We're not strictly soaking up new knowledge today as there's not a lot here that's new, but I thought I'd like to tell you about my cupcake experimenting. Cupcakes, I have to say, are awfully trendy, which has sort of put me off them a bit. I've never really been a trendy girl, as many of you will know. I started baking brownies only years after everyone else did, I started wearing leggings only when they became mainstream, and the phrase "lol" has never and will never cross my fingertips (that didn't count).
I kept away from cupcakes for a long time because I didn't see a great need for them in my life and, if faced with a choice, I would always go for a slab of cake rather than a cupcake. But I concede, they are quite fun to bake, fun for kids (well, other people's. Mine won't eat them) and, it turns out, fun to have in the freezer.
You see I've been baking chocolate cupcakes with glucose and putting them in my freezer. When I just fancy a bit of a treat I have something only moments away that is a real treat but is also fructose free. It saves me from being tempted to dig in to the chocolate tin or find something else that is fructose-laden. I highly recommend it, as long as your need for a treat isn't a twice daily occurrence.
As you know, I've been experimenting a bit with different chocolate cake recipes and have transferred this to my cupcakes. Sophie Gray's Dana's Chocolate Cake has been my favourite standard chocolate cake recipe for quite a while, and Annabel Langbein's Ultimate Chocolate Cake is, at this point, a very close second with its stunning centre but dry edges (I must try it again to see if I can solve that problem). I tried Annabel's recipe as cupcakes, but Dana's is still my favourite even in the cupcake stakes. Last time I thought I'd sneak a good idea from Annabel's recipe and used some yoghurt in place of milk in the Dana recipe and it was a hit.
To save you looking up the recipe again I'll put it down for you here with cupcake baking times and that yoghurt addition (but do just use milk if you don't have any yoghurt). You may like to halve the recipe and you'll still get plenty of cupcakes.
May I also take this opportunity to say please, please, please don't be nervous about trying glucose in your icing, it's definitely sweet enough, tastes fantastic and is better for you. Do you need a recipe for normal old icing? Soften a wedge of butter, beat it hard with lots of spoonfuls of glucose (in place of icing sugar) and a spoonful of cocoa. Let me know if you'd like something more scientific than that.
Thanks to Sophie Gray for the recipe below, with a small adjustment from me.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups glucose/dextrose (or sugar)
2/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
100 grams melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put all ingredients in to a food processor and mix.
Pour in to cupcake cases in muffin tins (or straight in to greased muffin tins if you like).
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 180 degrees.