Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Crystallized Mint Leaves

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes


This is the last recipe I tested from Fiona Cairns Bake & Decorate. The cake tasted great. The brown sugar and ground almonds made it a little different than every other chocolate cake. The frosting left a lot to be desired. This was the only thing I made from the book that I wasn’t crazy about. The ratio of butter to sugar didn’t seem right to me. It tasted like a lump of butter and wasn’t fluffy at all. I ended up changing it slightly and it ended up going really well with the chocolate cake.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes


I don’t even remember the last time I frosted a cupcake with a spatula! It’s not easy to get it to look like the ones at Hummingbird or Magnolia! I like these short videos from youtube here and here showing how it’s done.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes


I’m definitely getting a little more brave and trying different decorating techniques. It’s hard to tell from the picture but I made crystallized mint leaves for the toppers. A few of them came out perfect the rest were a little too lumpy.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
adapted from Fiona Cairns Bake & Decorate with permission from Quadrille (makes 24)

Ingredients

Chocolate Mint Cake
175g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g dark mint chocolate
120ml boiling water
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
100g ground almonds
275g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs beaten
150ml buttermilk

Crystallized Mint Leaves
Mint leaves
1 egg white
caster sugar

Peppermint Buttercream
200g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar, sifted (I ended up using around 400-450g)
green food coloring
1 tsp peppermint extract
I also added about 4-6tbs tablespoons of milk

1. Make the crystallized mint leaves first. They take several hours to dry so make them the night before if possible. Take 24 mint leaves removed from the stalks. Put the egg and caster sugar in separate bowls. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used my non stick pan and didn’t bother).

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes


2. Brush each leaf on the side that will be displayed with the egg white and sprinkle with the sugar. Shake any excess off. Place on the baking sheet egg side up. Place in an airing cupboard to dry. Not sure who has one of these anymore! I put mine on top of the tumble dryer. Be careful when removing they are very delicate.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
3. Time to make the cake! Preheat the oven to 180 C and line muffin tin with paper liners. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a medium sized bowl and pour 120ml of boiling water over top. Stir until melted and set aside.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
4. In another small bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder. Stir in the ground almonds.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
5. With an electric mixer cream together the butter and the sugar on medium high speed in a large bowl until creamy (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla extract to the beaten eggs. Add the eggs in a steady stream (continue mixing) to the butter mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
6. Add in the melted chocolate and the buttermilk. Fold in the flour mixture. Divide batter between cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
Don’t worry if it looks lumpy that’s just the ground almonds
7. Make the buttercream by creaming the butter and 250g icing sugar together. Gradually add more icing sugar. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is light and fluffy.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
8. Add in the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Spread on each cupcake with a spatula and top with a crystallized mint leaf.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

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