It’s my birthday – Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with molten Lindt Lindor Mint centre

Chocolate mint cupcake recipe

It’s my birthday today and another year has gone by, and I’m now 35.  Eek!

While today is officially my birthday it doesn’t really feel like my birthday yet, mainly because my boyfriend is away with work – he gets back tomorrow night.  Also, the last few days haven’t been the best because my position at the IT company I worked for was made redundant on Thursday.

I seriously debated whether to say anything about my job being redundant.  I’m one of those people that worries far too much about what other people think about me and while you can’t help it if your role at a company is made redundant, I worried people would think badly of me when they heard the news. However I know there are many people in this economy who have, sadly, gone through the same thing.  It can’t but knock your confidence around.

My boyfriend was happy and excited when I called him in tears shortly after being told my job was made redundant.  He knew I had been unhappy at the company for some time.   He pointed out that this provides a great opportunity and should be looked at as a positive as it also gives me time to have a break from work for a while to relax and de-stress.

Over the last few days, after the initial shock wore off, I’ve come to see things in the same positive light as him.  Thanks to my redundancy payment I can now relax for a while before working out what I want to do next without feeling pressured to find a job ASAP.  This situation also gives me the opportunity to spend some time doing something I enjoy – working on Delicieux.

Chocolate mint cupcake recipe with chocolate mint ganache

Being a typical Piscean, I love the creativity that comes with working on Delicieux, and I love challenging myself each week by cooking something new and learning new techniques.  Since working on Delicieux I’ve noticed my confidence and skills grow.  While I’m nowhere near as talented as some of the other wonderful food bloggers out there, I really enjoy the time I spend on Delicieux.

One of the things I’ve also noticed is that where in the past I might have looked at a recipe and thought I’d like to cook it but it looked too complicated, that only serves to excite me now.  Now I spend hours flipping through cookbooks and food magazines or browsing online for recipes for inspiration on what to cook next.  Despite my enthusiasm, or perhaps because of it, I have learned to not try and cook 4 or 5 different things at once.  I have often had so many recipes I couldn’t wait to try, that while I was working, I would cram as much cooking into the weekend as possible and inevitably because I was cooking 4 dishes at the same time something would go wrong.  Now I will have the time to take my time.

Another positive in all of this, is that my boyfriend is going to take his Long Service Leave from work so we can spend time together and we are going to go on a 3 week holiday to the United States.  So if you have any suggestions of things to do and see in New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, please leave a comment or send me an email as I’d love to hear from you.  By the way, you can look forward to posts of our wonderful foodie finds while we are away on holiday.

Now, back to the cupcakes.  While I’ve made these chocolate mint cupcakes to celebrate my birthday, they are also to celebrate the wonderful love and support my boyfriend has provided me, not only over the last few days, but since we’ve been together, hence the heart decorations.  His wonderful support and encouragement never cease to amaze me.

I find mint to be both a soothing and energizing scent, and chocolate and mint is a winning combination in my books.  Not quite as good as chocolate and orange, but definitely up there.

I would also like to share my love and say thank you, to you, my dear readers, for reading Delicieux and leaving such lovely comments.  Each and every comment and wonderful email you send means so much.  Thank you!!

Chocolate mint cupcake recipe with molten chocolate mint centre

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with molten Lindt Lindor Mint chocolate ball centre

Ingredients:

  • 85g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of plain flour,sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup of good quality cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract
  • Lindt Lindor Mint chocolate balls

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.

2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

4. Switch the mixer to a low speed and in a bowl or cup combine the sifted flour, salt, cocoa and baking powder and add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk and mix until well combined.

5. Add the mint extract.  In a small cup mix the vinegar and baking soda together and add to the batter mixing on a medium speed for 10 seconds.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake papers and press the Lindt Lindor Mint balls into the centre and ensure the balls are covered by the cake batter.

7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

 

Chocolate Mint Ganache

Ingredients:

3 ounces of dark chocolate
1/2 cup of thickened cream
1/4 teaspoon of mint extract

Method:

1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl.

2. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling and then pour over the chocolate pieces.  Let it stand for 5 minutes before stirring until smooth and adding the mint extract.  Let it stand for 10 minutes before decorating the cake.

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44 Comments

  1. Dzenana March 16, 2011  12:39 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday! I hope the year ahead is full of all the good things in life (especially the edible ones).

    I'm sorry to hear about your role being made redundant, but I'm sure the next thing like will bring you will be bigger and better!

