I havn’t made chocolate cupcakes in a while so this weekend, as I had a bit of time on my hands, the kids and the wife were out I decided to have a little bit of fun. I have always loved chocolate sponge cake, every since I was young. At the ripe old age of 15 I even developed a microwaved version of a sponge cake, only to see a program the other day with a Michelin Star chef making one for his menu. Thief!
Finding a great chocolate sponge sponge recipe is no easy task, not because there are not any out there, but because every individual looks for something different in one. Some like them light and fluffy, some like them slightly undercooked so they are a little chewy and a little heavier. I favour the latter, I like them moist and a little on the chewy side. So if you are also a chewy moist person then the recipe below could be the one for you.
It’s a bit of a mish mash of many of the recipes I have tried and come across and I have picked the best bits from each to get a sponge that I really like. Replacing the butter for oil and the milk for yoghurt really helps to keep the sponge moist, a little tip I learnt from old Martha so give it a go, it’s super easy. These ones are topped with a dulce de leche Swiss buttercream icing, recipes below.
For the CHOCOLATE cupcakes sponge (9-12 cupcakes):
100g All-purpose flour
45g Cocoa powder
130g White sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
70g dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
2 large eggs
40g rapeseed Oil
100g greek yoghurt (natural, turkish will also work)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
70g Boiling water
Heat over to 175°C
Fill cupcake mould with liners.
1. In one bowl mix together well the dried ingredients.
2. In another mixing bowl (preferably one fitted to a stand mixer or a good arm) add all the wet ingredients except the water and give it a good mix.
3. With the mixer or your arm on low add the dried ingredients to the wet ingredients in three stages and mix for a good minute until all incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides in between additions.
4. Finally pour in the boiling water and mix for a minute or so until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
5. Give one final scrape and mix and then divide the mixture between your cupcake moulds and cook for about 20 minutes. The cupcakes are ready when the knife comes out clean, or a little sticky.
Before I give you the buttercream recipe, word of warning. The traditional method of making Swiss buttercream takes you on a whirlwind of a journey. Stages of the buttercream splitting before finally coming together again to give you a lovely silky finish. The splitting part may happen to this recipe also, so if it does do not panic, simply keep whipping and it will all come together. It’s quite amazing actually.
FOR THE buttercream:
115g egg whites
130G WHITE SUGAR
130g room temp butter
1. In a heat proof bowl whisk the sugar and egg whites together a little. Basically you are looking to cover every grain of sugar with some egg white. This stops the eggs from cooking.
2. Place the heat proof bowl over a pan with simmering water in it and slowly bring the sugar mixture up to about 72°C. If you don’t have a thermometer then keep checking the mixture for sugar grains by rubbing between your fingers (it will be well hot so be careful so give it a blow first).
3. Once the sugar has all melted then you want to cool it down again, stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
4. Whilst it’s cooling down beat the butter until its super light and fluffy.
5. Take the cooled sugar mixture out and add to the butter mixture in two stages, giving it a good mix in between.
6. Add you flavoring of choice, mine was 2 tablespoons of Dulce de Leche. Give it a final mix for about 2 minutes so its super smooth and lush.
So that’s it, pipe, spoon or dollop it onto your cupcakes and decorate with some fancy extras. One extra thing I did to these cupcakes was to hollow out the middle a little and fill them with chocolate ganache,