Hidden Heart Cupcakes
Vanilla sponge with a secret heart centre, topped with Champagne-infused
frosting and freeze-dried strawberries: a delicious way to say ‘I love you’ this Valentine’s Day.
For the ‘heart’ sponge
100g self-raising flour
100g golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
2 medium eggs
1tsp good-quality vanilla extract
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp LorAnn Oils Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion (available from Amazon)
For the vanilla cupcake batter
240g plain flour
280g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
80g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
240ml semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
500g icing sugar
160g unsalted butter, softened.
2 tbsp Champagne, or sparkling wine
To make the ‘heart’ sponge:
- Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas Mark 4.
- Mix all ingredients, except colouring, in a food mixer on a medium speed until a smooth batter is formed. Then add the red velvet emulsion, and mix on a slow speed until combined and a uniform colour is achieved.
- Pour into a flat, greased and lined baking tray or brownie tin (a depth of mixture between 10-15mm) and bake for 10-15 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre of the sponge.
- Allow to cool in tray for 5 mins, then remove from tray and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on at same temperature for next stage.)
- Once cool, use a small, heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes (for a perfect fit, the cutter should stand inside the cupcake cases).
To make the cupcakes:
- Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases. *See my ‘Top Tip’ below.
- In a food mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter. Use the paddle attachment and mix until the mixture resembles dry sand in texture.
- In a separate jug/bowl combine the eggs, milk and vanilla extract
and lightly whisk to combine. With the mixer on a low speed, pour the liquid ingredients in a steady stream until about 100ml remains in the jug.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Scrape down the bowl sides and add remaining egg mixture, then continue to mix on a medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour finished batter into cupcake cases to quarter the full level, stand heart shapes in batter and, while holding them upright, steadily pour additional batter around until cases are two-thirds full. The batter should now be surrounding the hearts and keeping them upright.
- Bake on the middle shelf for about 20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre of the cakes.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then remove and transfer to a wire rack.
To make the frosting:
- In a food mixer bowl, add the icing sugar and butter and, with the paddle
attachment, mix on a slow speed until combined. At this point, you may add some colouring to the frosting- gel coloring works best.
- Increase speed to medium, and drizzle in Champagne until fully incorporated. Once fully incorporated incread the speed to high for 2 minutes for a fluffy frosting. (If the frosting becomes too runny, add a little more icing sugar to stiffen it).
- Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with freeze-dried strawberries to complete.
- Pour the remaining champagne into chilled glasses, serve with fresh strawberries and snuggle up with a loved one!
Before they go into the oven, mark/snip the cases to show which way the hearts are
facing so you know the direction in which to cut the finished cakes to show off their full glory.
Happy Valentine’s Day
from Mr. Mom