Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

Last night we experienced an earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale. It was scary. The epicentre was right underneath us. No one was hurt and our property only suffered minor damage (a few cracks here and there), but we were a little shaken, physically and emotionally. Our youngest son Joey woke in the middle of the night, having had a bad earthquake-related dream. He went to his older brother Linus's room and woke him up. Linus let Joey get into bed with him and they slept together in Linus's single bed all tucked up and safe. I thought I'd make them some cupcakes for when they get home from school. I love that they were there for each other.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes
from Joy the Baker
Makes 12

For the Vanilla Cupcakes:
1 cup plain flour
a scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Toppings:
slightly sweetened whipped cream
toasted slivered almonds
12 sour dried cherries (I don't like maraschino cherries, so I didn't use them. But I LOVE sour dried cherries. You use the ones you love.)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, bi-carbonate of soda and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Just a few minutes. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups. It will look like there isn't enough batter to go around.  The cases will only barely be half full. Don't panic, all will be well. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Chocolate Ganache:
150g chopped chocolate
1/4 cup cream

Put the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan. Pour cream evenly over chocolate. Let stand for one minute to soften, then stir until smooth. If frosting is too loose to spread, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, frosting will continue to thicken as it stands.

Top vanilla cupcakes with chocolate ganache, slightly sweetened whipped cream, slivered almonds, sprinkles and a sour dried cherry.

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