Saturday, 24 January 2015

Sweet peanut cupcakes

The season of colds and flu - I had fought it off so well with boroccas, orange juice and lots of fruit but I have been defeated and just want a hot water bottle and ginger tea. Hmph. On a more positive note, I am very excited to see Alt J at the O2 tonight. Recent gigs have included Chvrches at Sommerset and London Grammar in Cambridge, so the bar has been set high. Those both have an intimate gig space which adds to the atmosphere but the O2 is a great venue for a good view in a larger space. London trips also mean a walk around (in the sun today!) which has become one of my favourite things to do. A trip to the Southbank and Borough Market are the place of choice... place of the best brownies...

After last weeks trip back to Bea's of Bloomsbury, I was so impressed with the peanut cupcakes that I felt inspired to make some. I have cheated a bit though as I used the Hummingbird recipe. Hummingbird, in my opinion, have the best cupcakes recipes. They seem to come out flawless every time - perfect texture, moisture, consistency and just taste great. 

Ingredients: -
70g unsalted butter
210g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
210ml whole milk
2 eggs
40g crunchy peanut butter

Icing: -
250g icing suagr
80g unsalted butter
25ml whole milk
15g crunchy peanut butter

1bar peanut brittle (or you could make your own with caster sugar and peanuts)

1. Preheat the oben to 170C and put the muffin cases in a muffin tin.
2. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix th ebutter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until the mix is crumb like.
2. Mix the egg and milk in a separate jug then gradually pour into the mix half at a time until combined. Add the peanut butter and mix again.
3. Spoon the mix into the cases until they are two thirds full and bake for 25minutes. They will bounce back when touched if they are done.
4. When the cakes are cool, make the icing. Using the electric mixer, mix the icing suagr and butter on a slow speed. Pour in the milk while it is still mixing then turn up to full speed. Next add the peanut butter and mix again until even. 
5. Put a spoon of icing on each cake then spread with a palate knife. Crush the peanut brittle and sprinkle on top. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Nutmeg, pecan, cranberry and chocolate flapjacks, healthy January treats!

Brr!! It is SO cold! Matters are worse when you have single glazing and a large window that won't shut in your tiny one bedroom flat! It would be worth the pain of coldness if it snowed but not a flake to be seen down here. Bah humbug! 

Last weekend I went back to Bea's of Bloomsbury (in St Pauls) and had the afternoon tea that is my first blog post. It was so good. Delicious crusty sandwich bites, passionfruit cupcakes, three types of brownie, meringue, perfect scones with thick clotted cream and jam and a sweet peanut cupcake. I'd never heard of a peanut cupcake and was pleasantly surprised - I think it may be my recipe for next week! This wasn't the traditional way to indulge in a post-Christmas January as I felt quite ill afterwards (in the too much delicious sugaryness kind of way) but I don't regret one bite. 

So, I still have a good amount of oats left therefore I have made another oat recipe. Much healthier than other recipes I have made and very adaptable to suit your mood. They took hardly any time to prepare and make (precooking) and taste great. 

Ingredients: -
1tsp nutmeg
125g honey
125g butter (melt)
125g dark brown suagr
250g oats
50g chopped pecans
50g cranberries

1. Heat the oven to 160C. Line a baking tin with baking paper (I used a brownie tin). Melt the butter inn a saucepan on a low heat. Add the sugar and honey and stir until it has dissolved.
2. Stir in the oats until the mixture is even. Then add in the nuts, nutmeg and cranberries. (You can use any nuts or dried fruit.)
3. Pour into the baking tin and flatten down with the back of a spoon. bake for 35 minutes until golden. 
4. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack. 
5. When the flapjacks are cool, put a glass bowl over some boiling water and break the chocolate into the bowl. Stir as it begins to melt. Then remove from the heat and keep stirring. Put some of the chocolate onto a spoon and drizzle over the flapjack - you don't need to be neat with this. 

I was quite pleased with this recipe. They are quite strong in nutmeg but I like that. When I make them again, I will add more nuts and dried fruit but they were delicious form the above recipe. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Apple and cinnamon granola

After the holidays, I decided to be a bit economical and use what  we had left in the cupboards. A giant bag of oats seemed to be the large part of the cupboard space so this was the base  for a recipe. Quite a healthy base too so I thought I should keep it all healthy.

This is a simple to make recipe with a healthy end result but, when I make it again, I will double the honey and add chopped nuts and dried fruit to jazz it up. 


Ingredients: -
200g oats
20g butter
1tbsp honey
1tbsp cinnamon
1 apple grated

Method: -
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. When it is melted add in the honey and stir. 
2. Pour the oats into the butter and honey mix and stir well until all the oats are covered. 
3. Great the apple and put inot the mixture with the cinnamon. Sti again until there is an even spread of ingredients. 

4. Pour into an oven tray and spread out. Bake for 30 minutes until it is golden but shake about after 15 minutes so it doesn't all stick together. 
5. Leave to cool for 10 minutes on the tray then remove and leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. this lasts up to 5 days.