Monday, 30 March 2015

Chocolate Easter Cupcakes


It feels like a good long while since I shared a recipe on here, so thought I would take a moment or two to tell you about these chocolate cupcakes. For about eight years, this recipe has been my favourite chocolate cake recipe. It is so beautifully moist (thanks to the addition of 250ml water to the mixture) and is just so delicious. Then a couple of months ago, I ate a chocolate cake baked by a friend and had to have the recipe. There was something slightly lighter about this cake, with just the right balance of richness and moisture. 

I have had varying degrees of success with recipes that work well for chocolate cupcakes, so thought I'd give this one a go, and it has quickly become my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe. They're the kind of cupcake that I want to give to my friends who are having a hard time and just need to sit down with cup of tea and some cake while they rest, gather their thoughts and talk through what's on their mind. They're the cupcake that I imagine teenagers enjoying as an after school treat, and new Mamas devouring to give them that extra bit of energy they need while they are in the thick of raising a tiny human. They would also be a perfect gift for the chocolate lover in your life (but are perhaps a little too decadent for children). 

I have dubbed these as Easter cupcakes, because it's easy to create a little chocolate nest on the top of the cupcake with the help of some chocolate buttercream and Cadbury's mini eggs, but there is no need to reserve this recipe just for Easter. I fully intend on baking these all year round. 
Ingredients (makes 11 cupcakes)
100g light brown muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate (doesn't need to be 70% cocoa solids, but if you love it, use it.)
62ml water
1 tbsp fresh coffee (can be omitted if you'd prefer not to use coffee. You can't taste it at all once cakes are baked)
1.5 free range eggs
42g self raising flour
42g plain flour
13g cocoa
37ml whole milk
Pinch of bi-carbonate of soda
Cadbury's mini eggs (100g is approximately 33 mini eggs)

Chocolate buttercream (enough to frost 11 cupcakes with a piping bag)
175g dark choc
250g icing sugar
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

method
1) Preheat the oven to 175C(fan) / gas mark 4 and line a cupcake tin with 11 cases. 
2) Place the butter, water, coffee and chocolate into a saucepan and melt over a very gentle heat, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula until everything has just melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. 
3) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. 
4) In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the milk. 
5) Add in the flours, egg mixture and melted chocolate to the butter and sugar, and gently mix until everything is combined
6) Pour the mixture into the cupcake cases - it's fairly runny, so I find the least messy way to fill the cases is by transferring the mixture into a measuring jug, and pouring it in to the cases, filling until they're three quarters full. 
7) Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes away clean. 
8) Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before frosting. (One of the things I love about cupcakes is that they cool so much faster than a large layer cake. They'll take about 20 mins to cool.)

method for the icing
1) Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
2) In a separate bowl, sieve the icing sugar, then add the butter, milk and vanilla extract. Beat for a few minutes until you have a smooth mixture.
3) Beat in the cooled melted chocolate. If the icing seems fairly runny, keep beating and it will thicken.

Baking notes
+ When making the icing, it is fairly important to allow the chocolate to cool a little, but not too much. I found when I let it cool for approximately 25 minutes, the consistency of the icing was far too hard to pipe. 
+ If you prefer to spread your icing on your cakes, rather than pipe it, you could probably halve the icing quantities and still have enough for 11 cupcakes. Piping uses way more icing than spreading does. 

2 comments:

  1. These look great Hannah, we might have to give them a go! xx

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    Replies
    1. Go for it, Megan - they're delicious!

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