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Annabel Karmel
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Chocolate Rudolph Cupcakes

These festive cupcakes make brilliant edible gifts this Christmas. If your kitchen is turning into a present production line, then make sure this recipe is on the menu.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Makes: 12 Cupcakes
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To make the Cupcakes:

100 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
175 g butter
225 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
125 g self-raising flour
20 g cocoa powder
a pinch of salt

For the Icing:

200 g dark chocolate
200 g butter

To Decorate:

small chocolate covered pretzels
Mini Jaffa Cakes
Glace cherries
white chocolate buttons
chocolate icing in a tube

1. Pre heat the oven to 160Fan/140C/Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
2. Measure the chocolate and butter into a bowl. Melt over a pan of simmering water until runny. Stir in the sugar and leave to cool.
3. Using an electric whisk, whisk in the eggs one at a time then whisk in the flour, cocoa and salt until light and fluffy.
4. Spoon into the cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and just form in the middle. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
5. To make the ganache, melt the dark chocolate and then stir in the butter. Set aside to cool and thicken but don’t refrigerate or it will lose its glossy texture. Spoon the ganache into a piping bag with a fairly thin nozzle and pipe over the cooled cupcakes until covered.
6. Insert two pretzels into the top of the cupcake and then stick two more pretzels on top of these using some of the icing as glue to make the antlers.
7. Stick a mini Jaffa Cake in the centre of the cupcakes and place a glace cherry on top to form the nose.
8. Place two white chocolate buttons above the nose to form the eyes and pipe two chocolate eyeballs on top. Leave to set for 15 minutes.

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