“Come on England!” Chocolate Cupcakes

It seems like there are a lot of occasions to get baking for this summer. On top of all the usual birthdays, we’ve got all the sporting and cultural events that are taking over the country. First was the Jubilee, now it’s the Euros, closely followed by Wimbledon and then the biggest event ever to reach this little island of ours, the Olympics! Madness!

On Friday we were invited round a friends’ to watch the England vs Sweden football match. Well and truly prepared to lose (I’m half English and half Scottish, I’m well accustomed to losing), I thought I’d make some cupcakes to soften the blow. Thankfully, we won! So these were celebratory cupcakes after all.

This is another time when I’ve mixed and matched some of my favourite recipes to come up with something different. For these cupcakes, I used a chocolate recipe I’d used before and the white chocolate frosting from the raspberry filled vanilla cupcakes. All topped with a very patriotic red cross. The cupcake recipe seems complicated but trust me, it’s worth it.

Ingredients, Makes 16-18
65g milk chocolate
75g 70% dark chocolate
85g unsalted butter, softened
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated
185g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250ml semi-skimmed milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven at 190°C (170 fan). Line two muffin tins with cases.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in blasts of 1 minute, once it is mostly melted you can leave it to melt the rest with residual heat. Milk and dark chocolate melt at different speeds so be careful not to cook it. Leave to cool slightly.

In a bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks and slowly add them to the butter, beat well. Pour in the melted chocolate and beat well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl and mix together. Measure the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract. Gradually add alternate amounts of flour and milk to the chocolate mixture, beating well after each addition.

In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the main batter until it is all combined. It should look like chocolate mousse.

Spoon the mixture into the cases about two thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen with a slight crack on the top. Leave to cool slightly before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once they are cool, ice them with white chocolate frosting.

To make the crosses, roll out some red ready to roll icing as thin as you dare using plenty of icing sugar. Cut into half centimetre strips and then into 6.5cm lengths. Use a TINY dab of water in the middle of one strip to secure another on top. Make sure you leave them on plenty of icing sugar so they don’t stick to the table. It helps to leave them to dry out slightly. When you store the cakes, you’ll find that if you store them in a tin the icing will start to melt and go sticky. To avoid this just leave them uncovered and eat them within a couple of days.


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