Sunday, 19 May 2013

Boston Cream Cupcakes.

Oh my god these cupcakes are delicious! And the chocolate frosting is sooo good. I found this gorgeous recipe in my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook which, is fast becoming my favourite recipe book ever! I decided to make them on Friday and I'm sharing the recipe now because they were just so yummy.
Sponge, custard and chocolate frosting; it's an incredible combination. With the addition of the milk the sponge is lovely, soft and moist and the custard adds a nice creamy texture and subtle flavour which, perfectly compliments the rest of the cupcake. If you try it on it's own it sort of tastes like the custard in egg custard tarts. The chocolate frosting is so rich and luxurious as well so all in all this is a pretty great cupcake. I'd love to go to the Hummingbird Bakery.
Recipe - makes 12-16 cupcakes
For the Sponge
80g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
280g (10oz) caster sugar
240g (8 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
240ml (8 1/2 fl oz) whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla essence
For the Custard Filling
250ml (9 fl oz) whole milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
2 large egg yolks
50g (1 3/4 oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp. plain flour
1 tbsp. cornflour
For the Chocolate Frosting
400g (14oz) icing sugar
100g (3 1/2oz) cocoa powder
160g (5 1/2oz) unsalted butter, softened
80ml (3fl oz) whole milk
finely grated dark chocolate, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 190C, Gas mark 5, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Place the remaining ingredients in a jug and whisk by hand, then pour three-quarters of this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium and keep mixing until smooth and thick, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat until combined and smooth.
4. Spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling them by two-thirds. Any remaining batter can be spooned into more cases in another tin. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until well risen and springy to touch, then leave to cool completely.
5. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Pour the milk and vanilla essence into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients together by hand in a bowl until smooth and well combined.
6. Once the milk is boiling, remove from the heat and pour 4-5 tbsps. into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen, then return this mixture to the pan of hot milk, stirring to incorporate.
7. Return the pan to the heat and bring to he boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Boil for at least 1 minute to ensure the flour is properly cooked. Once thickened, tip the custard into a bowl and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming, then leave to cool completely for 30-40 minutes.
8. To make the frosting, use the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with paddle attachment to slowly beat together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter until sandy in texture. Gradually pour in the milk, then increase the speed to high and whisk until soft and fluffy.
9. Using a sharp knife or apple corer, make a hole in the centre of each cupcake about 2cm in diameter and 3cm deep, reserving the scooped-out pieces of sponge. Pipe or spoon the custard into the hole in each cupcake, then replace the sponge lid, trimming it if necessary to ensure the top is fairly level. Divide the chocolate frosting between the cupcakes, smooth the tops with a palette knife and add a swirl. (That is the hummingbird bakery way, I piped a swirl using a large round piping nozzle instead. This icing is great for piping; soft enough to pipe but, thick and stiff enough to hold it's shape.) Sprinkle with grated chocolate to decorate.
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday Tunes.

Song of the Week: The Maine- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
Today, I am feeling a bit under the weather :(. I woke up feeling really poorly this morning and I don't think this glum Cornish rain is helping me very much. I've mainly spent my day so far just watching telly and looking at recipes on the internet and I just decided to do a Tuesday Tunes as well as I haven't done one in a while. I really loved Mayday Parade's cover of Jason Derulo's In My Head on the Punk Goes Pop albums which, got me flicking through some of the other songs on the albums to see if their were some other amazing covers and I happened to come across this one. I am a huge fan of the original ofcourse; Cyndi Lauper is amazing and Girls Just Wanna Have fun is such a classic and everybody loves it. I love the up-tempo, cheerful, catchy nature of Cyndi's original but, there's something about The Maine's version which, I really, really love. It's sort of haunting and very deep, meaningful and powerful. I love the rocky, heavy vibe they add to the song and the leader singer of The Maine; John O'Callaghan has the most gorgeous voice which, you can really hear in this song too. I think it's an amazing cover and I really hope you enjoy it too!
Thankyou for listening!
Love Courts x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Rich Chocolate Mousse.

