We Love Cooking! + vanilla sugar

:: Leila Lindholm's High Hat Cupcakes

I spotted these amazing cupcakes in Leila's book when I first scanned through it, they really pop out! They would be absolutely perfect for kids parties as I am sure they would get a great reaction. In fact there is a whole chapter in "A Piece Of Cake" dedicated to Leila's fab cupcake creations, including flavours like, raspberry, lemon and poppy seed, banana fudge, blueberry corn, and carrot, ginger and walnut!

I know I have been talking about Leila all week but as I said I am a little bit in love! :) I hope you have been enjoying learning a bit about her and some of her recipes. Tomorrow I have a really exciting competition for you to win a copy of the book, so make sure you stop by to enter!

Leila Lindholm's High Hat Cupcakes
These fantastic-looking cupcakes should be served cold. You can keep them in the fridge for about three days, but cover them carefully in clingfilm to keep them fresh. They are the yummiest of cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes
3 organic eggs
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
50g unsalted butter
100ml sour cream
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons cold coffee
210g plain flour
4 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
100g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

For the meringue topping
6 organic egg whites
850g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

For the chocolate coating
350g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prepare the cupcakes according to the basic recipe.
Preheat the oven to 175oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.
Beat together the eggs, butter and vanilla sugar until pale and fluffy.
Mellt the butter, add the sour cream and coffee and blend with the egg mixture.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt and carefully fold into the mixture.
Chop the chocolate coarsely and melt it in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Add the the mixture.
Put paper cases in a muffin tin and pour in the mixture until the cases are two-thirds full.
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool.

In a stainless steel bowl mix together the egg whites, caster sugar and lemon juice. Beat by hand for about 1 minute until fluffy.
Rest the bowl over a pan of boiling water. Beat until the sugar crystals have dissolved and the mixture has a consistency as fluffy as meringue. You should see the trail from the whisk to them foam.
Remove the bowl from the pan and beat the vanilla sugar into the foam. Use a hand-held electric beater to mix the meringue for a few minutes until it is thick and cool.
Put the meringue in a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes in spirals. Leave about 1cm around the edges.
Leave to set in the fridge.

Make the chocolate coating. Chop the chocolate and melt it with the vegetable oil in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Pour the chocolate into a small bowl and leave to cool.
Take the cupcakes out of the fridge and dip each peak in the chocolate. Brush on additional chocolate if there are any gaps.
Leave to set on a plate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

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:: Leila Lindholm's High Hat Cupcakes + vanilla sugar