Thursday, 2 December 2010

Chocolate and Chestnut Cupcakes

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Timer rings, are you listening?
In the gyp room, hobs are glistening,
A wonderful sight, we’re happy tonight,
Baking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away, is the mustard,
Here to stay, is the custard,
The frosting topped on,
As we mix along,
Baking in a winter wonderland.

Out of icing we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that it is Parson Brown,

He’ll say: Are you full yet?
We’ll say: No man,
But you can do the job since you’re around :)

Later on, we'll retire,
As we eat, by the fire,
To face the big bake,
The cakes that we made,
Baking in a winter wonderland.

Out of chocolate we can build a snowman,
Pretend that snowmen are always brown,
We'll have lots of fun eating mister snowman,
Until the bedder mops the surfaces down.

When it cooks, ain't it thrilling,
Though your hand might get a burning,
We'll frolic and play, the oven-mitt way,
Baking in a winter wonderland!

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This is probably the first, last and only Christmas post I am doing, as I am going to China for the holidays! And so I settled for chestnut and chocolate cupcakes. Simple, but brilliant.

I even trekked all the way through Marks & Sparks to find the right ingredients (they didn’t have it, but Sainsbury’s did). It was chestnut puree, possibly the best idea since sliced bread. In fact, you could probably have it on sliced bread…. woah, chestnut puree on bread! I think I’ve just discovered a food revolution!

But back to the baking. I deviated from the good old saucepan this time, and used a wok to mix everything in. I actually used two woks – and who said Christmas wasn’t an Asian thing??

In the top wok is some very very whisked eggs, and below is ground almonds, chestnut puree, and sugar. I have to say, the pan was very clean after I ate the leftovers…

And into the oven all of them went….and twenty long long (but nice smelling) minutes later….

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I could frost them! This ganache topping is pretty much the same as the Micah’s truffles that I made, and tasted just as good.

These were my contribution to a Christmas dinner my friends and I cooked, I hope this lived up to the Christmas pudding that we didn’t buy.

Merry Christmas!

Lesson learned today: you can build a snowman out of icing. AND pretend that it is Parson Brown.

Chocolate And Chestnut Cupcakes

Recipe from BBC GoodFood

Makes about 20, takes about an hour


For the cake:

435g can chestnut purée
6 eggs
175g golden caster sugar
200g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
For the icing:

200g dark chocolate
generous knob butter
400ml double cream
Optional: chocolate curls
icing sugar and cocoa, for dusting
Christmassy decorations!

Line one and a half muffin trays with 18 muffin cases (what?? Why do they call them cupcakes when they really mean muffins?? I am not happy with this false advertising). (We used deep, gold ones by Foilcraft, from cake-decorating shops.) Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Tip the chestnut purée into a large bowl and mash with a fork. Whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk until pale and frothy.

Fold half the egg mixture into the chestnut mixture to lighten it, then fold in the almonds and baking powder. Gently fold in the rest of the egg, then drop the batter into the muffin cases. Bake for 25-30 mins until firm. Cool. You can freeze the cupcakes for up to 6 weeks.

To make the chocolate topping, gently melt the chocolate, butter and cream together in a small pan. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Beat well to thicken the mixture then swirl generously onto the cupcakes and pile with chocolate curls. They will keep in the fridge for 4 days. Dust half with icing sugar and the other with cocoa before serving.

1 comment:

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