Sunday, 27 January 2013

Coffee Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I dedicate these cookies to Mark as once upon a time, he thought he had invented a new drink after getting mixed up at a coffee machine. He had accidentally combined hot chocolate and coffee, calling his creation 'Cofflate'. He was quite upset once he'd learned that his 'creation' was already a drink called Mocha.

These cookies are the best. A bit crispy on the outside but gooey and soft on the inside, full of dark chocolate chunks with a hint of coffee.



This recipe will make A LOT of cookies. So many that I didn't count them as they just kept piling up.
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

For the cookies
225g unsalted butter (room temperature)
350g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, mixed with 2-3 teaspoons of recently boiled water.
230g dark chocolate, roughly chopped




Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, and line 4 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and it has turned lighter in colour (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Then, beat in the vanilla extract until combined.

3. Add the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix until it starts to resemble a dough. Pour in the espresso and water, mix until combined. Gently add the chopped chocolate and mix until it is evenly distributed.

4. Roll the dough into balls (about the size of a truffle), placing up to 6 on the lined baking trays with room to spread during baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

5. When they have been removed from the oven, the cookies will appear soft. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack where they will become firm.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Vegan Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

So today I've had a snow day as I couldn't make it to work. I've used the day wisely (?) - watching Adventure Time, went out for coffee and cake with Mark and finally, I baked! I wasn't necessarily going to make vegan cakes but I didn't have any eggs and softening butter in this weather is hard!

Mark is a peanut butter fiend so I thought these would be a good snow day treat, as he worked from home for most of the day, whilst I pottered around the house.



This recipe will make 16 cupcakes
Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

For the cupcakes
200ml soy milk
2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
140g smooth peanut butter (or chunky if you'd prefer)
90ml rapeseed oil
135g granulated sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting
80g Stork margarine (room temperature)
80g Trex vegetable fat (room temperature)
40g cocoa powder
300g icing sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract




Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

2. Mix the soy milk with the vinegar in a measuring jug, and set aside to curdle for 5 minutes.

3. In a bowl, beat the peanut butter, rapeseed oil, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the soy milk and vinegar mixture and beat until combined.

4. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a seperate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth

5. Fill the cupcake cases 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and then move the cupcakes to a cooling rack.

6. Beat the margarine and Trex until well mixed. Add the cocoa powder and icing sugar and beat until it begins to come together. Add the soy milk and vanilla then beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.


Monday, 7 January 2013

Vegan Coffee Cupcakes with Lotus Biscuit Frosting

I'm a bit late but happy new year! I hope you are settling into 2013? I usually hate January as it seems so bleak and everyone is grumpy. But actually it doesn't seem so bad this year. Mark and I caught up with some good friends in the Christmas break - Emmie and Rich. I used to work with Emmie and she is one of my favourite people, so it was brilliant to see her and her other half!

Mark and I seem to have plans for every weekend until March with friends and family. One of the most exciting weekends will be when I go to London with my sister and 5 of our other girly friends to have afternoon tea and to see the Spice Girls Musical, Viva Forever!

Have you tried the Lotus Biscuit Spread? It is AMAZING and also a bit dangerous; if you are like me you may tend to eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon (and wonder why you feel sick afterwards.) When I first tried it I thought 'this would be perfect to add into frosting!' I decided to pair it with a coffee cake as the biscuits tend to be served with coffee, and why change a combination that works so well?


This recipe will make 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
225ml soy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
150g granulated sugar
65ml rapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
120g plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting
70g Trex vegetable fat
100g Stork margarine
400g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
180g smooth Lotus Biscuit Spread




Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

2. Mix the soy milk and apple vinegar in a large bowl and leave for 5 minutes until it is curdled. Once it is, add in the sugar, oil and vanilla extract and mix until frothy.

3. In another bowl sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Then add half of the dry ingredients to the wet, and beat until combined. Add the remaining dry mixture and beat until smooth.

4. Carefully fill each cupcake case until 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then place on a cooling rack.

5. Beat the Trex and Stork until fluffy. Sieve in the icing sugar and beat for another few minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Now add the Lotus spread and beat for 3 minutes.

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