2-3 drops pink food colouring (or any other colour you want)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 ounces cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp cream
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and insert the cupcake liners into the tray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (feel free to use an electric mixer). Add the food colouring, vanilla extract, then the eggs one at a time.
Combine with the dry ingredients and mix well on a slower speed.
Pour the batter into each cupcake liner, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Take them out of the oven, and set aside until completely cool.
For the icing, combine the butter and cream cheese on a medium setting.
Reduce the speed, then add one cup of sugar at a time. Add the vanilla extract and cream before mixing it some more. Once the icing is light and fluffy, then transfer into a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes.
Wonder what the celebs will be noshing on at the Governors Ball after the Oscars? Host your own Oscars party with some of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s Oscars recipes, including healthy smoothie shots, decadent truffled mac and cheese and vegan chocolate cupcakes – perfect for Oscars host and vegan Ellen DeGeneres.
Power smoothie shots
Makes: 12 shots
6 leaves kale, ribs removed
4 large stalks celery, leaves trimmed
2 green apples, cut into wedges
1 medium organic English cucumber
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled
Juice all ingredients, stir well and serve right away.
Mac and cheese with black truffles
250g elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 ½ cups milk
½ medium onion
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
A pinch of cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped black truffles
300g grated sharp aged white cheddar
90g grated gruyère
30g grated parmesan
2 drops black winter truffle oil
3 tablespoons butter 1 cup brioche bread crumbs 2 tablespoons chopped parsley Sliced fresh black truffles for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 175C. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni to al dente (about seven minutes). Strain and place on a lightly oiled sheet pan.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Continue to cook over low heat for four minutes stirring constantly. Add the milk, chopped truffles, onion and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes before removing the onion and bay leaf.
3. Turn off the heat and add three quarters of the cheddar and all of the other cheeses. Season with salt and black pepper and fold in macaroni. Pour into a two-quart casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar.
4. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and toss bread crumbs and parsley to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumb mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let stand for five minutes. Serve with fresh shaved black truffles.
Gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes with almond cream frosting Makes: 12
Ingredients For the cupcake
1 ¾ cups plain gluten-free baking flour
½ cup potato starch
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthan gum powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup hot brewed dark-roast coffee
1 cup coconut oil
1 ⅓ cups agave nectar
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the frosting
1 ½ cups plain or vanilla-flavored almond milk
¾ cup soy milk powder
¼ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon coconut extract
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups coconut oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. First, prepare the frosting. In the bowl of a food processor with a stainless-steel blade, combine the almond milk, soy milk powder, agave nectar, coconut extract and vanilla. Process for two minutes. Slowly add half of the coconut oil, then half of the lemon juice, then the remaining half of each. Continue processing until the mixture is blended. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the frosting has firmed up enough to spread (about six hours).
2. Next, for the cupcakes, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 160C. Line two 12-cup muffin tins or four standard-sized six-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the hot coffee, coconut oil, agave nectar, applesauce and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until blended. Add the wet ingredient mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir with a whisk until a smooth batter forms.
5. Pour batter into cups until each is nearly full. Bake on the middle rack. After 15 minutes, rotate the baking tins front to back. Continue baking until the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed at their centers, about seven minutes longer. Remove from the oven and leave in tins at room temperature for 20 minutes. Then, remove the cupcakes from the tins and leave on wire racks to cool completely. Frost the cupcakes when they have cooled.
Recently in New York I had the most delicious, moist banana cupcake topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting which I had to recreate at home (with some help from the bakery). I turned it into a banana cake to serve at afternoon tea but you can also bake them as cupcakes – either way, this is the best banana cake recipe you’ll ever try!
Tip: Make sure the bananas are over-ripe and black otherwise the banana flavour won’t come out in the cake.
Makes 1 cake or 24 cupcakes
125g butter, softened
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4-5 over-ripe (black) bananas, pureed to make 2 cups of banana puree
1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a cake pan with baking paper or a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until sugar and butter becomes light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then starting on low speed, start to beat the mixture, increasing to medium speed and beating until fluffy.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture, followed by the buttermilk, then add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix gently until combined, be careful not to over-mix.
3. On a low speed, mix in the banana puree. Mix for 1 minute.
4. Scoop the dough into the cake pan or cupcake tray and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour for the cake or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Remove and allow to cool.
5. To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix on a medium speed for 5 minutes.
6. While mixing, slowly add the sugar to incorporate. Once all the sugar is mixed in, add the vanilla extract and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Frost the cake or cupcakes when cool.
The cake or cupcakes will stay moist and fresh for 4 days if kept in an airtight container at room temperature – do not place in the fridge or the cake and frosting will dry.
This really is the best vanilla cupcake recipe we’ve tried (and we’ve tried a lot). The cupcake has a lovely, moist crumb that tastes just as good the next day, and the vanilla buttercream recipe is really easy to make and is fluffy and packed with vanilla flavour.
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups plain flour, softed
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Method 1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Go and find some cute ones!
2. In a big bowl, combine the flours. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are just incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full.
4. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins then on a rack. When cool top with the vanilla buttercream icing.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2-3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is lovely and thick.
The perfect morning or afternoon tea treat, bake a batch of these delicious pear, raspberry and choc chip muffins over the weekend and enjoy with a cuppa!
Makes 6 large muffins
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
100g milk, white or dark chocolate chips
125g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small pear, peeled, cored and chopped
150g frozen raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir in choc chips.
2. Whisk together butter, buttermilk and eggs and using a large
metal spoon fold into dry ingredients until nearly combined and
lumps of flour are still visible. Gently fold in pear and
raspberries until just combined.
3. Spoon mixture into 6 paper case lined 3/4 cup capacity Texas
muffin pans. Bake at 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until golden
and cooked through. Cool for 5 minutes in pan before removing
and cooling on a wire rack.
What’s Topaque? The new name for everyone’s favourite sticky dessert wine, Tokai, and it’s absolutely divine in these rich banana cupcakes topped with luscious caramel buttercream. Serve with a glass of Topaque of course!
Ingredients – makes 12
125g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (165g) brown sugar
1 ½ cups (225g) self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup (60 ml) Topaque
½ cup (125 ml) sour cream
75g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (110) brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (250g) icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon Topaque
1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a 12-hole
muffin pan with paper cases.
2. Beat the butter and sugar with an
electric mixer until the sugar well
combined and lighter in colour. Add
the eggs one at a time mixing well after
each. Sift the flour and baking soda
3. Combine the banana and Topaque. Add
the sour cream to the butter mix and
combine with a wooden spoon. Add the
flour and banana mix alternately in two
batches. Spoon the mixture into the
prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or
until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
4. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before
transferring to a wire rack to cool.
5. To prepare the buttercream mix the
butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla
with an electric mixer until well
combined. Add the icing sugar and mix
until smooth, drizzling in the Topaque to