(I do have another cake in mind that I think this icing will pair beautifully with... but I'll keep that on the back-burner for now!)
The cupcake recipe here is not my go-to for chocolate cakes and cupcakes, but I used it for this project because the inclusion of apricot jam in the ingredients just seemed like such a good fit for the buttercream.
And the buttercream was devised because I had a bunch of egg yolks sitting in my fridge, that needed using up!
There is no reason why you can't use Swiss meringue buttercream or even basic butter icing with these cupcakes (or anything else you might have in mind!)
I really enjoy working with these egg-based buttercreams. They are easy to pipe, silky smooth and positively delicious!
Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
Pre-heat oven to 180'C.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases (makes 15 medium or 24 small cupcakes).
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup smooth apricot jam
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use Vanilla Girl vanilla, so just a few drops)
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla. Beat in the apricot jam. (Don't worry if it looks curdled).
Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarb together into a bowl. Use a whisk to mix them together.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the jam mixture, then 1/2 the buttermilk; another 1/3 dry ingredients; the rest of the buttermilk, then the last of the dry ingredients.
Spoon into cupcake cases, and bake for 15-18minutes.
Orange Ginger Buttercream
1/2 cup water
2 cups light brown sugar
6 egg yolks
250-300g butter, cut into small cubes.
1/2 tsp orange essence/extract
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fresh orange zest
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to the boil, then on medium heat, let it continue boiling for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, using the whisk attachment of your mixer, beat the egg yolks until pale and creamy - about 5 minutes.
Remove the sugar syrup from the stove, and slowly pour it down the side of the mixing bowl, into the beaten eggs, with the mixer running on low speed.
Add in the extract, zest and ginger.
Then, beat this mixture on medium speed until the mixing bowl reaches room temperature.
Swop over to the paddle attachment, and add the butter 1 cube at a time. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Sprinkle with grated dark chocolate.