Textured frosting – a little secret

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Frosting is quite an important element in baking. It’s not a coincidence that there’s a saying ‘The frosting on the cake’ for something which makes good things even better. But a lot can go wrong with frosting – and you don’t want a nice bake spoiled by a cream cheese frosting which is too runny or buttercream which is too stiff of not mixed quite enough, therefore has a very grainy/sandy texture.

There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube how to get best results for smooth frosting so I won’t focus on that. But here a little tip if you want to achieve textured frosting (NB: not for piping – chances are it’ll clog your nozzle and this may or may not result into a piping bag explosion and frosting all over): Crushed biscuits. Not only does it look cool if you’re e.g. recreating soil on a garden themed cake or want to create sandy feeling (beaches always have some rocks etc. on them) but it gives the frosting a nice unexpected crunch. The original Oreo biscuits are great for chocolate frosting, while Golden Oreos or rich tea biscuits work well for paler colours (e.g vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting).

A while ago I was tasked with a Minecraft cake (lucky for me the actual figures we used were toys – phew) and I simply crushed Oreos, popped them in the chocolate frosting et voila! A few people later asked how I gave the frosting the wow-look and taste – and it’s that simple.


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Seriously lush Cookies & Cream brownie cupcakes [+RECIPE]

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I really don’t like letting any food items go to waste. It just seems too unfair considering there are so many people in the world less fortunate than me who would appreciate any leftovers. So when I have more eggs than I can eat, half a packet of double stuffed Oreos (which wouldn’t go to waste but would most likely get eaten in one go resulting in days of self-loathing for it), some butter and half a tub of double cream, I bake. Like any self respecting baker, I am rarely out of flour, sugar and dark chocolate, which of course helps.

As if by request, Smitten Kitchen had just posted a recipe for lush brownies with only 5 ingredients which I automatically decided to pimp with the cream and Oreos. I crushed the Oreos and put them on the bottom of the paper cases, and the cream I whipped and piped on top. I have so far made them twice and even the pickiest brownie eaters were impressed with the part brownie, part muffin creation.

These babies disappeared shortly after

These babies disappeared shortly after this picture was taken

Seriously lush (leftover) Cookies & Cream brownie cupcakes
(makes 12)

200g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids)
200g sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt (fine sea salt preferrably)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (20 grams) plain flour
1 packet of Oreos (around 130g)
250ml double cream
1tbsp icing sugar

before 1

The mix is just chilling out

Preheat the oven to 165 degrees celsius. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper cases.
Melt the butter and the chocolate. I prefer doing it over bain marie (over simmering water in a heat proof bowl) but you can do it in the microwave. Just be careful not to burn it in the microwave – put it in for 15 to 30 seconds, stir well and repeat till all melted. Add the sugar which will cool it down. Then whisk in the salt and the eggs, one a time mixing well between them. Stir flour in and then cover with clingfilm and let is rest for about half an hour, this will thicken the mix. While it’s sitting in the bowl, crush Oreos (I bash them in a ziplock bag with a wooden rolling pin) – but not too finely, make sure you have small chunks and not just breadcrumbs. Split the crushed Oreos in the muffin cases (it’s about a tablespoon in each). Whisk double cream with icing sugar till soft peaks form (you can do it by hand but I recommend using an electric mixer so that your arms are not sore after).

When the mixture has sat for 30 minutes or so, scoop it into the muffin cases. Bake for around 25 to 30 minutes, but make sure you don’t overbake as you want them to be a little gooey still. Look for no batter on a toothpick but wet crumbs! Let them cool completely, then pipe cream on top and enjoy!

Before they went into the oven

Before they went into the oven

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