Last Thursday I wanted to make chocolate cupcakes with orange topping for Halloween. I thought the combination of dark sponge, orange topping, and dark chocolate sprinkles would look nice.
It did not work out as planned. I mixed yellow and red food coloring in order to get orange, but got some kind of salmon-pink color. It looked a bit like thousand island dressing – not appetizing. I preferred not to add the color to the topping. The cupcakes still look nice with dark sponge, cream-colored topping, and dark chocolate sprinkles, don´t they?
For the topping I made a cream cheese topping by Linda Lomelino, from call-me-cupake.blogspot.se. She uses it for her Hazelnut Chocolate Minicupcakes, but says that the topping goes with “almost everything”. She´s right. The topping is light, not too sweet, and simple and quick to prepare. I´ll definitely make this topping more often!
6,7 oz. (190 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free (Lindt 70%, Merci 72 %)
¾ cups (170 g) butter
2 cups (200 g) ground hazelnuts
½ cup (50 g) ground almonds
½ cup (50 g) flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs, room temperature
1 pinch of salt
¾ cup (70 g) powdered sugar
10.7 oz. (300 g) cream cheese
1¼ cup (300 ml) whipping cream
1 tbsp. Vanilla sugar (no vanillin)
¾ cup (85 g) powdered sugar, sieved
Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Put cupcake-liners into a muffin baking tray. I have an average Austrian muffin baking tray and get 18 muffins with this amount of batter. I therefore prepare two muffin baking trays (one for twelve muffins, one for six muffins ) and bake one tray after the other.
Break the chocolate into small pieces. Cut the butter into small cubes. Put chocolate and butter into a small pot. Melt in a double boiler, or on the oven over very low heat (which is what I usually do).
In a bowl, combine hazelnuts, almonds, flour and baking powder.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, powdered sugar and salt with a hand mixer or a kitchen machine at high speed until the mixture is fluffy and light yellow.
Turn the hand mixer or the kitchen machine down to low speed. Slowly pour the chocolate-butter-mixture into the egg-mixture. Keep beating while doing this. The mixtures have to combine well. (I prefer to do this with a whisk and not a mixer. The chocolate-mixture is heavier than the egg-mixture and will sink to the bottom of the bowl. With a whisk, I can reach the sunken chocolate-mixture better than with a mixer.)
Carefully fold in the hazelnut-mixture.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, each ⅔ full.
Bake for about 20 minutes. They will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool.
Beat the whipping cream in a bowl.
In a second bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar.
Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture. Whip until the mixture is smooth and firm. If the topping is runny, put it in the fridge for a while.
Fill the topping into an icing bag and decorate the cupcakes with the topping. If you do not have an icing bag, spoon the topping onto the cupcakes and spread it with a butter knife. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles.
The topping will last for 12 cupcakes.
Sponge adapted from: Gruber, R. (2013, 2. Aufl.), 130g Liebe. Wien: Christian Brandstätter Verlag.
Topping adapted from: call-me-cupcake.blogspot.se