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I've always been slightly puzzled by the battenberg cake - the structure, the colour, marzipan - to me this cake always felt like something that was invented in 70s. So, I was quite surprised to find out that this cake was actually invented in the 80s, ehm...the 1880s!
Battenberg Cake was originally created to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, princes Victoria, to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. The four squares in the cake represented the four Battenberg princes - Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph. I like it as an idea, but I'm not quite sure what princes Victoria felt like on her wedding day, surely she was marrying just one brother?
This cake can be a challenge to make, but hopefully my step by step guide will help you to achieve a perfect result, worth any royal wedding.
Author: Magdalena Marsden
This is one of my favourite Blackberry, Pear & Apple Crumble Recipe, which takes no time at all to make and it's always a big hit with our friends as the ultimate comfort after dinner pudding! This recipe makes enough for two, so if you are making it for the whole family, just double the quantities.
A great pudding to end a posh homemade dinner when you don't want to have a heavy pudding. I particularly like to use creme de cassis in this recipe, because it has such a lovely sharp fruity flavour, but you could easily use madeira wine or pudding wine. The pudding looks very rustic in a different sizes jam jars, but normal glasses (like a whisky tumblers) would be perfectly fine too.
This is my favourite muffin recipe that's not only easy to make, but it's very healthy and taste delicious too. I always double up the recipe and bake two batches and then freeze most of the muffins. They are very easy to defrost over night and that way you only eat few at the time. If you don't have pears or don't fancy them, you can swap them for other firm fruit, such as apples. This recipe is also very easy to adapt if you don't have all the ingredients. For example, the bran or wheat bran can be just one type of bran or oats, you can also swap the flour for normal plain flour or use spelt or buckwheat flour if you want these muffins to be super healthy.
Author: Magdalena Marsden
This is really nice and easy chocolate cupcake recipe, which is also quick to bake. I've never had any major disasters with this recipe and the chocolate flavour is amazing, especially in the chocolate frosting.
As always, the better the ingredients the better the flavour and the final result is going to be. Saying that, there are few tricks which you can use with this recipe, such as to add a coffee paste (one teaspoon of instant coffee granules with dash of hot water - just enough to make it into a paste) to the chocolate cupcakes batter. The coffee just helps to bring out the chocolate flavour more. Another trick is to add a half a pinch of salt to the frosting. It amazingly balances the sweetness and again works great with the chocolate. It won't taste salty and it can make a real difference between frosting that's just O.K to the most amazing chocolate frosting you've ever tasted.
If you find the chocolate frosting too rich you can always swap the milk with water or use 50% water and 50% milk. It still works great and it makes the frosting slightly lighter.
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Chocolate Frosting
100g plain flour
20 g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
40g unsalted butter
120ml whole milk<blog_break>
A pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter
25ml whole milk
50g melted plain chocolate or cocoa powder
Makes 12 chocolate cupcakes
First of all, preheat the oven to 170 C (Gas 3). Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated. Whisk the egg and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple of more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the chocolate frosting on top and decorate.
To make the chocolate frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. This can be fairly tricky as the icing sugar will go everywhere, so I normally use clean teatowel loosely wrapped around the bowl (or on top) of my handheld whisk.
Combine the milk and chocolate in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the chocolate frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
These chocolate cupcakes are always a big hit with my friends, so I'm sure you'll enjoy them too! If you bake your batch using my chocolate cupcake recipe, do let me know how you get on in the comments below.