Can I lick the bowl, please, or shall we share? – JD, 4
I love making cupcakes. It takes minutes to whip up the batter and get them in the oven and once they’re cooked and cooled, you have 12 little blank canvases to go crazy with.
Over the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with toppings and I’m really happy with the chocolate icing pictured above. It’s made from butter, icing sugar and plain chocolate and pipes beautifully smoothly from a large star nozzle before setting just firm enough to hold its shape when bitten without being sloppy or drying out.
- 150g slightly salted butter
- 260g icing sugar
- 50g plain chocolate (40% cocoa solids)
- Put the icing sugar in a large bowl.
- Here’s the weird bit. Get your butter out of the fridge, cube roughly and place in a small bowl, then microwave on high for approximately 15 seconds. It will go very soft and some of it should have turned to liquid.
- Pour the butter into the sugar and beat with an electric whisk, starting on the slowest setting and working up to full speed until you have a well combined icing – don’t over-beat it
- Melt your dark chocolate in a new bowl – either over a pot of steaming water or gently in the microwave.
- Start beating your icing again on high speed while slowing adding the melted chocolate.
- As soon as it’s well combined and light, stop beating.
That’s it! It’s ready to be piped and perhaps topped with a little rice paper flower.
(The cakes pictured are simple plain sponges, made from 200g caster sugar beaten with 150g room temperature slightly salted butter. We then beat in 2 large eggs before stirring in 200g of self raising flour with a metal spoon and then adding 1-2 tbsp of room temperature water to loosen. It splits generously between 12 cupcake cases and bakes in 12-15 minutes at 180C)