My friend decided to host a James Bond themed party for her birthday this year. I decided I would make dessert as a surprise. (what else would you expect from me, right?) I knew I wanted to make cupcakes but couldn't decide on the flavour. I have tried cocktail cupcakes previously and they have not been very successful. I thought about black forest cupcakes but in the end decided to make chocolate mint cupcakes. I used my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe from the Primrose Bakery and added some peppermint extract. The cake was really light and spongy with a lovely, refreshing minty taste. Definitely a hit at the party! I also ordered these really cute personalised cupcake toppers from ebay and some poker chip toppers as well. I had some difficulty removing the toppers so excuse the torn edges!
Special thanks to Caroline who kindly lent me her cake stand and cookie cutters (martini shaped cookies coming up in the next post)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLOTTE!!
For the cupcakes
(Makes 15 cupcakes)
115g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, free range or organic, separated
185g plain flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt (In a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water).
- Stir occasionally until it has completely melted and is quite smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer.
- In a separate bowl and with clean beaters, beat the egg yolks for several minutes.
- Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well.
- Next, add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl.
- Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.
- Add one-third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well.
- Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again.
- Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
- Add in the peppermint extract.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form.
- Carefully add the egg whites into the batter, using a metal spoon.
- Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture.
- Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two-thirds full.
- This is a fairly liquid batter, so take care when spooning out.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool.
- Once they are completely cool, ice the cupcakes with buttercream icing.
Peppermint Buttercream Icing
110g unsalted butter,at room temperature
60ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (adjust to taste - I used 1 teaspoon)
500g icing sugar, sifted
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk, peppermint extract and half the icing sugar until smooth.
- Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
- Taste the icing at this stage to see if you want to add more peppermint extract.