These Chocolate Mousse's were beyond delicious! So rich, decadent and chocolatey. I honestly can't believe something so yummy can be made so, quickly, simply and from so few ingredients. They were incredibly luxurious and Gu like; just like a Gu ganache pot which, anyone who has had one will know is one of the most incredible, tasty things in the world. I decided to make this Chocolate Mousse last week as a little desert to have after the Puy Lentil, Cherry Tomato and Haloumi salad I made as I was a bit worried we'd all still be hungry after eating it and boy was it a good decision, purely because the mousse is so gorgeous! You must try this recipe! It is any chocolate lovers dream and I can't wait to make it again. Whip it up in about ten minutes, pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill and then you are good to go with an absolutely amazing desert which, is perfect to serve up if you have a lot of people round for dinner for example, at Christmas as it is so easy and quick to make and unbelievably tasty. It will blow anyone away!

Serves 4
175g (6oz) plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100ml (3 fl oz.) double cream
3 eggs, separated
cocoa powder, for dusting
Put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and stir until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate clean bowl until stiff, then lightly fold into the chocolate mixture until combined. Spoon the mousse into 4 desert glasses/ cups/ ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours (I left for about 4 or 5 hours and it set perfectly, even having some rich fudgey areas which, were amazing.)

Dust with cocoa powder before serving!
For chocolate & orange mousse- follow the recipe above but, add the grated rind of 1 large orange and 2 tbsps. Grand Marnier to the melted chocolate and cream. Then, continue the recipe as above. (I haven't tried this yet but, it sounds delicious so, I may try it next time. I think this would be perfect for a special occasion, particularly Christmas as I think it's nice, special and festive.)
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Thai Vegetable Salad with Sweetcorn and Kaffir Lime Fritters.

I decided to make another quirky salad recipe last
week in the hope of being a bit healthier again. I also made a Butterscotch and Pecan Cheesecake one day though and some Chocolate Mousse's so, I think my 'try to be healthy salad efforts' were a little bit wasted I have to admit :/.

I found this exotic, tasty sounding Thai vegetable salad in my Hamlyn 200 Veggie Feasts cookbook and decided to serve it with some sweetcorn fritters which, were also featured in the book. The thai salad was lovely, light and refreshing and had lots of juicy flavour and the sweet chilli dressing had a gorgeous sweetness and tang which, suited the salad perfectly. As for the sweetcorn fritters; it's actually difficult for me to judge if I'm honest as I don't really like sweetcorn :/... I know, why make sweetcorn fritters then? I have no idea either. I just thought they would go nicely with the salad and they did.

Considering I'm not a big sweetcorn fan these sweetcorn fritters did taste good but, I wasn't blown away. Then again, I don't think you would be blow away if you didn't really like the main ingredient. My Mum and Dad on he other hand, both really really enjoyed them so, I think they make better judges as they do actually like sweetcorn and so, I am sure that if you like sweetcorn then you will love these. They go perfectly with the salad and as they are fried they have a gorgeous crisp texture. I think personally for me though, the next time I make this salad I will try and make some Vegetable spring rolls to go with it as I think they would work perfectly with the salad and I absolutely adore spring rolls. Definitely try this gorgeous, unique salad though and if you are a sweetcorn fan then deffinately serve it with these sweetcorn fritters as they are nice and simple and I guarantee any sweetcorn lover will love them.
For the Sweetcorn and Kaffir Lime Fritters- (Serves 4)
275g (9oz) can sweetcorn, drained
65g (2 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsps. lime juice
4 Kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded (I couldn't find these in a shop but, you may have more luck than me, if not I purchased a pack of dried leaves for just 99p on ebay)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
For the Chilli Jam-
500g (1lb) ripe tomatoes
4 red bird's eye chillies
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
200g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
75ml (3 fl oz) rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
For the Thai Vegetable Salad- (Serves 4)
250g (8oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 green mango (I used a packet of Whitworth's dried green mango, available in Tesco on offer for £1 at the moment.)
1 large red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
150g (5oz) bean sprouts
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
small handful of Thai basil leaves
small handful of mint leaves
small handful of fresh coriander leaves
4 tbsps. unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the Chilli Dressing -
2 tbsps. Chilli Jam
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. lime juice
4 tsps. soft light brown sugar

First, prepare the chilli jam. Roughly chop the tomatoes, chillies and garlic cloves, then put in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking, for 30-40 minutes until thick and jam like. Set aside to cool completely. (This can be prepared in advance to make things easier for example, the day before.)

