(Well frig eh, happy Canada Day! I live in the worst/best city for this holiday, and after a few times out at the madness, my family has decided we will hide from it for the rest of our days in this place. But, for those of you still with the spirit to tie the flag on like a cape or face-paint yourselves all red and white, here’s a fun recipe to hand out at your fancy BBQ party. – FATS)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) sifted cake and pastry flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) maple extract or vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) icing sugar
- 1 oz (28 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 24 candy-sprinkled dark chocolates, (such as pearls)
- 24 coloured quins or small candy
- 12 chocolate-covered cashews
- 24 blanched sliced almonds
- 12 small milk chocolate-covered digestive biscuits
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. On low speed, beat in butter and remaining cocoa mixture until combined. Increase speed to medium; beat for 1 minute. Gradually beat in egg mixture, scraping side of bowl as necessary. Divide among 12 large paper-lined muffin cups, smoothing tops.
2. Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely on racks. (Make-ahead: Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
3. Chocolate Icing: In bowl, beat butter until fluffy; gradually beat in cream. Beat in maple extract. Beat in sugar, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time. Beat in chocolate until fluffy. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days; beat before using.)Spoon 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; set aside for decorating face.
4. Cut tops off each cupcake level with top of paper liner; cut one-third off each top, reserving large piece.
Spread rounded 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the remaining icing over each cupcake and reserved large piece. Stand cut edge of piece on edge of cupcake for face, supporting piece with small dollop of icing.
With serrated knife, halve 1 cashew lengthwise; press half below eyes with curve facing up for nose. Cut remaining cashew half in half crosswise; press above eyes for ears.
With offset spatula, smooth icing at cheeks. Starting at nose, pipe reserved icing in swoop along each edge of cupcake for jowls.
Press almonds into icing below nose for teeth.
6. Using 2-1/2-inch (6 cm) plain teardrop cutter, cut out tail from each biscuit. Pipe line of icing around edge of tail; pipe diamond pattern in centre. Press onto cupcake behind face.