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Here are the BirdLife International instant news update for omsstravel.6666@blogger.com

05/16/2011 Carpathian Project Has Started

Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP) has opened an office in Cracow and started a 4-year monitoring and conservation program of the most precious birds in the Polish part of the Carpathian Mountains.

05/16/2011 The restoration of the Belene Marshes brings back the Dalmatian pelicans

BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria is monitoring the ecological effects of the wetland restoration project on biodiversity.

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The Latest from Bird Crafts

The Latest from Bird Crafts

Cake it Pretty: THE Best Chocolate Cupcake EVER!!

Posted: 16 May 2011 01:33 AM PDT

Today's yummy chocolate cupcake recipe is courtesy of the fabulous Jane from the Lou and Jane Homemade Parties blog!

Chocolate Cupcake recipe:

(makes 12 large cupcakes or 14-16 medium size)

50gr (1/2 cup) cocoa (unsweetened cocoa, organic fair trade if possible)
1 cup boiling water
175gr (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
113 grams (1 stick, 1/2 cup) butter (don't worry about unsalted butter!)
1/2 cup firmly packed raw brown sugar (this is what makes the cupcakes so 'fudgy')
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 large free range eggs (yes, you can taste the difference) - lightly beaten.
2 teaspoon vanilla extract (ie NOT just the essence - it costs a bit more so look around for it)
1/4 cup sour cream

 How to make them:

1. Line cupcake pans with paper baking cups and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (375 F).
2. In a bowl, mix together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth and allow to cool to room temp.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the flour and baking powder together.
4. In your electric stand mixer (ie. your kitchen aid if you're lucky enough to have one) (but you know what - before I got my kitchen aid this worked out just fine with an electric beater!) cream the butter with the two sugars until smooth, light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Lightly beat in sour cream. Add flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix until smooth. (Sometimes it can look a bit curdled - this freaks Lou out - but it does come together, don't worry!)
5. Fill the paper cases just over  two thirds full of cake mix and bake for about 16-20 minutes, until cooked (ie. bounces back when pressed/inserted skewer comes out clean).
6. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then turn onto wire rack to completely cool.
7. Frost your cupcakes :)

For the fabulous frosting, check out Jane's suggestion on her blog here.

Thanks for sharing your fab recipe here Jane! :)

And if you have a yummy recipe, then why keep it to yourself?! Come share it here on the blog!
Just email us your high resolution photos and recipe to: bird at birdsparty dot com:)

Have a sweet week my friends! :)