Ambassador Cupcakes

Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableIt was Jake’s birthday a few weeks ago and I made him these fabulous Ambassador Cupcakes to take to a party that one of his friends was throwing for him. He is not a big fan of chocolate cakes and icing, though he loves chocolate, but when I mentioned that I could make them with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate  inside as well as on top of them, his eyes lit up, so that was that! Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableI’ve been making birthday cakes for Jake, for friends and for their children for quite a long time now. I thought that you might like to see a selection of Jake’s birthday cakes over the years including the train that nearly turned me into a train wreck which I mentioned in my post on the Spiced Honey and Orange Cake. I have a star shaped pan that has come in very useful for celebration cakes in general and I have put it to good use over the years. Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableFor these Ambassador Cupcakes, I was inspired by Michelle’s (Giraffes Can Bake) spectacular Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes but I was up against the clock so needed  to make something simpler and that would also travel well on public transport. So I had a quick trawl of the internet, found a recipe that looked quick and easy and tweaked it a little. Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's TableThese Ambassador Cupcakes really are a special occasion cupcake. They require 48 Ferrera Rocher chocolates which really ratchets up the cost however, they look fabulous! If you are going to make these and don’t have a piping bag or nozzles, then please, do get some. You can buy a roll of disposable piping bags and a set of basic nozzles inexpensively from most large supermarkets and on-line too. Yes, of course you can scrape the icing on with a spatula or fill a sandwich bag, snip off a corner and squirt it on but if you are going to go to the expense and effort of making these, then for a few pounds more you can make them look really lovely too. I just wish that I had been more organised and ordered gold paper cases – that would have looked stunning and very in keeping with the Ferrero Rocher image!  Remember this TV commercial?

I don’t know about you but my icing techniques leave a lot to be desired. I made the cupcakes the night before and the Nutella buttercream early in the morning – I hurriedly iced a cupcake for Jake to take up to him in bed, with his cards and present and realised that I needed a crash course in icing techniques.

In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's Table

Jake’s early morning cake

I scoured YouTube and and thought I would share the best one with you! Below is a great video tutorial by Xanthe Milton on 4 icing techniques, including that rose swirl (which would have been too girly for Jake – sigh) which looks so fabulous on larger cakes.

Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table I ended up using the last technique which she likens to an old fashioned swimming hat. My nozzles are quite small in comparison to Xanthe’s – larger ones are on my hit list – but I got a lovely effect, nonetheless! Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table And a little tip; the easiest way to fill a piping bag is to fit the nozzle and coupler if you are using one, onto the piping bag, then set this inside a tall glass, peel back the bag over the glass and fill. Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table

I am taking these to share with the Fiesta Friday revellers. Angie of the Novice Gardener is having a well deserved day off with strict instructions from most of us to not bring anything to the party!! Our co-hosts this week are both Canadians! Globe-trotter Julianna whose blog, Foodie on Board is full of the most delicious global recipes and gorgeous photographs too and Hilda of Along the Grapevine who makes foraging and living off the land aspirational and delicious!! We are in good hands!!

Ambassador Cupcakes | Selma's Table

Ambassador Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Adapted from  Ferrero Rocher and Nutella Cupcakes by Cookies, Cupcakes and Cardio INGREDIENTS For the cupcakes

  • 200g plain/AP flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 90 g unsweetened cacao powder, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp fine salt
  • 3 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 180 ml buttermilk (or 180 ml milk plus 1 Tbsp of lemon juice – let this sit for 10 minutes)
  • 180 ml warm water
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 48 Ferrero Rocher chocolates (24 for inside the cupcakes and 24 to decorate them with)

For the Nutella Buttercream

INSTRUCTIONS Fot the cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Line a 24 cup muffin/cupcake tin with paper cases. Gold ones would look really stunning.
  3. Remove the wrappers from the chocolates.
  4. Hand whisk all the dry ingredients, from flour through to salt in a large mixing bowl to blend thoroughly.
  5. Make a well in the centre and add all the wet ingredients all at once. Blend on a low speed until well combined. The mixture will be quite liquid.
  6. Take the bowl over to the prepared tins and put one tablespoon of batter into each hole.
  7. Center a Ferrero Rocher chocolate in each one.
  8. Top with one tablespoon of batter – pour it over the Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes – testing the sides with a toothpick or a piece of dry spaghetti after 18 minutes.
  10. Let them settle for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

