There’s a first time for everything aka cupcakes from a mix

Hi there,

I hope the spring has arrived to there where you are.

Here in Paris spring is acting like a true lady and changing her mind every other day about whether to make an entrance or not. Well, we had a few very nice days here so I shouldn’t complain but still… Spring please come to stay!

For a while a go I did something I’ve never done before: I made cupcakes from a mix.

I needed to bring something to an apéro a friend was hosting. Because I knew there’d be many people I don’t know I decided to bake. That’s always a good idea, right? But, I then realized that I maybe shouldn’t buy everything I need for baking to this tiny apartment of mine. And so, I went for a cupcake-mix.

You can probably guess I was a tad skeptical about how cupcakes made from a mix would taste. But, at least with the chocolate I used (milk-chocolate and toffee) the cupcakes turned out very good.

So sometimes it’s good to not take baking so seriously and remember that cupcakes are a great way to make new friends at a party. Never mind you didn’t make them from scratch. Sometimes you’ll just need some good chocolate and pretty cupcake cases.

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Bought these pretty cases from BonTon, one of my favorite stores here in Paris.

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The cupcake mix was from Hema.

The chocolate I used was Milka's toffee bubble.

The chocolate I used was Milka’s toffee bubble.

My tiny combination owen baked seven cupcakes a time.

My tiny combination owen baked seven cupcakes a time.

And I was a bit surprised that the owen actually baked the cupcakes.

And I was a bit surprised that the owen actually baked the cupcakes.

P.S Using A LOT of that good chocolate to the cupcakes doesn’t hurt, it never does.

Bite Size Chocolate Cupcakes

Hi you,

I hope the sun is shining there too. After too many grey days I gotta say that sunshine is amazing. I feel like having much more energy.

Maybe that’s why I also found a recipe for these cupcakes that I did over the holidays. I thought I had lost the recipe that I wrote down whilst baking. I had the photos but as I did not remember the recipe at all I just though I wouldn’t publish at all.

That would have been a shame because this dough was pretty good for bite size cupcakes. I for one like bite size things. Small things just look so pretty and at parties are so easy to eat. No one will know that you just ate 15 a few too many cupcakes at once because they are bite size.

I tried these with three different frostings: cream cheese frosting, cream cheese frosting coated with cocoa powder and chocolate ganache with cocoa flakes on top.

My favorite was the cream cheese frosting covered with cocoa powder (I used the kind you would do cocoa milk from).

I’m not the hugest fan of cocoa flakes so that’s maybe why I did not go for those that much though the more cocoa flake tolerating people eating them said that they were really good.

Next time I’ll make these I think I’ll try a frosting that would  have both chocolate and coffee in it.

Chocolate Cupcakes

2 eggs

2,5 dl sugar

100 g butter

100 g chocolate

0,5 dl espresso

3 dl flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

0,5 teaspoon salt

1 dl plain yoghurt

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First, make espresso. Then whip the eggs and sugar until foamy.

Then melt the butter and chocolate and add espresso. Let the mixture cool for a bit and then add that to the foam (don’t mix too much).

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Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the batter too. Last you’ll add the yoghurt.

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Bake in 175 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit for 8-10 if you make the small ones and 13-15 minutes if you make regular ones.

The recipe for the cream cheese frosting you’ll find in example here.

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And like I said coating the cream cheese frosting with cocoa powder is a very good idea.

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The recipe for the ganache you’ll find in example here and after you dipped the top of the cupcake into the ganache you’ll just sprinkle lots of cocoa flakes on top.

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Enjoy!

Peanut butter pie

Hi you,

are you well? I hope so.

Me, I’m OK. I’m searching for a flat from Paris to live in and that is one hard job. Seriously. It’s a lot harder than I though and I did assume it to be hard. Bummer.

If I had some chocolate know what I’d do with it. Yea, the obvious guess is I’d eat it but nope, not this time.

If I had chocolate I would make peanut butter pie. Just writing that makes me drool. If you like love Reese’s peanut butter cups then this pie is for you.

I made it for New Years eve and cut it to little pieces. People said that it tasted like Snickers. Dont’ know. Maybe it did. I just though it was one of the best things I had ever baked and I almost wasn’t baking at all. (That makes me think that maybe it was candy after all, hmm. Nope. A pie sounds more healthy so let’s stick with that.)

