Recipe 10: Chocolate hazelnut cupcakes

March 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Posted in baking | 2 Comments
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Today was Kath and Anna day and I was hosting. This is a brilliant day that happens 3 or 4 times a year – when I get together with two of my favourite people in the whole wide world for a day of chat, food and seriously good prayer. We live in different places, have very different lives and struggles. But over the last 10 years I have been privileged to share the journey of life with them – to watch as they have grown even more wonderful than when we first met. Today was the perfect opportunity to try out the chocolate hazelnut cupcakes from the Hummingbird Book (especially after supergirl gave them such a great review)

Making them: The Hummingbird method is different from a sponge cake, but relatively easy in my kenwood. I did slightly mess up the method, and instead of leaving the nutella to anoint the cakes once they were cooked, I added it to the batter.
Last time I tried their method for icing, it led to a cocoa and icing sugar explosion in the kitchen – so this time I used the kenwood for the buttercream too – and result – it worked a treat – no explosions! I was then able to leave the kenwood mixing away to make very light and fluffy buttercream – to which more nutella was added at the end. Continue Reading Recipe 10: Chocolate hazelnut cupcakes…

Recipe 9: The Great Chocolate Rescue Remedy

March 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Posted in puddings | 1 Comment
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Saturday night after a long stressful week at work, which had included stupid amounts of work to do and developing a cold that almost made me lose my voice. Clearly time for a serious treat… it was me and  Vicki and Laura for dinner (eating up the greek lamb stew – in the previous post and enjoying a fine bottle of Pierre Jourdan Cuvee Belle Rose). There was only one thing for it… and that was obviously a serious amount of chocolate! The brilliant Elisa Beynon aka The Vicars Wife, recommends this for moments of extreme hormonal imbalance – that was not the case, but it seemed like a very good idea any way to have some thing extremely chocolate-y which promised all manner of sanity increasing impact!

Mmmmmm..... chocolate....

Making it: This is a gooey cheesecake/truffle/mousse type mixture – so melted chocolate, double cream, cream cheese, icing sugar and some tia maria for a gentle kick, layered with crushed chocolate digestives mixed with some melted butter. Crushing biscuits is a favourite activity – generally it was a fun thing to make. I mixed the chocolate sauce by hand, and didn’t get it quite as smooth and incorporated as I would like – but it was fairly easy. Then there was some more chocolate on top (Elisa suggests grating, but I don’t have a very sharp grater, but I do have a very pleasing mezzaluna and curved chopping board, which is great for chopping chocolate – even if the description says herb chopper!)

Eating it: Wow – it was rich. Mmmmm – it was good. As Laura said “Chocolate overload…. if such a thing were possible”.

Next time: will be soon! Possibly I would make it slightly smaller  – I think that the chocolate mixture could have been shared among 4 people. I also would use something electrical to mix the mixture more thoroughly.

Greek stew revisited

March 6, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Posted in Casseroles, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This evening we had some of the lamb stew that I had stashed in the freezer… I am glad to report that it froze well and tasted yummy again this evening (I also added some more herbs while it was reheating which seemed to solve the underseasoning problem)

I also managed to take a photo… so here it is (I’m quite proud of the steam rising…)

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