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Sunday, 7 February 2021

Valentines Teddy Bear Chocolate Cupcakes

Valentines isn't Valentines without cute, cuddly bears! These adorable teddy bear cupcakes are perfect for someone special this Valentine's day.


They feature a chocolate cupcake with a core of chocolate hazelnut sauce, topped with a swirl of rich chocolate meringue buttercream, and chocolate dunked oreo bears holding a pink fondant heart- How sweet are they?!
Valentines is all about sharing the love so why not just do that and whip up a batch of these cupcakes to celebrate!

These cupcakes couldn't be any cuter if they tried. Each cupcake features an adorable teddy bear holding a pink heart - I cant!!
The 'teddy bear' is extremely easy to make, you just need a little patience and a few simple ingredients.
Each bear requires 1 oreo cookie, 3 Love Heart sweets, pink and white fondant and chocolate ganache ( recipe below). If you don't have Love Hearts, you can use dairy-free chocolate buttons.
I absolutely love how simple the design is yet how effective it looks!

Why I love these cupcakes:
  • They look freaking epic
  • Cake and a chocolate oreo- two desserts in one is always a winner!
  • The chocolate core is delicious and oozes out when bitten into
  • They'd make great gifts for valentines day, birthdays, or for special occasions 
  • The decoration is simple yet effective


Notes*
What is Aquafaba:
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of chickpeas. The chickpea water or brine as it's called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, cupcakes and this delicious meringue buttercream. You can also get aquafaba in a carton for easy use. Check it out here.


Preparation: 30 minutes
Makes: 6-8 cupcakes
Baking time: 18-20 minutes
Level: Medium

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Ingredients for the chocolate ganache
  • 120g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 100ml of dairy-free cream (I use Elmlea Plant-Based Cream Alternative, coconut cream works great too)

Ingredients for the teddy bear head
  • 1 pack of oreo cookies
  • Love heart sweets or chocolate buttons
  • Pink and white fondant
  • Edible glitter (optional)

Ingredients for the cupcakes
  • 240ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 210g of self-raising flour
  • 25g of cocoa powder
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 60ml of sunflower oil

Ingredients for the chocolate buttercream
  • 120g of dairy-free butter (I use Flora block Plant Butter)
  • 20g of melted dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 50g of cocoa powder
  • 140g of icing sugar
  • 80ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
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Method (chocolate ganache)
1. Place the dairy-free cream into a medium-sized saucepan, and heat on medium until it comes to a boil.

2. Place the dairy-free dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot cream.
Allow to sit for a few minutes then stir together.
The hot cream will melt the chocolate.
Set aside.

Method (teddy bear head)
1. Twist open the Oreos so that the filling remains on one side and the other side is just a cookie.

2. Press 2 Love Heart sweets or chocolate buttons (ears) very gently onto one of the Oreos (the one with the filling on it). 
Add some of the chocolate ganache into the middle of the oreo and gently press the second Oreo on top creating a sandwich. The ganache will act as glue to hold the oreo and ears in place. 

3. Spoon the chocolate ganache over the assembled bear, tap to remove any excess ganache, place on a greaseproof paper-lined baking tray, and refrigerate until the ganache is set (about 30 minutes). When set, use a toothpick to apply a small dot of ganache to “glue” the fondant eyes and nose in place.
To make the nose, shape a small amount of pink fondant into a heart and press onto the snout. Roll two balls of white fondant for the eyes and press either side of the nose (as seen in the photos). Dot a small amount of the ganache in the middle of the white fondant to create the eye balls. Repeat for all of the bears.

Set into the fridge before assemle.

Method (cupcakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c, fan and line two cupcake tins with cupcake cases. 

2. In a small bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil to the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine. 
5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a smooth batter.

6.  Fill the cases 3/4 full with the batter.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

7. Pop the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer down the center and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

8. Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before filling and frosting.

Method (chocolate buttercream)
1.  In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment. A hand mixer will work great too.

2. Melt the dairy-free chocolate in a bain-marie and allow to cool slightly.

3. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

4. Pour in the aquafaba and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. 

5. Whip in the cooled down melted chocolate. This buttercream should be the consistency of mousse.
If it's too runny/wet, add more icing sugar, if it's too thick, add chunks of butter in at a time until it's the right texture.

6. Core each cupcake and fill with any filling of your choice. I used Livias Chocolate hazelnut sauce, but you could add a vegan chocolate ganache, a fudge sauce, or jam (optional).

7. Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle. Pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake. Repeat for all. Keep some buttercream in the piping bag for the teddy bear arms.

8. Decorate the cupcakes by placing a teddy bear ontop. Using any leftover buttercream, pipe two arms on either side of the head (As seen in the photos).

9. Using a heart cookie cutter, or knife, cut some small harts out of pink fondant and place on the front of the cupcake (to make it look like the teddy is holding it).

Store these cupcakes in or out of the fridge in a sealed container. 
Best eaten within 2/3 days of making.


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