It's Easter and in my kitchen, that means chocolate and plenty of it. I've seen a few interpretations of birds nest cakes but recently I saw that vermicelli noodles made a really realistic 'twig' style nest. I haven't baked in a while so I thought I would give these birds nest cupcakes a try so that I could share them with friends and family over the upcoming long weekend. I've adapted and modified a chocolate cupcake recipe from I Am Baker (a wonderful baking site - check it out) and created my own little recipe that makes the perfect treat for the whole family this Easter!
115g Unsalted Butter
60g Dark Chocolate (70%)
2 Large Eggs
150g Caster Sugar
2tsp Vanilla Extract
115g Greek Yoghurt
40g Cocoa Powder
95g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Baking Powder
170g Dark Chocolate (70%)
170g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
125g Cream Cheese (room temperature)
125g Icing Sugar
15g Cocoa Powder
40-50mls Hot Coffee
30g Dark Chocolate
50g Vermicelli Rice Noodles
- Begin by making the chocolate nest. Place the raw noodles in a large bowl and break the noodles into 1-2 inch pieces. Separate the noodles into individual strands. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave). Pour the warm chocolate over the noodles and use your hands to ensure all of the noodles are individually coated.
- Line a tray with baking paper. Pick a small mound of chocolate covered noodles and form into a small nest like shape. Place on the baking sheet. Continue until you have made around 12 and place the nests into the fridge.
- Make the cakes by melting the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
- Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and yoghurt into a mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk, mix until well incorporated, light and pale.
- In another bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Lightly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just mixed (the batter should be thick and fluffy).
- Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases and fill each case 3/4 full. Place the cakes into a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 15 minutes (or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed). Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Whilst the cakes cool, make the frosting by melting the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool. Place the soft butter and cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Combine the coffee with the cocoa powder and mix into a paste - add this into the butter mixture along with the melted chocolate and mix well. Slowly add in the icing sugar - mix until you achieve a soft and light frosting.
- When the cakes are fully cooled pipe or spoon on the icing. Top with a noodle nest and set 2-3 mini eggs on top.
n.b - The noodle nests are edible but are mainly for effect rather than eating!