Fresh and zingy lime cupcakes, filled with a luxurious dark chocolate ganache and topped with a subtle lime buttercream and freshly grated chocolate. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt to really make the flavours sing.
They say that the sense of smell is the number one gateway to our memories, but I think the sense of taste can’t be far behind. Whenever I am devising new recipes, I always start by thinking about flavour combinations that have made a real impression on me at some point in my life – whether because they just worked so well, like in the case of my carrot and orange cupcakes (find them here) or because they evoke a particularly special memory for me, and today’s recipe definitely falls into the latter category.
Today, we are taking our inspiration from my baking muse, the original Mrs Baker, my grandmother Joan. It’s not one of her recipes that has inspired me today though, but rather memories of lengthy car journeys in my childhood.
Like all good grandmothers, mine always had a tasty treat on hand (usually something homemade actually) and car journeys were no different. You could always guarantee that at some point the centre console would be opened and out would come some form of traditional sweet (or candy for my American friends). Ever since then, certain sweets have retained the magical ability to take me straight back to my youth. Just talking about this now, I am already starting to dream up a whole series of traditional sweet-themed bakes, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get to today’s brand-new recipe from Mr Baker’s Cakes: The Blog.
Inspired by one of my grandmother’s favourite ‘long drive treats’ – traditional Chocolate Limes – my Chocolate Lime Cupcakes marry the zingy flavours of fresh lime and rich, dark chocolate creating a combination that is both refreshing and decadent – I don’t know about you, but I always think that chocolate always benefits from a sharp citrus flavour, so don’t be afraid to go heavy with the lime if you decide to have a go at my Chocolate Lime Cupcakes.
This recipe makes twelve large cupcakes.
For the lime cupcakes:
- 175g (6 oz) softened butter or Stork® margarine
- 175g (6 oz) caster sugar
- Zest of three limes
- 3 medium eggs
- 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
For the dark chocolate ganache:
- 200g of dark chocolate
- 100ml whipping cream
For the fresh lime buttercream:
- 250g slightly salted butter
- 500g icing sugar
- zest 1 lime
- 2tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
- Green gel food colour
- Grated dark chocolate
- A sprinkling of kosher salt (optional)
Start by preheating your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with large cupcake cases.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together your butter or margarine and sugar until thoroughly combined and pale in colour.
In a separate jug, whisk your eggs and then add these and the lime zest to the butter/sugar mixture and mix on a low speed until fully combined.
TOP TIP: If the mixture looks like it may be splitting or curdling, add a heaped tablespoon of your flour to bind it back together.
Sieve the flour into the bowl and mix until just combined – be careful not to over-beat the mixture.
Divide the mixture between your cases and bake at the top of the oven for 24-27 minutes (until the mixture stops ‘singing’).
Remove from the tin and place on to a wire rack to cool completely.
While your cakes are in the oven, make your dark chocolate ganache. Begin by breaking or chopping up your chocolate into small chunks.
Place a heat proof bowl (Pyrex or similar) over a pan of gently simmering water without allowing the bottom to touch the water.
Place your chocolate into the bowl and stir regularly to distribute the heat evenly.
When the chocolate is nearly all melted, remove the bowl from the pan and allow the rest to melt in the residual heat.
Pour the cream into a microwaveable plastic jug and place in the microwave on full power for around 50 seconds.
Take a hand mixer and start mixing the chocolate on a low speed. Gradually pour in the heated cream. Slowly increase the speed of the mixer until all of the cream is incorporated into the chocolate mixture.
Set aside to cool slightly.
Finally, make the buttercream. Begin by creaming your butter until pale and smooth. This may take a while, but the longer you leave it, the better.
Add in the icing sugar, a little at a time, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next – the lime juice can be added at this point if the mixture is too stiff to work with.
Finally, add the gel colour and the lime zest and mix through thoroughly.
When your cakes are fully cooled, use a cupcake corer or a sharp knife to remove the centres.
Use a spoon or a piping bag to fill the hollowed out centres with dark chocolate ganache and then place the removed centre back on top.
Next, use a piping bag with a closed star tip to pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake and then decorate with a sprinkle of freshly grated dark chocolate.
Once the buttercream has set, store your cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.