Thursday, March 24, 2005

IMBB 13: My Little Chocolate Surprise Cupcake

My Little Cupcake
Time really flies. Has it really been 2 months since I last participated in my first ever Is My Blog Burning(IMBB), a very clever and original foodblog event created by Alberto of Il Forno?

As a sweet and sugar enthusiast, I of course would jump at every single chance (and a very good reason) to yet indulge myself in dessertland. So I was thrilled to find out the theme for the 13th IMBB kindly hosted by Maki of I was just very hungry is My Little Cupcake (or Muffin)! Just another reason for me to play with butter, flour and sugar in the kitchen. *grin*

Cupcakes bring back memories about my highschool days in Australia. I baked my very first cupcake in highschool for a friend's 18th birthday. It was in fact my very first baking experience after a few months of cookbooks and recipes studies. If only I was that hardworking when it comes to school works!

I have been scratching my head these few days to decide what sort of cupcakes to make. Initially I had intended to use the steamed sweet potato muffin for IMBB but instead I teamed it with caramel and submitted it for SHF. So, what exactly should I make?

Lately I have been having craving for chocolate cake. With all the chocolate easter egg around, it's hard not to think about chocolate. It's not just any chocolate cake that I craved for but the chocolate cake that a friend's homestay had made using an Australia Women Weekly's recipe. That was, again, back in highschool days. So you see, I am having a tiny nostalgic food moment of my highschool days in Australia.

IMBB -Chocolate Cupcake Bite
♥ Dead-easy Chocolate Cupcake
I don't have the chocolate cake recipes of my friend's homestay but I came across a Dead-easy chocolate cake recipes when I was browsing through my newspapers cutting. This is a recipe that the author of the newspaper article (recipes section from 2May 2004 Sunday Life Magazine of the Sun Herald) has obtained from Peter Bennett, a home cook and regular entrant in the cooking section of the Royal Melbourne Show.

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 24 Mar 2005
With Sydney Royal Easter Show being held now, I thought this recipe might just be the perfect adaption for my IMBB contribution.

♥ Dead-easy chocolate cake
from Recipes section of Sunday Life Magazine in The Sun Herald on 02 May 2004
based on Peter's Bennett recipes

200g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder, sifted
250g brown sugar
125g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
160ml water

  • Preheat oven to 170c. Brush a 20cm round cake pan with melted butter to grease and line the base with non-stick baking paper. I used muffin pans and lined it with muffin cases.

  • Place all cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters on high for 2-4 minutes or until pale and silky smooth.

  • Pour into prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. I baked for around 35-40 minutes in my muffin pan.
  • Stand in cake pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8 -10.

♥ Pinkcocoa's Notes:
* I made half a batch of this recipes by halfing all the ingredients and baked them in 6 x 1/2 cup muffin pan. It took around 40 minutes to cook.
* After spooning the batter into 2 muffin holes, I decided to make a variation of the cake by adding round about 1/3 cup of rum-soaked raisins to the batter. So in the end, I had 4 chocolate surprise (rum & raisin hidden inside) cupcakes and 2 original chocolate cupcakes.

♥ Gooey Icing on my cupcakes
The next step is of course the icing! It's the icing that makes cupcakes so desirable. It is fun and you can be as creative as you want on decorating your cupcakes.

For the chocolate surprise cupcake, I decided to make icing for the alcoholic:
♥ Rum Icing
75g icing sugar, sifted
1.5 tbsp white rum (replaced with other liquer if preferred or with other non-alcoholic liquid)

  • Mix the sugar and rum together until you get a slightly runny paste.
  • Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before spooning half a tablespoonful of icing on top. Let the icing run down the sides for that Donna Hay effect. Top and decorate with whatever you like eg. chocolate chips, coloured sugar, sweet sprinkles, thousands & thousands.
Chocolate Cupcake with Rum Cocoa Icing
♥ Cocoa Rum Icing & White Rum Icing
After icing 2 cupcakes, I decided to make a variation to the icing by adding about a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the remaining icing mix. I have also added about 1/4 teaspoon of white rum to the mixture because the icing mixture was a little hard after adding cocoa powder.

Cupcakes with Facial Expression!
♥ Easter Egg Cupcake decoration?
For decorations, I used fine dessicated coconut, M&M speckled easter eggs, sugared flower sprinkle, silver metallic edible sprinkle and icing sugar.

IMBB - Pretty Cupcakes
♥ Pinkcocoa's cupcakes
taaa-daaaa~ Here's my cupcakes decoration. I am a novice when it comes to cake decorating. I don't know how to use a piping bag too. Something I would love to learn one day. So I opted to do very simple decoration that will be easy for even a beginner like me. Just remember the golden rule to cake decoration: less is more!

IMBB - Shiny Cupcake
♥ Simple Cupcake Decoration
This is the simplest form of decoration. Drizzle the cupcake with icing and then sprinkle some store-bought mini edible metallic balls. I actually thought this would looks good on a wedding. :p

IMBB - Chocolate Flower Cupcake
♥ Simple Cupcake Decoration
Another simple decoration. Drizzle cocoa icing then place a few cute flower sugar on top. I love how it is so colourful. And the cocoa icing is just great for a chocoholic. I bet a chocolate glaze or ganahe would be even better.

IMBB - Monster Cupcake
♥ Monster/Clown cupcake!?
Okie. This looks rather scary but funny too. It looks like the cross between Elmo and Cookie Monster. What I did was sprinkle dessicated coconut over the icing then use M&M as eyes and nose.

Flower Cupcake
♥ Even simpler decoration
Remember I have 2 original chocolate cupcakes? I decided not to decorate them with the rum icing as I want to keep this cupcakes alcohol-free.

What I did was I place a flower-shaped cookie cutter on the cupcake then sprinkle icing sugar over it. Then decorate with the mini flower sugar. I did stuck a little normal icing (icing sugar mixed with water) on the back of the flower sugars to make them stay. Simple but cute!

Valentine's Cupcake
♥ Sweet Heart Cupcake
This I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and placed a rose (for rose tea). Looks perfect for valentine's!

IMBB - Chocolate Rum Raisin Cupcake
♥ Chocolate Surprise Cupcake
Here's my chocolate surprise cupcake. You can't really tell from the outside that this little cupcake in fact has many raisins full of the wholesome flavour of white rum! The rum icing together with the rum raisin makes this a very grown-up cupcakes. You can hardly tell the devil hiding inside this sweet little cupcake!

More Cupcakes
♥ More Cupcakes!
Looks like we are having a little cupcake party there, aren't we? ;-)

Oh I forgot to mention about the chocolate cake. It's quite light and slightly spongy and soft too! The chocolate flavour is just right. I can see myself making more of this cake. It's just so easy. And yes, it's almost like my friend's homestay's chocolate cake!