Ferrero Rocher Mini Cupcakes

In the last few weeks, it has been so hot and sticky here in Melbourne. The type of weather that sucks the energy right out of you, it’s not fun. And in this weather, baking is the last thing anyone would want to be doing! With a slight cool change earlier in the week, I jumped at the chance to make these little babies, and boy, I am glad I did. They are very yummy. I guess they are kind of my (belated) Valentine’s Day post. I have always loved Ferrero Rocher chocolates, but they have always been something I have had on a special occasion. Plus, my boyfriend loved them. So, there we have it.

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The chocolate cupcake recipe I used, is the one I have used many, many times before. It is fantastic, and works really well every time. I cut the Ferrero Rocher chocolates in half, which is not easy to do! You will probably get a really messy half and a neater half. Place the messier half inside the uncooked cupcake, and leave the other half for decorating. You can find the cupcake recipe  here. I halved the recipe for this batch, and it still made close to 30 mini cupcakes.

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Nutella Ganache:

  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 250g good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 75g salted butter, softened, not melted

Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl, in the microwave in spurts of 20 seconds. At the end of each stint in the microwave, stir chocolate with a metal spoon. When completely melted, stir in Nutella until well combined. Leave at room temperature to cool. When mixture is at room temperature, it may have become a little solid. If so, just run some lukewarm water around the outside of the bowl to soften up a bit. In a separate bowl, beat butter until pale and creamy. Spoon the butter into the Nutella mixture and beat altogether for a couple of minutes until whipped and smooth.

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To decorate: Spoon Nutella ganache into a piping bag fitted with a round wide nozzle. Pipe one single round onto each cupcake, and place halved Ferrero Rocher on top. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. If it’s really hot, you can place the cupcakes in the fridge, but bring them down to room temperature to eat. I am very reluctant to put cake in the fridge, and people always think this is weird. When you put cake in the fridge, the fat component of the cake (butter) becomes harder, so the cake becomes drier and often crumbly. By the way, you can freeze these cupcakes, too. Just do it as soon as they are decorated, and obviously, bring them down to room temperature to serve, preferably overnight.

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Here are some I made with Malteasers. Equally as delicious!

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Raspberry Marshmallow Lovehearts + Fenix

I must admit, I’m not really a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. The worst part is everything becomes so expensive just for one day! Anyhow, I took it as an excuse to make something yummy and heart-shaped, and so here are my first ever homemade marshmallows. The raspberry on top gave them quite a tangy hit, as they were so, so sweet on their own. I am trying really hard to avoid sugar during the week at the moment – has anyone else ever tried to do this? It’s really difficult, as it is hidden in the most random things, like gluten free twisties :/ Anyway, the hearts were the perfect size – if they were any bigger they just would have been too sickly for one person. I would suggest if you were to make homemade marshmallow, to use small cookie cutters or cut them in very small squares (hey, at least they go further!).

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I wanted to create more of a raspberry swirl, like Mowielicious, instead of a raspberry layer. I tipped too much of the raspberry mixture on top of the marshmallow, so when I used the skewer to create the swirl, it got a bit messy. Next time, I will either add it slowly and swirl, and use maybe half the sugar in the marshmallow, or make a proper raspberry layer to really give a balance between the sweet and the sour. Oooh, another idea could be making lemon curd and swirling it through the marshmallow. Or, using the lemon curd and the raspberry. Or maybe even orange and a chocolate layer to make Jaffa? Oh, the possibilities!
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Raspberry Swirl/Layer: (recipe from Mowielicious)
 
  • 200g raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 50g icing sugar (you could leave this out if you wanted to)
Place raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan, over a medium heat. Keep stirring until raspberries break down and become a syrup. Push mixture thought a sieve to get rid of the seeds. Discard the seeds, and set bowl aside to cool.
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Homemade Marshmallow: (recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes)
 
  • 1 cup caster (white) sugar
  • 2 tsp liquid glucose (available in most supermarkets)
  • 1 tbs gelatin powder
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
Line a lamington style baking tray with olive oil spray and baking paper (the tray needs to be a couple of inches deep – my tray would have been about 20-30 cms long). Place caster sugar, 100ml cold water and glucose in a medium sized saucepan. Place on a low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. In the meantime, place another 100ml of cold water and the gelatine in a small bowl to soften, and set aside. After you have done this, turn the heat up on the sugar syrup, and insert a sugar thermometer (I use my Dad’s milk one that he uses for coffee, but you can buy them from $2 shops and homeware’s stores also). When the syrup reaches 120c, which for me took about 40 seconds, add the gelatin mixture, and whisk until there are no lumps. Place an egg white in a clean mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Very slowly add the hot sugar and gelatin mixture to the egg white and beat until thick and glossy (5-10 minutes). Pour marshmallow mixture into prepared tray and smooth with spatula until evenly spread. Spoon a little of the raspberry topping onto the marshmallow and swirl with a skewer, or pour all of the raspberry topping onto the marshmallow to make an even top layer. Leave marshmallow to set overnight at room temperature.
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Combine icing sugar and cornflour in a small bowl. If using a cookie cutter, dip in hot water then coat in sugar and cornflour mixture, and begin pressing shapes in the marshmallow. If using a knife, simply dip in hot water and cut squares. Once you have shapes and/or squares, roll them in the sugar and cornflour mixture so they are no longer super sticky. It was a bit difficult to this with the raspberry topping as I didn’t want to coat the bright red. Instead I just made sure the bottom and sides had been coated. Serve immediately, or store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
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I also wanted to share some photos from a restaurant my boyfriend and I went to recently. Fenix is owned by Gary Mehigan, who is a judge on Masterchef Australia, and I must say, it was pretty awesome. I had heard mixed reviews about Fenix, but they had a fantastic deal going throughout January, so we decided to give it a go, and lucky we did! We shared three entrees between us, which, in hindsight, was probably a bit too much. My boyfriend had crab crostini with aioli, avocado mousse and smoked tomato, and I had the braised pork belly with scallops, and we also shared gruyere and sweetcorn cigars. I really liked all three of the entree’s, but the pork belly was absolutely fantastic! I actually dreamt about the crackling that night 😛
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For our mains, I had the sticky beef short ribs with mustard mash and watercress, and it was sooooo good. The meat just fell apart and I could have happily drank the gravy! My other half had a whole snapper which was also fairly delish. By this time, I was really struggling! For dessert, I had the coconut creme caramel with roasted pineapple and pina colada sorbet. It was really yummy, but just too big! The best part was the pina colada sorbet because it was so cold and refreshing after such a big meal! The boy had a chocolate fondant, which I was a bit jealous of- it was amazing. I will definitely be having that one when I go back! I believe they have a similar deal for February as well, so head to their website to check it out if you’re in Melbourne.

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Follow me on Instagram – GemmaAsh 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!