As Valentine’s Day approaches I ponder on the best V Day presents I have ever received. There was the H Samuel gold plated key ring with my beloved’s name on it – yep, I received a key ring with ‘Jonathan’ written across it in whimsical copperplate letters. Thanks Jonny! We were only 10. I might forgive him.
Then there was a lovely boy called Peter who every year left a box of Malteasers in my desk. With the benefit of hindsight I ought to have concentrated more on boys like Peter. I might have left school with a less fragmented heart if I’d paid him a little more attention than the mad, bad and dangerous to know boys.
Since then I’ve luckily received a Blu Ray player, cocktail glasses, IOU vouchers, an array of posh cordials, a silk scarf, roses, a saccherine fondant covered heart shaped cake with my name wonkily piped across it and of course underwear – always too small. I like that my backside is smaller in both my mind and the minds of boyfriends past.
What do I want this year? Not a nursing bra, that’s for sure. I’ll settle on a few of these babies thanks. You can ice or leave unadorned. They’re quite deep in flavour and rich so can happily go naked.
NB: Photography by Minal at Minal Photography.
Easy peasy chocolate cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 75g cocoa powder mixed with 200ml boiling water, cooled slightly
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300g self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 50ml sunflower oil
- 250g unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C and line 2 x 12 hole cupcake tin with 18 cases. Mix the cocoa powder with 200ml boiling water, stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly. Take a big mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until really well mixed and gloopy. The mixture will be a pourable batter. At this point I suggest you decant half of the mixture into a jug and use to fill the cupcake cases each to almost full (leave about 1cm free of cake mixture at the top) then repeat for the rest of the mixture. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.