After countless games – seriously, we didn’t count – he broke that final frontier and, because it was a momentous occasion, I decided that there should be a just reward of cakes. Cakes with tinted buttercream and chocolate writing.
And of course what is better than a cake is multiple miniature cakes, and ones which are decorated with buttercream – bite-sized nuggets of fun that you can devour in one mouthful. Once you remove the frilly paper cases, that is, but there is no stipulation that you must use them in the first place.
I was going for the cute factor by using these mini-cupcake cases which have cupcakes printed on them – purchased purely for their cute factor – but the chocolaty cake made it a little dark for the cutesy cupcake pattern to be appreciated. So my recommendation is to use bright-coloured or foil cases or just don’t bother at all.
The cakes are made from a recipe of one Domestic Goddess that doesn’t call for a great deal of chocolate. The Alter Eco Dark Velvet chocolate which I used is quite fruity in flavour and soft and fudgy in texture to eat on its own, and is different to other dark chocolates I’ve tried which break with more of a snap. It’s not as intensely dark as other dark chocolates either, although it still results in a rich chocolaty cake. A bonus is that it is both organic and certified Fair Trade.
The batter is light in colour when whipped up, especially in my case where a lack of muscovado sugar made for a substitution with plain ol’ brown sugar instead. The cakes darken upon baking and, like most, become denser and damper when left for a bit of a covered snooze overnight. They’re not overly sweet nor rich, again due to the sugar substitution, which makes them the perfect vehicle for being topped with icing or chocolate ganache. If you choose to have these plain then I strongly suggest adding a small amount of caster sugar, as well as substituting cocoa powder for some of the flour.
Decorate the cakes how you like, spell out a message, or leave them nude. And as for Colin, congratulations to him but we have some rematching to do!
Chocolate mini-cupcakes (makes 48 or so mini-cupcakes,or 24 cupcakes)
(“Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake” from How to be a domestic goddess, recipe by Nigella Lawson)
· 225g soft unsalted butter
· 375g dark muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
· 2 large eggs, beaten
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 100g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
· 200g plain flour
· 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
· 250mL boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line or lightly grease a cupcake or mini-cupcake tray.
- Cream together butter and sugar then add eggs and vanilla, beating in well. Fold in the melted chocolate until evenly combined.
- Gently add the flour and bicarb soda gradually, alternately with the boiling water until the mixture is fairly runny.
- Divide between cavities of the tray and bake 15-18 minutes for mini-cupcakes, and around 30 minutes for cupcakes.