Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Both my husband and Wee One absolutely love Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream and every weekend (more or less!) for a special treat after dinner that is exactly what Wee One asks for (complete with Chocolate Sauce and Sprinkles!), so I decided for a change to make some Mint Chocolate Cupcakes instead. Light and moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with a lovely fresh tasting mint buttercream creating the perfect popular flavour combination! It is my basic cupcake recipe and is so simple to make that even Wee One helped out, both with the cupcakes and decorating (unfortunately his finished cupcakes didn't quite make the photography session!!).

If you are a fan of Mint Chocolate you will love these and they are special enough that they would make a delicious fun dessert to offer at your next dinner party.....the only problem I had was that they didn't even last until the weekend!

For an extra special treat instead of the Buttercream you could top the cupcakes with a scoop of Mint Choc Chip Ice cream. Chocolate sauce and sprinkles are optional!

Makes 12 cupcakes

100g plain or all-purpose flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster or berry sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml milk
1 egg

For the Mint Buttercream:
250g icing sugar
85g unsalted butter, softened
25ml milk
few drops of mint extract
few drops of green food colouring (optional)

To Decorate:
Edible green glitter (optional)
Small sprigs of fresh mint

Preheat your oven to 170C/ 325F/ GM 3 and line a cupcake tin with large (or decorated) paper cases.

Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into the bowl of a KitchenAid (or other freestanding mixer) and using the paddle attachment mix slowly until everything is combined and you have a sandy consistency (if you don't have a KitchenAid use a hand-held electric beater).

While the mixer is running, slowly pour in half of the milk and mix until it's just incorporated. Add the egg to the remaining milk along with the vanilla, quickly mix then add to the bowl and continue beating until it's mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed but be careful not to over beat the mixture.

Evenly spoon the cake mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched (with my oven 22 minutes works perfectly every time) and a skewer comes out clean when put into the center of the cake. Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack.

While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl of the mixer then add the softened butter and beat on a low setting until it comes together. Increase the speed a little and continue beating until it is well mixed. Turn the mixer off then add the milk, a few drops of mint extract (go easy – you can always add more but you can't take it away!) and if using, a few drops of green food colouring. Beat the icing until everything is well mixed then turn the speed up a little and leave to beat for up to 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.

Once the cakes are completely cool decorate with the buttercream then sprinkle over the glitter (if using) and top with a little sprig of mint. If you like you could also add a square of chocolate or even a mint chocolate like an After Eight to make it even more decadent! 


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