Sometimes one just needs chocolate cake and sticky sickly icing and that is what I was seriously craving yesterday. I had a couple of girlfriends coming round for tea, it was a cold and wet day and we wanted some serious comfort food in the form of cake.
To stop us (I mean me) from eating large slices of a cake, I decided to make little cupcakes. I have always preferred cakes when they are made with vegetable oil, it gives a much more moist texture and a slightly springy feel to the cake so it’s not too heavy.
I also find a lot of cupcakes that you buy don’t really taste of anything it is all about the icing so I wanted to make sure my cakes tasted of chocolate as if I am eating the calories, I want at least to be able to taste them!
Ingredients: (Makes 9 small cup cakes)
118g plain flour
125g caster sugar
1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
tsp coffee granules diluted in 120ml boiling water
140 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
1 large egg
80 ml milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
100g bar of caramel chocolate (or chocolate & tsp dulce de leche)
tbsp creme fraiche
First of all mix your coffee granules in the water and set aside to cool and turn on oven to 160 degrees (fan).
In a mixing bowl measure out your sugar, flour, cocoa, bicarb and mix till combined. Then in a food processor add the egg, oil, milk and lemon juice and cooled coffee.
Pour dry mixture into the food processor and mix till combined.
Arrange paper cupcake cases in a cupcake baking tray (approximately 9 medium sized cases) and fill each case three quarters of the way up. I use a jug or soup ladle as it is easier to pour than a large mixing bowl. I have some silicone cup cake cases which are brilliant as you can use them over and over again.
Place into the oven at 160 degrees for 22-24 minutes. Press the top and it should feel springy and firm, or stick a skewer in and make sure no wet mixture comes out.
Leave to cool on a cooling rack and at this stage make your icing. Take your bar of chocolate (and caramel if using) and melt in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water, do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Once melted, add your creme fraiche and it should turn silky and shinny. Let this cool a little as it will thicken and then spoon onto the cold cupcakes letting it gently fall down the tops.
These are a little rustic but as we have not packed the icing full of butter they are not over the top sickly, they are just right with a cup of tea!
I am going to try making this recipe as a proper cake and sandwich it with raspberries and cream topped with chocolate shavings.
Since writing this blog I have made a few more cupcakes as per the new picture at the top! These ones are after eight cupcakes, the icing is melted after eights, mixed with a splash of cream and with a food mixer with the larger whisk beat small cubes of butter with the melted chocolate and cream mix then sieve in icing sugar till it is so thick it holds it shape. Either spread on your icing or use a pipping bag and nozzle and pipe on your icing. I did the same for my Easter egg ones but instead of melted after eights, i used the caramel and chocolate as earlier with butter and cream and icing sugar. (Not for anyone on a diet I might add!)