g golden caster sugar 
  • 30 g light brown muscovado sugar 
  • 20 g cocoa powder 
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder 
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml sour cream 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 60 g butter 
  • 50 ml sunflower oil 
  • 100 ml cold water

Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and line a cupcake tray with 12 pretty paper cases. 

Mix and sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate and then stir in the sugars and salt. Separately, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Melt the butter. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together the cooled melted butter and sunflower oil until just blended, and then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on slow speed until just combined. Add the egg mixture, and beat until blended. As always for cupcakes, remember not to overbeat or they won’t rise nicely.

Fill the paper cases with the mixture up to 2/3 and bake around 20 min until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

For the filling

  • 12 Lindt orange chocolate truffles

As soon as the cupcakes come out of the oven, make an x cross on top with scissors and push inside on Lindt orange chocolate truffle (it will melt).

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

 

For the orange buttercream

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice or a few drops of orange extract
  • Orange food colouring

Cream the softened butter by beating at low speed and then slowly add the icing sugar. Keep beating until pale. Finally beat in the orange juice or extract.

Blend some orange colouring into 1/4 of the buttercream with a spatula. I used here Americolor gel paste 113.

To pipe the orange edge buttercream roses, place a big closed star tip in the piping bag, add the orange buttercream into the bag and extend it throughout its surface, covering the inside with a thin layer. Open the bag again and add the non-coloured buttercream in the centre. Now help the buttercream set down in the bag as you would usually do and start piping.

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

Chocolate always makes for a nice present, let’s face it, and a quick stop at the supermarket to get a box of them is extremely convenient. I’m afraid I am guilty of this bad planning last minute fix for Christmas and non-Christmas invitations to parties, and even unfortunate situations in which you end up being your PI’s Secret Santa… But I must say, I get loads of those too, so you see, more leftovers!

Unfortunately, with this batch of little wonders I am now officially done with Christmas memories in my kitchen.

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

Makes 12

  • 170 g self-raising flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 110 g butter
  • 160 g sugar
  • 125 ml buttermilk (or 125 ml normal milk + 7 ml vinegar, let stand 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 70 g dark chocolate
  • 12 Ferrero Rocher bombons

For the cakes

Preheat oven to 160° C fan and place 12 muffin cups into a cupcake tray.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water.

Mix and sift flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Beat the room temperature butter until creamy and then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Finally beat in the melted chocolate. 

Now add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in two additions each, alternating. Beat until combined before adding more, but don’t overmix.

Fill cupcake cases 2/3 and push one Ferrero Roche into the batter, as much as possible. Tap to arrange the batter around (no need to add more to cover) and bake for 20-25 minutes. Use the toothpick test in one side to see if they are done.

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

If you have leftover batter and no more ferreros, just bake some more empty cupcakees, the chocolate cake is delicious, and you might have a nut alergic friend 😉

For the frosting and decoration

Frost the cupcakes with whipped cream + cream cheese frosting, recipe in the kinder bueno cupcakes. It is a light fluffy frosting that goes great with the deep chocolatey cake, promise. I left out the nutella swirls here, because there is enough chocolate around as it is (if such a thing as enough chocolate is possible).

Sprinkle with chocolate confetti to finish it off.

If you are using this frosting, remember to keep the cupcakes in the fridge and b

est eat them on the day, the ferrero chocolates won’t be crunchy for long…

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

Ferrero Roche Cupcakes

White Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate is God’s apology for broccoli. – Richard Paul Evans

What about white chocolate then? Cauliflower?

Lindt Truffle stuffed White Chocolate Cupcake

White Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

For 12 of them you will need…

For the cake

  • 270 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 180 g milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 room temperature egg whites
  • 80 g butter
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 12 Lindor White Chocolate Truffles

Preheat oven to 160 °C and place 12 paper liners in a cupcake tin.

Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.

Combine the milk and vanilla.

Beat the egg whites at high speed in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In a different bowl beat butter and granulated sugar  until fluffy, then beat in sour cream until smooth. On medium speed, add flour mixture alternating with milk mixture (three additions each), mixing until smooth. Whisk in one third of the egg whites and then fold in the remaining two thirds.

