Tag Archives: American

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Thick, glossy and oh so delicious. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to come up with this Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! It might change you life! 

                        

What is you favourite frosting?

I have never been a fan of buttercream. I know this my seem like a bit of a shock because I make it quite a lot. But buttercream isn’t for me! Cream cheese frosting on the other hand, definitely is. Whether it is on my Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting or my Courgette Cupcakes with Lemon Curd & Cream Cheese; I love it. 

What is better than cream cheese frosting? 

The only thing better than cream cheese frosting is Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting! It is so deliciously creamy and indulgent. As soon as I made it I knew it was going to change my life! I know that sounds dramatic, but that’s just how delicious it is! 

What to put this Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting on

Anything and everything. In all seriousness this  Frosting would work really well with vanilla or chocolate cake. The recipe below makes enough frosting to generously decorate 18 cupcakes. By generously I mean how the cupcakes in the photographs are decorated. Some people like less frosting than this and that will obviously mean the frosting will go further. This recipe would also be more than enough to decorate a cake with three layers. 

5 from 10 votes
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Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Thick, glossy and oh so delicious. I don't know why it has taken me so long to come up with this Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! It might change you life! 

Course Cupcakes, Cake
Cuisine American, International
Keyword Cream Cheese, Frosting, Chocolate
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 18
Calories 161 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 75 g unsalted butter softened
  • 200 g cream cheese full fat
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Add the softened butter to a a bowl or your mixer and beat until smooth

  2. Add the cream cheese to the butter and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder

  3. Beat until completely mixed and smooth

  4. Pipe onto cupcakes or a cake

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 21mg7%
Sodium 37mg2%
Potassium 58mg2%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 255IU5%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies

These White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies are a must for any cookie lover. Deliciously soft cookies packed with white chocolate and peanut butter – what’s not to love?

How often do you think about food?

My whole life seems to revolve around food! The idea for these White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies came to be one night when I was trying to fall asleep! I made gluten free white chocolate and peanut blondies a couple of months ago when my uni friends visited. I thought these flavours would work really well in a cookie. So the next morning I got up and baked these!

Do you prefer soft or crisp cookies?

I will always prefer soft cookies. In my opinion you can’t beat a cookie that is deliciously soft in the middle. The trick to achieving this is not over baking the cookies! When you take them out of the oven they will still look quite soft. If you were to try and take them off the baking tray they would fall apart. Trust me and leave them on the baking tray for at least five minutes. This allows them to firm up slightly so they can then be moved to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

If you do like a crisper cookie, bake them for 12 minutes. However the cookies will become more crisp after 3-4 days (if they last that long!)

How many White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies does this recipe make?

This is a tricky question to answer! It really depends how big you make the cookies. The small ice cream scoop that I use makes cookie dough balls that are approximately 25g. This then makes 32 cookies. But if you didn’t have this size scoop, you could use a slightly bigger one, or a tablespoon measure. Alternatively just eyeball it and pick off pieces of dough and roll them into balls using the palm of your hands. 

5 from 7 votes
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White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies

These White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies are a must for any cookie lover. Deliciously soft cookies packed with white chocolate and peanut butter - what's not to love?

Course Cookie
Cuisine American
Keyword Peanut Butter, Cookies, White Chocolate
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 32
Calories 123 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 100 g margarine
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 125 g light brown sugar
  • 70 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200 g white chocolate chips (or chunks)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted 190ºC non fan). Line baking trays with grease proof paper or silicon liner and set aside

  2. Cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter together until light and fluffy don't be afraid to keep it mixing for 5 minutes or so

  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combine

  4. Add the flour and salt and mix before then adding the  white chocolate

  5. Shape into equal sized balls,  I do this with a small ice cream scoop. Put them on the lined baking tray leaving a gap around each cookie to allow for them spreading whilst baking 

  6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes - they will still seem quite soft! Leave to cool on the tray for a further 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely  

Recipe Notes

Keep in an air tight container for 3-4 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
White Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 123 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 84mg4%
Potassium 47mg1%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 120IU2%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are deliciously fudgy inside and slightly crisp on the outside. These have quickly become one of my favourite cookies!

