I love baking. I don't always find the time for it, but there's nothing like making something and being able to eat it afterwards! One of the positives to working lates was our baking rota - we'd take it in turns to bring in cakes we'd made. There was butterscotch tart, chocolate fudge cake, strawberry cheese cake and refrigerator cake. Food heaven.
I made chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing and they were a big success -The plate I took into work was empty in minutes! They were pretty simple to make so I thought I'd share the recipe I used with you :) To make your own cakes...
I used this super cute book - Cupcakes by Sue McMahon as a starting point. It's my go-to cupcake bible, but the basic recipe is a simple sponge one.
Before you start, preheat your oven to gas mark 5 (or 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
1. Cream your butter and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl / jug beat your eggs and milk with a fork or whisk - it helps to make your cakes super light and extra tasty.
3. Add the egg-milk mixture to your butter and sugar, then sift in the flour and cocoa powder (I didn't use a sieve, out of pure laziness, and it was fine).
4. Beat the mixture till it's nice and smooth.
5. Add a bit more cocoa powder if you want your cakes to be extra chocolatey.
6. Cut up your chocolate into small pieces and add them to the mixture.
7. Spoon your mix into cupcake cases - this recipe makes 12-14 standard size cupcakes.
8. Pop them in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until risen and firm to touch in the centre. I always stick a skewer in my cakes (if it comes out clean, it's fully cooked) but the melty chocolate chunks mean this method isn't 100% foolproof here!
Voila! Chocolate chip cupcakes. You can stop here, or you can add the finishing touch, chocolate buttercream icing (which in my opinion, makes all the difference!).
I am not an expert on buttercream, mine was a bit too runny, but it still tasted good. To make the buttercream, you will need:
175g softened butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons of boiling water
350g of icing sugar
1. Beat the butter in a bowl to soften it - you can probably use margarine if you forgot to get your butter out of the fridge earlier (like I did - but I tried to soften my butter by popping the bowl in boiling water - we don't have a microwave - and it got a little too soft, which may be why it ended up being runny…)
2. Using a separate bowl, make a paste with your cocoa and boiling water. Add the water slowly so it doesn't get too sloppy, I found myself needing around five tablespoons.
3. Add the cocoa paste and your icing sugar to your butter and mix until smooth.
Note: Mine didn't really go smooth, it was full of what looked like teeny butter lumps, so I pushed it through a sieve, and it was fine!
4. Using a teaspoon / flat knife, smother your cakes in butter cream and eat the leftovers!
I don't actually have any photos of the cakes with Buttercream - they didn't stick around for long enough! ;)
Enjoy your cakes! Let me know if you make some for yourself - I've been requested to make some more by my friends at work!