Tuesdays are one of the biggest days of my week. I have my usual eight hour working day sandwiched around my weekly session with my personal trainer (which means staying late at the office to make up the time), then my weekly speed training session with my running club (shout out to Wellington Scottish, you guys are fab), before dragging my weary body home to shower and rustle up something resembling dinner (normally eggs on toast with grated veggies, because bugger any extra effort at that time of night).
Then there’s Tuesdays like today, where Past Me decided that a Wednesday bake ‘n’ drop for Good Bitches Baking was a good idea, which meant I also needed to fit a bake into my Tuesday night…not sure what this ‘sleep’ thing is that people talk about, but I’m not super familiar with it right now!
For all my blustering and complaining, I absolutely love being a ‘Good Bitch’ for the GBB Wellington Chapter. I’m sure it’s clear by now how much I love to bake, and GBB provide me with an outlet to bake regularly while also giving back to those who need a little extra TLC. I’m not curing cancer or beating homelessness or anything like that, but I’m providing a dash of sweet support to those who are; my bakes have gone to Women’s Refuge, DCM, Wellington Hospital and House of Grace to name a few of the organisations GBB supports, so I hope the cookies and treats I deliver bring some small comfort to the people who need their services.
When I bake for myself I’m a bit of stickler for making sure it’s as healthy as possible (case in point: all my recipes I’ve posted so far). With my bitch bakes, I’m typically much more lenient; I’ve made banoffee cupcakes, burnt butter banana blondies, ginger molasses cookies…basically a whole bunch of things where I don’t even want to know the calorie counts, and all of which I will post at some point once I’m brave enough to actually work them out. We all need treats occasionally, and they’re all so delicious I definitely need them in my life again at some point!
Just look at them…yum.
This week’s bake was intended to fall somewhere in the middle – Rocky Road Brownie Cupcakes!
Basically, I took a brownie-style cupcake recipe which is designed to be lower calorie, and added a bunch of not-so-low-calorie things to it to make it rocky road-like. In this case, it was some cheapo-brand marshmallow Easter eggs I got given and didn’t feel like eating, plus the dregs of a bag of blanched peanuts I’ve not had much use for. Fucking hell, are peanuts calorie dense or what, but combine them all together and they balance out, right?
This is yet another one of those delightful recipes where you simply sift your dry ingredients together, whisk your wet ingredients together, then dump wet into dry – perfect for days like today where I just didn’t have time to cream A + B, then dissolve C into D and let it cool, then add X + Y in alternate lots, then stand on my head and mix it in an anti-clockwise motion while singing the national anthem…
Anyway, the ingredients are:
- 260g plain flour
- 80g cocoa
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 200g unsweetened applesauce
- 4 t canola oil
- 1/2 C cold coffee
- 1 C water
- 2 t apple cider vinegar
- 2 t vanilla essence
- 35g peanuts, halved
- 3 marshmallow easter eggs, diced
- 60g plum jam
- an extra 25g cocoa
- 10g dessicated coconut
Yes, you read that correctly – there’s no molasses in this! I ACTUALLY made something with real sugar!
Like I said, sift your dry into one bowl, whisk your wet into another bowl, then add your wet into your dry and mix until barely combined (you don’t want to overwork the gluten, or they won’t rise properly and will be kinda gummy). Gently fold in your nuts and chopped marshmallow, and spoon into 24 well greased cupcake liners (you’d probably get ~18 if you made regular sized muffins), and bake at 175 for 15-18 minutes or until the top bounces back when pressed lightly. Then just whack them out of the muffin try and onto a rack to cool!
The marshmallow got a little explode-y, but I’m pretty pleased with how well this semi-made-up recipe actually baked up.
Because this was a Bitch Bake, I added a little extra naughtiness and actually iced them. None of that schmancy business where you have more buttercream than cake and then drown everything in sprinkles, just the extra cocoa powder mixed with jam and smeared on top, with a sprinkle of coconut to finish.
I’ve never made this kind of glaze before, I don’t even know if it’s a ‘thing’, but jam seemed like a logical way of getting moisture and sweetness into the cocoa without adding a fuck ton of icing sugar/butter/milk and having to beat the living daylights out of it. The cupcakes themselves aren’t really sweet (classic me, halving the sugar), but there’s enough sugar in the jam to give a touch of sweetness to each bite.
Just look at how glossy it turns out! It’s literally cocoa powder and Select Plum Jam, I still can’t believe how well it worked! And it’s so sweet and chocolatey…
A yield of 24 cupcakes means the recipe comes out to ~120 calories a pop, which is lower than I was expecting – oh, the joys of using applesauce and cold coffee instead of butter and milk! They’re only small though, so there’s not a huge amount of ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of being low calorie. Still, if you just need a couple of mouthfuls of sweet, chocolatey goodness to soothe a craving then there are definitely worse things you could eat – like the chocoholic cake I made for my 21st. It’s still my favourite cake recipe ever, and I’ll share it one day, but there’s a reason I had to join a running club – you’ve been warned!
As with some of the other recipes I’ve posted, you can swap out the peanuts and marshmallow egg for all sorts of things – chocolate chips, glace cherries, m&m’s, other nuts, or change the flavour by swapping the vanilla for peppermint, or grate in orange zest…I’m now imagining what white chocolate chunks and swirling through peanut butter would be like, and am going to dream about this all night no doubt…sigh.
Another wee fun fact about these is that if you take out the marshmallow eggs, they’re dairy-free and vegan-friendly, and obviously leave out the peanuts if you can’t have nuts – I’ve also had good experiences swapping standard flour for Edmonds gluten free baking flour, if you wanted to try make these gluten-free as well. Now that I’m sitting down and thinking about this, it’s actually a really allergy-friendly recipe, woot!
So, here is the final result, boxed up and ready for delivery first thing tomorrow morning. Only 16 fit in the box, and as they’re iced I couldn’t stack them…such a shame. My flatmates will no doubt be devastated when they find out they might actually have to help eat the rest.
If being a Good Bitch is something you think you’d like to have a go at, do have a look at the website linked above and reach out to your local chapter. If you have a car, you can always be a driver as opposed to a baker, or just give a few dollars to help cover the cost of the cake boxes – every little bit helps!
It’s now officially midnight, so I’m gonna leave it there…fire any questions my way via the comments section, otherwise keep your eyes peeled next week for yet another recipe experimentation! I might even go savoury next time…