BOO! GHOSTLY MERINGUE CUPCAKES

I am jumping with both feet onto the Halloween bandwagon, and because gorging on sweets is not enough, baking spooky treats is obviously necessary! Starting with… ghostly cupcakes!

The base is a simple chocolate cupcake mix, adapted from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe. The topping is swiss meringue: I used Martha Stewart’s own version, the 7 minute frosting. It’s a brilliant white perfect for a ghostly figure. Add choc chips for eyes and a chocolate button for a screaming mouth, job done.

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For the cupcakes:

80g unsalted butter, softened

190g caster sugar

200g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

240ml whole milk

2 large eggs

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1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.

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2. Beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until the ingredients are well incorporated and sandy in texture.

3. Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk together.

4. Slowly pour the mixture into your dry ingredients and combine.

5. Mix until the batter is smooth.

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6. Spoon the batter into your paper cases, two-thirds full.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is springy to the touch.

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For the Swiss meringue:

300g caster sugar

5 large egg whites

1 tbsp golden syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate chips and chocolate buttons for decorating.

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1. Whisk together the sugar, egg whites and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and feels completely smooth between your fingers, it will take 2-3 minutes.

2. With an electric mixer on a high speed, whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in your vanilla extract.

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3. Fit a large round tip (I used n 18) to a piping bag, fill with the meringue and create ghostly figures onto your cooled cupcakes.

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4. Add eyes with chocolate chips and a mouth with a chocolate button.

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Photography: Emma Scott-Child

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