Cupcakes! I’m an absolute sucker for cupcakes. But then again, who isn’t? I just love everything about them, the way they taste (if they’re good!) the way they look, the way you can decorate them to create the most wonderful constructions. Awesome!
I made these cupcakes for Easter (so this is a bit late!) but it’s cupcakes and chocolate and tiny eggs – that stuff is good every day of the year, right?
250 grams of butter
250 grams of sugar
250 grams of eggs (about five, usually)
250 grams of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
What to do!
01. First thing you do is cream together the butter and the sugar with a hand mixer. For optimal flavor!effect use some really good butter, also make sure it’s at room temperature. You want your buttersugar to have a really creamy consistency. If the butter is too cold/hard, and mixing it doesn’t seem to be working, try to au-bain-marie it a bit to gently melt the butter just enough.
02. I like to mix the eggs with my hand mixer before adding them (one by one – so in five batches) to the butter/sugar. This way you will add extra air to the batter, which will make the cake nice and light/fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and mix it in.
03. Sift together the flour and baking powder (so it’s mixed) and gently add it batch by batch. From this moment on you should use a spatula instead of a hand mixer because you don’t want to overwork the gluten in the flour. You want to make sure you have a smooth and even batter, but don’t stir/mix it more than necessary.
04. Bake them at 175°C for about 15/20 minutes. Check to see if they’re done by skewering them with a toothpick – they’re done when the toothpick comes out without any wet batter on it!
Now for the chocolate icing
I adapted the Primrose Bakery book‘s recipe for milk chocolate icing. After chilling it in the fridge and mixing it again I found it too hard to handle so I added (quite a lot) more cream to get it smoother! :)
300 grams (good quality chocolate)
60 ml (more) double cream
2 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Melt the chocolate (au-bain-marie) and then let it cool slightly, add the cream, butter and vanilla and mix well. Put in the fridge for a bit (not too long or it will get too hard to handle, in my experience!) Et voila! :)
For the “nest” decorations
I failed a bit here at first, I melted the chocolate but didn’t temper it so it never got hard again – so in turn I couldn’t scrap it off the counter. Baking!oopsie :)
Melt/temper some chocolate and wait for it to cool slightly, put it in a ziplock bag and cut a tiny corner off the bag to form a make-shift patisserie bag. Look at the picture, and start creating these branch like constructions. Apparently if the chocolate is not-quite-set-yet, but set enough that you can get it off your cold surface, you should be able to gently bend it in a round nest shape. I like it the way I did it better, with the broken bits forming a nest.