For years I have proclaimed I don’t care for Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t a lie. I didn’t need extra romance. My life was pretty darned exciting. Adding flowers and sparkly jewellery and fizz and special meals was surplus to requirements. But I have noticed, as I age, indeed, as my life has become steadily more domesticated, that I do want to be shown a little extra special affection once a year. And I don’t care that Valentine’s Day is contrived. Really I don’t. I do want a card. I do want a gift. I do want something a bit different for my tea. I do want fizz. I do want a cup of tea in bed. In fact I’d rather like these cupcakes too.
If you need extra inspiration then take a look at my Pinterest board here. Loads of V Day ideas that don’t cost the earth.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available exclusively in Iceland stores and through their website) which is just £2.99 at the mo! And no, the recipes are not just about frozen food. Every recipe has instructions of how to make with chilled ingredients too.
This time last year: Rye, spelt & poppy seed rolls, Never fail pancakes, Fluffy sweet potato pancakes, Mars Bar brownies and I wrote a letter to my 15 year old self with all the things I’d wish I’d known over 20 years ago.
Two years ago: Chocolate and banana flower shaped cupcakes, Subtle coconut rolls, Easy chocolate cupcakes and Chocolate orange tea buns and Almond and fig granola.
Three years ago: Love cupcakes and White chocolate, lemon and macadamia cake and Roasted celeriac, carrot and parsnip soup and My lightest Yorkshire puddings.
Four years ago: Bake me not chocolate cake and Jelly and ice-cream meringue roulade and Good flapjack and Banana, butterscotch and fig traybake.
Five years ago: Treasure hunt ice-cream and Rhubarb and ginger chutney and Carrot cake.
Chocolate heart cupcakes
Makes 12 – 15
For the cakes:
- 150g self raising flour
- 25g cocoa
- 175g soft salted butter
- 175g castor sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing and decoration:
- 120g milk chocolate
- 55g salted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 255g icing sugar
- 110g jaffa twist icing sugar (or you can use more plain icing sugar)
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Roll up 12 balls of foil just a little smaller than a Malteaser. Pinch each cupcake case into the ‘V’ of a heart and place in a 12 hole cupcake tray, then push the foil ball in between the ‘V’, to the bottom of the cupcake tray. Repeat with all the cases.
Beat all the cake ingredients together with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until creamy and light. This takes about 3 – 5 minutes. Fill each case carefully to about 3/4 full. Don’t overfill or the batter will rise up and spill over, making the hearts not hearts anymore. (Though if this does happen use a pair of scissors to snip the cake at the ‘V’ point to reinstate the heart shape). Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and a toothpick comes out of the central cupcakes clean. Cool in the tray on a wire rack.
Make the icing by melting the chocolate, butter and vanilla together in a bowl, either in the microwave or using the bain marie method. Stir through the icing sugars until completely combined. Use a teaspoon to gently spread the icing over each cupcake and then top with sprinkles. (If the icing stiffens as you’re using it, just beat again with a spoon until it loosens).
Give to the one you love.
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