It’s a good day for chocolate. It’s a bit miserable in Melbourne. The sun is hiding, and has been elusive for the past little while. Apparently it’s spring, but some days it’s difficult to tell, what with the clouds, rain and freezing temperatures! Tea is always a good consolation on days such as these – I think tea has become an art form in my house recently. We’ve accumulated over an estimated 20 types of tea (although, I’ve never actually counted…now I’m really curious!), and each morning starts with tea, and each evening often ends with tea too. And in between, if there are two or more people in the house, we’ll often emerge from our work dens, stick our head around the door and say ever so naturally, “tea?”. When you like tea as much as we do, there’s really no need to say “would you like some tea?”, simply saying “tea?” is enough.
But we’ve also become much snobbier in our tea preferences. We now basically only drink one brand of normal, black tea. There was genuine sadness when we ran out of this tea. And yes, we really did run out, and no, we couldn’t just buy more, because, needless to say, this tea is from England. But no, I don’t just mean it’s an English brand, I mean you actually can’t buy it in Australia, at least not easily. So beware: if you’re travelling to the UK anytime soon, you may just be commissioned to bring us back some tea…
But I digress. I was speaking of chocolate (but tea is always fun to talk about). Chocolate is also a good consolation on cloudy and rainy days (although, thankfully, it’s not raining today…yet!). I don’t know why, apart from the fact that it’s comfort food – something about serotonin it seems. But let’s not get too excited – something that yummy can’t be entirely good for us. And besides, I think most health professionals would argue that exercise is the best mood improver there is…But I’m no health professional, so it’s chocolate all-round here! In light of that fact, here are some sweet little chocolate morsels – and these ones have been sweetened all the more by a raspberry frosting! Classic combo that is. But there’s a reason it’s classic – because it’s brilliant.
- Preheat your oven to 150C fan-forced and line a muffin tray with patty pans.
- For the cupcakes, combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the egg, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Add vanilla and boiling water to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the patty pans, filling about 2/3 full
- Bake at 150C for about 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes bounce back after being gently prodded.
- Remove cupcakes from the oven allow to cool on a wire rack.
- In the meantime, make the frosting – beat butter in a stand mixer, until pale and smooth.
- Gradually add 3 cups of the icing sugar and the raspberries, mixing on a low speed until combined.
- Add the rest of the icing sugar and mix until smooth and you have the desired consistency – it needs to be firm, but smooth and thin enough to pipe. When you’re ready, frost the completely cooled cupcakes.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own! To make 1/2 cup of buttermilk, fill the 1/2 cup measure almost full, then top up the rest of the cup with white vinegar or lemon juice (it should be about 1 tbsp of vinegar/lemon juice)
- This is a great, simple recipe because it’s a melt and mix recipe – that’s exactly what it sounds like: you melt the butter and mix everything together. But the only problem with that is the high water content, which means you may get splodges of moisture on the patty pans which ruins the effect a little bit. My advice would be to not be too precious about the patty pans, or use patterned ones where the splodges may not be so visible.