For a few of us, it is now halfway through Exam Term in Cambridge University. This usually involves countless cups of coffee, and many books opened, stared at, and fallen asleep on. This year though, I have had a new addition to my revision schedule - The Busker Outside My Window.
There are many of them. They seem to take it in turns right below my window, usually singing (I think...), or humming, and sometime juusstt a little bit of screeching.
Dear Busker - I don't care if you can play Mission Impossible on the piccolo, and tourists like to take photos of you, but my roommate and I have many a time pondered throwing a bucket of water on your head.
Mr Busker Man, I know you probably won't be reading this blog, so I'm just generally having a bit of a whine about you. But please go away and leave me to fall asleep on my textbooks in peace.
- Art: Given one eight-count box of crayons and three sheets of notebook paper, recreate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Skin tones should be true to life.
- Computer Science: Write a fifth-generation computer language. Using this language, write a computer program to finish the rest of this exam for you.
- Economics: Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist Controversy and the Wave Theory of Light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
- History: Describe the history of the Papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be brief, concise and specific.
- Medicine: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until you work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.
- Music: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
- Religion: Perform a miracle. Creativity will be judged.
I study Economics, but I have no idea with Cubism is. Or the Donatist Controversy. Or the Wave Theory of Light. I thought the first was a form of art and the last was something to do with Physics?
Aha! Google tells me that I am right. I do know something about Economics! Phew, was getting worried there.
These cupcakes were adapted from the 'Hummingbird Bakery' cookcook, for rose cupcakes (which will be my next post!) I adapted it to include made the base chocolatey, and made up my own frosting recipe. Will try to remember it as best as I can and post the recipe below! This was my first time trying to make swirly icing and I *hope* it looks okay! A stuck a Ferrero Rocher on top but anything would work - chocolate eggs, chopped up Twix, Malteasers, broken up Oreos etc. etc.
I was just looking for an excuse to open the box of Ferrero Rochers :p
Also, no matter how good the cakes look, DO NOT frost until they have cooled. I know this is pretty obvious, but I know people have done it before and their frosting has metled on top of the cake and dribbled down the sides.
I have also recently discovered Instagram. So here are some Instagram shots :) The other cupcakes are the rose ones - which will be the next post!
And with this, the busker outside has just started. So I shall make my excuses and go to the library. Ciao!
Triple Chocolate and Ferrero Rocher cupcakes
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Makes 16-20 cupcakes
For the sponge
115g (4oz) unsalted butter
280g (10oz) caster sugar
200g (7oz) plain flour
40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
75g (2¼oz) dark chocolate, melted
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
240ml whole milk
2 large eggs
100g chocolate chips (you can use a mixture of white, milk and dark)
For the frosting
1 tablespoon milk
150g (6oz) butter, softened
200g (7oz) icing sugar
75g (2¼oz) cooking chocolate
Chocoalate eggs, Ferrero Rocher, Malteasers etc… to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 190C (375F), and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
2. Break 50g (1¾oz) dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 125g (4oz) butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 3 minutes, stirring half way through.
3. Whilst the chocolate is melting, rub together together the sugar, flour, coca powder, baking powder and salt until they resemble breadcrumbs.
4. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the milk.
5. Add the half of the egg mixture and half of the melted chocolate into the flour mixture. Whisk until they are combined, and then increase the whiskyness (you know what I mean) until the mixture is smooth and thick. Pour the remaining milk and chocolate mixtures in and whisk until the batter is smooth again.
6. Spoon the batter into the paper cases, so that each is two thirds full. Put in the oven for 20 minutes (might be a bit longer, I’m not sure 20 mins quite did it for me) or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
7. To make the frosting, melt chocolate and 1 tbsp milk in the microwave. Heat in 10 second bursts, stirring after each burst until chocolate is smooth and glossy (or you can do it the bowl over hot water way, I’m lazy so I didn’t).
8. Beat the butter until soft, then add icing sugar and chocolate. Continue to beat until smooth. Use immediately and pipe over the cakes or cover and chill until needed.
9. Add decorations! Eat.