It’s December, so it means I no longer have to feel guilty posting about Christmas baking! I’ll be sharing some Christmas recipes over the next few weeks, so first up, we’ve got chocolate and cherry cupcakes, infused with chocolate brandy mousse.
I’m not the biggest fan of normal buttercream as I find it can be too sickly, so I’ve opted for a mascarpone and whipped cream concoction instead. Feel free to substitute in what you prefer though! I find that if I refrigerate this as soon as I’ve made it, the frosting holds its shape a lot better.
The sponge itself is a simple chocolate cake, with added cherries (or if like me, you forget to add the cherries, you can always add it in when you fill the centre with brandy mousse).
I would suggest making the brandy mousse first as it will give it time to set whilst the cakes are baking. Again, you can substitute the brandy for alcohol of a different variety if you wish.
Decorate with some Christmassy edibles and you’re good to go!
- 125g plain chocolate
- 155ml whole milk
- 275g light brown sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 180g plain flour
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 8g cocoa powder
- 50g glace cherries
- 90ml double cream
- 1tbsp granulated sugar
- 85g chocolate chips
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1tbsp brandy
- 400g mascarpone
- 100g icing sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.
- Melt the plain chocolate, milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir. Leave aside to cool.
- Cream together the butter and remaining sugar.
- Add eggs to butter mixture and stir in.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder. Add to butter mixture and combine.
- Pour chocolate mixture into butter mixture and fold in.
- Halve the cherries, then stir into mixture.
- Bake for 12-15 mins, until sponges spring back when lightly pressed.
- Pour 30ml of double cream, sugar and brandy into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until sugar has dissolved.
- Take off the heat and stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until well combined.
- Whip the remaining 60ml of double cream until soft peaks form, then fold into chocolate mixture.
- Leave in fridge to set.
- Whisk the mascarpone until it softens slightly, leave aside.
- Whisk the double cream, adding icing sugar slowly until soft peaks form.
- Fold mascarpone into whipped cream until combined.
- Check to see if it's sweet enough for your taste! If not, add more icing sugar.
- Put in fridge to firm up before piping.
- Once cupcakes have cooled, cut out a small piece from the centre and fill the cupcake with 1tsp (approx.) of brandy mousse.
- Put the piece you cut out back into the cake, then pipe frosting to finish.
- There's also the option of adding a small splash of brandy to the cake before you add the brandy mousse - depends how boozy you lilke it!