Blueberry Sour Cream Cakes with Cookie Butter Frosting

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You have not lived until you’ve tried the wonder that is Speculoos. What is this gibberish, you say? Is she making Harry Potter references again?

Usually, that would be a fair assumption, but this time I’m talking about the delicious Dutch cookie butter spread. My levels of consumption have grown perilously high of late, even to eating it straight from the jar with a spoon. So, naturally, I wondered how I could incorporate it into a becma bakes recipe.

Happily, I had a fresh jar of Speculoos in the cupboard, but if you don’t have it there is a handy list here via Sweetest Kitchen. It’s also available via Amazon. The recipe would also work nicely with a nut butter like peanut, almond or cashew, and you can achieve a cookie butter vibe by adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom to the frosting mixture.

The cupcakes are lovely and moist thanks to the addition of light sour cream and are super quick to make. The spiced, caramelly frosting and blueberries set each other off beautifully, too. I spent a bit of time fussing around with the presentation (I had run out of piping bags, the calamity!), but they will be just as tasty when topped with a quick spread of frosting and devoured quick smart.

You’ll need-

For the cupcakes: 

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125g blueberries, fresh or frozen

For the frosting: 

  • 1/3 cup Speculoos or substitute
  • 45g butter, melted
  • 45g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • extra blueberries or edible flowers to decorate, if desired

Method-

1. Pre-heat oven to 190° and line a 12 hole cupcake tray.

2. Sift your dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.

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3. Whisk wet ingredients together in another large bowl or jug until combined (this reminds me of making pancake batter!)

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug. Stir until just combined, taking care not to over mix.

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5. Add the blueberries and fold through your cupcake batter.

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6. Spoon batter into the prepared tray- make sure you don’t fill the cases more than 2/3 full, or you’ll end up with mushroom cupcakes!

7. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until just golden brown and the top springs back when tested.

8. For the frosting, add your Speculoos, butter and icing sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium until combined.

9. Add milk and vanilla essence- stir in on a low speed and then increase to high and mix until your frosting is light and fluffy. The flavour is amazing.

10. When cool, ice your cupcakes and top with decorations of your choice.

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My family gave these top marks at a recent birthday party, so I hope you’ll give the recipe a try and let me know what you think. At the very least, get your hands on some cookie butter!

 

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ANZAC day

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Tomorrow is ANZAC day, a day when we commemorate the services and sacrifices of  members of the Australian and New Zealand armed forces. This year is a particularly important day as the centenary of the landing of the Anzacs on the Gallipoli Penninsula.

We observe a number of traditions on the 25th, the most important being the dawn services held across the country. A large number of Australians also enjoy visiting their local to play a game or five of Two Up.

Anzac biscuits are a staple in any Australian biscuit jar year round, but really have their time in the spotlight near the day- so much so that I had to visit three supermarkets to track down my golden syrup!

I figure that everyone has their own recipe for Anzac biscuits, passed down from Grandmas and Aunties, but I thought I would do a short post including my own variation. This one is super easy as it is all done in one saucepan- I like any recipe that minimizes my washing up!

I like to add some chopped Turkish dried apricots to my mixture for some extra sweetness and chewiness – everyone at work who tried them seemed to enjoy the addition. Plus, the link to our Turkish friends is a nice touch.

You’ll need:

  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp bi carb soda
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g chopped dried apricots

Method:

1. Pre heat oven to 160 C and grease two oven trays

2. Stir buter, syrup and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.

3. Remove from the heat and stir through bi carb soda (I love this part).

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until completely combined.

5. Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture between your palms and place on the prepared trays, 2cm apart. Flatten slightly with a floured fork.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how chewy you like them) and cool on trays.

 

I’m still working on the promised passion fruit recipe- but keep an eye out for some more delicious sweets soon.

 

Choc Baileys Tarts

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I do apologise for the long delay between posts, I have been doing a bit of experimenting in the kitchen of late, as well as working hard at my new job!

My wonderful friends and I had a pool party yesterday and, as designated dessert maker, I adapted a recipe I’ve made a couple of times before.

