23 May 2013

Chocolate Fondant Cupcakes

I make so many chocolate cakes and cupcakes for personal orders that I rarely end up cooking with it for my blog. Somehow I seem to try out only fruity flavors with lemon being my favourite. This time however, my family insisted that I find a “good recipe for chocolate from your numerous cookbooks” and feed them an “old-fashioned chocolate cake.” 

I usually make these Cocoa Fudge Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and they really satisfy all my sweet tooth cravings. But, since they are really heavy (all that frosting!!), I tried out the Chocolate Fondant Cupcakes from my go-to cupcake recipe book – The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days. 
The cupcakes have just the right amount of sweetness and are so light. The frosting is creamy and almost dainty, the way it simply floats and melts in your mouth. I was greedy and ate about four of them at one go – I just did not realize that I had eaten so many!

The Hummingbird recipes are perfect – the cupcakes always turn out to be light and fresh like the Dulce de Leche ones I made for my blog’s anniversary. I am always squeamish about adding so much milk to the bowl as it makes the batter runny and thin but I think this is the secret behind the lightness of the cupcakes. I also make half the amount of frosting mentioned in the recipe as I find that the quantity is way above what I usually require.

Using my precious vanilla sugar and pure vanilla extract also made these cupcakes super special (learn how to make this through this blog)!

Chocolate Fondant Cupcakes
Cake Days (USA / UK / India)
Makes 12 – 16 cupcakes

For the Sponge
80 gms unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
280 gms caster sugar (I used ground vanilla sugar)
200 gms plain flour
40 gms cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt (I skipped this)
1 tbsp baking powder
2 large eggs
240 ml whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Filling and Frosting (I halved this quantity)
400 gms dark chocolate finely chopped
400 ml double cream

1.       Preheat the oven to 190 C (375 F) and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
2.       Using a hand held electric whisk, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Mix until the ingredients are sandy in consistency and no large lumps of butter remain. I find it useful to cut up the pieces of butter before mixing.
3.       Place the eggs in a jug, then pour in the milk and vanilla extract and mix together by hand. With the whisk on low speed, pour ¾ of the milk and eggs into the dry ingredients. When all the liquid has been incorporated, add the remaining milk mixture and mix again, now on a medium speed, until you have a smooth and even batter.
4.       Spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling them 2/3 full. Place them in the oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or well risen and springy to touch. With the Hummingbird cupcakes, I have found that the springiness in the cupcakes is a better indicator of the cakes being baked than a skewer coming out clean. In this case, the skewer will always have some crumbs in it, no matter how long you bake.  Leave to cool.
5.       Place the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat just to the boiling point. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, give it a stir and then leave until all the chocolate has been melted. Stir again until smooth and put aside to cool.
6.       Place the cooled cupcakes on a board and hollow out the centre of each cake using a sharp knife. Fill this hollow with the chocolate cream. Then top each cupcake with some of the cream and swirl it. 

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