Saturday, March 24, 2012

A spoonful of sugar - Saturdays with Marlene

I love lists. In all their variations. And I love making lists of recently discovered, favourite things.
That's why I'm announcing the weekly series "A spoonful of sugar - Saturdays with Marlene" where I'll be sharing mye week's favourites. You'll get heaping spoonfuls of sweet, sugary goodness :)
I'm curious about your week's favourites. You can share them by leaving a comment or linking up at the end of the post!

1. Definitely my favourite song this week. I've been listening to it countless times and I just can't get enough!

2. My favourite cookies - home made!

3. I've acquired a new addiction. And it's all my colleagues fault! They introduced me to an awesome milk frother that can make cold (!) milk foam. I don't need coffee or cocoa with it because it's milk mousse perfection. It's freaking awesome all by itself. I've been eating it twice a day all week and even writing about it makes me crave it. Is that normal, I wonder? :)

4. Not just this week's (although requested again this week), but the all time favourites are the lemon poppy seed cupcakes in the photo above.

So tell me, what are you craving this week?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake

The thing about living with Mr. Grumpy is that he is decidedly unromantic, most of the time anyway. Whereas I am drawn to all most things romantic. I don't need rose petals on my bed or jewels for my birthday just a spark of romance every now and then.
And sometimes, when I'm home alone I make the bad, bad, bad mistake of watching romance tv (that is actually a tv channel here) for waaaay too long and I basically end up jumping down Mr. Grumpy's throat going something along the lines of "Oh, why can't you do something romantic for a change?" or "How come we never go out for a romantic dinner?" or "You never say XY (insert favourite romantic phrase) to me!" and he goes like: "Did you watch romance tv again?" and then that's that.
And sometimes, about twice a year, Mr. Grumpy brings me flowers, just because and that makes me so happy that it's almost breaking my heart. And I think that this is really all the romance I need :)


adapted from
makes 14 slices
you need a 24cm spring form, sides greased, bottom lined with greasproof paper

250ml Guinness
250g butter, at room temperature
75g cocoa powder
250g sugar
140ml sour cream
160g apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
275g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F or Gas mark 4).
In a large pot, heat the Guinness together with the butter just until it melted. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder. Add the sour cream, apple sauce and vanilla sugar. The stir in the flour and baking soda.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack.

Stir together 300g cream cheese and 150g icing sugar until creamy. Carefully add some cream until you get the consistency you want. Make sure it's not too runny otherwise it will run down the sides of your cake.

This recipe is shared at: Sweet as Sugar Cookies, MomTrends Friday Food,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

easy apple cinnamon cake

My new favourite hobby is trying out hairstyles I find on Pinterest. Some require standing on your head and singing the National Anthem, while others take so much time that I regularly get to work an hour later than usual. Looking pretty is not an easy task...

I just spent almost two hours braiding, twisting and tying my hair, rewatching umpteen tutorials and googling tips and tricks. I ended up with a supercool, easy, tied knot and all Mr. Grumpy had to say was:" And that is a hairstyle?".

I mean, REALLY...!?

Since this whole hairstyling stuff takes waaay to much time, here's a supereasy, superquick, superyummy cake that you can make with one hand while you're twisting your hair with your other one.


adapted from pinch of yum

you need a 23x30cm greased cake pan

makes 16 slices


1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
80g apple sauce
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 medium apples, peeled and cut into small cubes

1/2 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
50g butter

Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F).

Stir together all the ingredients and put batter into the prepared cake pan. Dust with sugar and cinnamon and evenly distribute small pieces of butter over the batter.

Bake for about 30 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.

This recipe is shared at: MomTrends Friday Food, Initiative Sonntagssüß,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

chocolate rosewater mini cupcakes

 Steffi from Ohhh...Mhhh... has been asking bloggers to share their 3 main discoveries from the last months.

Number 1 is most definitely Pinterest. I'm totally hooked and I could spend ages on this site pinning and repinning awesome stuff. It's sort of my extended brain to memorize all the best fun awsome, glittery, sparkly shoe clips, supercool tea pots, fabulous hairstyles, or the yummiest, prettiest cupcakes around.

Number 2 is 15cm long icing spatula. I got one in London in January and let me tell, it is freaking awsome. Frosting cupcakes has never been so easy or so much fun. At the moment it is definitely my favourite kitchen gadget.

Number 3 is that some London cupcake shops are not all they're cracked up to be. I've been so looking forward to visiting them and my fall thorugh the rabbit hole was not as smooth as Alice's. While the staff at the Hummingbird Bakery was super-friendly, their cupcakes were basically tasteless. Lola's cupcakes looked a bit expired with discoloured icing and the Primrose Bakery surprised with overly sweet cupcakes and a cupcake display that looked more like a storage room for boxes and note books. I was sorely disappointed and still hope I might come across a fanatstic cupcake store in London. If you know one, I'd be forever greatful :)

Now, what are YOUR 3 main discoveries? While you're thinking I propose to have one or maybe two of the chocolate rosewater cupcakes.


makes 40 mini cupcakes

you need 2 14-hole-mini muffin trays lined with 40 paper cases


110g soft butter
150g sugar
2 eggs
275g flour
a pinch of salt
1,5 teaspoons baking powder
120ml milk
1 teaspoon rosewater 


Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F or Gas mark 4).

Cream butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add flour, baking powder and salt together with the milk and rosewater. Mix until well combined.
Spoon batter into the prepared cases and bake for about 12 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack.

