I’ve only been ‘into’ blogging for a couple of months. Last month I discovered Iron Cupcakes. and got very excited when I saw that the Iron Cupcake challenges were going to be coming to Britain. Sadly, though, the challenge has only got as far as London, and that’s quite a way from me. But, the good news for people like me, who can’t easily participate in face-to-face Iron Cupcake events, is that there is also a web-based challenge – IronCupcake:Earth. I discovered this, and planned to enter last month, when the ingredient was summer berries (yum, yum!!). Sadly, though, last month was pretty crazy and I didn’t manage to create and post something in time…So, I decided to enter this month. On the day the ingredient for this month was posted online, I eagerly checked it, brimming with enthusiasm and ideas, and immediately hit a down. The ingredient this month is ‘herbs’. My first thought was that I’d never be able to come up with something good for that, but over time I started to think of all sorts of possibilities, and this is the first that I’ve actually seen to completion. I have a couple of other ideas, but realistically speaking, am not sure if I’m going to get round to them by the end of the month. So, here it is, my first, and possibly only for this month, IronCupcake:Earth competition entry: Mint and White Chocolate Cupcakes. The recipe for these is below. In what follows, 1 cup = 250 mls. I just use a 250 ml cup, and when the recipe asks for half or a quarter of a cup, I just fill the cup to roughly that amount – hence the ‘some, some and some’ of my blog title! Its a bit hit and miss, but it works for me…I hope you enjoy these. The few people that have tasted them liked them. Oh, and before I give the recipe, I just want to say a special thank you to my husband who spent a very long time, taking LOTS of pictures so that I’d have a big selection to choose from for this post.
For the cake mixture, you’ll need:
A 200 gram bar of white chocolate
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter (I used margarine in this)
About 11 medium to large mint leaves thinly sliced or chopped very small.
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For the icing, you’ll need:
A 200 gram bar of white chocolate
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter (I used margarine)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg whites.
To make the cake:
1. Separate the eggs. Then beat the egg whites until they reach soft peak stage, then add the egg yolks, and beat until thoroughly mixed and frothy.
2. Beak the white chocolate into little pieces. Then, in a double boiler, or (as I did), in a heatproof bowl over boiling water, melt together the white chocolate, sugar, margarine and mint leaves. Keep stirring the mixture over heat for 10-15 minutes until all the chocolate has melted (and then a few minutes after that) and don’t worry if the fat/oil starts to separate from the rest. Just keep stirring it together. Then take the mixture off the heat and beat it for a couple of minutes to mix everything together thoroughly and introduce some air to the mixture.
3. Slowly (about a dessertspoon at a time) add and thoroughly mix about half the beaten egg into the chocolate mixture.
4. Sift the flour and salt together three times, and then (on the fourth sifting) sift into the chocolate/egg mixture.
5. Fold in the flour along with the rest of the egg and the vanilla.
6. Spoon into a tray lined with cupcake liners and bake on gas mark 5 for about 20 minutes. (NOTE – this is what I did and it worked, though next time, I might try them on a lower heat for slightly longer time as these were very brown by the time they’d cooked through).
7. When baked, leave on a cooling rack to cool and then ice.
To Make the Icing:
1. Break the white chocolate up into small pieces and then melt. As this is melting, place the icing sugar, margarine, milk and vanilla into a pan and stir together until the margarine has melted and the mixture thoroughly combined.
2. Add the melted chocolate to the warm icing sugar mixture and whisk together.
3. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until they reach soft-to-medium peak.
4. Bring the chocolate/icing sugar mixture to the boil, remove from heat and SLOWLY drizzle over the egg whites, beating continuously (I don’t have a food processor, but managed to do this with a handheld mixer in one hand and the saucepan with the chocolate mixture in the other).
5. Once all the chocolate mixture has been added, keep beating as the mixture cools. Once it is warm, alternate leaving it in the fridge to cool further, for about 20 minutes at a time, and beating the mixture until it has reached a good consistency for piping.
6. Give the mixture one last beat with the mixer and then pipe or spread with a knife onto cupcakes.
7. Decorate with a mint leaf, or two, if you like!
As noted above, these cupcakes are my entry for this month’s IronCupcake:Earth challenge. The last day for entry is the 24th July (ie today – I have left this a bit late!). Voting is open from Tuesday 28th July until Wednesday 5th August at http://www.ironcupcakemilwaukee.com. Go have a look and vote for me, if you think its worth it, or for whoever you think is the best. If you want to take part in future challenges, take a look at the IronCupcake:Earth website.
According to the IronCupcake:Earth website, the prizes for this month are:
- A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5021935
- A delicious treat from CIRCLEMONKEY http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5335273
- a sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Cupcakery, http://www.acupcakery.com/
- PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice – sweet!
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com .