There are so many traditional sweet treats to bake at Christmas! We baked lots of them and you’ll see some of them here soon.
But in this recipe the festive touch is only the decoration. With all the winter spices, cloves, ginger, honey and dry or candied fruits the desserts begin to feel bit the same. We wanted to bake something for all the friends and relatives passing by (even those that don’t like cloves or cinnamon) – it had to be a sweet treat everybody likes. As we haven’t met a person who doesn’t like chocolate, the moist chocolate cupcakes are the answer.
Because they are not too sweet, they are perfect for decorating and you can have some fun with your kids. But even if you not going to decorate them these sweets are definitely worth baking – they are easy to prepare and will never let you down.
Makes 12-16 cupcakes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
For the cupcakes: 115 g (8 tbsp) soft butter 150 g (¾ cup) sugar 2 large eggs 60 g (2 oz) chocolate, chopped 60 ml (¼ cup) boiling water 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 150 g (1 ½ cup) flour 1 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened) ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 125 ml (½ cup) whole milk*
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the frosting: 200g icing sugar, sifted 2 tbsp orange juice
*I mix the milk with the lemon juice 10 minutes before I need it, but you can substitute it the same quantity of buttermilk or whole milk plain yogurt.
The chocolate I prefer is bittersweet, but you can use semisweet, if you prefer.
For the cupcakes:
For this batter you need the eggs, milk and butter to be at room temperature, so take them out the refrigerator previously.
Preheat the open to 180ºC/350ºF. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Pour the hot water over the chopped chocolate, and stir to melt it. Set aside.
In a bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl beat the soft butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Over this mixture sift half of the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Then add the lemon juice and milk mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix until blended.
Whip the two egg whites until stiff. Fold half of them into the chocolate batter, truing not to mix too much, and then add the rest. Fold just until the color of the batter is even.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes, until the batter feels just set in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool first in the muffin tin. When it’s cool enough to handle, arrange over wire rack and let them cool completely before frosting.
For the icing:
Sift the icing sugar in a bowl. Add one spoon of orange juice and beat together. When the mix is smooth enough, add the rest of the orange juice and mix thoroughly. The icing should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Drizzle over the cupcakes and top with the sprinkles. Leave to set for few hours.
The cupcakes recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz.