At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Monday, 29 December 2014

Marshy the Snowman Cupcakes!! :)

Meet Marshy the Snowman everyone!! Haha, or should that be Snowmen, for as usual this recipe yields 12 identical cupcakes. ;) And yes instead of Frosty the Snowman like they have in the song, it's Marshy the Snowman because that white stuff they snowmen are made of isn't, after all, any kind of icing or frosting or whatever - the head and the body consist of nothing but squishy white marhsmallows, another one of Ganache-Elf's big weaknesses. usually, as you might have guessed, I like to enjoy these delightful, soft members of the confectionary family on top of a hot choc in semi-molten form, but on this occasion, I thought they contributed very well to the aesthetic appeal of these Christmassy Cupcakes, as well as their scrumptiousness, of course. ;)
Ingredients :)

  • 125 g margarine/butter, softened
  • 125 g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 - 3 tbsp full-fat milk
  • 100 g white chocolate
For the dark chocolate ganache and decorations ;)

  • 150 g plain chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 1 - 2 Cadbury Flake bars (or any other kind of flaky milk chocolate like Galaxy Ripple or cadbury Twirl :) )
  • About 10 white marshmallows (or you might need more depending on their size :) 
Method :)
  1. preheat oven to 180c/160 c fan. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper cases. 
  2. Place the margarine in a big bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very soft. 
  3. Chope the white chocolate with a sharp knife into small chunks or big chips. 
  4. Add the sugar, the eggs, the flour and the sifted cocoa powder.Mix well with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes; before pausing the mixer and scaping down the sides of the bowl with a large metal spoon. Resume mixing for another minute until smooth and well-blended.  
  5. Spoon up some of the batter and let it fall back into the bowl to check it is of a nice, soft, dropping consistency. Add 2- 3 tbsp of milk, a tbsp at a time, if it seems a little on the thick side. 
  6. Fold in the white chocolate chips gently with a metal spoon. Then equally divide the batter amongst the paper cases.
  7. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are well-risen and spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. If an indent is left when you do this, bake for a few minutes more before testing again.
  8. Leave in the tin for about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. 
  9. Make the dark choc ganache by melting the 150g plain chocolate with 150 ml single cream, on a very low heat in a small saucepan. Stir until smooth and then refrigerate for about 1 ½ - 2 hours, checking after 1 ½ hours…you don’t want it very hard, just a nice spreadable consistency.
  10. Splodge a generous dollop of ganache on top of each cooled cupcake, reserving a small amount for piping the eyes and buttons of the snowmen.
  11. For the snowmen, cut 6 of the white marshmallows into half. Place each half on top of each cupcake, leaving a little space at the top for the head.
  12. Cut another marshmallow across its width into about 4 or 5 small pieces. Place the "heads" on top of the halved marshmallow on each cupcake.
  13. Now fill an icing bag fitted with a plain nozzle with the reserve ganache. 
  14. use this ganache to dot a pair of eyes, a little nose and a smile on each snowman. Then dot three buttons on each plump middle. :)
  15. Carefully break the flake/ripple into long thin shards and use these to make the arms of each snowman. :)

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