Sunday, October 30, 2011

Easy Halloween Cupcakes

Trick or Bake?
A Halloween Cupcake Recipe

Halloween. The time of year in Australia where not nearly enough kids throw a sheet over their heads and knock on doors, and too many teenagers dress up like dead prostitutes and get drunk. But isn’t it a brilliant excuse to bake? Even if you’re not the creative kind, these spooky Halloween cupcakes are easy to whip up and make even the worst bakers look like a pro.

 Makes: about 36 mini cupcakes or 15 normal cupcakes 
Takes: about 30 minutes to prepare and 12-18 minutes to cook

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

-    100g milk chocolate chips
-    100g dark chocolate chips
-    1 1/2 cups plain flour
-    1⁄2 cup cocoa
-    1 cup caster sugar
-    3 teaspoons baking powder
-    1 tablespoon vanilla essence
-    120g butter
-    3 eggs
-    1⁄2 cup milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and prepare your muffin trays.

  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the vanilla essence, eggs, milk and butter (melted).

  4. Mix well until combined. Mixture should be smooth with no bumps.

  5. Add the chocolate chips and stir until combined.

  6. For mini cupcakes, place a heaped teaspoon in the tray, or two heaped teaspoons for normal cupcakes.

  7. Mini cupcakes should be cooked for about 12 minutes and normal cupcakes for about 18 minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and wait until completely cool before icing.

‘Pumpkin Orange’ White Chocolate Icing

-    150g white chocolate buttons
-    100g butter
-    180g icing sugar
-    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
-    red food colouring
-    yellow food colouring
-    milk to soften

  1. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.

  2. Melt the butter in a pan over a low head or in a microwave for 30 seconds, and then beat until creamy in colour.

  3. Add the butter and vanilla essence to the icing sugar and mix well.

  4. Melt the white chocolate, again over a low heat or in the microwave for about a minute, and then add it to the mixture.

  5. Stir thoroughly until combined then add a dash of milk until the mixture is silky, but still thick.

  6. Combine a few drops of red food dye with a table spoon of yellow food dye in a bowl. Mix well, then place a few drops in a glass of water to see if it is the desired colour. (I actually used pink instead of red and it seemed to be fine).

  7. Mix small amounts of the (now orange) food colouring into your icing until it turns orange.

Chocolate Spider Webs

-    200g of cooking chocolate of your choice

  1. Place some baking paper on a flat surface and spray with olive oil cooking spray.

  2. Melt the chocolate over a low heat or in the microwave. Stir thoroughly and make sure there are no bumps.

  3. Spoon the chocolate into a small zip lock bag. Seal it and cut a very small section off the corner.

  4. Slowly squeeze the mixture onto the baking paper, creating spider web shapes as you go.

  5. Make sure you have a few more spider webs than you do cupcakes, then leave to dry.

  6. When completely dry, you can easily peel the chocolate away from the paper.

Bringing it all together

Now that you have your cooled cupcakes, your icing and your chocolate spider webs, it's time to complete your spooky Halloween cupcakes.

  1. Scoop the icing into a piping bag with a medium fitting and squeeze a small amount on top of the cupcakes, so it resembles a flower. If you don't have a piping bag, use the zip lock bag trick as seen above to create a crisscross pattern on top of the cupcakes.

  2. Finally, place a chocolate spider web on top of each icing swirl and Voilà!

    Your cupcakes are ready!

NOTE: I made mini cupcakes, but if you make larger cupcakes, buy a tube of writing gel icing and some Maltesers and add a spider to your Halloween treat!

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