Irish Coffee Cake


Irish Coffee Cake 1

As I sat drinking a break time coffee wishing it was an Irish version, I realised that within my daylight hours I resided in a regimented World punctuated by bells, demands and deadlines. On top of that I’ve two self-inflicted days of fasting followed by five days of visiting the ‘Land of eat whatever I fancy’. Life felt too controlled, I longed to be free even if just for 10 minutes so I hatched a cunning lunch time plan that involved:

  1. Desertion
  2. Crime
  3. Smuggling contraband

Irish Coffee Cake 4

That does sound grand, but you’ll be glad to know that the contraband was in the form of Irish coffee cake which is the most acceptable way to bring alcohol into the workplace (ooh I’m so naughty).

I tortured myself by making this cake on a fasting day; there was no licking of fingers, bowls or sneaky tasting therefore its success remained a mystery until the next day (I know I’m so hard-core in the self-torture department). When I took these pictures I had to wrap the cake slice up and yes that was very hard, I may have licked my computer screen just a little bit but don’t tell anyone.

Irish Coffee Cake 5

As the following lunch time at work arrived I threw off my goody two shoes veil to become a wicked woman about to take a walk on the dark side. I deserted my post, stole out of the confines and told myself I could just keep on walking if I didn’t feel any better after five minutes. Trees whispered, birds darted past and teenager’s feet stampeded for cover as I inadvertently walked past their secret cigarette lair all of which made me smile.

Irish Coffee Cake 2

I felt so much better that I turned back towards the hallowed halls. Feeling stronger I dared myself to commit a detention nominated crime by entering a clearly marked exit door and skipped up the one way only stairs. There was one mission left to complete as I crept back into my office trying to hide the flush of fresh air which had reddened my face. I pulled out the contraband, my hands shook slightly as I opened the foil hiding a cake cocktail* of rich coffee with Baileys white chocolate buttercream. The time was now, fast day was over and there was only two more minutes of peace before the bells tolled so I took a big bite and realised there is truth within the words ‘naughty but nice’. The cake tasted exactly as I imagined it, I felt like I’d been transported to a glitzy restaurant where I indulged in an Irish coffee over lazy chatter.

It’s the little things in life that matter, you’ll never say on your death-bed ‘I’m so glad I spent all those hours at work’ instead why not take just 10 minutes for yourself and be a little bit naughty next lunch time. Your work will be better due to lower stress levels which results in an increase in effectiveness and cake always boosts happiness so what’s to lose?

*always eat cake responsibly

Traditionally, Irish coffee consists of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar stirred and topped with thick cream I have altered this idea to fit my cake vision (fresh cream wasn’t that practical for transporting) but feel free to adapt it anyway you wish.

Irish Coffee Cake 3

Irish Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake Ingredients

400g Salted Butter (room temperature)
400g Caster sugar
400g Self raising flour
8 eggs
5 tbsp espresso ground coffee (instant) mixed with 3 tbsp of boiling water

Instructions for Coffee Cake

1. Pre heat the oven to 160 / 140 fan or Gas 3
2. Line two deep 20cm tins (do use the right size tins to avoid disaster)
3. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy (5 minutes as this is what makes the cake rise so beautifully to get the full big cake wow factor so not skimp this part. I also find that using very soft butter (but not liquid) helps the creaming process)
4. Add the eggs two at a time and sift quarter of the flour into the mixture and beat until combined
5. Repeat until all eggs and flour are used up
6. Add coffee extract and mix
7. Place the tins in the oven on the middle shelf for approx 50 minutes (all ovens vary so check your cake after 45 mins)
8. Cakes are ready when the skewer can be inserted into the cake and it come out clean.
9. Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool

White Chocolate and Baileys Buttercream Recipe

250g Salted Butter (room temperature)
500g Icing sugar
250g White chocolate melted
125ml Baileys (or cheaper alternative!)

White Chocolate and Baileys Buttercream Instructions

1. Beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy
2. Melt the chocolate ( I do mine in 10 second stints in the microwave)
3. Let the melted chocolate cool slightly (10 mins)
4. Pour the chocolate into the buttercream mixture in small quantities beating as you do until all the chocolate has been incorporated.
5. Add the baileys and beat to combine one last time

Assembly of the Cake

1. Level the cake that will be the bottom layer
2. Smother the bottom layer of cake in buttercream and add the top layer of cake
3. Smother the top of the cake in buttercream, make spiking patterns with a palette knife
4. Cover with grated chocolate

      5. Eat and enjoy your naughty contraband
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Rolo Cupcake Challenge


I’ve been playing ‘hide and seek’ with cupcakes and it’s great fun! For the game to work I baked chocolate fudge cupcakes baked with rolo inside adorned with lashings of caramel buttercream.

