Chocolate Drizzled Orange Shortbread

Buttery, crisp shortbread biscuits flavoured with fresh orange zest and finished with a delicious drizzle of melted chocolate. 

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I’ve decided to put a twist on these shortbread biscuits, a recipe I shared very recently with you. I love those shortbread biscuits with their classic buttery flavour and richness. For this different take on my original shortbread biscuits I took inspiration in one of my favourite seasonal flavours and added a couple of tablespoons of orange zest to the shortbread dough. The orange zest adds a lovely fresh and zingy taste to the biscuits.

This dough is super easy to roll out, I usually prepare it the night before and leave it overnight in the fridge and then in the morning I take it out from the fridge and allow it to soften slightly for about an hour on my kitchen countertop, however if you don’t want to make it in advance the shortbread dough does only need to be chilled for a couple of hours before you can roll it out. I’ve cut these shortbread biscuits quite thickly for a tender and softer baked biscuit that will melt in the mouth.

Because the biscuits aren’t overly sweet that means a small drizzle of melted chocolate is more than welcome. Chocolate and orange happens to be a flavour pairing I absolutely adore and even more so around Christmastime. You can choose whatever chocolate you like, dark chocolate would work perfectly on these biscuits or you might even prefer to decorate with a simple orange drizzle icing instead. It’s totally up to you what you choose!

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I’ve been baking with some items from the new range of kitchenware from Joseph Joseph. The TriScale™ has replaced my old pair of digital kitchen scales. I like that these scales can be folded up and they take up less room and space, which is especially great if you’re like me and have a tiny kitchen! I’ve used the Adjustable Rolling Pin that’s fitted with measuring rings – this helps you roll the dough out to the exact thickness you want it, so my biscuits were the perfect thickness and all baked evenly. To measure out the ingredients I’ve used the Nest™ Measure cup set. My set of measuring cups is multi-coloured and it fits perfectly in my kitchen draw. I love the vibrant colours and they’re really handy to use to measure out ingredients accurately. If you want to you can take a look at the Joseph Joseph website, they have gifts perfect for every baking and cooking enthusiast out there!

(Makes 20-30)

Ingredients:

250g butter, softened

120g icing sugar

450g plain flour

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (about the zest of two large oranges)

150-200g dark or milk chocolate, melted

Method:

1. Cream the softened butter for a minute or two until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar and flour. Using your fingertips, combine the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through the orange zest. Press the mixture together until a soft, yet slightly crumbly dough forms – if your dough seems too crumbly add 1-2 tablespoons of ice-cold water to bring it together.

2. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and wrap each piece of dough in clingfilm. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days). If you’re chilling longer than 2 hours when you’re ready to bake the shortbread take the dough out from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour before attempting to roll out.

3. Roll each piece of dough out in between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s approx. 5mm/0.5cm thick. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to lined baking trays.

4. Spread biscuits out onto lined baking trays, bake at 160°C / 140 Fan for 30 minutes or until dry and still pale in colour. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature.

5. Drizzle or dip each biscuit with the melted chocolate and leave in the fridge until the chocolate has set. Shortbread with the chocolate topping will keep for up to 1 week or without the chocolate for up to a month stored in an airtight container.

orange-shortbread

Enjoy!

jess

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Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Dark chocolate cupcakes with creamy, luscious white chocolate buttercream. These are for chocolate lovers only! 

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It is National Chocolate Week. This is one of the UK’s biggest chocolate events and I don’t know about you, but I’ll take pretty much any excuse to eat chocolate. To celebrate I baked cupcakes, not just any cupcakes, divine dark chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream.

If you’re a chocoholic just like me, then these scrumptious cupcakes will definitely be right up your street!

The recipe starts with Cook’s Illustrated ultimate chocolate cupcakes, a recipe I cannot stop raving about it. With rich chocolate flavour, each cake is gloriously fluffy and will just melt in your mouth. There’s no denying that this is my favourite chocolate cupcake and I’m sure it will soon become yours too. The cupcakes also have the perfect flat top and that means you can decorate each cupcake with a nice, generous swirl of buttercream. I have tried many chocolate cupcake recipes, all of which had claimed to the best, but it was Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe that ticked all the boxes for my taste testers and myself.

