I wanted to make a festive cupcake to celebrate Easter that combined Easter eggs and my current craving for chocolate and peanut butter. I settled on a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing, and then made “nests” out of chocolate noodles, completing the look with a little egg placed in each nest.
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 115g butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 pkt Chang’s Original Fried Noodles (100g)
- 200g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and set aside
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed through.
- In a separate bowl mix the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tins and fill approximately ¾ full
- Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cupcakes slightly spring back when touched.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in their tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
- Beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer in a medium bowl.
- Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the icing is thick and spreadable.
- Continue beating for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Using a teaspoon spread a thick layer of icing onto each cupcake – this will be what the birds nest sticks on.
- Melt chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave (I do it in bursts of 30 seconds on medium to prevent the chocolate from burning) in a medium microwaveable container.
- Pour the noodles into the melted chocolate mixture and stir to coat.
- On a baking tray lined with baking paper, use a teaspoon or your hands to arrange the chocolate noodles in small circular shapes, making sure to leave a space in the middle for the egg to sit.
- Pop the tray in the fridge for the birds nests to set.
- Once hardened, place a birds nest on top of each cupcake, gently pressing it into the peanut butter icing to stick. Place a small Easter egg in the centre of each nest.
I also got creative with homemade chocolates and experimented with dark chocolate, white chocolate and powered dyes to make my family some treats.
I purchased some chocolate moulds and powered food dye from Spotlight. I divided the white chocolate (250g) into 3 microwaveable dishes and added a different colour to each one. After melting the white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave I furiously stirred the powered dye into each cup (use less colour to achieve pastel colours like I did). Then carefully pour the coloured chocolate into moulds and refrigerate.
My parents love dark chocolate so I also made some plain dark chocolate ones which contrast nicely with the pastel chocolates. Feel free to get creative and add chopped nuts or liqueurs to your chocolates. After the chocolates have set in the fridge, gently tap them on the counter until they pop out. Put in little plastic bags and tie with ribbon. Ta da!