Chocolate cupcakes with strawberries and cream

Chocolate cupcakes with strawberries and cream

I made these delicious cupcakes when there were some incredible strawberries at the farmers market. It is a great way to do them justice, with a little vanilla scented cream atop a lusciously moist chocolate cupcake. As always, the key is choosing the best ingredients. Importantly, I only use vanilla paste for the cream, and there is absolutely no point doing this outside of the strawberry season.

Makes about 30

125 grams butter, chopped
100 grams fair trade dark chocolate ( I use Green and Blacks 70% cocoa)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons fair trade cocoa powder (I use Green and Blacks)
1 egg
300 millilitres whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 tablespoon icing sugar
30 fresh strawberries

To make the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 160oC and lightly grease a mini cupcake pan. Combine the butter, chocolate and milk in a saucepan over low heat. Heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate and butter are melted. Add the sugar, combine and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, sift the flours and cocoa and combine. Add the egg and stir to combine. Pour into prepared tins and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

To decorate: Whip the cream with the vanilla and icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Being careful to keep the green tops on the strawberries, cut each one in quarters that are all still connected at the top. When the cupcakes are cold, transfer the cream into a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle.  Moving from the outside to the middle of each cupcake, pipe a tall swirl of whipped cream on each. Pull each of the quarters away from the rest of the strawberry and arrange atop the cream. Repeat for each cupcake.

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