Dark chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream
Prep time:(including icing)
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
These dark chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream are the perfect blend of bitter chocolate flavours and fresh mint. Not to mention the candy canes which make a perfect topping - complimenting the minty flavour in the sponge. Goodtoknow user Victoria Threader has created this unique recipe, which is good for any time of the year but especially as a Valentine's Day treat for your loved one. Using the candy canes to create a heart-shaped decoration, these will be a fantastic suprise for your partner on 14 February. You just have to make sure you don't eat them all first...
- 6 1/2 oz of plain flour sifted
- 6 oz of soft brown sugar
- 3 oz of unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 large eggs (separated)
- 4 oz of good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 250 ml of semi skimmed milk at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract.
- Pinch of salt
- 4 oz of unsalted butter softened
- 18 oz icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons of semi skimmed milk at room temperature
- Few drop of peppermint essence (to your liking)
- Red food colouring (add till you get the desired colour)
- 24 mini candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 160 fan/190/375/Gas mark 5. Line your muffin tray with papers x 12
- Cut the chocolate in to small pieces and melt in the microwave on short 30 second bursts, so as not to burn it, or melt in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. This should take around 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer.
- Whisk the egg yolks till light and fluffy and beat into the mixture. Add the melted chocolate (make sure it's not too hot) and beat well.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix the milk and vanilla essence together. Add half the flour to the chocolate mixture and half the milk and beat well. Then add the other half of the flour and milk and beat well.
- In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage and carefully fold into the mixture with a metal spoon. Do not be tempted to beat it in otherwise you will knock the air out of the mixture.
- Spoon into the cases and bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave for 15 minutes then place on a wire rack to completely cool.
- For the buttercream, put all ingredients in a large bowl together and beat until smooth. Add the red colouring until you get the colour you want.
- Once completely cool swirl, pipe or spread the peppermint buttercream on the top and roll the outer edge in sprinkles (I used heart shaped ones) Then push in 2 mini candy cane to form a heart shape into the top.