This week the lovely Laura came to visit me. She had just returned from living in Paris for the last two years, and came covered in bags full of stuff. I do mean covered. It was her birthday a few weeks ago, and I sent her a wooden pop-out cupcake in place of a real one, because it’s not exactly efficient to post cake to people living in a different country. However, I did make up for it this week by making her these delicious Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. They have the most incredible chocolate glaze on top, which I was a bit apprehensive about at first, because I don’t remember ever putting egg in icing before, but it turned out beautifully – so glossy and delicious, but not too rich. There was, however, far far too much of it – I think I only used about half of the amount that I made. So later I’m going to be making a sponge cake to use up the rest of it, and the strawberries I picked in Oli’s parents’ garden yesterday.
The adorable cupcake cases and toppers came from Jordi a while ago, and I’ve been saving them for some kind of special occasion, and I thought Laura’s belated birthday cake should definitely be it.
These cupcakes are not only delicious, but also a good way of making yourself feel better after seeing ‘The Fault In Our Stars’, which Laura and I sobbed our way through on Thursday night. I think I cried the most out of everyone – at one point I blew my nose quite loudly and people turned around and looked at me. BUT it is an incredible film and everyone should go and see it (except for people with hearts of stone, because you won’t enjoy it).
Next week: Blueberry Cake
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (from Baked in America by The Outsider Tart)
Makes 12-14 cupcakes
175g plain flour
340g light brown sugar
3/4 tsp bicarb of soda
115g butter, chilled and diced
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g sour cream
3tbsp whole milk
250g dark chocolate chips/finely chopped chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line a cupcake tray with paper cases.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, put the flour, bicarb and sugar. Mix on a low speed until well blended. Add the butter about a tbsp at a time, and continue on low speed for about 2 mins until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Add the egg and vanilla and blend thoroughly. Stir in the sour cream and milk until the batter looks even. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips. Using a large spoon place a heaped spoon of batter in each case until about 3/4 full.
4. Bake for about 25 mins or until the tops feel firm and a skewer comes out clean. Cool for about 10 mins on a wire rack.
Dark Chocolate Glaze (this is the full amount, but if you don’t want to have tons left over, I’d do about 1/2 to 3/4 of the quantities below)
60g granulated sugar
340g dark chocolate, chips or finely chopped
1 large egg, gently whisked
1. Prepare all your ingredients first so you can add them to the mixture once everything reaches the right temperature.
2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a light simmer. If the mixture comes to a boil, wait 2-3 mins before adding the chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Allow it to sit in the hot water for 4 mins or so before stirring to combine.
3. Once all the chocolate is melted and combined, slowly add the egg, stirring constantly. The heat from the liquid will cook the egg and you must constantly stir to ensure you get a thick, smooth and glossy glaze. This thickens as it cools so use immediately if for a smooth finish. Either dip into it or pour it on. Otherwise it can be spread on once cooled.