I adore the television show RSPCA Animal Rescue, it's amazing to me how well or well cruelly people treat animals. And it's not just dogs that feature on this show, one of my favourite segments were about a bat caught on overhead wire, who survived up there for days when him family lovingly carried him food to eat. The work they do is one well worth supporting and even though I can't take in a stray animal due to living in an apartment, it's good that we can support them other ways.
I had had ample warning about the RSPCA cupcake day, two months in fact. Nevertheless it took me until a week before to finally decide what sort of cupcake to make. I could've made any sort of flavour lets be honest, it's the decoration that counts here but I did want to make something that vaguely harked to the issue at hand. Is making a chocolate cupcake perverse given that dogs can't eat chocolate? It came to me while I was supposed to be thinking of something else as it always does. What better than a Spotted Dog cupcake? I'd base it on the black bottom cupcakes but make it not just the bottom but all round dotty or spotty.
I admit I lucked out when I bought these decorations from London. I could have made fondant faces but I had too much on this week to even contemplate it. Since I'm working from home this week, my sister in law kindly took these into her work to flog!
Spotted Dog cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
Beat the following ingredients in a bowl, stirring the chocolate chips in last:
- 250g cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 unbeaten egg
- 100g white chocolate buttons
Mix in a separate bowl:
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbs. cocoa
- 1 ½ teaspoons bi carb soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
- 1/3 cups plus 3 tablespoons oil
- 150g dark chocolate buttons
Step 1 - Fill paper lined muffin cups half full with chocolate batter. With a teaspoon dot the cream cheese mixture being careful not to fill more than 3/4 full.
Step 2 - Bake in the oven at 180 for 25 minutes.
Decorate with Chocolate ganache and animal sugar decorations
For Chocolate Ganache, melt 300g of milk and dark chocolate (150g of each) and 1/2 cup of cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cool at room temperature until it reaches a piping consistency. Use a star tip nozzle (don't use plain for this as the Spotted Dog reference will bring to mind an unattractive image of the icing-don't make me spell it out! ;) ).