Marshmallow Brownie Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes – The Great Chocolate Bake

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

I’m not one to be defeated easily. My poor track record with Brownies has never sat well with me. When I was asked by Dr Oetker to enter their Great Chocolate Bake competition, I knew exactly what I was hoping to achieve. As soon as you mention the word ‘Brownie’ people turn to mush, mmm’ing and aah’ing. Well, I wanted them to do that over my recipe too – and by jove! I might just have got it!

Dr Oetker are challenging home bakers to come up with the ultimate chocolate cupcake – they sent a bunch of us some delicious ingredients and off we went. The prize is a fabulous trip to New York … and obviously the satisfaction of knowing I’ve finally cracked Brownies!

I’ve heard about S’mores for ages now but don’t quite fancy the cracker part of the recipe – so I came up with the Marshmallow/Brownie combination – I also wanted an extra dimension so went for it and added a Ferrero Rocher for decoration too.

The recipe and instruction for making the Brownies is below – I only filled the cases 1/3rd full – they don’t rise too much but the last thing you want is them spilling over. Once you have spread your frosting over them and added the Ferrero Rocher they are quite tall anyway. They are really rich – believe me, no-one will moan about the case not being full!

Before going in the oven ...

Before going in the oven …

I’m not going to lie, these are not pretty cupcakes when they first come out of the oven – the melted marshmallow oozes into the Brownie and it is impossible not to get a dip in the middle. As long as you know that is going to happen though, it is easily fixable.

marhsmallow brownie

Bear with … It gets prettier!

I added a marshmallow frosting – I didn’t want to start adding too many flavours by mixing a dairy frosting. Marshmallow frosting is super simple – just melt some mini marshmallows in a pan slowly and spread over the cupcakes. Beware, it does set really quickly though – you can add a teaspoon of glucose syrup if you want it to stay runny for that little bit longer.

The Tulip Cupcake Cases are an ideal way of disguising any rough edges on your original cupcake case. I bought mine but they are easy to make too – Tutorial coming soon! I finished with a pale pink ribbon to match the marshmallow frosting and added the Ferrero Rocher and I was done! Yum!

Marshmallow Brownie Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes – The Great Chocolate Bake

Cook Time: 19 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Marshmallow Brownie Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes – The Great Chocolate Bake

Ingredients

  • 150g Dr Oetker Fine Cook's Chocolate Dark
  • 150g Dr Oetker Fine Cook's Chocolate Extra Dark
  • 250g Unsalted Butter
  • 185g Caster Sugar
  • 250g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • One large marshmallow for each cupcake plus one bag Dr Oetker Mini Marshmallows for the frosting
  • One Ferrero Rocher (unwrapped) for each Cupcake

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line the Cupcake Tray with the cupcake cases.
  2. Break the chocolate into small chunks and add with the butter to a medium sized pan.
  3. As soon as the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the 2 types of sugar until combined.
  4. Add one egg at a time, whisking continuously - make sure that the mixture is cool enough to prevent the eggs from scrambling
  5. Add the flour and cocoa one spoon at a time and mix in using the figure of eight method until just combined
  6. Fill each cupcake case 1/3rd full and place a large marshmallow in the centre of each. There is no need to press down.
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Remove and allow to cool.
  9. Just before decorating, add the mini marshmallows to a small pan and heat slowly - do not allow to boil.
  10. As soon as runny, spread a tablespoon of the mixture over the cooled cupcakes - I used the multi coloured Marshmallows and the frosting turned pink. If you use the white ones, you can add a small amount of food dye to match your colour scheme. Work quickly, they soon set!
  11. Add a Ferrero Rocher on top and place the cake inside a Tulip wrapper - Instantly transformed!
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For more information on Dr Oetker Baking range go to http://www.oetkeronline.co.uk

Disclosure: I received no payment for entering or promoting this competition. I did receive a Chocolate Hamper with some ingredients to use though. I had complete free reign on which recipe I used and made this one up. I highly recommend these cupcakes but take no responsibility for any growing waistlines!

Music For Kids Princess Recorder Review & Giveaway

I’m a bad mother. I will come clean. About 4 years ago when Millie (then aged 6) wanted to start learning the recorder, I told her the sound made your ears bleed. Not a parenting moment I’m proud of and it more than came back to bite me on the bum when she starting learning the violin 12 months later!

Fast forward 4 years and I find myself presented with a 6 year old Violet. There’s no fobbing her off with made up tales of bleeding ears. So onto recorder lessons we go.

To Violet’s delight her first recorder lesson happened at the same time we were sent a sparkly new pink recorder courtesy of Music for Kids.

Actually, what we got seemed so much more than just a recorder. Packaged in a Princess box, the clear pink descant recorder is just what I yearned for as a child. (Did anyone else have to suffer a wooden recorder with a mouthpiece that went soggy the longer the lesson went on? Just me then?) The recorder also has its own little bag to keep it in and was promptly covered in the fun stickers that came with it. There is also a child friendly CD and booklet to help with learning the instrument as well as a fingering chart for the more advanced learner. The set normally retails at £9.99.

Perhaps it was a mistake to hand Violet the recorder 10 minutes before a load of women from our WI came round for a knitting evening but its safe to say she’s happy with it. Not that you can tell from the picture – then again, is it possible to look happy playing the recorder?

A couple of weeks later and V is still impressed with her instrument and we have no bleeding ears.

A handy tip, I now know to prevent too loud playing is to tell the kids that if they blow too hard a tiny invisible pin will fall out of the recorder and it won’t work anymore. Lie to kids, me? Never!

