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Mint cupcakes

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Mint cupcakes
Mint cupcakes
  • Makes: 16-18

  • Prep time:

    (including icing)
  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

Baking expert Fiona Cairns says: 'I love the contrast between chocolate cake and this pale mint buttercream.' Follow this easy recipe to see how it's done

Ingredients

  • 175 unsalted buttered, softened
  • 100g mint dark chocolate(50-60% cocoa solids) finely chopped
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 275g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 18 cupcake cases
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • few drops of peppermint extract, to taste
  • 1 pot green food colour paste
  • 18 sprigs fresh or crystallized mint leaves

Be careful, when buying the chocolate, to avoid a bar with a fondant centre! Naturally, the chocolate itself should contain the mint flavour.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 170C/350F/gas mark 4.
  2. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over 120ml just-boiled water. Stir until melted, then set aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then stir in the ground almonds. In a bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with a electric hand whisk), cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (this will take a good 5 mins). Add the vanilla extract to the eggs. With the whisk running, very slowly add the add mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tbsp of the flour during the process to prevent curdling, then add the melted chocolate and the buttermilk. Fold in the remaining flou.
  4. Place the paper cases into a cupcake tin and divide the batter between them. Bake for 2530 minutes. When they spring back to the touch, remove to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, beat together the butter and icing sugar for a good 5 minutes until really light, then add the peppermint extract and a touch of green food colour paste.
  6. With a palette knife, spread buttercream on to the cupcakes and decorate each with a sprig of mint.
Recipe taken from BAKE & DECORATE by FIONA CAIRNS, published by Quadrille (12.99, paperback) Photography LAURA HYND

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