Baking with Mrs Bouw: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We had a Halloween picnic to attend this afternoon so I thought what better treat to take along than my Pumpkin Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! It had been over two years since I had made them (where I shared the recipe here on my blog) so I thought I'd repost the recipe with updated photos of the Halloween inspired batch I made this time round! Honestly, I had forgotten how delicious they are. Yum, yum and YUM!!!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


1 cup all purpose plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
Pinch of salt
50 grams butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup full cream milk
2 eggs
200 grams canned pumpkin puree (not all shops stock this so it can be a little difficult to track down)

Cream cheese frosting
2 1/3 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
50 grams butter at room temperature
125 grams cream cheese


- Preheat oven to 170° C

- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, salt and butter in an electric mixer and beat on a slow speed until combined and of a sandy consistency.

- Add the milk, eggs and vanilla essence and beat well ensuring you scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl.

- Stir in the pumpkin puree by hand until evenly dispersed.

- Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer.

- Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack and covering with a clean tea towel to cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting 

- Beat the icing sugar and butter in an electric mixer on medium-slow speed until mixture comes together.

- Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely combined.

- Turn the mixer up to a medium-high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. - Be careful not to overbeat.

- Spread or pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes.

- Enjoy! :)

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Neil Perry's Mac & Cheese!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Warning, this recipe is not for the faint hearted so to any of you clean eaters, look away and look away now hee hee. In Wednesday nights post I mentioned that the theme I selected for our monthly ladies Cooking Club was 'Restaurant Favourites'. I am a complete sucker for a good side dish to accompany my main meal and one of my all time favourites is Neil Perry's 'Mac & Cheese' which can be found on the menu at Rockpool Bar & Grill in either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. This was the first time I had made it and it was actually super easy especially as most of the preparation can be done in advance. It was a real hit amongst my guests (particularly my vegetarian ones as I made one dish bacon free to accommodate them) and I can happily say I will be adding this recipe to my little black book... it may be a heart stopper but it is sexy and delicious and leaves you wanting moooorrrre! So here you are my friends...

Neil Perry's 'Mac & Cheese'


400g dried macaroni
Extra virgin olive oil
3 rashers smoky bacon, diced (I used 5 hee hee)
500ml pure cream
125g grated good-quality Cheddar
250g grated good-quality Gruyere
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
80g fresh breadcrumbs
100g finely grated Parmesan


- Put the macaroni in a saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.

- Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again and pat dry with a cloth or tea towel.

- Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.

- Add the cream to the same pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the cheeses, garlic, mustard and paprika and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is thick. Season and add the macaroni and bacon.

- Preheat the grill. Place the macaroni mixture into four bowls or one large gratin dish (I used 2 medium dishes). Mix the breadcrumbs with a little oil. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the macaroni, then the breadcrumbs, Grill until golden brown and with a crisp crust.

- Enjoy! :)

Get the look Junior: Sibling kindy photos and 'THAT' green dress!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Today Allegra had her first ever school photos taken! Late last week when the teachers asked me if I wanted some sibling photos taken aswell, of course I replied with a big fat yes... but then realised that it didn't leave me much time to find the girls an outfit each. As a busy Mum of two, I generally browse the net before hitting the shops so I have a rough idea of what I am looking for. Last weekend Allegra spied me on the iPad and wandered on over to see what I was looking at. When she discovered I was on the hunt for a new dress for her photos, she picked up the iPad, ran her eyes over the images, pointed at the screen and exclaimed 'THAT one Mum!' I looked at her choice and slowly replied 'That one? The green one? Are you sure? It's VERY green darling... how about this pink one or that floral one?!' To which she replied 'No Mum, I would like the green one please. That's the dress I want to wear for my photos!'. Well, how could I argue with that! My girl knows what she wants and her eye for clothing hasn't failed her (or me!) in the past so the green dress it was! As for Anya, well I wanted the girls dresses to compliment each other without being too matchy-matchy so I thought this vintage floral dress (from the same brand) was just the perfect outfit for a little sister :) When I went to collect Allegra from school today I asked how the photos went and they gave me a sticky beak at the group shot... AND guess who was sitting front and centre standing out like a bright shining star?! My darling Allegra in her VERY green dress! Oh and of course my little Narnie Bananie looked at sweet as pie... love my girls!!! See for yourself :)

Get the look:

Allegra's 'Spearmint Muslin Dress' by Fred Bare (I purchased from David Jones at 25% off)
'High Shine' sandals from Seed 
Cocorita yellow fabric hair rosette purchased from Bonza Brats
Anya's 'Vintage Floral Dress' also by Fred Bare (purchased from David Jones at 25% off)
Amber teething necklace purchased from Bonza Brats but similar available here

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Banoffee Pie!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Last night I hosted my second 'Cooking Club' dinner for the year. Being the host you get the choose the theme so this month I decided on 'Restaurant Favourites' so basically the idea was to cook something you enjoy ordering when you eat out. I'm a sucker for yummy sides so cooked several side dishes including Neil Perry's famous 'Mac & Cheese' (OMG.. yum!!!) which I'll save for another post and for dessert I made my first attempt at Banoffee Pie! I was surprised at how easy it was to make and loved the fact that I could make 3/4 of it the day before and only had to top with bananas and cream right before serving. I was a little rushed doing the last step (hence the dodgy cream job haha) and didn't have much opportunity to take any good quality pics (hey, I had eight women eyeing off my pie like nothing else) but hopefully you get the idea. Oh and I had better mention that it was soooo delicious!!!

Banoffee Pie

1 x 250g pkt granita biscuits (Arnott's brand)
125g butter, melted
2 bananas
1 x 300ml double cream

Caramel filling
1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
50g butter


- Line the bottom of a 23cm springform pan/fluted tart tin (with removable base) with baking paper.

- Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Using the back of a metal spoon, firmly press the biscuit mixture over the base and 3/4 way up the side of the tin. Place in the fridge until required.

- To make caramel filling, place condensed milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10-12 minutes or until caramel thickens (do not boil).

- Pour the hot caramel onto of the set biscuit base. Cover and place in the fridge for one hour to chill.

- Peel and thinly slice bananas, and arrange over the caramel filling. Top pie with cream, this can be done by either smoothing it over with a spatula or using a piping bag.

- Enjoy!


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