Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Favourite Foods from Europe!

Unfortunately I haven't been able to blog for a while as I have been having too much of a fantastic time travelling around Europe. I took a couple of photos of the new and exciting foods I tried, I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed eating them!

My first Crossiant in France, under the Eiffel Tower no less.

Escargot! I also tried Frogs Legs, which was kind of disturbing for me. Like eating a friend, I have frogs living in my shower!

Pear and Cherry Salad!

Cherry Torte - Delicious!

French Onion Soup - so tasty!

Duck A L'Orange with Tomato Proven├žale - Fantastic!

Chocolate Tiered Torte.

My first real Italian woodfired pizza!

Yummy Cake.

Mushroom Risotto and AMAZING Bruschetta in Rome, dining in the shadow of the Colosseum.

Fresh berries from the markets (my first ever fresh raspberries)!

Pork Knuckle, Dumpling and Sauerkraut at a beer hall in Munich.

Apple Strudel and Vanilla Bean Custard whilst watching the Glockenspiel chime in Munich.

More Pork and Sauerkraut with a Potato Fritter - Yum!

Trout - that I caught and had cooked for me on my Birthday in the Austrian Alps after a busy and freezing day white water rafting!

The food markets in Munich - look at all the delicious olives!

Belgian Fries and Mayo in Brussels with my beautiful host, Anne - Sophie!

Eating Delicious Seafood Paella and Sangria with Ailisa by the beach in Barcelona!

SCHNAPS - in Austria!

 Flaming Glacier Shots - Taste like Death!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mini Mudcakes for Miss A - THE CAKES!

After making some semi successful fondant flowers for Miss A's Birthday, I began baking Mud(Cup)Cakes!

Mini Mud Cakes - Makes 36 Cupcakes
(adapted from Exclusively Food)


200g Dark Cooking Chocolate
100g Milk Cooking Chocolate
250g Salted Butter
1 tsp of Instant Coffee (As a non coffee drinker I could really taste the coffee in the raw batter but I didn't notice it after it was cooked, I'm sure it could be left out if that was preferred!)

2 1/2 cups of Plain Flour
1/3 cup of  Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda)
2 1/2 cups of Caster Sugar (I almost died when I saw the amount of sugar going into this, it makes my teeth ache and my thighs cringe just thinking about it, lucky you only have one little cupcake)4 large Eggs (with a minimum weight of 59g)
2 tablespoons of Oil (I used sunflower oil)

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
1/2 teaspoon  Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Buttermilk (I didn't have buttermilk, but I found this substitution -place 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a half cup (125 ml capacity), then fill with milk. The mixture should develop a curdled appearance similar to that of buttermilk)


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

Line muffin trays with paper cupcake cases.

Place chocolate, butter and coffee in a large saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring occassionally. Once melted, allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together and then add the caster sugar, mix well to combine.

In a medium bowl, place eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk and beat together until well combined (I prefer to use a manual egg beater, but a whisk is more than fine).

Create a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and then add the egg mixture. Stir until well combined.

Gradually add the chocolate/butter mixture to the rest of the ingredients, stirring until well combined.

Spoon mixture into patty cases until they are 2/3s full.

Bake for about 35 minutes. Insert a thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer into the centre one of the cakes to test whether it is cooked through. If the knife/skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs attached, the cupcakes are ready.

Set on a wire rack to cool. While the cupcakes are cooling you can prepare the icing.

Chocolate Butter Cream

1/3 cup of  Butter, softened
2 1/2 cups Icing Sugar, sifted
1/3 cup of Cocoa, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 tbsp Milk

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat using an electric hand beater.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, decorate as preferred.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Mini Mudcakes for Miss A!

A little while ago I was asked to bake a cake for a friend's 18th Birthday. After humming and harring over what to bake the Birthday Girl I decided I should stick to what I know, and what I know is Cupcakes! I thought that for this special occasion plain old sponge would not cut it and so began my search for the perfect Chocolate Mud Cake! After a couple of semi-successful attempts (and then the combining of two recipes with some minor tweaks) I found it! It is perfectly rich and chocolatey and easy to make! But before the baking of cupcakes could begin I had to decide how I would like to decorate them!

After getting some decorating inspiration and a failed attempt at Fondant Butterflies, I created some cute mauve and violet flowers and an awful amount of MESS!