Sunday, 13 December 2015

Chocolate Christmas pudding cupcakes

As much as I love daydreaming about having a Nigella-style existence where I can spend days in my perfect kitchen crafting masterpieces the reality is that, if you work full time, and factor in all the other stuff you have to do,  time is short – particularly at Christmas.  I am planning on some projects for Christmas that will be more involved but, for now, I wanted something cute and quick.

I have always loved the look of a traditional Christmas pudding but hate the taste.  Therefore, the concept of these little puds was to achieve the look I covet but made from chocolate chip cupcakes, with the inclusion of almond to ensure that they will keep well for a few days for entertaining over the festive period.  I decorated them with sugar holly leaves but you can let your imagination run wild.

In all honesty, they don’t look like puddings.  There, I’ve said it.  The design in my head didn’t quite manifest itself in the finished item.  Mostly because I went overboard with the ganache – I put on an amount that created the pudding effect, but then had lots left so was faced with the dilemma of not using it all, or adding too much to the cakes.  As Thom Yorke (never) sang: gluttony always wins.

The ganache firmed up a lot quicker than I expected – often ganache can be runny and you have to refrigerate it, but not this one.  It is extremely rich and sweet…but it’s also Christmas so do not feel any guilt!  I read an article stating that the average person consumes an additional 30,000 calories over the Christmas period.  I’m not sure whether I was meant to take that as a target to aim towards, like the 10,000 steps a day goal, but……


For the sponge:
175g unsalted butter, melted and left to cool
150g natural yoghurt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g golden caster sugar
140g self raising flour
35g cocoa powder
100g ground almonds
100g chocolate chips

For the ganache:
300g white chocolate
120ml double cream

To decorate: sugar holly leaves


Preheat the oven to 190C/ fan oven 170C/ 375F/ gas mark 5.

Grease 1 cupcake trays i.e. 12 holes.  You don’t want paper cases as this will stop the cupcakes having a smooth pudding like finish.

Melt the butter for the sponges and put to one side to cool.

In a jug whisk together the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl i.e. the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and chocolate chips.

Pour the yoghurt mix and the melted cooled butter into the dry ingredients and fold together just enough to combine.

Spoon into the greased cupcake pans and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the sponges comes out clean.

Turn the cakes (inverted – so that the domed top is now the bottom) out onto a wire rack straightaway – I find this helps flatten the domed top as the sponges cool.

Leave to cool completely.

Now make the ganache: melt the cream and chocolate together.  There are various ways you can do this – short bursts in the microwave and stirring between each one; melting in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water; or my preferred method: in a saucepan using a gas diffuser ring.

Leave the ganache to cool and set a little.  It might require refrigeration (mine didn’t) to set up enough to spoon over the cakes but don’t forget about it as you want it to stay a bit runny.

Spoon over the top of each cake and let run down the side.

Decorate as required.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



sensibilia said...

They look lovely! Just like a better version of Christmas pudding (I've never liked it either). And I'm completely with you on using up all the delicious mixture. I adore ganache. (Would probably have finished it up myself with a spoon, thinking about it!)

Stephanie Jane said...

I think that the ganache looks great on these little cakes, just like they've been swamped with custard :-)

Stephanie Jane

Maggie said...

These are really cute CC! I like Xmas pudding but can never room to eat them. I've lost half a stone in weight so that I can now gleefully consume everything calorific over Christmas without feeling any guilt.

Kit @ i-lostinausten said...

Wow! These chocolate X'mas pudding cupcakes are soo adoarble ! Love to try this recipe as I personally don't like X'mas pudding too . So this may surely fit the bill . Thanks for sharing the lovely recipe . Have a love day ;)

Snowy said...

These look very festive CC; a great replacement for Christmas pudding which none of family eat!

Dominica Sygula said...

Hi darling, how are you today? I love this, another great post.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Check out my new post if you're interested:
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Stuart Vettese said...

I would much rather have these than a real Christmas pud anytime. They look gorgeous.

Jo said...

There's no such thing as too much white chocolate ganache ;)

Cakelaw said...

These are adorable and I think they look like puddings. I too fantasise about having a life like Nigella's TV life, but I don't think she does either.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

What cute little cakes. The ganache has dribbled perfectly! Lovely idea x

Angie Schneider said...

My husband is crazy for white chocolate ganache..this is a perfect holiday treat for us.