I love chocolate tarts and they are a pretty regular fixture on my special occasion dessert list. I originally made this recipe as a large tart but have found it easier to serve and that the filling sets more quickly in individual tart form. The fact that they look super cute is just a bonus! The recipe is easily adapted to be gluten free by simply exchanging the flours for gluten free alternatives.

The tart case is a chewy, nutty adaptation of the base I use for my salted caramel slice, and goes beautifully with the rich chocolate-liquer filling. I topped each tart with a candied pecan, not the prettiest decoration, but they add a nice bit of extra crunch and nuttiness.These were a real hit and tasted great accompanied by some fresh berries and ice cream.

I always have music on at home,  especially when I’m baking. My soundtrack for recipe was Paul McCartney and Wings’ album Red Rose Speedway. I had to have a bit of fun with the sleeve, it fit too well.

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As Paul says, ‘Get On The Right Thing’ – give these tarts a go!

You will need:

Hazelnut tart cases:

  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (100g) hazelnut meal
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Choc-Baileys filling:

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream Liquer

Candied pecans (if desired- plain pecans or hazelnuts will also work on top!):

  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and line a 12 hole muffin tin with rectangular strips of baking paper, with one end sticking over the edge of the cup (this means the cups stay well-shaped- no paper folds sticking in, and are easy to remove).

2. Mix butter, hazelnut meal, flours, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.

3. Press balls of mixture into prepared tin, making the base reasonably thick and pressing up the sides, trying to keep the sides even and not too bulky- you need room for the filling after all!

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4. Bake for around 15 minutes or until nicely browned. They should have puffed up a little bit in the centre at this point, and I use the back of a rounded measuring spoon to gently press the sides of the still-hot cases and make a nice rounded bowl for the chocolate filling to come. Let cool completely before filling.

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5. I made the candied pecans while my tart cases were cooling. If you would like some to top your tarts (or just to eat on their own), simply stir the sugar, water and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the nuts and stir until the mixture starts to turn golden and bubble, keep stirring for a couple of minutes to make sure they are all well coated and then carefully turn out onto a piece of baking paper to cool.

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6. Add chocolate, cream, vanilla and Baileys to a medium mixing bowl and stir over a pot of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the surface. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and well combined.

7. Pour mixture into cups until full, I created some cool marbling on a couple of the tarts by using a little measuring cup with a pouring lip with a little bit of cream coating the sides. Will definitely do it to all of them next time, test out my rusty barista skills.

8. Place tarts in the fridge until set and top with candied pecans to serve. So good!

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Some becma bakes fans:

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Jackie couldn’t wait to dig in…
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Two thumbs up from noted food critic Keira.

Passionfruit Melting Moments

passionnnnnI’m a sucker for a good biscuit.

The passionfruit vine on our fence is going crazy at the moment (it isn’t even planted in our backyard, thank you neighbours!), so I’ve been incorporating the flavour into lots of my baking.

The tangy passionfruit flavour goes really nicely with the crumbly, buttery biscuits. Perfect with a cup of tea or as a late night treat.

I made the biscuits purple to evoke the contrast of the passionfruit shell with the yellow pulp. I probably didn’t achieve the perfect colour but I still think they look pretty. So, food colouring  is totally optional here.

You will need:

Biscuits

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • red and blue food colouring, if desired
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cornflour, sifted

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Passionfruit butter cream

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp passionfruit juice, seeds removed

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC and line two oven trays with baking paper.

2. Beat butter, vanilla, salt and icing sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add food colouring if desired, and stir to achieve a light purple mixture.

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I love my Kenwood Chef!

3. Add flours in two batches, stirring between additons.

4. Using lightly floured hands, roll generous teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on prepared trays, leaving 2cm spaces between each of the biscuits. Flatten slightly with a lightly floured fork.

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5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes and stand on trays to cool.

6. Meanwhile, make the butter cream. Beat butter and icing sugar (does anyone else hate sifting opened icing sugar as much as I do!?) until light and fluffy. Stir in passionfruit juice until combined.

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7. Sandwich biscuits with about a teaspoon of the butter cream. Mmm mm!

Makes about 20 filled biscuits.

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