I HEART Peanut Butter! Happy Valentines!

Welcome to my first baking post – in honour of Valentines Day!!

This year I am making cupcakes for my beaux – and what better way to say I love you than with peanut butter (right?).

but will my cupcakes look cook-book good??
but will my cupcakes look cook-book good??

I’m using a mixture of a recipe from ‘Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery‘; whose cupcakes I covet far more than is decent, and a chocolate icing recipe from BBC Goodfood.  It’s decadent, sticky, delicious and I’m not sure I can promise that the recipe will create the 12 cupcakes intended once I get my face near that mixing bowl!

I love a good cupcake recipe – the idea is pretty much chuck everything in and stir (a statement that no doubt will make real baking experts shudder in their choc chip studded boots!).  This time I’m using brown sugar, unsalted butter, milk, an egg, vanilla extract, PEANUT BUTTER, baking soda, flour, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt.  I’m also testing out some new silicone cupcake moulds which I’m slightly nervous about as I haven’t used them before.

At this point I should add that while I love cooking I don’t really bake (yes that’s right people ‘chuck everything in and stir’ is NOT a regularly used baking term!).  I’m not great at baking because I get bored/distracted/lazy following recipes very quickly; and balance of ingredients and timing is pretty important in baking!  I’m also quite a messy baker…and I lick the bowl shamelessly.  The finished product will most likely look like the work of an optimistic child, presented with sticky hands and chocolate covered face BUT it’s personal, home-made, delicious (no matter what the final cupcakes look like) and so I’m following this through!

The Serious Bit

You will need:

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

75g unsalted butter (leave out for a bit so it’s nice and soft)

1 cup peanut butter

¾ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

How-to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Line a cupcake pan with cases or lay out your moulds ready.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, butter and peanut butter until they come together. Add your egg and beat into the mixture, then stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  And measure out your milk ready.
  4. Now alternate between adding and stirring in the flour mix and the milk; adding just a bit of each at a time. If you start with the flour mix it’ll take a bit of time to combine into the mixture.
  5. Evenly spoon your mix into the cupcake moulds – you could easily have lots left so don’t overfill them as I always get tempted to do!!
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before icing.

Icing!! – icing sugar, butter, cocoa, milk and melted dark chocolate – one of my favourite things in the world!! (One of the reasons I’m not trying to get better at baking is that I would never. stop. eating. all. the. cake)

Must. Resist. Temptation
Must. Resist. Temptation

Now I wasn’t going to show you these next pictures but I think I should probably be honest because the final cupcakes look pretty damn good.  Here’s my super secret Best Baking Tip; frosted icing hides a multitude of sins!  and here’s the proof:

Before:  overspilling cupcake moulds, a pile of shameful offcuts, ragged edges and flat tops where they cooked but didn’t quite rise up as they should…

the shameful truth - naked cupcakes have nowhere to hide!
the shameful truth – naked cupcakes have nowhere to hide!

After: Glorious Cupake-icity!!

Success!!
Success!!

I’ve added m&m’s to the top of mine mine for my valentine’s initials but you can get really creative when decorating; using sprinkles, or sweets, or making shapes and letters on the top.

…now I just need to keep them hidden and control my temptation to scoff them all before Valentines Day!

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