I’ve seen photos of crinkle cookies all over Pinterest for quite some time, but had never made them. I finally caved in just before Christmas. I was looking for cookies to bake to include in the hamper I was making for Mr Curly’s Aunt.

For the base recipe, used Gimmie Some Oven’s recipe and oh my goodness was I surprised. I have no idea why I waited so long to make these crinkle cookies! They are absolutely delicious! Slightly crisp on the outside but soft and fudgy in the middle – the perfect cookie!

Although the original recipe was so delicious, I decided to tweak it slightly.  I’ve had some Reece’s Pieces in my baking cupboard for a while now, just waiting to be turned into something delicious. Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven which is why I made these Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

I have used the Reece’s Pieces in the hard sugar shell for this recipe because they added some colour to the cookies. The sugar shell also helps to protect the peanut butter inside when they’re baking. This means that if you eat the cookies when they are still warm, the peanut butter inside the Reece’s Pieces is slightly runny. 

Both varieties of these crinkle cookies went down extremely well. I took these Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies into work. As usual they didn’t last long which is always a good sign! They will keep for up to five days in an airtight container. I will be very surprised if they last that long because you will find it hard to stop eating them! 

If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, don’t panic! You can leave it out completely as per the original recipe or as an alternative you can add Smarties or M&M’s. 

5 from 10 votes
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are deliciously fudgy inside and slightly crisp on the outside. These have quickly become one of my favourite cookies!

Course Snack, Cookie
Cuisine American
Keyword Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Crinkle Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 22
Calories 153 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 160 g granulated sugar
  • 50 ml oil (vegetable or sunflower)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 100 g Reece's Pieces in a crunchy shell

To finish

  • 160 g icing sugar

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until completely combined. Leave to one side. 

  2. In your mixer bowl, add the sugar and oil. Beat until combined before adding in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour on a low speed until it is all mixed in 

  3. Add the peanut butter and Reece's Pieces and mix using a spatula until they are distributed evenly 

  4. Spoon the mix into a tupperware container and leave to cool in the fridge for 2-24 hours 

  5. Once your cookie dough is chilled and you're ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted 200ºC non fan). Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside

  6. Add the icing sugar to a bowl and take the dough out of the fridge. Take pieces of dough to form 1-inch balls. I do this by using a small ice cream scoop. Roll each ball around in the icing sugar until it is thickly covered 

  7. Line the cookie balls up on the baking trays leaving enough room for them to spread in the oven

  8. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes and then allow them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely  

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 47mg2%
Potassium 89mg3%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 30IU1%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are one of the best cookies I have eaten. Incredibly soft and delicious cookies packed with Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Pure heaven. 

I don’t blow my own trumpet very often, but with these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies I really need to. When I think of a recipe in my head, I always hope it will turn out to be a tasty recipe but this exceeded my expectations.

These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are everything i look for in a cookie; soft, chocolatey and big! In my opinion, cookies need to be soft. I find a crisp cookie very disappointing. If I wanted something hard I’d chose a biscuit! I also like my cookies packed with delicious goodies and in this case I’m talking about Peanut Butter Cups. 

Peanut Butter Cups are my idea of heaven. I’d never eat peanut butter on toast, but I love it combined with chocolate. These cookies don’t just have Peanut Butter Cups in them, they also have actual peanut butter in the cookie dough. This helps elevate the delicious peanut butter flavour and also adds a crunch as I use crunchy peanut butter. 

The trick with these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies is to not over bake them. If you do, they will loose their lovely softness which is the whole point of these! They will seem very soft and you will question me probably more than once, but trust me they will firm up slightly as they cool to become a perfect soft cookie. 
   It is not just me who loves these cookies, I got rave reviews from my trusty taste testers. I took them into work and people couldn’t resist having more than one. When there was only one left, I was too sad to think they were nearly gone so I took it to eat later; must to the upset of my colleague who went looking for it a few minutes later! I love these cookies so much I couldn’t bear to not have one last one! 

