Happy Valentines Day everyone!
How do you feel about Valentines Day? Do you find it the perfect time to connect with your loved ones? Or do you hate it’s commercialisation, expectations and sickly sweetness?
Hong Kong goes for Valentines in a BIG way. The restaurants will be packed out with tables for two, decorated with pink table clothes and red hearts. Competitive couples take over, tripods set up to take intimate romantic photos as they share their champagne and set menus. The restaurants will manage to squeeze in an early third sitting, I walked past the Stanley waterfront restaurants at about 5.30 tonight and there were already plenty of couples sipping drinks, flowers and presents being proudly shown off on the table. Even as a lover of Valentines Day, this is all a bit too much for me! We’ll be celebrating at home, hiding away from all the cupid clipart and heart shaped balloons.
These little cupcakes will be perfect if you’re celebrating valentines over the weekend, but they’re not too ‘cute’ to be acceptable the rest of the year.
The cake itself is a very moist and a little bit gooey. I’ve taken the concept behind this cake and used it to make delicious little cupcakes with a raspberry secret hiding in the middle. The raspberry buttercream comes from here. It’s made with fresh raspberries and is sweet and tangy, sitting beautifully against the rich chocolate. It also colours the buttercream beautifully pink without the need for any suspiciously garish food colourings.
I hope whatever you’re doing this valentines day you’re finding time to be with someone special.
Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
(Makes 9 cupcakes)
for the cupcakes
115g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
45g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
125ml full fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
65ml oil (any flavourless oil will do, i used corn oil)
125ml boiling water
for the raspberry buttercream
170g unsalted butter at room temperture
240g icing sugar, sifted
130g fresh raspberries, plus additional raspberries for decorating
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa powder.
In a separate jug, beat in the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract.
Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together.
Pour in the boiling water and mix until well combined.
Divide between 9 cupcake cases, the mixture should come to just over half way up the case. The mixture will be very runny so the easiest way is to put it into a jug and pour into the cases.
Drop a raspberry into the middle of each cupcake.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until firm to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream.
In a food processor, blend the raspberries until liquid.
Push through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Beat together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla extract and raspberry liquid until smooth and creamy.
Spread or pipe onto your cupcakes and decorate with extra raspberries or flakes of dark chocolate.