Michael Chakraverty’s chocolate fudge cupcakes

Ingredients

For 12 cupcakes

  • 125g dark chocolate (minimum 56% cocoa solids)
    125g unsalted butter
    1.5 tsp instant coffee
    90ml boiling water
    120g plain flour
    30g cocoa powder
    1.5 tsp baking powder
    100g golden caster sugar
    150g light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    95ml sour cream
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  •  

For the icing

  • 360g dark chocolate
    450g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
    450g icing sugar

  • Set the oven to 160c/150c fan/Gas Mark 3. Set out 12 cupcake cases in cupcake trays.
  • Melt together the chocolate and the butter in a medium pan. Separately, mix the instant coffee with the boiling water and then stir into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar. Give it a quick mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  • Mix together the wet ingredients, then fold into the dry ingredients.
  • Fill each case 2/3 of the way up and bake for around 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  • For the icing, melt the chocolate in a small pan and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the icing sugar until pale and creamy (at least 4-5 minutes).
  • Fold the chocolate into the mixture, and use to ice the cooled cupcakes.

Vegan chocolate orange cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 10

  • 150g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 230ml non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 20g vegan chocolate, melted
  • Extra cocoa for dusting
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the orange rind.
  • Whisk together the milk, vinegar and sunflower oil.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together well. Divide between the 10 paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and
  • springy to the touch.
  • Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.
  • Decorate with swirls of melted chocolate, bits of orange rind and a sprinkling of cocoa.

Red pepper and parmesan muffins

Ingredients

Makes 12

  • 3 red peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 150ml milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 100g cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Place peppers cut-side down onto a baking tray and place under a hot grill for 12-15 minutes, until the skins are completely black. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl, covering with cling film until cold.
  • Remove the blackened skin from the peppers then dice the flesh and put to one side.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan or Gas Mark 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Place the flour, half the grated Parmesan cheese and the mustard powder into a large bowl. Season with black pepper.
  • Whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter, then pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix very lightly together.
  • Add the diced peppers and mix a little more, being careful not to over-mix.
  • Divide between the paper cases and top with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden. Remove from the tin and cool on a rack before topping with cream cheese, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of smoked paprika.

Sugar-free lemon cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 10

  • 240g self-raising flour
  • 30g poppy seeds
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 165g unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ tbsp honey
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan or Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 10 paper cases.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in 20g of the poppy seeds and the grated lemon rind.
  • Melt together the butter and honey then leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • Melt together the butter and honey then leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • Whisk together the yogurt and eggs, then add the butter and honey mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  • Divide between the 10 paper cases and bake for 20-15 minutes, until risen and lightly golden. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.
  • To decorate, mix the remaining poppy seeds with the cream cheese and place a dollop on top of each cupcake. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle over the lemon zest.

Classic vanilla and white chocolate cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 12

  • 110g butter, softened
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

 

For the topping

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 300g butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • blue food colouring
  • Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Fold in the flour, adding a little milk to give a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Cool on a cooling rack.
  • To make the white chocolate butter icing, melt the white chocolate in the microwave then leave to cool slightly.
  • Beat together the butter and icing sugar, adding a little milk to loosen. Stir in the cooled white chocolate.
  • Divide the mixture in half and add blue colouring to one half. Spoon the two mixtures into separate small icing bags then place both of these into a larger icing bag with a star nozzle and pipe the cupcakes with both colours.

Raw superfood cupcakes

Ingredients

Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan

 

Makes 6

  • 75g ground almonds
  • 75g pumpkin seeds
  • 6 dates, stoned
  • 50g coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g creamed coconut
  • 1 large mango, peeled and stoned
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 large avocado
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • Place the ground almonds, pumpkin seeds and dates into a food processor and blitz to break down. Add the coconut oil, half the cacao powder and the cinnamon and blitz again.
  • Spoon into 6 silicone cupcake cases, pressing down and levelling the top, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt together the creamed coconut and coconut oil. Leave to cool slightly.
  • Place the mango into a small blender with the chia seeds, 1 tbsp of the maple syrup, the turmeric and lime juice. Blitz to a purée. Pour in the melted creamed coconut and coconut oil and blitz again to a smooth purée.
  • Spoon the mango purée over the crumb base in the cupcake cases. Chill for another 30-40 minutes, until set.
  • Place the remaining cacao powder, maple syrup and the avocado and orange zest into a small blender and blend until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag with star nozzle.
  • Remove the cupcakes from their cases and pipe the chocolate orange mousse on top.

Eggless orange cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 12

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • grated rind of 1 small orange
  • 100ml milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp lemon juice

 

For the icing

  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 75g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp chopped mixed peel (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 180°C fan, Gas Mark 4. Line a cup cake tin with 12 paper cake cases.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and orange rind.
  • In a jug mix together the milk, oil and lemon juice.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spoon into the paper cake cases and bake for 25 minutes, until lightly golden.
  • Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the orange juice, icing sugar and mixed peel.
  • When the cakes are cool, spoon the icing over the top and leave to set.

Flourless coffee cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 12

  • 100g dark chocolate
    85g unsalted butter
    1 tbsp strong espresso coffee
    2 eggs
    35g caster sugar
    100g ground almonds
  •  

For the icing

  • 150g unsalted butter
    150g icing sugar
    2 tsp strong espresso
    50g dark chocolate, melted
    coffee beans for decoration (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C, 170°C fan, Gas mark 5.Line a cup cake tin with 12 paper cake cases.
  • Place the chocolate, butter and espresso in a bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Fold the ground almonds and the chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar, until well combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the paper cake cases and bake for 15-18 minutes, until springy to the touch. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  • To make the icing, beat the butter until pale and then gradually beat in the icing sugar followed but the espresso and melted chocolate. Pipe over each cupcake and top with a coffee bean if wished.