Rolo Chocolate Cupcake

The Rolo hidden inside was what I hoped would make them a hide and seek cupcake. Although I froze the Rolos for 24 hours before hand in the hope they would remain somehow intact inside the cupcake sadly they didn’t but who cares when your welcomed by an explosion of moist fudgy chocolate cake.

Rolo Chocolate Cupcake

Homemade caramel was added to the buttercream and then drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce and of course a Rolo completed the ensemble.

Rolo Chocolate Cupcake

Then the fun began! Yes fun! I had to write it twice to remind myself as life rang me the other day:

“Excuse me I’m looking for fun.”

Err, I don’t know where she’s gone?” I replied whilst looking up at the ceiling wondering if she was perhaps hanging off there with the remnants of mis-tossed pancake. “Perhaps she’s gone out with childhood wonder and laughter to play.”

“Hmmmm,” Life replied. “When she gets back get her to give me a call”

“Oh, OK.” I sang before a forceful slam reverberated in my ear drum which signalled the end of the conversation.

It was then I realised fun, wonder and laughter must have got bored waiting and gone off exploring without me. After sulking for a few days I had an ephinay of sorts. I could find fun again, yes it might take some work but I was sure I could track them all back down eventually. I set myself a challenge for three weeks as I believe things should and do always come in threes. This challenge would be based on me, us and them. For me: I wanted fun back even more than ‘twihards’ want Edward to show up in their living rooms so they can breathe ‘bite me you sexy beast’.

So I set about wondering and came up with this:

  1. Could I bake a Rolo inside a cupcake and it still be whole?
  2. Is it possible to play a game involving cupcakes?
  3. Could I find fun, bring her back and share her with my Husband and teenage son?

The answer was no, yes, yes in that order. The hide and seek cupcake game is easy with two variations:

  1. Hide cupcakes around the house whichever are not found are yours so hide well and give them a time limit to find them. Hmm about 10 seconds seems fair.
  2. Set a 007 challenge to overcome household obstacles in a race against the clock to find the cupcake in 70 seconds and return back to the starting point and sing the 007 theme tune. If you haven’t seen the coke zero version of 007 challenge you must watch it for inspiration! Think locked doors, chairs, discarded toys, rogue shoes and people getting in your way so pretty much like a normal day but with cake.

They both moaned initially when they realised they had to play a game to get their cupcake but when the countdown started they couldn’t stop their little faces lighting up. You see there is nothing loved more by men than a challenge which involving man V food.

From this challenge I learnt that fun is still out there and although admitedly she just pops in every now and then I aim that one day she might stay a bit longer until the day she moves right back. When you have fun you might notice that the other people in your life seem happier too and when you share the fun you get to witness that sparkle appear back in their eyes that you forgot existed. I’m not quite at the end of my three week challenge but it makes me wonder what else can I do for 21 days?

Try it out yourself: give yourself permission to go and play ‘hide and seek’ cupcakes and find out that fun might just be waiting patiently for you to invite her back in.

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Rolo Cupcakes

130g room temperature butter
3 fl oz / 95 ml of boiling water
3 tsps strong coffee granules
75g Self raising flour
75g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g caster sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
5 tbsp sunflower oil

70ml sour cream

Chocolate Fudge Rolo Cake Instructions

  1. I froze my rolos for 24 hours (but up to you if you wish)
  2. Preheat the oven
  3. Line a muffin tin with liners (my mix made 13 cakes so I left one to bake later)
  4. Mix coffee with boiling water and add to a pan with butter and chocolate
  5. Heat the mixture gently to melt
  6. Sift all dry ingreadients into your mixer bowl
  7. In a bowl combine and mix eggs, oil and courcream
  8. Add both the egg and chocolate mixture to the dry ingreadients
  9. Mix on low (2 for Kitchen aid) until combined
  10. Add approx 2 tbsp of mixture (I use a cookie scoop)
  11. Add one rolo in the centre of each and top with further tbsp. to cover the rolo
  12. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until the top springs back when touched or cake tester is clean
  13. Leave to cool in the tin

