Coca-Cola Cupcakes

I know it sounds weird but they are amazing. From my favourite book, Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess, these cupcakes can be made into a whole cake instead and either way it is an incredible chocolate cake unlike anything you have ever tasted before!

1 1/3 cups plain flour

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1/3 cup coca-cola or coke zero

Icing

1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons coca-cola

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 180’C and put a baking sheet into the oven. Place 12 cupcake lines into a 12 hole cupcake tin. Have some spare in case you need more. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring jug. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and coca-cola, heating gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well, then add the liquid ingredients, beating until everything is well blended. Pour into the cupcake liner to about 2/3 full. I got 18 from this mix. Place tray on top of the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, they are cooked when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Immediately make the icing to pour over the cupcakes. Sift the icing sugar  and set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine butter, cocoa and coca-cola and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Spoon in the icing sugar beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good spreadable but running icing. Pour over each cupcake while they are still warm. Before the icing sets hard stud the top of each cupcake with a walnut or coke bottle lolly.

I have been afraid of this recipe since I received this book for Christmas last year. Something about adding soft drink to a cake didn’t sit quite right with me. As I am not a straight coke drinker I substituted coke zero for the regular coke and it worked out perfectly. I rack my brains every time a special friend’s birthday comes around trying to come up with the perfect cake for that person. This year for Daniel’s best friend Jono I was really struggling. I had planned on baking apple pie spring rolls but they required immediate eating so were a no go. After half a day of magazine flicking, flagging, digging and corner folding I resorted to Nigella giving me the cake I was after. This cake, although listed in the children’s section is very much a decadent adult worthy cupcake.

The faint hint of coke and the soft dense crumb of this chocolate cake make it impossible to stop at one. This recipe made 18. One was eaten before it was even iced, to test that they were cooked of course! I took 11 to Jono for his birthday, enough for dessert and one each for him and his girlfriend for morning tea the next day and the remaining 6 were ours to eat and share. They were even better the next day and I gave 2 to people at work to try.

There was nothing difficult about this recipe, I had them baked and iced in the time that it took Daniel to go to the car wash and back. Easy enough to take to a morning tea or afternoon tea and make the same day. They are scrumptious enough for dessert or just as a midday treat. I used silver wrappers but brown or red would work equally as well. The coke bottle lollies can be hard to get a hold of in supermarkets but most if not all lolly stores have them and I managed to pick up a packet of about 50 for $2. Big W also have them but in a much larger packet. I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe with diet coke but if anyone is game enough to try let me know!

I would make these again any day, maybe the whole cake next time!

 

Love Sonia

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Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cupcakes

For Valentine’s Day I think the nicest things are something sweet, something shared and a few nice words. These combine all three and are sure to impress whomever it is you are trying to impress this year. Super easy cupcakes with a gorgeous glossy ganache and a few nice words for my loved one. The recipe for the cupcakes is another Nigella Lawson one, but I actually got it off another food blog, the ganache and the decorating ideas came from the Martha Stewart website, a bit from everywhere, but isn’t that what cooking is all about?

Food Processor Cupcakes

125g butter, softened
125g sugar
125g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (leave this out to make vanilla cupcakes)
 
Chocolate Ganache
113g Dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 tablespoon glucose syrup
2/3 cup thickened cream
 
A handful of white chocolate melts for decorating

Preheat oven to 200C, or 180C if using fan-forced.

Place all the ingredients except the milk into a food processor. Blitz in short bursts until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

Whilst pulsing the mixture, gradually pour in the two tablespoons of milk through the food processor funnel. Blitz until the milk has been incoporated. The mixture should look smooth and creamy.  Add another tablespoon of milk if necessary.

Divide the mixture across a patty-lined 12-muffin tin. A tablespoon or two should be sufficient, as the mixture should triple in size when baked.

Bake for 15-20min or until risen and tops spring back to the touch. Cool on a cooling rack. Ice when cool.

To make the ganache, heat cream in a saucepan over a medium high heat. In a heatproof bowl add broken chocolate and glucose syrup. Once the cream is hot (DO NOT BOIL) pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy. Let cool for one minute. Either dip or spoon and spread the icing onto to cupcakes. Let set for thirty minutes. Store in an airtight container.

To decorate for Valentine’s Day or other special occasion. Using white chocolate melts, put a handful in a mug in the microwave for 60 seconds, once done stir until smooth. Fit a piping bag (I use multix disposable ones) with a size 2 piping nozzle and pour chocolate into the bag. Pipe words that mean something to you or to fit a theme.

I am ever so happy with how these turned out. Admittedly I did practice the piping onto baking paper twice this week just to work out the best angle for getting fluent and legible words. Some of the final product aren’t quite perfect, but hey they will still get eaten. The white chocolate sets hard which is a nice little crunch against the silky runny icing and the soft and fluffy cupcake. The cupcakes are quite plain, but it is a basic mixture. I also found that the icing is quite bitter being all dark chocolate, next time I would use half dark and half milk, even though Daniel loves the dark chocolate bitterness. Equally if you don’t like dark chocolate use milk otherwise you could find these inedible.

This is my favourite cupcake mainly because I didn’t stick my finger in the icing and the piping didn’t run together. After trying one of the cupcakes for dessert I definately think they would be even better as just vanilla or something like raspberry and coconut. I think for a chocolate cake I would like it to be a little denser, but it still has a great flavour and texture.

I will do another post during this week for the cheesecake I make for Valentine’s Day dessert, so get baking. I’m sure your Valentine will love these gorgeous cupcakes as much as mine does.

Love Sonia xx