Next, prepare the sweetcorn fritter mix. Put half the sweetcorn in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the egg, soy sauce and lime juice. Process again until combined and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the remaining sweetcorn, lime leaves and coriander.

Then make the Thai vegetable salad. First make the dressing. Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.

Put the tomatoes, cucumber, mango, chilli, spring onions and herbs in a bowl. Fry the bean sprouts in some olive oil and tip into the salad. Add the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle over the peanuts.

Finally, fry the sweetcorn fritters. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Drop in 6 separate tablespoons of the batter, pat them flat and fry over a medium-high heat for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until cooked through and bronzed. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 12 x 5cm fritters. Serve the fritters hot with the Thai salad and a dollop of chilli jam.

Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Glazed Doughnut Recipe.

I am absolutely in love with Doughnuts and when I happened to stumble across a rather delicious sounding recipe for Krispy Kreme style doughnuts, I knew I had to try them. They are honestly bloody gorgeous and just like Krispy Kreme with a lovely soft, doughy middle and crisp outside and oh my, the glaze... so sweet and delicious! I could literally just eat a whole bowl of it but, I think I'd feel a bit chubby after that. I made all different sizes and all of them worked out great and looked amazing and I even used some of the mini ones to make these lovely little Doughnut Cupcakes which, I will be posting the recipe for soon. I have such a sweet tooth and doughnut obsession so, they were the perfect treat for me and if you also love doughnuts and would like to make some homemade doughnuts as good as Krispy Kreme, I highly recommend you try this recipe. There's a great and helpful page to see the original recipe with pictures here.

Remember, if you don't want to make the full 30 doughnuts though (which is roughly what I ended up with :/) don't forget to half the recipe! I started weighing out the ingredients thinking, wow this recipe uses a lot of ingredients and then only when I had already mixed the full amount of yeast with the water did I decide to check how many doughnuts the recipe actually made. 39! :O From then on I started doing a third of the weight of each ingredient however, because I have so much common sense :/ I accidently forgot to do a third of the sugar and vegetable fat and popped it straight into the bowl with the milk, water and yeast etc. so it was all soggy and then there was no going back. I had to make the full mix, my mixing bowl full to the brim and I ended up frying about 30 doughnuts and doughnut holes in the end. It was actually really fun though and definitely worth it for the end result as it's not something I'd typically make in everyday life so, it's quite exciting to be able to make some doughnuts like the ones you buy from a shop. They also taste lovely and even if you do make the full 30 doughnuts, I guarantee you will eat almost all of them, if not all of them. I thought, 30 doughnuts! That's insane, we'll never eat them all but, I think in the end there were only two left which, ended up going to the dogs which, I think they were pretty happy about.  

Recipe - makes 30 doughnuts (about 10 small, 10 medium and 10 large krispy kreme size doughnuts).

For the Doughnuts -

3  7g packages yeast (21g total)
120ml water  (40-46C)
530ml milk, boiled, then cooled
170g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
113g vegetable fat
 940g plain flour
 vegetable oil for frying

For the Glaze-
115g butter
375g icing sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla essence
100ml evaporated milk


1. Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm water.  Mix it up and let it rest.
2. Scald (bring to the boil) the milk in your microwave or on top of your stove, and let it cool.

3. Combine the yeast, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, vegetable fat and 375g of the flour.

4. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.

5. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.