It wouldn’t be a cupcake without the buttercream after all. A creamy, luscious white chocolate buttercream sits atop a seriously fudgy and moist chocolate cupcake.

To make the buttercream, start by creaming your butter for a few minutes. You’ll want to have left your butter out overnight to ensure it’s really soft. Bear in mind the softer your butter is, the airer and lighter your buttercream will be. Once you’ve whipped your butter add the sifted icing sugar (in two batches) and slowly combine into the butter to avoid a sugar cloud and icing sugar going flying everywhere! Add the vanilla and continue to whip the butter and icing sugar together for an additional five minutes until the buttercream is really fluffy and light. Finally add the melted white chocolate and the cream or milk and try your very hardest to resist eating spoonful after spoonful…

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I wasn’t successful resisting eating the buttercream before icing the cupcakes. Yes, maybe I did eat a couple of spoonfuls, but who can blame me because homemade buttercream is addictive!

And the finished cupcakes? It was love at first bite. I did however refrain myself from eating cupcake after cupcake by giving the majority of the cupcakes away to my good friends and a few family members. Anyhow, I know another batch will definitely be happening in the near future!

I’ve listed some tips in my recipe notes, those can be found just below the ingredients and method. Hopefully you’ll find them helpful and enjoy the cupcakes!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:

85g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped

40g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or powder (optional)

180ml (3/4 cup) boiling water

105g (3/4 cup) bread flour (can be substituted with plain/all-purpose flour)

150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

White Chocolate Buttercream: 

230g (1 cup) salted butter, softened

250g (2 and 1/2 cups) icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175g (6 ounces) white chocolate

60ml (4 tablespoons) double cream or milk

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee granules/powder (if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda until thoroughly combined. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the now cooled chocolate mixture. Finally, add the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter between the paper cases – I find using an ice cream scoop best for doing this as it makes less mess. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cupcakes are well risen and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the frosting: Melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie or in a microwave in 20 second intervals. Leave to cool. As the chocolate cools, cream the butter for about a minute or two to soften. Now add the sifted icing sugar in two batches along with the vanilla and beat for another 5 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and light. Mix in the melted chocolate followed by the cream/milk.
  5. Decorate the cupcakes as desired. They’ll keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, I guarantee you these cupcakes won’t last that long!

Recipe Notes:

  • I highly recommend using caster/superfine sugar when making these cupcakes. If you only have granulated sugar on hand, you can blitz it in a food processor for a few seconds to make it superfine.
  • Adding a teaspoon of instant coffee granules or powder adds to the intense chocolate taste. If you’re not a fan of mocha flavour, then just leave the coffee out of the recipe as it will work fine without.
  • For this buttercream I prefer to use salted butter rather than unsalted. This is because the white chocolate is very sweet, if you want you can use unsalted butter, but you might want to add a pinch or two of salt to the buttercream as you mix it.
  • You’ll need to use pure white chocolate and the best quality you can afford. Don’t substitute with white chocolate chips as they have stabilisers added and that will affect the texture of your buttercream.
  • I prefer to use double/heavy cream in my buttercream rather than milk. Cream will make a creamier, fluffier and richer textured buttercream.
  • Decoration is totally up to you, I decorated my cupcakes with triple chocolate curls which I purchased at my local supermarket. I also think decorating with milk or white chocolate buttons, chocolate shavings or sprinkles would look lovely.
  • To decorate these cupcakes I used a large closed star tip. It’s my favourite piping nozzle and makes the buttercream look like a Mr Whippy (soft serve) ice cream.
  • This recipe makes enough buttercream to generously ice 12 standard sized cupcakes. I did have a little buttercream left over, so you’re not a fan of too much buttercream then I would half the recipe.

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Are you a fan of white chocolate and want more cupcake recipes?

