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.

fruit and nut chocolate brownies

I made this recipe for my dad for Father’s Day earlier this month and they were a hit.
What’s great about this recipe is you can alter it to include any fruit and nuts you like. You could even pop some lollies in there to make a rocky road/fudge brownie concoction.

IMG_1808

Ingredients
200g butter
300g milk chocolate
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
100g glace cherries
Handful of walnuts
Handful hazelnuts
Icing sugar for dusting

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease your baking tin.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, in 30-second blasts, stirring well each time.
3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together until they begin to get light and fluffy.
4. Whisk in the sugar, being careful not to knock the air out of the eggs. Keep whisking the mixture until it becomes stiffer.
5. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it, around the sides, so as to not knock the air out.
6. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Then stir in the cherries, walnuts and hazelnuts.
7. Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, the middle should still be a little bit gooey, but not too wobbly.
8. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin.
9. Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.