Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mmm Magical Mexican Cupcakes

Addiction Day 2.

I am not good at reading instructions, I read enough to get the general idea and then get started. This was my first mistake. When reading the recipe I got as far as ‘one 8-inch square’ and stopped. I planned on making cupcakes and I must admit I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t make many but figured I could always make some more, later, if we liked them.

I checked the ingredients, I always have flour in the cupboard so knew I was safe there, I wasn’t sure how much cocoa I had so that went on the shopping list and I knew I didn’t have enough buttermilk or unsalted butter so added those.

Once home, after husband and child had been given lunch and put to bed, I got making. We’d had neighbours over the night before for home-made pizzas, thus I didn’t actually have enough flour, so I raced over to the same neighbours house and ‘borrowed’ some. Then I read the first instruction… ‘cake flour, surely that’s the same as plain’ I thought and began measuring. I decided I should check and so consulted my friend google and no, it’s not the same. Read my earlier post to see the difference and find a substitution.

Flour crisis over, I got back to making. The equivalent of 3 cups of flour later, 3 cups of sugar (I didn’t have enough of that either so used a combination of plain and caster) I was beginning to think that there was rather a lot of cake before me, so I re-read the instructions (I know! Who’d have thought reading instructions could be so helpful?) and noticed that it made one 8-inch square, three layer cake… no, not one 8-inch square cake, but 3 of them! Yep, I’ll have enough cupcakes.

The only other glitch was that my local shop (at the end of the street and the only one open on Sundays – no comment on backwards Perth trading hours) didn’t have buttermilk, so I bought a small carton of cream and figured I’d top it up with milk. The recipe reads 1½ cups buttermilk, mine had about ¼ cup buttermilk, 1 cup of cream and the rest in milk.

Oh and my poor old hand-me-down hand-held beater didn’t cope too well with so much gooey batter, I ended up putting all the liquids in together when the motor of my beater began to squeal and smell a bit funny.

Mexican Chocolate Butter Cake

Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

This recipe is my version, I have Australianised the version I found and added my modifications. You can find the original recipe at Fleur D'elise

Makes one 20cm square, three layer cake or approx 3½ dozen cupcakes

2 ½ cups plain flour

½ cup cornflour or custard powder – I used cornflour.

3 cups sugar

1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process), sifted

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

375g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ½ cups buttermilk

3 eggs

1 cups freshly brewed espresso coffee, cooled to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter pans, line the bottoms with baking paper and butter the paper.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for about 30 seconds.

Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. (Don't skip this step or you will find yourself with a little sandy beach at the bottom of the bowl that never mixed in.)

Whisk the eggs and coffee together, and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only until blended after each addition. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.

Bake for 38 to 40 minutes for large cake and 20 minutes for cupcakes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully turn them out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. Remove the paper liners only when they are cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I adjusted this recipe too, 5 tbs of butter seemed and awful lot, as did 2 cups of icing sugar. So again, this is my version. This made enough to cover almost all my cupcakes well enough, not super thick, but thick enough to not see the cake underneath.

1 pkt Philadelphia cream cheese (250 g)

3 tbs. softened, unsalted butter

2 tsp. vanilla

¾ cups icing sugar, sifted

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla and butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar, scraping down the sides, and whipping it to spreading consistency. You will need to double or triple this to make enough to frost the Mexican Chocolate Butter Cake, depending on how much frosting you like.

Where to now? I'm going to eat some cupcakes, send some to work with my husband and take some over to the neighbours. Next time I'm going to add more cinnamon and maybe some chilli to make it more authentically 'Mexican'.

'Cake flour' substitute and other irrelevant information including a sponge cake recipe

I have found this posted on a forum, posted by Auzzi. I'm going to re-post it here so I can find it again later :p

2 tablespoons [Australian = 8 teaspoons] of cornflour* placed in a measuring cup and covered with enough plain flour [all-purpose flour] to make up the full measuring cup [1 cup in total]
1 cup cake flour substitute

* either wheaten or maize cornflour can also be used.

2 tablespoons [Australian = 8 teaspoons] of custard powder placed in a measuring cup and covered with enough plain flour [all-purpose flour] to make up the full measuring cup [1 cup in total]
1 cup cake flour substitute

Custard Powder is either based on maize or wheaten cornflour: tweaked during manufacture to produce a pre-mix powder.

NOTES: [totally irrelevant}
Custard powder was invented by a man for his wife who was allergic to eggs - the major ingredient of custard.

Corn in cornflour refers to the fact that corns are the grains, kernels or seeds of cereal crops such as wheat, rye, barley, and maize. Subsequently, Australian cornflour can be either maize or wheaten in origin.

This was also there, I haven't made it yet, but again, am posting it here so I can find it again. It was also posted by Auzzi. Thank you to them.
1 Cup Self Raising flour
2 Tablespoons Custard Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk
4 oz butter
2 Eggs
Put all in bowl and mix for 6 minutes. Bake 7" sandwich tin [greased andpaper-lined on bottom] in moderate oven for 35 minutes.

When I get around to making it I'll let you know, until then, I'm off to make mexican chocolate cupcakes!

French Breakfast Puffs

Day 1 of my new addiction.

One of the first recipes to catch my eye was one for French Breakfast Puffs. This may be because I have just read a lovely book called 'Lunch in Paris' by Elizabeth Bard (the book won't set the world on fire, but it is a sweet love story that provides a window into life in Paris and has some fabulous recipes) and these were featured in one of the first chapters. I'm also craving some Paris time and anything French catches my eye at the moment.

So I was up bright and early on Sunday morning (I have a 3 yr old who regularly gets up before 6am so I didn't have much choice in the matter) and got baking. The recipe calls for nutmeg in the puffs, for some strange reason I didn't have any in my pantry but I do have, and love, vanilla bean paste so I substituted that. I made them as mini muffins in patty pans, so they don't have the lovely smooth sides and I could only put the butter and cinnamon sugar on the top, but we decided this was a good thing.

Once my big boy (husband) was awake I threw them in the oven (being smaller they only took 10 minutes to cook), and made some coffee. We took them out into the patio and had a lovely breakfast together.

Please excuse the slightly dodgy photo, I just grabbed the point and shoot and shot. I will endeavour to put more effort into photos in the future.

Follow the link (underlined) to find the recipe from One perfect bite.


I was bored one Saturday night, the boys were watching a boy movie and so I decided to do some stumbling around on the internet (give it a go next time you're bored).

To be honest, I can't remember the first site I found, the second was a very cool artist's blog, he had managed to do one piece of artwork each day of 2009. This will also give you the stumble tool bar.

The third site I stumbled upon (and am still on 2 days later) was the
tastespotting site. This fabulous site has an array of beautifully photographed food that sets your tastebuds watering. Do yourself a favour and have a look next time you're stuck for ideas. So now I have about 40 new recipes printed up and waiting to go, unfortunately I am supposed to be doing the liver cleansing diet to loose a bit of weight and get my stomach healthy again. Luckily we have decided that weekends are diet free days so I can splurge a bit.