Valentine's Cupcakes

Earlier this week, I had a request for some cupcakes for Valentine's Day. I suggested a couple of flavours, and the customer liked my idea of a light chocolate sponge with chocolate fudge frosting. I decided to host an impromptu pop up bakery day, and baked 30 cupcakes for a few people who had been wondering what to do for Valentine's Day, and liked the sound of cupcakes.

I am a big lover of chocolate, and have a few different chocolate frosting recipes I love. For these cupcakes, I decided to go with one that is not too sweet (it doesn't have any icing sugar in it), and is beautifully smooth in texture. If I'm completely honest, this frosting is a bit of a faff to make as it has three different stages to it, but John and I love it, and as I enjoy the process, I don't mind the faff!

ingredients fpr the cupcakes (makes 12)
200g / 7oz unsalted butter
200g / 7oz caster sugar
155g / 5.5 oz self raising flour
40g / 1.5oz cocoa
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Pre-heat oven to 180C / gas mark 4 and line a cupcake tin with cases.
2) Beat the sugar and butter together until well combined and smooth in texture.
3) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks like it is curdling, add a spoonful of flour too.
4) Beat in the vanilla extract.
5) Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl, and stir until combined.
6) If the mixture seems a little stiff, add a small amount of milk (a tablespoon at a time) until it has reached a slightly more 'dropable' consistency. (I'm sorry for making up words - it's the best way I can think to describe it. I realise that photos would be more helpful....)
7) Using two dessertspoons, dollop a scoop of mixture into each cupcake case (or until the case is two thirds full to leave plenty of space for the cakes to rise.)
8) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 - 18 minutes. To check if the cakes have baked, insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes away clean, they are done.
9) Remove the cupcakes from the tin and transfer to a wire cooling rack immediately. (If you leave them in the tin, they will develop condensation, which could lead to soggy cakes.)
10) Once the cakes are cool, frost them. If they have domed a little, it will make frosting easier if you cut off the dome.

chocolate frosting
For the method, I'll just link to the original recipe, as the process is very clearly explained, and has more photos. However, as it's an American recipe, I'll convert the cup measures to grams to make it a little easier if you'd like to try it but don't have cups.

ingredients (if you're piping your frosting, this will make enough to pipe 12 cupcakes.)
250g unsalted butter
250ml milk
150g caster sugar
40g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder

The method for the frosting is here.
Frosting tip: If you make the icing and find that it probably isn't going to stretch far enough, you can add a little cream, or sieved icing sugar, or both, to help it go a bit further.