If you love peanut butter, you have to try these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies because they really are amazing!

4.75 from 4 votes
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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are one of the best cookies I have eaten. Incredibly soft and delicious cookies packed with Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. Pure heaven. 

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Peanut Butter, Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 162 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 100 g margarine
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 125 g soft brown sugar
  • 40 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150 g mini peanut butter cups roughly chopped
  • 50 g milk chocolate chips
  • 75 g mini peanut butter cups (20) to top

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan) and line three baking trays with liners or parchment paper 

  2. Cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter together until light and fluffy, this may take a couple of minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined

  3. Add the flour and salt and mix briefly to combine before adding the chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups. Stir through until completed mixed

  4. Spoon balls of the cookie dough onto the lined baking trays making sure you leave enough space to allow for the cookies to spread when cooking. Cut 20 mini peanut butter cups in half and add two halves to each cookie, press into the dough slightly

  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes 

  6. After 10 minutes take the cookies out of the oven. They should still be soft to touch in the centre. Leave them to cool for 5-10 minutes before gently lifting them to cool completely on a wire rack 

Recipe Notes

I used a small ice cream scoop to measure out portions of the cookie dough. These were approximately 50g per scoop. 

Do not over cook these cookies! They will look soft but they firm up as they cool. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 162 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 9mg3%
Sodium 146mg6%
Potassium 55mg2%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins

These Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins are light and fluffy with the delicious combination of peanut butter and bananas. Great for breakfast on the go! 

  
Who doesn’t have a few old bananas lurking around? As I have mentioned before in my Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Bread post, I certainly always seem to. This is why I wanted to come up with another way to use up those pesky old bananas. 

Banana Bread is lovely, but sometimes you don’t have an hour to leave something in the oven for. These Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins take half the time but are still just as fluffy and tasty! As they are muffins, they are more easily portable which makes them perfect for breakfast on the go. 

I have added some wholemeal flour to these muffins which is slightly more coarse than ordinary plain flour. I think this works well in the muffins along with the crunch of the peanut butter. It is also a healthier type of flour which makes me feel like I’m not being as naughty as I stuff muffins into my mouth! Wholemeal flour does tend to provide a drier texture which is why I have used a mix. Feel free to just use plain flour if you would prefer. 

Another advantage of these Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins are that they freeze really well. This recipe makes 12 muffins and unless you’re making them for a lot of people, you may not eat them quickly enough before they start going past their best. This is why I like to freeze the muffins by individually wrapping them in cling film and then putting them all in a large freezer bag. You can then take one out and defrost it overnight or even in a couple of hours and you have a tasty moist muffin ready to eat. 

You do need a large muffin liner for these and not one of the smaller cupcake liners. Muffins are meant to be large and proud so don’t worry about filing the muffin liners to the top. 

 Makes 12

125g margarine
100g light brown sugar
50g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
150g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
250g bananas, mashed
130g crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp milk 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan assisted or 180ºC non fan) and add muffin liners to a muffin tin
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together for at least 5 minutes until pale and fluffy

  1. Add the eggs and mix again
  2. Add the flours, baking powder and salt and stir into the butter until the flour is nearly combined, but not quite

  1. Mash the bananas roughly with a fork and add them to the mix along with the peanut butter and milk. Mix until combined

  1. Divide the mix between the 12 muffin liners and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean and the muffins are light brown

  1. Allow to cool for around 10 minutes before removing from the tin and leaving to cool on a wire rack
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Blueberry & Lemon American Pancakes

These Blueberry & Lemon American Pancakes are so light and fluffy. They’re packed with deliciously sweet blueberries which along with the lemon give these pancakes a lovely fresh taste. 

American Pancakes are my favourite type of pancakes because I love their thick fluffiness. I’m also unfortunately not gifted in the art of making crepe style pancakes so American pancakes are definitely my go-to. 

I absolutely love blueberries and obviously blueberry pancakes aren’t a new invention at all, but I wanted to adapt my Thick & Fluffy American Pancakes recipe to incorporate them. I can’t actually remember if I have eaten a blueberry pancake before, but I knew how I wanted them to taste. The addition of the lemon compliments the blueberries really nicely and gives them a fresh taste. 

