Chocolate cupcakes and meringue nests: Juliet Sear’s Easter treats – recipes

Chocolate cupcakes and meringue nests: Juliet Sear’s Easter treats – recipes

Easter is a superb time for baking, and at the moment’s recipes are each household crowdpleasers and ideal for getting youngsters concerned with adorning. The wealthy chocolate cupcake sponge is divine, topped with a swirl of silky ganache icing and playful shards of Easter “bark”. The meringues are super-cute, too: particular person nests dressed with cream, chocolate drizzle and mini eggs.

Brown sugar meringue nests (pictured high)

Prep 30 min
Cook dinner 1 hr
Makes 8-10

For the meringue
3 medium egg whites, at room temperature
150g gentle muscovado sugar
¾ tsp white vinegar, or lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cornflour

For the fillings and ornament
100g milk or darkish chocolate, melted
300ml double cream
1 tbsp
icing sugar (I like unrefined golden)
Mini eggs, ideally of combined sizes

Warmth the oven to 140C (120C fan)/275F/fuel 1, and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Put the egg whites within the bowl of a stand mixer (or, if utilizing an electrical whisk, a big bowl). Add the sugar and vinegar, and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (be certain that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t contact the water). Utilizing a balloon whisk, beat the combination for a couple of minutes, till the sugar dissolves – check by rubbing somewhat of the combo between your fingers: if it feels gritty, keep on cooking and whisking till it feels heat and silky easy.

Utilizing a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or an electrical whisk, beat the combo on excessive velocity till the meringue holds agency, shiny peaks – this will take 10 minutes or longer – then beat within the vanilla and cornflour.

Spoon 8cm blobs of meringue (or about two tablespoons) on to the lined trays, leaving a spot in between every. Neaten the blobs and make little wells in the course of every meringue with the again of a teaspoon.

Bake for 20 minutes, then flip down the warmth to 120C (110C fan)/250F/fuel low and cook dinner for an additional 40 minutes, till crisp on the surface however nonetheless somewhat smooth within the centre. Flip off the oven and go away the meringues inside (with out opening the door) till they’ve fully cooled.

Paint the within of every cooled meringue with melted chocolate, then go away to set. To complete, whip the cream and icing sugar to thick, smooth peaks, then spoon into the meringues. Drizzle over the remaining melted chocolate, fill the meringues with a mixture of mini eggs, and serve.

Wealthy chocolate cupcakes with Easter bark

Juliet Sear’s wealthy chocolate cupcakes with Easter bark.

The key to an ideal chocolate cake is to under-bake it barely, so it stays fudgy as soon as cooled.

Prep 30 min
Cook dinner 20 min
Makes 12-15

For the sponge
175g plain chocolate chips (about 70% cocoa solids)
200g gentle muscovado sugar
g unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing
3 medium eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
125g soured cream, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
150g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
¼ tsp high-quality sea salt

For the frosting
200g darkish chocolate, finely chopped
125g double cream
200g softened butter
400g icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

2-3 tbsp milk, to loosen
A pinch of sea salt, to style

For the bark
250g white chocolate
Mini eggs and sprinkles of your alternative

Warmth the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/fuel 4. Soften the white chocolate for the bark, then pour it over a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper or a silicone sheet. Faucet the sheet on a piece floor to settle the chocolate, then scatter each complete and damaged mini eggs and sprinkles excessive and put in a cool place to set.

For the desserts, put the chocolate, sugar and butter in a heatproof bowlset over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bottom of the bowl contact the water) till it’s all melted, then put aside to chill barely.

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, soured cream and vanilla in a bowl. In one other bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt with a fork. Add the egg combination to the cooled melted chocolate combine, stir, then fold within the dry elements and blend till absolutely mixed.

Spoon the batter into cupcake circumstances in a muffin tray till they’re simply over half crammed, then bake for 15–18 minutes, till risen and virtually cooked by. They’re prepared when a knife comes out barely sticky, however not moist, and never clear, as you’d count on from a vanilla sponge, say. Take away and go away to chill within the muffin tray.

For the frosting, put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Carry the cream to a simmer, then pour it over the chocolate, cowl with a plate for 5 minutes, stir and put aside to chill, however not set arduous.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla slowly with an electrical whisk till mixed, then beat quick till pale and fluffy. Slowly stir within the cooled chocolate cream and salt till mixed; you might want so as to add somewhat milk to loosen the combo. The frosting must be smooth sufficient to pipe however maintain its form when piped. Load right into a piping bag fitted with a big, open, star nozzle and pipe a swirl of frosting on high of every cupcake in a round movement from the surface inwards, build up somewhat top.

Minimize the chocolate bark into shards with a pointy knife, and plunge the items into the frosting in varied instructions to complete.

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