Chocolate fondant cupcakes

I don’t know whether it’s anxiety, or some other first world disease that’s been plaguing me, but I’ve REALLY been on a roll this week with baking. I made a batch of red velvet earlier during the week, which was invariably well received. The thing about cupcakes is that it is a surefire way to please everyone and anyone at work. When one has chocolate cupcakes, the world is an exponentially happier place. It’s so cute. Anyway, the result of this free-floating mysterious need to wake up at six o’clock in the bloody morning was this: chocolate fondant cupcakes from none other than The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. ‘

This is a decadent, super rich chocolate combination. If you’ve been having a terrible day, I guarantee this is the panacea to your problems. Or, at least, it will kickstart a whole new set of problems such as guilt trips and overexercise. Fret not, fret not: it is well worth the guilt.

Some notes: I had to attempt this recipe twice. The first time was kind of a bust: the middle was a bit undercooked, the base was concave…?! Mrs Yeti remarked they tasted a bit like chocolate mooncakes. I don’t like mooncakes. So I added some sodium bicarbonate the second time around. It got better. I also didn’t add all the liquid mixture into the dry, as you will see later, as this made my batter far too runny the first time around. Maybe Singaporean eggs are too watery? I’m not entirely sure. That has been known to happen before, according to my grandma.

Also, I didn’t bother hollowing out the cupcakes and piping  the fondant into them. I tried it with one cupcake, but I found it very overwhelming (and I was also pretty tired by the time I got around to the second cupcake), so I spread the fondant over the tops and left it at that. Still delish.

Chocolate Fondant Cupcakes
from Cake Days: Recipes to Make Everyday Special by The Hummingbird Bakery

Sponge

80g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (this I added in, for added texture. Maybe my baking powder wasn’t great?)
2 large eggs
240ml whole milk

Fondant/Frosting

150g dark chocolate
150ml double cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, set on a low speed, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Mix until the ingredients are sandy in consistency and no large lumps of butter remain.
  3. Place the eggs in a jug, then pour in the milk and mix together by hand. With the mixer on low speed, pour 3/4 of the milk and eggs into the dry ingredients. At this point, I had appx. 50ml leftover. I didn’t bother putting that in as I found the batter was of drop consistency at this point when everything was well mixed and even.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until well risen and springy to touch. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before making the frosting.
  5. Place the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat just to boiling point. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted. Stir until it is smooth. If you are using dark bittersweet chocolate as I did, you might want to add 30g of icing sugar to balance the bitterness.
  6. Leave the fondant in the fridge (the book does not say this, but I did). When you are ready to frost your cupcakes a few hours later or in the morning, leave it to warm up to room temperature before spreading the generously over the tops of your beautiful cupcake sponges.
  7. Or, if you want, hollow out the center of each cake using a sharp knife, cutting out a piece about 2cm in diameter and 3cm long. Set the cut-out pieces to one side, then, using a teaspoon, fill the hollow of each cake half full with the chocolate cream filling. Place the cut-out pieces of sponge on top of the filling, like a lid, trimming the pieces to fit, if then top each cupcake with more chocolate cream and swirl it.
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