Mocha Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been trying to be healthy, but the inevitable chocolate / cake craving rears its head from time to time.  My usual go-to recipe when this happens is my Chocolate Fudge cake.. But I decided I’d make a healthier version of chocolate cake, in the form of chocolate muffins.  The addition of coffee was an afterthought, but they turned out tasting really nice.  They’re mocha-ish and the tang of the cream cheese frosting works well with the flavours.

Ingredients

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 110g granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 8 fl oz. milk
  • 3 fl. oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Recipe

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Dissolve the coffee granules in 2 tablespoonfuls of boiling water, and leave to cool.
  3. Measure out the milk, vegetable oil and egg into a jug and whisk lightly to combine.  Add the coffee to this.
  4. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Spoon into muffin cases and bake at 180’C for 20 – 25 minutes.

Frosting

To make the frosting (optional), you will need:

  • 1 tsp soft (cream) cheese
  • water (optional – I used this to make the icing more runny.  Use as much as you want)
  • icing sugar – use as much as you want to get the consistency right.

Mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and water together until you get the consistency of icing you prefer, and then drizzle 1 tsp over each muffin whilst they’re still hot.  Leave the muffins to cool, and the icing will set.

Enjoy!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Cheat’s Chocolate Brownies

When my oven broke  a couple weeks ago, it took a while to get it fixed (it turned out that it was only the fuse, but I kept forgetting to buy a new one!).  Anyway, due to it not working, and having no cakes in the house, I turned to a recipe that a lovely work colleague gave me, which makes no-bake cakes… and they’re super yummy!

I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit, as I wanted it a bit more chocolately, so used dark chocolate for the topping, and added some oreos into the biscuit base…

There’s no measuring scales required, so it’s a useful recipe to have to hand (plus the ease of no baking!)

 

Ingredients

  • 20 digestive biscuits
  • 10 oreo biscuits
  • ¾ block of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of hot chocolate powder
  • 1tbsp of golden syrup
  • 300g of dark chocolate (Tesco value or whatever does the trick)

Recipe

  1. Crush the biscuits in a bag / bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the chocolate powder and golden syrup. Stir. Add the biscuit crumbs and mix.
  3. Pour the content into a baking tray and put to set in the fridge for 30 m – 1 hr until firm.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate over boiling water and pour over the base once it’s set.
  5. Return to the fridge to set for 1 – 2 h. (* tip – it’s better to cut the cake at room temperature rather than straight out of the fridge as it will crack! – I made this mistake because I was too impatient to taste it).

Enjoy and try not the think about the calories!!

Ham and Cheese Savoury Muffins

These are really simple savoury muffins, which make for a great and different lunchtime snack.  They go well with a light salad, but are just as fantastic on their own as a snack.

These didn’t bake without mishap for me however… Just as I was finishing putting the muffin batter into the cases, BAM. My oven broke. It didn’t go up in a puff of smoke or anything (now that perhaps would’ve been a better story…), it simply made a small clicking sound, and then powered down, light, heat and all.  So I had to quickly run down to the flat below mine, and beg the owner to use his oven (luckily we get on well, so he agreed, on condition he have one muffin – I gave him two!)

They turned out really well, and had a fantastic flavour to them, so I’ll definitely be cooking them regularly, and encourage everyone to give them a go!*

* They work just as well as Cheese and Onion savoury muffins, simply omit the ham…

Ham and Cheese Savoury Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (yes, you read right!)
  • 1 tsp mustard (this brings out the cheese flavour, so don’t leave this out, even if you’re not keen on mustard, you can’t taste it at all by the end!)
  • seasoning (I used 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • 7 fl oz. milk
  • 3 fl. oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 50g soft goats cheese / brie
  • 50g ham
  • 1 onion

  1. Preheat the oven to 200’C.
  2. Dice the onion finely.
  3. Cube the goats cheese (or brie), and finely grate the cheddar.
  4. Measure flour, seasoning and baking powder into a bowl and mix.
  5. Measure milk, oil and mustard into a jug, and add the egg, then beat the mixture.
  6. Add the liquid to the flour mix, and stir a couple of times.  Add the diced onion, goats cheese / brie, and all but 1 tbsp of the grated cheddar (leave this little bit for sprinkling on the top!).  Add the chopped ham.
  7. Mix together carefully, making sure not to over-mix.  It’s easy to do this with muffins, but they only need a couple of stirs (even though they look all floury and messy).
  8. Divide up into muffin cases, sprinkle the leftover cheese on top, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. When taking out of the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes in the muffin tin before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.

These were really yummy hot as well – I had a couple for tea with a small rice salad and a large helping of lettuce and tomatoes!

