Use blackberries for a seasonal twist on the classic red velvet cake. These indulgent blackberry and chocolate cupcakes are smothered in a glossy cream cheese frosting and topped with dark, plump, shiny jewels.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of shallow, simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Stir the sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the eggs, then add 75ml (3fl oz) boiling water and stir again. Sift in the four and a pinch of salt, then add the crushed blackberries and mix well.
- Divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the frosting, put the butter and soft cheese in a mixing bowl. Mix with a hand whisk, until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar, whisking for 2-3 minutes more. Add the food gel and mix until combined. Chill until needed.
- Using a palette knife, spread the frosting over each cake. Top with a whole blackberry to decorate.
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