The best chocolate cakes, in my opinion, are not made with cocoa powder, but with real dark chocolate. The quality of the chocolate makes a huge difference. I always use Callebaut chocolate for baking. It comes in the form of buttons in 2.5kg bags and I could happily sit with a bag on my knee and eat them as is.
Below are some chocolate cupcakes that I made for a first birthday party for a little girl called Laragh. The big (adult!) ones are topped with mint buttercream and milk chocolate straws, and the mini ones are topped with chocolate buttercream and white chocolate buttons. I find it best to do mini cupcakes for kids because more often than not, with large ones, they either take one bite, or lick the buttercream off and leave it. I also do them in silicone mini muffin trays so there’s no messy wrappers.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes 12-15 large cupcakes
- 115g (2/3 cup) dark chocolate
- 85g softened butter
- 175g (2/3 cup)sugar – white, caster or brown; whatever you have
- 2 eggs, seperated
- 185g (1+2/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 250ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 190 degC / Gas mark 5.
- Melt the chocolate and leave to cool.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Beat the egg yolks into the butter & sugar mix.
- Add the chocolate and beat well.
- Combine the flour, baking powder & soda and salt. Set aside.
- Combine the milk and vanilla. Set aside.
- Alternate adding the flour mix and milk mix to the butter/sugar/egg/chocolate, beating each time.
- Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter using a metal spoon.
- Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the tine, then remove to a wire rack.
- Top with melted chocolate, or chocolate or mint buttercream.