What you need:

150g caster sugar

150g butter

140 self-raising flour

10g cornflour

3 medium eggs

30ml milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Gold chocolate curls

Edible gold stars ( or similar)

For the reduced-sugar butter cream:

240ml milk

60g plain flour

Pinch of salt

110g vegetable fat such as Trex

110g unsalted butter

220g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

You will also need: 

12 black  (or any dark) cupcake cases

Piping bag

1M nozzle

What you do:

Preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.

Line the baking tray with cases. Beat the sugar, butter and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

Add 1 egg, 1/3 of the flour and a splash of milk and beat until just combined. Repeat until all the ingredients are combined. Divide the batter between the 12 cases (try using an ice cream scoop to get even amounts) and bake for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Remove and cool in the tins for 10 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the reduced-sugar butter cream heat the milk in a small saucepan, over a gentle heat, Whisk the flour and salt into the milk and continue to heat gently while whisking continuously (to avoid lumps), until the mixture takes on a thick pudding-like consistency. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, cream the vegetable fat, sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.

When the pudding has cooled add it to the creamed vegetable fat and butter mix one spoon at a time, beating with an electric whisk until all the pudding has been added. It will be very light in texture and quite white when it’s ready. Cool in the fridge for 15 minutes, this helps stiffen it slightly so it’s ready to pipe.

When the cakes are cool add a  1M nozzle to a large piping bag and place it in a large glass (pint glasses or picnic tall glasses are great).

Pull the bag down around the glass and fill the bag by pushing the butter cream down into the bag as you fill. Then lift the bag up from around the glass and, from where the butter cream stops, push all the air up out of the bag and twist the bag right at the top of the butter cream. Hold the twist between your thumb and forefinger, apply pressure and pipe using your other hand as a guide.

To pipe a swirl, apply pressure to the top of the bag and, starting in the middle of the cake, first pipe a star by squeezing a star shape then releasing the pressure and pulling up quickly. Then, start at the outside edge of the paper case and, using this as a guide, pipe around the star and build up into a swirl. When you reach the end of the swirl press down slightly, release the pressure and pull up quickly

After you have piped a cupcake, twist the bag again so the twist is always at the top of the butter cream.

Sprinkle the gold chocolate curls and stars over each cake.


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