Thursday, 22 November 2012

cocoa nibs and rose tea cupcakes

... another few busy weeks ahead as christmas rushes up upon us... The Persuaders are down in the big smoke once again this week producing a launch event for Wilkinson Sword and it's quite an exciting one as we're using a venue with a swimming pool and a team of synchronised swimmers - something we've never done before... and then I have to rush back to the cottage to prepare for my demo-cooking weekend at the Lincoln Christmas Food and Gift Fair.  I'll be showing off my bread-making and roulade rolling skills on Saturday and Sunday at the Lincolnshire Showground, so if you happen to be in the neighbourhood do come and say hello... i'll be the one with the microphone, burning chocolate... information and tickets can be found here

... so in an effort not to disappoint you my dear friends I spent the weekend in a cooking and baking frenzy so that i'd have something to pop up on the blog this week... and seeing that i'm completely in love with the exotically fragrant rose petal tea sent to me from Betty's I thought i'd use it again in some more bakes...

rose tea and cocoa nibs cupcakes
I do love a challenge that really gets you thinking so i'm very excited to be taking part in the second 'ingredients swap' challenge hosted by Ruth over at Makey-Cakey... Ruth pairs us off with other foolish individuals and we have to send them one special ingredient.  My swap partner was non other than lovely Lou from Please Do Not Feed The Animals who sent me a little packet of cocoa nibs... now cocoa nibs are an odd little chocolate by-product, they are actually raw chocolate, pieces of cocoa bean that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to the point at which all there is left to do is process them into bars, grinding them finely like coffee and adding sugar, cocoa butter and milk... they do have a wonderful nutty, coffee-like feeling in the mouth and can be used in baking in place of, or alongside nuts... you can buy bars of chocolate with the nibs blended in... there's something maturely sophisticated about them too...

this recipe makes 6 regular size cupcakes and 18 baby cupcakes
i'm using the 'weigh the egg method' for the basic batter so it's easy for you to increase the ingredients to make more

for the cupcake batter
1 large free-range egg
5oz self-raising flour
5oz caster sugar
5oz soft butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 pint of milk
2 tablespoons loose leaf tea
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs

for the icing
5 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons single cream

- place the milk and tea in a pan and gently bring to the simmer... once hot take it off the heat and allow the tea to infuse until the milk is cold, drain and set aside.

- cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg and mix, then add half the flour followed by half the milk infusion, then repeat until the flour and mil are gone and you have a nice smooth batter, throw in the cocoa nibs and mix once more

- poor batter into cupcake cases until 3/4 full and bake on 170 for 15 mins for the small ones and 20-25 mins for the big ones. - allow to cool completely

- mix the icing sugar and cream together in a bowl until you have a thick but moveable liquid and then dip each cupcake into the bowl, swirling around as you lift them away, sprinkle with cocoa nibs to finish

to find out what I sent Lou as her secret ingredient check out her blog over the next few days and then check out the round-up on Ruth's blog on the 1st Dec.

eat and of course, enjoy!



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