Caramel Buttercream Ingredients

125g caster sugar
4 tbsp of water
80ml double cream
½ tsp of salt (optional but does bring out the flavour)
1 tsp of vanilla essence
160g butter
200g icing sugar
2-3 tbsp of milk (if needed to make the buttercream lighter for piping)

Caramel Buttercream Instructions

  1. Heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar has disoloved
  2. Continue cooking until it turns a golden colour and thickens slightly
  3. Remove from heat and add cream be aware it may splutter so be careful
  4. Stir and leave to cool
  5. Cream butter and icing sugar for 5-6 mins (Kitchenaid gradually increase to speed 6 once combined)
  6. Add caramel and beat until combined (reserve some caramel to drizzle over your cupcakes)

To Assemble

Pipe or cover your cupcakes with lashing of caramel buttercream, drizzle melted chocolate and caramel over the top and adorn with a Rolo. Then go and hide them, trash the house and set the timer 🙂

Turkish Delight Layer Cake (Gluten Free)


A 60th Birthday is the excuse for this month’s pay day cake and this is the 3rd so far in my pay day cake quest.  If you missed the espresso hit ‘Macchiato’ and the moist gluten free ‘Sticky toffee pudding’ layer cake then do take a look.  This cake is for a man who is enchanted by the lure of eastern promise. So it had to be a turkish delight and chocolate cake just like his favourite bar.  I know this is not going to be everyone’s favourite but you can always choose not to use the rose in the buttercream and have a chocolate and vanilla layer cake instead.

Turkisjh Delight Layer Cake

So I set to work with my usual staple of four layers of cake – this time using a moist and dark chocolate cake.  This cake never fails me and I do believe if it is not broke don’t fix it. Ganache however is a whole new ball game for me and it was most defiantly a challenge.

Turkish Delight Layer Cake

A vibrant pink rose flavoured buttercream sandwiched the layers together.  Rich dark ganache held it all snuggly together and turkish delight adorned the top of the cake like glistening jewels.  Ok, I admit I did get glitter happy but it is a birthday cake and all birthday cakes deserve a bit of sparkle I think.  I think Edmund from the ‘Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ would have worn this cake as a crown if the White Witch would have given it to him.

Luckily I did not have to belly dance or go as a sultry lady to give him the cake (phew!).  Like magic the cake vanished so quickly his wife had to rescue a piece for him and hide at the back of the fridge. I let out a huge sigh of relief that not only had I made it, got there in one piece and was devoured.

Rich dark chocolate cake
150g dark chocolate chopped into tiny pieces
200ml milk
450g light brown sugar
150g salted butter at room temperature
4 eggs at room temperature
300g plain flour
3 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

To make gluten-free – substitute the flour for gluten-free plain flour – no need to add xanthum gum as this cake is very moist and does not need it. I have baked this chocolate cake gluten-free on a number of occasions and find it works very well.  I am going to try this with with spelt flour next time.  To find out more about gluten-free baking see my top tips here.

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 160 C / 140 fan  / Gas 3
2. Line 2 x 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper
3. Chop up the chocolate into small chunks and place the chocolate, milk and half the sugar into a saucepan
4. Heat until the chocolate is fully melted and remove from the heat
5. Beat the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy ( about five minutes)
6. Add the eggs one at a time (adda spoonful of flour if the mixture curdles)
7. Sift the cocoa , flour , baking powder and bicarb into the mixture
8. Mix on a low-speed until fully combined
9. Pour into the tins and bake on the middle shelf for approx 40 minutes
10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

Rose Buttercream
200g softened butter
200g icing sugar
Few drops (to taste) of rose extract – be sparing it is powerful stuff
Drops of pink food colour (optional)

Instructions

1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy
2. Add the milk (or for richness use condensed milk)
3. Add a few drops of pink food colouring (optional)
4. Add a few drops of rose extract (use sparingly, mix and taste after each drop I would suggest until you get it how you like it)

Ganache
400g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
400g single cream
Few drops of glucose (optional but makes the chocolate nice and shiny)

Instructions
1. Chop the chocolate into very small chunks
2. Put the cream into a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil and remove from the heat
3. Pour the cream over the chocolate (or add the chocolate to the pan) and let it have about a minute before stirring it to melt the chocolate
4. Set aside to cool

To Assemble the Cake

Cut each cake into two even layers (I use a tape measure to make sure each layer is evenly sized. I don’t have a cake stand that rotates but I do use a revolving cheese board stand but you could also uses a lazy Susan to do the job. Add a dollop of buttercream to the centre of your stand and add your first layer of cake and press down – this will keep your cake in place while you work.

