Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chocolate - Gingerbread Christmas Cupcakes

Nigella Lawson names these cupcakes “somewhere between chocolate and gingerbread”. I would say they taste 75% of gingerbread and 25% of chocolate. These cupcakes are the perfect Christmas cupcakes! Normally, chocolate cupcakes are my least favorite kind, but with the holidays I really enjoy them. The gingerbread flavor comes from using instant coffee. I was a little apprehensive about this, since I don’t like coffee, but they turned out great! Nigella Lawson uses instant royal icing, I used a buttercream frosting. Looking back, I wished I had used a chocolate frosting, because that would have really brought out the chocolate flavor in the cupcakes. If you’re looking for a great chocolate frosting click here. Rating: the cake itself gets a 4.5, had I used a chocolate frosting I’m sure I would have rated them 5 out of 5, but now they get a 3.5. The combination of chocolate – gingerbread and buttercream just isn’t what it ought to be.

Chocolate - Gingerbread Christmas Cupcakes recipe: Nigella Lawson - How To Be A Domestic Goddess

Ingredients:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice (I combined some ginger, cinnamon and allspice)
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup soft unsalted butter
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ cup boiling water
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons instant royal icing (click here for a chocolate frosting recipe)

Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. (I think 400°F for cupcakes is too high, so I set the oven at 375°F)
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, mixed spice and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and then beat in a third of the flour mixture followed by a tablespoon of the sour cream, repeating till all is used up.
- Put the water, chocolate, and instant coffee in a pan and heat gently, just until the chocolate is melted. Fold this into the cake batter, but don’t overbeat. The mixture will be very thin, but don’t worry about that: just pour carefully into the waiting muffin cups and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, until each little cake is cooked through but still dense and damp. (mine weren’t that dense and damp) Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slip out the cakes in their papers and sit on a wire rack until completely cold.


I have yet to find a chocolate cupcake recipe that doesn't produce cracked toppings! I don't mind it though, I think it looks very home-made.


Sugar-covered marshmallows. The little Christmas trees are my favorite.


Three icing colors later: Chocolate - Gingerbread Christmas Cupcakes!


I LOVE these cupcakes, they're so perfect for Christmas! But next time I'll use a chocolate frosting, I think that would really bring out the chocolate flavor of the cake.

11 comments:

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

These look lovely, I like how you've decorated them. I prefer big squidgy stuff on cupcakes instead of gritty sprinkles.

By coincidence I have some gingerbread cupcakes based on a Nigella Domestic Goddess recipe on my blog at the moment too. I used the gingerbread with lemon icing recipe without the icing and divided it into paper cases instead of using a loaf tin. It was highly successful and I recommend you try it some time. I hadn't noticed she actually had a specific gingerbread cupcake recipe in there so I must check that out too.

love lives in the kitchen said...

how cute! lovely to watch and yummy to eat!
have a sweet day,
justyna

Chocolaty Lifestyle said...

Chocolate + Gingerbread spices must be so, so yummy! I'd rate them 5 out of 5 as they are looking heavenly! :)

Kristin said...

Those are just beautiful. LOVE the vibrant colors!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Love the frostings....great job

Alicia (The Red Deer) said...

Awww so pretty!

Catherine said...

YOUR CUPCAKES ARE REALLY LOVELY! i must try to make some;

ABowlOfMush said...

These are wayyy too much fun!!
so beautifully decorated!

Happy Christmas :)

apparentlyjessy said...

Yum Yum YUM! I am making gingerbread cupcakes tomorrow, I hope they turn out looking as lovely and tasty as yours do!

Eliana said...

you did such a good job with the decoration on these - they look awesome.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

So wonderfully festive. The people who get to admire these in person and eat your treats are so lucky :).