I love how when you’re eating the pancakes and the blueberries burst, the delicious juices create their very own sauce. These pancakes are delicious as they are, but if like Mr Curly you like some extra sweetness, I recommend drizzling over some golden or maple syrup.   

I read somewhere years ago that your first pancake will always turn out a little less than perfect. This does always seem to be the case with me. My first pancake tends to be a little dark or I get too eager and try to flip it too soon. So don’t panic if this happens to you because I’m sure the rest of the will turn out perfectly!

0 from 0 votes
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Blueberry & Lemon American Pancakes

These Blueberry & Lemon American Pancakes are so light and fluffy. They’re packed with deliciously sweet blueberries which along with the lemon give these pancakes a lovely fresh taste. 

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Blueberry, Amerian Pancakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 259 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 135 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp melted butter cooled slightly
  • ½ lemon zested
  • 100 g blueberries
  • Spray oil

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, baking power, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl
  2. In a jug add the milk, egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice and whisk lightly before adding the melted butter and whisking again
  3. Pour the milk mix into the flour mix and whisk until you have a smooth batter
  4. Let the batter stand for a approximately 15 minutes
  5. Add the blueberries and gently stir to combine
  6. Put a large frying pan on a medium to low heat and spray with oil. Once the pan has heated up, add a large spoonful of the batter. Remember to not overcrowd the pan – two pancakes at a time is usually perfect
  7. Once bubble start to appear in the pancake they are ready to flip. Cook for a minute or so on the other side and then serve 

Nutrition Facts
Blueberry & Lemon American Pancakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 431mg19%
Potassium 323mg9%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 140IU3%
Vitamin C 3.2mg4%
Calcium 139mg14%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes

Delicious vanilla cupcakes with creamy frosting and a surprise hidden inside. Who needs roses for Valentine’s Day when you can make someone tasty Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes to share the love?!                

If you have been following my blog for a few years, you may recognise these cupcakes. I originally made them back in 2015 but not only did the recipe need new photos, it needed a complete re-write. So voilà!

Valentine’s Day is not something Mr Curly and I have ever really celebrated. We definitely don’t go out to a restaurant, but I am quite lucky and do often receive flowers. Whether you like to go all out or take a far more casual approach to Valentine’s Day, these Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes are a great way to show your special person some love. 

I saw the idea for these cupcakes in Pinterest years ago so they aren’t a new idea. However I wanted to adapt them to use my favourite cupcake recipe to make them super tasty. This is because a lot of the recipes I did find used ‘cake flour’ or box cake mixes. Firstly I’m still confused what cake flour is – even after googling it; and also I will never use a cake mix to make cupcakes!

These cupcakes look so simple and elegant on the outside and then when you bite into them you find a brilliant bright red heart. These Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes do take a little longer than a standard cupcake but they are very straightforward to make.  The finished look is really worth the extra little effort! 

When making the red sponge for the hearts, I recommend using gel food colouring. Wilton and Sugarflair are good brands to use as they provide really vibrant colours. You can use supermarket bought food colour but you will need to use a lot. I’ve made these cupcakes using the supermarket colouring before and I had to use two tubes!  

I wanted to keep the decoration quite elegant and simple so I decided to use a large star tipped nozzle (Wilton 1M) to create a rose effect. You can do this by starting in the centre of the cupcake and piping in a circular motion until I reached the edge of the cupcake. As you reach the edge if you release pressure from your piping bag and then quickly move the bag away you should get a nice clean finish. if you wanted to, you could roll out some red fondant and cut a small heart out to add to the end of your piped rose. Alternatively if you aren’t confident piping a rose pattern, pipe in whichever pattern you like. 

 You can also use flavoured frosting if you would like. I’ve made these with cherry and raspberry flavoured frosting which went really well with the vanilla in the cupcakes. You could also use vanilla bean paste in the cupcake mix if you wanted. I chose to use vanilla extract because I didn’t want to see the black specks of vanilla bean on this occasion. 

