Monday, 24 September 2012

Double Stuff Oreo Brownie Cupcakes & Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes

So this week was National cupcake week back in the U.K! I obviously missed it but I did manage to try out some of my first cupcakes here in Vancouver which was exciting! but for now I'll leave you with some cupcakes I made back in the summer, a double whammy of Oreo Brownie Cupcakes and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes!

because let's face it, brownie cupcakes are hands down some of my favourite cupcakes to bake and eat, and everything is better with Oreo's and Reese's - it's just a fact! 

which is why when I saw this in my ice cream aisle at my local Wal Mart this week my heart skipped a beat! you can read about my full Wal Mart experience here! (p.s how much do I love using the phrase 'local Wal Mart'!! haha)

It's no surprise that Oreos are one of the most baked with ingredients on my blog! (although they are slightly being overtaken by coconut as it stands right now!) You just can't beat an Oreo cupcake and so often when I get requested to bake cupcakes for people Oreo flavour is the first one that springs to mind!

The Oreo Brownie cupcake is a fave combo of mine and so when a friend requested some welcome home cupcakes for his daughter who had been in Canada I decided spicing up my brownie cupcakes with Oreos and Peanut Butter Cups would be fun...and I threw in some obligatory Union Jack cupcake cases to help welcome her back to the UK!

and when you're starting with either a Double Stuff Oreo or a Reese's Peanut Butter cup at the bottom of your cupcake, you know it's only going to get better from there! 

In fact you could probably even eat that whole tray of deliciousness without it ever reaching the oven if you wanted to! 

Let's break down each cupcake individually.  The Oreo masterpiece was a Double Stuff Oreo at the bottom, covered with a rich chocolate brownie batter with crushed Oreos inside, frosted with Oreo cream cheese frosting, and a sprinkling of crushed Oreo crumbs topped off with a mini Oreo! Phew...that's alot of Oreo going on in there! 

For the Reese's masterpiece, each cupcake begins with a mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup which gets baked into a peanut butter infused brownie batter, and then topped with thick and creamy peanut butter frosting, a sprinkling of Reese's Pieces and topped off with half a mini Peanut Butter Cup! 

Pure utter tastiness! on both accounts (yes I made extra so I could indulge in them too!)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes:
Makes 12

12 mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
225g dark chocolate
113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
185g caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
70g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
100g smooth peanut butter

Frost with the peanut butter frosting, no.6, from my Top 10 Frostings post.

Double Stuff Oreo Brownie Cupcakes:
Makes 12

12 Double Stuff Oreos
225g dark chocolate
113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
185g caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
70g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
100g crushed Oreos

Frost with the oreo cream cheese frosting, no.2, from my Top 10 Frostings post.

To make the brownie cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set above a pan of simmering water.  Stir occasionally until just melted, about 4-5 mins.
Remove bowl from heat and whisk in the sugar and salt until the mixture is smooth,  whisk in the eggs to combine.  
Gently whisk in flour and cocoa until just smooth (do not overmix).  If you are making the Reese's one, this is the point you would stir in the peanut butter, if you are making the Oreo ones then stir in the crushed oreos.

Put a half a Double Stuff Oreo or a whole mini Reese's peanut butter cup in the bottom of your cupcake cases.  Top up with 3/4 brownie batter.  Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 25-30 minutes.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Chocolate Oreo Fudge Cream Pie

I'm so very sorry for my absence! Had I been more organised I would have scheduled some post during our transatlantic move, but it all happened so last minute! Our visas came through two Saturday's ago (finally!) and we booked our flights that same day and then left a week later! We have been in Vancouver for 5 days now and there aren't enough superlatives to completely describe just how amazing this place is! I knew I was going to love it, but I love it even more than I thought I would!

I'm working on a monster post incorporating all our pictures from our first few days and if you're interested you can follow along with our Canadian adventures over on my other blog...also I've done something I never usually do.  We've been without internet and the blogs were mounting up in my google reader so today when I logged on and it said I had 737 unread posts I clicked 'mark all as read'.  Shocking, I know, but that number was just way too many for me to get through but if you have blogged something super awesome in the past few days you know I would have loved then please be sure to leave me a comment and I'll check it out!!

Now let's talk about pie...

Chocolate Oreo Fudge Cream Pie, to be exact!

