Forever Nigella Chocolate-Topped Cupcakes
I just love Nigella! There’s nothing about her cooking that makes you think “I could never do that!” Her approach to food and its preparation is relaxed, without any pretence and has the ability to make anyone feel like a Domestic Goddess in the kitchen, even if you don’t possess her good looks! If you have been following my blogging (and you will have to look at my old platform at Mezzaluna) you might notice that I have a thing for cupcakes and muffins. They’re quick, easy and perfect for lunch boxes. Since I make them from scratch and know exactly what’s in them, I feel they are a perfectly allowable treat in my sons’ lunch boxes, so there! With a little bit of frosting and topped with a shiny red cherry they are also perfect for occasions like birthdays or even Valentine’s Day. When I saw the Forever Nigella Seduced by Chocolate Blogging event on Maison Cupcake I simply had to be a part of it. So this is my contribution to this event.
The recipe is taken from Nigella Bites
125g self-raising flour
125g very soft unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a few tablespoons full-fat milk
12-bun muffin tray or 3 x 12-bun mini trays with appropriately sized paper cases
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Put all the ingredients for the cupcakes into a food processor and blitz furiously. (See what I mean, there is nothing complicated about this…). Then pour in the milk ( I always put in 3 tablespoons and it works), and process again until you have a smooth batter. Divide the mixture between either 12 big muffin cases in a muffin tray or 3 small trays. Cook the big muffins (cupcakes) for about 15-20 minutes, and the small ones for about 10 minutes, although you might need to keep a closer eye on the little ones. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
For the icing Nigella uses a Royal Icing to decorate the cupcakes in the recipe. I instead opted for her Fudge Icing which she uses to decorate her Chocolate Fudge Cake in the same book.
For the fudge icing
175g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
250g unsalted butter, softened
275g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave 2-3 minutes on medium should do it – or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let it cool slightly. In another bowl beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy (Nigella uses her Kitchen Aid) and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything’s light and fluffy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth. Top your cupcakes with this and decorate as you wish.