Thursday, 5 May 2011


Chocolate and nuts - could there be anything nicer? Whether it's almonds in milk chocolate, hazelnut praline, good old Cadbury's Whole Nut or Reece's peanut butter cups, I think nuts and chocolate make a wonderful match.

After seeing a recipe in a cupcake magazine on holiday (the Americans have cupcake magazines, gosh!) I was keen to try chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes. I didn't fancy the recipe as they gave it - too much sugar and not enough butter for me - so I spent a happy time faffing about to get one I was happy with and by George I think I've got it!
Have you bought the Annie Bell book yet? Here's the link -

because if not, you really must. It's great. I use the chocolate traybake for my chocolate cupcakes. They remain moist and delicious for several days and it is an incredibly easy recipe to do. The batter does 18 cupcakes using a 1/4 cup measure, which is about 60ml, to fill each large cupcake case and they take about 22 minutes to bake at 180 degrees Celsius

The recipe for the icing is :
100g softened butter
250g icing sugar
70g smooth peanut butter
Beat them together until light and fluffy. It should have a gently peanut-y flavour. I found it crucial not to have too much peanut butter because it becomes a bit overpowering after a couple of bites and it can lead to an oily, claggy texture, so gently does it.

I was faffing about melting chocolate in the microwave, pouring it in a piping bag and squiggling flowers and stars onto some butcher's wrap, which I then popped in the fridge to set. I plopped one of the shapes in the top of each cupcake and the effect amused me. no good for eating in the garden on a sunny day but kind of fun anyway!

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