Double Chocolate Cupcakes
These chocolate cupcakes are really easy to make. The sponge is surprisingly light and the chocolate butter cream has a lovely sheen and gives a delicious rich flavour. The cakes keep for around 4 days.
100g or 4 oz plain flour
20g or three quarters of an oz cocoa powder
100g or 4 oz light soft brown sugar
30g or 1 and a quarter oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven)/ 190°C/ Gas Mark 5 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases
Sieve the flour and cocoa into a bowl to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients
In a different large bowl and using an electric mixer if possible, mix together the eggs and sugar until very thick and light. The mixture should hold a ribbon trail almost indefinitely when drizzled from the beaters. The air incorporated into this mixture is what gives the cupcakes their lift so whisking the eggs and sugar until really thick and creamy makes the sponge especially light.
Carefully fold the flour and cocoa into the eggs and sugar using a metal spoon. Folding the mixture means making cutting motions and stirring the mixture by turning it over. Folding also means that you don’t lose any of the precious air which you just spent so long incorporating into the eggs and sugar. Fold in the melted butter, being careful not over-mix as the mixture may collapse.
Spoon the mixture equally between the cupcake cases, filling them about three quarters full to give a flat topped cupcake and bake for ten to fifteen minutes, or until firm to the touch. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Chocolate Butter Cream Icing
85g or 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
300g or 10 and a half oz icing sugar
345g or 12 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
120 ml double cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, which means placing it into a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water, and set aside once melted to cool slightly. Using a double boiler to melt the chocolate melts it slowly and decreases the risk of the chocolate separating.
Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and cream together with the butter and cocoa until light and fluffy. It will seem like there’s far too much icing sugar for the amount of butter but if you persevere then it will come together. I used a wooden spoon for this and had to work very hard to cream the mixture and get a smooth result.
Add the cooled melted chocolate and stir. The melted chocolate and cocoa powder give the butter cream it’s delicious chocolatey taste. Once the chocolate is mixed in, add the cream and vanilla and beat until the butter cream is light.
To decorate the chocolate cupcakes, you’ll need to pipe the chocolate butter cream over them using a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle. I’ve found placing the empty piping bag fitted with the nozzle into a wine cooler or vase, folding down the top edges and filling the bag with the butter cream, scraping it against the edge of the wine cooler or vase makes filling the piping bag much easier. Pipe a spiral of butter cream onto the cupcakes by piping a circle around the edge, and then another circle within that and finishing by applying pressure to the bag to give a point at the centre of the spiral
Add any decorations whilst the butter cream is still wet so that they sit nicely on top of the cupcakes. I made some gum paste pansies to decorate my cupcakes, which I featured in another post