Boswells Blog - February 2015

3rd February 2015

Valentines Day Recipe: Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Valentines Day Recipe: Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes


We are delighted to introduce our first guest post from Julia at Happy Cakes. They make gorgeous cupcakes and cakes in Oxford for all sorts of people, from the cast of local TV institution Lewis to birthday party-goers. This is a nicely romantic treat that's simple enough for just about anybody to try - a combination of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with some lovely fondant decoration. You'll need...

Equipment

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 15-18 cupcakes

  • 250g softened butter or margarine
  • 250g sugar
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 15-18 cupcakes

  • 250g softened butter or margarine
  • 250g sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Vanilla Icing

  • 125g softened butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Milk

Chocolate Icing

  • 125g softened butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • Milk
Icing Toppers
  • Fondant icing in pink or red (we're letting you cheat for this bit - making your own fondant is rather difficult!)

Method

For The Vanilla Cupcakes

Pre-heat your oven to 180C and put a cupcake case into the cake tin

  1. Cream the butter, vanilla & sugar in a mixing bowl until pale & fluffy. You can use a metal or plastic spoon to do this, but we'd recommend an electric mixer to save your arm muscles
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each into the mixture before adding the next. Make sure to mix them thoroughly or your mixture might split
  3. Fold in the flour. Don't overmix or you'll lose the air you've beaten in.
  4. Using the desert spoon fill each cupcake case around 2 thirds full (you want space for the cakes to rise)
  5. Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes & remove from the oven
  6. Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing

For The Chocolate Cakes

Pre-heat your oven to 180C

Use the same method as for the vanilla cupcakes above, adding the flour and cocoa powder together in stage 3.

For The Vanilla Icing

  1.  Mix the butter in a clean mixing bowl for around one minute, until pale (if you beat it for long enough it will almost turn white)
  2. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, passing it thorugh a sieve to get rid of any lumps, and mix into the butter (you can do all the icing sugar at once, but you may end up in a small personal snowstorm)
  3. Add a teaspoon of milk and beat in. 
  4. Your icing should now be the perfect consistency for piping. To test, dip your spoon or mixer a little into the icing and pull back up; stiff peaks should form
  5. If you're using a nozzle, put it into the bag
  6. Use the desert spoon to add your icing to the piping bag (support it in a jug to make this easier)
  7. Snip the end off the bag, near the end of the nozzle if you're using one or around an inch from the end if you're not
  8.  Pipe each cake, in one movement starting from the outside and spiraling inward

For The Chocolate Icing

Use the same method as for the vanilla icing above, adding the icing sugar and cocoa powder together in stage 2.

For The Romantic Toppers

  1. Roll out your coloured fondant until it is around the same thickness as a 2p piece
  2. Cut out enough hearts and kisses to put decorate each cake and leave, flat, to dry for around half an hour
  3. Put a decoration on each cake, serve, and woo appropriately 
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