Thursday, 29 March 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

For the past six months I have been working at the W H Smith in Glenrothes but have now finished as I was only covering someone's maternity leave.  Saturday night was the staff night out, a treat paid for with the prize we earned selling Kobos over Christmas.  At the end of the meal I was presented with a bag of gifts, the majority of which were related to baking.  I made cakes and biscuits for the staff at Christmas and they clearly went down well.  So I figured I would something to say thank you and thus, more cakes!

The recipe for these cakes came from Cupcakes & Muffins, which is the book I was given as one of my presents.  It was quite different from the cakes I've made before.  There are no eggs in this recipe and I had to make a sugar and butter syrup.  I have not tried one myself since I'm not actually a fan of chocolate cake (or almost anything chocolate flavoured).  However, my boyfriend had one with the white chocolate topping and he said it was nice and moist, with the white chocolate adding a nice sweet contrast to the rich taste of the cake.

The recipe is apparently for 20 cakes but I ended up with 20 very tiny cakes.  I do not know if it's the cases I chose that make them look deceptively small or if I didn't get enough air into the recipe so they didn't rise very well or if they're meant to be that way.  Whatever the reason I would probably spread the mixture over fewer cases next time.  Maybe 12 or so.  I also found the amount of topping I ended up making was just a little bit insufficient.  So that would benefit from there being fewer cakes too.

Recipe, adapted from Cupcakes & Muffins:

The fudge cakes:
  • 200ml water
  • 85g/3oz butter
  • 85g/3oz caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Set out your paper cases in a cake tray.  I recommend 12 rather than 20.
  3. Put the water, butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan on a gentle heat.  You're supposed to stir until the sugar dissolves but I did not know when this was.  I got it to a boil though and kept it like that for about 5 to 10 minutes, which is close to what the recipe asks for.  I figured as long as it wasn't burnt it would be fine.
  4. In a small jug, mix the milk, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda until the bicarbonate of soda has dissolved.
  5. In another bowl put the flour and the cocoa (sifting optional), add the cool syrup mixture and the milk and then beat until smooth.
  6. Spoon into the cases.  When making 20 I got about 2 soup spoon's worth per case.  You can probably get 3 (or 4 at a push) with 12 cases.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a skewer (or thin end of a teaspoon or toothpick) inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

White chocolate topping - covers half the cakes:
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 50g/1.75oz white chocolate
  • 175g/6oz icing sugar
  • 25g/ 0.8oz butter
Dark chocolate topping - covers half the cakes:
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 50g/1.75oz dark chocolate
  • 175g/6oz icing sugar
  • 25g/ 0.8oz butter
  1. Put butter, white chocolate and water in a heat proof bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water, mixing it together.
  2. Do the same for the dark chocolate in another bowl.
  3. When fully melted,add the sugar to each and mix until smooth and thick.
  4. Top half the cakes with each type.
Decoration wise you could do what you want.  The book suggests 100g/3.5oz of shavings of each type of chocolate.  I grated chocolate onto mine (dark onto the white icing and white onto the dark) and also made little chocolate hearts by melting some spare chocolate and putting them in a mould.  Since the hearts are so small they only took about 10 minutes to set in the fridge.  I would suggest making them before you do the icing though so the icing hasn't completely hardened by the time they come out the fridge.

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