Make my Biscoff Cookie Butter Cupcakes next!

cupcake biscoff

Enjoy!

jess

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

This blog post was created in collaboration with Magnum Ice Cream. All views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

These mini cheesecakes are for all peanut butter fans out there! Chocolate biscuit base topped with a layer of peanut butter cheesecake, followed by a drizzle of double chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of chopped roasted peanuts. 

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They’re any peanut butter lover’s dream dessert. It’s a mix of sweet and salty flavours and the perfect treat for anybody who loves cheesecake.

This year Magnum has launched the new Magnum Double. It’s available in 3 flavours, Magnum Double Chocolate, Magnum Double Caramel and Magnum Double Peanut Butter.

These delicious cheesecakes are based on the distinct layers included in the Magnum Double Peanut Butter. This truly decadent dessert combines and captures all the things I love about the Magnum Double Peanut Butter ice cream into a simple dessert that’s easy to make and delicious.

It’s no lie that I am a big fan of sharing cheesecake recipes on my site and I am currently having a lot of fun creating mini cheesecakes. Because they’re mini, it means you can indulge in more than one cheesecake.

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The mini cheesecakes consist of a buttery chocolate biscuit base that is followed by a layer of sweet peanut butter cheesecake. They take just 10 minutes to prepare and only 20 minutes to bake. Once they are completely chilled each cheesecake is topped with a generous spoonful of double chocolate ganache.

When I am in need of a yummy reminder of these cheesecakes, I like to have a pack of the Magnum Double Peanut Butter in my freezer ready for when a peanut butter craving strikes! My family and I have been fans of Magnum ice creams since I was very little. I remember warm summer days and hearing the jingle from an ice cream van arriving down the road where we live. I would beg my mum and dad for ice cream and a Magnum would always be what I would pick.

Are you a fan of Magnums? If so, what is your favourite flavour and why?

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I love the layers in the new Magnum Double Peanut Butter ice cream. I can’t think of a better treat to enjoy on a hot summer day! 

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Biscuit Base –

9 (approx. 150g) chocolate biscuits (mine were coated in chocolate)

60g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Peanut Butter Cheesecake –

450g/1lb (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened

125g (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter

130g (2/3 cup) caster or granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

Double Chocolate Ganache –

175g (1 cup) mix of milk and dark chocolate

120ml (1/2 cup) double (heavy) cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C / 150 Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases and set to one side.
  2. To make the biscuit base: Crush the biscuits until they’re fine crumbs. In a small bowl, mix together with the melted butter until coated. Divide the crumbs between the paper cases – approx. 1 tablespoon in each. Press down slightly until firm, then bake for 5 minutes until toasted. Leave to cool whilst you make the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake filling: Beat the softened cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and the eggs and mix until incorporated. Divide the cheesecake filling over the top of the prepared biscuit bases. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. Leave to cool in tin completely, then remove and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  4. To make the ganache: Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl. Gently heat the cream in a small saucepan then take off the heat once it’s boiling. Pour the hot cream over the top of the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes. Now stir until smooth and no lumps of chocolate remain.
  5. Spoon the ganache over the top of each cheesecake. Sprinkle with peanuts and chocolate chips if you desire before serving.

Enjoy!

jess

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White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis

Fluffy no-bake white chocolate cheesecake. A rich dessert that’s delicious served with tangy raspberry coulis. 

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You will all know by now how much of fan I am of my no-bake treats on this blog. I always enjoy testing and creating different kinds of no-bake desserts, especially no-bake cheesecake recipes.

Now it’s officially spring it’s time to share some fresh fruity desserts and recipes.

I’m kicking off the season with this white chocolate cheesecake. Consisting of layers of buttery digestive biscuit base and creamy smooth white chocolate cheesecake. Each slice is served with a drizzle of homemade raspberry coulis which contrasts beautifully with the cheesecake.

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We served this cheesecake for guests we had over the Easter weekend for a dinner party. It was requested I make a dessert for our cheesecake loving friends and this recipe certainly impressed.

Each slice cuts perfectly and holds its shape even without gelatine. You can serve the cheesecake with an assortment of mixed berries but I think the raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries really compliment the white chocolate.

