Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate and Peanut Butter CupcakesThere is nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter. Together. In a cupcake.

I’ve been searching for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe for a while, and I think this may be it. I used to always go by the Primrose Bakery chocolate cupcakes; however these are so much richer and less sickly sweet. They last a lot longer too, if they don’t get eaten immediately…

This recipe does have coffee in it, which may put people off making it, but don’t, because once it is cooked you cannot taste it. It just makes the chocolate flavour more intense.

And the peanut butter frosting. Words are not enough, just make it.

I’ll apologize in advance; the recipe is in cups… I hate weighing things in cups, but this recipe has some really weird numbers if it’s in grams, so sorry!

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups  or 205g plain flour

3/4 cup or 70g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups or 340g caster sugar

1/2 cup or 120ml sunflower oil (any unflavored oil will do)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups or 300ml strong coffee, cooled

For the frosting:

2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 tbsp milk
Mix1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Wet ingredients2. Whisk together the sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Add the vanilla.

Chocolate cake mix3. Alternate adding the sugar mix and the coffee to the flour. Whisk until smooth and glossy.

London cupcake caseSONY DSC4. I got some gorgeous cupcake cases cheap after the Jubilee weekend, so they had to be used… Fill each case 2/3 full. I use an ice-cream scoop to get them all the same size. Put into the oven and bake for 20-25 mint

SONY DSC5. Whilst the cakes are cooking, make the frosting.  Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or handheld whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and milk and beat until light and fluffy. Try not to eat it all at this stage, tempting though it is…

SONY DSC6. Leave the cakes to cool. They should be springy to the touch and a skewer should come out clean.

Peanut butter cakes7. Ice and decorate with whatever, I used fudge chunks and crunchy chocolate balls.

Pesto and Tomato Bites and Bacon and Chedder Straws

2 in one post, I only took 1 picture so here are both recipes in one :b

I made these both for our family Christmas Eve party, everyone seemed to love them, and my dad is slightly crazy about them!

The pesto squares are my own recipe, and the bacon straws are a wonderful Lorraine Pascale recipe, find at :http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bacon_and_mature_cheddar_58920

Pesto Squares (makes about 20)

1 jar or a good amount of homemade pesto

20 cherry tomatos, sliced in half

1 block of ready made puff pastry

100g chedder, grated

1 egg, to brush

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Roll out the puff pastry to about 1 cm thick

2. Cut into equal squares

3. Place squares on baking tray and prick the centres with a fork to stop them puffing up

4. Spoon 1 tsp of pesto onto each square and spread it around, then top with the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on the top.

5. Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden.