Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Despite the long title these are simple, and quick to make and most of all sumptuous!

SONY DSC

Makes 12

4oz Unsalted butter – room temperature

4oz Sugar

1oz 80% cocoa chocolate

2 Large cold eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

3 1/2 oz All purpose flour

1/2 Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

100ml (1/3 cup) Heavy cream

Pre heat the over to 330 degrees F. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. I like the use the fluted brioche papers. I think  they provide some extra support to the batter in the oven.

Cut the butter into cubes and put in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add in the sugar and cream together on medium until fluffy.

Melt the chocolate, and mix into the butter and sugar.

Crack the 2 eggs into a cup and beat a little, measure the vanilla extract and mix in with the eggs. Add this to the main bowl and beat on high until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Sift these into the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low beat until the dry ingredients are only just combined.

Pour in the cream and mix until the batter has an even consistency.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liners. Do not over fill the liners, a slightly heaped scoop is all you need. Ensure all the batter is out of the scoop and in the liner before moving on to the next cupcake.

Place on the bottom shelf of the oven and set the timer for 22 minutes, they may need a little longer, but keep a close eye on them

Leave to cool and then ice and decorate.

Cupcakes

Someone’s Happy. Nom nom nom.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 Eggs

8oz sugar

Pinch of salt

12oz unsalted butter room temperature

3oz White chocolate

Bring a small pan with a little water to a boil over medium heat.

In the meantime, separate the eggs very carefully. You need to measure 1/4 pint of egg whites. There may be some left over, don’t be tempted to just chuck this in with the rest. Save them or discard them.

Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer.

Place the bowl on top of the pan of boiling water and stir with a whip until the egg whites are ot and the sugar has dissolved. Scrape down any sugar around the side of the bowl. Keep stirring if you don’t  the egg whites will settle and start to cook like an omlette.

Remove and attach to the mixer. Beat on slow until cold.

When the meringue is cold add the butter a little at a time.  Beating until it’s incorporated.

Increase the speed a little and beat until smooth.

Melt the chocolate and steadily pour in, beating until incorporated.

You’ll have enough to cover about 24 cupcakes. The remainder of the icing will keep in the fridge for a while.

Enjoy, f.

Christmas Cookie Tree

This was a little pre-Christmas treat from myself  for myself. I’d had my eye on this for a while and got it just in time to make a stack of cookies to send to Cobra Commanders colleagues.

I’m excited all ready

OOOOooo, the excitement is growing,included are the  cutters, a couple of piping bags, 2 icing tips and a recipe book

Look at ALL those star cutters, they look so pretty grouped together

Make  a batch of cookie dough. As this was the first time I was using the cutters and didn’t really know how much dough I would need I followed the recipe in the instruction book, but omitted some flour and replaced it with cocoa powder

The instructions called for 2 batches of the cookie dough, But I got all the stars cut out from 1. I did re- roll the the excess dough

I was a trial and error placing the cutters on the dough and I did have to re cut some. I also rolled them out on the silicon mats as the dough is very soft and moving them distorted the shape

OK cookies in the oven. Similar sizes cookies are grouped together so they will cook at the same time, so none end up burnt or underdone

Out of the oven, while they cool, I’ll get the icing ready

I’m going to ice them with peppermint flavoured royal icing and sprinkle on red edible glitter and crushed up candy canes. The finishing touch will be a little gold dust

I spread the icing on the cookies, But in retrospect think I would have looked better if I’d piped it on and then flooded the centre..

…oh well, While the icing is still wet sprinkle half with red glitter and..

..the other half with the crushed up candy canes

The pieces were a little big and I tried to get them just on the edges

After leaving to icing to dry for a couple of hours, I was time to build the tree

I alternated between glitter and crushed candy cane

I dusted to top cookie in gold and stood it up

The finished tree. Not bad for a first attempt.

I’m looking forward to experimenting more next year, when I have a bit more time