Black & White Cupcakes

Many thanks to The Guardian Online for this delicious sounding recipe, an absolute classic.

Ingredients:
115g dark chocolate
85g butter
175g soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs (separated)
185g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
250ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dark chocolate (to decorate)

Vanilla buttercream
115g butter
60ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C / gas mark 5. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and smooth. Slowly add the egg yolks and beat well. Next, add the melted chocolate and beat again.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Measure the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract. Alternatively add the flour and the milk to the main mixture, beating well.
  5. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks have formed. Then carefully fold this into the main batter.
  6. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cases to two-thirds full. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes, until raised and golden.
  7. Once cool, ice with vanilla buttercream (recipe below) and decorate with shavings of chocolate.
  8. For the frosting: Beat together the butter, milk and vanilla extract, and half the icing sugar.
  9. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat to a smooth buttercream.
  10. Keep any unused icing in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

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