These would obviously be a lovely gift for Valentine’s Day but I think anyone would be chuffed to receive these at any time of year. You could change up the colour of the heart too if you wanted to make them less Valentine’s orientated! 

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Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes

Delicious vanilla cupcakes with creamy frosting and a surprise hidden inside. Who needs roses for Valentine’s Day when you can make someone tasty Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes to share the love?!   

Course Cupcakes
Cuisine British, International
Keyword Cupcakes, Valentine's, Hidden Heart
Servings 18
Calories 451 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

For the red heart sheet cake

  • 75 g unsalted butter softened
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g self raising flour
  • Red food colouring (appox ½ tsp)

For the cupcakes

  • 250 g unsalted butter softened
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g self-raising flour

For the buttercream

  • 200 g unsalted butter softened
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp semi skimmed milk

Instructions

  1. Start by making the red cake mix for the hearts. Preheat oven to 170ºC (fan assisted, 190ºC non fan) and line a 20x20cm square tin with baking parchment

  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and slowly mix again and then add the flour and mix until combined
  4. Add enough food colouring to make the batter a bright red colour
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth flat. Bake in the oven for approximately 14 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean
  6. Allow the cake to cool slightly
  7. While you are waiting for the red cake to cool, make the vanilla cupcake batter in the same way as you made the red cake batter (obviously leaving out the red food colouring!)
  8. Once the red cake has cooled, cut out hearts using a small heart shaped cutter
  9. Line a cupcake tin with cases and fill each case with approximately 1 tbsp of the plain cake batter. Smooth the cake batter to over the bottom of each cupcake case
  10. Place a heart standing up up in each of the cupcake cases
  11. Add more of the plain cake batter to each cupcake case so that it is roughly ¾ full - don't panic if this doesn't completely cover the red heart
  12. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes before allowing to cool completely on a wire rack
  13. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, make the frosting by beating together the butter and icing sugar until smooth
  14. Add milk enough milk to create a smooth pipe-able consistency. It is always better to add a little bit of milk as you go instead of too much at once
  15. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. For a rose pattern use a large star shaped tip and pipe from the centre and move outwards in a circular motion. 

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Hidden Heart Valentine’s Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 451 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 108mg36%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 44mg1%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 795IU16%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Bread

Delicious fluffy banana bread studded with chocolate chips and the crunch of peanut butter. My Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Bread is the best way to use up old bananas. 

 
I know I’m not the only person who buys bananas and seems to have a couple that don’t get eaten straight away and start to become brown, spotty and generally less desirable. Previously I used to moan and vow to not buy bananas again because they would be wasted. Now, I welcome the brown spots! I have even been known to stop Mr Curly eating the bananas when they are yellow because I am waiting for them to turn brown so I can make this Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Bread. 

I have been making Banana Bread for years and is very popular each time I make it; but I wanted to make a variation of it that was a bit more indulgent. Obviously peanut butter and chocolate chips sprang to mind as they would go perfectly with the banana. 

It took a couple of attempts before I was happy with the recipe. The first time there wasn’t enough peanut butter, the second time was nearly there but lacking something. That is when I decided to change from smooth to chunky peanut butter. That was the final tweak I was looking for! The crunch from the peanut butter is just what is needed to help reinforce the fact that peanuts are included and not just relying on their flavour. 

The first two attempts were tested by my always willing colleagues at work. They do get to enjoy the things I bake them, but they have to listen to waffle on about them asking for any improvements I can make!

I have used milk chocolate in this recipe, but dark chocolate would go really well too. You could also use smooth peanut butter if this is all you have and it will taste great. You will just not have the added little crunch. I added a few peanut butter chips to the top of my loaf which Mr Curly got me on a work trip to America. If you have them, you can add them; if not don’t. 

Although this is called Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Bread, I think of it as more of a cake. It is incredibly easy and quick to make which is another reason I love it so much. I have often whipped this up one evening while dinner is cooking in the oven and then put it after dinner is ready. I can then go and eat dinner and clear up while this cooks without needing any attention. 

It will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days, but I highly doubt it will last that long!

