The latest entry for the Nigella Cookalong is her Christmas Cupcake recipe. I haven’t put an entry in for sometime but I thought ‘hey, why not? It’s Christmas. And this recipe has the two best ingredients in it: chocolate and cake’.
I abandoned the icing because I’m not such a fan of it but opted for some decorative dried cranberries which always go well with cake (Christmas Brownie and Walnut Cake is a good one to start with if you don’t believe me) and a sprig of holly with some icing sugar dusted over the top for decoration.
Has anyone else had trouble finding holly with berries on to make wreaths this year? This cold weather has made the poor birds very desperate and they’ve stripped the lot. It took me a whole hour of speed-walking around the common I live next to and eventually going to the furthest place, the last resort, where I found some holly with some actual berries on. Poor birds. Shame the squirrels keep eating all of the treats that mum puts out for them… You should see the size of our squirrels – they are like mutant ones compared to the average squirrel because of the amount of bird food they’ve eaten…
Back to cooking though – here is Nigella’s recipe adapted my way for her Cookalong – hope you are having a festive holiday.
Christmas Cupcakes (Nigella)
(Makes 10-12 muffin sized cakes)
-150g plain flour -1tsp baking powder -½tsp bicarbonate of soda -1tsp ground mixed spice -100g soft, salted butter -160g dark brown sugar -2 large eggs -3tbsp natural Greek yoghurt -125ml boiling water -75g dark chocolate (broken into pieces) -1tsp instant coffee -Dried cranberries, for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6/400ºF. Place 12 muffin cases in a 12-hole cake tray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and mixed spice. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and then beat in a third of the flour mixture followed by a tablespoon of the yoghurt, repeating until all has been used up.
- Put the hot water, chocolate and instant coffee in a pan and heat gently, just until the chocolate’s melted. Fold this into the cake batter. The mixture will be very thin, but don’t worry about that: just pour carefully into the waiting muffin cases and put in the oven for 20 minutes, until each cake is cooked through but still dense and damp.
- Leave them to cool before adding the cranberries and any other decorations on top and serving. Store in an airtight container once cold.