Extremely Chocolate Cupcakes!!

The weather has been so delightful over the last few days, which has been so lovely for us to br able to enjoy being outdoors in the glorious sunshine that we have been having, however the weather has started to turn back to that normal British rainy and cloudy atmosphere, which is just damping our mood! Nevertheless I have a perfect way to brighten up anyone’s mood on this rainy day in May! It is a pure chocolate indulgence, the Extremely Chocolate Cupcakes are a perfect treat to make, because they do not take long to make at all, and they are so easy to create with the children too. Jaxon helped me mix up all the ingredients and decorate all the cupcakes, and he just couldn’t wait to eat them all when they were finished! Honestly they were such a hit with Jaxon and his Daddy that they lasted less than a day! So without further ado, here is the most chocolatey recipe yet!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 4tbsp of water (Boiling)
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Large Free Range Eggs
  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 165g Caster Sugar
  • 115g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Powder

Cupcake Buttercream

  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • 30g Cocoa Powder
  • 3tbsp Milk
  • 250g Icing Sugar
  • Cupcake Decorations (We used silver edible balls, but you can choose any decoration of your choice.)

Utensils

  • Cupcake Cases (In any design of your choice.)
  • Piping Bag
  • Star Nozzle
  • 12 Hole Cupcake Tray

This little one just couldn’t wait to get his hands on them!

Instructions

  1. Line your 12 hole cupcake tray with your choice of cupcake cases, and preheat your oven to 200°C.
  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and then add the boiling water and mix into a thick paste.
  3. Add the butter, Caster sugar and eggs and mix well together, then add the self raising flour and fold in, until you have a creamy mixture.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the 12 paper cupcakes cases.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch.
  6. Then take out and leave aside to cool.
  7. To make the chocolate icing, melt the butter into a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar a little at a time until it is glossy and spreadable.
  8. If the icing is starting to get a bit too thick, gradually add the milk until it starts to reach its consistency.
  9. Add the icing into a piping bag with your star nozzle, and pipe onto the cupcakes.
  10. Then sprinkle on your decorations, for the finished touch!

There you have it! The perfect recipe to make some delicious chocolate cupcakes! I hope you enjoyed this recipe, don’t forget to tag me in your posts on Instagram @thecountrysidemama I would love to see your recipes!

See you soon!

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Classic Shortbread Biscuit Recipe.

It has been a bit gloomy over here this Bank holiday weekend, and there has not been that much sunshine at all, which has led us to stay in doors. However the only good thing about being inside while it pours with rain on the outside, is that we can bake to our hearts content. Jaxon had decided that he wanted to bake some biscuits, and the first recipe that came to my mind was the classic Shortbread Biscuit! I have always loved making shortbread biscuits, they are one of my go to recipes, as they only have 3 main ingredients in them which just makes them so quick and easy to make. We had so much fun making these lovely classic Shortbread biscuits so I thought I would share my recipe for all of you to try.

Ingredients

  • 250g Butter
  • 110g Caster Sugar (and extra to finish!)
  • 360g Plain Flour

Utensils

  • Baking Tray
  • Baking Parchment
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutter (Round or any other preferred shape.)

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 190°C and place some baking parchment onto a baking tray.
    Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth.
    Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste.
    Turn onto a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm thick.
    Using a cookie cutter, cut out your preferred biscuits and place them onto a baking tray.
    Sprinkle the top of them with Caster Sugar.
    Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until pale golden brown.
    Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

There you have it! The perfect recipe to make some delicious classic Shortbread! I hope you enjoyed this recipe, don’t forget to tag me in your posts on Instagram @thecountrysidemama I would love to see your recipes!

See you soon!

Zara at 9 Months.