 

125g unsalted butter, softened
100g light brown sugar
50g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt 
250g bananas, mashed
100g milk chocolate chips or chunks
130g crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp milk 
A few chocolate chips to decorate (optional) 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan assisted or 180ºC non fan) and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together for at least 5 minutes until pale and fluffy

  1. Add the eggs and mix again
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir into the butter until the flour is nearly combined, but not quite

  1. Mash the bananas roughly with a fork and add them to the mix along with the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Mix until combined

  1. Tip into the lined tin and smooth. I then make a shallow indent down the middle to help even rising. Scatter over the additional chocolate chips if you’re using them

  1. Bake in the oven for 1 hour until a cocktail stick comes out clean. If it starts to get too brown, cover it loosely with tin foil 

  1. Allow to cool for around 30 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely on a wire rack

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Unicorn Rocky Road

Colourful, chocolaty and deliciously sweet. This Unicorn Rocky Road will hopefully make you smile both because of its taste and also because of it’s bright and fun look.

Unicorn Rocky Road is the perfect treat for fans of white chocolate or sweet things in general. I initially came up with the recipe thinking it would be great for children because of all of the bright colours and sprinkles, but it turns out adults love it too – Mr Curly being one of them!

Unicorn inspired food is very popular at the moment and when thinking of how I could come up with an original recipe inspired by this trend, rocky road was the first thing that jumped into my head. 

For years I have been making rocky road, especially around Christmas time to give as gifts. In the past few months I have been adapting my recipe to create even more delicious ways to enjoy it. Check out my Caramel Rocky Road for another yummy way to enjoy this tasty treat. 

I love rocky road because it is so versatile and easy to make. You can tailor make it to include all of your favourite things using a base recipe. Once you have chosen your ingredients and mixed them with the melted chocolate, it is then as easy as letting it chill in the fridge. This also makes it a great recipe to get the kids involved with as they would only really need supervision and help melting the chocolate.

When I first made this, I had some sparkly white chocolate M&Ms which Mr Curly had brought back from a work trip to America for me. I’m always jealous of the huge range of chocolate and candy available in America that we don’t get here in the UK. If you live in America and are lucky enough to have these, leave out the white chocolate buttons and add the white chocolate M&Ms instead. 

I feel the need to say that this recipe won’t be for everyone. If you aren’t a fan of white chocolate or very sweet things, then this recipe unfortunately won’t be for you. It can be quite sickly – well that is my opinion because I always find white chocolate very sweet; so I do recommend cutting the rocky road into relatively small squares. 

Unicorn Rocky Road would be a great gift for someone; I put it in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon. Homemade gifts always go down well in my opinion because they can be more thoughtful than other gifts.

This rocky road can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week. But I’m not going to lie to you, it won’t stay in your fridge anywhere near that long because it will mysteriously disappear before your eyes. 

300g white chocolate
100g golden syrup
100g unsalted butter
125g white chocolate fingers
80g mini marshmallows
85g jelly beans
100g white chocolate buttons

60g sprinkles

To decorate
1 tbsp popping candy
1 tbsp mini jazzies 
1 tbsp sprinkles

  1. Line a 20x20cm square tin with baking parchment 
  2. Break the white chocolate into chunks and put them in a heatproof bowl along with the butter and golden syrup
  3. Melt the ingredients either in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. If you use the microwave, use short bursts of power and stir in between each burst. If you are using a pan, make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, set it aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  5. In a large bowl, break up the white chocolate fingers and add the mini marshmallows, jelly beans and sprinkles 
  6. Add the melted white chocolate mix to the other ingredients and stir through
  7. Tip the mix into the tin and spread out as evenly as you can

  1. Sprinkle the top with the popping candy, mini jazzies and sprinkes

  1. Leave to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Once completely cooled, cut into small squares 

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Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Deliciously moist cake with the subtle flavour of pumpkin and spices covered in soft cream cheese frosting – this Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting will become a new favourite. 

