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Cupcakes

Archive for December, 2010

Fresh Pasta

This Christmas Steve got me a PASTA MACHINE! I’d never made pasta before and I quickly found out that it’s sooooo easy… a bit messy, but still very easy.

All it is, is 100g of flour to 1 room temperature egg. I’m no expert but I found rather than multiplying the ingredients for more serves it’s best to make small batches. Just put the flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well then whisk with a fork, drawing in flour until mixture is thick. Then, using your hands, work in remaining flour.  

Once flour is incorporated (so it’s firm, not sticky) kneed for about 5 mins or until it’s smooth. Wrap in glad wrap and leave for 30 mins (I sometimes skip this step if I’m pressed for time). Divide the mixture into two, flatten in your hand so it’s about ½ cm thick and dust lightly with flour.

Put the pasta machine on the widest setting the feed the dough through. Fold it in half and turn it around 90 degrees and run through again for about ½ dozen times until it’s smooth and the width of the machine. Then stop folding but feed it through the machine, reducing the thickness one notch at a time until it’s the thickness you want. Then feed through the cut that you want (I prefer fettuccine) and then drape around the edge of a large bowl to dry slightly before cooking.

Now next on my shopping list is one of those mini wiz blenders that I’ve seen them use on masterchef when they make pasta so there’s less to clean up!

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

These are double choc mint cupcakes that I made for Christmas. I generally knew what I wanted to make so a quick google search for ‘best chocolate cupcakes’ found a recipe that I could use – and has since been my favourite choc cupcake recipe to use (it tastes like brownies) and I just tweak it slightly by using different icing / essence each time.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ C self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 C dark choc bits
  • ½ C cocoa powder
  • 3/4 C caster sugar
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 125g butter, melted, cooled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Peppermint Essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a 12 x 1/3 cup capacity muffin pan.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa powder, choc bits and caster sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  4. Add milk, butter, eggs and peppermint essence to flour mixture.
  5. Using a large metal spoon, stir gently to combine.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Stand in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Icing

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 tsp peppermint essence
  • ½ tsp green food colouring
  • ½ C icing sugar, sifted

Beat all of the above ingredients together until smooth

Decoration

First of all, I chose to use silver cups then, to the best of my ability, piped the icing like a Christmas tree while still making sure you could see the choc cupcake. Then they were finished off with a sprinkling of silver balls.

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