Easter Nest Cupcakes

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!

 

Ingredients

 

Cupcakes

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

1/4tsp Salt

Frosting

170g Dark Chocolate (70%)

170g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

125g Cream Cheese (room temperature)

125g Icing Sugar

15g Cocoa Powder

40-50mls Hot Coffee

Nests

30g Dark Chocolate

50g Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Mini Eggs

 

Method

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Make the cakes by melting the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and yoghurt into a mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk, mix until well incorporated, light and pale.
  5. In another bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  6. Lightly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just mixed (the batter should be thick and fluffy). 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!