Pumpkin based food seems to have gone crazy this year or is it just me? I’ve always associated pumpkin with November and the run up to Thanksgiving, but the pumpkin craze started earlier this year. It has been really great to see so many people using the flesh from their pumpkins that they have carved for Halloween in dishes instead of just throwing them away as it makes some very tasty things – especially cake!

Pumpkin has always been popular in America for Thanksgiving which is how I first came across it in baking. An American friend I used to work with brought in her Pumpkin Cake Bars that she always makes for Thanksgiving. I needed quite a bit of persuading to try them because pumpkin in cake seemed a little strange to me back then. They were delicious and she kindly shared the recipe with me which I have made every year since. 

As I have mentioned before, the Pumpkin Cake Bars are Mr Curly’s all time favourite. Instead of just making them again this year, I decided to spice things up a bit – literally! I’ve added lovely spices which really compliment the pumpkin but don’t overpower it’s subtle flavour. 

For the first time I attempted making my own pumpkin puree using a recipe from Jo’s Kitchen Larder.I hadn’t previously realised that it was something that could quite easily be made yourself. Although I was impressed with the simplicity of making the puree, I’m not convinced I would rush to do it again. This is partly due to it being slightly time consuming and partly due to laziness. The advantages of making the puree yourself are that it is a great way of using up pumpkin at Halloween instead of there being waste. It is also far cheaper to make it yourself. The pumpkin I bought was 45p for a medium sized pumpkin around 2kg and it made approximately 600g worth of puree. This compared to a 425g tin of puree which can start at £2 is a huge difference in price which can’t be ignored.  

I cannot deny making the pumpkin puree yourself is cheaper and can help combat waste, but quicker it was not. I don’t buy pumpkins to carve at Halloween so waste isn’t an issue for me, but this is when it comes down to my laziness. Can you get much easier than opening a can? The tinned puree in my experience is a more vibrant orange colour which gives the final cake a lovely colour and it has a thicker texture. The texture especially worried me when I made it myself because I didn’t want it to be too wet, but didn’t want to remove all of the moisture. 

Please do try making the puree yourself and make your own decision. Jo has great instructions and it really is quite simple to do.  

If you haven’t tried pumpkin cake before, do not be put off by the idea of it like I initially was.  Vegetables in cake are delicious! The chances are you like carrot cake so there is nothing about this you wouldn’t like. It has the same moistness of a carrot cake with a warming flavour from the tasty spices. 

The first time I make a new cake, I’m always a little nervous to see how it turns out – not every recipe trial is a success you know! I selected my lucky taste testers and awaited their opinions. I’m pleased to say they all loved it – success! You can really tell the difference if people like something or if they really like it. I am pleased to say that this was the latter. Mr Curly had one comment for improvement – more frosting; but he would eat it straight from the bowl if he got the chance!

If you don’t want to bake the mix in three tins, you can use two and monitor the baking time. I would check after 25 minutes but I would suspect it would take at least 30. 

The spices create such a warming and comforting flavour to the cake which is perfect for Autumn, but something you could enjoy at anytime of the year. This is definitely a cake you should try!

For the cake 
385g caster sugar
300g plain flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground all spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
240ml sunflower oil
425g pumpkin puree
4 eggs 

For the frosting
75g unsalted butter
450g icing sugar

200g full fat cream cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line three 8 inch sandwich tins 
  2. Add all of the ingredients to your bowl or mixer and beat until completely combined

  1. Divide the mixture equally between the three tins. I did this by roughly weighing the amount of mix I added to each tin but you can do it by eye

  1. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a cocktail stick poked into the cake comes out clean

  1. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 20 minutes or so before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely 
  2. Once the cakes are completely cooled, make the frosting
  3. Beat the butter until smooth and softened
  4. Add the cream cheese and icing sugar and beat until it is completely smooth and there are no lumps 
  5. Take the first layer of cake and turn it over onto the plate or stand you are using. Add a generous layer of the frosting and spread out evenly. Repeat with the second layer

  1. With the final layer, place it on top of the other layers but the right way round. Cover the cake completely with the rest of the frosting – you’re going for a semi naked look so don’t worry if you can see the cake through the frosting 

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