Monday, 27 May 2013

Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

chocolate mud cupcakes One of my husband's favourite cakes is the simple chocolate cupcake, you know the ones your Mum bought when you were a kid with the hard chocolate tops?  Last time I made them for him I simply melted chocolate on to the top and let it set for an extra solid topping but I'm not sure that's quite how they should be.  He requested that I make them again this weekend and I like to keep my husband happy so that's what I did, although this time I decided to go for a slightly softer topping attempt using a thick chocolate ganache.

I also wanted to try a different cupcake recipe to the one that I usually make which is a very traditional affair and I've been using reliably for over 20 years.  I found two recipes that I sort of merged together, might as well give these things a whirl!  As most of the recipes I use are freely available on the internet I usually just include links to them rather than reinventing the wheel but in this case I'm giving full instructions, I'm really treating you today!

chocolate mud cupcakes Ingredients:

Milk chocolate mud cakes
60g milk chocolate, broken into chunks
160ml water
90g butter
220g light brown sugar
2 large free range eggs
100g self raising flour
2 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
35g ground hazelnuts

Dark chocolate ganache
110ml double cream
175g dark chocolate

1. Put your milk chocolate chunks and the water into a pan and melt over a low heat, stirring until the chocolate is all melted and you have a smooth chocolate liquid.  I know this sounds weird as when melting chocolate you usually want to avoid all contact with water or the chocolate splits, but trust me this is all good.  Once it's all combined remove from the heat and set aside.

melted chocolate sauce butter and sugar beaten together

2. Put the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until they are well combined, light and fluffy.  (Don't try and do this with butter straight from the fridge, it will take you ages to get it soft, get it out in advance.)  I love my hand mixer for jobs like this, a big food mixer is a bit overkill really but if you've got a lovely mixer that you like to show off then be my guest and brag away.  I'm not jealous, no really, I'm not.  Add the two eggs and carry on beating until you have a lovely smooth mixture.  This stage helps to add air to the mixture so you can beat for a while to make your cakes even lighter and fluffier and all your friends will be impressed at your brilliance.

butter sugar and egg beaten adding the dry ingredients

3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, ground hazelnuts and the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl and stir until combined.  Don't overstir at this point, just combine it and then it's done.  The mixture is runnier than a lot of cake mixes but then with all that water in it, it would be wouldn't it.  Don't worry about it, it's normal.

chocolate mud cupcakes 4. Preheat your oven to 170°C or 150°C for a fan oven.  Whilst it's warming up divide the cake mixture evenly between 12 cupcake cases.  I was feeling mildly patriotic so I decided to go for some lovely British cupcake cases this time.  If you want to be super traditional about it I seem to remember the chocolate cupcakes I had as a child came in foil cases.  I don't have any of those so patriotic it is.

5. Once your oven is up to temperature put your lovely cupcakes in to bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  When the time is up check that they're cooked by inserting a skewer.  The cakes are sticky so a little crumb may stick to the skewer but you'll be able to tell the difference between this and uncooked mixture.  Obviously if there's uncooked mixture then they're not done yet and you need to whack them back in the oven for a few more minutes.

6. Leave your cakes in the tin to cool for 5 minutes or so then turn them out on to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Don't decorate them until they're nice and cool.

7. To make the ganache put the cream into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil.  Remove from the heat and let the bubbles subside.  Add the dark chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted and you have a lovely glossy ganache.

boiling double cream melting chocolate into double cream

8. Spoon the ganache on to the cakes and smooth down to fill the cupcake cases.  Leave them to set and then eat them, enjoy them and wonder smugly at your own skill with a nice cup of tea.

I absolutely love the way these cakes came out.  The tops of the cakes themselves were so flat and perfect for doing these sort of cupcakes with no sense of doming or cracking at all.  They're sticky and muddy, so moreishly moist, and have that lovely hint of goo that I've always wondered how to achieve.  I think this mud cake might become my default cupcake recipe from now on.

The chocolate ganache topping didn't set quite as firmly as I'd hoped so let's pretend I was going for a squishier result and then ta-dah they're absolutely perfect.  Pick a good chocolate to do this that you enjoy eating because you will notice the flavour of it with only the cream for company.  If you prefer a really solid chocolate topping then erm, just pour melted chocolate on top of the cakes and leave to set!  My husband was disappointed that this isn't what he got but I'm sure he'll get over it whilst wiping chocolate goo from around his mouth.

1 comment:

  1. These look incredible - I love any recipe that is intensely chocolate (can see why your husband loves them!)


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