The photos I took don’t really make justice for the pie. I had planned to take photos of the tiny pieces of the pie but I accidentally ate those pieces I had put aside the next morning. Oops.

I do suggest you make this pie to people who you need to be friends with (just make sure they’re not allergic to peanuts). The sweetness of this pie will make them love you.

Peanut Butter Pie (Adapted from here and here.)

Crust

About 300 g toffee flavored Domino cookies (similar to Oreos so you could use in example Peanut butter Oreos)

About 120 g butter

Filling

0,75 cups creamy peanut butter

6 tablespoons butter

0,7 cups powdered sugar

0,5 cups fine graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons cream

Ganache

250 g chocolate (I used milk)

1 dl cream

Maldon sea salt

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First you make the pie crust. Break the Domino/ Oreo cookies into fine crumbs and mix with soft butter. Then press the dough into the pie pan. Put it to the fridge to wait.

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The you make the peanut butter filling by mixing everything together. I you feel you need to add more than three tablespoons of cream or add more graham cracker crumbs then do it. It really ain’t that serious with this lovely pie.

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Pour the smooth filling on top of the crust and again put it to fridge to wait.

Then you do the ganache. Put the cream and chocolate pieces into a kettle and very carefully let the chocolate melt while you constantly mix it with the cream. Remember, don’t let it get too hot just enough to make the chocolate melt.

Let the ganache cool for a little while before pouring it on top of the peanut butter filling.

Then sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top and put it to the fridge again to set. Wait for about 20 minutes and the pie is ready for eating.

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Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

Hi there,

did you eat a lot of chocolate over the holidays? Do you still have some left? It really doesn’t matter that much if you don’t… but I did.

And I wanted to use them for baking. Because somehow that seemed a better idea than just eating a big box of chocolate alone (I blame Christmas for it but luckily that feeling has since passed).

As there was that much chocolate involved these came out resembling big, soft cookies. In my book that was not a kitchen failure, definitely not. Though I like crisp cookies I also have room in my stomach heart for big, soft cookie kind of cupcakes.

These do not have the look of a fancy tea-party cupcake. These are more like sidekick for a big cup of coffee (ok tea too, but in a big mug).

Obviously, frosting might change this cupcake into something bit more fancy but I don’t think these really need frosting. There’s enough chocolate in them to make your sweet tooth very happy.

So put on your pyjamas, pick a tv-series to watch, make these and then eat with coffee.

Have a happy Saturday!

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes

3 dl flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

2 eggs

2 dl sugar

60 g butter

1 dl milk

450 g chocolate

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Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Then in another bowl beat together eggs, sugar and butter until thickened.

Then pour in the dry ingredients and mix by just scooping the dough. Finally add milk and again mix it in without actually mixing the dough too much.

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Bake in 175 Celsius/350 Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Chocolate and berry mousse cake

Hello you,

are you already eagerly waiting for the New Year to begin?

I know what you are thinking… It really can’t be that we are almost in the year 2013. Remember the Millenium? I know… It feels like that was just a few years ago and at the same time it feels like it was almost another lifetime. (Well for me it kind of was as I was in high school then.)

If you are gonna celebrate the New Year in any way I recommend that you make mousse cake.

It might seem like I’ve gone crazy for mousse cakes and, it’s kind of true. I just think that as they require no or next to no baking in the oven at all they are the kind of dessert that you can just whip up and it turns out amazing while you do other stuff.

I know that you don’t have to sit and watch the cake while it’s in the oven either but while the cake is in the oven things can still go wrong. But with mousse cakes, well, almost nothing can.

So now that I hopefully convinced you, let’s bake!

Chocolate and Berry Mousse Cake

200 g cinnamon cookies

75 g butter

200 g berry flavored cream cheese (I used cranberry)

2 dl cream

200 g fromage frais

4 gelatin leaves

4 tablespoon water

5 tablespoon sugar

150 g berry flavored chocolate (I used both milk and dark chocolate that had dried raspberry and cranberry in them)

0,5 dl concentrate berry juice (I used cranberry)

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First you crush the cinnamon cookies. Then you mix the soft butter into the cookie crumbs and you make the crust.

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You don’t have to bake it but to make things easier for you I recommend that you line you cake tin with parchment paper and that you let the crust cool in the fridge while you make the mousses.

While the crust is in the fridge you make the mousse that you later divide into two mousses.

