Christmas Tree Cupcakes
Preparation time 50 mins plus cooling Baking time 20 mins Makes 12For the cakes:
- 100g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids
- 125g butter, softened
- 165g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 190g self raising flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- 125ml milk
- 800g icing sugar, sifted
- 400g butter, softened
- Multicoloured sugar sprinkles
- 50g ready to roll yellow fondant icing
- Gold lustre dust (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases of your choice. Break up the chocolate into chunks and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder using a metal spoon then add the milk and melted chocolate.
- Spoon or pipe the mixture into the muffin cases so they are about ¾ full and bake for 20 mins or until well risen and lightly firm to the touch. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
- For the icing, beat the butter until smooth and soft then gradually stir in the icing sugar. When you have added all the icing sugar, beat for 2-3 mins then add several drops of green food colouring.
- Spoon the butter icing into a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe the icing into a high peaked swirl to create the tree effect. Decorate with multicoloured sprinkles.
- Roll out the fondant icing to a thickness of 3mm and cut out using a mini star cutter. Allow to dry for an hour then use a clean paint brush to cover with gold lustre dust if desired. Alternatively, for a quick option use ready made fondant stars. Add a star to the top of each cake.