Vanilla and Chocolate Party Cupcakes

As a housewarming present, I gave my former workmate cupcakes to serve during the party. I could not think of anything easier or yummier than… vanilla cupcakes! I had some spare chocolate frosting from last week’s picnic so I just topped up a few with chocolate, and a few with vanilla buttercream. The contrast was beautiful!

I used a tried and tested vanilla cupcake recipe from Exclusively Food, with just a bit of tweaking around here and there. The result were the best vanilla cupcakes I’ve made so far!

Vanilla cupcakes
Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

240g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 cup buttermilk

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 deg C. Line your muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla and buttermilk.
3. Add 1/2 of the sifted flour to the butter batter, and then beat until just combined. Add the remaining flour and beat well.
4. Divide the batter on to the cases evenly.
5. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes. Cool before frosting.

I just used a normal vanilla buttercream recipe and chocolate fudge frosting.

Vanilla buttercream
100g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

1. Beat butter until soft. Add icing sugar.
2. Add vanilla and milk. Add more sugar if frosting is too runny, or milk if it’s too solid.

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Did someone say Big Breakfast?

It is a wet Wednesday in Sydney today. Although I don’t live in the Mid-North Coast, apparently we’re getting a One-in-100-year rainfall. It took alot for me to get out of bed at 6 o’clock this morning, take a shower, and have my routine oatmeal and coffee breakfast. Not the best tasting breakfast in the world, but a power breakfast for me nonetheless. I need my breakfast in the morning before going to work or doing any other activities (eg. gym!). I get a super cyclone inside my tummy if I miss my breakfast.

Which takes me to last Saturday’s big breakfast, concocted by my sister, Ria Rosa (not her actual name, although I really don’t know why she’s hiding behind a pseudonym). We don’t normally eat big breakfasts even during weekends, and when we do, they are usually because we –

    a.) Are hungover (hello McDonald’s breakfast!),
    b.) Don’t have gym on weekends,
    c.) Going on a long trip somewhere.

So back to last Saturday’s big breakfast. I just want to share some photos because they just looked so rich and fatty and delicious and colourful! Can I just say nomnomnomnom?

First you gotta have eggs…

Then of course bacon! Can you hear it sizzling?

Eat your veggies! Grilled mushrooms and tomatoes with mixed herbs.

Set the table (I know, I know… I need to de-clutter!)

Voila! I like my eggs scrambled, with bacon, meatballs, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast over a hot steaming mug of coffee!

One more for the road

Hope you have a good midweek! And stay warm and dry!

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White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache

First baking post to set off the mood – and what better way than with chocolate! White chocolate, that is.

I know that not everybody’s a huge fan of white chocolate – I, for once, am not as well. It’s a love/hate relationship kind of thing… you know. However, one Sunday afternoon, I just thought, “What the hey… I’ll give it a go!”. So one quick look at my favourite recipes website Exclusively Food yielded this great, moist, packful of delicioso goodness white chocolate mudcake.

I tweaked the recipe around a bit and made cupcakes out of the recipe. I had to play around with the measurements, however in the end, the cakes turned out to be perfectly moist, with that hint of white chocolate but not overpoweringly sweet.

Instead of using sour cream and white chocolate, I used thick cream and melted some white chocolate chips on the liquid – producing a smooth, thick ganache that perfectly compliments the cupcakes.

These cupcakes have completely transformed my idea of white chocolate. I have to say that I am now in a love relationship with them!

White Chocolate Mud Cake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache

Recipe adapted from Exclusively Food’s White Chocolate Mud Cake

Makes approximately 18 cupcakes

300g white chocolate

200g butter

250ml milk

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

100g self raising flour

150g all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Line your muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a saucepan. Combine & melt them under low heat while stirring occasionally. Once full melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Once chocolate mixture is cooled, add eggs and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. Sift both flours in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of wet to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined, and add another cup and stir again. Add all remaining wet ingredients and stir until forming a smooth batter.
  5. Divide batter evenly on to prepared muffin tray. Bake for around 20 minutes. Cool cake before frosting.

White Chocolate Ganache

200g white chocolate

3/4 cup thickened cream

2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

  1. Melt chocolate & cream in a saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until smooth. Whisk in sifted icing sugar until lumps are gone.
  2. Cool before using as icing on cupcakes.

NB. If ganache is too runny, refrigerate it for a few minutes. If ganache gets too hard, remove from the fridge, whisk it around a bit and return to room temperature.

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