A Hybrid Blog is Born

I have been toying with the idea of posting about food on my blog but have been torn about doing it or not. I have an equal passion for food and cooking than I do for gardening. When I was younger I wanted to be a chef but then became too obsessed with the outdoors and gardening that I turned my back on this idea. In the last number of years I have started to seriously begin cooking again.
So I have decided to create a hybrid blog and post about food, gardening and nature. The food side will only be an added flare to the blog and my love for plants and nature will still be the main driving force behind the blog!
To start off my journey with food I decided to share this brilliant recipe for vanilla cupcakes I made over the weekend. It made for a very taste treat between study and writing my thesis!!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Almond Praline topping

Makes: 10

Ingredients: 

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 175g Self-rising flour
  • 100g Sugar
  • 100g Softened Margarine
  • 1Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla essence 
  • 75ml Milk

Butter Cream Frosting:

  • 250g Icing Sugar
  • 110g Soft Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Almond Praline:

  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 350g Roughly Chopped Almonds
Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Method

To Make Cupcakes:

1.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
2. Add butter, eggs, vanilla and two thirds of the milk into the bowl
3. Mix using an electric mixer until combined ( If tick add more milk – want dropping consistency)
4. Spoon the mixture evenly between ten prepared cupcake cases
5. Bake at 180C for 25 minutes
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool fully

To Make Butter Cream Frosting:

1. In a large bowl beat the butter using an electric mixer until pale and fluffy
2. On low speed add half of the icing sugar , combine and add the remaining
3. Add the milk and beat on high until light and fluffy
4. Spoon mixture on to the cooled cupcakes and spread evenly

To Make Almond Praline:

1. Add sugar and water to a pan and heat over a gentle flame
2. Swirl pan occasionally until pale golden in colour
3. Add the roughly chopped nuts and swirl to combine
4. Pour the mixture onto the an upturned baking tray that has been lightly oiled
5. Once fully cooled, remove from tin and break into chunks
6. Place on top of cupcakes and admire

Almond Praline makes a great topping for Cupcakes and Ice Cream

Almond Praline makes a great topping for Cupcakes and Ice Cream

Top Tip:

Left over almond praline can be crushed in a food processor and sprinkled over ice cream.

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