For the cupcakes
• 140g/5oz butter, softened
• 250g/9oz caster sugar
• 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 150g/5½oz plain flour
• 75g/2½oz self-raising flour
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 50g/2oz cocoa powder
• 200ml/7fl oz buttermilk or plain yoghurt
For the marshmallow icing
• 250g/9oz sugar
• 120g/4½oz golden syrup
• 4 free-range eggs, whites only
• 2 tbsp chocolate sugar strands
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line twelve muffin tins with muffin cases.
- For the cakes, beat together the butter and sugar with a hand-held mixer until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time beating well. Add the vanilla extract with the last of the egg.
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into a bowl. Gently fold the flour mix into the butter mixture with the buttermilk until mooth.
- Place a dessertspoonful of the batter into each muffin case, bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- For the icing, place the sugar, golden syrup and four tablespoons of water into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil for 5-6 minutes until it reaches 15C/239F.
Measured with a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg whites with a hand-held mixer until it forms soft peaks. Then, on a low speed, pour in the sugar syrup in a thin steady stream.
- When all added increase the speed of the mixer and mix for about 10 minutes until the icing is completely cool, thick and glossy. Do not skimp on the whipping.
- With a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle, pipe a circle of icing onto each cupcake, then, holding the bag upright over the centre of the cake, pipe a tall mound of icing to form a small peak on the top.
- Add chocolate sugar strands for eyes or any decoration you fancy. The icing will keep out of the fridge but make sure it doesn’t get too hot or the it will melt