By the wonder that is Facebook, I found out a couple of weeks ago, that there was a charity bake sale taking place in Toton, mere minutes drive away from us. I’m not really that great at giving money to charity, but am always happy to give my time or skills (Christmas present wrapping I just love!) for a worthy cause. This particular cause was Little Hearts Matter, and the event the brilliantly titled Big Hearted Bake, raising money for children born with heart conditions.
I wanted to bake something fun and family friendly, chocolate was definitely on the menu! I’d initially planned to make a big show-stopping cake to serve slices of, but time really wasn’t on my side last week, so I stuck with what I knew would work best – cute little cupcakes.
These lovely little cases jumped right out of my baking box, pretty black and white ivy designs from The Cake Decorating Company, based right here in Nottingham (more on this amazing shop to come in due course, I’m sure).
The recipe I used was a simple chocolate sponge from my Be-Ro book. It occurred to me that we used to make these exact cakes at home when I was little, but back then (about 20 years ago, eek!), we would never have called them cupcakes, they would have been chocolate buns through and through, as the book calls them. Funny how even baking has its trends that change!
When the cakes were cool, I topped them with a big swirl of mint buttercream – just butter and icing sugar, with a few drops of peppermint essence, and a tiny dab of green gel food colouring.
To decorate the tops, I followed the ivy theme from the cases, and used a flower and leaf plunger cutter, to cut shapes out of chocolate fondant. I worked a little tylose powder into the fondant before rolling it out, so the shapes would set nice and firm.
Then, it was simply a case of squishing the fondant topper straight onto the top of the mint buttercream…
… before finishing with some chocolate chunk sprinkles and some iridescent edible glitter (they’re for children, excess of glitter is a necessity, honest!)
The finished cupcakes – it took every inch of willpower not to eat one before they got dropped off at the bake sale.
And the best news by far – the event raised nearly £1,800 for this lovely charity. If you want to see more details on Facebook, or follow their page so you can be a part next year, you can find the Toton bake here.