I had a little farewell dinner with my best friend Jade the other weekend.  She was going to be cooking up a Mexican feast and so I said I'd bring dessert.  I told her to tell me 3 of her favourite flavours so I could bake up something delicious, she came back with something like lemon, blackcurrant and something else that was fruity and then she added that she might like to substitute one of those for Oreo! Now I love a fruity bake every now and then, but I was wanting something decadent so I went with the Oreo.

I knew I wanted a pie base made out of crushed Oreos,

I also knew I wanted a chocolate fudge layer (made by melting cookie crumb chocolate for that added Oreo crunch!)

and then I thought I might as well throw some whole Oreo's in that layer too and not just regular ones but Double Stuff ones!

and then I knew I wanted a creamy frosting like topping to finish off and cute little mini Oreo's adorning the sides of the pie.

I searched the internet for a while to see if anyone else had baked up something similar, but I couldn't find anything so I just went ahead and made my own.

This was seriously delish...Oreo lovers, you owe it yourself to make this immediately!

Chocolate Oreo Fudge Cream Pie:
Serves 12
From Cupcake Crazy Gem

For the base:
18 Chocolate filled Oreos, crushed
60g unsalted butter, melted

For the chocolate fudge filling:
397g condensed milk
300g Galaxy Cookie Crumble milk choc
100g dark chocolate, I used 75%
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

12 Double Stuff Oreos

For the topping:
113g Philadelphia cream cheese, don't scrimp on the good stuff!
45g icing sugar
125ml double cream, whipped

Grease your pie dish with a thin layer of butter.

Crush the 18 Chocolate filled Oreos in a blender.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Mix the butter in with the oreo crumbs until the mixture is sticky and when you roll it into a ball it holds its shape.  Spread the biscuit layer into the bottom of the pie dish, pressing down with the back of a spoon.  I used my hands to press the remaining crumbs into the sides of the Oreo dish to ensure the crust was evenly distributed.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes whilst making the fudge filling.

In a medium saucepan, add the condensed milk, both chocolates, salt and vanilla extract.  Stir over a medium-low heat until melted.  Get your Oreo crust out of the fridge and spread fudge layer on top.  Save back a small amount, about half a cup.

Now the fun part: Press 12 Double Stuff Oreos into the fudge layer.  Spread the remaining fudge on top so the Oreos are hidden.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Whip the cream in a separate bowl.  Fold it in with the crushed oreos into the cream cheese mix until incorporated.  Spoon on top of fudge topping.

Drizzle with melted chocolate and decorate with mini Oreos

Saturday, 1 September 2012

United Bakes of America Round Four... and Coconut Cupcakes filled with Pineapple Curd for the state of Hawaii!


Another month, another round up of delicious American inspired bakes!

Of course it was only going to be a matter of time before I found my way to page 172 in the book - coconut cupcakes! yes, it had to be done!

I'm not sure that coconut cupcakes are an official state dessert of Hawaii, unlike most of the other bakes in Warren's book...but I got the impression he just loves coconut as much as I do and had to squeeze it in to his book somehow! and so coconut got tied to Hawaii for it's tropical links! Warren also talks about how Hawaii is well known for it's natural resources and more than a third of the world's commercial supply of pineapples comes from the Aloha state which got me thinking, and so I took the tropical pairing one step further and filled my coconut cupcakes with homemade pineapple curd (not a step in Warren's book...but he may want to change it to be that way next time around!) because seriously if you ever want to be my best friend, just bring me a bowlful of pineapple curd! It is ridunculously tasty!

It was also my first time baking with coconut oil, I've only used it before in the non edible sense - it is really great for massages! so I was slightly skeptical about adding it to my baked goods but it gave a nice punch of coconut flavour that is slightly sweeter than the usual addition of only coconut milk in cake.

I also like to go all out so not only did I make my pineapple curd with fresh pineapple, but I also made my own shredded coconut from fresh coconut! which was quite a process, but fun to do and not too tricky if you have a helpful husband with a hammer around!

Coconut & Pineapple Curd Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting: 
Makes 12
Adapted from United Bakes of America

3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp potato starch (I used corn flour)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
45g unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake wrappers.

Measure the sugar, flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt into a deep bowl.  Whisk lightly for about 15 seconds to blend.
Place the butter and coconut oil in a medium sized bowl and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until melted.  Whisk into the dry ingredients.  Add the remaining coconut milk, vanilla extract and eggs.

Lightly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, this should take about 15 seconds.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 22 minutes or until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave them in their pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled cut a small circular hole in the middle of the cupcake using a sharp serrated knife.  Cut off the majority of the cake from the bit you cut out but leave the small circular top part to use as a plug once you fill the hole with pineapple curd.

