There is nothing better than indulging a little gluttony during the colder seasons. Recipes have the ability to turn a cold and miserable day into special moments amongst friends and families, making great memories.. We found a couple of deadly recipes we think can help you achieve just that;
Mini Red-Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour, well-sifted
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food colour
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Mix in food colour and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and mixing well after each addition.
- Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
- Divide batter evenly amongst muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the centres are set and spring back when touched.
- To make the frosting beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed. Then turn the speed to low and slowly add the sugar 1 cup at a time. Then add the vanilla. Beat until totally smooth.
Traditional Chocolate cake!!
For the cake:
- 200 gram(s) Plain flour
- 200 gram(s) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
- 40 gram(s) cocoa powder
- 175 gram(s) unsalted butter (soft)
- 2 large egg(s)
- 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 150 ml sour cream
For the icing :
- 75 gram(s) unsalted butter
- 175 gram(s) dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
- 300 gram(s) Icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon(s) golden syrup
- 125 ml sour cream
- 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1 packet(s) sugar flower(s) (optional)
- Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C and line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins with removable bases.
- Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream – into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
- Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time.
- Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don’t worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the icing later.
- To make this icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don’t want any burning or seizing.
- While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz. This is by far and away the least tedious way of removing lumps.
- Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor on to the icing sugar, with the motor running.
- When you’ve done, you may need to add a little boiling water – say a teaspoon or so – or indeed some more icing sugar: it depends on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker; or indeed it may be right as it is. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
- Choose your cake stand or plate and cut out four strips of baking parchment to form a square outline on it (this stops the icing running on to the plate). Then sit one of the cakes, uppermost (ie slightly domed) side down.
- Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.
- Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.
- I love to dot the top of this with sugar pansies – and you must admit, they do look enchanting – but there really is no need to make a shopping expedition out of it. Anything, or indeed nothing, will do.