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First you put the gelatin leaves into cold water to soak. Then melt the chocolate and let it cool.

Then you whip the cream. To that whipped cream you add cream cheese and fromage frais. Whip them together until smooth. Add sugar.

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Boil the soaked gelatin sheets in a kettle with about four tablespoons of water. Let the gelatin sheets melt, then let the liquid cool a bit before adding it to the mousse.

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Now you divide the mousse by putting about half of it into another dish. To one dish you add the melted chocolate. And to the other the concentrated juice.

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First you put one mousse on top of the crust you made. Then you put it to the freezer and you wait for about five minutes. Then you add the other mousse.

After that you’ll just put the mousse cake to the fridge and again wait for at least four hours.

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I know it’s still hard.

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I decorated the cake with gingerbread cookies but you could also use the same kind of cinnamon cookie crumbs that you made the crust from.

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Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Brownies

Hi there,

can you already hear the jingle bells? If not, well I might be able to help.

These brownies are a perfect ten. Like many brownies they need a day or two to get moist but if you happen to be the impatient kind you can have some straight from the oven when they are still warm. With that solution I’d recommend having some ice cream too.

But. If you manage to wait the result is brownie perfection. Luckily the dough is quite massive (it fills a whole oven tray) so you can have a bite right away and you’ll still have many bites left.

My guilty pleasure is eating these straight from the freezer.

I got this recipe from a friend a few years back but I’m quite certain she got the recipe from a cookbook written by Nigella Lawson.

And oh, about the jingle bells. If you bake (and obviously eat) these I promise you’ll hear them.

Mint Chocolate Brownies

200 g milk mint chocolate

175 g dark mint chocolate

375 g butter

6 eggs

500 g sugar

225 g flour

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We begin with this. That’s my favorite kind of dish.

First you melt the chocolates and butter. There’s a lot of butter and chocolate so choose a big pan. After melting set aside to cool.

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You will also need a lot of sugar. Did I already mention this recipe makes one big batter?

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Then beat the eggs and sugar for a few minutes until thickened.

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Slowly add the cooled chocolate and mix it carefully to the batter. Then add the flour and again don’t mix the dough too much.

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Do taste the batter. There’s enough of it so go ahead.b7

Pour to oven tray (I used two small ones instead of one big) you’ve lined with parchment paper (you might want to oil the parchment paper just in case as these become sticky). Bake in 175 Celsius/ 345 Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes.

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Decorate with melted white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy.

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Enjoy!

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A Gingerbread and Chocolate Mousse Cake

Gosh,

it turns out time does fly!

I did this amazingly good mousse cake almost a week ago. On monday I did another one but neither of those creations have yet been shared. Maybe I have been eating those cakes a bit too eagerly and haven’t had time to open my computer or maybe I have been writing that master’s thesis I’ve been mentioning, who knows…

But let’s get to business: So I know you probably have lots of different things to do before Christmas but guys, this is a mousse cake made with gingerbread and chocolate! Actually gingerbread-milk chocolate.

Oh, you guessed it. The chocolate is crazy good. So good in fact that though I maybe had intended to decorate the cake with grated chocolate there was none left… I had accidentally eaten the piece I had saved for grating. That does always can sometimes happen.

But gingerbread dough stays untouched in my freezer and hence there is already another mousse cake recipe in the future. But first let’s get it on with the first one. Here we go!

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A Gingerbread and Chocolate Mousse Cake

2 dl cream

200 g cream cheese

200 g quark (aka fromage frais but you can also use for example natural yoghurt)

250 g gingerbread-chocolate (or 250 chocolate and 100g crushed gingerbreads)

4 gelatin sheets

4 tablespoons water

250 g gingerbread dough

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First you’ll have to bake the bottom of the mousse cake. Just roll gingerbread dough into a circle, then place that circle into a baking tin. You’ll probably need to use your fingers to make the dough fill the whole bottom of your baking tin.

Bake in 200 Celsius/ 390 Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. Then leave it to cool.

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Then you’ll make the mousse.

First put the gelatin sheet into cold water and let them soak. Then melt the chocolate and let it cool.

Then whip the cream. Then add the cream cheese and quark and whip it into a smooth mousse. Then add the chocolate (and crushed gingerbread crumbs).

Boil the soaked gelatin sheets in a kettle with about four tablespoons of water. Let the gelatin sheets melt, then let the liquid cool a bit before adding it to the chocolate mousse.