Pineapple Curd:
From Alaska From Scratch

1 cup fresh pineapple puree
1/3 cup caster sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp corn flour
small pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter

To make fresh pineapple puree, cut the skin off your pineapple and cut half of the pineapple flesh into small chunks.  Put in a blender and blitz until smooth.  Strain the puree through a wire mesh sieve into a bowl, it shouldn't be just juice - you want some bits to it, but you want to get rid of any very large pieces that didn't get blended.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple puree, sugar, egg yolks, corn flour and salt.  Turn heat onto medium and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens (this happens just as it's about to come to the boil, it should take between 5-10mins).  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.

Transfer to a bowl and leave out to cool.  Once cool to the touch, cover in cling film and put bowl in the fridge to enable the curd to firm up slightly.  In the meantime make your frosting.

Coconut Frosting:
From Baked Perfection

113g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar
4 tbsp coconut milk
pinch of salt

Beat butter and vanilla extract until creamy.
Add salt and then add the icing sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the coconut milk and beating until combined.

Remove the pineapple curd from the fridge.  Fill a piping bag and snip off the end.  Pipe the curd into the holes you have made in your cupcakes.  Put the cupcake plungers back in after the curd.  Fill piping bag with frosting and your favourite star nozzle.  Pipe frosting on.

I decorated with shredded toasted coconut.  I made this coconut from a fresh coconut.  You can do it too by poking the 'eyes' of the coconut with a metal skewer or sharp knife.  Then drain the coconut milk inside through the holes.  Bake at 200 degrees C for 25 minutes.  Take out the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.  Using a hammer, crack it open.  Remove all the brown outer edge.  Using a knife cut away the coconut flesh from the skin.  Grate it longways to get long strands.  Put on a baking tray on bake under the grill for 3-5 minutes until toasted.  Wait until cool and then garnish your cupcakes with it.

Now let's look at what everyone else has been baking this month!

First off, was my blogging friend who loves baking American treats just as much as me! Ros, from The More Than Occasional Baker made these Cherry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.  Not only are Thumbprint cookies soooo American, but she also did them the authentic way using the real deal Hershey's Kisses.  Ros is such a blogging trooper that even though she doesn't love cherry flavour herself she baked these up in order to enter them into a cherry blogging challenge, she is the queen of blogging challenges, now that's blogication for you! I love how cute they look and also how they can be adapted to suit all kinds of flavours!

Next up, Susie from Fold in the Flour baked up these amazing Blueberry and Cornmeal Mini Bundts! Not only do they contain blueberries, cornmeal and buttermilk but Bundts are SO American too! The Bundt pan was developed in the 1950s in Minnesota.  Susie used these super cute mini Bundt pans, which makes each baked good you produce look like a work of art! I imagine they tasted just as good as they looked!

Closely followed by my newest blogger friend and kindred Yankophile Stuart, from over at Cakeyboi.  Again the over the top levels of American-ness in this monthly challenge continued by Stuart making a Froot Loop Banana Cream Pie! Stuart wasn't sure I'd let him in with this, since only the crust is 'baked' but you can't get more American than Banana Cream Pie and to then top it off with some Fruit Loops and baking them into the crust too is just genius! Stuart also kindly informed us that UK supermarkets are now selling Fruit Loops too - so for anyone needing a fix, you know who to thank! I'm wishing I had a big slice of this pie to tuck into right now - such a yummy fun bake!

Kit from I-Lost in Austen joined in with an actual recipe from Warren's book! and one that I've had my eye on for a while but Kit outdid herself as usual and her picture is far more spectacular than the one found in the pages of the book! She made this Coca Cola Cake for her son's birthday as cola bottles are his favourite sweets and what a show stopper! I'm sure it put a smile on all the partygoers faces! and I just love how she styled her shot too!

Lastly, just in the nick of time my sister Mel from Let's Get Scrappy blogged tonight about all her baking that she did when she put on a farewell Canadian dessert bar for me and my husband last weekend! I know this is an American blogging challenge, but for the amazing Brownie Cake Pops she made she used marshmallow fluff to bind the brownie together so I think that qualifies! They are my new favourite kinds of cake pop, soooo moist and yummy! She also baked up maple cookies, and the A&W was flowing - she knows what makes me happy!

Thanks to all your fantastic entries this month! It's been a really ingenius month, can't wait to see what September brings!


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