When you just can’t say ‘no’…

Caramel, chocolate and hints of coffee
I find it really hard to say ‘no’ when anyone asks me to bake or make him or her something. That’s also the reason why I can stay up at night baking, all by myself with no one to disturb me. Even though I’m drained out and zombie-d the next morning, there’s something about the aroma from the oven and the way a cake rises that truly creates some kind of a magic. And just for that, I’d skip an hour or two of sleep. Yes, you heard me right!
Anyway, the other reason why I don’t say no these days is because I’m going to be leaving the city soon – more about that later – and I want to bake and cook for as many people as I can before that. It’s one of those things where time is ticking away like a bomb about to explode and I’m scurrying around trying to do as much as I can in the few days I’ve got at hand.
Enough of the melancholy now, let’s move on to happier things shall we? It was the little sister’s birthday and she wanted me to bake a whole lot of cupcakes for her to give it to all her friends. Now I couldn’t refuse even though I was dead tired. And I know that just like me, she’s making the most of Madras too.
“Didi, it has to be eggless, with lots of chocolate and you must, must bake cupcakes,” she told me. Now I know you can’t go wrong with chocolate cupcakes and I had some of that Lindt frosting leftover. So that’s what I decided to make – chocolate cupcakes with a Lindt chocolate frosting. But looks like it wasn’t meant to be. It was one of those days where I didn’t check the availability of the ingredients before I began baking and half-way through I realized I’d run out of demerara sugar and the cocoa powder was just about enough.   Now I didn’t want to add white sugar to this and I didn’t have enough time to melt the chocolate and add it into the batter. Suddenly I saw some Bournvita sitting on the kitchen shelf, as I peered a little closer I saw that it was the Five star flavoured one. Ah! The little sister was going to be pleased: Five star is her absolute favourite chocolate! So it was this Bournvita that went into the batter. The result? Beautiful brown cupcakes that had hints of caramel and chocolate with a Lindt glaze that had a slight mocha accent to it. Again, I didn’t have enough frosting to cover two dozen cupcakes so I made a simple glaze. And as for the little sister, she said they were the bestest cupcakes I’d ever made and that her friends polished them off even before she realized!
Five star flavoured cupcakes with Lindt-coffee glaze
For the cupcakes
3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
¾ tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
100 ml of buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp of cocoa powder
¼ cup of Five-star flavoured Bournvita
1 cup (packed) of demerara sugar
¾ cup of vegetable oil
1 tsp of vanilla essence
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together. Keep this aside.
In a large mixing bowl put the Bournvita, sugar, vanilla essence and oil together. Mix well until combined. Add the egg to this along with the buttermilk and beat well. Now slowly add the flour to this mixture and combined well. Using an electric beater, beat the batter for about 7-10 minutes until it is smooth.
Pour the batter equally into a greased, lined cupcake tray and bake for about 20-25 minutes until they are done. Allow them to cool on a wire rack before frosting. 

Cooling off: On the wire rack
We couldn’t resist so we had a bite of one of these beauties while they were cooling!
For the Lindt-coffee glaze
200 gms of Lindt milk chocolate
2 tbsp of coffee decoction
2 tsp of icing sugar
1 tsp of golden syrup
¼ cup or lesser of milk
Melt the chocolate with the rest of the ingredients in a microwave or on a double boiler. Stir well to ensure that the sugar has dissolved. Chill for about an hour before using.
To finish the cupcakes
Using a palette knife spread the glaze on the surface of the cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles of your choice. Chill for a while before serving.
Adding the glaze
All ready to go
  • If you want to up the indulgence quotient of these cupcakes, you can chop Five star bars into small pieces and add them into the batter.
  • Don’t fancy the Five star flavour? If you’re prudent and have done your ingredient checklist then all you need to do is use ¼ cup of cocoa powder or 50 gms of melted chocolate, eliminate the Bournvita and proceed with the recipe. You can also, however, get a little more adventurous and add a spoonful or two of other health drinks – Complan, Milo, etc. I’ve had a Milo cake in Singapore once and it was just brilliant!
  • For an egg-free version, skip the egg and increase the quantity of buttermilk to 150 ml.  

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