    (P.s. the cupcakes look devine! I love the molten centres!)
    My recent post Hurmasice

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  1:04 pm Reply

      Thanks for your kind words Dzenana :) The molten centres are delicious.

  2. Kat March 16, 2011  12:41 pm Reply

    Happy birthday!!

    Yumm I adore mint lindt balls.......what a perfect chocolate to put in the middle of a cupcake. Looks delicious!!

  3. Tanvi March 16, 2011  12:43 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday!These cupcakes looks decadent..what a choco heaven.I hope you enjoy and celebrate after your guy comes back!

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  1:05 pm Reply

      Thanks Tanvi :) My boyfriend has something planned for Friday, not sure what, I'm sure it will be great though.

  4. The Little Teochew March 16, 2011  1:07 pm Reply

    Happy birthday, Jennifer! The cupcakes look so, so pretty. Enjoy your break (a holiday never hurts!) and then decide what you want to do. When one door closes another door opens. :D
    My recent post Chocolate Rum Brownies

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  2:14 pm Reply

      Thanks for your kind words :) I agree too that when one door closes another opens. I'm excited to see what the future holds. And I will definitely enjoy my break. I just can't wait for our holiday in the US.

  5. muppy March 16, 2011  1:46 pm Reply

    These do look delicious but for some reason my tastebuds don't agree when mint and chocolate meet!

    Happy birthday, sounds like your redundancy is a good thing, hope everything works out for your future. I'm excited that you can spend more time here - your blog is definitely one of my favourites :)

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  3:22 pm Reply

      Thanks Muppy, you are so sweet! :D

      I know not everyone is a fan of chocolate and mint, and as much as I love it, I think chocolate and orange is by far the winning combination.

  6. Prerna@IndianSimmer March 16, 2011  2:14 pm Reply

    Yay, two major good news in the same post! First of, wish you a VERY happy birthday my friend :-)
    And second of all, you are coming to the US? Well I know of a GREAT place to visit in San Francisco. My place :-) I will be very mad if you come to SF and not meet me! I'm sure u are gonna have a great time here as there's just tons to do. Let me know if you are looking for something specific. And again, plan to meet me :-)

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  3:26 pm Reply

      I didn't realise you were from San Francisco Prerna. :) I will let you know when we are there. As for what we want to do, any foodie things are a must do for us, and we plan to go to Fishermans wharf, see the Golden Gate, take a tram ride, and my boyfriend wants to go to Alcatraz. Are there any other must dos?

  7. Trudy~Veggie num num March 16, 2011  2:28 pm Reply

    Happy Happy Birthday! These beautiful chocolate mint cupcakes look like a wonderfully delicious and pretty way to celebrate!! Wishing you all the very best for the year ahead, your very lucky to have such a wonderful and positive boyfriend!! I'm sure you'll discover something new and exciting around the corner and I'm looking forward to seeing what delicious things you get up to on your break :)
    My recent post Curried Chickpea Burger

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  3:28 pm Reply

      Thanks for your kind words Trudy. :) I am lucky to have such a wonderful and positive boyfriend. I was quite upset at first when my job was made redundant but he's made me see so many positives in it, so have so many other people.

      We'll definitely enjoy our break. I've never been to the United States before, so it's all exciting. Problem is narrowing down all the things we want to do and places we want to see!

  8. Stephanie March 16, 2011  3:16 pm Reply

    Happy birthday!! Your cupcakes sound delicious and they're gorgeous.

    I hope you have a wonderful vacation. Will it be your first time in the states? There are so many great things to do in those cities - they're 3 of my favorites to visit. In Vegas, definitely walk around the strip at night, go into the big hotels and gamble (if you're into that). There are some great restaurants in many of the hotels. In San Francisco and NYC I would suggest seeing the really famous sights (Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf in SF, Cenral Park and all the landmarks in NYC). In SF, the Academy of Sciences is amazing and there are lots of great museums in New York. If you have time, you can rent a car and drive an hour to Napa from San Francisco. Go wine tasting, see the country and eat some great food. I recommend www.yelp.com to find good restaurants and activities in all 3 places. Oh, and if you like pizza take Scott's Pizza Tour in New York! Best walking tour I've ever done!
    My recent post Blood Orange &amp Cardamom Upside Down Cake

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  3:30 pm Reply

      Thank you SO much for all of the wonderful suggestions Stephanie! I totally forgot Napa is so close to San Francisco. That will definitely be a must do for us as we both love wine. I think perhaps a wine tour might be best so we can both enjoy some wine tasting. Do you know of any good ones?

