Cupcake, Sweet

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

I was in the kitchen the other morning with the littlest baker and as she fell asleep in her bouncy chair, I thought I’d make some cupcakes.

I decided to do chocolate as I hadn’t made chocolate ones in a really long time and I’ve been a bit of a chocoholic these last few weeks (years!).  I also had a couple of bars of dark chocolate stashed in my baking cupboard so half a bar would make my chocolate chips.

When it came to icing them I thought I’d use a splash of my Moka Varnelli as its just lovely.  It goes well with any kind of cake and dark chocolate cupcakes are no exception.

I made these cupcakes in muffin cases so they are extra large and I only got 9 out of the mix but if you used normal cupcake size then you’d get at least 12 out.


Dark chocolate cupcakes

4oz SugarDark chocolate cupcakes
4oz Margarine
5oz Self Raising Flour
1 large tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Large Eggs
75g Dark Chocolate

Buttercream
Tbsp Margarine
5tbsp icing sugar
1tbsp cocoa powder
Dash of Moka Varnelli (or any other flavour you fancy)

Preheat the oven to Gas 4 160c

Cream together the sugar and Margarine till it has changed to a pale white colour.

Add an egg and a tablespoon of flour, mix together then do the same with the other egg and flour. This helps the mix not to look like its splitting.

Separate into the cake cases and bake in the oven for at least 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when you gently press on it.

Once cooled whip up the buttercream ingredients together till the mixture is light and fluffy then use to top the cakes.

Sweet, Traybake

Accidental crunchy dark chocolate and amaretto flapjack

Last night I made some dark chocolate and amaretto flapjack for my husband… but this time I was disappointed with it!

I have made it so often and never had a problem with it before so I don’t know if it is because I used a different brand of porridge oats or because I cooked it in the oven for 3 minutes longer but they weren’t the nice chewy flapjack they usually are… I made crunchy flapjack.

I think there has long been a debate over people who like their flapjack crunchy and those who like it chewy but in our household it is chewy which always win.

The difference usually between chewy and crunchy is in the amount of butter or syrup that is put into it and the length of cooking time, so the flavour is always the same; it is just the texture which changed.

Flapjack is so easy to make but it is difficult to get it absolutely perfect every time.
Usually I use the cheapest porridge oats I can buy from our supermarket (I don’t know why but I have always found that these work the best), margarine, brown sugar and golden syrup. It does have the advantage of making them very cheap to make as well as easy.

Unfortunately this time I had to use the premium brand oats as they had sold out of my cheap ones.

So this is the recipe which makes a crunchy flapjack.
Next time I will try it again with my usual oats and another tablespoon of syrup to make them chewy… and I would also add a bit more amaretto.


Crunchy dark chocolate and amaretto flapjack

500g premium porridge oats
200g margarine
160g light brown sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
2-3 tbsp amaretto liquor (or a few drop of almond essence if you don’t want any alcohol)
80g dark chocolate

Pre-heat the oven to 200c
In a large pan gently melt the margarine, brown sugar and golden syrup till it combines together into a nice dark mixture with no sugar crystals left. You don’t need to get this too hot, just hot enough to melt everything.
Then add the amaretto liquor.
Take it off the heat and mix in the porridge oats.

Whilst the mix is cooling a little take a 100g bar of dark chocolate and use a large knife to cut 80g into chunks. I say to use a 100g bar because then it leave a few squares of chocolate to eat yourself afterwards.
You can use dark chocolate chips if you want instead.

Mix these quickly into the flapjack and then put it all into a smallish rectangle baking tray.
Pat it down firmly with your hands making sure it is all pressed to the edges.

Bake in the oven for 28-30 minutes until brown all over.

Once it comes out of the oven and is still warm, use a palate knife to cut the mixture into squares.

Cover with a piece of kitchen roll or a tea towel and leave it in the tray for 3-4 hours or overnight till it has cooled. Then you can store the flapjack in an airtight container till it has all been eaten.