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Halloween monster chocolate cupcakes
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These are great for Halloween!
200g caster sugar
175g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml sunflower oil
2 Waitrose British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs
2 tbsp soured cream
100g white fondant icing
12 brown chocolate M & M’s
Red liquid food colouring (not gel or paste)
125g caster sugar
2 Waitrose British Blacktail Large Free Range Egg whites
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
Green food colouring paste (or gel)
1 Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3, and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the sunflower oil, eggs and soured cream and beat until smooth. Add 125ml boiling water and beat again to combine.
2 Divide evenly between the paper cases. Bake for 20-22 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3 Meanwhile, roll the fondant into 12 even sized balls and press one M & M into each, to make eyeballs. Dip a wooden skewer or cocktail stick into the red food colouring and draw veins on each eyeball. Leave to dry.
4 For the buttercream, tip the sugar into a 2 litre heatproof mixing bowl or stand-mixer bowl. Add the egg whites, 2 tbsp cold water, vanilla and salt. Warm the bowl over a pan of simmering water – without the bowl touching the water. Using a balloon whisk, beat constantly for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved, the meringue has doubled in volume, leaves a ribbon trail and is hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk with an electric mixer until the meringue is cold.
5 Gradually add the softened butter 1 tbsp at a time, whisking well between each addition. When all of the butter has been added the frosting may start to look a little curdled. If this is the case, continue to whisk and it will come back together. Add the green food paste or gel. Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 4-5mm plain nozzle.
6 If the cupcakes have a very domed top, slice off a little to level it. Pipe the buttercream in a haphazard, wiggly fashion over the top of each to completely cover them. Top with a fondant eyeball and serve.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2017.