For the Nutella Buttercream

  1. Cream the Baking or butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the icing sugar (I start this off by hand to keep down the icing sugar cloud) until smooth..
  3. Beat in the Nutella. If the mixture is too stiff, add 1 Tbsp of milk. I didn’t need to.
  4. Fit a piping bag with an icing nozzle of your choice (I used a “star” nozzle ) and set it inside a tall glass. Peel back the bag around the glass and fill it with as much icing as you can comfortably handle. Twist the end closed and set aside in the fridge until you are ready to ice the cakes. You don’t want the icing to be too hard so don’t leave it in there too long.
  5. Ice the cakes and top each with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.
  6. Store, covered in the fridge for at least ½ an hour, to set the icing.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingA friend of mine has been planning to make a Chocolate and Beetroot Cake all spring and then all summer but circumstances conspired against him and he didn’t get a chance to make one.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingSo when he organised an intimate drinks party round his to celebrate his birthday earlier this week, I knew what I was going to make for him – Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes… He cooks the most delicious food, always beautifully presented and outdid himself with the gorgeous canapés that kept on coming that night. We rounded off the evening with a cupcake each and I was so pleased that they were just what he had been craving for the better part of this year!

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingThe beetroot keeps the cake moist and gives it a lovely deep red colour. I made another  batch of these today and took then as a reward for my friends who were cold water swimming at Tooting Bec Lido this morning and managed to convert someone’s husband who apparently can’t even look at beetroot. Admittedly he had no idea what he was eating until it was too late – he looked absolutely horrified at the thought of having eaten beetroot but then decided that it wasn’t so bad after all. You really cannot taste the beetroot.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingThe cream cheese frosting is one I have developed – it is not too sweet but nice and tangy which is as it should be.

Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I am entering this recipe in the Family Foodies January Challenge – Hidden Goodies. If you want to see how other clever parents are  hiding and incorporating nutrient dense vegetables, nuts and pulses in their children’s meals then  read all about it on the Bangers and Mash blog by clicking on the link.  Eat Your Veg is another great resource for feeding your children the good stuff, so do go over and take a look at what is happening there.

family-foodies1

I am linking this recipe to the Tasty Tuesdays Valentine’s Party hosted by the Anyonita Nibbles – go over and take a look at her amazing blog!

– See more at: http://www.anyonita-nibbles.co.uk/2014/01/tasty-tuesdays-valentines.html#sthash.H0CR8tWe.dpuf

Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 120g flour
  • 60g cacao powder sifted
  • 170g golden caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 170g cooked beetroot (not pickled!)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 140ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 200g cold cream cheese
  • 100g soft butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g caster sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and line 12 muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Place a large mixing bowl directly on the scales and set the scales to zero.  One spoonful at a time, measure out the cacao powder into a sieve and sift it straight into the mixing bowl. Keep an eye the weight – 60g is usually about 4 tablespoonfuls. Then re-set the scales to zero and add the flour and then do the same for the sugar. Measure in the baking powder and salt then give everything a really good whisk to mix it well an also aerate it.
  3. Place the beetroot in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds or so. Scrape down the sides and add in the eggs and vanilla paste/extract and blitz again for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides again and with the motor running, pour in the oil and process for about one minute.
  4. Scrape out the beet mix onto the top of the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until it is just blended – do not overwork the batter.
  5. Evenly spoon the batter between the 12 paper cases.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray around half way through if you oven has hot spots like mine does. To check that it is done, poke a toothpick or wooden skewer into the centre of one of the middle cakes – it should not have any batter clinging to it. If it does, pop it back in for another 5 minutes and check again.
  7. FROSTING : Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy – probably 5 minutes or so. Add the vanilla and beat again. Finally add the cream cheese an beat until just combined. Do not over-beat the cream cheese as this will make the frosting runny.
  8. Spoon into a piping bag and frost the cakes or just smear it on with a spoon and knife.