Well my little Zara is 9 months old (even though she will actually be coming up to 10 months next week!) Zara is the most happiest and content baby I could ask for, she’s always smiling from ear to ear, and is constantly chatting away to herself. I know the last update I did was when Zara was 5 Months old and I was planning on doing these blog posts every month, but I have to admit, getting a blog post completed has been harder than I anticipated. To be honest I just haven’t had the time, and it was just nice to have a break from blogging for a while and watch Zara grow and develop. (And also enjoy all her baby snuggles!) However Zara’s monthly milestones photographs are up on my Instagram if you did want to take a look They are all under the highlight “Monthly

Instagram – @thecountrysidemama

Also if you would like to catch up on Zara’s other monthly updates, follow the links here: Zara’s 1 Month Update, Zara’s 2 Month Update, Zara’s 3 Month Update, Zara’s 4 Month Update, Zara’s 5 Month Update

Weight

Well Zara’s weight gain has increased a huge amount over the past 4 months, we found out that she has a Cows Milk Protein Allergy, and as I was breastfeeding her, she was loosing weight. So now that we have changed over her milk, she has grown and gained the weight that she has needed, which I couldn’t be more prouder of her for. She is started to become a little chunky and getting those cute rolls on her legs!

Sleep

Zara’s sleep has been exceptionally good, she has been sleeping through the night since she was about 5½ weeks old, which is just so wonderful for me and Aiden. Zara is now sleeping from 7.30pm until 7am, which is amazing, I really can not fault her sleeping routine. Mummy and Daddy are grateful for a full night’s sleep.

Feeding

Zara has made a big change with her feeding, although it is a bit more of a personal change for her, she has taken to her hypoallergenic formula milk so well and I’m so happy for her, as we were so worried about her weight. She currently has 3 bottles of milk throughout the day now and in-between those bottles we have started weaning her onto solid foods! We started weaning her around 6 months and she has been enjoying exploring all the new flavours and textures, and learning to pick up finger foods. Her favourites are mashed up banana, rice cakes, Baby Rusks, strawberries, cucumber, pasta and broccoli. There are foods that Zara is not too keen on, which are all mainly on the savoury side, but we keep persevering with her, and we hope her taste buds will soon change to like them!

Sizes

For clothes Zara is still in 6-9 Months at the moment, as she is still on the petite side, she can fit into 9-12 months but some things may be a bit long on her. We have a few gift cards that we got from Christmas for her, so I’m on the look out for some nice cute summer pieces for our holiday!

Sibling Love

Jaxon & Zara love to play together, and it does melt my heart every time I see them together. If you want to get Zara to laugh, the only person she will laugh at is Jaxon! He loves to make Zara laugh, just by pulling silly faces, she just loves being around him! I can not wait to see them play together when they are a bit older with a bit more imagination, but for now I’m enjoying these little moments!

Playtime

Playtime has been really fun, Zara loves to sit up and play with all her toys! She had lots of different toys, with noises and colour to stimulate her senses and help her development. Her favourites are the sensory dragon fly and stacky cups! We also do Tummy Time, to try and encourage her to start to crawl, as she’s started to roll about, so we know it will not be long until she’s crawling away from me!

Milestones

Sitting Up – Zara has been sitting up for a while now, from about 6 Months she could sit up with me, and then from 7 months she could fully sit up on her own, with no support. She loves to sit up and play with her toys.

Weaning – Zara has officially started solid foods, from about 6 Months old. She loves to explore all the flavours and textures. She had also been loving finger foods, and being able to pick and eat things up.

Talking – Zara has been very chatty for a while, but I think her biggest milestone to date has to be saying Mama & Dada! As much as I wanted her to say Mama first..she ended up saying Dada! (You can imagine Aiden being very smug about this!) However hearing Zara say Mama was just as lovely, she loves to babble away to herself. And hopefully soon she will saying more words!

Teething – Zara has been teething for a while now, and I have felt her little toothy pegs starting to come through already, some days it can be quite painful for her, but I have been using Dentinox Teething Gel which seems to help her teething a lot. There are still no sign of any teeth yet, but I am sure it will not be long!

Likes

  • Little Blue Nest Bunny Baby Comforter. (This will forever be her favourite! As she can’t sleep without it!)
  • Saying Mama & Dada.
  • Playing with Jaxon.
  • Sitting up.
  • Laughing.
  • Chatting!

Dislikes

  • Loud Noises.
  • Any savoury foods!
  • Teething.
  • Bath time.
  • Things taken off her. (Like if she gets hold of the tv controller, and I take it away from her, she gets very upset and has a little tantrum!)

Well I hope you have enjoyed Zara’s 9 month update. There has been a lot going on in this month and sorry about the 4 month gap, as I said it was just nice to have a break from it all. I am back to blogging now, and I can not wait to see what’s happening in all her next updates. Let me know if there are any other points you would like me to cover in these posts.