      Thanks for all of the other suggestions too. The pizza tour sounds great. I would never have thought of a pizza tour, but I know we'd love it.

  9. Jess March 16, 2011  3:33 pm Reply

    Hope you're having a wonderful birthday! (You're the 3rd person I know whose birthday it is today!) It sounds like you're ready to move on to a new stage in your life - sometimes it's beneficial to be forced into thinking about it rather than contemplating it indefinitely, even if it leaves you at a loss for a little while about what to do next.

    When are you going overseas? I can definitely make some recommendations for New York - I spent a bit over a week there last April and most of that time was spent seeking out delicious food. xD Where will you be staying when you're in NY? There are places I'd recommend for breakfast depending on if you're near enough to get to them easily in the morning.

    I don't have any personal recommendations for San Francisco, but I do have a large list and a Google map of recommendations that some friends put together for me (one lived in San Francisco for a couple of years and the other visited it last year). Actually, the reason why I have that SF map is because I'm going there next month (and NY again too, ahh I love NY). :D So yeah, I'll have a look through the SF list and see what jumps out as a must-see or must-visit or must-eat and I can let you know.

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  7:19 pm Reply

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and offer of recommendations. I'd love your New York recommendations. We haven't exactly worked out where we are staying there yet either, so if you have any hotel suggestions that would be great too! So far on the list we plan to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, a visit to Central Park, MoMa, and shopping. We also plan to go to the Thomson hotel to Susur Lee's restaurant. I'd love your foodie suggestions. :D Also if you have any San Francisco suggestions that would be great too!

      • Jess March 23, 2011  12:32 pm

        Here are some NY recommendations, now that I've had a think about it:

        Billy's Bakery - 184 9th Ave - adorable little bakery, cupcakes here are so much better than Magnolia Bakery's!

        Crumbs - there are a few of these, one is 1114 Avenue of the Americas - another amazing place for cupcakes which are enormous. Their red velvet is probably the best I had in NY.

        Klee - 200 9th Ave, http://www.kleebrasserie.com - great little restaurant, had an amazing cheese-themed dinner here (all 3 courses contained various cheeses, it was incredible), I think they have some decent vegetarian options.

        Momofuku - any of the Momofuku stores, i.e. their milk bar (207 2nd Ave, there's one further uptown too) or their ssam bar or noodle bar. I had red velvet soft serve at their milk bar and it was pretty impressive.

        Whole Foods - there are 5 or 6 of these throughout Manhattan - don't know if you've been to a Whole Foods before or heard much about them, but they are basically the holy grail of grocery stores. I could live in this store - any foodie could live in this store, I think. Such an amazing range of everything, definitely make sure you visit a Whole Foods at some point.

        FreeFoods - 18 West 45th St, http://www.freefoodsnyc.com - this place is fantastic for breakfast (if your hotel isn't too far away) or lunch. A heap of vegetarian options, and the veg options are so good that I'm pretty sure I only ate them, didn't even bother with the meat options. I had a portobello mushroom bagel for lunch once, and an amazing apple cheesecake smoothie (apple, a heap of macadamia butter, nutmeg, honey and rice milk, I think - it was so good I tried to replicate it as soon as I got home).

        The Chelsea Market - 75 9th Ave, <a href="http://www.chelseamarket.com/" target="_blank">www.chelseamarket.com/ - another do-not-miss place for foodies. I went here pretty much every day I was in NY. Out of all its food places, I highly recommend Amy's Breads, Fat Witch (they make lovely brownies if you like your brownies cakey rather than fudgey), Hale & Hearty Soups (quite a few vegetarian options here - there are plenty of other Hale & Hearty locations elsewhere too), and Ronnybrook Dairy (had an amazing hommus and salad pita here). There are also some great chocolate shops and a nut shop that had an amazing range.

        Dean & Deluca - many locations, all sorts of amazing foods: salads, pastries, whatever.

        Max Brenner - 841 Broadway - a much more amazing menu than any of the Australian Max Brenners. They even have a savoury menu that they try to incorporate chocolate into.

        Don't know if you're much of a coffee drinker but coffee is really hit-or-miss in NY. They don't seem to have embraced the coffee culture and still cling onto their filter coffee left in a heated vat all day. =/ Good coffee places are Ninth St Espresso (700 East 9th St, or inside the Chelsea Markets), Gregorys Coffee (58 West 44th St), and Think Coffee (123 4th Ave).

