Well this was meant to happen sooner or later... First I was offered a new cooking book by the lovely team I have left to look after my little treasure and the second reason is that it's simply winter...
I used the recipe from Cake Day, the Hummingbird Bakery. I said I USED because I have a tendency of not following recipes and making things up as I go and this time is no different I'm afraid...
So here is the actual recipe:
For the cupcakes:
30g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)chilled
5 digestive biscuits
80g butter at room temperature
280g caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
240ml whole milk
For the topping (which actually is an Italian Meringue):
200g caster sugar
4 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 170Degree C, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. Use the finest blade of a cheese grater to shave the chilled chocolate, then set aside. Crush he biscuits in a food processor with the blade attachment or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. (I couldn't find any Plain Digestives so mine were milk chocolate coated)
Using a hand- held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the butter, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt on a low speed until resembling fine breadcrumbs.
Mix the eggs and milk by hand in a jog, then pour three- quarters of this into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth and thick. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture and keep mixing until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth. This is where I made another change (I crushed the Digestive biscuits and added them to the batter to add some texture to the cupcakes).
Fill each paper case two- third full with batter. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings and three- quarters of the crushed biscuits on the top of the cupcakes, reserving the remaining biscuit crumbs for later.
Bake in the oven for 18- 20 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Put the sugar into a small saucepan with 150ml of water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, using the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (I used the whisk, whisk the egg whites until foamy.
When the sugar has boiled for 5 to 10 minutes and reached the soft- ball stage, pour onto the beaten eggs while mixing on a medium speed. Once added, adjust the speed to high and whisk until the underside of the bowl feels lukewarm. At this stage, the meringue should have increased in size and become white, smooth and quite shiny.
Smooth the meringue on to the cooled cupcakes. With a blowtorch, lightly brown the meringue to give it a bakes appearance. Alternatively, pop the cakes under the grill- but only for a few seconds, as the meringue will brown quickly and you don't want it to burn.
Decorate the cupcakes with biscuit crumbs and chocolate.
A few notes:
I had a lot of shaved chocolate left so I sprinkled some on the cupcakes.
Instead of chocolate squares I used broken pieces of chocolate covered Digestive biscuits to decorate and mini M&Ms for the mini cupcakes.
With this batter I made 16 normal sized cupcakes and 22 mini cupcakes.
I kept licking my fingers every time I got some Italian Meringue on them and I got such a sugar high, I don't think I will be making Italian Meringue again for a little while, although I really want to try High Hat cupcakes... Well we shall see. I hope you enjoy making and eating those cupcakes as much as I did.