Thank you SO MUCH for the comments on my crochet patchwork bag, you are so kind!
So last Thursday was my last day at work – Woohooo!! I’m now officially on maternity leave! I have to say, I found the whole finishing work thing a bit weird. I was completely ready – the tiredness has been a bit overwhelming since going back to work after Christmas and the drive to work, while not long, was getting a bit uncomfortable. That said, I felt really quite sad about going – even though I know I will be going back!
My colleagues gave me such a lovely send off. It’s tradition at work to have a leaving tea in the atrium and there was a really good turn out – both people and delicious cakes! People had been so thoughtful bringing in my favourites, such as carrot cupcakes, mini muffins… and one lady in my team had pulled an absolute blinder with this baby cake – I felt very guilty cutting into that one!! Not only did it look adorable but the sponge was one of the nicest I’ve tasted in a long time.
I also received some wonderful presents – a thick and fluffy dressing gown to cosy up in, a giant box of chocolates and a voucher to get a back massage once the baby has arrived. Lucky Jones!
I’d also done a bit of baking for my last day – chocolate cupcakes. Again?! I hear you cry! Yes, again… if it’s one thing I’ve learned when baking for a crowd it’s to go with a crowd pleaser and chocolate cupcakes always go down well.
If you’ve been visiting me here for a while then you might remember I’ve already shared one recipe for chocolate cupcakes. In my attempt to try new recipes though, I used the Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe this time from their book Cake Days.
They were delicious actually, far moister than my other recipe and definitely one I’d do again. The batter was really rich and velvety, glossy and smooth…
I think I overfilled the cases a little – they grew loads in the oven!
I’m afraid I cheated on the icing and used Betty Crocker ready-made buttercream. Very lazy as it’s hardly difficult to make buttercream… but this was just easier with the time I had available.
Oh yes, just look at that lovely icing…! Who cares that I didn’t make it?!
A few sprinkles and they were done and in the cake tins…
Here’s the recipe if you want to make some for yourself::
- 3oz unsalted butter, softened
- 10oz caster sugar
- 7oz plain flour
- 1 1/2 oz cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking salt
- 240ml milk
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 190C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
- Using a hand–held electric whisk or electric mixer beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until the ingredients are well incorporated and resemble fine breadcrumbs.
- Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk together. Pour three quarters of this mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed to combine. Raise the speed and continue to mix until smooth and thick. Pour in the remaining milk mixture and keep mixing on a medium speed until all the ingredients have come together and the batter is smooth.
- Spoon the batter into the paper cases, so that each is two-thirds full. (It says this will make 12-16 cupcakes – I made 22, so you may need some more cases, especially as mine could probably have used less per case).
- Put in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
If you want to make their frosting, you’ll need:
- 14oz icing sugar
- 3 1/2 oz cocoa powder
- 5 1/2 oz unsalted butter
- 50 ml milk
Whisk the icing sugar with the cocoa powder and butter in an electric mixer. Pour in the milk, still mixing on a low speed, then increase the speed and whisk until soft and fluffy.
Or, just buy some Betty Crocker and off you go ;o)
If you’ve got any crowd-pleasing recipes, please do leave me details in the comments. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try new recipes, and there’s nothing like a recommendation from you lovely lot!
Ooh one final thing before I go – the crochet-lovers amongst you may want to pop over to The Grange Range and check out the C U T E S T baby bootees I’ve ever seen! Wondering if I should make a pair for my growing bump…