The original inspiration for this came from an amazing blog. You can find it here
This is how you do it.
1. Make your cupcake batter. You can use any light coloured sponge recipe, although you should make sure it is a moist recipe and not too dry. Why not try the easy peasy lemon squeezy recipe or madeira cake recipe?
2. Once you have made your batter separate a 1/3 of it into a different bowl. Cling film the remaining 2/3rds of batter mix and leave to one side.
3. Use food colouring or natural alternatives to dye the 1/3rd you have just separated to the colour of your choice. I’ve chosen pink for my hearts.
4. Grease the base/sides of a square, (any shape will do, i just preferred square for doing this) deep baking tray and pour in the coloured mixture to a depth of a couple of centermeters. Use your judgement here, you are looking for a risen depth that will fit into your cupcake cases, whilst leaving room for the non dyed batter as well.
5. Pop the baking tray into the oven at the temperature the recipe suggests. Take the cake out as soon as it is firm enough to handle being cut into. Try and avoid baking for the full suggested recipe time if you can. Keep testing it so that you can remove from the oven the second it is firm enough to cut.
6. Once firmed take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool completely. Popping it into the fridge will speed the process up.
7. Use a small heart shaped cutter to cut out shapes from the coloured cake. Pop in the fridge to cool, or even freeze for 30 minutes to help prevent overcooking when you re-bake them.
8. Place your cupcake cases into your muffin tin. Remove the clingfilm from your 2/3rd non dyed batter and spoon a dollop into the base of each case.
9. Take each heart and stand it vertically (point to the base) into the dollop of batter. Then spoon a dollop of batter on either side of the heart. Make sure your batter reaches roughly the half way mark of the cupcake, high enough to support the heart, but remembering that the batter will rise! Remember you want the batter to rise OVER the top of your heart so add enough to achieve this. You can also add a dollop of batter over the top of the heart to help.
10. Carry this technique on until you have filled all the cupcake cases.
11. Cover the muffin tin completely in tinfoil in order to prevent the pre-baked hearts from drying out and allow the cupcakes to cook evenly from the sides/base.
12. Cook for the full amount of time as dictated by your recipe, then remove and cool.
Tip* When decorating these create a design that makes it clear which way round these should be eaten from. If you cut in the wrong way all you get is a coloured shape and not a beautiful heart!
You could try this technique with circles, stars, teddy bears, practically any shape that is small enough to fit inside a cupcake!
There are many many things that can be baked into cupcakes, try whole fruits or sweets, or even posh chocolates!
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