Friday, 29 March 2013

Easter Egg Cupcakes

Well Happy Easter everyone! I hope you aren't as behind on the festivities as I am. If you're making cupcakes this weekend I seriously urge to try these! Now, I warn you, they are time consuming - you need about 2 hours. But the only hard part is the icing so if you are short on time (or just can't be bothered) instead of using the meringue icing you can use the icing I used in my Butterfly Cupcakes or you can buy the stuff in the tube from Dr Oetker (shh no-one will know). 

Makes 12-16

For the cakes:

  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 125g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g plain flour 
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml soured cream
  • 75ml boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas 4 and line a cupcake tray with cases - you can also do muffins, they just might need a little longer in the oven. 

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile cream together the butter and sugar. You can do this either by hand or in an electric mixer but I like to do it by hand because it's a great workout for your arms!

Gradually add the beaten eggs and combine together. Now at this point you can either split the mix in two so you get plain and chocolate cupcakes or you can make all chocolate. Add the melted chocolate to the mix you want to be chocolately and stir until all combined. 

Sift together half the flour, half the bicarb and half the salt into one bowl and then repeat with the other mixture. Don't worry if you think the mix is really dry at this stage and looking more like dough, the water and soured cream will sort that out. Again stir half the sour cream and half the boiling water into the plain mix, then repeat again with the chocolate. Spoon into the cupcake cases, making them about two thirds full. 

Put into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. (Oh and don't forget to enjoy the leftovers).

For the buttercream:
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 225g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Now like I said, this is the complicated part so skip it if you want (I'm not sure I'll be doing it again). Tip the caster sugar and egg whites into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water without letting the bowl touch the water. Whisk steadily until the mixture is thick, glossy and holds soft peaks - this will take a while so don't worry if it's not working. 

Remove from the heat and scoop the mixture into an electric mixer (or in a bowl for a hand blender). Whisk for about 3-4 minutes, until cool. Gradually add the butter, mixing well. You might want to try the icing as you add the butter because depending on how messy you've been you might not need all the butter. I managed to cover myself and the kitchen in icing which my Mum was not too impressed with. Add the vanilla and whisk again. 

Fit a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and fill with the buttercream - I got mine from Wilkinsons for 95p! Pipe generous swirls of icing onto the top of each cupcake.

For the nests:
  • 100g shredded wheat
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • A bag or two of mini eggs
Melt the chocolate, again using a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and using your hands, break up the shredding wheat - this is surprisingly therapeutic! Tip the shredded wheat into the melted chocolate a bit at a time and mix until well coated. 
Spoon on top of the icing and pop some mini eggs on top. 

Now sit back and relax! Hope you enjoy them. x