Why not treat your special someone to a chocolatey surprise this Valentine's day with these cute little cupcakes!
170g softened butter/margarine
170g caster sugar
3 x large eggs, mixed together briefly
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp milk
125g softened butter
150g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
Decoration: Red fondant icing
You will need: a 12 case muffin tray, a piping bag and nozzle of your choice (not essential), a rolling pin and some small heart-shaped cutters.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas 4 / 180°C and line a 12 tin muffin tray with paper cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated with the butter and sugar. If it starts to curdle, seive a tbsp or two of the flour into the mixture and continue.
Now seive and gently fold in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and milk until fully combined.
Spoon the mixture equally between the cases and place in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Once cooked, remove from the muffin tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
While you are waiting for them to cool you can prepare the buttercream and decorations. Cream the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence together until it becomes light, fluffy and paler in colour.
On a clean, smooth surface dusted lightly with icing sugar, roll out the red fondant icing and cut out your heart shapes. Leave to one side until you are ready to assemble.
Once the cakes have cooled, fill your piping bag with the buttercream and pipe a swirl onto each cupcake. If you don't have a piping bag simply swirl the buttercream onto the cupcakes using a knife. Finish by placing the red fondant hearts onto the cupcakes and enjoy with your Valentine!