What a lovely sunny day! I love days like this – crisp and sunny. Makes me feel very autumnal. I like the fact that I can go out in my woolly boots, but don’t need a big coat. Which is the look I went for when I ventured to the market earlier. To my delight there is a new stall selling wool, ribbon, buttons and all manner of other crafty bits and bobs! I really enjoyed rummaging through the bags of buttons, picking out some lovely ones to rescue and bring home with me. I like to think of button buying as a healthy pick and mix!
In fact, today has got off to a very good start, as the woven labels I ordered a couple of weeks arrived this morning! Thank you Mr Postman!
Aren’t they classy? I can’t wait to sew them onto new projects, especially the ones I have planned as Christmas presents! And I think I might also sew one onto my little needlecase too!
Anyway, the main reason for me writing today though was because I whipped up a lovely batch of chocolate cupcakes last night. YUM! It had been a busy weekend away with friends, but I had it in my head that I needed to do some baking. And I love cupcakes – I love eating them and I really love making them. Actually I love all baking, but I think cupcakes are particularly satisfying as they look so scrummy when they are finished! I’m trying to be a bit healthy at the moment, so I didn’t actually make these for my own consumption (although of course I sampled the mixture as I was making them!). I thought The Bert could take them to work with him today. As a sort of ‘Hello Monday, let’s celebrate with a cupcake and get the week off to a delicious start!’
So, in case you feel the need for chocolate cupcakes, here is the recipe: (I can’t actually remember when this recipe comes from – it’s one I used to make with my mum when I was very little and even though I know there are lots of tasty recipes out there, I still tend to make this one because I know it works!)
- 5oz self-raising flour
- 4oz soft butter/margarine
- 5oz caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- pinch salt
- 1oz cocoa powder
- 2tbsp milk
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, adding a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Next, sift in the flour, salt and cocoa powder and slowly fold until combined, adding the milk as you go. Divide the mixture into pretty paper cases in a bun tin…
…and bake for approximately 15mins at 190°C. Done!
Mmm, so here they are straight from the oven, looking delish!
I actually only made a half batch of the mixture which made 10 cakes. Plenty I think!
Now I suppose you could just leave them like this. But I like icing! So to decorate, I used the chocolate frosting recipe from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. I love that book. And the frosting is particularly good! You’ll need:
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 100g butter (it says unsalted, but I used margarine!)
- 40g cocoa powder, sifted
- 40ml milk
Basically you just beat the butter, add the icing sugar a little at a time (otherwise you’ll get a cloud of icing sugar!), beating to combine. Then add the milk and the cocoa powder. I made it by hand as I don’t have a mixer/hand whisk, but if you have one of those then use that, beating until the icing is light and fluffy.
I used a piping bag to apply the topping, just cos I love using it! and sprinkled with little chocolate drops and chocolate strands. Ta daaaah!!!
Good enough to eat, don’t you think?!