Chocolate & Peanut Butter Creme Cupcakes

This last week Fork and Pixel turned one so to celebrate, I thought I would share my ‘signature bake’ chocolate and peanut butter creme cupcakes which I usually bake as a big 8″ cake for friends birthdays. The recipe is an amalgamation of a Reece’s chocolate cake recipe that is my favourite chocolate sponge as it’s not too rich or heavy and an adapted icing that I have changed over the years after stumbling across the original via blog SugarLaws.

Double the cake mixture to make two 8″ or 20cm round sandwich sponges, bases lined with parchment circles and bake in tight fitting pans (as the mix will leak otherwise) for 35-45 mins.

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Chocolate and Mulled Cider Cake

As soon as I spotted this recipe for chocolate and mulled cider cake by Will Torrent in the December issue of Jamie Magazine, I knew I was going to have to give it a try. It would make a great alternative to christmas pudding and has the wow factor in both looks and taste. It keeps well for several days in an air tight container. Most supermarkets sell mulled cider or make your own by heating apple cider in a saucepan with a mulling spice sachet or star anise, cloves, a cinnamon stick and a squeeze of orange.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies

It dawned on me recently that I had never made full fat brownies before. I regularly used to make lower fat brownies from the “Cook Yourself Thin” cookbook and have even turned my hand at Gwyneth Paltrow’s vegan brownies but never the indulgent, no calories spared brownies. Last week this changed as I researched the ultimate brownies and settled on Nigel Slater’s ‘Very Good Chocolate Brownie’ with the addition of hazelnuts as I had some that needed using but you could use brazil or walnuts or leave them out altogether.

As I have learnt with the modified brownies I have made before, timing in the oven is crucial. Nigel suggests the following: ‘it is worth checking after 25 minutes, just in case, then every three minutes after that. I reckon you are looking for a cake whose outside edges feel a little springy, the inside soft, but not at all liquid. Stick a thin skewer or knitting needle in. If it comes out with visibly wet cake mixture stuck to it then put it back for three minutes longer. If, on the other hand, you have a slight goo stuck to your skewer then you are probably there. Leave the cake out to cool before cutting. It needs time to calm down. Oh, and if you pull out your skewer and it comes out clean then I’m afraid you have blown it’.

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