Tuesday 7 April 2009

Easter Double Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Mudcake. Do I need say more. Well, suppose I'd better, given that this is a food blog for talking about food.....

Also known as 'how to prove to your colleagues that you genuinely do make and decorate the cakes you bring in'.... It has to be said that I am not happy with the way these turned out decoration wise. I don't often use food colourings - and it shows. The colours are too gaudy and aren't really straw or grass like in the slightest. I was aiming for chicks pecking around in the straw of a barn or out on the new spring grass. I obviously have a vivid imagination - try and see if you can see little chicks pecking around with a large bustling brown mother hen clucking worriedly as she tries to round them up. Can you see the old-fashioned wooden barn in the background and can you complete the picture with the farmer, his wife and two young children looking fondly over this scene of rural bliss? Are you there yet? Right, now look at the creations above. This is why I'm not 100% happy with them!!!

However, none of that really matters. What matters is that they taste great (which they do) after all, what's not to like about yummy chocolate cake and buttercream icing (even if it is dyed a funny colour!). My colleagues certainly snaffled them all up. So quickly in fact, that I wasn't able to grab one for myself!

I'm sending these, in all their glory, over to Julia at A Slice of Cherry Pie. She's hosting the third annual Easter Cake Bake, and since I made these to celebrate Easter, that's where they're heading!

The recipe uses a combination of methods that I haven't really come across before. It uses a creaming technique to start with, but then melts the chocolate in water and adds that. It seemed odd to me, but produced really good cake. I think they probably have a different texture to normal cupcakes due to the relatively high amount of sugar in the mixture. Yum!

Here is my slightly modified version of the recipe, as found in a little book I recently bought from Marks and Spencer called, simply, 'Cupcakes':

Double chocolate mud cake
60g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
160ml water
100g butter, softened
110g light muscovado sugar
110g dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder

100g very soft butter
200g icing sugar
food colourings, if desired

- Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3 (although I used gas 4). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper liners.
- Melt the chocolate together with the water in a small saucepan over a low heat, being careful not to let the chocolate burn. Mine never became entirely smooth, but it didn't seem to matter.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue to beat for a while. The mixture will become lighter in colour.
- Stir in the sifted (although I didn't sift) flour and cocoa, and add the warm chocolate mixture.
- Divide the mixture among the cases. They will be quite full - don't worry about this, I thought mine might overflow, but they didn't!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

When cool, make the buttercream by beating 100g butter and 200g icing sugar until extremely light and fluffy. An electric mixer is definitely the way to go here, and your butter needs to be very soft indeed. Colour as desired and ice the cupcakes. Or make a chocolate buttercream (this would be rather more aesthetically pleasing I feel!) and pretend your chicks are scratching around in the dirt or the mud rather than in the grass!

But whatever they look like, just enjoy eating them!


Maria♥ said...

Oh these are so cute and I love the bright colours of the buttercream!! Your co-workers are a very lucky bunch.


The Caked Crusader said...

Yum. They look great.
I have never grown out of the joy of those little pipe cleaner chicks either...as will become apparent when I post my Easter bakes!

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

Well, I think they look both cute and yummy! The green isn't that far off grass-green, you know, so don't do yourself down!

I'm not surprised your colleagues descended like locusts upon them :)

Caroline said...

Thanks for the comments!

I love the little fluffy pipecleaner chicks too - reminds me of easter cake sales at school when my mum would always use them!

Angela, I think my green would have been more convincing if I'd been colouring white icing rather than buttercream, but thanks for saying it doesn't look that bad!

Nic said...

Very cute!


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