White Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

I like making cupcakes. I like the different flavour combinations, I like the decorating but most of all I like the buttercream. Billowingly soft and sweet deliciousness. Yum yum yum. These cupcakes are a basic vanilla cupcake with the addition of white chocolate chips in them for an extra level of flavour and texture.

For 12-18 cupcakes you need:
6oz vitalite
6oz vanilla sugar
6oz self raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g white chocolate chips

200g icing sugar
100g softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk

To Decorate
White chocolate buttons
Silver edible spray
White edible glitter

Begin by making the cakes. Cream the vitalite and vanilla sugar together in a free standing mixer for 5-10 mins till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, with a spoonful of the flour with each to stop if from curdling. Add the rest of the flour along with the milk and vanilla. Mix well. Finally lightly combine the white chocolate chips in to the mixture.

Spoon in to lined muffin/cupcake trays and bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 mins till lightly browned and risen and cooked through. Leave to cool.

Make the buttercream by combining everything together and beating well for at least 10 mins. Pipe on to the cooled cakes and decorate as you wish. Lovely with coffee in the morning or a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Dhal Soup with Root Vegetables (v)

It’s cold outside. But this will keep you warm. Made from store cupboard ingredients, it can be ready in 30 mins and warmed me and the boy perfectly this evening.

For 4 portions you need:
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1/2 swede, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1/2 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp curry paste
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1 litre boiling water
2 tsp vegan stock powder
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
fresh mint and coriander

Begin by sautéing the onion, carrots, parsnip and swede in the oil till the onions are translucent. Add the lentils, garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook out for 2-3 mins. Pour over the water and coconut milk and bring to the boil, adding the stock powder and seasoning with black pepper. Simmer for 15 mins or so, until the lentils are cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve topped with roughly chopped coriander and mint and some naan bread.

The Earl’s Christmas Edition Whisky Tea Loaf with Vanilla and Mace

I’m on a roll with these tea loaf variations… And this one is my personal favourite. Lightly spiced from the mace; sweet from the vanilla and tangy from the whisky. The possibilities are endless and eating the results is rather enjoyable too heh heh.

For two 2lb loaves you need:
225g sultanas
225g raisins
225g currants
125g chopped glace ginger
125g chopped candied peel
225g demerara sugar
275ml strongly brewed earl grey tea
75ml whisky

1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
450g self raising flour

As before, begin this at least 24 hours before you want to bake it. Brew the tea and dissolve the sugar in it. Place the fruit, tea and whisky in a tub and leave to soak for 24 hours. When you want to make the cake, mix the egg in to the soaked fruit mixture, then add the flour, vanilla and mace. Mix well and scrape into two lined loaf tins. Bake in a 170 degree oven for about an hour. This cake ages very well and will last for at least 2 weeks. Assuming it doesn’t get eaten first 😉