Sunday, 20 November 2016

Party Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Peanut butter, great. Chocolate, great. But together? Mixed and spread on top of a delicious vanilla cupcake. What could be better?

These cupcakes are full of crunch, flavour and yep you guessed it... are as sickly as you would want them to be!

The finished result looks great fun and would be the perfect treat for a children's birthday party (or an adult one too!). They are super easy to make and the ultimate cake for the messy baker (you don't have to worry about your icing skills here, the fun topping hides it all anyway!).

So where to get started?

The good news is that while these cupcakes make look super impressive, they are actually really basic. The cupcake itself is just your plain, old cupcake recipe. We got ours from here. But as we are talking peanut butter cupcakes here, feel free to opt for a peanut butter cupcake recipe like this one

What's different about these little delights, is the all important icing. Usually, peanut butter cupcakes combine peanut butter with icing sugar to get the peanut flavour. We say that's nowhere near as indulgent as we would like it to be! Mix it with chocolate instead. 

Chocolate icing is super easy to make, give it a go with this simple recipe. Or, you can be lazy like us (we just had leftovers okay!) and use the good old Betty Crocker chocolate fudge icing

For this recipe you will need half a tub. Or, for those of you making your icing at home 395g. 

Next up, the peanut butter. 

5-6 teaspoons of natural peanut butter needs to be mixed in with the chocolate icing. It is worth bearing in mind that the peanut butter really should be natural (made entirely of peanuts and nothing else), due to the excess oils making it mix better with the fudgey chocolate (yep that does taste as good as it sounds!). Keep tasting (the hardest part of the recipe right there!) until you think you have the perfect/peanut butter balance... 

Next add the icing into a piping bag. 

You want to use the biggest nozzle you have if you are using crunchy peanut butter with large chunks of nuts (we jammed a few of the smaller ones before realising this!). 

Like we said, don't worry too much about perfect icing. You're going to cover it with a lot of good stuff anyway! 

Finally, add your toppings. 

For this recipe, we used 2 packets of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups chopped up into messy pieces, but Reese's  Miniatures or Pieces would work great too! For a second topping we opted for M&M's peanut butter flavour. If you haven't had these already then you need to! If not, the original peanut m&m's would work well too!  

So there you have it... a truly sickly but great party treat. It's easy, fun to make and taste so much better than your average cupcake! 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Sugar Free Banana Muffins: Tried and Tested!

There is nothing quite like the comfort of a nice, moist banana bread. It's the perfect combination of sweet and savory, making us feel as though it's the ultimate healthy snack; in reality, we know it's not! Until now.

'Sugar free' is a huge craze that is nothing new to the world of baking (thank you Pinterest!). But with our traditional baking recipes being so dear to us (who else has a go-to banana bread recipe they just can't let go of? Guilty!) it just feels too precious to trade. There's always the thought in the back of our head that a sugar free recipe might be healthier, but will it be as good?

Now, we know what you are thinking. It's impossible. But with banana's containing sugar (yes, the really healthy ones amongst you will say that this means it can't be 'sugar free'), it's actually super easy to make healthy changes that don't sacrifice taste. Are you tempted yet?

Taking basics from this BBC recipe, we have made some little changes to create a banana muffins that everyone will house the ingredients to make!

All you need is: 

  • 125g of self-raising flour (wholemeal or normal work well, just how healthy do you really want to be?) 
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder - you may consider slightly more than this 
  • 2tsp of vanilla essence 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1tsp of milk - may need slightly more if you opt for less banana 
  • 2/3 ripe bananas mashed - 2, create a firmer muffin, 3 is more of a gooey texture 
  • Optional: sugar free syrup 
  • Optional: 2tsp of cinnamon - if you really cannot stand the taste of cinnamon you can omit
  • Optional: 70g of nuts/sultanas 
  • Optional: sugar free chocolate 
Preheat the oven to 180c /160c fan gas mark 4


The best bit about this recipe (even better than the sugar free)? It's the ultimate 'chuck it all in the bowl' method, making it the perfect child-proof recipe! 

Add the flour, butter, baking powder and essence into the bowl and mix. 

Add in the egg, and mix. 

Add in the banana and your chosen added ingredient, we opted for chocolate and nuts! 

This recipe is really versatile. It's up to you whether you place the mix in a loaf tin (450g, 1lb is required), or make mini banana muffins! We opted for the muffins to make perfect, transportable snacks! It makes 12 really mini ones or 9 slightly bigger.

Check the muffins after 20 minutes and then after 30. Cook until 40 minutes if you are making bread or larger muffins. When the tops of the muffins start to go golden, they are good to eat! 

Super easy, quick and a great snack that is healthier than your beloved recipe and maybe even easier! Great to make a snack for those mid-morning hunger pangs or an alternative to that 3pm chocolate binge! 

Give them a go and let us know what you think! x