I have eaten too much. A reoccurring issue I’m afraid. So I thought this week I’d go for a petite treat. Buns. Buns are the easiest thing in the world to make.
Actually. I need to address something first.
Just in case there are folks out there who don’t know, a bun is the creation more frequently referred to as a ‘cupcake’ nowadays. Let the record show, up until about 5 years ago a ‘cupcake’ had never been eaten in Ireland. A bun. Yes. Quite often indeed. Especially at a children’s birthday party or the like. But now there is a scourge sprawling across our nation. The ‘cupcake’. In my head all I hear when I hear cupcake is too much buttercream icing (or ‘frosting’ – shudder) overwhelming an underwhelming spongy base. A bun however should be a jazzy little sponge number bedecked with an appropriate quantity (enough to have a bit with every bite but not too much so as to end up with just icing by the end) of flavourful icing.
Back to this recipe. When I eat chocolate cake I expect it to be just that – chocolate, not cocoa. So for my buns (harhar) I use melted chocolate to flavour them. As for the raspberries, they’re there because raspberries are delicious with chocolate, everyone knows that. Finally, I am always partial to a dash o’ ground almonds in a batter to keep a cake moist.
Oven temperature 180 Celsius
Light muscavado sugar 115g
Dark chocolate 70g
Self raising flour 115g
Ground almonds 60g
Dark chocolate 40g
Icing sugar 2 teaspoons
Preheat the oven. This quantity should make 10 – 12 standard buns. So prepare that many cases; little loose paper ones, re-usable silicone ones or grease a bun tin. Those silicone ones are actually deadly, my husband bought me a set a few Christmases ago and I must admit my skepticism of their usefulness but I stand corrected. They’re great, fierce easy to unmould your little buns and then when you’re eating them you don’t have any paper cases to deal with. Nice.
To the buns. Snap the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwavable bowl and melt for 1 to 2mins. Once lovely and melty leave to one side.
It helps to have room temperature butter for this next bit, it’ll be fine with fridgey butter but will just take a bit longer to blend. In a big mixing bowl put the butter and sugar. With an electric whisk…whisk till more or less smooth/ combined.
Crack the eggs into the big buttery mixing bowl and blend the mix again. Now, ideally you’d like to add the slightly cooled chocolate to the newly egged mix as you whisk but if you don’t have such coordination then just pour in the chocolate and start whisking straight away. You don’t want any eggs to be scrambled. No need to wash your chocolate bowl just yet because you can reuse it for the icing.
Now, fold in the flour, almonds and raspberries. Spoon evenly into the awaiting cases and pop into the oven. In theory they only take 12mins but this may vary. You want them to be just not completely soft when you touch their tops. They’re even quite nice slightly undercooked but less nice over-baked.
Take them out and leave them to cool on a wire wrack. Worry not if they develop the odd sinkhole, you can blame the raspberries for that, because you can fill them in with icing.
For the icing, put the raspberries in a small pan with a teaspoon of water and heat for about 3mins on high till you can easily squish the raspberries with the back of your spoon and the mixture is good and warm. Take off the heat and strain through a sieve.
Get your chocolate bowl from before and snap in the chocolate. Buzz it in the microwave as before then take it out and add in the butter (the heat of the chocolate should melt it) and the raspberry purée and mix. Beat in the icing sugar (’tis best if you sieve it in to avoid lumps), then leave to one side to cool and thicken a bit.
Spoon a healthy dollop of icing onto each completely cooled bun and using the back of a spoon or a butter knife smooth it down. Pop a spare raspberry or any red berry on top of each iced bun just to make them look even prettier.