I’m currently teaching on a healthy ‘cook and eat on a budget’ course at a social enterprise in Westminster, which I absolutely love. This week we made cupcakes, so I asked my group why, when the course is aimed at healthy eating, were we baking cakes? They were stumped. Normally, when you think of healthy eating, ideas of lean meat, mountains of fruit and vegetables, no chocolates, sweets or cakes pop into your head. But healthy eating is so much more. It is about enjoying your food, enjoying cooking, and enjoying everything in moderation. As my great grandfather used to say:
“A little bit of what you fancy does you good. A lot of what you fancy does you in!”
And with that in mind, I made these chocolate mousse cupcakes. Cupcakes on Valentine’s Day are the ultimate cliche. However, cliches exist for a reason; these are pretty and delicious. Whilst the addition of aubergine may seem initially strange, it gives the cake the most incredible, fluffy texture (I’ve tested this out on friends and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive!). These cakes improve with age, so pop them in the fridge and enjoy them over the next week. Makes 16.
INGREDIENTS (for the cakes)
300g dark chocolate
200g caster sugar
60g ground almonds
50g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
INGREDIENTS (for the icing)
150g marscapone cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
Anything you fancy for decorations (I used pink sugar sprinkles and pomegranate seeds to continue the V-Day theme)
1. Piece the skin of the aubergine a few times, put in a bowl of water, cover the bowl with cling film and microwave for 8 minutes.
2. Discard the aubergine water, peel the aubergine and pop the flesh in a blender and process until smooth.
3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler then add to the blender.
4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add to the blender.
5. Add the ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and water to the blender and process until smooth and creamy.
6. In cupcake cases, spoon the mixture until about 2/3 of the case is filled.
7. Bake the cupcakes at 180 degrees for 25 mins.
8. Combine all the icing ingredients together.
9. Ice and decorate the cupcakes once cooled (otherwise you end up with a less-than-pretty marscapone puddle!)