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I know that we should

Is it really Thursday? Where are the days going, exactly? I’d quite like to find the abyss where they seem to be landing lately. It’s okay though. Things are busy and crazy but happy and good.

I think these cupcakes are actually my most derivative recipe, but everyone has a few dishes that they wouldn’t have gotten just right without help from someone else right? Many a cupcake fan knows Chockylit’s recipes. I love her site for the methods she uses as well as the photos, which are always gorgeous. She uses ingredients one might never think about including in cupcakes and her explanations make big culinary words nice and simple.

Thing is, we’re on two different continents, so we have slightly different ingredients from time to time. This definitely looked like the best chocolate/mint recipe I’d found, but it’s nigh on impossible to get fresh mint this time of year in this part of the world. And I wanted it to complement an After 8 mint. And I cook with different chocolate…that sorta thing. So there’s just a bit of changing here and there…but it’s all good.

Mint Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes
{adapted from Chockylit’s Rich Chocolate and Mint Recipe}

Cake Ingredients:
200g dark chocolate (72% min)
400g unsalted butter
500g sugar
8 large eggs
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons peppermint flavouring
pinch of salt

Okay…it feels wrong to even type these instructions out in my own words because these I made just like hers and she explains it very well. I did add the peppermint just after the eggs…wow for a big change there.

Filling Ingredients:
100g dark chocolate (72%)
100ml double cream
30g unsalted butter
6 marshmallows
4 peppermint tea bags
75g sugar

Heat the cream on low in a saucepan with the peppermint tea bags, stirring frequently. Don’t let the cream boil, just thicken. On my cooker this took about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the tea bags.
Melt the chocolate, marshmallows and butter in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once this is about half melted, add the cream and sugar and stir to combine. Heat until all melted, then remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Stir again to make sure the sugar melted in rather than sinking to the bottom, then sit it in the fridge to set until you need it.

Icing Ingredients:
350g unsalted butter*
1 teaspoon peppermint flavouring (I couldn’t get extract…but I’ll be on the lookout!)
3 tablespoons double cream
Icing sugar to taste (at least 300g)

In a mixing bowl, beat room temperature butter until fluffy, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Add icing sugar gradually and stir in with a spatula before turning on the mixer. Remember the sweetness of buttercream fades in a few hours, so make it a bit sweeter than you want or it will taste like butter tomorrow morning. I did use a bit of food colouring to make these a minty green…that is optional of course.

Putting it all together…

This week I invested in a melon baller. For ages I’ve been cutting divets in my cupcakes with a knife and, well, I’m not so great with a knife. I had actually thought about asking for a melon baller for Christmas, but when I saw one yesterday for an entire £1.99, I decided to just go for it. Turns out this is perfect and I am entirely childish for not trying it before. There ya go.

Use the melon baller on the top of each cupcake…spoon in a bit of filling and replace the cake. Ice with a knife or a piping bag. Chop After 8 mints in half and add to the top, then add a few chocolate sprinkles.

*I’ve been searching high and low for how to get the consistency I want in a buttercream, but I kept getting something that was too soft and a bit too oily. I kept trying different English butters and such…and I’ve finally found it. It’s Countrylife. It’s not organic…but if I’ve already gotten into a food colouring, marshmallow and flavouring binge, I think I can let go of organic butter for just a little bit. I suppose. Seeing as it is apparently the best selling butter in the country, let’s not discuss how I missed its wonders all this time.

I blame the layout of the shelves at my local Sainsbury’s, clearly.


07 December 2006

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6 Comments for I know that we should

  1. Chockylit Says:

    Glad they worked out. They look great!

    By the way, I totally need to start providing measurements in grams and such. Some day I will get my act together!

  2. lela Says:

    thanks for introducting me to chockylit (cute spelling). i’m going to try both of your recipes to see how it goes.

  3. Eleni Gratsia Says:

    Absolutely mouth-watering! :)

  4. Ronda P. Says:

    Those look so yummy and beautiful!

  5. Angie Says:

    You would have been proud of me. :) Check out my blog. I took the photo in your style too, my husband was impressed. :)

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