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After Eight Mint Cupcakes

This is a basic chocolate cupcake recipe with a mint fondant icing finished with homemade chocolate mints in the style of the classic After Eight Mint.

You can cheat and buy After Eight Mints instead of making them but they are great for a rainy day activity with children.  Make the mints at least 2 hours or the day before making the cupcakes so they have chance to set.

 Ingredients: for 12 chocolate cupcakes
150g soft butter or margarine
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
125g self raising flour
25g good quality cocoa powder

For the mint fondant icing:
250g fondant icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract or to taste
A little water

For the mints
200g 70% cocoa solid dark chocolate
250g fondant icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract or to taste

How to make the Mints:

  1. Break up the chocolate into pieces melt half of it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.  Line a 18cm x 28cm shallow baking tray with parchment and spread out the melted chocolate in a thin layer over the base of the tray, transfer to the fridge to harden.
  2. Mix together the fondant icing sugar, peppermint extract and a little water, beat until if forms a smooth, spreadable but thick paste, adding water a little at a time, if you add too much water add a little more fondant icing sugar.
  3. Once the chocolate has hardened remove it from the fridge and spread a thin layer of the mint fondant over the chocolate, around 2mm thick.  Put it back into the fridge for an hour until set.
  4. Melt the remaining chocolate then spread this all over the set fondant, use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the top and put it back into the fridge to set.

How to make the cupcakes

1.        Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4.

2.        Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

3.        Add the eggs, flour and sieve in the cocoa and mix well.

4.        Split the mixture between 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.   Leave to cool.

5.        To make up the icing mix the fondant icing sugar with the peppermint extract and a little water until it forms a thick icing, once the cupcakes are cool decorate them with the mint fondant icing then remove the mints from the fridge, break them up roughly and decorate the cupcakes with them, serve with extra mints on the side.