Hurray! It’s Hallowe’en!
These spooky cupcakes come from my favourite cupcake book, Cupcake Heaven by Susannah Blake, and they’re easy as pie. Or cupcakes. And pumpkin is an awesome thing to bake with.
‘Twas an ominous storm a-brewing this afternoon when I made them up. It almost ruined my light!
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Beat together 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup sunflower oil, and 2 eggs.
Fold in 1 cup grated pumpkin or butternut squash (you can used canned pumpkin, and I usually add a little extra for moistness) and the grated peel of 1 unwaxed lemon.
Combine in a separate bowl 1 cup self-rising flour (or one cup minus one teaspoon all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon baking powder, though for this recipe regular flour works just fine), 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Sift flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and fold in.
Spoon mixture into 12 paper liners and bake for 18 minutes. I only had medium liners (so I ended up with 24) but usually I make large ones. Also, make sure to flatten out your batter so it’s level before baking, as the batter, having no butter to melt, won’t do it on its own. Obviously, I forgot that step.
Cool completely on wire racks.
In a double boiler or heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt 5 oz chopped white chocolate.
In a separate bowl, melt 1 oz chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate. Allow the chocolates to cool for about 5 minutes.
Spoon the white chocolate evenly to cover the top of the cooled cupcakes.
Make a parchment paper cone (fold it into triangles and snip off a corner, though don’t snip the corner until you’re ready to pipe the chocolate).
Pour the dark chocolate into the cone. It’s easiest if you have an extra pair of hands, but we do what we can with what we have. Fold over the opening of the cone several times to avoid gooey messes.
Pipe the bittersweet chocolate onto the cupcakes with a central dot surrounded by two concentric circles (you can use a spiral if you have difficulty making discrete circles).
Use a toothpick or skewer to drag lines from the centre chocolate dot out to the edge of the cupcake, about six or seven of them, to make a spiderweb pattern. Normally they turn out better than this, but I’m not one to dwell on small mistakes.
You can also ice them however you wish, really. It’s up to you after all.
The cupcakes are best eaten when the chocolate is still gooey, but they can also be chilled in the refrigerator until set.
And hark! The sun makes a final, feeble attempt to burst through the clouds.
Alas, forces of darkness take over.
Have a very happy and safe Hallowe’en!