Moist Chocolate Cupcakes (that time I fell in love with a recipe)

You know when you meet someone again after a really long time, and you should remember their name but you don’t. You feel uncomfortably awkward because they act like they know you (and they seem to have remembered everything about you including your hatred of asparagus and your second-cousin’s ex-wife’s love of water-polo) and yet you remember nothing and have no idea how to interact with them.

Ok so maybe I am the only one.

Well thats what I feel like now. Coming back after a several month long hiatus of blogging where I was in a bit of a transitional period of life, busy with work, family and friends (but not busy enough that I can really use that as an excuse for abandoning myfoxycorner as well as myfoxytravels; two blogs=twice the guilt).

I am trying to pretend like I remember how to do this, when in reality I don’t think I ever really got the hang of blogging in the first place. So instead of just awkwardly dancing around the fact that I have been missing for a while, I will just be upfront with how hard it is to try and re-introduce myself to this little corner of the world.

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I could give you a rundown of all the exciting for me, mundane for you, updates in my life. Or I could fall back on an easy yet delicious cupcake recipe and save all that for when I can be bothered.

This cupcake recipe is one I have wanted to blog about for ages and for some reason never have. The reason why eludes me; these cupcakes are my soul-recipe. They are fool-proof (or rather Lizzy-proof). The evidence in this lies in many failed attempts at following a half remembered recipes, forgetting to set timers and then forgetting about the oven contents, and a couple of accidental grillings (how hard is it to make sure you set the oven to bake?, you ask).

Throughout all of these mistakes, these cupcakes have been like my parents. Supportive, forgiving, persistent, reliable and (end of parent comparison) just down right delicious. They are speedy and don’t use anything fancy that isn’t normally lying around my well-stocked cupboard (when it is well-stocked and not just full of pasta and chickpeas). They are the recipe I fall back on for anything and everything, including the ever common scenario I find myself in where I have to (want to) make something delicious and impressive for the next day but it’s already 9pm at night.

These chocolate cupcakes have everything I could want in a chocolate cupcakes. They are moist but still fluffy, rich but I can still eat several at a time, chocolatey but not overly sweet. Satisfying and reliable, like an old episode of the Simpsons.

So without further ado, here it is, the 1 recipe I would take with me to a desert island (or a more appropriate dessert island).

The easiest but most delicious chocolate cupcakes (adapted from hersheys.com “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake):

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  • 2 cups of Sugar (I like using mostly white with a little bit of brown sugar thrown in for some giggles)
  • 1 3/4 cup standard flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water (I add a tsp of instant coffee but this is optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prep your muffin tins with some appropriately beautiful cupcake liners
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl except the boiling water (and coffee). Sift in some stuff if you want but there is no need to get flour all over the sifter and then hate yourself afterwards.
  3. Beat by hand until the batter is completely combined, smooth and lump free.
  4. Add the coffee to the boiling water and then the coffee/boiling water to the mixing bowl. Whisk until this is just blended in. I’ll be honest here and warn you that its going to look like a chocolate soup (which does not look as delicious as it sounds). This is normal and great so just carry on, you’re doing an awesome job.
  5. Evenly pour the mixture into your liners, 3/4 full maximum to avoid spillage and angry regretful tears. Bake for around 20 minutes but around 15 minutes I start testing with a skewer. Once it comes out clean, take them out.
  6. Try to not eat them long enough for them to cool and then ice with what ever takes your fancy. My favourite icing for these at the moment is a baileys and cream cheese concoction, but a simple vanilla buttercream is also a perfect accompaniment. As is peanut butter. Or a dash of icing sugar, so that time that could be used for eating isn’t wasted on icing.

So there they are, deliciously simple and forgiving, these cupcakes are always a star at the workplace as well as with friends, family and even enemies. These were the first cupcakes I ever made and were so easy that I thought I must be amazing at all cupcakes. This misconception was cleared up when I tried to follow a different cupcake recipe (poorly) and realized I was not the natural cupcake superstar I had envisaged. But damn, these chocolate cupcakes do a good job of helping me pretend I am.

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With Baileys and Cream cheese icing (plus some Malteasers). I think this is when I realized I had fallen in love with a cupcake.

Give them a go and let me know how much you love them. Just remember to turn the oven to bake (or don’t, they will still taste amazing).  And hey, I’m very happy to be back. Sorry I can’t remember your name.

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Made me smile 22/04

Hi all!

How was everyone’s week? I am super nervous at the moment waiting for news regarding a potential new job (that I really want) and should be hearing about it today/tomorrow so arghhhhhhh. This post is a good way to distract my mind for a little while, going over the last week or two with some of the happy/funny/delicious/cute things that have brought a few smiles to my face!

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First up, last weekend me and the boys ventured out to the North Shore in order to finally visit DelishCupcakes which is a little cupcake shop (also selling coffee and cake pops) that I have been meaning to try for forever! Needless to say, our cupcakes did not disappoint  Henry chose the gorgeous cupcake above (lime curd with lime buttercream), I chose the double choc cupcake with chocolate ganache (surprise surprise) and Will chose the Jaffa cupcake which had chocolate cupcake base with an incredible orange buttercream on top. All three were divine (we shared them around as everyone had to try each flavour) but my favorite was the chocolate >.< (I love chocolate so this wasn’t any big surprise). I am now, every weekend trying to convince everyone that we have to go back! So many more flavours to try!!! Go checkout their website, facebook or follow them on instagram for some drool worthy photos.

