I know, I know, inappropriate name much? But that's seriously the best way to describe these cupcakes. They are soooo good! I actually wasn't going to make them last week, I was too tired, too lazy etc etc. But I really wanted to eat some, so I thought I really did have to make some. I also thought my new flatmates might appreciate some and I was right, they went down a treat! If I were to do them again, I would probably inject the filling into the cupcakes after they were cooked, or half fill them, put the filling in the and put top up the batter. It would be more of a filling then and less of a kind of spread. But if you love chocolate like I do, then these cupcakes are for you! It's definitely an orgasm of chocolate in your mouth, so if that's what you're after, then make these straight away!

Chocolate-Gasm Cupcakes

115g butter, softened and cut into cubes
50g dark chocolate bits
1/2 cup dutch-processed or other dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2t baking soda
3/4t baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1t vanilla extract
1/2t table salt
1/2 cup sour cream

75g milk chocolate
1/4 cup cream

375g chocolate bits
1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line standard-size muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at a lower power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. This is what I did.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of the flour, baking powder and baking soda over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is and thick. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Either put the filling and put more batter on top or inject the filling into the baked cupcakes. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

Milk Chocolate Filling:
In a microwave safe bowl, combine milk chocolate and cream. Microwave for 30 seconds on low power then stir. Repeat if chocolate is not melted. Whisk until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare cupcakes. Do not leave in fridge for more than 30 minutes.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 minutes on low, or until the chocolate on the top just starts to melt. Then pour over the cream and heat for a further minute to warm the cream. Stir until the ganache is smooth. Leave to cool until it is a pourable consistency and then refrigerate for around half an hour, but don't let the ganache set. Then pour the ganache into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip the crap out of it until you can pipe it! :)


The Amy

Some of you might be wondering why this post is called "The Amy". But Amy, of course, will understand. I worked with Amy for around 6 months at my old job, but they've now sadly moved to Auckland! So I thought that I would make cupcakes to celebrate the last day Amy and I had together as well as the fact that it had been her birthday the week before. Then I remembered that Amy had recently decided to be vegan. Hm... It was a challenge but I thought I may as well give it a go! There seem to be an increasing number of vegans in the world, and vegan recipes were plentiful. I knew I'd have to buy some soy or rice milk, but heaps of recipes called for agave or other specialist vegan sugars/sweeteners or butter-type products. I found this recipe and thought it would work quite well. Amy loved them, she was so excited that she called her mum in the UK! I would advise chilling the frosting before using though, as it kind of melted a bit of my way to work. Luckily I took photos before I got to work! The reason behind the name to this post, is that Amy and I were joking about opening a cupcake shop and she asked if I would open a vegan one. I probably wouldn't have a whole vegan cupcake shop, but if this were ever in the distant future to happen, I said I would sell this cupcake and call it "The Amy". There you have it, Amy's Vegan Cupcakes. :)

Vegan Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes (The Amy)


1 cup flour
1 cup vegan brown sugar (in New Zealand, all Chelsea products are vegan)
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
3/4t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/3 cup chocolate soy milk
1/4 golden syrup
1/4 vegan margarine
1/2 cup applesauce

2 cups vegan icing sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup rice milk
1t vanilla essence


Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together. In a smaller mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and pour them into the dry. Beat until combined. Spoon cupcake batter into liners until about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for about 20 minutes and then frost the cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
Mix wet ingredients well with a hand beater and then slowly add in dry ingredients. Add more icing sugar or rice milk until desired creaminess is reached.


A Craving

You know those times when you see something and you just can't stop thinking about it? Maybe it's a dress or a necklace or a new Xbox game? For me, it's most often a recipe. I see a picture and then I just can't stop thinking about the flavour, the texture, the whole package! I'm making you drool right? Usually when I think of chocolate chip biscuits, they don't make me drool. They're nice, don't get me wrong, but they're usually just a go-to kind of thing. Not something really special. But these, well. These were different. I saw the picture on Sally's Baking Addiction and I couldn't stop thinking about them! Probably half to do with the fact that they had "sno-caps" which are chocolate chips with sprinkles on them. Yum! But. They looked so soft and chocolatey and delicious. And they were! Honestly, my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. For anything. They were so amazing! I would highly recommend, and follow the recipe so that you too can achieve an amazing soft cookie... :)

PS: This photo was published on FoodGawker and TasteSpotting!! :D

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

175g butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2t vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
2t cornstarch
1t baking soda
1/2t salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate bits

Line a baking tray. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.  On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky. Chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days). Preheat oven to 180°CDrop balls of dough onto baking tray (about 1.5T of dough per cookie). Press a few chocolate chips onto the tops of cookies for looks, if desired. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT bake them longer than 10 minutes. Remove and let cool for 3 minutes on the baking tray.  Transfer to cooling rack. So easy!

Brunch with Maddie

Maddie is a friend of mine from school who I first got to know actually from winning the scholarship for my exchange. Maddie applied for the same thing and wanted my advice, but actually ended up going for a year-long exchange with Rotary (traitor!!). She came back 4 weeks ago now but has already moved out! I definitely understand, but I did find it quite funny. We were actually at the same flat viewing by chance, and after that we thought we should catch up and ended up having brunch. I was making the sweet thing (of course!) and I saw this recipe in the Little and Friday recipe book that I really wanted to try. I know I've made brioche before, but this recipe was much easier and less time consuming AND it had chocolate. Yum! So after walking up the 200 stairs to Maddie's new flat (seriously? Why do we even live in Wellington?!) we enjoyed these very yummy and reasonably easy to make brioche. They're good anytime of the day really, just make and eat them!

