RECIPE: cupcakes and a new kitchen helper

dsc_0011.jpg Baking takes on new meaning when you have a young baby, and friends are arriving within a few hours for Sunday tea and cupcakes. Little guys want attention and cuddles so they generally cry and moan loudly when they are tired/hungry. This makes simple tasks such as baking quite a challenge. Solution: lie them back in a baby chair to observe the kitchen action and wonder about all the creative stuff.

If the crying starts again (quite likely) place in a baby carrier on your chest. Your little guy will fall asleep in a cosy position, while you’re able to continue the flour sifting and beating. Cake mixers produce surprisingly soothing lullabies. There are drawbacks however: quick work is required, and you’ll be stuck on your feet carrying a fair weight for the next couple of hours. But the rewards are sweet.

CHOCOLATE CHIP CUPCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE ICING & GINGER AND CARROT CUPCAKES WITH SWEET ‘N SOUR ICING

Makes 12 to 14 of each of the cupcakes dsc_0006.jpg

BASIC CUPCAKE MIXTURE
125g butter at room temperature
150g castor sugar
200g cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt

CHOCOLATE CHIP ADDITIONS
1 x 100g slab dark chocolate, broken into rough pieces

GINGER AND CARROT ADDITIONS
60g grated carrot
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CHOCOLATE ICING
125g butter at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
¼cup Nomu cocoa powder dsc_0010.jpg

SWEET ‘N SOUR ICING
400g icing sugar, sifted
125g butter at room temperature
200 - 250g fat-free or low-fat smooth cottage cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and place 12 to 14 cupcake paper cups in a muffin pan.
  2. Beat the butter and castor sugar. Add the remaining ingredients, alternating the flour with the egg and milk. Beat for a few minutes until it produces a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter into two bowls. Add chocolate pieces to one half. Stir in ginger, carrot and cinnamon to the remaining batter.
  4. Spoon into cupcake cups (don’t heap batter as cupcakes will overflow during baking).
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool.
  6. For the chocolate cupcakes, combine the butter, icing sugar and cocoa in a cake mixer to create a stiff mixture. Spread over chocolate chip cupcakes.
  7. For the carrot and ginger cupcakes, combine the butter and icing sugar together in a cake mixer. Add the smooth cottage cheese to create a runny consistency. Dollop over cupcakes. Sprinkle with pan-toasted almond flakes.

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