For the rosewater buttercream:

Cream 40g soft butter, then add 125g icing sugar together with 1 tablespoon rosewater and red food colouring. Beat for about 5 minutes until very fluffy.
Pipe onto cupcakes.

For the chocolate buttercream:

Cream 50g soft butter. Add 20g cooca powder, together with 150 icing sugar and 20ml milk. Beat for 5 minutes until very fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes.

This recipe is shared at: MomTrends Friday Food,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Baked Brownie

Dear Mr. Grumpy,

I went to London and bought you a "Mr. Grumpy"-mug. You said you liked it but haven't used it - not even once - since you got it. What does that mean? Are you grumpy? I even got you teabags and chocolates with it.  I'm confused.

Please use the cup so you won't forget that I love you, even when you're grumpy.

All my love,
Miss Chatterbox

P.S.: These are the most awesome brownies ever. So good that every slice eaten means you'll get asked for the recipe :)

The Baked Brownie

adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

makes 20-24 slices

you need a 23 x 30 cm baking pan, lined with greaseproof paper 


11/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
11 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).

Melt the chocolate and butter in bowl over simmering water. Once everything is melted, add the espresso powder and both sugars. Stir until well combined and the mixture has room temperature (otherwise the eggs will scramble).

Add the eggs and vanilla sugar, stirring until combined. Add the flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold in with a spatula. Don't mix too long at this stage.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.

This post is shared on: Sweet as Sugar CookiesMomTrends Friday Food

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Espresso Cupcakes

My boyfriend (who I like to call Mr. Grumpy because he sometimes is grumpy but pretends he's me, he IS!) is one of those people who spend an average 5 seconds on a phone call. Sort of like "hi, yeah, bye!".

He's even worse when it comes to text messages. He very, very rarely sends one and then only when he has no other choice. I've know him for more than 12 years now and he always, always sent text messages in perfect German. The other day at work I received one written in slang. And I was like "who is this and what did you do with my boyfriend?", double checked the sender (like 5 times) and spent the rest of the day rather confused.

When asked why he did it he was like "it would have sound odd in Standard German".
Err, ok.....


makes 18 cupcakes

adapted from Cake Days

line 1x12 and 1x6 cupcake trays with paper cases


240ml milk
20g instant espresso powder
80g soft butter
220g sugar
240g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg

Preheat oven 190°C (375°F or Gas mark 5).
Dissolve the espresso powder in the milk.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the milk and eggs and mix until smooth. Bake for about 18-20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting slightly warm 50ml milk and dissolve 16g instant espresso powder in it. In a large bowl mix together 500g icing sugar and 160g soft butter. Add the espresso-milk and mix on a high speed for about 5 minutes. Spread on the cupcakes and decorate with chocolate covered coffee beans or mini-merigues.

I shared this recipe on: Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Momtrends Friday Food,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

whoopie pies

Don't you just hate it when work gets in the way of life and all your carefully laid out plans go up in smoke? All the Christmas baking I had planned basically didn't happen so the first thing I made this year were whoopie pies. I've been ogling them for ages but never got around to making them, despite even buying a whoopie pie book :D

My New Year's resolution therefore was (is) to work less and spend more time with my life. And while I go and paint my life pink and sprinkle it with glitter you should go and make whoopie pies. They're super good, super easy and super cute!


adapted from Ohhh... Mhhh...

makes 15 whoopie pies

line baking tray with grease proof paper


170g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
60ml buttermilk or sour cream
120ml strong coffee
230g flour
75g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).
Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the egg.
Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder, alternating with buttermilk and coffee.

Using a ice cream scoop (or tablespoon) place 8 heaps of dough on the baking tray. Not too close together, though, as they'll spread while baking.
Bake for 9-12 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack.

For the filling cream 30g butter, then add 50g cream cheese and 250g icing sugar, as well as 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar. Pipe or spread on one half of the pie, then put the second half on top. Dust with icing sugar.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

mojito cupcakes

OMG! I can't believe it's been more than a month since I last posted a recipe. I'm seriously wondering what I've been doing these past weesk except working too much? Not much, apparently...I didn't even bake that much and so far, I haven't made a single christmas cookie.

Masterplan for this weekend: make 15 different kinds of cookies. Well, er...yeah, that's the plan. Which means, I gotta go...or to say it in the words of the White Rabbit: "I'm late, I'm late, For a very important date. No time to say "Hello", "Goodbye". I'm late, I'm late, I'm late"

In the meantime, enjoy the mojito cupcakes (they are the awesomest cupcakes EVER)!


adapted from Cake Days

makes 18 cupcakes

you need one 12 whole and one 6 whole muffin tray lined with paper cups


200ml hhite rum (I used Bacardi or Cachaça)
300g sugar
80g butter, softened
240g flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 large eggs
240ml ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar


Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F).

Put the rum and 60g of the sugar in a saucepan and boil. When reduced by half set aside to cool.

In a large bowl cream together butter, the rest of the sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, lemon and lime zest and the mint. Add milk, eggs and cooled white rum. Divide batter (which is a bit runny) between the muffin cases and bake for about 20 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack.

When cooled, prepare the frosting:

For the frosting

120g butter
375g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
4-6 teaspoons lime juice
4-6 teaspoons white rum

1tbsp caster sugar
mint leaves

Cream together butter, sugar and zests. Gradually add the lime juice and rum until your frosting has the desired texture. Make sure it's not too soft if you want to pipe it on the cupcakes.
Pipe a dollop of frosting on each cupcake, and decorate with brown sugar, mint leaves and straw and a piece of lime.



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