Red Velvet Cupcakes filled with Chocolate Fondant
Definitely not one for the diet! They’re extremely rich but oh so good. This is a recipe adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery. This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes.
For the sponge:
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs (free range)
- 20g cocoa powder
- 40ml red food colouring*
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 240ml buttermilk
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the chocolate fondant filling:
- 400g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 400ml double cream
For the frosting:
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 600g icing sugar, sifted
- 250g full fat cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F)/Gas Mark 5m and line a muffin tin with muffin cases*.
Using a hand-held electric whisk or a stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attachment cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Break in the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
In a separate, small bowl stir together the cocoa powder, food colouring and vanilla essence to form a paste. Add the paste to the batter, mixing thoroughly until the paste is completely incorporated
Sift together the flour and salt in another bowl, then add the flour to the batter in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing thoroughly after each addition. In another bowl, mix the vinegar and bicarb together by hand and add it to the cake batter, mixing it in until it is fully incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the paper cases so that they are two thirds full.
Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a while in the tin and then place on a wire rack to cool completely
For the filling, place the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat just to boiling point. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, give it a stir and then leave until all the chocolate has melted. Stir again until smooth, then cover with cling film and leave to cool.
Place the cooled cupcakes on a board and hollow out the centre of each cake using a sharp knife. Set aside the cut out piece to one side, then using a teaspoon, fill the hollow of each cake with the chocolate fondant filling. Place the cut-out pieces of sponge on top of the filling like a lid, trimming the pieces to fit if needed.
For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until no large lumps of butter remain and the mixture is a sandy texture. Add the cream cheese and mix together slowly until everything is incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting until it is soft and fluffy (approx 3-5 mins). Be careful not to over mix as this will cause it to go runny. Pipe the frosting onto the cakes, then drizzle over some of the left over chocolate fondant if you have some.
Tips and things to do differently
*For the red food colouring, do not use natural colouring, it needs to be as bright as possible to get a good red sponge. Cochineal is the best to use, but note that this is not vegetarian. I used natural food colouring for these ones as that’s all my tesco carries, and as you can see they’re not that good of a red.
*If you’re in the UK, muffin cases are the best to use as cupcake cases here are really small. If you’re in the US, your cupcake cases are probably the right size.
Make sure you use full fat cream cheese for the frosting or it will not go fluffy, it’ll be runny and gross.
Another way to decorate them is to set aside one cupcake before filling and frosting. Once the others are filled and frost, put the remaining cupcake in a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs, then sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with the red crumbs (this is the classic way of decorating red velvet cupcakes)