If you like chocolate, and you like mint, you’re going to love these cupcakes.
Basic chocolate cupcake ingredients
115g dark chocolate
85g butter, at room temperature
175g soft brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
185g plain flour, sifted
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250ml milk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks for several minutes. Add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat well.
Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and beat well.
Combine the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.
Add the vanilla extract to the milk.
Add a third of the flour to the mixture and beat well. Pour in a third of the milk and beat again. Repeat until all the flour and milk have been used.
In a clean bowl, whisk the whites until you have soft peaks.
Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter mixture, using a metal spoon. Do not beat or you will take all the air out of the mixture.
This is quite a runny batter, so take care when spooning into the cupcake cases as it can be very messy! Alternatively, pour the batter into a jug first then just pout the batter into the cupcake cases, makes it a lot easier.
Bake for 20 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size). Leave in the tins for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
Ingredients for the mint topping
110g butter, at room temperature
60ml milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or more or less, depending on how minty you want your topping)
500g icing sugar, sifted
A few drops of green food colouring (depending on how green you want them)
Dark chocolate chips
Beat the butter, milk, peppermint extract and half the icing sugar until smooth, this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. Taste the icing at this stage to see if you want to add more peppermint extract.
Add a drop of green food colouring and beat thoroughly. Add more carefully drop by drop, and beat after each addition to build up to your desired colour.
Use the icing to decorate the chocolate cupcakes, then top with chocolate chips. For a Christmassy looking cupcake you could top with crushed candy canes.