And now its your turn, I have the choice of either a Princess or a Pirate recorder to give away – just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter. (I know the question is the same for the CD giveaway but its a good question so its staying!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The closing date for entry is Wednesday 28th November at 12PM. The lucky winner will be notified as soon as possible. UK only entries only I’m afraid. You will be asked to specify whether you want a Princess or a Pirate recorder. Best of Luck!

Win a week’s worth of dinners for 4 with Flora plus Apple Cakes

Remember the marzipan apples, I blogged about at the weekend? Well, here are the cakes that I made them to go with.

I was recently sent some baking goodies courtesy of Flora Cuisine and asked to bake a recipe out of their new cookbook, Lets Get Cooking. I’ll admit to being a little nervous of baking with a liquid form of butter and including fruit too but happily the recipe came off without a hitch.

Flora’s cookbook is rammed full of recipes supplied by Mums and Dads on Facebook. The apple cake recipe in particular was sent in by Sian Hallewell.

The recipe itself was really quick and easy to make. An ideal recipe for baking with the children I’d say. Once I’d got my head round measuring out the liquid Flora and looking through the little window on the bottle, I was all systems go and it was SO quick!

If you fancy a go at making apple cakes, the recipe is here

Me, being me, I had to go one step further and added Cinnamon Frosting. I was too intrigued to see how the liquid Flora Cuisine coped with buttercream/frosting not to have a go. One tip I would give is to wait a couple of minutes before piping as the buttercream does start setting a couple of minutes in – I had to go back and add just a bit more milk before piping but it was great, and again so quick.

Cinnamon Buttercream/Frosting
100ml Flora Cuisine
Approx 450g icing sugar
Approx 50ml milk
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1. Mix together the butter and one third of the icing sugar.
2 Add the cinnamon
3. Alternate adding a splash of the milk and a tbsp of the icing sugar until you get a consistency you are happy with.
4. Wait a couple of minutes before adding to a piping bag to check that the frosting hasn’t hardened too much. If it has, add a couple of splashes more milk.

 

Disclosure: I was sent the ingredients and the cookbook to make the Apple Cakes by Flora. All the opinions are my own though and the decision to make Cinnamon Frosting my own too but I’m really glad I did as it went really well with cakes!

Flora Cuisine Tip! When pouring out the butter stay near to a light. It makes it much easier to see through the bottle to check how much you’ve used.

 

CBeebies Album Review and Giveaway

Who knew a CD could save your sanity and keep you safe? Certainly not me but anyone who has ever gone on a long car journey alone with a toddler in the back of the car will know how hair-raising it can be.

Last Thursday I set out to go to my sister’s in Leeds. From St Helens, this is just over an hour on a very good day. Let’s say it was a medium day – the traffic was heavy, it rained in parts and I was alone with Tara. About 10 minutes into the journey, I realised she wasn’t going to drop off straight to sleep and she was wasn’t going to readily enjoy the snacks I had packed (ever tried to persuade a child to eat when they are sat behind you and you are driving on the m62?)

And then I remembered the CBeebies Album I’d been sent to review! I was slightly sceptical, I will admit, particularly as up until then Tara hasn’t been a big TV watcher (A stomach upset over this weekend has fixed that too!) I kid you not, though, she was like a different child. Happily swaying to the music in the back and clapping. Fantastic. She may even have fallen asleep around Manchester and I carried on listening to the CD until Leeds!

The CD itself has 50 songs – A good mix of the traditional CBeebies favourites (Tweenies, Balamory) but with LOADS of the newer tunes that are so catchy (I defy you not to sing along with Mr Bloom’s Nursery Meet the Veggies!) Our favourites are Abadas – My Name is (The child that sings Ella’s tune has the most fabulous voice) and Everything’s Rosie (Happy memories of Violet singing along as a toddler knowing every word)

And now, you too can have calm car journeys and learn the words to The CBeebies Winter Song. For a chance to win a copy of the CBeebies Album follow the Rafflecopter instructions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Closing Date: 21st November 2012. The lucky winner will be notified as soon as possible. UK entries only I’m afraid. One entry per household only aswell. And the last thing, your prize will be sent from the PR company so I will have to ask for your name and contact details if you win! Good Luck!

Win a Family Ticket to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

I’ve done it again! I’ve produced a lego fanatic. Who knew that at the tender age of 1 you could spend so many happy hours giving lego pieces to your Mum? Yes, I need to watch her like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t eat the little pieces, but its lovely to see that even at that age, the creativity is there.

So that makes three of them, the Costello Lego-ettes. There’s certainly no shortage of the little bricks in our house – in fact, there’s a huge bucket of Lego that my husband used to play with as a child, in residence at my Mother-in-laws. Perfect for all the 10 grandchildren of various ages to pore over.

If you have produced a family of Lego lovers, you may be interested in entering competition to win a family ticket to visit LEGOLAND Manchester (2 adults, 2 children)

The Legoland Centre is situated in the Home Section of the world famous Trafford Centre. We have been a couple of times and found it breaks up a marathon shopping session for the kids.
When you go in there is a short child-orientated talk on the lego bricks themselves and then you go up to the Discovery Centre itself. There is a huge soft play area right next to the café and even a little indoor fairground area.

And then there’s the lego! There’s mountains of it – some areas are ideal for tiny children as they have the big blocks and the vehicle making area is ideal for the bigger kids (the parents!) – I did suspect 2 dads I saw might have words as they both wanted the same set of wheels!

COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED- SORRY.

– Happy Building!

Congratulations go to Sarah Davies on winning the Legoland tickets. Thanks and Huge congrats!