        For non-food-related things, Central Park is absolutely beautiful around April/May. There are just flowers everywhere and the cherry trees look stunning. I don't know if Spring might be a bit late this year - the weather still seems a bit cold in NY currently, but hopefully the flowers will be out by the time you get there (and by the time I get there, I hope). MoMA is amazing and don't miss out on the MoMA store and all its beautiful and crazy design items <a href="http:// (www.momastore.org)" target="_blank"> <a href="http://(www.momastore.org)" target="_blank">(www.momastore.org). The Metropolitan Museum of Art is also pretty impressive. The Frick Gallery is nice, a bit on the small side but I liked the atmosphere - it's one of the old stately homes of NY, so it's just like wandering around a beautiful and regal old manor full of amazing art.

        And yeah, shopping is all the usual culprits - Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Ave, etc. or just wander around Fifth Ave and Madison Ave from about 47th St and upwards for the more well-known shops and boutiques. I actually found a lot of great smaller shops just by walking everywhere - we didn't use the subway, even when we were walking 100 city blocks, and we ended up finding so many places just by accident because we walked past them. And you'll quickly realise how much cheaper things are in the states compared to Australia, it made me never want to buy anything in Australia again because it felt like a rip-off (even considering the differences in costs of living and average salary between the two countries).

        LA Burdick (5 East 20th St) and Bond St Chocolate (63 East 4th St) have amazing chocolates, and Williams-Sonoma <a href="http:// (www.williams-sonoma.com," target="_blank"> <a href="http://(www.williams-sonoma.com," target="_blank">(www.williams-sonoma.com, there are 4 of them in Manhattan I think) is a cooking/baking addict's dream come true - so many cake moulds, baking ingredients, kitchen utensils, etc.

        Anyway, I'll have a look through my list of San Francisco recommendations that friends have given me and see if anything in particular jumps out - I have no idea personally, unfortunately, but there are plenty of places that sound very very interesting!

      • delicieux March 23, 2011  2:21 pm

        Wow Jess, you certainly don't do anything by halves do you? *laughs* Thanks so much for all of this information. I think it will take me the rest of the day to read and digest. Enjoy your trip to San Francisco too :D

      • Jess March 23, 2011  11:07 pm

        Oh and one more place I just remembered: ABC Kitchen Restaurant - http://www.abckitchennyc.com

        Beautiful decor and fantastic food (I think their concept is about sourcing locally and sustainably and if something is sources non-locally it's through fair trade - to the extent that I noticed all the waitstaff were wearing the fair trade alternative to Converse shoes as part of their uniform, haha). I had the best mozzarella of my life there (on the jersey tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil wholewheat pizza I had for entrée). Very impressive desserts too. It's an extension of the homewares store ABC Carpet and Home, which is also worth a look - lots of beautiful items.

        And one last recommendation: if you've got a laptop or smartphone handy and you've got wireless at your hotel, making reservations through http://www.opentable.com is incredibly handy. It's good for finding restaurants in a particular area/neighbourhood too, and you can search by particular cuisine, and it'll tell you how expensive the place is and when its available bookings are. There are 1000+ Manhattan restaurants listed on Open Table, so it's reasonably comprehensive! Makes things a bit easier than having to call places up all the time (since reservations are probably recommended at a lot of places unless you're eating really early).

        Enjoy! :)

      • delicieux March 24, 2011  9:55 am

        Thank you so much for all the tips Jess. :D I will definitely check Opentable. Luckily we will have free wireless internet at our hotel, so I am sure this will come in handy.

        One restaurant we want to visit is Susur Lee's New York restuarant. He was a fantastic chef on Top Chef Masters so I would love to try his food. Here is a link if you want to check it out http://www.shangrestaurant.com/ Also, I want to visit Jonathan Waxman's restuarant, http://www.barbutonyc.com/ who was also on Top Chef Masters. He was called Obi-wan by the other chefs who were all in admiration of his skills. His food looked amazingly unfussy compared to the others, but you knew it tasted good.

  10. Nadia March 16, 2011  3:35 pm Reply

    Happy birthday, Jennifer!

    There is a famous quote I keep saying to all my friends lately, whom happen to be in the same situation as you...

