Cupcake, Sweet

Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

At the weekend I went to the brilliant Cake International show at the NEC. I didn’t plan to spend much money or really buy anything but I couldn’t help myself because of the amazing things to buy and ended up coming home with a lot lighter purse but a much heavier bag!

Something I bought was a complete impulse purchase and not what I would usually go for – flavoured icing sugar and cocoa powder. The problem was that the ladies at the Sugar and Crumbs stall were so nice to talk to and gave you so many free samples that I was completely hooked, but I can tell you that it is one purchase I definitely don’t regret buying after using their product to make some Black cherry & Chocolate cupcakes.

I bought and used the Black Cherry Cocoa powder as you don’t usually see cherry extract in the shops; although it is more expensive than your usual cocoa powder the flavour is fantastic and you only need to use a very small amount to make a lovely tasting cake that does actually taste of cherry. I often find with some flavoured products that the taste is very artificial, this one isn’t.

Now I am not being paid (I wish!) or been given anything else to endorse this product, I am doing so simply because it tastes fab and I would like more people to enjoy baking with it. Next up, I cant wait to try the Christmas Punch flavoured icing sugar I bought… now what to make with it?

Black Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe is stupidly simple to make but the taste will make you smile.

Don't be fooled by the skull and crossbones icing!
Don’t be fooled by the skull and crossbones icing!

4oz Sugar
4oz Margarine
2 eggs
3.5oz Self Raising Flour
1 large tablespoon Black Cherry Chocolate Cocoa Powder from Sugar and Crumbs
1 tablespoon whole milk

Pre-heat the oven to 180c Gas 4

In a bowl cream the sugar and margarine till it becomes pale.
Combine the Cocoa and flour together in a separate bowl.
Add one egg and half of the flour/cocoa, try not to overwork this.
Add the second egg and rest of the flour/cocoa.
Stir in the milk.

Divide the mixture into your cake cases and bake in the oven till the tops of the cake spring back after a gentle poke. This should take 18-20 minutes.
Once cooked, cool on a wire rack.

Decorate with your choice of topping if you like: buttercream, fondant icing, chocolate ganache or just leave plain.

Sweet, Traybake

Old School Chewy Chocolate Flapjack

I love flapjack and so does my husband. We recently bought a couple of pieces of chocolate flapjack from a stall selling home made cakes and it was really good. Somewhere in my distant memory is eating chocolate flapjack that tasted just like it, I think it might have been when I was at school but I can’t really place my finger on it. All I know is that it was lovely.

So after my last flapjack which went wrong (well, didn’t exactly go wrong but wasn’t chewy – see my Blog Post) I decided to try again. This time I bought my usual bargain porridge oats (I use Asda smart price ones if you want to try them exactly) which I think may have been a problem last time, added a bit more golden syrup and emptied whatever I had left of my box of cocoa powder into the mix… then Ta-Dah, it worked!

I didn’t add any chocolate chips to this though I am sure it would be extra lovely with some in, or maybe some fine nuts like pecan or hazelnut?

Be warned that this recipe does make a huge tray of flapjack, in fact, more than the two of us could really get through in a week, though it hasn’t stopped us trying. It does keep in a sealed container in a cool place for at least 5 days, which is how long my has lasted so far with no ill effects.

Old School Chewy Chocolate Flapjack

500g cheap porridge oats
200g butter
160g light brown sugar
3 ½ tbs Golden Syrup (make sure they are generous tablespoons)
At least 2 tbs Cocoa Powder

Pre-heat the oven to 200c

1. In a large pan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together. I know I have said before but make sure you sit the metal tablespoon in a cup of boiling hot water, this will help it slide off easier.
2. Once melted add the cocoa powder. I have said 2 table spoons of cocoa powder but this is a guess as I emptied whatever I had left into the mix, if you think it needs more then add a bit more. It should be a lovely dark brown colour.
3. Stir the mixture until all of the cocoa powder has mixed in and has no lumps at all.
4. Stir in the porridge oats until all of the mixture has coated them.
5. Spread onto a large baking try with sides and pat down until nice and squashed in.
6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven, cover with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.
8. Allow the flapjack to cool for 10-15 minutes then score with a knife into the size portions you would like.
9. Leave till completely cool before attempting to get it out of the tray.