See you soon!

Blondie Brownies with Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.

I can’t believe it is nearly the end of February already and we will be coming into March. It definitely feels like Spring is on its way, and it’s nice to see the daffodils swaying in the glorious sunshine that we have been having! The weather has been lovely the past few days, but I know we are due to get a forecast of rain this week too! So if your feeling stuck on what to do, I have a recipe for you! What is better than chocolate brownies? Blondie Brownies with Cadbury’s Mini Eggs off course! Hello Easter Recipes! Easter will soon be amongst us, and this recipe will be the perfect Easter treat or if you just can’t wait to make it for Easter it’s the perfect treat for now! It’s so quick and easy to make and I made this recipe with Jaxon, and he loves to help me bake in the kitchen! So without further ado here is the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 115g of Unsalted Butter
  • 55g Caster Sugar
  • 135g Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 275g Plain Flour
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1tbsp Cornflour
  • 300g Cadbury’s Mini Eggs
  • 100g Milk Chocolate Chips

Baking Essentials

  • Square Baking Tin
  • Baking Paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 180C, and line your baking tray with some baking paper and put aside for later.
  2. Beat the butter, caster sugar, and light brown sugar together until pale and smooth.
  3. Mix in the egg and vanilla Extract into the mixture.
  4. Then add the flour, salt, cornflour and bicarbonate of soda. Then stir in it all together until the mixture turns to a cookie dough like paste.
  5. Add in the Cadbury’s Mini Eggs (but leave aside a handful for decoration) and Milk Chocolate chips and stir.
  6. Pour all the mixture into your baking tray and press down to flatten. Then press down some Cadbury’s Mini Eggs on top for decoration.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until looks golden in colour.
  8. Leave to cool and then cut into squares and serve!

And there you have it, the perfect Blondie Brownies with Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. Let me know what you think of my recipe in the comments below, or you can tag me in your bakes on Instagram @thecountrysidemama

See you soon.

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Recipe.

What a better way to celebrate Christmas with some lovely homemade bakes. There are a lots of Christmas recipes out there, and it’s fun to get in the baking spirit over the seasonal holiday but my favourite thing I have been baking recently has definitely been these Chocolate Orange Shortbread! Terrys Chocolate Orange is one my favourite chocolate to eat over the Christmas period, so I was thinking the other day, what about making a Chocolate Orange Biscuit! And the perfect Christmas biscuit has to be the classic Shortbread Biscuit. They make the perfect gift for Christmas, so what a better way to make a biscuit with a touch of orangey chocolate goodness! So without further ado, here is the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 125g of Unsalted Butter
  • 55g Caster Sugar
  • 180g Plain Flour
  • 1 Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  • 1 Whole Orange (for the grated zest)

Baking Essentials

  • Christmas Cookie Cutter
  • Grater
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking Paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 180C, and line two baking trays with some baking paper and put aside for later.
  2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and smooth. Then stir in the flour, until the mixture turns to a smooth paste.
  3. Roll out the paste onto a floured work surface, and work the paste until it starts to form a dough. Roll your dough out with the rolling pin and make sure that the dough is about 1cm thick.
  4. Using your cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place them onto a baking tray until all the dough has been used. Sprinkle them with caster sugar and place in the oven at 180C. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes until they are a pale golden brown colour.
  5. Once baked take them out the oven and leave them to cool. While they are cooling, get a bowl and empty half of the chocolate orange into it. (You can eat the other half of chocolate orange while you do this!) Then place the bowl over a pan of water, and slowly melt the chocolate. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and let it simmer, once most of the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat.
  6. Next take your whole orange and start grating it into a bowl, make sure you have enough orange zest to sprinkle at the end, and then put it to one side.
  7. Once your biscuits have cooled, dip less then half of your biscuit into the melted chocolate and then place it on to the baking paper, repeat this for the rest of the biscuits. Finally sprinkle on the orange zest onto the melted chocolate. (Make sure you do this before the chocolate sets!)
  8. Leave the chocolate to cool, and place them in the fridge. Once they are cooled, tuck in and enjoy!!

Well there you have it, the Shortbread biscuit with some chocolate orangey goodness! Let me know what you think of my recipe in the comments below, or you can tag me in your bakes on Instagram @thecountrysidemama

See you soon!

