I’ve adapted a Hummingbird bakery recipe for this one. Don’t worry when you taste the buttercream and it’s not sweet. It’s not meant to be, it’s meant to be a tiny bit bitter I suppose you could call it. I didn’t think I’d like it as I don’t like dark chocolate, but it’s really nice!!
You will need:
> Cupcake tray lined with cases
> Hand mixer with beaters
> Ice cream scoop (optional) for decanting into cases.
Ingredients for the sponge:
> 100g plain flour
> 20g cocoa powder (I always use green and blacks, I really believe you can taste the difference if you skimp on quality)
> 140g caster sugar
> 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
> A pinch of salt (if you use unsalted butter)
> 40g butter (if you used salted, leave out the extra salt)
> 120ml milk
> 1 egg
> 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for the buttercream:
> 100g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
> 100g milk chocolate
> 280g softened butter
> 280g icing sugar
> Around a dessert spoon of cocoa powder (more on this later)
(Again I piped my cupcakes so need this much icing, if you are putting the icing on with a spoon, halve the recipe as you won’t need as much icing.)
> Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C and line the cupcake tray.
> Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, (salt) and butter in a bowl and mix with the hand mixer until it looks a bit like sand.
> In a jug, whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together.
> Pour into your dry ingredients slowly and mix on a low speed to start with to ensure well mixed. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Increase your speed until the mixture is smooth and well mixed, it should be lighter in colour than when you started, this means it’s done. Don’t be tempted to overmix.
> Half fill the cupcake cases and the place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge is firm and a knife/skewer comes out clean when poked in the cake.
> Leave to cool completely before icing.
> Melt the dark and milk chocolate, I know you’re not supposed to, but I always melt my chocolate in the microwave and I’ve never had a problem, I do it for 30 seconds then check an stir and keep repeating this until there are still lumps of almost melted chocolate that when you mix melt because of the heat of the chocolate. As long as you don’t just put it into the microwave and leave it you will be fine, just do it for 30 seconds then 10 until ready. If you don’t want to do this, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan water.
> Put the chocolate aside to cool and place the butter in a bowl. Using the hand mixer cream the butter and then add the icing sugar, weighed out in a separate bowl, gradually. I’ve just learnt this trick, by not putting them in the bowl together you don’t end up with a white kitchen and a fog in the air so much! When the sugar and butter are well mixed into a buttercream pour in the cooled chocolate.
> Mix with the hand mixer until well incorporated.
> Now for the cocoa. I put about a dessert spoon full in, but I would suggest you do it to taste and not just put the whole spoon full in.
> Mix until well incorporated.
> Either use a spoon or pipe the cupcakes, I always keep my cupcakes in the fridge until about 15 minutes before I’m ready to serve as the buttercream sets better. I would also suggest that whilst I use margarine in baking, I always ensure I use real butter for buttercream as margarine is just too soft and will melt.
I piped mine and finished them off with a mini egg 🙂