Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing

There is a cupcake shop in the town I live in. And I always pass it drooling and craving for one of these. They just look so pretty and their icing… mmmhmm. But… they are super expensive. I mean, I can get a small meal for that price. So I don’t buy them very often.

But last Saturday my girls (I actually mean friends, not children 😉 ) stopped by for a girls night in. So I had the perfect opportunity to try and make some cupcakes myself.

I don’t actually know why, but making cupcakes myself always scared me. I guess it maybe is because I have virtually no experience with piping and a big appeal of cupcakes are their looks, and still they taste lovely. I think that is also why I don’t really like cupcakes decorated with fondant. I honestly don’t know any person who eats that stuff, it is just wonderful for decorating. But for me, it has to taste as well.

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I found this recipe on Pinterest. Do you know Pinterest? If not, off you go check it out now. The sheer abundance of recipes and ideas there is absolutely amazing and these cupcakes just really looked their part. Absolutely amazing. So I had the perfect recipe to share with my friends.

The creator of the original recipe is Juicy and it can be found on completerecipes.com.

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So the piping didn’t quite go to plan. But I am almost proud that it looks piped and not just slapped. I need lots of practice still, but it is definitely a start.

I would really like to try Jennie’s Chocolate and Baileys Cupcakes next. They just looks so scrumptious, and I am sure mine won’t look that pretty, but I can’t get better if I don’t try. Right? 🙂 So go check them out at Jennie’s blog. Yum, yum.

Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes wit Vanilla Icing

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Cake
60g Cocoa powder
175g Caster sugar
175g Butter
120g Self-raising flour
3 Eggs
3 tbsp Boiling water
100g Blackberries
1 tsp Baking powder

Ingredients icing
250g Icing sugar
250g Butter, soft
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbsp Milk

Directions for the cake:
1. Mix the cocoa powder and water in a bowl until smooth.
2. Add the butter and sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add the eggs one at a time.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture.
5. Combine and add the blackberries as carefully as possible.

Directions for the icing:
1. Combine the soft butter with the butter.
2. Once well mixed add the other ingredients and put aside until the cakes are ready.

Prepare 12 muffin cases with one blackberry each in the middle and spoon the batter on top of them. Bake in the preheated oven at 190° for about 13 minutes. Once cooled pipe the icing onto them and place a spare blackberry on the top.

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They were really good and actually because of the icing I left them in the fridge overnight and they were even much better the next day. I must admit, the very first bite felt quite sweet. I suppose the icing is just made with sweet ingredients. But leaving them to rest for a day, they really came together. The original recipe was with raspberries but since I didn’t have any at hand and the lovely blackberries just started to be in season, I opted for the dark option. It was quite a good idea. Since the icing was very sweet, the sourness of the blackberries counterparted the sweetness and it worked very well.

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Right, although this was just a piping experiment, they were tasty and I will bring them over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Oh it is so inspiring and amazing to see other bloggers offerings every week and I do so enjoy this party. So many absolutely scrumptious dishes and bakes. I can’t describe it, you just have to go and see for yourselves. Happy Friday and feliz Viernes.

Lunch for Film Crew

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For all of those of you who don’t know yet (I suppose all of you), my partner is trying to get into the film business. He attended the right schools, dreamt appropriate dreams (well sort of) and is passionate about it. All he needed was a kick in the *youknowwhat*. That’s where I came in. And because like all beginners he is starting small, low-budget (actually broke) and with simple means, I decided to provide some lunch for those poor unpaid actors and helpers, sweating their socks off at 30° and being bitten to bits lying in anthills (yes, he sort of made them do that – no business like show business, right?).

Anyway, while they were out and about tackling their challenges, I was staying behind in my kitchen to prepare some goodies. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be that much work. If I had known… well I probably would have done it anyway. Or okay, maybe I would have prepared something the day before. Thankfully I got up as early as my filmmaker (this is really unusual especially for a Saturday morning) which allowed me to be finished just in time. Phew.

So let’s start with a refreshing cold soup (poor fellows needed to rehydrate one way or another):

Gazpacho

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
1 red pepper
1/2 cucumber
4 tomatoes (big and fleshy ones)
1/2 onion
1 garlic glove
100g toast
3.5dl vegetable stock

Season and olive oil to taste

1. Cut the pepper, garlic, onion and tomatoes into pieces.
2. Seed and peel the cucumber and cut into pieces.
3. Pull the toast into pieces.
4. Then puree the ingredients including the vegetable stock and oil (if desired).
5. Allow to cool in a fridge until served.

