Thispost is for Michelle. She left a lovely comment about my cupcakes and requested the recipe for the chocolate ones. Well, this is one recipe I use. i think it’s special. the buttermilk makes the cakes light and lovely, and oil instead of butter improves the keeping qualities and lightens the mix. Don’t worry if you don’t have buttermilk. Sour some fresh milk with a couple of teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice.
- 100g cocoa – don’t use sweetened drinking chocolate, use Bourneville at the least, or a luxe one like Valhrona if you can afford it 🙂
- 300g self-raising flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4’s of a cup warm, not hot water
- 3/4’s of a cup buttermilk or sour milk
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or the scraped seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Now, I am dreadful with weights and measure *blush* so, if the batter is too thin add some more flour, bit by bit. if it’s thick, add some more milk or water. The batter should be soft like very melty ice-cream.
Line your cupcake pan with paper liners.
Heat the oven to 170C
Put all the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer.
Mix on low speed until the ingredients are combined.
Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure it’s all mixed in.
Spoon the mix into the paper cases. You want them to be about 2/3’rd full.
Bake for about 20 minutes. When you lightly press the top with your finger-tip it will spring back (the cake will spring back – not your finger…). If it sinks in a little and feels soft – give the cakes another couple of minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When they are cold you can ice/frost them with your favourite topping.
This is the basic buttercream I use.
Beat about 100g of unsalted butter until it is very soft and almost white in colour. Turn off the mixer and add 4 cups of icing sugar and 1/4 cup milk. Start the mixer on low, increasing the speed as the sugar gets incorporated into the butter.
Here again you are going to have to make any necessary adjustments. Too thin – you need more icing sugar. Too thick (it should be the consistency of soft-serve ice-cream) add a few more drops of milk – slowly, slowly, slowly, it will quickly thin down with the addition of liquid.
The icing should hold it’s shape, especially if you want to pipe it onto the cakes.
When you are happy with the consistency, and it can take a while, trust me, add your flavours and/or colour. Be VERY careful adding colour. Use a drop of colour on the end of a toothpick or satay stick and add it like that until the icing is the colour you want. Too bright a colour isn’t really my thang 🙂 but, the client has requested bright colours and her wish is my command 🙂
Pipe or spread on your icing. The American way is to pile it high. Swirls and mountains of frosting. The English and Australians are more restrained in their icing quantity. It’s all about choice – life’s wonderful like that – your cupcakes, your choice!
Have fun! I hope they turn out beautiful for your birthday surprise Michelle 🙂