Devil’s Cardamom Chocolate Cupcakes
When I was a teen I totally went through that whole Goth phase. We’re talking crushed velvet, milk-like pale skin (which I’m totally naturally guilty of anyway – pass the fake tan, stat!), corsets, black and white stripy tights, and um, Marilyn Manson (and now the barf bag please because yes, I just went there!)
Thankfully, I grew out of it some years later with the exception of some rock music but we’re not talking death screams anymore. However, it has left a lasting strangeness to my soul and might probably be the reason as to why I’m drawn to those types of horror movies, vampires, black roses and strange happenings/things.
Every time Halloween rolls round each year, I remember that phase in my life. My life was like one permanent Halloween party. Another strange thing about myself is I’m a night owl. We’re not just talking staying up each night, I’m talking full on weirdness in my body where I’m literally tired throughout daylight hours then tend to wake up after dusk. Like a vampire!
I wanted to incorporate a little of me, my madness and my goth phase into these cupcakes and I think achieved the perfect balance…
There’s black and blood red roses; both given a bit of glaze and a dusting of black glitter (didn’t think of it then but suppose this could be a nod to the Twilight fans). And of course, not forgetting the bloody bite of a vampire into the victims 1500’s milky white flesh, as you saw in the old school classic vampire movies. This was the first time ever making fondant roses, what do you think?
All rolled into a perfectly moist yet light and fluffy devil’s cardamom chocolate cupcake. Mmm!
Vampire Cardamom Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15-20 mins
Yield: 12 cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
- 10 cardamom pods
- 50g plain (all-purpose) flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 75g ground almonds
- 200g 70% cocoa solids, chocolate, chopped
- 125g unsalted butter
- 130g light brown sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 tbsp brandy
- ¼ tsp salt
FOR THE FROSTING:
- 180g caster (super-fine) sugar
- 1 egg white
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
FOR THE BLACK & RED ROSES:
- 160g white sugarpaste (rolled fondant)
- claret gel or paste food colouring
- red gel or paste food colouring
- black gel or paste food colouring
FOR THE VAMPIRE BITES
- 1 tbsp raspberry conserve (jam)
- Preheat the oven to 180℃/350℉/Gas Mark 4. Place the cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
- Deseed the cardamom pods: split with a knife, empty out the seeds and grind in a pestle and mortar. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cardamom and stir in the ground almonds.
- Set a large bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (ensure the bowl does not touch the water) and melt the chocolate, butter and 1 tbsp water. Alternatively, I opted to do this in the microwave on half power in 30 second bursts. Once melted, remove from the heat and beat in the sugar. Beat the egg yolks into the mixture, a couple at a time, then add the brandy. Fold in the flour mixture and mix lightly together.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Take a big spoonful and fold into the chocolate mixture to loosen, then fold in the rest. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they spring back to the touch. Remove to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting, place all the ingredients with 2 tbsp water into a heatproof bowl standing over a pan of very, very gently simmering water; it must not be boiling. Then with an electric whisk (don’t even try with a hand whisk – eeps!) whisk for approx. 7-10 minutes, or until the icing has increased in volume, is thick and shiny and forms soft peaks. Working quickly, as it will start to set, spread over the cupcakes, swirling with a small palette or kitchen knife.
- To make the roses, colour 80g of sugarpaste (rolled fondant) blood red, using claret and Christmas red gel or paste food colours, and 80g black. Mould your roses and place one to each of eight cupcakes.
- To make the fang marks, simply indent the icing of the 4 remaining cakes with a skewer or small end of a chopstick, and pour in a small amount of raspberry jam, allowing it to ooze over the frosting a little.
What’s your most funniest or embarrassing phase you went through growing up?
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