Mmmm….Mini Chocolate Cupcakes!

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Well only a week after posting about my eldest’s birthday I’m onto the next one! This time it’s my youngest daughter who turns 7! Now that really does make me feel old! My daughter decided on a “Pamper Party” for her birthday party. I don’t even think at 7 I knew what “pampering” was! When asked what type of cake she wanted……there was only one option for her….CHOCOLATE! And anyone that knows my baby girl knows chocolate makes her happy!

So along with all the pamper essentials like nail varnish, lip gloss and hairspray was the chocolate in excess….but there really is no other way with chocolate is there?

First up was the mini chocolate cupcakes. These are delightful little morsels that are perfectly bite size. The danger being you forget how many you have eaten! They are made with a basic chocolate cupcake recipe as shown here.

Basic Chocolate Sponge For Cupcakes

3 eggs
100g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
150g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla
1T whole milk

Start by beating the butter for 2 minutes in a standup mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until creamy and fluffy. Next add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix after each one. (I use my Kenwood standup mixer with a rubber K-whisk attachment but you can use your hand mixer as well). Next add the flour and cocoa, mix slowly until combined then continue to mix until well incorporated and the batter is llight and airy. Finally add the vanilla extract.

Fill the mini cupcakes 2/3 full and bake in batches for 10 minutes at a fan temperature of 160F.

Chocolate Frosting

150g plain chocolate, melted and cooled
550g icing sugar
4-6 tablespoons whole milk
340 unsalted butter
1t vanilla

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water or the microwave ( if microwave be careful not to burn). Leave to cool. In a mixing bowl combine other ingredients and mix until well combined. Once the chocolate is cooled then add to mixture and blend for a good 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Check consistency, if not soft enough for piping then add more milk.

And since the Mini Chocolate Cupcakes were not quite enough for the little princess….bring on the centrepiece!! A Chocolate Orange Cake smothered in Chocolate Fudge Frosting!

For this cake I made a chocolate orange sponge ( the recipe below makes 2 x 8in round cakes so I made this recipe twice to give me a full 4 layer cake for a more dramatic effect).

Once the cake had cooled, I assembled in layers using the fudge frosting as above (I made a double batch which gave me enough for the cake and cupcakes plus some to spare).

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Once the cake is layered together I let it rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes to make sure the frosting was set and I find it makes it easier to frost. After resting I like to add a crumb coating to ensure I have the square shape I am looking for and also keeps all the little crumbs from escaping. In this case as I was piping all over the cake the crumb coating also acts as a layer so you don’t see any gaps in the rosettes.

This is the cake after the crumb coating applied, it doesn’t have to be perfect just a thin layer. Again I let it set in the fridge for 20 minutes before continuing.

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Once the cake was set with a crumb coating, I then used a piping bag with a rosette nozzle to pipe rosettes over the entire cake. It was a bit time consuming but worth it in the end I think! My advice is to only add small amounts to the piping bag at a time and keep refilling as if you are anything like me with warm hands then the frosting will start to soften in your hands making it harder to form the rosette shapes.

Finally just a few sprinkles over the top and some edible glitter and the cake was complete….a Chocoholics Dream!

The recipe I used for the cake sponge is at the bottom of this post.

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Recipe for Chocolate Orange Cake
(makes 2 x 8inch cakes)

200g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
300g caster sugar
80g margarine (I prefer margarine to butter for this recipe)
250ml whole milk (don’t be tempted by semi-skim its just not as moist)
2 eggs (I used large size)
Zest of 2 large oranges

Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl till light and fluffy. Then add milk, flour, cocoa and eggs and beat until smooth and creamy. Finally add the orange zest and divide into 2 x 8 inch cake tins. Bake 25 minutes at 160 degrees fan assisted oven. Check for doneness with skewer.

Assemble cake as above and enjoy!

Thanks for reading
Michelle
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