Christmas Mini Chocolate Muffins
1 hr 30 min.
- For the cupcakes
- 1 cup grated, plain Dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
- ½ cup butter (scant)
- 0.333 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 1.333 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ⅜ cup milk
- For the buttercream
- 0.333 cup plain Chocolate (60% cocoa solids, chopped)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (scant)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cupcakes: heat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) 350°F gas 4. Line 24 mini muffin tins with paper cases.
Beat together the chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl until soft and creamy.
Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth.
Beat in the egg until incorporated. Gradually sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa and fold in gently, alternating with the milk, until well blended.
Spoon into the paper cases and bake for about 15 minutes, until springy to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream: melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water. Remove from the heat.
Beat the butter until soft. Sift in the icing sugar and beat well until smooth and creamy. Stir in the vanilla and melted chocolate. Beat well until blended. Leave to cool and thicken, but not set.
Spoon into a piping bag and pipe swirls on top of the cupcakes.
To decorate: take a walnut sized ball of both white and red sugarpastes and apply even pressure to roll the sugar pastes into long ropes, approximately 5mm|1/4" in diameter.
Pinch the two sugar paste ropes together and gently twist them together, being careful not to twist them too tightly or they will break.
Gently push down on the twisted sugar paste and roll together, to form a single rope. Cut into 24 equal lengths and curve the tops for the candy cane shape.
Place on top of the cakes.
Roll out the green sugarpaste on a surface dusted with icing sugar and cut out 48 small holly leaves with a cutter or card template. Place on the cakes.