Easter basket cupcakes
Easter basket cupcake
Featuring in the competition:
IMBB#13: My little Cupcake - hosted by Makiko Itoh from I was just really very hungry.
Comfort Me - hosted by Moira at Who wants seconds?
SHF(Sugar High Friday): Stuck on You - hosted by Debbie at Words to Eat By
There could not be a better time for me to present 'My little Cupcake' than now - round Easter.
As all other festive times of the year, Easter awakens lots of traditions and women in Slovakia(as well as in many other countries) start preparing for it weeks ahead.
First - doing the house spring cleaning (viewed as very old-fashioned nowadays, but it is such a great feeling when you relax over Easter holidays in a fresh, like-new house).
Second - shopping for all the Easter must-see-on-the-table foods such as smoked ham in the hammock (which you then cook at home), hard-boiled eggs (which we dye in primary colours), sweet&sour horseraddish preserve or fresh out of the garden(so strong that your eyes would be popping out! - I eat it with my dad early in the morning just to keep the tradition and then making an annual scene which is a mixture of laughter through tears and foot stamping about how strong it is!), mustard (proper Slovak one, same taste as German mustard), cold potato salad (with onions, gherkins, tinned peas, carrots and home-made egg mayonnaise).
And last - about 3 types of home-made cakes (1. honey pastry layers filled with rum butter filling topped with jam and dark chocolate, 2. cupcakes with egg creamy filling, 3. yellow sponge squares soaked in chocolate and rolled in dessicated coconut)
Now, this is where 'My little Cupcake' features. I inherited this recipe from my mum and she has inherited the recipe and the little shells from her mum (about 40 of them). So every year - before Easter, I would be sitting in the kitchen and pushing the walnut dough into the shells for about 2 hours (as we had so many of them). But I must say, I chose this cake every year since I simply could not resist it. And I am not just saying that! I knew all the 'perrils' of making them which would equal solid resistance to them - 2 hours or more sitting on the chair, hands aching, neck, shoulder aching and constant concentration (the dough had to be filled in the tin shells very thinly as it would swell up when baked) and finally, scrubbing 40 shells after baking.
However, I found it was love. The thought of biting through the soft dark chocolate into the yellow creamy surprise underneath, ending with a beautifully crumbling walnut pastry finale was just too much temptation. I gave in!
So, for me, these little innocent looking devils represent my 'cupcake par excellence'.
Walnut dough ingredients:
100g walnuts (ground) - 125g plain flour - 125g corn flour - 150g margarine - 70g icing sugar - 1tbsp cocoa powder - 1 egg - 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder (omit if you are using self-rasing flour).
Mix the ingredients to make a dough (nearly like a biscuit dough). First - cream together the margarine with icing sugar, add 1 egg. In a separate bowl - mix together dry ingredients(walnuts, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder). Then add it to the margarine mixture and work it in properly. You'll get a brown coloured dough - ready to be filled in the baking shells. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Filling the baking shells: take a small amount out of the dough and roll a little ball in your hands - 2cm in diameter. Put it in the bottom of the shell and start pushing it down and out to the sides very thinly until you reach the top of the shell sides. If you don't have enough dough - add a tiny bit in the bottom again and start pushing - it will raise the sides higher. Once you have about 20 shells filled with dough, you can put them in the oven on a baking tray and bake in the middle of the oven until brown (not burnt brown). Cool down thouroughly and then turn each shell upside down and bang the side on the table a little - holding your hand underneath on one side for the walnut basket to fall out. They are quite delicate - so handle with care.
Egg cream filling (absolutely marvelous taste!):
4 eggs - 8 tbsp fine caster sugar - 1tsp vanilla essence
In a bain-marie type of saucepan, with double sides- whisk the ingredients together and cook over a low to medium heat constantly whisking until it thickens (about 10 min.). Be careful with the heat , so that at the bottom you don't start forming lumps. Once thick, take off the heat and cool thouroughly. (to speed the cooling - go outside and keep stirring). Once cold - you can cream in 150g unsalted butter (or margarine).
Fill the walnut baskets with this creamy mixture to the top and spread chocolate icing starting from the middle. Finish with 1 hazelnut on top.
dark chocolate - melt in saucepan with a dash of milk and piece of butter or you can opt for chocolate ganache.
I am confident to say that you'll be licking yourself behind your ears when you try these.