Having bought a new baking book recently - Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery - I felt it was time to put it to the test (and it was a good excuse to bake on a free Saturday afternoon). I decided on the Chocolate Fondant Cupcakes, hoping these might have more of a wow factor than the chocolate cupcakes I made recently.
The recipe was quite simple, which is something I hadn't originally expected from a professional baking book - often the recipes are quite long. I decided to halve the recipe, as the full recipe makes 12-16, which is too many for just me and my other half. However, the halved recipe produced more cakes than I expected! I think the cupcake cases I used were shallower than most cupcake cases, which are generally closer to muffin cases. In any case, the extra batter allowed me to try out my new mini silicon cupcake cases (more on that later).
I also decided to try making icing with creme fraiche, simply because I had some left over which needed to be using. Since cream cheese and cream are both used in various types of icing, I figured it must be possible to make some of icing using creme fraiche too. I used 100g creme fraiche, twice as much icing sugar and then added some cocoa powder. It turned out a little runny but I didn't want to add more icing sugar and make it over sweet. As it was, a little time in the fridge sorted it out enough that it was useable and my other half tried it and said he thought it was quite similar to buttercream (I don't think it is, but I did decide it was perfectly fine as icing).
The icing also serves as a filling for these cupcakes. You can fill cupcakes by scooping out a cone shape of cake, dripping some icing into it, then using the top of the scooped-out cone to cover the filling. I did this, then spread some icing on top of the cupcakes. It dripped down the sides a little, but that gave the cupcakes quite a cute look!
The cake is a lovely, moist sponge cake without being too rich and the filling adds that extra something that was missing from the last recipe. The filling makes the cupcakes more like a dessert which is why I called them chocolate pudding cupcakes.
Unfortunately the cakes I made in the silicon cupcake cases didn't turn out so well! The cake itself is perfect, but I filled them a little full and so they spilled over and the cupcakes looked quite misshapen. I don't know whether it's just me, but I wasn't able to turn the cake out of the cases without breaking them either, so they're staying in the cases and will have to be eaten out of them! I'll be sticking to the paper cases, and maybe trying out some larger cases next time - and there definitely will be a next time, these cupcakes are a real treat!