Mary Berry’s Chocolate Cupcakes

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I was shocked when I realised I hadn’t posted this recipe already! It is my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes and is so tasty I haven’t felt the need to look for an alternative. I often use different frosting recipes as sometimes people find a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting a bit too chocolately (crazy I know).

I made these again recently to take into work as someone was raising money for Bowel Cancer UK. As it was December, I thought it was only appropriate for me to frost them with Christmas trees. I didn’t use the chocolate icing from this recipe but used my standard vanilla butter cream recipe from my vanilla cupcake blog post (http://www.curlyscooking.co.uk/?p=37).

I added gel colouring to make it green and then used a star tip nozzle. I then added a few sugar balls to look like baubles and lights and added a star on top. It was simple to do and looked really cute and Chritsmassy! They helped raise money for a really great cause and I was pleased that my cupcakes were the first to go!

I have made these cupcakes on many occasions, each time they have gone down very well. They are very simple to make and delicious.

For the cupcakes:
4tbsp water, boiled
40g cocoa powder
3 eggs
175g unsalted butter
165g caster sugar
115g self raising four
1 tsp baking powder 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside
  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and add the boiling water. Mix until it forms a thick paste and then add the remaining cake ingredients. Mix until combined

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  1. Divide the mix between the cupcake liners – this mix makes 12 large cupcakes. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack

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For the frosting:
60g unsalted butter
30g cocoa powder
3 tbsp whole milk (add more if you want to pipe it)
250g icing sugar

  1. Melt the butter and sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar
  2. Add enough milk to get it to the right consistency and cover the cupcakes

The original recipe kept the frosting thick and then used a pallet knife to spread it onto the cupcakes. When I use the frosting, I add a little more milk to thin it down so that I can pipe it.

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Here are the chocolate cupcakes with Nutella frosting which I featured on a different blog post (http://www.curlyscooking.co.uk/?p=900).

I found the original recipe here – http://www.bakingmad.com/mary-berry-chocolate-cupcake-recipe/

Baked Vanilla Doughnuts

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I absolutely love doughnuts. As with everything I am quite fussy about what I consider to be my perfect doughnut. In my opinion Marks and Spencer have created the perfect filled doughnut and you can’t beat a Krispy Kreme vanilla glazed doughnut. Marks and Spencer fill their doughnuts with raspberry jam and lightly sprinkle them with icing sugar – not covered in crunchy granulated sugar.

Although I love doughnuts, I have never been very keen on the idea of making doughnuts because of all the faff involved with frying. A while ago I realised you could get doughnut trays so that you could make doughnuts in the oven which completely gets rid of the frying – perfect! I’m not trying to say that a baked doughnut is healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but a baked doughnut has to be healthier than a fried doughnut. I bought my doughnut trays from Sainsbury’s months ago and have been desperate to use them but didn’t get round to it – until now!

For my first attempt I wanted to try some vanilla doughnuts. I initially found this recipe on Pinterest and it is from a great blog called Cooking Classy (http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/02/baked-vanilla-bean-doughnuts/). I was really impressed with how great these tasted, they were lovely and light and fluffy with a fantastic flavour.

One tip I have is that when you are filling the doughnut tins, fill them just over half way. I got a bit carried away and filled them nearly to the top which meant I had doughnuts that were about 5cm high and not the prettiest looking. If you fill them just over half way, you should get very pretty, dainty doughnuts which I was incredibly happy with.

For the doughnuts
2 2/3 cups plain flour
1 ½ baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp salt
¼ unsalted butter, melted
¼ vegetable oil
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
spray oil (for the trays)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and spray the doughnut tray with oil
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Once this is combined, mix the eggs in one at a time and then add the vanilla extract
  4. Add the flour mixture and milk to the wet mixture alternating between the two starting and ending with the flour (add 1/3 of the flour followed by half the milk etc). Mix until just combined after each addition

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  1. Spoon the batter into the doughnut holes. I haven’t found a particularly quick way of doing this, I just used two teaspoons and tried to keep it in the holes as much as possible!

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  1. Bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow to cool until lukewarm on a wire rack
For the glaze
1 ½ cups icing sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small pinch of salt
2 – 3 tbsp milk
Food colouring and sprinkles (optional)
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Once combined stir in 2 tbsp of milk and then gradually add more if needed to get to the desired consistency. Don’t add too much at a time or else it will become too runny
  2. Add food colouring if you want and then dip in your doughnuts. If you are adding sprinkles, add them straight away or else they won’t stick once the glaze has dried

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I was really pleased with these doughnuts and will definitely be making these again as well as trying different recipes.