19 June 2016

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

Before we even get started, these are hard work. They are at least 4-5 hours of making and baking and if that's not your thing... well then I don't know what to say. 

Because it should be!

Naaahhh.. just kidding! I know that "a lot of work" is what puts folks of baking in the first place but honestly if you stick with this... You will be revered in your social circles as one bad ass baker! At least that is what I am telling myself anyway! 

They are incredibly luscious. The chocolate flavour is so apparent that it might even make the sweetest of sweet tooths (teeth.. I don't know!), concede. The cupcake itself is soft and fluffy, the creamy buttercream frosting is light and whippy but packs a good coco punch. The chocolate macron on top is absolutely superfluous but sheer indulgence at it's best! 

Well it wouldn't be the ultimate chocolate cupcake without it, right?

Dark Chocolate Cupcake
makes 12-18 cupcakes depending on how you fill your cases

100g of good plain chocolate (Try at least 60%)
225g of caster sugar
75g coco powder
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
50ml hot and strong coffee (Make one for yourself too!!)
125ml of vegetable oil
125ml of buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Melt the chocolate in the hot coffee. When melted, add the vanilla.
Cream the sugar and the eggs until light an fluffy. They will increase in size.
Dry mix all your dry ingredients together. 
Slowly add them to the sugar/egg combination.
Add the buttermilk and mix.
Add the oil and mix.
Finally fold in the coffee/chocolate combination.

The mix is thick but runny so you could just pour it into muffin cases until about two thirds full (makes 18). This recipe will slightly dome the top of the cupcake too, but it won't spill over.

makes about 30/40 individual macaron shells

4 aged egg whites (and by aged I mean crack the eggs, leave them covered over in a bowl on your counter over night- up to 24 hours.)
100g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
280g icing sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder

You need to start with a clean, grease free mixing bowl and a mixer, or hand mixer and clean bowl. Whatever you have. 

On a high speed, whip your egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue whipping the egg whites on a high speed and start pouring the caster sugar into the mixing bowl. I start off with a slow and steady stream and stop after 1/3 has gone in. I let it whip for a while and start again, adding another 1/3 and then stopping pouring sugar. Repeat for the third batch. 

Continue whipping for a further 3-4 minutes until your egg whites form a thick and glossy stiff peaked meringue. 

Sieve together the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large bowl and discard any large lumps or bumps you found were too big to go through the sieve. Sieve in the 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and then sieve the entire dry mix for a second time to make sure it is completely lump free and airy.

Taking a spatula, fold the egg whites into the almond, dry mixture. Your aim here is to squash out any air in the meringue. You can be rough with your folds, just make sure to keep folding through, making sure all the dry mix has been incorporated into the meringue.

You’re going for a “thick ribbon” consistency. Essentially that means the mix almost falls back on itself in around 10 seconds. 

Line a few baking trays with parchment, and using your template, or not, pipe the rounds onto the tray. Keep going until you use all the mix- this recipe yields about 30-40 macrons shells. Giving you 15-20 whole macaron.

Holding your tray about a foot off above the counter top or table you are working it... drop it! Drop it likes it hot. Drop that tray like you hate it. 

Repeat this procedure a few times to pop any air bubbles left in your shells and allow the circles to settle. 

Leave the shells to rest so that they form a skin and have become dry enough on the outside that you can lightly touch them.  This process could take up to an hour. (TIP: Leave them in a warm part of your house, like the windowsill where the sun is shining in.. they’ll be dry in no time!)

Preheat your oven to 130C/260F or Gas Mark 2. Once the macaron are ready for the oven,  pop them in for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, insert a wooden spoon into the oven door to keep it a little bit open. Continue baking for another 4 minutes until the top of the shell is crisp and if you wiggled it, gently, from side to side it should be one piece!

Remove from the oven onto a cooling tray and cool completely before filling. Continue baking whatever other shells are left in the same way. 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

225g soft, super soft unsalted butter
500g sifted icing sugar
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder or chocolate ganache- whatever you have handy!

Beat the butter with the paddle attachment on high until it is very soft and pale. I find that if you give the butter a couple of seconds in the microwave, to when it's almost starting to melt, before you beat it, you end up with the lightest and fluffiest of frosting. 
Add in the icing sugar a few cups at a time. (TIP: alternating with a tablespoon of milk if you think the frosting is too dry.)
Mix the holy moly out of it until light and fluffy.

Decorate in one thick swirl when your macaron and cupcakes have cooled.

Lick the bowl clean. 

Putting it all together...

I started with a thick swirl of frosting on the cupcake.
Piped a swirl of frosting onto one macron shell.
Dipped the other shell into runny chocolate ganache and sprinkled on some sprinkles.. Pop the top and bottom together.
Put the macron carefully atop the cupcake, lick your fingers and serve to only your favourite people... 

Because damn these were hard work and you want some massive praise!!

Make them. Share them with your friends and be the best.

You can thank me later!! 


  1. Oh boy! Yep... I'm one of those crazy people who think 4-5 hours to make a cake is just fine!

  2. Oh my goodness! Amazing! Delicious I am sure!! If something is worth doing it is worth doing well and putting the time in, like me and crochet, so I can see why you would take the time!

    1. They are well worth the time Amy! And your crochet always turns out stunning so I know you are a fan of putting in the time! X


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