Assembly
1. Spread buttercream across the bottom layer .
2. Add the next cake layer carefully and repeat until all layers are done
3. Do not refrigerate cake as this will cause the ganache to go off too quickly.
4. Using a large palette knife – spread the chocolate ganche around the cake and top with turkish delight. Ganache I found to be a bit more tricky than buttercream (see below)

Chocolate Ganache
One minute it was too warm so was slipping off the cake in gloops of molten chocolate goo. The next minute it seemed to be staying put, spreading well and it was beautiful and glossy.  Then I turned by back for less than a minute and when I returned the ganache had started to harden and that was it – time up!  Luckily for me I still had a bit of ganache left over which I warmed for a few seconds in the microwave just to gloss over any areas I was not happy with.  I think I need a bit more practise with this!

Enjoy!

Up Next: Jammie Dodger Cheesecakes.

Quick Malt Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes


Malt chocolate cake was what I was craving as I wanted a delicate, light chocolate cake smothered with malteaser buttercream icing.  So I set off to the kitchen to indulge my chocolate fix dragging my Son with me promising him he could lick the bowl. Now as this recipe is quite quick it will be no time before you can also sit down with one in hand and enjoy the story at the end of this post about ‘How to upset a cupcake’.  It’s nearly easter and these are perfect to decorate with eggs if you wish.

Malt Chocolate Cake

This malt chocolate cake is light and fluffy and is an adapted version from Peggy Porshen’s book Cake Chic (buy it here).

Malt chocolate cake

I choose to make 12 large cupcakes but this would also make a fantastic quick bake in a 20cm (round or square) tin with malt chocolate buttercream icing spread over the top. Decorate it with chocolates or malteasers and you are ready for a children’s party, cake sale or for when time is short but you still want a light fluffy chocolate fix.

I made a chocolate buttercream and added malt powder to compliment the cake flavour.  Crushed malteasers (whoppers) were mixed into the buttercream and more sprinkled on top for decoration.  This works well if you are eating the cake on the same day as it gives you a satisying crunch to the topping.  If the cakes make it past 24 hours (give yourself a pat on the back) you will find the crunch melts beautifully into the buttercream leaving gooey pools.  Due to the bits of malteaser in this buttercream it will not pipe unless you use a large round plain pastry nozzle so instead just put it on with a palette knife and smooth it round and enjoy less washing up.  Now is the time to either scroll for the instructions or read the tale below…

Malteaser cupcake

 Storytime – How to upset a cupcake (a tale of dating, technology and oops)

One evening whilst immersed in my marking I’m interrupted by the laughter and animated chatter of my Husband and his friend gossiping in the kitchen.  Let’s call these two Ron (Friend) and Ronald (Husband) for ease as when together are truly like two old women who have not seen each other for a lifetime instead of at the weekend.  They have little comedy duo spats and arguments over how to fix the (more manly) camper van but mostly they banter with each other each trying to out do the others in wittiest stakes.

Tonight’s conversation will be about Cupcakes

Tonight’s topic of conversation got my attention as I heard the word ‘Cupcakes’ rather than clutch repair so I began to listen whilst tapping furiously on my keyboard to make it look like I was not listening (naturally).  After a few minutes I realise Cupcake is a pseudonym used by a lady Ron met recently on a dating site and not the edible cake kind I love.  They discuss in great detail the second date, descriptions of flirty text messages are analysed by the two boys men and the kiss was relived in second by second sloshing detail before googling the next possible date location.  The conversation finally veered off to their good old days when Ron apparently used to be a bit of a man whore (their words not mine).  Now I was bored by the notch on the bedpost nostalgia and returned to my marking.

I looked up when Ron’s loan phone (the other had died) beeps, he pulls it out from his pocket whilst  laughing at the last smutty comment.  Ronald chuckles like a crazed hyena but Ron has gone strangely quiet.  I see Ron’s face drain of colour, sweat beads spring across his forehead quicker than a chicken pox rash and his cheeks glow in a reminiscent shade of a telephone box.  Ron looks up from his phone and with a loud and drawn out ‘ooohhh’ and we wait for the next words:
‘What is it?’ asks Ronald impatiently.
‘It’s a text from Cupcakes’
‘OK, so what does it say?  No hang on don’t tell me she is organising the wedding cars already!’
‘Umm, no.  Not exactly’ replies Ron shaking his head.  ‘I don’t quite know what has happened.  Let me read you the text. He takes a big breath ‘I have just listened to a four minute voicemail message from you talking to your friend and I am not impressed’.

