Mini Brandy Chocolate & Margarita Cuptails

I love this time of year as it is officially the Christmas season and all the decorations and lights go up. I was not going to put my decorations up this year as I leave for home on the 11th of December, but I put some of the lights up on the weekend and I cannot resist now not hanging the rest of the decorations.

As I am an Australian, I do miss the hot Christmas' and I am very much looking forward to it this year. However, after living the UK for the past 6 years I am actually going to miss the cold Christmas, especially the mulled wine. Luckily, I have some great friends who have ‘happily’ accompanied me along too as many Christmassy things that I can physically fit in before leaving for sunny Brisbane. Though hearing carols at the Southbank Christmas Markets in November was even a bit much for me… Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" does get slightly irritating after about the 20th time!

These little festive treats I actually made a number of weeks ago. The order was for some 60's themed cupcakes, so my first question was Mad Men or psychedelic? If I went down either route without clarifying, I think it could have gone horribly wrong. It was quickly confirmed that I should go down the “Mad Men” 60's theme route and I started thinking, what do you think about when you think Mad Men... and BOOZE topped the list.

These CUP-TAILS as they call them would serve as a great accompaniment to any party as they are small enough to be served alongside canap├ęs. And the kick of booze in the cake and icing is probably better and tastier than a shot of tequila… though I would not mind of side of that as well!

Brandy Mini Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

Makes 23 - 30 mini cupcakes

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g caster sugar
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
50ml brandy
80ml whole milk

For the icing
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g icing sugar
30g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp finely grated orange zest
15ml whole milk
15ml brandy

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and line mini cupcake tin with cases.

Mix together butter, sugar, flour cocoa powder, baking powder, orange zest and salt in a mixer. Keep mixing until the ingredients have come together and resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Break the egg into a jug, add the brandy and milk and mix together. With the mixer on a low speed, slowly pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to include every bit of the mixture.

Divide the cake batter between the muffin cases, filling each one two-thirds full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the icing, on a low speed, mix together the butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and orange zest until combined and sandy in consistency. Pour the milk and brandy into a jug, then pour this into the butter and icing sugar mixture, while still mixing on a low speed. When all the liquid is incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat the frosting until soft and fluffy. Pipe or smooth icing onto cupcakes with a palette knife and decorate with chocolate sprinkles.

Margarita Cuptails

Makes 23 - 30 mini cupcakes

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 tablespoon tequila
2 eggs, at room temperature
125g self raising sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

For the middle
260g lime jelly

For the icing
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons tequila
250g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line cupcake trays with liners.

Add the butter, sugar and tequila to the mixer and cream together for 7 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one by one, and mix for 2 minutes.

Mix the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl, then add to the mixer and mix until incorporated. Add the milk and mix for a further minute.

Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for about 12 minutes.

Remove the baked cupcakes from the oven and then transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, cream the butter and the tequila together in the mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the icing sugar and milk and mix for a further 2 minutes until well blended.

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Once the cakes are cooled, remove the centre of each cupcake. I found the easiest way to fill the cupcakes was putting the jelly into a piping bag, much easier than trying to use a spoon, especially for mini's.

Ice the cupcakes with a palette knife or use a piping bag - which again I find easier as they jelly will tend to jump about using a knife! Its jelly, it doesn't sit still :)

I decorated these with some green neon sprinkles, but you could do some lime rind.


Happy Baking x