6. Carefully stir in remaining flour until smooth.

7. Cover with oiled cling film and let rise in a warm place until double, 60 minutes. 

8. After the dough has risen, turn the dough onto a floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.

9. Gently roll dough to about 6mm thick with a floured rolling pin.

10. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. (I didn't have a doughnut cutter and just used a selection of round objects I found in my house from a Sherry glass, a Cup and a medium sized round cookie cutter. I then used different sized round piping nozzles to cut out the centres.)  Separate the doughnuts and holes, as they take different frying times (but are equally delicious).  Save your scraps - they are both great to test your frying time and to snack on while you're making the rest!

11. Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes. (This is optional, mine were fine without extra rising but, if you want more doughnuts or chunkier doughnuts, feel free to let rise.)
12. I used a deep fat fryer to fry my doughnuts which, worked great. If you don't have one I'd use a deep pan half filled with oil. Heat your oil to 180C.
note. use a doughnut hole or scraps to check the temperature and frying times.
13. Carefully place the doughnuts in the oil, a few at a time to prevent over browning/burning.  Cook on each side for about one minute. Remove from the oil when bronze and place on greaseproof paper or kitchen towel if you would like to drain a bit of the oil. Leave to cool.
14. Now prepare the glaze because it can sit at room temperature. Melt the butter and stir in the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the milk and stir. If you would like it a bit runnier add a touch more milk or some water until the desired consistency is reached. Now dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze on both sides and return to the greaseproof paper so, the glaze can set.
Then enjoy!
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Garlic and Basil Ciabatta Recipe.

This recipe is really delicious and dare I say it, pretty simple. It does involve leaving the ciabatta mix over night to rise which, adds a certain element of faffiness to the overall product but, when you think about it all you have to do is add some water, flour and yeast each time and mix which, is pretty easy and doesn't take too much effort. My ciabatta didn't really rise very much at all though, as you can see from the pictures but, that didn't really matter as the garlic bread still tasted lovely. I'm not sure why it didn't really rise but, then I did halve the recipe I used as I only wanted to make one loaf so, perhaps because I only had a very small amount of mixture it didn't rise very well. I adore garlic bread so, I really wanted to have my own recipe and I really enjoyed this one. The garlic butter topping is very rich and creamy which, is nice too. I originally planned to slice the ciabatta and then spread some garlic butter onto each slice and grill but, as the ciabatta didn't rise I just spread it on top which, worked just the same.
Here is the tasty recipe which, I served with some homemade Caramelised Red Onion Quiche, Roast Red Pepper and Veggie Bacon Quiche and some Puy Lentil, Cherry Tomato and Haloumi salad to which, you can find the recipe here.

    Ovenight preparation-
     125g Italian type '00' bread flour
    100ml water
    7g yeast
        To finish the bread-
    125g Italian type '00' bread flour
    7g yeast
    100ml water
    6g salt
    Garlic Butter Topping-
    1tbsp. Mayonnaise
    2 tbsps. Butter, softened
    1 bunch basil
    2 tbsp. grated cheddar
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1. For the overnight preparation, mix the flour with the water in a large bowl and add the yeast. Whisk for three minutes and leave to rise overnight (or at least eight hours).
    2. To finish the bread, add the remaining flour and yeast to the bread mixture and mix well.
    3. Gradually add the rest of the water to the bread mixture. When nearly all of the water has been added, add the salt to the remaining water and mix together for a further five minutes, until a sticky dough is formed.
    4. Transfer the dough into a large oiled bowl and leave to rise for one hour.
    5. Transfer the dough to a heavily floured work surface and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
    6. Preheat the oven to 240C/465F/Gas 8.
    7. Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave for ten minutes.
    8. Transfer the dough to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
    9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
10. Heat the grill to high. Beat together the mayonnaise, butter and garlic cloves until smooth. Chop the basil, stir through and season with salt and pepper. Put the halves of the ciabatta, sliced lengthways, on a baking tray and spread with the butter. Sprinkle with grated cheddar, then grill for 2-3 mins and serve.
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x