Dark chocolate cupcakes with truffle icing

Calling all chocoholics – rich, sweet and dangerously moreish, these little dark chocolate cupcakes with truffle icing are the perfect bites to accompany to a cup of strong tea or coffee.

Once you’re prepared the sponges, the two-ingredient icing is a doddle to make, and elevates the cupcakes to another level of luxury. Pile them high on a cake stand or your favourite platter to serve.

Chris Alack

MAKES ABOUT 18

25g cocoa powder
50g unsalted butter diced
100g golden caster sugar
1 medium egg
85g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp baking powder
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
100g dark chocolate (about 70 per cent cocoa solids)
100ml double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180°C fan /gas 6 and arrange 18 paper cases inside fairy cake trays. Pour 100ml boiling water over the cocoa in a small bowl and whisk until smooth, then leave to cool to room temperature.
2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and cream together until pale. Incorporate the egg, the dry ingredients and finally the cocoa solution. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases so they are about half full, and bake in the oven for 17–20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch. Remove and leave to cool. Dust with a little icing sugar if wished.
3. To make the icing, break the chocolate into pieces and place in a small bowl. Bring the cream gently to the boil in a small pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, set aside for a few minutes, and then stir to melt. Leave it a few minutes longer and stir again – you should have a thick glossy cream. Drop a teaspoon of the icing onto each cake and swirl it or spread it decoratively to your liking.

Recipes by Annie Bell. Food styling by Claire Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.