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cupcakes

Halloween is coming! Monsters and boogie men, skeletons and fairies.. witches and broomsticks, pumpkins and carvings..
Are you getting ready?????

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We all love chocolate. I refuse to believe otherwise.
Maybe some of us like dark bitter chocolate. Maybe others prefer a lighter milky sweetness. Maybe you are the white type of chocolate person. And maybe you like it nutty.
Regardless your particular preference I would like to assume you like chocolate.
And if you indeed like chocolate.. you got to like chocolate mud cakes.

I have been looking for ages for the perfect chocolate mud cake. Sweet and at the same time bitter, moist but not wet.
I knew exactly the right shade of chocolate color and the texture but somehow it was always quite not right!

But after about a year experimenting with TS Table Spoons.. I came across a Eureka moment.
I guess I had given up on the thought of actually perfecting the chocolate mud cake recipe of my grandmother.
Sometimes, with the passing of time, we tend to forget details of things. A mere generalization of feeling, aromas and colors is whats left behind and the rest of the story tends to be filled up by a very conscious consciousness.
That is the reason I decided to abandon the effort and merely accept faith and just mix the written analogies in order to achieve the mediocre certainty of a nice chocolate mud cake.
Yet, as i tripped over, fate had it, my flour bowl turned and a few of its precious powder content flew up in the air.
To make along story short, I ended up with about 2TS less flour… which brought me to the most delicious chocolate cake recipe!

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What you need is 125gr. dark chocolate, 125 gr milk chocolate, 250 gr butter, 4 Leggs, 550 gr caster sugar, 325 gr self raising flour, 1 ts instant coffee, 188 ml water, 30 gr cocoa, 1 TS orange liquer, 1 ts vanilla extract, 125 ml buttermilk (or yogurt!)
You can start by mixing chocolate, butter, coffee, water over low heat mixing regularly.
In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa, sugar.
Then mix the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture. Add eggs, the vanilla and the yogurt.
Give it a good stir and bake for about 1 h. at 180o C or until the knife come out clean depending on your oven.

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sweet popcorn party favor

Last weekend, mister and I, celebrated his birthday with a few close friends and relatives.
It wasn’t a big party with fancy lights and dj’s. It was a rather small gathering with heartfelt wishes and cozy corners where friends and family got together to wish my darling another happy year.

Mister has a “strong affinity with water”. In fact we both do. In one of our first dates we decided to go swimming in the middle of May in the Atlantic Ocean at around 3 am. It was freezing cold and I didnt manage to get past running my toe in the water but mister took a brave dive. The water attracts us. Its magical color, the light defracting on its surface. There is something poetic about it and when mister asked me to make a party invitation for him, naturally I suggested a nautical theme.

You see, mister is the little star of my life and nothing makes me happier than see him smile so I decided to pull together a few colorful treats according to our nautical theme to delight our guests and bring excitement to the otherwise rather dull standardized birthday buffet concept.

custom flags for party

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nautical theme party treats

So even though birthdays occur only once every 7 years, we decided to eat, drink and celebrate in a sweet nautical theme style.

Did you know?
Birthdays occur only once every 7 years since the date you were born on moves each year to the following day of the week. This means your annual celebration is actually for your birth date – not your birthday – and in truth your birth day (= the actual day you were born on) occurs only every 7 years!

Here is a free template for your own mini popcorn paper boxes. Just add your name and print out!

Although not a vegan myself, I have a lot of friends who are!

Therefor, it has always been clear that I needed to master a cupcake recipe so as to be able to treat my friends to yum yum .

So here it is! My basic recipe.

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If you have a recipe of your own, please let me know! I love to test new recipes!

See you soon!

I have been baking coffee flavored cupcakes all morning without realising that today, 29 of September is actually Coffee Day! This may come too late, but dont worry.. in Japan coffee day is yet to come

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And what a better way to celebrate than by munching on some soft vanilla cupcakes tinted with a luscious, aromatic, buttercream frosting made with freshly ground coffee beans.

And since we are at it, my ultimate favorite top 10 with all the things, we need to know about coffee.

1. Coffee is…consumed at the rate of 1400 million cups per day!!!
Fact which makes me wonder if homo sapiens actually runs on coffee as a specie…

2. Coffee is the most popular drink after water.
Fact which verifies the hypothesis that perhaps humans do run on coffee!?!

3. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world today!
With the first one being..oil.

4. Coffee was imported to Europe first by the Dutch!(YAY!) who actually (HMM?) eventually smuggled coffee seeds to Europe, defying the Arab Prohibition around 1690! Other sources claim it was Indians who smuggled it out towards the East but of course we can not be sure.

5. Coffee beans are seeds, found inside brightly red colored berries!
The berries are handpicked and the skin of them is removed usually by a machine. After this, a fermentation process takes place and allows the green coffee bean to be roasted to what we know as dark brown coffee bean!

6. Coffee develops its particular aroma at the exact 10th minute of roasting!

7. Coffee has more than 800 different aromatic compands, as scientist discovered.

8. While one can find many aromas in coffee beans, there are only two species of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. 70% of us consumes Arabica coffee which is mild and aromatic, while the other 30% opt for Robusta which may be more bitter but contains twice as much caffeine..

9. It takes 40 coffee beans for your daily espresso cup..

10. Since, one coffee tree yields less than half a kilo of coffee per year I would suggest we ease up on coffee.. Unless we make sure its fair trade?

and last but not least, if you are curious like me, the name “coffee” has a disputable “provenance”. Yet, even though we cant be sure, these are the most popular beliefs of the origin of the name of the most popular drink man ever created!

-Kaffa? A province in Ethiopia where it was first discovered.
-Kaaba? The holy building in Mecca.
-Kavus Kai? A Persian king who was able to defy gravity and levitate by drinking coffee.
-Kahwe? Meaning roasted in Turkish.
-Cahouah? A hunger curing drink in Arabic.
-Cohuet? Meaning strength or vigour in Arabic.

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Mmm..I dont know about you..but I would like to have yet another coffee cupcake..or perhaps a nice cup of coffee? Inhaling its aroma, tasting its dark and full bodied flavor.. What a delight!
Enjoy your coffee everyone and see you soon!

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Let’s be honest. Most of us have some sort of addiction.

Whether its shopping, smoking, drinking coffee, there is always a little dark secret.

My mister is addicted to coffee. We are not talking about one cup a day… we are talking about multiple cups.. a few on the breakfast table, a few during lunchbreak and occasionally a cup or two in the evening.
Yet, mister also enjoys chocolate. Usually with his evening coffee. Its a little ritual for him.
A cup of freshly brewed coffee with a chunk of sweet organic chocolate…

So, i decided to give him some help towards the coffee detoxe.. (which he still aint aware he is going to go through)
My idea is to substitute a few coffee cups a day with delicious vegeterian chocolate cupcakestopped with coffee “buttercream”..

A cup of coffee for the morning? Or maybe a cup of coffee cake?

Can you resist?

Chocolate souffle baked in a mini cupcake pan and decorated with a mint flavored sugar topper!

Dark luscious running chocolate and a fresh crispy sugar to conclude a gorgeous meal, or perhaps to accompany a cup of afternoon mint tea?

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And since I chose for mint cupcake wrappers, I went for mint colored, mint flavored sugary tops…
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Have a nice week everyone!