Divide batter evenly among liners and bake 17-20 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Remove the tin from oven and, with a pair of scissors, immediately cut a 1 cm deep “x” into the top of each cupcake. Push one truffle into each cupcake. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool (the truffles will melt :)).

 

For the frosting and decoration

  • 85 g of chopped white chocolate
  • 110 g softened cream cheese
  • 30 g butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170 g powder sugar
  • White chocolate curls

Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Combine melted chocolate, cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well blended. Slowly add powdered sugar; beat well. Frost the cupcakes and decorate with a few chocolate shavings. You can make them with a bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler!

White Chocolate Cupcake

White Chocolate Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Nutella-filled white chocolate sponge, topped with whipped cream and cream cheese based light and fluffy frosting with little Nutella swirls… These are amazing, and the frosting is the best thing you will ever eat.

The ultimate solution to a tough bench day!

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

For 12 of them you will need…

For the cake

  • 225 g butter
  • 225 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 100 g white chocolate, melted
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 jar of Nutella

First preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and line a 12-hole cupcake tin. 

For the white chocolate sponge, cream together butter, sugar, eggs and milk, then pour in the melted white chocolate and mix. Finally, blend in the flour until just combined.

Fill the cupcakes to around 1/3 with cake mix, then add a teaspoon of Nutella (or a bit more, ok…) and finally cover with more cake mix until the liners are almost full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

For the nutella-swirled, whipped cream and cream cheese frosting

  • 200 g whipping cream
  • 110 g cream cheese
  • 60 g powder sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Nutella
  • Kinder Bueno bars, broken into quarters

Whip the cream with a mixer until it forms stiff peaks. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese to soften it, before blending in the sugar, salt and vanilla until fully combined and creamy. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then beat with the mixer until it’s fully combined and fluffy. For the nutella marble effect, drop a few teaspoons of Nutella into the mix and run a knife through it several times. Fill a piping bag with the frosting, chill the bag for 15 minutes to firm it up, and then pipe on the cupcakes with a closed star tip.

Store the frosted cupcakes in the fridge and decorate them with a Kinder Bueno piece just before serving!

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcake

Caramel Cupcakes

When in doubt what to bake I head to the Caked Crusader blog. Tbh, I head there every Monday at lunch time to check what she baked on the weekend… Some weeks ago she made these beautiful caramel cupcakes that I could´t resist reproducing. They do taste fantastic.

Caramel Cupcakes

Caramel Cupcakes

I won’t even bother to write the recipe, if you are interested, just head to her blog by clicking here and read it there, you will get all the details you might possibly need in her lovely writing. Plus do look around the blog, there are plenty of great baking ideas!

On the meantime, I will bask in the glory of what I’ve created (whilst I eat it).

Caramel Cupcakes

Caramel Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes

I got some new toys branded Americolor, and I desperately wanted to test them all. Immediately.

Of course, any kind of cake dough on rainbow mode was the obvious choice. I know, I know, such a cliché…

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow cupcakes

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g butter
  • 130 g self-raising flour
  • 20 g cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • 30 ml milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 different food colours (Americolor Cake Colours)
  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp custard powder
  • Decorating sprinkles

Preheat the oven at 160 °C and place 12 cases in a muffin tin. Beat sugar and butter with vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, one third of the flour and some milk, beat until just combined. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. Divide the batter in 6 small plastic bags, add a different food colouring to each one and mix. Snip the corner off the purple bag and squeeze a layer covering the bottom. Repeat with layers of the other colours (in rainbow order), and use a toothpick to arrange the batter over the previous colour after each addition.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Just before eating (and when the cupcakes are cold), whip the cream adding the custard slowly during the process (stabilises the cream and adds nice flavour). Pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes (I used a closed star tip) and decorate with sprinkles!

Rainbow Cupcake

Whipped Cream frosted Rainbow Cupcakes

A little dust of powder sugar is a nice alternative, and easier to handle for traveling cupcakes.

Do you remember from school the correct order of the colours in a rainbow? If not, take into account that Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain!

Rainbow Cupcake