The Rainbow Cake Recipe.

As it was Jaxon’s 3rd Birthday last week, it was only right to go ahead and bake him an amazing birthday cake! I had been hunting over on Pinterest for inspiration and ideas for his birthday cake, but never came across anything that blew me away, until I saw The Rainbow Cake! 🌈 I have seen this cake before and it’s quite a popular cake in bakeries, but I had completely forgotten about it until I saw it again. I knew this cake would be a challenge because of all the rainbow cake layers, and I had never done this before. I knew if I pulled of this cake for Jaxon’s Birthday it would be amazing. (No Pressure!!) I have to say that my first attempt at this colourful creation wasn’t a disaster and Jaxon just loved it!!

So I thought I would share the recipe on how I made Jaxon’s 3rd Birthday Cake! It did take me most of the afternoon to make but it’s definitely worth doing! So without further ado here is the Recipe!

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • Whole Milk – 9 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Various Colour Pastes – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green Blue and Purple.
  • Soft Unsalted Butter – 750g
  • Large Free Range Eggs – 9
  • Self Raising Flour – 750g
  • Butter for preparing the cake tins
  • Sprinkles to decorate

For the Buttercream:

  • Unsalted Butter – 400g
  • Icing Sugar – 900g
  • Whole Milk – 5-6 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp

Baking Essentials:

  • Six 8inch Baking Tins
  • Six Bowls for each different food colouring
  • Electric Scales
  • Serrated Knife or Cake Cutter
  • Turntable
  • Spatulas, palette knife, crank palette knife and Cake Scraper
  • Extra bowl for measuring and the cake batter
  • Baking parchment.
  • Cake board or Plate displaying the Cake

The Off Cut – Don’t worry it didn’t go to waste!

Instructions:

  1. Pour 9 tbsp of whole milk into a jug and add 1 and 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract and then mix them together. Once your have done that, then you need to divide the milk mixture into six, which is 1 and 1/2 tbsp each. Add the 1 and 1/2 tbsp of whole milk to the six separate bowls. And then add a bean size amount of each of the six colour pastes. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple.) Mix the milk and colour pastes together until you have six vibrant colours. By using the colour pastes they are much more concentrated than liquid food colouring, which gives it that vibrant colour you need for this cake. Once the colours are all mixed, pop them to one side for later when you are ready to use them.
  2. Now you need to make the batter, so you need to add 750g of softened unsalted Butter into the mixer with 750g Caster Sugar. Mix on a medium to high speed for about 6-7minutes until it’s gone really pale and fluffy. Then crack 9 large free range eggs into a bowl and whisk them, then add them into the mixer on a slightly slower speed, adding them in 5-6 stages, mixing quite well between each one. If you find your mixture curdling, you can add a bit of your flour; a tbsp should do, and that will help it bring it back together again. Add 750g to the mixture and put on a really low speed setting.
  3. Next grab a set of electric scales, and place an empty bowl onto the scales, and then put the whole cake batter into that bowl, to measure the whole amount you have got, once you have your amount you need to divide by six. Then you need to put each amount you have into the six bowls, which should be all divided equally as you have worked out the correct amount. Using a spatula, you need to mix each of the six colours with their batter. When you are mixing the colours with the batter, just be careful not to knock out some the air you have created in your cake mixture. So fold gently.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170C and Butter six 8 inch cake tins. Then scoop each of the coloured mixture into the six tins and level each one off with a crank palette knife. You should have Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple in each tin. Then you need to bake them at 170C for 20 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Once baked leave aside to cool.
  5. Now you need to make the white vanilla buttercream, for this you need to start with 400g of softened unsalted Butter and you need to beat this really fast for about 5 minutes, until it’s gone really pale and fluffy. Then you need to add 900g of icing Sugar, so you need to put it into the mixture in two stages and beat for about 2 minutes between each one. Add 5tbsp of whole milk to a jug and then add 1/2 of tsp of Vanilla Extract and mix together. Then add the milk to the buttercream mixture on slow speed and then beat it on quite a high speed for another two minutes. Place some cling film over your bowl of buttercream until you are ready to use.
  6. Place each cake onto some baking parchment, this makes it easier for you to move the cakes around instead of you keep on lifting them up which may cause some breakage to the cake. Now you need to trim and cut your cakes so do this, you can use a serrated knife or a cake cutter. If your using a cake cutter, you can set it on to notch three which is just under an inch high for each level. So starting with the red cake, cut each top of the cake and continue to do this until all your cakes have been cut. Now you need to cut the edges off your cakes, so you need something smaller than the diameter of your cake. (I used a small bowl) place it on top of your cake and trim it all the way round, very gently, and remove the outer crusty bit, so you have a nice clean edge. Continue to do this for the rest of your cakes.
  7. Get your cake board or plate and place it onto a turn table, this will be easier for you to use when you come to ice your cake and it will give you nice straight sides too. Put a third of your buttercream into a bowl, because you don’t want it to get too crumby. Grab a crank palette knife and put a little buttercream onto your cake board or plate, this will secure the cake in place and stop it from moving. Starting with your purple level, pick it up really gently using your whole hands and put it right in the middle of the cake board or plate and give it a little press down so it’s securely in place.
  8. Now you need to give your purple cake a little crumb coat, which will lock in all the crumbs before adding a thicker layer of buttercream. Grab a little bit of buttercream on your crank palette knife and and spread a thin layer on top of the cake. Once you have a nice thin layer, you need to fill the cake properly. Add a generous blob of buttercream and spread evenly all over. Now you need to continue this pattern, by adding the rest of the cake layers with blue, green yellow, orange and finishing with red. Now your cake is filled, you need to give it a crumb coat, so when you come to decorate it for real, it’s nice and clean and crumb free. Smear some buttercream all over the cake, nice and tight so that the cake will be crumb free. It doesn’t have to be a thick layer as you will be putting a thick layer on top a bit later. Make sure you lock in all the crumbs and the edges are nice and smooth. Once you have done that, put the cake into the fridge for about 1-2 hours. This will set the coating and make it smooth for the final layer.
  9. Remove the cake from the fridge and place back onto your turntable, and then taking the remaining buttercream you made earlier, you want to spread about half a cm of buttercream onto the cake, and then using the cake scraper, smooth it over and scrap of any excess back into the buttercream bowl, continue to do this all over the cake until it’s completed covered.
  10. Finally to decorate your cake sprinkle on some hundreds and thousands all over the top and around the sides.