The two of them look at each other and their little brains are working overtime to work out what could have happened.  Sadly the loan phone that Ron had did not have a keyguard lock and it accidentally rang the lady from his pocket.  She replayed the voicemail conversation and listened to every single word that was said on more than one occasion.  Poor Ron  never made a next date so I gave him an extra cupcake to make up for it.  The moral of the story is to never share your secrets with a friend unless your are absolutely sure your phone has keyguard lock on.  Oops!

Malt Chocolate Cake Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes, 1 x 20cm cake)

150g dark chocolate
200ml milk
450g brown sugar (I use light muscavado)
150g salted butter softened
4 eggs lightly beaten
300g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder ( I use Green and Blacks)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp malt powder (like ovaltine or any other malt flavoured powder drink)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 160 C / 150 / Gas ?? / F
2. Line your muffin tin with muffin cases (I like large cupcakes)
3. Beat the butter and sugar until ight and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
4. Put chocolate , milk and half the sugar in a saucepan and stir until all contents are melted and then leave to one side until cooled.
5. Sift the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and bicarbonate of soda onto a tray (this gives it air)
6. Slowly add the eggs one at a time then adding a quarter of the dry mix (above) repeat until all eggs and mixture are fully combined
7. Start to add the hot mixture slowly into the batter by pouring down the side of the bowl
8. Once combined – pour into cases tin and place in the oven until cooked (approx 15 mins)
9. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 – 15 mins and then remove and place on a wire rack

Malt Chocolate Buttercream

175g soft butter (but not too soft it is squdgy)
350g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder ( I used Green and Blacks)
1 tbsp malt drink powder (like Ovaltine)
4-5 tbsp of milk
100g crushed malteasers

Instructions

1. Mix together the butter and icng sugar using light and fluffy (about 5 minutes) in a stand mixer or using a hand whisk
2. Add the milk until the consistency is spreadable
3. Add the cocoa and malt powder and mix until fully combined
4. Add crushed malteasers (leaving some to sprinkle on top) to the mixture and give a final mix until it is fully combined
5. Spread onto your cupcakes and then use a palette knife to smooth around the edges
6. Top with a malteaser and sprinkle over the remaining crushed malteasers and then eat!

Ginger and White Chocolate Buttercream Cupcakes


Cupcake Ho!
After last weeks very sentimental post (sniff) it is time to give you more cake!  What better way to say I love you than to combine stormy sea views with warming stem ginger cupcakes lavished with smooth dreamy white chocolate buttercream. Ginger White Chocolate Cupcakes 

We ventured to Westward Ho! for a secret break I organised for our anniversary to a seaside town in North Devon, UK.  You can see more of my photography on my Flickr gallery. He did not have a clue where we were going but chouxchouxbedoo guessed it!

Westward Ho! is one of the 2 locations in the World which offically has an exclamation mark as part of its name.  I am known to overindulge in my exclamation mark use so it seemed fitting to go somewhere where it’s an acceptable part of conversation. Ginger White Chocolate Cupcakes

I love this place and in my dream I will live by the sea, waking up to uninterrupted views of the ocean every morning.  Of course on the bedside table there is a steaming mug of coffee and a freshly baked cupcake to compliment the dreaminess of the view and as this is a dream it will have no calories.

Ginger White Chocolate Cupcakes

Sprinkles and cupcakes are an iconic duo like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers they are destined to dance together so heart-shaped chocolate sprinkles had to be included. I created mini handmade chocolate fondant roses (my first ever attempt) and made larger white chocolate roses.

Ginger White Chocolate Cupcakes

Maisie Fantasie Cupcakes Ebook

This dream was originally inspired by Maisie Fantasie a London wedding cake designer. Her ebook on cupcakes is truly heavenly and if you only get one cupcake book ever then this truly is the one and at a £4.99 it represents a real bargain. There are 20 cupcake recipes and each one has beautiful imagery and simple recipes which are easy to follow and recreate at home.

