Every year, I promise that I will organise my life with great care to make sure I have lots of time for parental tasks like being involved with more school activities. This is a plan that never lasts…the one thing you can surely count on is a curve ball and it is always timed to imperfection.
Hetal, my eldest daughter, is now in Grade Seven and 2013 has kicked off to an emotional start. Life has become serious….there are serious chats about homework, extra homework and more extra homework. Yes, there is a monster that lives in our house and no, it’s not the Boogie Man….its a thing called Mathematics! Fingers crossed….hope we don’t end up in family therapy soon!
I attended the first parent teacher evening and drove home wondering if there was a box of ‘Calmettes’ lying around. Where did all the years go…Child One is halfway through school. I sat through the presentation, feeling quite guilty about all the things I skipped out on and decided that this year would have to be different.
My nerves were in tatters after the teachers evening when I was tasked with my first parental assignment….Cake and Candy! It’s a fund-raiser that is hosted throughout the year and whatever I made needed to be perfect. I have been determined to do my part and not do the ‘COP OUT STORE BOUGHT CUPCAKE’! How hard could it be….twelve cupcakes…in and out the oven with some butter icing and glitter….sounded like a breeze!
Think again….12 cupcakes apparently just won’t do! Hetal requested a rather large batch of cupcakes, errrr…about 72, that had to be ‘different’. Butter icing is apparently for kids and being in Grade 7 means that those days are over. I wrote of my old-time favourite, Red Velvet….that was apparently boring and so last year!
I needed chocolate and lots of it to soothe the hormone levels. Let’s face it…chocolate is just the best thing when the hormones play up…even at my age, I still seek solace in a slab of good chocolate especially when things are not going so well. Chocolate cupcakes with silky ganache and Belgian white chocolate shavings would hit the spot!
I have been having crazy days recently with mornings spent prepping for Broadacres Superspar and then evenings doing Curry Me Home promotions at Bellair Superspar. There wasn’t any time for procrastination (or complaining) so I just got stuck into it. Strapped for time, with my little helpers still at school, I opted for an almost beat and bake recipe. With all the ingredients popped into the KitchenAid, I was free to get on with prepping the paper cases. Ah….my KitchenAid, makes life so much easier and its like having and extra pair of hands!
I got back from work at 7.30pm and prepared the chocolate ganache. I set up a little production…I dolloped the ganache and swirled it over the cakes. I hauled out my secret stash of Callebaut White chocolate for added effect. I placed the large 5kg slab on a chopping board and watched the kids out the corner of my eye as I sliced through the slab…all three of them looked like they were in some sort of decadent trance. I was clearly on the right track.
The cupcakes were a big hit and I am clearly a heroine just for the night! Parental guidance is advised when choosing a time to feast on these cupcakes….the kids experienced a severe ‘chocolate rush’ that lasted until 9.30pm. I am over the moon but before I log off for the evening and start shining my gold star, I am going to share the recipe for my Chocolatey Chocolate Cupcakes…..
Chocolatey Chocolate Cupcakes
200g cake flour
15ml baking powder
45g cocoa powder
225g Spar sugar
100g Spar butter, room temperature!
240ml full cream milk
5ml vanilla essence
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
Place the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl.
Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.
Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.
Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.
Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about twenty minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.
Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.
For the ganache :
100g Cadbury’s milk chocolate, chopped
50ml fresh cream
To prepare the ganache:
Heat the cream on the top of a double boiler and add chopped chocolate.
Mix well until the chocolate melts completely and then remove from the heat.
Leave the chocolate to cool.
Stir the chocolate occasionally and leave to thicken – its much easier to work with.
Spoon the chocolate over the cakes and use a teaspoon or spatula to swirl it over the top.
Haul out your best white chocolate and slice it with a serrated knife.
Sprinkle the pieces over the cakes and garnish with silver balls.