And there you have it, the recipe on how to make the perfect Rainbow Cake. The real test is obviously cutting into the cake, and seeing all the amazing layers. This was such a big cake to make, but I thoroughly enjoyed making it, especially for Jaxon’s 3rd Birthday!! Let me know if you make it, and tag me on Instagram @thecountrysidemama as I would love to see your bakes!

See you soon!

Jaxon’s 3rd Birthday!

We’ve been talking about Jaxon’s 3rd birthday to Jaxon for a while now, and Jaxon got so upset a few months ago because his Daddy’s Birthday was before his! (Oh my heart! 💔😩) but my little man has finally made it to 3! And we celebrated his 3rd birthday last week, and he had such a wonderful day. I can’t quite believe he is now 3 years old. He is so funny and entertaining, smart as a whip and a giant ball of constant energy. He challenges me and his Daddy everyday to the max and tests our patience around every corner, but I’m convinced he makes us the best parents we can be to him, and we love him for that.

Jaxon on One of the best Days of my life. (Zara is the other best day of my life!) – 29-11-15

These days he’s all about Lightning McQueen, dinosaurs, sleeping in his big boy bed and riding his balance bike! It’s been such a fun year with Jaxon, watching him grow and learn. He is talking so much more now, and stringing together longer sentences. I love our little conversations we have, and my favourite saying at the moment is “What are you doing Mummy?” He’s just getting more curious about what I’m up too, it’s really sweet. Hopefully we will skip the “why?!” Stage but for now I’m loving it!Jaxon’s laugh is very contagious, that you have too laugh along with him and he is always making us laugh, and it’s usually when he is full on singing his little heart out. He loves to sing to Zara and he loves spending time with her. These two definitely balance each other out so well. I’m so proud to call Jaxon my son, he is a strong, brave little boy with the sweetest soul. He can make himself comfortable in any situation and handle change like no other. We love you more than anything in the world Jaxon.

Happy 3rd Birthday!!