The were always places of great joy to me. Lambs being born, Devonshire clotted Cream being churned,collecting eggs and most of all the delicious teas.
There was always home made pasties, saffron cake, rock buns and other farmhouse goodies.
And whenever it was time to go home either a dozen fresh eggs would be tucked in the car or a sweet smelling lardy cake to tempt you all the way home.
Well the wedding flower discussions went really well. The young couple are real "foodies" and I thought I had better get baking. Not perhaps the Lardy or Saffron cakes of my childhood but chocolate in lots of different ways.
Some chocolate cupcakes. Sweet and gooey.And some cookies made with plain,milk and white chocolate.
Some to eat and some to share.I found these sweet cake boxes at our local Garden Centre. Too good to miss.
Perfect for a takeaway.
As for the cookies, well we enjoyed some, and kept some for our coffee time treat tomorrow.
20 mins to prepare and 25 mins to cook Makes 12 cupcakes For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
Ingredients for the cupcakes
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1½tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
¼tsp vanilla extract
chocolate vermicelli or edible silver balls, to decoratents.
Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.
Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the Chocolate Frosting on top and decorate with chocolate vermicelli or silver balls.
For the chocolate frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40g cocoa powder, sifted
40ml whole milk
Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Double chocolate chip cookies
50g unsalted butter
450g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
170g soft light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
85g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Put the butter and half the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well mixed. Pour in the chocolate mixture, beating on slow speed until well combined.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl, then stir into the chocolate mixture in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Finally, stir in the remaining chocolate until evenly dispersed.
Arrange 6 equal amounts of cookie dough on each prepared baking tray. Make sure that the cookies are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, checking regularly after 10 minutes. They are ready when the tops start to crack and look glossy. Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Hope you try them.