Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas cupcakes: Part 2

Christmas doesn't have to mean expensive presents, surely cupcakes make a much sweeter gesture than a store voucher? Why not make somebody their favourite flavour and adorn with their favourite sweets?

My friends and i had a no present rule for the adults, but i couldn't resist making them cupcakes instead. These chocolate on chocolate cupcakes featured above were for my lovely sister-in-law and were topped with her favourite chocolate bars; double decker, smarties and mars bar as well as some white chocolate drops and colourful stars.

Because the chocolate and peppermint cupcakes went down so well last week, i decided to again use the Primrose chocolate cupcake recipe for the sponge. They turned out just as well this time, although i now wish i'd added the salt after watching Jamie's Family Christmas last night. (Apparently salt helps enhance the chocolate flavour.)

By this point i'd ran out of Green & Blacks dark chocolate (85% cocoa) so i decided to use their cocoa powder for the chocolate buttercream. For this i (sort of) followed Hummingbird's frosting recipe, but knowing the specified 300g of icing sugar would make for a runny mess, i instead used 450g which worked out pretty well.

So go on guys, pick any flavour and topping and make someone's day with a christmas cupcake!

Merry Christmas Baking! xxx

Monday, 14 December 2009

Christmas cupcakes: Part 1

Apologies for the lack of blogging lately, i've been doing lots of Christmas baking (Christmas puddings, gingerbread men etc) so the cupcakes were a bit neglected!

Our friends invited us to Christmas lunch this weekend and to help out i made the Christmas pudding and these Primrose Chocolate and Peppermint cupcakes as treats for the guests.

I'm probably over using the Primrose book of late, but i needed to have the guarantee that the recipe would work (sorry Hummingbird!)

The base of the cupcakes is a basic chocolate sponge, but this is the first time i've needed to use real dark chocolate rather than cocoa powder. Definately take Primrose up on their advice to use dark chocolate with 75% or more cocoa, i chose Green & Black's dark chocolate with 85% cocoa and boy did it make all the difference! The cupcakes turned out rich and moist, which i'm sure is down to the use of real dark chocolate.

The peppermint buttercream was just a basic buttercream with the addition of a subtle dose of peppermint essence. My advice would be to make up the buttercream first and then add the peppermint after and taste until you get the desired amount. For topping i bought some cheap candy canes from Tesco and crushed them up with a rolling pin.

These cupcakes went down really well with my friends and they were definately my favourites so far. The sponge requires slightly more effort than other versions of chocolate cupcakes, but its definately worth the extra time.

Baking Housewife Rating: 9/10