Mini Mud-Cakes

My mom the other day sent three huge boxes of baking equipment from Lakelands (wonders I might add!). Although she says it’s not, I consider this as my early graduation present 😀 I have so many new things to use and new recipes to try with these (also savoury), just have the itch to use everything in one go, because now I can!

I wanted to make something different that I’ve never done. I’ll admit these were supposed to be salted caramel, but it didn’t really work out 😦 BUT they were oh so good all the same! Perfect for the stormy weather, post exam treat and for dinner with friends.

INGREDIENTS: makes 13-14

(I will list the items in order of preparation, i.e. Chocolate Curls will be made before everything else)

Chocolate curls:

100 gr dark chocolate

Chocolate Ganache:

50 gr white sugar

2tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp water

75gr double cream

50+100gr butter (soft)

150 gr dark chocolate

pinch of salt

Chocolate Sponge:

150gr butter (soft)

100gr brown sugar

75gr white sugar

2 eggs

80gr flour

30gr cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

100ml buttermilk

For the Curls: Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in bowl over simmering water. Once it is all melted, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Pour the chocolate on a tipped over baking tray, and spread the chocolate evenly with a metal spatula. Let it cool and set. This might take hours depending on the temperature outside. It is pretty humid here in Brisbane, so the chocolate, although it was set, it was too soft to curl. I had to place it in the fridge for 20 minutes before curling (give a try with the knife before doing this in case your chocolate is fine as is). That will be the last step.

For the Ganache:

Place both sugars and water in saucepan over medium heat. When the caramel starts simmering, bubbling and reducing, take off the heat and add 50gr butter and the cream. Mix and put on the heat again until it starts to boil. At this point remove from heat, transfer in a clean bowl, let it cool, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

While these elements are resting and cooling, make the sponge. I used the mini cake pop up base tray for make these 🙂

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Oven on 180°. In a bowl mix butter and both sugar until pale. Add one egg at the time and then add all the sifted dry ingredients. Lastly add the buttermilk. Spray-grease the cake tin and spoon the batter in the holes. Try to level the batter with a teaspoon.

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Bake for 15minutes. Let them cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then pop them out and let them cool completely.

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Assuming that the two hours have passed, you can finish the ganache. Melt 150gr of dark chocolate (microwave or bagnomaria). Add the chocolate and the remaining butter with the previously made cream and mix until evenly combined. Put in the fridge for another half hour.

With a serrated knife, cut the cakes separating the bottom from the top half, like a sandwich. (in the original recipe they are triple layer, but I wasn’t able to do that, I’ll try next time).

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Pour the ganache in a piping bag (it’s easier to place the bag in a tall glass and fill it like that). But the bottom and with a circular movement starting from the middle, fill the cake bottom. The piping bag should make this process neater and avoid using too much ganache, as when you place the top half it will press the ganache and spread it evenly inside the cake.

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Now pipe some ganache on the top half and set aside.

Now for the curls! Get a knife. Hold the blade against the chocolate in a 70° angle and pull it towards you. This should make some curls in the chocolate layer 🙂 It is a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite fun!

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Now place the curls on top of the cakes. As I mentioned before it is very hot here and just touching the curls, melted them. So I just used a knife to transfer the curls. You can move them around with tooth picks if you want to be more decorative.

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And that is that! Put in the fridge until you need to serve, they will set neatly.

Enjoy. Ciao for now! xox

Oreo and Berry Cheesecake Cupcakes

I bake for many reasons and on many occasions: birthdays and dinners are a given, when I’m happy, when I’m stressed, when I’m sad and need to get my head clear and not think of anything. I realise that food doesn’t solve problems, but it does make you feel much better, even if only temporarily 😛

I checked what I had in my cupboard and made these little delights!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 6)

1 pack of Oreo cookies (7 cookies)
20gr melted butter
250gr cream cheese
3 tbsp sugar
1egg
orange zest
Orange juice from half orange

2 tbsp Mixed Berry jam+1 tbsp water

6 Strawberries

Turn oven on 180°. Blitz the Oreo cookies until they are crumbed and then combine the melted butter (either with your hands or with a fork).

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Line a cupcake tray and fill the holder with the cookie base. Press firmly so the cookies stick to the liner and bake for 5 minutes.

When they are cooling, whisk cream cheese, sugar, zest and juice together and finally add the egg. Pour the batter in the holders and then bake for 25minutes.

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When mine came out they weren’t solid like normal cupcakes, but I assume this is because of the absence of flour keeping it together so they were slightly wobbly.

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Let them cool completely before putting them in the fridge. Put the jam and the water in a bowl and microwave for 20seconds, this is to substitute making a berry sauce. Mix it well cover the cheesecakes. Finally place a strawberry on top.

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If you try use the silicone liners, as they are perfect for this type of thing. I left them in Italy 😦 but I’ll have to invest in some quite soon again! 🙂

Peel the cheesecakes and this is what you should get 🙂

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I couldn’t resist and took a bite…..Yummmmmmmmmmm

Enjoy! Ciao for now!! xox