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This is – I suppose – a bit of a continuation of a previous post.

I’ve said it a few times: I’d rather have a muffin than a cupcake. I don’t understand the fad that is (was?) the cupcake craze. They’re good as far as they go (i.e. in my face), but I wouldn’t necessarily want to put them on some kind of baked good pedestal. That being said, sometimes only a nice bit of cake will do. And as these cupcakes are made from a basic sponge cake mixture and easier to handle than a whole cake, they were perfect for what I wanted!


I simply appropriated Nigella’s cupcake recipe and added a small packet of chocolate chips I had in the cupboard doing nothing.

The ganache is incredibly simple to make too. Although I used my chilli and chocolate mill, if you can get hold of it then chilli chocolate (Lindt and Thornton’s both do a chilli chocolate bar) would work just as well!

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  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • Half teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • Half teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 100g chocolate chips (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line a 12-hole muffin pan.
  • Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

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  • Sift in half the flour and baking powder and add one egg. Mix until combined. Repeat with the rest of the flour and other egg.
  • Add the milk, vanilla extract and chocolate chips (if using).
  • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners. Nigella assures us that there is enough mixture to make exactly 12 cupcakes if spooned out evenly. Perhaps I was a little heavy-handed as I got 10. Not that its a problem either way!

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  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden and firm to the touch, and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack.

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Chocolate Ganache


  • 200g bar chocolate, chopped – either milk or plain, your choice – but chilli flavour if you don’t have a chocolate/sugar/chilli mill!
  • 150ml double cream
  • Chocolate/sugar/chilli mix



  • Pour the cream into the bowl of a bain marie (double-boiler – glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water so the water does not touch the bowl) and bring to a near boil.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted. The smaller you chop the chocolate the quicker this will take.
  • Add the chocolate and chilli mix if using. I should say here that I did about 50 ‘twists’ of the mill. I don’t know how much this makes, but I’d say less than a teaspoon. Whilst I like the kick, my other half isn’t so keen! Experiment and see what you like!
  • Once this has cooled slightly, top the cooled cupcakes and leave to cool completely.

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