Now I know I speak for 99.9999% of us when I say chocolate is legendary. But for me at least, only one chocolate brand is sacred. Cadbury chocolate. And i mean Cadbury chocolate in simple form; dairy milk, buttons, twirl, flake (oh God flake). Another chocoholic who shares my devotion for Cadbury is my mum. Her mother’s day present was a no brainer. A batch of 6 chocolate cupcakes, made using scrumptious Cadbury chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong, these cupcakes really do hit the cocoa spot, but, please don’t be tempted to eat the pretty pink bubble on top. As you’ll discover in the recipe, they’re made out of pure gelatine and are just there to look pretty. So this is very much a case of all that glitters is not gold. Well in this case, all that is pink is most definitely pork. Bleurgh. I’m really selling this aren’t I?!
The chocolate wafer sticks used in these cupcakes are called ‘Caprice’ (yeah like the model) and you can pick them up from Ocado and Waitrose.
One more point, please make sure if using Gold leaf as I have, that it’s actually edible. There’s non edible gold leaf so be very careful when buying. You want people to remember these cupcakes for the right reasons.
Enough talk, more baking. Let’s get to work on these beauties!
(Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes or 9 large cupcakes fit for baking cups)
Prep Time: 24 hours for the gelatine bubbles
Total time: 24 hours
For the Gelatine Bubbles: (adapted from sprinkle bakes)
A pack of at least 15 small balloons
Vegetable shortening (like trex)
3 tbsp gelatine powder (about 3 sachets)
A few drops of liquid food colour or gel (I used Wilton gel colour in red- a little goes a long way!)
6 tbsps cold water
1/4 tsp pearl/silver luster dust (i used pearl luster spray and it worked fine)
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
120g unsalted butter
60g Cadbury buttons / dairy milk (any type of Cadbury chocolate that is made up of plain dairy milk. Buttons melt easiest)
50g Bournville cocoa powder (if you want to be strictly Cadbury but feel free to use any cocoa)
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
100g granulated sugar
50g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
130g sour cream/Greek yogurt/buttermilk
For the Cadbury Buttercream:
250g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
150g dairy milk, broken into small squares
2 tbsp Bournville cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
Splash of milk
Begin by making the gelatine bubbles. Fill up the balloons with air to the size of a golf ball, about 5cm across. Pinch the balloon at both ends and tie the two ends together- this can be tricky but it’s vital to get a more rounded bubble shape. Make sure you’re working around a clean surface as balloons attract particles and fibres, keeping them on a cooling rack is advisable, away from dust.
Brush the balloons with vegetable shortening and use your fingers to completely coat the balloons. Once covered, use some kitchen paper to remove all the visible fat, leaving just a very thin residue of shortening (this is essential otherwise the gelatine will run off the balloon!).
In a microwaveable small bowl (suitable for dipping the balloons), whisk together gelatine, food colour, cold water and luster dust/spray. It will thicken rapidly, let it stand for 5 minutes. Heat in the microwave for 10 seconds or until completely melted. Allow this to stand till lukewarm.
Hold the balloons by the knot and submerge into the gelatine, coating the sides whilst avoiding the knot. Hold the balloons upright and allow any excess liquid to drip back into the bowl. Place back on the cooling rack knot side down. Allow the balloons to dry for 5-10 minutes before giving them a second coat. You may need to reheat the gelatine a few times before finishing them all, as it thickens quickly. Please be patient with this, it can be quite a messy job but worth it in the end!
Allow the balloons to completely dry overnight.
Make the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Line a 12 cavity cupcake pan with cupcake liners or place 9 baking cups on a baking tray. If using baking cups, ensure that they are oven safe. Set aside.
Melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring between each time. When smooth and completely melted, set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt till well combined.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars and vanilla till smooth. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and whisk till combined. Add in half of the whisked dry ingredients followed by half of the sour cream/yogurt/buttermilk and stir. Repeat once more till everything is added and stir until just combined, do not over mix.
Fill up the cupcake liners/ baking cups just over half way. Bake for 18-20 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
Make the buttercream. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second blasts till melted. Allow to cool slightly.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter till light and fluffy. Whisk icing sugar with cocoa powder and gradually sift this into the butter, beating well on a medium speed. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and beat till well combined.
Turn the mixer to high and beat until fluffy and lighter in colour. It’s now ready to use!
Fit a piping bag with a fine star tip (i used ateco 870), but you can use any tip you like, and fill with buttercream. Pipe swirls on the cupcakes and decorate with cut up gold leaf (i applied it on using a small paint brush and a tiny bit of water.) Snap the wafer sticks in half and slide them into the cupcakes.
Top with the gelatin bubbles. Using a pair of scissors, carefully snip a hole right beside the knot of the balloons. They should come away from the gelatin leaving you with a hollow bubble. Neatly cut around the knot and pull the balloon out using your fingers. Place the bubbles cut side down onto the decorated cupcakes.
Remember to remind people that the gelatin bubbles aren't meant to be eaten!