Often I find cake books do not seem to translate well to conventional ovens and the results are then disappointing but so far each recipe has been great (no I did not get sent a copy I paid for it!). Whilst I love her ginger cupcakes my Husband wanted more ginger kick so I worked to adapt the recipe which is below.

I even made a mini ruffle layer cake made out of two cupcakes stacked on top of each other – see that’s love for you packing the piping kit when going away! Ginger white chocolate cupcakes

Decorating ideas
Top with fresh strawberries or chocolate roses made from chocolate fondant icing or use sprinkles – anything goes really!

Ruffle Mini Cake
I used two cupcakes minus their wrappers – one placed upside down on top of the first which is right side up.  I then used a pallete knife to spread buttercream around their join. The buttercream was piped in zig zag  ruffles up the side using a small petal tip (click to see a video where I got the idea from – I love this video as the little boy makes me chuckle as kids love to get involved at the most awkward of times). This was not as daunting as I first thought.  Just keep on piping and you will be amazed how simple it is! The cake was topped with a choclate from Hotel Chocolat a strawberry and black pepper (Read all about this divine chocolate here). The result was simple yet elegant and as my husband noted two cupcakes together are more man-sized!  Another review on Hotel Chocolat will be coming this way shortly.

I Heart Rocky (Story Time – if you don’t do stories hurry on down for the instructions)

As any respecting parent should do on holiday I forced my Son to partake in two walks with me per day which he throughly enjoyed after protesting and sulking for at least twenty minutes each time.  In the mornings we would venture off towards Cornborough Beach for a spot of rock and pebble hunting.  On the last day we finally found a rock with a funny face for my best friend and a heart shaped one for my Husband after a week long search.  

Instantly I went into ‘be prepared’ Girl Guide mode and pulled out a carrier bag to put the prized treasures in, well you never know when you might need a carrier bag even on a cliff top walk.

Westward Ho!

As we had been succesful we called it a day and jubilantly bounced back up the steep and rugged hill, battling the wind as we went. My happiness was fuelled with excitement of finding shaped rocks as it is always the little things that do it for me.  My Son’s happiness was because he no longer had to search for stupid shaped rocks and could go back and play on the Wii in peace.

Rock Friend Cakeboule

Towards the top of the hill my Son searched out my other hand to hold and I took a sharp intake of breath and smiled.  As he is nearly a teenager this struck my heart strings and reminded me of years gone by that I miss. Sighing with happiness I swung the bag in time with my steps until on the backward swing the bag split and rocks tumbled in all directions back down the hill. We laughed as we ran after them clomping down the hill noisly in our wellies and we managed to rescue the heart and Rocky.  I was so determined to take them home that mere lack of bag did not deter me and I carried them both like a small rock child the whole two miles home taking comfort in the fact that at least this one did not complain. Coffee and cupcakes greeted us at the apartment which was a good job as my arms were locked in rock holding position but luckily I found this worked in my favour for plate to mouth movement..

Finally – here are the instructions!

Ginger cupcake recipe ( my own adaption )

200g self raising flour / cake flour
200g softened butter
200g dark muscavado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
4 medium eggs at room temperature
5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
1 tsp homemade vanilla extract (or shop brought)
5 pieces of stem ginger (approx 50g)

1. Preheat the oven to 170 / Gas 4 / 150 fan and line a muffin tin with large cupcake / muffin cases
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approx 5 mins it will begin to pale in colour)
3. Add two eggs to the creamed butter and sugar and mix to combine fully
4. Add half the flour and mix until it is incorporated
5. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour
6. Add the ginger, black treacle and golden syrup and mix to combine fully
7. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases ( I always use a cookie scoop to get the right amount)
8. Wash the stem ginger under the tap and cut into small pieces
9. Sprinkle the pieces of stem ginger onto the top of the cupcakes evenly

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden, springy to the touch and a skewer or cake tester is clean when removed

White Chocolate Buttercream

100g butter
200g icing sugar
100g white chocolate ( I used Belgian)
100ml double cream

Instructions
1. Pour cream into the pan and bring slowly to a boil
2. Immediately pour cream over the white chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has melted
3. Leave the chocolate mixture (ganache) to cool
4. Beat together the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. Once the chocolate has cooled to about body temperature add to the butter mixture and beat together until smooth.
5. Add the mixture to the top of the cupcakes either using a palette knife or a piping bag and get creative!

Westward Ho! you have my heart and I will be back x