On the last day of deadline week I made these for the work team, hence their new name – ‘deadline cupcakes’. This easy recipe is from Annabel Langbein’s Free Range in the City.

120g butter, in small cubes
½ c neutral oil
1 c water
100g dark chocolate, chopped
½ c cocoa, sifted
1 ½ c caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c yoghurt or buttermilk
2 c flour
¾ c raspberries (or any fresh or frozen berries)

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 24 muffin tins with paper cases. Melt butter, oil, water and chocolate in medium pot over low heat. Turn off heat and whisk in cocoa and caster sugar till smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.

Mix baking powder and soda into yoghurt then add to chocolate mixture with flour, whisking until evenly combines. Add berries. (Annabel adds berries after pouring into the muffin cases but I prefer the berries to be mixed inside the muffin. Stand for at least 10 mins before baking.

Spoon mixture into cases to ¾ full. This is important – if you fill more the mixture will overflow and you won’t get a nice cupcake shape. In my 2nd batch I added apricot pieces after I’d filled the cases as Annabel suggested, but because I overfilled, the cakes just spread out with bit of apricot all over. I used silicon cases and the shape didn’t hold. So I ended up mashing all the mixture together and making Pirzad’s chocolate walnut balls instead. http://bakeclub.yolasite.com/index/pirzad-s-chocolate-walnut-balls

Bake cupcakes until risen and the tops bounce back when gently pressed – about 20-25 mins. Stand 5 mins before lifting out of tins and leaving to cool.

I made my cupcakes in a silicon tray from Nood. I also used single star-shaped and heart-shaped silicon moulds. I don’t recommend the heart shapes, When turned out the cakes don’t really hold the shape.

Here's Annabel's pink frosting if you want to add:
Beat 120g butter and 200g cream cheese together with 2 Tbsp blackcurrant cordial, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 5-6 drops red food colouring until smooth. Add 5 c icing sugar and beat until smooth. Chill for 10 mins, then the icing should hold its texture when you spoon it. Pipe onto cupcakes and garnish with candy sprinkles if desired.

This is my entry into the Sweet New Zealand blog. Jan entries can be found here: http://www.homemadesbyarfi.com/2012/01/sweet-new-zealand-january-2012.html