Chocolate cupcakes

Beloved’s family lunch gathering today, am cooking but we’re eating elsewhere – late celebration of his niece’s birthday. She likes chocolate so I thought chocolate cupcakes would be perfect for her and adults will just have to cope. Don’t think some of the adults are greatest cupcake fans…

Anyway, used Ottolenghi recipe to make them first thing this morning (feeling slightly zombified now) and I don’t think there would be quite so many cupcake shops around if all the ‘bakers’ running them worked from the Ottolenghi recipe: 14 ingredients in the cupcake + 4 in the icing. You may think that’s too complicated but I trust that book, the baking section in particular has given me much joy over the years. The result has been photographed – this was the most difficult part, how do you photograph cupcakes (only old iphone camera allowed), especially chocolate ones and not make them boring? I tried:

Clearly I am not that good at icing/ decorating cakes as I make things to eat, not to look pretty and this is the first time I’ve ever made cupcakes. Still I think the table (painted with retro 50s pin up girls a few years back) makes a nice background.

So, tasting will be later. Have only tried the icing (whipped cream, chocolate, butter and a few drops of almond essence) and it was good. Must add that I’ve used Valrhona chocolate for the whole thing so have v. high expectations!

The cinnamon and hazelnut meringues made an excellent Eaton mess by the way – addition of cinnamon (just a sprinkle) and dark muscovado sugar (2 parts caster sugar and 1 part dark muscovado) to meringue worked very well with strawberries. Highly recommended, best Eaton mess I’ve ever had.

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