I don’t really do New Years resolutions and definitely don’t buy in to the whole dieting and getting fit in January thing, because quite frankly (for me at least) it is doomed to fail. January is the worst possible month to give up hearty comfort food and force yourself out into the cold to exercise…I simply try to keep up a good level of exercise and healthy eating throughout the year. Having said that, I have been craving a lot of soups and vegetables recently so clearly my body is in need of some healthier food after indulging over Christmas…so I have resolved to try and bake things over the next few weeks that contain healthy ingredients and are a bit lower in fat and sugar. …
Christmas has snuck up on me way too fast this year, I’m usually super organised and have all my gift shopping done by the first week of December but I think that this year a lot of people are going to be getting their presents a tad late…I have however managed to get in a decent amount of Christmas baking, my favourite of which (so far) has been these cupcakes.
I’d had the idea in my head for a while that I wanted to make a mulled wine cake, so when I stumbled across a recipe for red wine chocolate cake I knew that I just had to adapt it to come up with a christmassy version….
I bake biscotti every Christmas (and a few times throughout the year as well) as they are so good to give as gifts – they keep for ages, aren’t too delicate so they travel well and are really versatile and adaptable, you can chuck whatever flavourings you like in there.
Biscotti translates as twice baked, the dough is first shaped into a log and baked at a moderate temperature until it is risen and firm; the oven is then turned down to a low temperature and the log cut into slices which are spread out on a baking sheet and baked again until crisp….
Salted caramel chocolate fudge cake – four layers of moist chocolate fudge cake filled with salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream, topped with whipped chocolate ganache and a liberal dose of salted caramel.
This salted caramel chocolate fudge cake is one of the most popular recipes on my site – and for very good reason! It is a bit of a labour of love to bake, but the results are so, so worth it….
Sweet breads are my weakness, when I bake a cake I can eat a slice and not go back for seconds, but with sweet, filled breads I just can’t stop myself from going back and slicing off another piece, and another, until I’ve eaten the whole lot…. this chocolate chestnut bread wreath is no exception….I ate nearly half the loaf in a day…Maybe it’s because the idea of bread is wholesome, so even though it’s got butter, sugar and chocolate in it, it doesn’t feel that indulgent……
Following the success of my cranberry pumpkin bread the other day (it was sooo good!), I had some leftover pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge. For a while I was at a loss as what to make with it, there are just too many tempting options – pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins…are just some of the things that crossed my mind (while I salivated), but then I thought of something that I hadn’t baked in far too long – cinnamon rolls!…
I was told when going to visit a friend that I “must bring cake”, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to do some baking! He LOVES chocolate so I made one of the most chocolaty things I could think of – quadruple chocolate cupcakes… Soft, dark chocolate cake surrounds a centre of gooey dark chocolate ganache and the cupcake is topped with swirled milk and white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. They are insanely good! Seriously, among the best cupcakes I have ever eaten. Ever….
Sometimes I get the urge to bake something utterly over the top, this time, I wanted to make something GREEN…The cake stash was getting low so I knew that it had to be some form of cake…What’s green…? Mint. What goes with mint…? CHOCOLATE! So….mint choc chip chocolate zebra cake was born. The cake itself is an impressive looking hidden design of alternating layers of chocolate and peppermint sponge, covered in mint choc chip buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache and peppermint chocolate bark. Minty chocolate heaven….
I like Halloween (being a gothess I suppose that’s a given!), but I prefer the more elegant side as opposed to the gory one – deep colours, vampires, witches etc. I wanted to bake something that was Halloweeny, but also attractive, so I went for red velvet cupcakes decorated with red and black two-tone roses. Both roses and the colours red and black are very prevalent in gothic imagery.
I’d been itching to try this two-tone piping effect for a while now and thought that it would work perfectly with these cupcakes (my piping technique really needs some work though…)….
My fiancé doesn’t get excited by food like I do, while I want to try everything and have the most enormous, varied list of things that I want to bake that I am unlikely to ever be able to work my way through, he is a little more set in his ways about what he likes. One of the things that he does love is chocolate cake, and he has requested that there always be a supply in the freezer in case a craving hits….