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As usual, a highlight of any week is getting a new tea to try (especially now that the cooler weather has started to return) and this blackcurrent, ginseng and vanilla combo is delicious!

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This weekend’s baking featured some very delicious double choc chip muffins although I must admit we totally cheated and used a box mix due to a time constraint in the kitchen haha but now I am determined to do some research and find the perfect chocolate muffins (so if you have any awesome recipes I should try PLEASE leave them below!!). Yum

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The other excitement of this weekend was finding this gorgeous wee dog called Sophie who was running wild on a very busy road so Edd (being my hero) spent 15 minutes capturing the poor dog who was terrified of the cars and seemed pretty lost. After knocking on doors and then making a trip to the poor vet (who was closed but was unlucky enough to still be roped in to helping us) we found out Sophie’s owner was away for the day. Commence dog nannying for the day! She was a sweety and really attached herself to Edd. I can’t wait til we get a dog! (one day)

20130422-133038.jpgDon’t worry Callie! You are still our only fur baby!!

Other things that made me smile:

This video with Alison Brie from Community (which I have been enjoying again lately) where she imitates a bunch of internet memes, rather successfully! Props to her!

NZ passed the marriage equality bill! And this MP made global news for being just generally pretty awesome.

Cat videos…there have been a few. This one of a kitten really getting into her milk bowl is one that I play whenever I want to laugh because I cannot watch it without laughing. Hilarious. Callie loves milk but I have never seen her quite love it this much. Then there was roomba cat…a cat who rides a roomba plus a dog in some costumes, oh and some ducks. Hilarity ensues. Checkout the playlist of videos to immerse yourself in some slightly random animal antics. Last up is a Cat playing with a vacuum. Seriously cute.

Well that’s it for now, keep up the smiling 🙂

Made Me Smile

So last week was the end of my lectures for my last undergraduate semester. Pretty exciting but a bit of an anti-climax to be honest, especially with the looming exams starting this Saturday (yup, even my weekends are victim to the hell that is my 5 exams). I can’t wait for exams to be over. I have so many posts I want to write but am lacking so much time at the moment and these 5 minute posts seem to be all I can muster 😦

Regardless, here are the few small things that kept me smiling all week.

By now I am sure you aren’t surprised to see tea high on my list of weekly highlights. This is a new favorite and I have been completely in love with the sumptuous taste of this ceylon tea. It smells like Turkish delight and  tastes even better. A big pot of this each night has made the study seem a bit sweeter.

To celebrate the end of lectures I made some chocolate cupcakes with my first ever attempt at chocolate buttercream (I know, but I’m pretty new to this cupcake stuff). These were amazing and probably my favorite cupcakes (me-made) so far.

Thursday I received my first ever Sample Bar box. You can read all about it right here! This definitely made a nice break from a week full of Uni and getting something in the mail other than bills is always a true delight!

I dunno where this image comes from but during the week a lovely lady, Mish, sent an email to me with this and some rather fitting (adapted) Police lyrics. This made me giggle in a room full of silent students, studying away, and so I thought it definitely deserved a mention. Owls are pretty awesome (not as great as foxes though).

As usual I arrive late to every great party and these Arizona Tea drinks are amazing!!! Again, Mish told me all about these weeks ago and I was like “oh cool” and that was it. On my last day at Uni I saw them at the Munchie Mart (our awesome Uni dairy thing) and grabbed the most appealing. All in all, the nicest tea drink I’ve tried. Also, the bottles are so gorgeous that I can hardly bear to throw them out. Go get some!

Saturday involved Edd and I indulging in our new favorite treat. Eggs Benedict at St Lukes. Seriously amazing. I almost wish I didn’t enjoy them so much. My wallet would definitely thank me.

Lastly, Sunday saw me baking away with Mr 4 and Mr 10 (banana muffins at the request of Mr 4). This photo captures how Mr 4 is for the majority of our baking time and explains why my post-baking clean up can take quite  a while. He just finds it very exciting 😛 Mr 10 on the other hand takes baking (like all things) very seriously and so coping with a crazy 4 yr old can sometimes be a struggle. Its always a fun experience though 🙂

Here’s the more peaceful image I posted on Instagram. A rare moment of cooperation and tranquility. Don’t worry, this didn’t last long.

Hope you are all having a lovely week! Time to get back to studying (yay…)

Xx

Father’s Day and Cupcake Madness

Hi All!

So today is supposed to be a “made me smile” post but that isn’t going to happen until tomorrow night sadly! I think I may move it to Monday nights as I seem incapable of posting Sundays. So this is a brief one!

Today was Father’s Day here in New Zealand and I am lucky enough to have an amazing Dad who is clever, generous, quirky, loving and most inportantly has great taste in music! To treat him Edd and I took him to see the new remake of Total Recall, an absolute classic sci fi with good ole arnie and some cringeworthy special effects that me and Dad used to love!! The remake surpassed my expectations and I was very pleasantly suprised! The two boys enjoyed it too.

After this Edd and I got home and I got into some crazy mini cupcake baking madness. It’s now 11.16pm and my 40+ mini cupcakes are baked and taste delish! Tomorrow morning = icing!!
Why you may ask did I decide 10pm would be a good time to bake what felt like 100 cupcakes? Tomorrow there is some food thingy on at the University where I go and my mum works and her departments food stall was in desperate need for some vanilla mini cupcakes! Cue baking session. In return I get to feast on all the other food that will be on display, a fair compromise me thinks!!
So all in all a busy night with not much time left for blogging.

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend!!

Xx