These will keep for 2 – 3 days out of the fridge, but make sure you keep them in a cool place.

Cinnamon Orange Cupcakes

Now that Christmas is over, there’s lots and lots of festive food still to be eaten… All that turkey, and Christmas cake… and mince pies… and what did I go and do??… I made more food!

I made this recipe for a family lunch on Boxing Day this year; the whole family gets together on Boxing Day – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins – in my grandparents house, and we all bring some food to the table to contribute.  I made these cinnamon orange cupcakes as a break from all the heavy rich food.

Ingredients:

6 oz self raising flour

6 oz granulated sugar

6 oz butter (I use hard vegetable margarine)

3 eggs

2 tbsps milk

rind of 1 orange

juice of 1 orange

Recipe:

1) Preheat the oven to 180’C.

2) Measure out the basic ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, milk) into a bowl and beat together until blended.

3) Add the juice and rind of the orange, and mix in.

4) Spoon into cupcake cases and put in the oven for 15 – 20 minus until golden brown on top and spongy to the touch.  Once out of the oven, let the cakes sit in the tin for 5 minutes to cool before placing them on a cooling rack.

Icing:

4 oz hard margarine

8 oz icing sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat together the icing sugar, butter and cinnamon until the mixture turns creamy and smooth.  Use a palette knife or icing bag to ice the cakes, and decorate with edible glitter or sprinkles.

The 10 Posts of Christmas

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to meeeeee…. a beautifully decorated flat and a pretty Christmas tree!”

And so the Christmas preparations come to a close.  I’ve been putting my decorations up, and am pleased with the results!  My flat looks nice and homely and ready for the winter holiday.

And here’s a reminder of all the projects that I did over the last couple of weeks:

Post 1:  Candles and Cones

Post 2:  Cute Christmas Trees

Post 3:  Christmas Tree and Heart Garland

Post 4:  Glitter Baubles

Post 5:  Christmas Wreath

Post 6:  Mum’s Mince Pies

Post 7:  Failproof Christmas Cake

Post 8:  Icing the Christmas Cake

Post 9:   Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Post 10:  Christmas Chocolates

So there you have it, my homemade Christmas!  Hope you’ve had a go doing some cooking and decorating yourselves 🙂

Happy Christmas everyone, hope you enjoy the food, family and festivities!

xx

Christmas Part 6: Mum’s Mince Pies

This is the first of the recipes that I’m sharing with you that have come from my Mum.  She’s a great cook, and I’ve always been a massive fan of her mince pies.  The pastry melts in your mouth, and I’ve never found mince pies quite the same as hers.. So with no more ado, here you have it, my Mum’s wonderful mince pie recipe:

– – – – – – – – – –

Shortcrust pastry mince pies

Ingredients:

8 oz plain flour

2 oz margerine (plus a bit extra to make lighter pastry)

2 oz white Flora

good pinch of salt

approximately 2 tblsp. cold water

mincemeat

Recipe:

1. Sieve flour and salt. Rub in fats until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Gradually add cold water to make dough into a rolling consistency, using first a knife and then fingertips to feel the pastry.

3. Roll pastry on a floured surface to required thickness, lifting and turning to keep it light.

4. Cut equal amounts of bases and lids.

5. Put one large teaspoon of mincemeat in each then dampen lids and put on top. Press edges together gently to seal.

6. Make a hole in the lid with the tip of a sharp knife or a skewer (I didn’t need to, as the star cutter meant that steam would escape this way).

7. Cook in a hot oven, 425 – 450° F, 200 – 220°C, Gas mark , for about 20 minutes until turning colour.

8. Cool slightly to let pastry settle then move to a wire rack to cool. (At this point it may be possible to carefully scrape away any mixture that has boiled out over the lid!). Dust with icing or castor sugar.

Notes before you start

To make good pastry keep everything as cold as possible – keep fat in fridge until ready to use, and run cold water over your hands to keep them cold if necessary (then dry!). Add the water gradually – too little and the mix will break as you try to roll it out, too wet and it will stick – to everything! (and the pastry will be tough).

When rolling the pastry flour the board and the rolling pin. Try not to use too much flour or this will change the ratio of ingredients.

Roll in one direction only (not backwards and forwards – pastry needs the gentle touch). I tend to roll the pin a couple of times then lift, turn – and gently knock the pastry back slightly on each turn.

If you stretch the pastry rather than press it out, it will shrink on cooking and the filling will be more likely to leak out.

The amount of filling you use will depend on the size of the pies/tin. Don’t overfill or the mincemeat will just bubble out of the hole when it is cooking! Enjoy :O)