cupcakes you say(I made these chestnut cupcakes a while ago and forgot to post! Naughty me. But never too late for fairy cakes, eh? Based on a recipe I found here. Followed that with some tweaks – my version is below, nicely metricised as well)

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Chestnut Cupcakes with Chocolate (Kate) Ganache ♥♥♥ – makes at the least 12, probably some more depending on how much you fill the cases innit.

APPARATUS

one big bowl, one medium bowl, one little bowl
2 x cake baking trays
cake cases
wooden spoon
tongue to lick spoon with
electric whisk or well-developed biceps (mmmm Yamapi’s arms mmmmm)
blender multiprick thing

OPTIONAL
1 x laptop computer to watch Proposal Daisakusen on for the aforementioned Yamapi’s arms omg like seriously he was wearing a white vest and oh god NRGRGHHHH ihwsi fuohsauioghighuiahuiohuig I nearly died.

INGREDIENTS

110g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
200g sugar (i used half caster/half golden caster here)
80-100g chesnuts! (i used frozen ones – will explain what I did with these shortly)
110g room temperature butter plus a splodge more (a teaspoon cut off the side did me)
250ml semi-skimmed milk (plus an extra splash)
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 big eggys
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract* (tho, see note below about this)

CHOCOLATE KATE ‘GANACHE’ (here we get way more inexact as I just hoofed this entirely)
A “big bar” (100g or so?) of any fair-trade dark chocolate, I used something that was 72% cocoa solids but I can’t remember the brand, sry
Splodge of that semi-skimmed milk from before
Splodge of the butter as well

METHOD

1. Preheat yr oven to 180C

2. Add 1tsp of rice vinegar (but I guess any vinegar will do!) to 250ml milk and leaving it to sit and curdle itself for at least 10 mins, or however long it takes you to do steps 3-5 :)

2. sift your flour and bicarb into a medium size bowl. You can do this whilst step 3 is boiling if you want…

3. OK, some explanation here – you want to somehow obtain a chestnut puree. I suppose you could just use store bought chestnut puree and save yrself f-d but I had some chestnuts in the freezer so here is what I did; Boil up your chestnuts and get them nice and soft and plonk them in a bowl. Get out multiprick and whizz the chestnuts. You will note with some dismay it is not quite a smooth puree so add your splodge of butter and splash of milk and don’t worry! it will ALL BE OKAY. Leave the chestnuts to the side for now cos they’ll have to cool off a bit whilst you…

4. Cream together your butter and sugar in the big bowl – I used an electric whisk but you don’t have to, just get it nice and fluffy, lots of beating. Then, add your eggs one at a time, beat some more. Then add your chesnut puree! And yep, beat more some! Plonk in the vanilla essence at this stage too.

5. Add the dry stuff (flour and bicarb) and fold it in in bits, alternating with your fake buttermilk mixture that you made in step 2. Taste some of it! Nom nom.

6. When all nicely mixed together, stick your cake cases in your tin and put a tablespoon of mix in each one – mine didn’t rise that much so don’t worry about overfilling as much.

7. BAAAAAAKE! 25 mins turning once, shifting the stuff round from lower shelf to top shelf if your oven is as bloody tempramental as mine.

8. Cool on wire rack. Or whatever.

KATE GANACHE:

Break up your chocolate and melt it in MARIE’S BATH (bain marie = glass bowl suspended over boiling water so the steam nicely melts your choc). Stir stir, lovely melty chocolate nom nom. You want it to get to a nice smooth consistency so it can go on the top of your cupcakes, so add in milk veery gradually and stir around – it will look like it’s going a bit gritty but it will smooth out – add a wee bit of butter towards the end as well. As a ‘guide’, my mixture went a little lighter brown rather than the original very dark as a result of adding the milk… then I added it to the cupcakes by dipping the back of a spoon in the kate ganache and then laying the spoon on top of the cupcakes. It was a little messy but sadly the decor of cupcakes isn’t my strong point.

*Feedback: sadly no taste of chestnuts remained at the end. JUST as they came out the oven there was something nice and subtle there, but as they cooled it just went away. And for some reason we got a strange tang of… orange?? I just don’t even KNOW, you guys. I’m not sure whether I should be using more chestnuts, or whether a different type of sugar would bring out the chestnut flavour rather than overwhelm it. Also, you’ll see I used vanilla extract there – I’m not sure if that was actually necessary here, if I were trying it again I don’t think I’d use it, or if you MUST, just the tiniest splash you can fit in… any ideas, o readers, as to why chestnut may not be chestnut?

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