Designer Chocolate Baby Grands


I am back.  And very grateful that this week was easy cupcakes.   I was desperate to get back into baking and blogging, but I really couldn't have faced anything more complicated than this recipe this week.  Thank goodness the Lemon Meringue Cake is next week.  Things have been pretty busy. 

Drinking loads of G&T's whilst watching the sunset was pretty hard work.  I think the little assistant bounced his way up and down that paddling pool about eleventy thousand times a day.  He is an absolute fish.

And then we returned from holiday, just in time for me to get on another plane for Philly (where it tipped with rain - but happily I scored the much coveted Williams & Sonoma Sydney Opera House pan).  Then back home to whip up an approximation of a tractor cake for the Little Assistant's second birthday (under all that toxic coloured icing is Rose's HCB Carrot cake).  He was a bit disappointed that the wheels didn't turn and that he couldn't race it with his other tractors.  I am just glad that he recognised that it was actually a tractor!  I am no Faithy, that is for sure.  And I am pretty sure that no one will be approaching me to take on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

So to this weekend.  I baked the tiers of this coming weekends wedding cake.  A 6 inch and 12 inch of the German Chocolate Cake (definitely well practiced for when it came time to make these cupcakes), a 9 inch of the chocolate covered strawberry cake and then a 12 inch of the carrot cake.  I think the 12 inch chocolate cake will be relegated to the kitchen for slicing and dicing.

I think this will be the last wedding cake I make for a while... my husband felt like a widower and I felt like I spent far too much time washing out the Kenwood bowl.

So by the time Sunday night rolled around, I was definitely in the baking groove, albeit a groove sans cake flour.  I made these with the All Purpose and cornflour mix as per Rose's note.  The result was that these cupcakes weren't as tender as with the cake flour.  This recipe is quick and easy... so much so, that Rose brings in some faff factor with paper lined silver cupcake cakes, greased and floured.  As you can probably guess, I didn't grease and flour my cupcakes, nor did I bother with the silver lined fancy. 

This is a cocoa and hot water based cake - no actual chocolate in the cake.  To this egg yolks and oil are beaten in until it looks like amazing butter cream (but tastes pants aka awful).  Then the AP/Cake flour is mixed in, in two batches, then the egg whites.  And then as you are scraping down the sides of the bowl because you couldn't find a beater blade during your 48 hour sojourn in Phily, you get some cake mix on your hand.  And instead of wiping it off, you *accidentally* lick your hand.  Which is actually fortuitous, because then you discover it still tastes pants, because the sugar was missed out.  Hmmm, mise en place anyone? 
Once baked, you have to stab the cupcakes with a skewer (or the stem of your Thermapen) then brush them with ganache.  I didn't brush my ganache.  As soon as I saw it pooling all glossy like, I called these done and dispensed with the additional faff of the chocolate glaze.  Plus there was no room in my cupcake cases to take any glaze.  That might have had something to do with my inability to count.  Rose instructed that this recipe should make fourteen.  I got twelve.  I am happy with twelve.  One pan to wash instead of two.  No glaze to make.  Result.

In the end, I think the glaze would have been one step too far.  For the cupcake.  For the baker.  And probably also for my marriage. 

These chocolate cupcakes were okay, but for me, I prefer the Chocolate Butter Cupcakes.  Which I see, annoyingly, I did not blog about.  But I did actually make them.  And they were amazing.  These were just okay.  Too much chocolate for these tastebuds.  Or maybe I just baked too many cakes this weekend.

Next week - Lemon Meringue Cake.  Oh, and a three tier wedding cake with white chocolate buttercream encased in white chocolate cigarillos with fresh strawberries, plus a chocolate cake on the side.  I had better organise things so that my husband gets out for a ride on his motorbike this weekend.  It is much easier to be a baking widower if you aren't chasing a two year old around a park.


  1. What a funny read!!

    Bravo to you for several reasons. Happy birthday to your little one. His tractor cake turned out wonderfully. Congratulations on your new cake pan. I just got one myself - LOVE it!!!

    Hope your week goes well.


  2. Nicola! So glad you're back! Love the tractor cake. Can't believe you've done all this baking after a vacation. That's fortitude. And thank you for increasing my vocabulary-faff is my new favorite word.

  3. Nicola, welcome back! Love the tractor cake, looks like your little one is having a blast with it.
    Funny, I love this cupcake more than the chocolate butter ones.
    Ditto to baking uninterrupted. I know I'm more productive (and concentrated) when it's just me in the kitchen.

  4. Welcome back Nicola.. you were missed.. but, then if I had that type of view... I would not want to be back either. hehe.

    I have to disagree.. I think you are a great cake maker.. that tracker cake looks amazing.. I cannot even pipe worth salt, so I'm truly impress when other people turn cake into something amazing - hats off to you!

    Like you I'm looking forward to the lemon Meringue cake as well... or, actually Tom is really looking forward to that... I'm just the baker around here :)

  5. Yay! Welcome back! I think your tractor if awesome! It's fabulous!! I thought the tires look great..the texturing! :D Your son is soo cute and adorable! Love that photo of him with the cake!

    Your cupcakes looks wonderfully delicious too!

    LOL! I was wondering what G&Ts were for a while..took me sometime to get!

  6. Your cupcakes look great, and fun story - I don't know where you could possibly get the energy to do all you do!


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