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Ingredients:

Biscuit Base:

300g or 20 digestive biscuits

140g unsalted butter

White Chocolate Cheesecake:

500g full-fat cream cheese, softened (I leave mine out at room temperature for about half an hour to soften)

300g white chocolate

300ml double cream

45g (3 tablespoons) icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raspberry Coulis:

200g-250g (2 cups) fresh or frozen raspberries

1-2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice or water

Method:

  1. To make the biscuit base: Break the digestives up into smaller pieces. Place in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or place the in a food processor and process until they’re fine crumbs. Mix together with the melted butter. Press the biscuit crumbs into a 23cm springform cheesecake tin until compact and firm. Leave in the fridge whilst you make the cheesecake filling.
  2. To make the cheesecake filling: Melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave in 20-second intervals. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Beat together the softened cream cheese and the melted white chocolate until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the cream in two batches into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Spread the cheesecake filling onto the prepared biscuit base and smooth over with a palette knife or spatula. Cover and leave to set in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours or preferably overnight.
  6. To make the raspberry coulis: Place the raspberries, icing sugar and lemon juice/water in a small saucepan. Heat gently and continue to cook until the raspberries break down and you’re left with a thick and glossy sauce. Take off the heat and pass the coulis through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Discard the seeds. Leave the sauce to cool before refrigerating.
  7. Serve the cheesecake with white chocolate shavings, the chilled raspberry coulis and some fresh raspberries. Cheesecake will store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Enjoy!

jess

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Cadbury Creme Egg Ice Cream

Deliciously smooth creme egg ice cream made without an ice cream machine! 

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If you love creme eggs, then you’re going to love this ice cream. You might not believe me, but I used to HATE creme eggs. Oh, and cheesecake.

That’s quite a bold statement coming from someone who is now addicted to creme eggs and has a serious obsession with cheesecake. 😉

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Ever since I discovered the magic no-churn method for making ice cream, I’ve been completely hooked on creating and sharing more ice cream recipes on the blog. For this creme egg ice cream I used a standard no-churn vanilla ice cream base and added melted milk chocolate and a whole load of chopped creme eggs. The ice cream stays super soft and scoop-able and requires less ingredients and no high tech equipment.

Indulge your creme egg cravings this Easter with my easy no-churn ice cream. It’s super addictive and the perfect recipe for all you chocoholics out there!

Ingredients:

480ml (2 cups) double/heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 x 397g (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk

300g milk or dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

2 x 89g packets mini Cadbury creme eggs, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Whisk the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Fold through the condensed milk and the melted chocolate until thoroughly combined.
  2. Finally, fold through approx. 3/4 of the chopped creme eggs. Pour the mixture into a large freezer container or large loaf tin. Top with the remaining creme eggs.
  3. Cover with clingfilm and freeze overnight or until solid. When ready to serve, scoop into bowls or ice cream cones. I serve mine with extra creme eggs! The ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Original photo from April 2014

ice cream 2014

Enjoy! Happy Easter!

jess

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Easter Chocolate Nest Cakes

Easter is all about getting creative in the kitchen and having fun! These yummy no-bake Easter Chocolate Nest Cakes are made with just 3 ingredients and are the perfect treat for Easter! Use your leftover (if any!) Easter chocolate to make these treats! 

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I’m sharing my first Easter recipe with you today!

Growing up I always used to make these nest cakes over Easter time and they would also be made for parties. Over the last few years I’ve been teaching my little cousins how to make them.

This recipe is brilliant for any age – kids and adults alike will enjoy making these! The best part is the nest cakes can be made in less than 10 minutes and only need about half an hour to set in the fridge before you can devour them!

This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make, all you’ll need to do is melt chocolate and then add the cereal and coat in the melted chocolate. This simple recipe only requires two ingredients or three if you’re going to decorate the cakes with mini eggs like I did.

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Try your hardest not to eat the mixture before popping it into the cupcake cases. When I was little I would always grab a spoon from the kitchen drawer and help myself to numerous spoonful’s of the yummy, chocolaty mix.

To decorate I kept it simple and placed a few Cadbury mini eggs on the top of each nest cake. Mini eggs are my absolute favourite Easter chocolate. When I have a bag of these around, I cannot resist eating them!

