With Halloween approaching, what better way to greet the steady trail of trick-or-treaters on your doorstep than with home baked Halloween cupcakes? Or celebrate at home in the kitchen and eat them all yourself!
These easy chocolate cupcakes are topped with meringue icing to make them look extra ghostly!
140g softened butter or margarine
250g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g golden syrup
4 egg whites
To make the cupcakes, whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well, and whisk in the vanilla.
In a large bowl, sift together the flours, cocoa powder and bicarb, then gently fold into the butter mixture along with the yogurt until everything is well combined into a smooth batter.
Line a 12-tin muffin tray with muffin cases and place a teaspoon of the mixture into each case. Bake in a preheated oven (180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4) for approx. 20 minutes until firm to the touch, then place on a wire rack to cool down.
To make the icing, combine sugar, syrup and 4 tbsp water in a large pan, then heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring the temperature up and boil for approx. 5 minutes until the syrup reaches 115C/239F (measured with a sugar thermometer), then take the pan off the heat.
In another pan, and while the syrup is boiling, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then switch the mixer to a lower speed and gradually pour in the hot syrup. Speed up the mixer and mix for approx. 10 minutes until the icing is cool, glossy and really thick. Add food colouring if you wish.
Fill a piping bag (fitted with a large plain nozzle) with the icing and pipe a circle onto each cupcake, followed by a piped tall mound of icing that finishes in a small peak on the top. Add decorations of your choosing and serve.