Go potty for these Easter cakes
Vegetable garden pot cupcakes
You will need:
24 classic chocolate cupcakes (see below)
1/2 batch milk chocolate ganache (see below)
24 mini terracotta pots (about 7.5cm)
About 10 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed (cream filling left in)
24 each orange and purple Starburst Fruit Chews
18 red Starburst Fruit Chews
Very small sprigs fresh mint
Bake the cupcakes as directed and let cool completely.
Make the ganache to pouring consistency.
Place a cooled cupcake into each mini terracotta pot, pushing it down to just below the pot's rim. Spoon a little ganache over the top of each cupcake, ensuring it does not drip over the side of the pot.
Sprinkle with crushed cookies to create "dirt”.
Cut the orange Starbursts in half. Roll each piece and taper the tips to resemble small carrots.
Cut the purple Starbursts in half. Roll each piece into a ball and taper the tips to resemble beetroots.
Cut each of the red Starbursts into quarters. Roll each piece into a ball and taper at the bottom to resemble radishes.
Using a toothpick or skewer, poke a small hole in the top of each of the "vegetables” and insert a sprig of mint.
Divide the "vegetables” into groups of 2 carrots, 2 beetroots and a small bunch of 3 radishes. Scrape back a little of the cookie "dirt” to reveal fresh ganache before sticking the "vegetables” on to the cupcakes.
Classic chocolate cupcakes
225g salted butter, at room temperature
315g caster sugar
225 ml water, at room temperature
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
340g plain flour, sifted
55g unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 160C (FF) or 180C (standard). Line 24 holes of a cupcake tin with paper liners.
In a mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until combined. Add the water, eggs, oil and vanilla and beat on low speed until all ingredients are just combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 11/2 to 2 minutes.
Using a spoon or ice-cream scoop, fill each hole about two-thirds full with batter. Bake until the centre of a cupcake springs back when touched, for fan-forced cook for 15 to 17 minutes, checking at 15 minutes. For a standard oven, cook for 20 to 22 minutes, checking first at 18 minutes, then each minute thereafter. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Milk chocolate ganache
300 ml thin (pouring) cream
650g milk chocolate
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until there are no lumps.
Image and recipes from Sweet! Celebrations by Elise Strachan (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99).