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After that, pour the mousse into your baking tin on top of that gingerbread you baked earlier.

Finally comes the hardest part: you’ll have to wait for at least 5 hours for the cake to be ready.

I’m so sorry. I hope you tasted a few spoonfuls of that mousse earlier.

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And after those long 5 hours: there you have it. A very smooth, christmassy, delicious mousse cake.

If you have any chocolate left Do decorate with grated chocolate and/ or maybe with a gingerbread cookie.

Enjoy!

Chocolate and marshmallow muffins

Hi there,

did you know that it’s quite a risky business cutting dried out marshmallows? It turns out that dried up marshmallows are not my new favorite baking supply. I obviously didn’t expect them to be but I thought using them wouldn’t be that much of a hassle but I really did hate part where I cut them to tiny pieces so I reckon I’ll use the rest with hot chocolate.

Though the cutting part sucked I did enjoy the result of my hard cutting work. Well, the result was muffins so no surprise there.

It’s a very basic kind of chocolate muffin recipe and I just added the marshmallows. By basic I mean that there’s no hard work in making these and they are at them best with ice cream and a movie. So actually they are pretty great but in a very basic way.

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Chocolate and Marshmallow Muffins

3,5 dl flour

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar

0,5 teaspoon salt

1,5 dl sugar

2 eggs

100 g butter

1,5 dl milk

0,5 dl strong coffee

100g dark chocolate

1,5-2,5 dl marshmallows (cut to pieces)

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Mix the dry ingredients together. In a bowl whisk butter and sugar, then add eggs one by one. Add milk, coffee and the already mixed dry ingredients but don’t whisk the batter too much at this point.

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Melt the chocolate and add to the batter. Finally add the marshmallows that you have cut to tiny pieces.

Bake in 200 Celsius/ 390 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

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And as I said these are best when served warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

Chocolate cake with chocolate

So, it is time for this blog to finally be about cake. And because I’m a chocolate cake kind of a girl this cake is all about chocolate. (And some nuts, can you see a pattern here?)

I wanted to make a cake, that would be moist and truly chocolaty. I also wanted it to be sort of a weekend version of a coffee cake.

It came out good, indeed. But I am even more excited to try it today, because no matter how moist a cake you make… In my opinion most cakes just get better overnight, what do you think?

This cake is very easy to make. If you’d like to fancy it up when serving, you could whip some cream and add a few raspberries on the side. Me, I only need a cup of coffee or better yet an espresso and I’m happy.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate

150 g butter

2,5 dl sugar

2 eggs

4 dl flour (I used all purpose)

2 teaspoons of  baking powder

1,5 dl milk

50 g dark chocolate

50 g milk chocolate

(And some nuts for decorating the cake if you wish)

First melt the chocolate and after melting leave it to cool.

You begin the batter by mixing soft butter and sugar together. Mix until light and clearly blended together.  Then you add eggs one by one, mixing the batter after adding each egg.

In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Then add to the batter. At this point you don’t have to mix the batter with that much volume anymore, only until just combined. Then add milk and again don’t mix too much.

Finally, add the melted chocolate that should now be cooled enough (you can obviously make sure by tasting a spoonful, I sure did).

Then pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake for about 40 minutes in 175 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit. You can test the cake being ready with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Let the cake cool a while before taking the cake out the pan.

Then you can do the ganache. (My absolutely favorite part).

Chocolate ganache

250 g chocolate (I prefer milk chocolate so I used that)

1,5 dl cream (save a few spoonfuls)

2 tablespoons of butter

You put all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and in very low heat let the chocolate melt so you can mix the ingredients together into ganache. Be very careful not to burn the chocolate and mix the ganache with a spoon all the time so it won’t stick. Let the ganache cool a while.

Now you can either use a knife to cut the cake in half from the middle so you can pour some ganache in in between the cake halves too. Or you can just pour all the ganache on top the cake without cutting it in half.

I wanted to make a two layer cake because, like I said before, I wanted the cake to be really moist. To make sure the cake would be really moist, I saved three spoonfuls of cream and I moistened the lower half of the cake with it. I then added the ganache and then placed the second half of the cake on top. The I poured the rest of the ganache on the cake and then decorated with salted nuts (peanuts, walnuts and cashews) because I really do seem to like the combination of sweet and salty.

And there you have it. I really do hope you like it.