You can decorate these nest cakes in anyway you like, I’ll leave that up to you! 😉

(Makes 10-12)

Ingredients:

100g (3.5 ounces) milk or dark chocolate (or a mix of the two – we prefer using just milk chocolate)

75g (3 cups) rice krispies (cornflakes or shredded wheat can be used too)

Cadbury mini eggs, for decoration

Method:

  1. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with 10-12 paper cases. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt gently over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) or melt in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  2. Toss the melted chocolate with the rice krispies together until the cereal is completely coated in the chocolate.
  3. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and press 2-3 mini eggs into the centre of each nest. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until set.

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I made these nest cakes again and swapped the regular milk/dark chocolate for Terry’s chocolate orange. My sister, Becky, gave me this idea and they’re perfect for Christmas!

chocolate-orange-nest-cakes

Enjoy!

jess

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Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

The perfect cupcake for any chocolate lover! Ultimate chocolate cupcakes are deliciously moist with a delicate crumb. Swirled high with an ultra creamy milk chocolate frosting. 

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These chocolate cupcakes definitely live up to their name and as the title describes, they are ultimately good. I’ll never need to find a new chocolate cupcake recipe ever again and neither will you.

Made with combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder for intense chocolate flavour. I usually just add cocoa powder to my chocolate cupcake, but this time I wanted to elevate the flavour by adding even more chocolate to the mix!

The cake itself has a perfect crumb texture. It’s rich, chocolaty and fluffy and will stay moist for days without becoming dry. The cupcakes when baked have a perfect domed appearance, which is something quite hard to find with most cupcake recipes.

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The next step is to make the frosting. It wouldn’t be a cupcake without the frosting after all!

These cupcakes will pretty much suit any frosting you could think of. This time I went for a classic milk chocolate frosting. My milk chocolate frosting recipe is unbelievably delicious and extremely simple to prepare.

To make it, cream the butter until softened and then add icing sugar. I get a lot of questions from readers asking me to help with their frosting dilemmas. The most common question is regarding the texture of frosting, for example why it’s grainy and not smooth. My top tip is to sift your icing sugar for the best frosting free of any lumps and also remember to add the icing sugar in batches to ensure even mixing. 

Continue to mix the butter and icing sugar for about two minutes or until the frosting is fluffy and has lightened in colour. Finally, add the cream, vanilla and the melted chocolate and beat until smooth. 

This frosting has just the right balance of sweetness and isn’t too rich. You can see from the pictures how creamy and smooth it is. I did in fact eat a few spoonfuls from the bowl before decorating the cupcakes.

I’m addicted to this frosting and now these chocolate cupcakes. I cannot wait to bake my next batch!

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(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

85g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped

40g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or powder (optional)

180ml (3/4 cup) boiling water

105g (3/4 cup) bread flour (can be substituted with plain/all-purpose flour)

150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Frosting:

227g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar (confectioners), sifted

4 tablespoons (60ml) double cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

175g (6 ounces) milk chocolate, melted and cooled

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee granules/powder (if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda until thoroughly combined. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the now cooled chocolate mixture. Finally, add the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter between the paper cases – I find using an ice cream scoop best for doing this as it makes less mess. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until the cupcakes are well risen and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the frosting: Cream the butter for about a minute or two to soften. Now add the sifted icing in two batches and beat for another 2 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and light. Add the cream and vanilla and beat again until combined.
  5. Finally mix in the melted chocolate. Frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired. The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Use the best quality chocolate you can afford.
  • If you’re not a fan of coffee you can substitute the coffee with water. You can’t really taste the coffee, but it intensifies the chocolate flavour.
  • When making the frosting remember to sift your icing sugar and add the sugar in batches to ensure you create a smooth textured frosting.
  • Feel free to decorate the cupcakes with a different frosting flavour like classic vanilla or something fruity like strawberry or raspberry.

Chocolate cupcake recipe based on Cook’s Illustrated, frosting recipe by What Jessica Baked Next 

 

Enjoy!

jess

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