Fruit jewel cupcakes

THESE little beauties are topped with delicious super foods to make you feel a little less guilty.
Not only does the fruit provide an element of freshness to the cupcakes, the pistachios add a little crunch to please the palate.
I just love these cupcakes because they’re really quick and easy to make, taste great and look gorgeous when presented on a plate all together.
You could have a play around with different berry combinations and also different frosting flavours, just make sure you use fresh berries rather than frozen. While I’m a huge fan of using frozen fruit, the juice will streak your frosting and you won’t be left with a clean look.
Because you only need a couple of berries for each cupcake, you’ll only need about a quarter of a punnet for a dozen cupcakes.

Fruit jewel cupcakes.

Ingredients
90g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
190g vegetable shortening (or butter)
400g icing sugar
40ml water (or milk)
Rosewater essence to taste
Crushed pistachios for decoration
Fresh blueberries for decoration
Fresh raspberries for decoration
Dried rose petals for decoration

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and place 12 patty cases into a cupcake tin.
Put the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, milk and vanilla essence into a bowl and mix with an electric beater until ingredients are well combined.
Spoon the batter into the patty cases and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden and springy to touch. Turn the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the rosewater buttercream frosting, cream the vegetable shortening (or butter) with an electric mixer until it becomes light and white, then add the sifted icing sugar, water (or milk) and rosewater essence to taste. Mix until well combined.
Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the crushed pistachios, and decorate with berries and rose petals.

chocolate self saucing pudding

I’m not sure where this recipe originally came from, but it was one handed down to me by my mother-in-law when I was searching for a good chocolate self saucing pudding recipe.

Not only is this the most delicious chocolate self-saucing pudding I’ve eaten, it’s a handy recipe to have up your sleeve when you have people over for dinner, as the mixture can be made ahead of time, so there’s no mess or fuss when your guests arrive and they are treated to a freshly-made dessert.

It’s also a favourite of my husband’s, so I’m sure this will be on the menu this Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate self-saucing pudding Photo Nicole Fuge / Sunshine Coast Daily

Ingredients
1 cup self raising flour
¾ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¾ brown sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 ¼ cup boiling water

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Sift the self raising flour, caster sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa. Stir in the milk and vanilla essence. Spoon the mixture into a medium baking dish.
In a heat-proof bowl, add the brown sugar, ¼ cup cocoa and boiling water and stir until the sugar and cocoa have dissolved. Pour over the mixture in the baking dish.
Bake for about 30 minutes and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream and scattered fresh or frozen berries.