Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cornbread muffins

Last week I had watched way to much Diners, Drive ins and Dives on the Food Network and one thing that programme always makes me crave is BBQ sauce smothered, red meat loaded American BBQ food. In this case I was craving ribs in particular. So off I went to the butchers and bought a sheet of ribs.

With them I was planning to have home made paprika potato wedges and BBQ beans but I also wanted something else, something which gave me the excuse to bake ...  Cornbread! I first had Cornbread in Bodeans in London which is just the best BBQ restaurant where you can really pig out, and now I'm not in London I miss it often. since then I have tried making a variety of different cornbread recipes, and whilst I thought they were good nothing has yet matched the sweet, soft muffins from Bodeans. Although I think these are pretty good served warm with butter or my favorite, with a big bowl of BBQ beans.

here they are:

I also made some with grated Cheddar on top of the batter although I only made a couple for me as boyfriend has a rather odd dislike for recipes with cheese (how can you not like cheese?)

Really disappointed I didn't think to take a picture of the whole package, BBQ sauce smothered ribs, beans, wedges and muffins.

Here's how they're made:

200g Fine yellow cornmeal (Polenta)
170g Plain flour
1tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp Cumin
dash of Paprika
2 large eggs
300ml  Milk
45g Butter, melted
3 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar (I add a little caster sugar also but I like mine sweet)
300g Grated cheddar (Optional) 

Preheat the oven to 190degC and line a tin with muffin cases.
In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, salt, cumin and paprika.. Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add slowly to the dry mixture whilst stirring. Mix the eggs and milk in a jug and slowly add this to the mixture beating until the batter is smooth. If the batter looks a little thick ad a couple more tablespoons on milk.

If desired stir in 2/3 of the grated cheese and then spoon the mixture into cases. top with the remainder of the cheese (if using cheese) and bake for approx 25mins. Leave to cool.

Just before serving they can easily be re-warmed in the oven for a minute or two.

and that's it, there you go a savoury treat for a change. Back to cake next week!

Cupcake Kris xxx 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Double Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes with Chocolate Ganche

I have to apologise it feels like I've neglected my Blog of late! I've still been baking away though, as well as meeting up with friends, going climbing, visiting family, going on a road trip to see the Foo Fighters (who rocked), burning myself through falling asleep in the sun, getting ill, getting better, lots of shopping and attending and BBQ filled weekends with 2 BBQ's in the space of 24 hours. 

But now I'm back with a recipe I tried out a couple of weekends ago when meeting up with a few friends down the pub.

It's not very often that I want to make a particular kind of cake just so as I can use a certain cake case however a while back my lovely friend Jenny bought me a present (I love how my friends buy me cupcake related gifts) of the prettiest cake cases they were dark red with purple patterns and I thought Id have to make a cupcake that fitted perfectly with the case. And when I first saw the cake raspberry's came to mind.

I looked around for a few ideas before deciding that the cakes should be really chocolatey with a gooey raspberry centre. I filled the cakes with a good raspberry conserve and I made a chocolate ganche topping instead of my usual butter frosting and then finished them off with a fresh raspberry.

here they are:

The cakes turned out really nice, they kind of had a brownie texture to them with a slightly crispy top but soft almost gooey inside with a raspberry centre. And the chocolate ganache worked perfectly not as sweet as allot of frosting but gave the cakes a really chocolatey kick.

Here's how they're made:

Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes

110g Plain Flour
20g Cocoa Powder
150g Caster Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt 
40g Unsalted butter at room temp
120ml Whole milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
50g Plain Chocolate, Melted
Raspberry conserve (About 6 tbsps)

Preheat the oven to 170deg C
Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into a bowl and beat together with an electric whisk or rub between your fingertips until you have a sandy consistency.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and slowly pour about half into the dry mixture, beat to combine then beat in the remaining liquid until the batter is smooth. Add the melted chocolate and stir in gently.

Spoon the mixture into paper cases until 2/3 full and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Once cool poke a small hole in the centre of each cake (I used the tip of a piping nozzle) and pipe in some raspberry conserve until it fills the hole.

Leave to rest while you make the Ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

100g Plain Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
Icing Sugar (Optional)

Break the chocolate into a saucepan and add the cream. Heat gently sirring all the time, until the chocolate has melted. Pour into a large heat proof bowl and using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture for 10 minutes or until thick glossy and cool.

I wanted to sweeten (as the chocolate I had was rather bitter) and thicken my Ganache slightly so whilst beating I also added a little icing sugar to taste. Pipe or spoon the ganache over the centre of the cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry.

And that's it!

Till next time

Cupcake Kris xxx