Archive for the 'cake' Category

Self-frosting Nutella Cupcakes

nutella cupcakes 1 Self frosting Nutella Cupcakes

I love a good excuse to make cupcakes. If I don’t have one, I’m very good at justifying my actions when it comes to baking or buying new shoes (with size 11s you gotta buy ‘em when you find ‘em, right?) -but when a friend comes over within a few days of her birthday, it’s like a free pass to bake.

beaten butter sugar Self frosting Nutella Cupcakes

(This is just butter + sugar, beaten for several minutes – I feel like most people fall short on this part, beating the two until they’re well combined but not really whipping it until it’s sufficiently light. Try letting it go for a couple minutes next time.)

Cupcakes make it easier to serve a crowd, especially when fast-moving kids are in attendance and you’re not really sure you have enough little plates and forks to go around. Of course I generally choose cakes based on their need for adornment; I do love a well-frosted cupcake (and can even appreciate a 1:1 cake-frosting ratio) but often even a good frosting is trumped by a desire for a shower and to minimize dishes.

nutella cupcakes 6 Self frosting Nutella Cupcakes

Enter jar of Nutella.

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You drop big globs of it atop buttery cake batter (I imagine any kind would work – so long as it’s thick enough that the Nutella doesn’t sink through to the bottom) and swirl a bamboo skewer through both to create a marbled effect. Done! (Bonus: the aforementioned small people with equally small fingers will not be licking frosting off said fingers and dragging them down the hallway walls.)

nutella cupcakes 4 Self frosting Nutella Cupcakes

The coloured paper liners from Winners make me feel very Martha – I’m really not.

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Bake until golden and springy and Instagram-worthy.

nutella cupcakes 2 Self frosting Nutella Cupcakes

It’s somebody’s birthday somewhere!

Self-frosting Nutella Cupcakes

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk or half & half
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add half to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat just until combined.

Divide the batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon the Nutella into a small microwave-safe dish and microwave it for20 seconds, until softened but not liquefied. Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each, and swirl through the batter with the tip of a bamboo skewer, knife or other pointy object. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Tilt them in the pan to help them cool.

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

button print gry20 Self frosting Nutella Cupcakes

April 06 2014 | cake and dessert | 10 Comments »

Blender Chocolate Cake

Blender chocolate cake 1 Blender Chocolate Cake

I realize that 90% of the chocolate cakes you see here are bundt cakes. There are two reasons for this: 1) I like dense, damp, not-too-sweet (even squidgy) chocolate cakes best. And 2) I’m pretty lazy; I’d rather not deal with the layers, which require to be dressed with frosting, and I like the sort of cake you can eat by the wedge – it’s easier to shave off a nibble here and there.

And so last Sunday, having just made a round of smoothies, I decided that while the blender was out I’d fast-track the batter for a chocolate cake I had decided to bring my mother in law, who likes a wedge of cake to nibble every night before bed. My standard chocolate cake has a very thin batter anyway; I figured it could be blitzed up like a smoothie and poured into the pan. Right?

blender chocolate cake 2 Blender Chocolate Cake

I was being so lazy about it all that I didn’t even go upstairs to get my camera, but just pulled my phone out of my pocket, and the photos of brown goo it took won’t encourage you to want to make it. You still get the gist? The verdict: it worked, although I wish I had a blender that didn’t require so much scraping. The first cake I dusted with icing sugar to help it not look naked; the next time I warmed some cream on the stove, added some chocolate chips (a ratio of about 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream), took it off the heat and let it sit a minute, then stirred it smooth and dribbled it overtop. (If you want to get fancy, go ahead and call it a ganache drizzle – you won’t be lying.)

Blender Chocolate Cake

If you’re using hot water, add a teaspoon or so of instant coffee or espresso to the milk mixture – or it’s just as good without.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup very hot water or coffee

Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a bundt pan really well with nonstick spray.

Put the sugar, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla into a blender and pulse until well-blended and smooth. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the hot water or coffee overtop (it will start to bubble as it hits the baking powder and soda) and pulse, scraping down the sides of the blender once or twice, until smooth.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until cracked on top and springy to the touch. Let cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Makes 1 cake; serves 8-16.

pixel Blender Chocolate Cake
button print gry20 Blender Chocolate Cake

March 16 2014 | cake | 13 Comments »

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