Sunday, 28 March 2010

Jessica's Birthday Cupcakes, a lesson in baking!

Last week it was my very good friend Jessica's birthday and I wanted to make her something really special to celebrate. All my friends know I love to bake so I decided what better way to wish her a Happy Birthday than to bake her some cupcakes... cupcakes from a recipe I made up myself, for once! I'm not a big one for creating my own recipes from scratch, I'm more of a find it and tweak it to my liking kinda gal but, in flicking through my vast array of baking recipes I discovered I don't have single one for just good ole fashioned choc-chip cupcakes. I'm not sure how this happened, I'm sure it can't be because there is a lack of chocolate-chip cupcake recipes out there... I mean chocolate chips and cakes go together like... well like two really go-y together-y things (mmmhmm go-y together-y, I said it). I'm pretty sure I must just have passed every single choclate chip cupcake recipe out there thinking "oh, chocolate chip cupcakes. How simple can you get? I won't bother writing those down." How wrong could one girl be? Very rarely do I fail in a baking endeavour (not counting the disasterous sinking banana bread incident which I fullly blamed my mother and some seriously out of date baking powder for) mainly because I stick fairly rigidly to a recipe. So perhaps with the pressure of my friend's birthday looming and the desire to make some seriously tasty cupcakes it wasn't the best time to start making things up. But I summoned up memories of my uni days when baking was a rather slap-dash what have I got lurkng in the cupboard that's no more than a month out of date affair and carried on regardless.

More fool me. They say pride comes before a fall and my first batch of cupcakes did exactly that. They fell hard. I mean we are talking on a scale of sinking larger than the Titanic here. There were many reasons for this sinking feeling. I surmised afterwards that my measurements were all out. I had added a little milk to thin the mixture down a little, it's my tried and tested trick for making cupcakes light and fluffy: replace one egg for a little milk. I forgot the bit about replacing the egg though. Consequentially my cupcakes were too light, the chcocolate chips didn't hold up, sunk to the bottom and burned. The cakes themselves tasted eggy and my addition of a little baking soda alongside the baking powder mixed with that extra egg meant they were anything but enjoyable. I also didn't cook them for long enough, (my oven is partly to blame for this, it's old and it's decided it doesn't want to heat evenly throughout anymore) so the cakes in the middle of the tray were raw in the middle. In short anything that could go wrong with these cupcakes did go wrong. However, I was down but not out. And with steely determination I soldiered on, adjusted my recipe (basically a little less of everything) and evetually managed to bake these chocolate-chip cupcakes with chocolate butter cream icing.

Monday, 22 March 2010

An unexpected haitus that really took the biscuit

Hello sports  food fans, apologies for my unexpected disappearance from the blogverse. I have no excuse other than being generally quite rubbish at keeping journals. It has been nearly a month since my last blog, and I'd love to come back saying I had been on all kinds of fun-filled crazy adventures which kept me from writing here but if I said that I would be lying. So rather than bore people to death with a drivvly excuse as to why I disappeared, something which will no doubt be made up completely on the spot and not exhonorate my crapness in any way, I'll cut this one short and get straight down posting this recipe for home made Jammy Dodgers.