Monday 13 April 2009

Chocolate Five Spice Cupcakes with Easter Egg Nests

We were having some family round for the afternoon and I wanted to make something fun and Easter themed for afternoon tea. Chocolate is always a sure fire hit with everyone and I initially thought of the chocolate rice krisipe nests I made last year, but I decided to make something different this year. I then thought of chocolate cupcakes but these felt a bit boring, so I hit upon the idea of combining the two – a chocolate cupcake topped with mini rice krisipe nests. As I was out shopping for ingredients, I discovered some adorable mini chocolate eggs, miniature mini eggs! They are about the size of a large pea and perfect for sitting in the mini chocolate nests.

As I was mixing together the cupcake batter I decided to add some cinnamon into the mix as a nod towards the traditional spicy hot cross bun, but on opening the spice cupboard my eyes lit on a jar of Chinese five spice. It smelt wonderful, warming and aniseedy so throwing caution to the wind I added some the cupcake mix. As they were baking in the oven, the five spice smelt really strong and I was a little concerned I may have overdone it and people wouldn’t like them, but I carried on anyway. I spread them with a little Nutella buttercream and topped them with the mini chocolate nests.
They went down well with all the family, the colourful cupcake cases and miniature nests and eggs giving them a fun and cheerful appearance and evoking fond memories of childhood Easters gone by. I didn’t mention about the added spice, some of my family aren’t too adventurous, but the cupcakes received mmm’s (whew) and arrrr’s as people tried to guess the secret ingredient. I was really pleased how they turned out and will definitely be experimenting with Chinese five spice again, but I’ve learnt its quite intense – a little goes a long way!

Chocolate Five Spice Cupcakes with Easter Egg Nests
Ingredients – for the cupcakes
110g self raising flour
120g caster sugar
120g softened butter
20g cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder

For the frosting
50g softened butter
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp milk

For the chocolate nests
135g plain chocolate
35g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
100g rice krispies
Miniature mini eggs for decorating

For the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Beat together the butter, sugar until smooth and then beat in the eggs.
Sift over the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and Chinese five spice and beat until well combined.
Add the milk to slacken the mixture before spooning into the muffin cases, using a tablespoon, filling each case half way.
Bake for 22-24 minutes until risen and springy.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire wrack to cool.
Makes 10-12 cupcakes

For the Nutella frosting
Beat the butter until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar, in two batches, and beat into the butter until well combined and fluffy.
Beat in the Nutella and thin down with a little milk.
Spread generously over the top of the cooled cupcakes.
Makes enough for one batch of cupcakes.

For the chocolate nests
Place 25 mini muffin cases on a baking tray and set to one side.
Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together in large saucepan, over a gentle heat.
Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the rice krispies, making sure they all get coated in the chocolate.
Quickly divide the krispie mix into the paper cases using a teaspoon. Top each mini nest with 3 miniature mini eggs.
Allow them to set at room temperature before removing the nests from the muffin cases and using to decorate the cupcakes. Store the extra nests in an airtight container.
Makes around 25 mini chocolate nests.


Leigh Russell said...
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Snooky doodle said...

these look cute and yummy and the spice must have been a nice addition. I ll try these :)

Nic said...

Cute and delicious (as always!)
Happy Easter Katie.

Johanna GGG said...

I think you were wise not to tell people what was in these - my family is the same with judging with their prejudices rather than their tongues - but these look so cute and sounds like they would have tasted interesting!

Gigi said...

Sounds divine and exotic! I love the colorful cupcakes wrappers!

KJ said...

Wow, 5 spice. I have never tried that in a cake. They look like fun!!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

These are adorable! I wish I could have featured this in my Easter dessert round up last month. I'd love to invite you to submit something in the future. The next round up will feature cupcakes.

Elyse said...

These cupcakes are just precious. I love your addition of the five spice. How perfect! And that nutella buttercream sounds divine!

HELEN said...

these sound gorgeous. I will be having a look at the rest of your blog now

HELEN said...

these sound gorgeous. I will be having a look at the rest of your blog now