Coffee and walnut cupcakes

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Following on from the coffee theme of the Mocha melts I made these for my best friends when they came over for a visit and a girly catch up.  They went down a treat and some were sent off with them for their husbands before I received complaints that they missed out.  I absolutely adore baking for friends and family, any excuse at any occasion or event or I just call them round when there is something to sample!  Coming up soon is chocolate fondants!  Come round all there will be plenty for everyone!

INGREDIENTS

110g self raising flour
110g caster sugar
110g butter spread soft
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp instant coffee granules diluted in 1 1/2 tbsp boiling water
50 g chopped walnuts

For topping
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee granules diluted in 2 tbsp boiling water
12 walnut halves for decoration

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 170ºc/325ºf/gas mark 3. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake cases

2. Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl or food processor, add the butter spread, eggs, baking powder and beat until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the coffee mixture into the batter, slowly fold in the chopped walnuts and spoon the batter into the cases. Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes until firm to the touch, set aside to cool

4. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar, coffee mixture and stir well. If you find the coffee flavour too strong adjust according to taste by adding more sugar and a little more boiling water for desired flavour and consistency. Using a spoon, ice the cakes and top off with a walnut halve on each

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This wonderful recipe is from Baking Magic (K.Shirazi & S.Blake)

Pear & walnut bread with a butterscotch glaze

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Pear and walnut is a great combination in a salad so I thought it would be perfect in a dessert bread. The butterscotch glaze, I’m sure will remind you of your childhood if your grandparents were anything like mine. They always had butterscotch sweets to hand! And our parents could never say no to having them when they were given…

To be naughty once you’ve made the bread..you most likely will have some glaze left over which made a lovely dipping sauce as I found and indulged in. Enjoy x

INGREDIENTS

125g brown sugar
160g natural yoghurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
2 medium pears cubed 1 cm pieces
50g chopped walnuts

Butterscotch glaze
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2-3 tbsp icing sugar

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Put the sugar, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer on low. Combine all the ingredients well for approximately 2 minutes

• Mix in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda of bicarbonate and salt. Lastly fold in the pear and walnuts

• Grease a loaf tin 9in x 5in x 3in and pour in the mixture into the tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Make sure a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the bread. Take bread out after 30 minutes and place on a cooling rack to cool down completely

• To make the butterscotch glaze. Melt the butter and brown sugar, bring to the boil for 2 minutes whilst stirring continuously. Slow the heat down, add the milk and bring to the boil again. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes then take off the heat and set aside to cool

• Once cool, mix in the icing sugar and stir thoroughly to get all the lumps out. If glaze is too thick then add a little milk and if too thin then add a little more icing sugar

• The best bit comes when you drizzle the glaze all over your loaf! Ummm yummy!! Now grab yourself a cup of tea and serve yourself up a scrumptious slice!!!

Recipe inspired by Caramel glazed apple bread by pass the sushi

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