Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baking for Nightshift- Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Tonight is my last night shift of three and as usual I slept pretty badly as I usually do between the 2nd and 3rd one. Once I had gotten up and had my mandatory cup of tea to try to wake myself up a bit more, I thought I might do some baking to take into work with me tonight. I know it seems crazy to be sleep deprived and then get into the kitchen rather than laze around watching Food TV, but I find baking relaxing so it kind of clears my mind and gears me up for the night ahead. I have wanted to try this recipe for ages and thought I might as well do it tonight.

This recipe is from a wonderful book called 'Divine Cupcakes' by Tamara Jane. I love this book. Next to the CrabApple Bakery Cupcake book this is my other most favourite one as the recipes always taste good. I think it's the method that gives the cupcakes such a wonderful, light texture...and the flavours are great too. I always find I get a lot more than the recipe states. This time I made 3/4 of the recipe and got 26 cupcake and as the recipe states it make 24 I think the full recipe would yield around 36 cupcakes if not a few more. I made the cardinal error of overfilling my tins so some of them spilled over a bit making that undesirable 'muffin top', but I guess they taste good so I think my error can be forgiven.

For the frosting I just made a chocolate buttercream and added in some peppermint essence. The mint flavour in both the cupcake and icing is perfect...just there so you know it's a mint chocolate cupcake but not overpowering at all. I decorated mine with some green sugar as that was all I had but I think green edible glitter would have been better. As well as that my icing was a bit soft so didn't pipe as well as I would have liked but they still look petty good all things considered. I'm sure the girls will like them tonight.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (from 'Divine Cupcakes')

140 gm dark chocolate
330 ml water
4 Tbsp cocoa
300 gm self raising flour
2/3 c ground almonds
180 gm butter softened
400 gm brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp peppermint essence

Oven to 170 C and line tins with cupcake papers.

Melt the chocolate with the water in a small pot or in the microwave. Cool.

Sift the cocoa, flour and almonds together.

Beat the butter until creamy then add the sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition (beat about 1 minute after each). Beat in the essence.

Stir in the dry ingredients, then the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth.

Put into the tins but don't overfill them.

Bake about 25 mins until cooked.

Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ice with a mint chocolate buttercream.

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