Devilishly Wicked Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Sea-salt Buttercream

The Pink Rose Bakery

One of my favourite sayings is “everything in moderation, including moderation”. I believe Nigella may have quoted it on at least one occasion.

It’s similar to the 80/20 rule – be good 80% of the time and you can get away with being naughty for the other 20%.

These cupcakes definitely fall into the 20%. They are not intended to be healthy, or good for you – in the traditional sense, although they would come under the “a little of what you fancy does you good” category.

They are pure indulgence. Delightfully wicked indulgence.

wicked chocolate cupcakes 5 - the pink rose bakery

I made them with Halloween in mind, hence the title. I thought we needed something grown up.

I first saw them over on Lady & Pups and I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind since. The first draw was the depth of colour of the cakes – such a dark brown they…

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Simple Gluten Free Cake (with vegan option)

Coeliac On The Road


This is quick and easy to make and can be easily adapted dpending on what you like in your cakes!

You will need:

130g Sugar

3 eggs (2 mashed bananas and a splash of apple juice if vegan)

130g butter (dairy free margerine if vegan)

130g GF flour (I like to mix my flours up a bit, this tasted great with 30g rice flour, 30g chestnut flour and 100g buckwheat flour)

Optional additions for extra flavour: 2 big tablespoons of apple and banana purée in the mix with a cap full of vanilla essence and honey caramelised apple slices added on top to bake in the oven.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees c, butter up baking tray.

Mix sugar and eggs in a bowl, add melted butter, beat then add the flour and whisk it all up. When the mixture is thick and smooth, pour it into the baking dish…

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Recipe-of-the-Month: October 2014

Flavors of Friuli

fave dei mortiFor my Recipe-of-the-Month, I have chosen Fave dei Morti (Almond Cookies). While other countries around the world are gearing up for Halloween or Dia de los Muertos, Italians are preparing to celebrate La Festa di Ognissanti (All Saints’ Day). While variations of these cookies—which translate literally as “beans of the dead”—are found in regions throughout Italy, they are especially popular in Trieste, where bakeries prepare them during the months of October and November. For my recipe, visit

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Gluten Free Chocolate and Coconut Muffins

Cooking Up The Pantry


Light gluten free muffins with a little coconut to help them keep their shape!

The boys love them as a school lunch treat!

This recipe makes 12 muffins.


80g tapioca/arrowroot flour

80g glutinous rice flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

150g brown sugar

100g desiccated coconut

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 eggs, beaten

140mls milk

140mls vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 170degrees Centigrade.

Line a twelve hole muffin tin with paper cases.

In a food processor, measure in the flours, cocoa, sugar, coconut, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Give it a whizz to get some air into it.

Add the eggs and then with the motor running, add the milk and oil.

You will have quite a runny batter! Don’t panic!

Now pour into the prepared cases.

Bake for 20mins until risen.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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Creamy Corn and Bacon Dip

Help! My Teenager has Coeliac Disease

This dip is my second youngest son’s signature dish.

If we are having a family gathering, we ask RC  to make HIS dip and it always pleases.


175 chopped  short cup rindless baconIMG_0749

250 g jar corn relish

300 ml sour cream


1. Fry bacon until crisp and allow to cool on paper towel.

2. Mix bacon, relish and sour cream in a bowl.

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Garnish with chopped shallots or parsley.

5. Serve with bread or crackers.

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Roast Tomato and Paprika Pasta Sauce with Garlic and Basil

Cooking Up The Pantry


The tomatoes don’t need to be pretty, I often use seconds, their flavour is fab and I just cut off any nasty bits!

If you have lots of tomatoes, consider roasting them all, making the sauce and then freezing it in zip lock bags, labelled of course, until you need a fast dinner. Alternatively, sterilise jars and lids, bring the sauce up to the boil in a pan and then pour, carefully, into the jars and seal.

If you don’t have fresh  paprika, don’t worry, capsicum works too or just do tomato sauce.

Makes 1-1.2 litres of sauce. 200mls will cover 400g dried pasta.


2kg ripe tomatoes, halved and cores removed

2 red paprika, halved, cored and cut into 5cm pieces

3 cloves garlic, sliced

a few basil leaves

1 tablespoon caster sugar

salt and pepper

olive oil to drizzle

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to…

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