    "Always when a door closes, another one opens, but we are usually too busy staring at the closed one to see the new open door!" I wish you to find your new door, or may be you already did with Delicieux. Anyway, stay positive :)))
    My recent post hearty raw chocolate ganache

  11. Not Quite Nigella March 16, 2011  3:48 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday Jennifer and may you have many happy returns! :D And if you weren't happy there then I can only imagine you are much happier now! :)
    My recent post The Norfolk- Redfern

  12. Kulsum March 16, 2011  5:05 pm Reply

    Hey pretty - Happy birthday. Hope you had a great day. How awesome that you taking a good vacation to US! Have a great time. And this recipe? MY knees start striving with joy at the sound of all things molten and chocolate.
    My recent post Double Nutella Chip Cookies

    • delicieux March 16, 2011  7:20 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Kulsum! :D

  13. CC11 March 16, 2011  6:25 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday my dear!
    Enjoy that holiday, enjoy baking, and enjoy the new job headed your way :)

  14. delicieux March 16, 2011  7:20 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words Nadia, and birthday wishes. :D

  15. Sonia@7spice March 16, 2011  7:29 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday Sweetie!!! Bear hugs!!!

    Your post brings lots of mix news. I'm sure you'll be perfect in few days! Just take care. Oh! chocolate cupcakes are SO romantic. What a beautiful way to decorate those hearts. :) You're so right about to do/try one thing at a time. I can concentrate only one recipe with no guaranteed result so hubby dear is always on risk mode. He..he. :D
    My recent post m3-5 Flickr

  16. Sylvie March 16, 2011  8:37 pm Reply

    Wishing you a Happy Birthday again here. I'm sorry about the job, that's awful, but I'm glad to hear that you'll be enjoying the free time traveling. I hope you have a wonderful time, I certainly have some suggestions are to where to find good cookies in New York: Jacques Torrres, Levain Bakery, Momofuku Milk Bar, and Bouchon Bakery are amazing.

  17. Christine's Recipes March 16, 2011  9:13 pm Reply

    Happy birthday to you first!
    Enjoying whatever you have right now is a bliss. :)

  18. anh March 16, 2011  9:47 pm Reply

    wow! what a lovely cupcake recipe!

  19. Wendi March 16, 2011  10:37 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday hon. Love chocolate and mint together. Are there really folks who don't?

    Hope you have a fantastic trip. Can't wait to see the highlights. The only recommendation I can offer is to have dinner at the Gramercy Tavern in New York. I've been twice and they were two of the best meals I've ever had in my life.
    My recent post Cider Glazed Chicken

    • delicieux March 17, 2011  10:49 am Reply

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and the Gramercy Tavern recommendation. I will check it out :D

  20. Nicole @HeatOven March 17, 2011  12:10 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! I'm sorry to hear about your job, but I'm glad there's a silver lining of spending time with your boyfriend. Good luck with your job search and I look forward to all the wonderful things you'll post on here in the meantime.
    My recent post Reuben Soup

    • delicieux March 17, 2011  10:50 am Reply

      Thank you so much Nicole :D

  21. Cindy March 17, 2011  8:07 am Reply

    Happy birthday! I hope this redundancy is the start of something new and wonderful for you - a chance to reassess and find something more rewarding, and at the very least a chance to relax, travel and enjoy your blog. :-)
    My recent post March 9- 2011- Depot de Pain

  22. Heidi March 17, 2011  11:59 am Reply

    Happy birthday!! These look positively divine. I adore lindt chocolate. Some big changes are happening in your life! It seems the redundancy will be all for the better. It is so important to enjoy what you do. Travel sounds like a fabulous idea! I am off to the USA in August. I'm looking forward to NYC & San Fran. Enjoy this time :)
    Heidi xo
    My recent post A Delightfully Indulgent Day in Hoi An

    • delicieux March 21, 2011  8:59 am Reply

      Thank you so much Heidi :D

      Enjoy your trip to the USA in August. I will note down my favourite places in NYC and San Fran if you like so you have some recommendations for your visit. :)

  23. Boredom Abounds March 17, 2011  2:07 pm Reply

    Wow, these look and sound simply amazing!!

    New York is a fantastic city - definitely check out The Met. You can spend hours in there and see some beautiful things. For me, New York is all about discovering little hole in the wall places (restaurants, shops, lesser known tourist attractions), so walk around as much as you can. The New York Lonely Planet guide has some great self-guided walking tours for Greenwich Village and Brooklyn, so I recommend picking up a copy of it if you can. Just enjoy - go out for nice drinks and dinner, shop as much as you can (clothes and make up are ridiculously cheap over there) and just have a ball!
    My recent post Adventures in Cooking - Cinnamon and Applesauce Scrolls of Deliciousness

  24. Ellie March 19, 2011  12:20 pm Reply

    Happy birthday!! One door closes, another door opens. Wishing you all the best in your future undertakings!

    My recent post Nyonya Laksa

    • delicieux April 30, 2011  9:16 am Reply

      Thank you so much Laurel for your kind words. :D

 

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