Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gift Cupcakes

I've poured enough sourness over these pages as of late, hence I would think the time has come for a bit of gifted sweetness. These are my favourite cupcakes, are easy to whip up, even when you are flitting between kitchen and Wimbledon's final, and fall well within the 'gift' theme I feel coming (I am reading The Gift: How The Creative Spirit Transforms The World, more on this in the next few days). Decorate them with this scruptious cream cheese topping if you must, but they are just as delicious on their own.

200g plain flour
200g very soft unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa
142ml sour cream
1/2 tsp salt

12 muffin cases
muffin tin

Warm oven at 180C and line the muffin tin with the paper cases. Get your dark chocolate to melt in a double-boiler or in the microwave. Set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt in a bowl, then add the soft butter with a mixer until it is well incorporated.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Pour into the first bowl and combine well until it looks reasonably smooth. Now also add the melted chocolate and combine again, until it is lump-free and airy. Divide among the 12 muffin cases (2/3 full tops) and stick into the oven for 30 minutes.

Take the cupcakes out and let them rest for ten minutes before moving them from their tin to a cooling rack. Leave them there for a good couple of hours. Then, start preparing the cream cheese topping. You will need:

150g of cream cheese (full fat yes)
75ml double cream
75g icing sugar

Place the cream cheese in a bowl, add the cream and stir in order to break the cream cheese down. Now sieve the icing sugar over this and stir well until all incorporated. Proceed to drop a dollop of this on each cupcake or, if you have the time, the inclination and the tools, pipe it over. If you go for the piping, make double the amount of icing. If you are a good a piper as I am, half of it sticks to the bag anyway.
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