Recipe 3: Chocolate cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery book

January 22, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Posted in baking | 6 Comments
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On Sunday afternoon my lovely friend Dimity was coming for afternoon tea, before coming with me to church. So I thought this was an ideal opportunity to try yet another new cake recipe… and the Hummingbird Bakery  has a special place in our relationship – so it was to their recipe book I had to go…. I had already tried their vanilla cupcake, so the next stop was their chocolate cupcake.

I mainly make individual sized cakes and biscuits, that way when there are only a couple of people to eat cake, I can still make a full batch, and put the rest in the freezer, and any urgent cake needs can be dealt with without any fuss! As I had the oven on, I also made Delia’s classic gingernut biscuits, which are one of my old-faithful recipes.

Making it: when I am quickly making little cakes I usually base it on a basic sponge cake, but the Hummingbird approach is a little different – first mix together the flour, butter, sugar, and cocoa – then add the wet ingredients  – which has only 1 egg, but milk to make up the bulk. But despite being a slightly unfamiliar method it was very easy to make the batter. I distributed the mixture between 12 big muffin cases, although it looked very scant, and I wondered whether they would look too small for their cases. But they rose lots – and looked about the right size for their cases once done.

The icing was slightly more traumatic – I thought I should embrace the chocolate theme and try the chocolate buttercream. Their method suggested mixing (with an electric whisk) the icing sugar, cocoa and butter before adding the milk. But even using a relatively large bowl – this produced a snowstorm of icing sugar across the worktop! So I quickly added the milk  and beat it into icing that way.

Eating it:  I said “yum”, Dimity said “Mmmmmmm….. gooooood”. We had one each, and an hour later we shared another… So I think that is a good result. They didn’t have the light texture of the ones from the bakery, or suggested by the photos in the book, but they tasted good!

Next time: There will be a next time – although I think I might reduce the amount of icing – the cakes were basically 60% cake, 40% icing which was almost too rich (not actually too rich –  it didn’t stop us enjoying them or finding space for a biscuit too) . I am also keen to try out the chocolate and hazelnut icing later in the book.



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  1. Hiya, I am cooking my way through the entire Hummingbird book this year. I agree, I never use all the icing I make each time. The Hazelnut ones are divine, made them yesterday. Check out my blog if you like

    • Thanks for the comment – I’ve just checked out your blog… and am excited about the red velvet cupcakes after your rave review!

  2. They look so good! Do you deliver to Canada?

  3. Hello you! This blog is being added to my google reader quick sharp…

    I’ve also made the Hummingbird vanilla cupcakes, and had the same icing sugar-snowstorm problem. However, have had no problem finishing off the icing.

    Let’s make and compare different cakes very soon x

    • Are you suggesting a bake-off blog challenge… I think that could be fun!

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