I don't know about you, but with two teens and a chocoholic husband in the house, Easter is normally a chocolate-fest on a massive scale.
Erm, hang on, who am I kidding?
There is always chocolate in the house, and I have been one of the primary candidates for chocolate over-consumption during the last few months while I have been at home with Sam. Not a terribly good example to set, but (hopefully) once I am back at work, a more normal diet will resume once temptation is removed.
Anyway, with Easter fast approaching this weekend, I wanted to do some Easter themed cupcakes. If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe which delivers on flavour, then these fit the bill fantastically. They are made using one of my favourite chocolate sponge recipes, also used for my Poppin' Chocolate Orange Cupcakes, and just used in cupcake form rather than a layer cake. It's adapted from Usborne's Children's Cookbook.
Ingredients (makes 16 cupcakes)
200g self raising flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
4 tbspns cocoa powder
4 medium eggs
225g softened unsalted butter (or at a pinch, use a good quality margarine!)
225g light soft brown sugar
1 tbspn milk
You just measure all the ingredients into a bowl and then cream with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, baking in a fan 155 / conventional 175 oven for around 18 minutes. You end up with a delicious, moist chocolate cupcake with a hint of fudginess due to the soft brown sugar. I paired them with the chocolate buttercream recipe from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. They were intensely chocolately, but not overly sweet.
for the buttercream
175g chocolate (70% cocoa) melted and cooled slightly
225g softened unsalted butter
1 tbspn semi skimmed milk at room temperature
1 tspn vanilla extract
250g icing sugar, sifted
Beat all the buttercream ingredients well until smooth and creamy.
I used the Wilton 1M tip to pipe swirls on top of the cupcakes. In hindsight my buttercream was too thick for the nest effect I was after, as I had added some extra icing sugar to the buttercream to try and make sure it was firm enough to hold the mini eggs - I ended up going a little too far! The mini eggs tended to sit on top of the cakes rather than nestle, and some of the swirls were decidedly rough - see what I mean?
They still tasted delicious though!