The way I wanted these posts to look was to have a step by step guide of how I actually made the cupcakes, complete with pictures to illustrate how things should look and then a recipe and instruction list at the end, if that’s how you prefer. All feedback welcome of course! I am also going to apologise for the quality of these pictures, it’s just from my iPhone 4 and the light in my kitchen is rubbish also so please bear with me as I look to get a better camera/phone!
So first you need to preheat the oven to 180º and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of water then set aside. Feel free to do this in the microwave if easier for you but the last two times I did that, I burnt the chocolate and had to chuck it out so I went with the safer option!
In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder then set aside.
In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and fully incorporated (I use an electric beater because I’m a weakling but do it by hand if you’ve got the upper body strength for it).
Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until fully mixed.
Fold in the flour by hand, as you don’t want to knock out the air you’ve introduced by sifting it all together.
Next, you want to add the melted chocolate into the cake batter and mix well.
Finally, add the chocolate chips and peppermint extract.
Just as a side note – when I opened the peppermint flavouring, it smelt very strong so I didn’t use as much in the cake mix as I usually would if it was say, vanilla or almond. As a result, the minty flavour of the cake wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped but you live and learn. Also, as you can see, the mix isn’t the chocolate-y-ist (yes that’s a word!) looking mix I’ve ever made, but looks can be deceiving!
Spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling to about 2/3 full then pop into the oven. Don’t forget to lick the spoon! (yes that is an official step in the recipe :P)
The recipe I adapted this from said to bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. I set the timer on my oven for 20 minutes and they were on the verge of being overdone (think I caught them in time!) It may just be because we just got a brand new oven delivered but to be on the safe side, check them after 15 minutes. It shouldn’t cause them to sink, as at least 2/3 of the baking time has been completed. Once they are done (a skewer/toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean) take them out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Whilst the cupcakes are baking, get started on your buttercream topping. Beat together the icing sugar and butter together until soft and smooth. I would recommend using a high sided bowl otherwise you will get covered in icing dust!
When that smooth consistency is reached, add the peppermint extract and enough green colouring until a mint green is achieved. I ended up using approx. 2 tsp of the stuff, using small drops from the end of a skewer at a time, gradually beating it in (this picture doesn’t do the mint colour I got any justice).
Place the buttercream in a piping bag and swirl on top of each (cooled) cupcake. This is the bit I usually struggle with so I tried a different approach this time. I started with a blob in the centre of the cake and swirled around it and look at that, it actually worked! Top with a square of a mint Aero bar to finish.
So there you have it, mint Aero chocolate chip cupcakes! I think they turned out ok but let me know what you think in the comments – particularly if you were one of my taste testers!
Here’s an instruction list for those of you that would prefer 🙂
Ingredients for the cupcakes
- 225g self raising flour
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g chocolate chips
- 50g chocolate, melted
- 4 eggs
- 40g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
Ingredients for the buttercream
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 tsp green food colouring
- 1-2 Aero bars, to finish
- Preheat the oven to 180º and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder then set aside.
- Beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Fold in the flour and the melted chocolate and stir until fully combined.
- Mix in the peppermint extract and chocolate chips.
- Spoon into the paper cakes until 2/3 full then bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar until fully combined then add the peppermint extract.
- Gradually beat in the food colouring until a mint green colour is achieved.
- Pipe a swirl of the buttercream on the top of each cupcake and top with a square of mint Aero to finish.
UPDATE – I’ve been browsing a lot of baking and food blogs recently and came across the We Should Cocoa challenge which sort of fits in perfectly to what I’ve done with this first recipe. It’s a chocolate challenge that Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot came up with back in September 2010. Basically, each month, chocolate is matched with a special star ingredient or theme and you have to come up with a recipe, sweet or savoury, simple or complicated as long as those two things are used. This months challenge is being hosted by Victoria of A Kick At The Pantry Door and by an awesome coincidence, June’s star ingredient is mint! I’ve entered this months challenge which ends on June 25th so check out A Kick At The Pantry Door at the end of the month to see how I did and to get a nosey at all of the other recipes.