Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter...

... and happy 4 days off work. Four days isn't much of a break, you couldn't really call it a holiday, but it's enough time to spend with your family - the one you're born into and the one you choose. I'm very lucky that both my "families" are great, so was wonderful to spend quality time with them this seasonal break. On Friday my bestie was in town for a day (they live in Tassie now), so myself and the other bestie got to catch up with her, have lunch and drink a bit too much alcohol. As I was always taught by my "original" family, when invited to someone's house, bring something to share. So that's what I did, and of course, with Easter flare.

Choc-mint cupcakes
120g plain flour

40g cocoa powder
160g caster sugar

1.5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

40g butter, at room temperature
120 ml milk

1 egg
1 tbs mint essence extract

1 x chocolate easter egg per cupcake

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter. Mix using an electric beater until you get a sandy consistency. On a low speed, beat in half the milk until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk with the egg and vanilla. Add to batter mix on a medium speed until smooth. Don't over beat, but make sure it is smooth and not lumpy.

Pour the mixture into individual cupcake holders about 2/3's the way. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, remove from the oven and carefully put a mini easter egg on top of each cupcake. It should slowly sink into the cupcake. Pop into the oven and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes, or until a skewer can be inserted and come out clean.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 egg whites
130g sugar
142g butter, cubed and at room temp
4 x drops green food colouring

In the base of a double boiler, bring water to a simmer. In the top bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot to the touch, about five minutes depending on the original temperature of the eggs. When the mixture has warmed sufficiently, pour it into the bowl and whip on high speed until the bottom of the bowl is room temperature, ten to fifteen minutes. When the bowl is no longer warm, turn the mixer to medium-low and begin adding the butter piece by piece. Let each chunk incorporate completely before adding the next and don't rush the process!
Drop in the food colouring and beat until combined. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and top each cupcake.

Chocolate bunnies
1 x bag mini mint slices
210g dark chocolate
50g white chocolate.

Melt the dark chocolate and spoon into a piping bag. On a sheet of baking paper, add a small dot of chocolate and place the mint slice on it. Draw some bunny ears at the top of the mint slice, making sure the chocolate and mint slice are connected. Repeat until you have enough chocolate bunnies for all cupcakes. Melt the white chocolate and spoon into a new piping bag. Add a small dot of white chocolate on the bottom of the mint slice to resemble a tail. Allow to set before topping the cupcakes.

My bunnies and my son's choc drawings


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