Valentine’s Hidden Heart Cupcakes

Heart CupcakeFebruary’s here and a time to celebrate all things romantic! What better way than with a hidden heart cupcake?
These clever little cupcakes look innocent enough, yet when you cut them in half, there is a little heart hidden inside!
They look awfully complicated, when in fact they’re pretty simple once you know how.
This recipe makes half a dozen cupcakes.

Ingredients
For the cakes:
125g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened or baking margarine
2 free-range eggs
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Red or pink food colouring (paste ideally)
For the frosting:
60g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
a small amount of milk, if needed
Method
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.Beater
Place all the ingredients, except the colouring, in a bowl.
Beat together in a freestanding mixer, with a handheld electric whisk or wooden spoon, until pale and fluffy.
Take 6 dessert-spoonfuls of the batter and place in a bowl.
Add the colouring, a few drops at a time until the desired shade is reached.
Line a 20cm tin with baking parchment and pour in the coloured batter.

colour batterRed cakeBake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre, comes out clean.
Remove from the tin and place on a wire cooling rack.
Once cooled, use a 3cm long heart-shaped cutter to cut out six sponge hearts.
Tsp batterHeart in caseLine a cupcake tin with six paper cases.
Put a teaspoon of batter in each case.
Place a heart into the centre of the case, point down.
Cover with a dessert-spoonful of cake mixture.
Make a mark on the outside of each case with a pen or pencil to show which way the heart is lying. This will allow you to cut the cupcake in the correct place once it is baked.
Once all the cupcakes are prepared, place in the centre of the oven and bake for 18 minutes, until springy to the touch.
Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the frosting:
Using a handheld electric whisk or beater attachment on a freestanding mixer, beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a deep bowl, adding a little milk if needed.
Continue to beat for five minutes until light and fluffy.
Pipe in a swirl on the top of the cooled cupcakes.
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