Monday, October 20, 2014

Nutty caramel Snickers Cupcake recipe


Nutty caramel cupcakes studded with roasted peanuts and chunks of Snickers bars...topped lavishly with caramel cream cheese frosting, more nuts, chocolate and a final drizzle of  sweet, sticky caramel..
These cupcakes are not for the fainthearted.
But ohh...they are good.

Trust me on this. 



Snickers Cupcake Recipe

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Line two muffin tins with cupcake papers. Recipe makes 18.

Ingredients

* Two eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup canola or vegetable oil.
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup warm water

* 2 cups plain flour
* 1 teaspoon bi carb soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 3/4 cups castor sugar
* 1 packet of 12 mini bite size snickers bars, roughly chopped
* Approx 1  cup roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped


Method

* In a medium bowl,using a hand whisk, combine eggs, extract, oil and whisk well. 

* Add sour cream and whisk until well combined.

* Add warm water.

* In a separate bowl, sift flour, bi card soda, baking powder and sugar. Whisk to combine. 

* Divide chopped Snickers bars in half, reserving some to add to the frosting. Do the same with the peanuts. Carefully stir in chopped Snickers bars and peanuts to the flour mix.

* Slowly pour wet mixture into the dry mix. Whisk until well combined. Use a spatula to ensure it is all mixed through. 

* Spoon mixture into prepared cupcake papers, until each is about a third full. 

* Using a teaspoon, drizzle a spoon full of caramel on the top of each cupcake. 

* Bake for 18 - 20 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool before adding caramel frosting and extra goodies. 


Caramel cream cheese Frosting Recipe

* 125g salted butter, softened
* 125g cream cheese, chilled
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Approx 4 cups Icing sugar
* Dashings of cream
*  Approx 1/4 cup caramel sauce
* Wilton Icing Whitener if you want your frosting to be white! I use this all the time. It takes the buttery colour out of your icing,giving you a more pure colour. 


Method

* In an electric mixer on medium, beat butter until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.
* Add cream cheese and mix for another 2 minutes until well combined. 
* Add Vanilla extract.
* Turn mixer down to low and slowly add icing sugar, a little at a time. Add dashings of cream as needed to keep it moist. 

*Add Icing whitener if using.

* Slowly pour in caramel sauce, being careful not to make the frosting too runny. Add more icing sugar as needed. 

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and pile on the rest of the Snickers bars and peanuts. Generously drizzle the rest of the caramel sauce over the top...

Make a strong coffee, sit down and dig in. These are decadent! 
Enjoy every bite! x




Caramel sauce Recipe

* Put 1 cup of brown sugar and 4 tblsp of butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir well. 

* Add 1/2 cup pure pouring cream and keep stirring until slightly thickened, or about 5 minutes.  

* Use caramel to spoon onto uncooked cupcakes, add to frosting and then to drizzle over finished cupcakes. 

*Note. You may wish to put caramel in a small glass jar in the fridge to cool. When you want to use it, take it out of the fridge and place jar in a small saucepan with about an inch of water in the bottom. Stir caramel until it has become runny. 
(Or you could use a microwave. I don't have one, so I never think of that! )








XXX





Friday, October 17, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Heidi


Every now and then, our homeschooling presents us with pleasant opportunities to create spontaneous memories. Today was one of those times. While we may not have done enough maths or even got to our nature studies, we ran with the moment and chose to enjoy something just for the fun of it.
All guilt aside.
This term I am reading Johanna Spyri's HEIDI to the girls. I confess that I actually start our school day by reading aloud, as that is my very favourite thing to do. (Why start the day with  maths!! eek!) And yes, I also confess that I also like it when we read just another chapter....
Today, we lingered over the very first meal that young Heidi enjoyed with her Uncle. We all paused...and sighed....ohhh that sounds soooo nice. 




" Then he sat down on a three legged stool and blew up the fire. It was soon blazing merrily and the little kettle began to boil. Next the old man cut a big piece of cheese, and piercing it with a long iron fork, he held it over the fire, turning it constantly to and fro until it was golden brown all over.  When Grandfather had decided that the cheese was nicely toasted and took it to the table, there was a round loaf, two plates and two knives neatly laid, for Heidi had been quick to see what was wanted and had brought everything from the cupboard.
"So you can think for yourself! That's good!" said the grandfather and spread the toasted cheese on the bread...."




That was all we needed. Out came the wheat grinder....( Yes, back in the day when I had about three or four children, grinding my own wheat and  the daily baking of bread was quite common in our home. I was a bit of an earth mother at heart before white flour and icing  sugar took over my life!)
Out came the wheat grinder, my stash of organic wheat grain and I proceeded to give the girls a lesson on the nutritional value of real grain and how to bake your own bread! They loved it.
Next came the cheese...not quite as organic as Heidi's uncle's would have been, and no, I wasn't prepared to even try to toast it until it was "....golden brown all over.." (Can you imagine the mess ?!)
We did, however, manage to crudely hack a block of cheese  and quickly shove it into the piping hot loaf, along with smotherings of pure butter....ahh..delicious.









At least tonight I can go to bed knowing that we all shared one special moment together today. The washing didn't get hung out, the kids books are all still on the table, but at least we let literature come to life and imagined how delicious Heidi's bread and toasted cheese would have tasted high up in the spectacular mountains of Switzerland....

There is always tomorrow for maths.

XXX

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sweet Love xx



You can tell someone has serious cupcake obsession when those scrumptious little delights  become your babies.
It's true. I spent every spare minute in the holidays lovingly tending to my dear sweet sugar flowers, ensuring every petal was painted, every pearl in place, caressing each delicate flower like a newborn babe. (Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that my baby is two and a half and my maternal instincts may be craving that insatiable longing to hold another warm, snuggly newborn of my own...)

I digress..

These, my friends, are my babies!! 

I admit I was showing some symptoms of OCD, as I fiercely guarded my precious  babies all week....from wandering little fingers of the other wee babes in my household, who were curious to see what was possessing their Mama Bear and why she was huddled over the kitchen bench so intensely with cataclysmic warnings not to touch!! Believe me, this was no small task. My goal was to produce thirty delicate sugar  babies flowers (plus spares for inevitable breakages), all in tact and ready to (reluctantly) hand over to my client by Friday. Of course, my life being what it is...well...my life, also included sick vomiting children, visitors and a multitude of needy children on holidays.
 A master juggling act. 

I was delighted to make these pretty cupcakes for an engagement celebration dinner. The only instruction was pink and white. I was on a mission. I knew exactly what flowers I wanted to make. They needed to be exquisitely pretty, delicate, completely opulent and seriously gorgeous with a hint of shabby vintage...LOVE..

Sweet, sweet love.  

























Enjoy!

XXX



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Woodland whimsy



What  can I say? I just love everything about this cake. It is so simple. 
The moose and bunting.......perfect. 

My son Jesse faithfully assisted his pedantic mother trudge through snake infested bushland, scrimp under razor sharp barb wire fences, all carefully balancing my precious cake, props, blueberries, wooden stands and  camera. Gotta love that. 
 This was a chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate ganache.


Listen to the music and take a walk in the woods with me. x





























Enjoy!

XXX