Chocolate Nest Cupcakes from ‘Princess Party Cookbook’ Ebury Press £10.99
Makes 10 cupcakes
Spring has sprung and nests are full of eggs – in this case yummy chocolate ones.
30g (1oz) good quality cocoa powder
120ml (4 1/2 fl oz) boiling water (from a kettle)
55g (2oz) butter, room temperature
100g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g (3oz) self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
Icing and decoration
55g (2oz) plain chocolate, chopped or chips
110g (4oz) butter, room temperature
110g (4oz) icing sugar
Chocolate sprinkles or roughly crumbled Flake chocolate bars
30 Mini chocolate eggs (eg Cadbury’s Mini Eggs)
10 Mini chicks (optional, remove before eating)
Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas 4/Fan 160. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper cases.
Put the cocoa in a heatproof jug and add the boiling water. Stir until all of the cocoa has dissolved then leave to cool. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla then trickle in the cooled cocoa, beating constantly. Sift over the flour and salt and fold in.
Divide the batter between the paper cases (they should be half full) and bake for 15-17 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then carefully transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.
To make the icing, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and suspend over, but not in, a saucepan of hot water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth then remove the bowl from the pan and leave the chocolate to cool slightly. You can also microwave the chocolate in 2-3 15-second bursts, stirring well between each burst, until the chocolate has just melted.
Beat the butter until pale then beat in the cooled chocolate. Beat in the icing sugar, a little at a time until you have a thick icing. If the icing is very soft then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Transfer roughly 3/4 of the icing to a piping bag with a medium-small star nozzle and spread the remaining icing over the cupcakes. Pipe rings of icing around the edge of each cupcake, to a depth of around 1/2 cm (if the nozzle is small then you may need to pipe one circle on top of the other). Carefully scatter the sprinkles or Flake on the piped edge, to make the twigs of a nest (you may find it easiest to pile the sprinkles on a plate and roll the edge of the iced cupcake in the sprinkles).
Sit 3 chocolate eggs in the centre of each nest and add a chick, if using.
Party planning – the cupcakes can be made up to 1 month in advance and frozen, un-iced, in plastic boxes. Defrost for approx.2 hours at room temperature. The icing can be made 1 week in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.