You may have noticed that I didn’t take a picture of the end product of the gazpacho. Well there are two reasons for that. Number 1, my filmmaker took all the camera’s with him, so all I had was my Iphone. As you can see, the result is not quite as nice as with my Canon. And number 2 it just really doesn’t look that nice. Really, really not. But it is really, really tasty. I promise!

Next I thought I’ll make some classic sandwiches. They’re easy to make (yay for me), filling for the crew (yay for them) and most of all tasty (yay for all). Because I have a special ingredient – chutney! Oh yes I do. I yet have to make chutney myself, but whenever we are in either Ireland or England we get a jar and it never really lasts very long. For some reason we can’t find chutney here in Switzerland. I mean you can get mango chutney and that sort of stuff, but a nice ale or spicy savoury chutney is really a rare treat around here. And I find it goes ever so well with ham or cheese and then of course with all sorts of sandwiches!

Baguette Sandwiches

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
4 baguettes
1 Pack of oven ham (or very smooth and tender ham)
a few radishes
chutney
40g cheese, sliced (I used mountain cheese but any will do)
mustard
butter for smearing
a bunch of rocket
brie
a few basil leaves
2 tomatoes
1 ball of mozzarella
balsamic vinegar

Caprese Baquette
1. Half one baguette lengthwise.
2. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and add for every slice of tomato a slice of mozzarella on top of one half. I dried some liquid off them first.
3. Distribute the basil leaves uncut over the tomato and mozzarella mix.
4. Drizzle ever so carefully the baslamic vinegar on top. It doesn’t need much, just a bit for the taste but not enough to drench the baguette.
5. Add the other half and cut the baguette into handy pieces.

Chutney Cheese and Ham Baguette
1. Half one baguette lengthwise.
2. Smear the bottom length with mustard and the other with butter.
3. Add the sliced radishes onto the bottom length.
4. Then add the ham onto the radishes and smear with chutney.
5. Place the sliced cheese and add the other half of the baguette on top and again cut into handy pieces.

Brie and Rocket Baguette
1. Half one baguette lengthwise.
2. Smear both pieces with butter.
3. Add the sliced brie onto the bottom length. Be very generous.
4. Smear chutney on top and decorate with a generous amount of rocket.
5. Place the other half of the baguette on top and again cut into handy pieces.

You have probably noticed that there is still one baguette to spare. This one I just cut in pieces first and used all the leftover ingredients I still had. And I still had enough for half a brie and half a ham sandwich left.

I thought that was already a decent lunch. But those people spend the whole morning running around the woods and town alike and it was a hot, hot day. I was sweating my hat off in the kitchen. To be fair, I did keep the door closed as I didn’t want the rest of the appartement to get hot, I think that might have been a mistake. And on top of this I was about to turn on the oven. So long story short, I made my first ever cupcakes. It really was a spur of the moment thing. Why not, right?

I found this recipe on the BBC recipe website. And it just looked so adorable. After I had a whole box of gooseberries in the fridge, this was meant to be!

Gooseberry Butterfly Cupcakes

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients for the cupcakes
110g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
75g natural yogurt
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
90g butter, melted and cooled
Pinch of salt

For the topping
170g gooseberries, topped and tailed
25g caster sugar
1/2 tbsp elderflower cordial
100g crème fraîche

1. Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a bowl.
2. Beat the eggs, yogurt, elderflower cordial and melted and cooled butter together with a pinch of salt.
3. Stir the dry and wet ingredients together
4. Spoon into the prepared muffin tray

Preheat the oven to 180° and bake for 20 mins until risen and nicely browned.

1. Add the gooseberries with the sugar into a pan and simmer for 10 minutes. It’s ready when they have collapsed but still got some texture.
2. Stir in the elderflower cordial and leave to cool
3. Once cool, fold into the crème fraîche.
4. To serve, I cut the top bit of the cupcakes away and halfed it.
5. Then add the topping onto the cupcakes and place the piece you just cut away like a butterfly onto the topping.

Last but not least I preapared some iced tea. I just filled a pan with water and brought it to the boil. Then I added a teabag of Lady Grey and a apple tea with a good tablespoon of honey and mint leaves. I left it to absorb for about 15 minutes. Then removed the teabags and mint leaves and left to cool. I added ice and lemon pieces and left in the fridge until served. There are two pictures of the iced tea below.

So that’s what I am going to bring to Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week. I hope you’ll enjoy it and have some wonderful weekends or indeed holidays ahead of you! 🙂

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