I am excited! This week I'm going to see Idina Menzel in concert. Many of you may not know who Idina is, but she is a stage and screen star – probably best known for playing Elphaba in the Broadway production of my favourite ever musical - Wicked. Oh, and she plays Rachel’s biological mother on TV show Glee.
If you haven’t seen Wicked, it is 'another take' on the story of the witches of Oz. And anyone who knows me, knows my love of all things Oz. It probably all stems from endless repeats of ‘The Wizard...’ on TV when I was younger. And it has stayed with me.
And to celebrate the fact I am going to see the original Elphaba – I decided to make Wicked cupcakes, which all ties in nicely with this month’s Halloween theme!
The cupcakes are chocolate sponge, with a molten choccy centre and a huge swirl of peppermint frosting atop. I like to think of them as Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, what with the molten centre. I melted some chocolate and made little discs, stuck some Hershey Kisses on them to make little witch hats and for the broomstick I used mint flavoured Matchmakers.
Yield: 6 large cupcakes
110 g of unsalted butter, softened
110 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
170 grams self raising flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
110 g chocolate chunks
250g white sugar
60 fl oz water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Drop of green food colouring
Milk Chocolate discs, mint Matchmakers, Hershey Kisses
Pre-heat oven to 180oC. Line a muffin tin with brown muffin cases. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, set aside.
In a bowl beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in one third of the flour, then half the milk, another third of the flour, remaining milk, finishing off with the remaining flour.
Half fill each muffin case with the batter, then stick a chocolate chunk in the middle (don't use Kisses, they refuse to melt!), pushing down slightly although not to the bottom. Top each case with more batter, covering the chocolate chunk completely. Pop into the oven for 12 – 15 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean from the sides – don’t poke it in the centre, as the melted chocolate will just come out. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
To make the frosting, place all of the ingredients, except the extract and colouring, in a large bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water and with an electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes. The frosting will become thick and voluminous. Remove from the saucepan and add the mint extract and food colouring. Beat for another couple of minutes.
To decorate, I placed the frosting in a piping bag and piped it on the cakes as high as I could (defying gravity some might say). I then balanced the witches hat on top and added half a Matchmaker. I sprinkled on some edible glitter for magic sparkle, but this is entirely optional.
There we have Wicked cupcakes – in both senses of the word. Enjoy (as much as I will enjoy Idina!)