These little fellows came about as a project to make with children. I based them on a magazine article from Good Food magazine which was published last year or the year before (I think). It was about cooking for this time of year by Tana Ramsay, and she had done much bigger owls with different sweets and ears. I’ve played about with the decoration idea a bit and changed it onto mini cupcakes; the originals were a play on butterfly cakes. The only bit I have left from Tana’s original idea is the eyes, but still I feel I must give thanks to the original for its inspiration.
The cakes and icing both come from a new book called Secrets of Aga Cakes by Lucy Young (her third book). I’m planning another post on this book later, so won’t go into details, except to say I bought it for the author not the Aga aspect – as I don’t own one! Anyhow the cakes are the bases from her indulgent chocolate cupcakes and the icing is from a chocolate pecan traybake recipe. The cake has margarine in it, and I’m not big on margarine, but here it really works, and the little cakes taste light and chocolate-y - must be butter in the icing though!
Actually these are really good just as cupcakes with the frosting if you don’t want to go down the owl route, and I plan on making them that way later in the year with some wafer roses on top.
From different recipes in Lucy Young’s Secrets of Aga Cakes.
Makes 24 mini cupcakes
For the cakes:
25g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
100g baking margarine
100g caster sugar
75g Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix cocoa and water, then add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix. Spoon into cases and bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 oC.
For the Frosting:
75g soft butter
225g icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons boiling water
3 x Terry’s chocolate oranges (you’ll have odd shaped bits left over)
7 bags Maltesers
Mini chocolate buttons x 1 box
Orange icing tube x 1
Ice cakes with the chocolate frosting, then place two maltesers per cake and a slice of chocolate orange, which you’ve cut into 3 parts – use only the two outside angled bits – to make the ears. Place a splodge of orange icing on each malteser and top with a mini chocolate button. Finally pipe a small line between the eyes for the beak.