The surprise inside range are cupcake fillings (available in chocolate, lemon and salted caramel) that come in their own little squeezy bottles designed to make filling your cakes even easier. I’ve never made filled cupcakes before, regular ones have always done just fine, so I was excited to try these out for two reasons. Firstly, if the fillings tasted nice, it would save tons of preparation and cooking time in future by not making them from scratch (time that could be better spent eating all the leftover raw cake batter, amiright?) but even more importantly, not having to cut the cake open or use a piping bag means no extra mess or washing up. And I hate washing up.
I decided the chocolate fillings would be perfect to make some gooey, muddy chocolate bites for the novelty flower pot cases I bought in the lakeland sale a while ago. I made a very simple chocolate sponge (adapted from this recipe), squeezed the chocolate filling in and then topped with green chocolate buttercream and fondant flowers. I’d never worked with fondant before ever and even though this wasn't very ambitious I was really surprised how easy it actually was. I ended up being in a bit of a rush to get the cakes together so I didn't have time to take photos of the process for any of the filling or decorating but it really was straightforward. I probably won't be using these cake cases again because despite them being silicone and tiny, most of the cake got stick inside the cases and wouldn't come out, but otherwise the rest of the recipe went smoothly.
With their spring theme, I thought these cupcakes would be perfect to take with me last weekend to the #EastMidsMeetUp picnic. Unfortunately after a long train ride, by the time I made it to the picnic all the cakes were a little melted, but then again, my piping skills still pretty much suck so maybe this was a good thing. Either way I had a great time talking to some lovely bloggers and eating silly amounts of food. I bloody love picnics. We've got some more meets planned for later in the year so if you're a Midlands blogger and want to join a group of supportive ladies for chats and meets, keep an eye on Twitter for more details.
For more of what we got up to at the meet, check out the girls blogs - Carpet Diem Emmie, Chelsea Potter, Ellie Kathleen, Coco Butter Blog, Twisted Beauty, and Kirsty Ralph.
One final sidenote, I am now on yummly, a fantastic site full of all the food porn you could ever want, so you can make it easier to save my recipes and any others that you like the look of to your yummly profile for later. Check out my yummly profile here but first, give these chocolate cupcakes a try...
Surprise Inside Chocolate Cupcakes
110g of caster sugar
110g of butter
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tbsp of cocoa powder
1 packet of Dr Oetker surprise inside chocolate cupcake centres*
200g icing sugar
1tsp cocoa powder
Gel food colourings (assorted colours)
50g ready to roll icing
Start by creaming the butter and sugar together until smooth, then whisk in the eggs and milk. Sift in the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and stir until the batter is smooth and well combined.
Bake at 180c for 15 minutes.
Wait until the cupcakes are cool enough to touch, then fill by inserting the nozzle on the surprise inside packet into the cupcake (for a large cupcake you'll probably want to insert it fully) then squeeze the sauce inside. Repeat for the rest of the cupcakes and then leave to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, soften the butter and slowly whisk in the icing sugar and cocoa powder until it becomes smooth and thick. Stir in the food colouring if using and then add more icing sugar if needed. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle with the icing and pipe spirals on to the top of the cakes. If you don't have a piping bag you can fill a food bag and simply cut off a small corner.
To make the flowers, sprinkle a surface with icing sugar then cut off a lump of the fondant icing, squeeze one of your chosen colours of food colouring on top of the icing and knead until the colour is consistent. Add more icing sugar if it gets too sticky. Sprinkle some more icing sugar on to the surface then roll out the icing with a small rolling pin or other round object and use the flower stamp to cut out small flowers to place on top of the buttercream. Repeat this step for as many colours or shapes as needed.
Let the icing set in the fridge before serving.