I'm all confused! I thought Easter was this weekend? It's not. Still a week to go before I can eat my body weight in chocolate...
I didn't want to start too early making Easter treats but it now seems that I have. These little Easter bird nest cupcakes have been going down a treat with the kiddies this week.
100g caster sugar
2 eggs free rage of course!
10g cocoa powder
90g self raising flour
2 tbsp milk
Chocolate egg and birdie decorations
Oven set to 180 degrees and arrange about six, maybe seven muffin cases on muffin tray.
Cream butter and sugar together till pale. Beat in eggs one at a time until then sieve the cocoa powder and SR flour together and gently fold into mix to make a nice smooth batter. Add the milk, gently mix. Get the batter into the cases quickly and be careful not to overfill, you don't want an overflowing cupcake.
Bake for about 20 minutes. A skewer inserted should come out clean when baked.
Leave to cool and make butter cream...
100g real butter, unsalted, don't use margerine or spreads. They've too much water in them to be able to hold a piped shape when piping your icing.
200g icing sugar
Few drops of vanilla and a drop of milk
Real butter is often hard especially if you take it straight from the fridge. Recently I've been measuring my butter into a glass bowl then melting it for a few seconds (less than 10) in the microwave* to soften. This makes beating the sugar in MUCH easier. With a wooden spoon, really beat the sugar and butter, vanilla and a dash of milk if you need it together to get a nice pale icing. Make sure there are no bits of butter not completely mixed. By the time the cakes have cooled, the butter cream should be ready to pipe.
Using a piping bag and a big star nozzle, pipe a circle of buttercream then place the eggs and chick in the centre. Voila.
*if you forget about the butter in the microwave and if completely melts, don't panic and don't waste the butter. It is expensive. Leave it to start firming up again and continue as normal. If you can't wait and you put the sugar into the butter. Give it a good beating until it is really smooth. I can can look separated for ages before it properly starts to bind.
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