8 Days and Counting!

After a long time away from my beloved blog, I am BACK! Deepest apologies for not having anything on (personal issues I can’t disclose) but what better time for a comeback than the festive period! I have to say, this was probably my most exciting bake yet, probably because it was Christmas themed plus this was also my very first time using fondant icing (so excuse the tad messiness please!). Everything about the festive season I love; the decorations, the warmth and generosity that seems ever so evident during Christmas, the cheesy but lovely movies and the list goes on! This recipe is simple and easy, a bit fiddly though when it came to the fondant but anyway, there should be just enough time to pop to the supermarkets and get the ingredients. Get ready to whip these up for dessert after that hefty Christmas dinner! Hope you guys enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 200g butter (unsalted), softened
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100ml hot water
  • 200g unrefined light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs, medium
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g self-raising flour

For the chocolate buttercream icing:

  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk, to loosen

For the Christmas decorations:

  • Green fondant icing
  • Red fondant icing
  • Icing sugar, to sprinkle

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C/gas mark 3 and line a tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  2. In a saucepan, gently melt the butter, chocolate, sugar and 100ml hot water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and is evenly mixed.
  3. Beat together the eggs and vanilla extract, then pour into the melted chocolate mixture and stir until evenly combined.
  4. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, then pour in the melted chocolate mixture  and stir until smooth and evenly mixed.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before placing in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the holly leaves, I free-handedly cut the shapes which was VERY fiddly. If you don’t want to do this simply buy holly leaf cutters on-line or at your nearest supermarket or crafts store (no worries they’re normally quite cheap).
  7. For the berries, simply take a pinch of the fondant and roll it into as many small balls as you would like to accompany your lovely holly leaves. Leave these aside to harden whilst you make the buttercream as they will be easier to place on your cupcakes.
  8. To make the chocolate buttercream icing, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the surface of the water.) Allow to cool until the chocolate no longer feels hot to the touch.
  9. Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
  10. Fold in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated (add a few drops of milk if the mixture is a little stiff).
  11. This icing can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Bring to room temperature and beat again until smooth before icing the cupcakes.
  12. Pipe the icing on top of each cupcake using a piping bag and star nozzle (to note, for these cupcakes I used a Wilton 1M nozzle tip).

Cupcakes adapted from: https://www.bakingmad.com/chocolate-fudge-cupcakes-recipe/

Chocolate buttercream from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chocolate_buttercream_11918

image

I hope the picture tempts you to try these out, after all it is CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas!

Deborah x

P.S. A new travel post is on the horizon soon!

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