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Coca Cola Cupcakes

So it's the mid-feb half term holidays already and I can barely believe it. Before we know it Easter will be upon us! 

Is it me or does time just seem to whizz by when you're a grown up? It truly only feels like yesterday that my 3 were school age. Now my eldest has a little boy of his own with another on the way and my other two are 6ft 2 giants who tower over me. 

This year I will be 45 and I swear it was only a couple of years ago that I was 35, even worse the grey hairs keep popping on my head. Don't they know I'm not ready to start dying my locks just yet!!
150g S/R Flour
130g soft light brown sugar
150g stork/unsalted butter
1/2 tsp bicarb
25g cocoa
300ml cocoa cola
3 eggs
12 cola bottle or cola gummy sweeties 

Start by pouring the coke into a pan and bringing to the boil. Meanwhile, in a freestanding machine or with a hand-whisk, whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

Add the eggs slowly, next add the flour and bicarb. Pour 100ml of the hot cola into a measuring jug and add the cocoa whisk together with the beaters running slowly (and I mean real slowly or you'll end up covered in a brown sludge like I did) and add this to the cake batter. 

Place the saucepan back onto the heat and reduce the coke to a syrup (about 35ml) and put to one side to cool completely. Pour the cake batter into your jug and pour into 10-12 muffin cases. Bake at 170 for about 15-17 minutes. With a cocktail stick pierce the tops and leave to cool completely.

Now make up the *Swiss buttercream, once your buttercream is totally combined, in a slow stream pour half of your coke syrup into the buttercream with the whisk on slow speed, use the other half of the syrup to spoon over your cupcakes. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe small swirls onto the tops and finish with a cola sweetie.

*For a more intense coke flavour, mix the cola syrup and some fondant icing sugar into a thick pourable paste (you may need to add a little extra cola) and spread over the cakes, finishing with the cola gummy, then leave to set completely. 
Not as pretty but a real flavour kick.