Festive Bakes


Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

Makes 16-18 cupcakes

16-18 muffin cases
2 x 12 Muffin Tins
200g Unsalted Butter (At room temperature)
100g Soft Brown Sugar
100g Caster Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
250g Plain Flour
220g Mincemeat (Mince Pie Filling)

Pre-heat oven to 160°C for fan assisted or 180°C non fan assisted. (320°F)

In a mixer/ mixing bowl place the butter and both the caster and soft brown sugar, turn the speed to medium/low until all ingredients are creamed together and pale in colour. Turn the speed to low and add one egg at a time followed by the vanilla extract. In separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder then slowly add it to the wet cake mix. Once combined on a low speed add the mincemeat. If mixing by hand fold into cake batter.

Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop the batter into each muffin case. Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes (This may vary depending on oven). To check press finger onto top of cupcake, if it springs back they are ready. Once baked take out and leave to cool for a moment in pans, then transfer to wire wrack to cool.

Whilst they bake, prepare your vanilla syrup to brush over the top of cupcakes once baked and still hot. This will prevent a crunchy top to your cupcakes. Recipe can be found on previous blog post ‘It’s the season for pumpkin picking!’

Brandy Butter Cream Frosting

250g Unsalted Butter (Room Temperature)
450g Icing Sugar (Sifted)
60ml whipping cream or double cream
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
40ml Brandy

Place the butter in mixing bowl with the speed on low now gradually add the icing sugar. Once combined add cream, vanilla extract and brandy. Now mix on medium/high speed until fully combined and smooth.

Once cakes have completed cooled, pipe frosting onto cake or using a spatula smooth over each cake. Now decorate festively.

All that’s left to do is have a cup of tea and a well deserved Christmas Pudding Cupcake!

Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies

350g Unsalted Butter (At room temperature)
220g Caster Sugar (Plus extra for sprinkling)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
450g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

75g White Chocolate (Melted to drizzle over for decoration)

Pre-heat oven to 160°C for fan assisted or 180°C non fan assisted. (320°F)

In the bowl or using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and salt, then add them to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

Now place the dough onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once chilled roll the dough 1cm thick and cut biscuits with preferred cookie cutter (I used a star). Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Now transfer onto wire wrack to cool to room temperature. When the biscuits are cool drizzle over the white chocolate (I use a piping bag with a 2-3mm hole for more control).

Now to enjoy!!

The Festive Brownie

Basic Brownie Recipe

125g Unsalted Butter
100g Milk Chocolate (I use Green & Blacks)
75g 70% Dark Chocolate (I use Green & Blacks)
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder (I use Nescafé Azera, Americano)
100g Caster Sugar
50g Plain Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
100g Milk Chocolate Chips. (In a bowl add a tablespoon of flour to the chocolate chips and mix. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the brownie mixture)

Now you have three options. Stick with the basic brownie mix or try my festive bakes – a Salted Caramel Brownie or a Chocolate Orange Brownie with a Grand Marnier kick.

Salted Caramel Brownie

Add 2 x Lindt Salted Caramel Bars (chopped into small pieces) fold through the brownie mixture for an extra indulgent Brownie.

OR….

Triple Chocolate Orange Brownie with Grand Marnier

Add the zest of 1 Orange and 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Both the orange zest and Grand Marnier can be added to the chocolate mixture as it’s added to the dry ingredients.

Pre-heat oven to 160°C for fan assisted or 180°C non fan assisted. (320°F) Grease or line a 6”x 9” baking tray.

Melt together the butter, the milk and dark chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water.
Now allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly. In a large bowl stir gently together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature. In another medium bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the cooled chocolate mixture. Now add floured chocolate chips, folding them gently through batter until evenly distributed.

Pour everything into the baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then tap the baking tray against the oven shelf to allow the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie mix.
Bake for about 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Be careful not to over-bake! Allow to cool and cut into 12 large squares.

I decorated with a little gold dust for a festive feel!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

Enjoy!!

Much Love

George xx

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