Chocolate Brioche

550mL milk
60g fresh yeast, crumbled, or 3t dried yeast
6 1/2 cups plain flour
3t salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
140g butter

200g chocolate bits
1/2 cup cream

200g chocolate bits

1 egg

In a saucepan, heat milk over a medium heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat and sprinkle over yeast. Stir until yeast has dissolved. Place dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Using an electric beater with a dough hook attachment, mix at a low speed. If you do not have a mixer, mix by hand to combine. Add yeast mixture and eggs to bowl, continuing to mix at a low speed. Mix until a sticky dough forms. Stop mixer and scrape down dough from sides of bowl. Increase to medium speed and mix for 10 minutes until an elastic, shiny dough forms and pulls away from the bowl. If doing this by hand, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Cut butter into small pieces and gradually add to dough mixture, mixing until well combined. Cover bowl with a tea-towel and allow dough to prove until it has almost doubled in size. Tip dough onto a floured bench.Preheat oven to 180°C and grease 3-4 texas muffin tins. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring approx 45cm x 20cm and 1cm thick. Position the dough on the bench so that the longer side is facing you. Spread a thick layer of chocolate ganache over the dough, ensuring it is fully covered, and sprinkle over chocolate bits. Roll up dough away from you to form a long log. Using a sharp knife, slice into 5cm-wide slices. Place each scroll into a muffin tin. Lightly beat the egg and brush the tops with the lightly beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from tins. If melted chocolate leaks out the bottoms, spoon it back on! Yum!

Chocolate Ganache:
Put chocolate in a medium sized bowl and heat on low in the microwave until the top layer of chocolate starts to melt. Pour over cream and heat also on low for around 30 seconds-1 minute. Then just keep mixing until no chocolate lumps remain. Leave in the fridge until the mixture is no longer warm but don't let it set.

Mum's Birthday!

I remember when we were younger and mum always used to make birthday cakes for Alex and I. She did heaps of cool things, one year we had a Barbie cake (where the skirt is the cake and you stick a Barbie in the top!), another year we had a pancake party and heaps more of course! But then we started getting into buying the cakes because it ended up being much easier and stress-free! We usually get all of our birthday cakes for our family from Moore Wilson's now (we're all particularly fond of the Duchess cake...) because they do really good cakes. This year however, I really wanted to bake mum a cake myself for her birthday. She said she didn't want any fruit, just chocolate so I was trying to think of what I could do. I was considering trying to replicate a Duchess cake so I googled to try and find a recipe, but apparently they only exist at Moore Wilson's! But, I did come across a recipe that looked nearly as good and I could make it in advance and freeze it. Since it ticked both of the boxes, I decided to give it a try and it was fantastic! If you want something more that just a basic cake for a birthday, or if you don't want to have to ice a cake, or if you want to make it in advance, then this cake it for you! Be warned, it does take a fair bit of time, just because you have to chill and bake things etc., but it's actually surprisingly easy. So maybe this could be your next go-to birthday cake?

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

250g chocolate bits
4 eggs, separated at room temperature (keep both parts though!!)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4t salt
1t vanilla essence
115g butter

250g dark/semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups cream
1t gelatin or 1 gelatin sheet, softened in 2-3T cool water

200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups cream
1t gelatin or 1 gelatin sheet, softened in 2-3T cool water

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20-25cm springform cake tin. Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave on a low heat, or in a double boiler/bowl over a pot of simmering water. When it's nearly all melted, stir until no lumps remain. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with about 1/3 of the sugar. Start beating on a slow speed and gradually increase the speed until the egg whites look fluffy. Add the remaining sugar, salt and vanilla and continue to beat until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is shiny and nearly at the soft-peak stage. Then, using a whisk, stir the soft butter into the melted chocolate until completely incorporated. Then whisk in the egg yolks. (I didn't read the recipe properly before starting and had to use 8 eggs as I threw away the egg yolks!! :O) Fold half of the meringue into the chocolate mixture using a whisk. Fold the remaining meringue in with a rubber spatula, making sure the mix the heavier batter at the bottom of the bowl. Gently fold until no streaks remain. Now fill a large casserole/baking dish about 2-3cm full with hot water to be a water bath for the cake. You must also wrap the springform tin in aluminium foil, do 2-3 layers so water will seep in while the cake bakes. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and then place the tin in the water bath. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 26-28 minutes. The top will be shiny and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. As it cools, it will sink and lose some of its volume, that's fine. Refrigerate the cake for 1 hour and then run a knife around the edge of the tin and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Remove the bottom of the pan and baking paper and then replace the ring of the springform tin around the cake. This will be the mold for the mousses.

Chocolate Mousse:
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture gently, until smooth. If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, heat it briefly on low in the microwave and continue to stir until melted. While the chocolate is melting, soften the gelatin in a small dish with the cool water. Once it has softened, heat it on low heat in the microwave and stir to dissolve. When the gelatin mixture is completely free of lumps, stir it into the melted chocolate (I know it's got water, but it actually works!). Whip the remaining cream, making sure not to overwhip it. The chocolate mixture must be free of lumps and around 25°C so that the chocolate doesn't set, but the cream won't just melt. Add about half of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold in with a whisk. Fold in the remaining half with a rubber spatula once the first half in whisked in. When the chocolate and cream are evenly blended, pour the mousse over the top of the cooled cake in the ring. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Return the cake to the refrigerator whilst you make the white mousse.

White Chocolate Mousse:
Repeat the directions for the chocolate mousse, but using the white chocolate. Pour the white mousse over the top of the chocolate mousse and return to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours before serving. It can also be frozen for up to several weeks, just let it defrost in the fridge for around 5 hours before serving.