Christmas Fayre time! Every year our kids' school has a Christmas Fayre in order raise some funds for the school. This year is my youngest's last year at primary school and they have recently introduced a Bake-Off style competition. Well guess whose ears pricked up then! I always help out and donate some cakes but this year is the first time it's been a competition. The categories were Family Favourites, Creative Cupcakes and Festive Showstoppers.
Below is my entry. Chocolate Fudge Christmas Tree Cupcakes.
Unfortunately, as I was attempting to take an amazing photo, this happened:
I patched them up as best I could, cursing those cardboard cupcake stands, but was then too late to enter! Aw well... there's always next year. Oh no, wait...
Still, the other entries were amazing. The winning showstopper was a fantastic Gingerbread house made by an 11 year old in my little girl's class. Must get her round more for some tips! There was also a fantastic chocolate smarties cake, where the pack of sweets is pouring into the cake, and a beautiful reindeer cake. Extremely high standards.
This recipe is a delicious chocolate fudge cupcake, (or scrumptious if you are 10), topped with green buttercream icing piped into Christmas tree shapes and decorated with gold or silver baubles.
Prep and Decorating Time: 1 hour (but do allow time for droppage!) Bake Time: 15-20 mins
For the cupcakes:
200 ml water
85 g butter
85 g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225 g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
For the topping:
100 g butter
200 g icing sugar
Green food colouring
Silver/gold soft pearl sprinkles
White sprinkles for snow (Optional)
You could use any coloured sprinkles as fairy lights or baubles or stars
Heat the oven to 180 C. Prepare a muffin tin with 12 gold (or Christmassy) paper cases.
Place the water, butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
(In fact I didn't allow it to cool, and it still seemed fine!)
Mix the milk, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl, again until it dissolves.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and then add the (cooled!) syrup mixture. Add the milk mixture and then beat in a food mixer until smooth. It will be quite liquidy and gloopy.
Divide the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are well risen and firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
For the icing, beat the butter until really smooth, then add in the icing sugar and beat slowly to start with, to prevent it snowing everywhere, then faster until smooth. Add in the green colouring until you get the colour you want.
Using a small star nozzle, fill a piping bag with the icing and pipe the icing in swirls getting narrower as you go up. Some of my trees were quite lop-sided. And that was before I dropped them!
Decorate with sprinkles, baubles, snow and stars, as you wish.
Did you go to this year's St Paul's Christmas Fayre? Did you taste my trees? I'd love to know what you thought...