Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pistachio and chocolate chip cupcakes



I love pistachio flavoured anything, so I couldn't wait to make these. 

It was only after I had started mixing the ingredients and opened the cupboard to get the milk chocolate, ready to chop up, that - oops - I realised I only had bars of dark chocolate. Luckily I'd been super organised for Easter eggs this year, and had a milk chocolate one stored away which I had planned to give my husband. Perfect! (Sorry darling. But I'm sure you'll agree that your chocolate egg was sacrificed for the greater good.)

The frosting for these cakes is a rich, sweet chocolate mousse, consisting of double cream, butter, milk chocolate and sugar. Between that and the ground pistachios and chocolate chips in the cake, these are very, very filling. I made the mistake of eating one just before lunchtime. Lunch was subsequently cancelled.



Pistachio and chocolate chip cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from 'Making Cupcakes with Lola')

For the cakes:
115g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g softened, unsalted butter
A pinch of salt
170g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla paste/extract
2 eggs
40ml full cream milk
100g shelled, unsalted pistachios, ground
75g milk chocolate, chopped

For the chocolate mousse frosting:
125ml double cream
125g milk chocolate
125g softened, unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric whisk or paddle attachment of a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each.

Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar together. Add a third of this dry mixture to the bowl, mixing on low speed until just combined, then add a tablespoon of the milk and mix again. Continue in this way until all the dry ingredients and milk have been mixed in.

Fold in the ground pistachios and chopped chocolate, and divide the mixture between your muffin cases.

Bake for around 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting:

Heat the double cream in a pan until it starts to bubble around the edges, and then stir in the chocolate until it has all melted and combined with the cream. Allow to cool.

When the chocolate and cream mixture is at room temperature, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate mixture, the icing sugar and the cocoa powder. Mix gently at first and then increase the speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

You may be able to pipe the frosting on as it is, or if it's too runny, put the bowl in the fridge until it's firm enough.

Top the frosted cupcakes with chopped pistachios, if you have any left (I didn't).





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