For the cakes:
- Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake cases
- Preheat the oven 180ºC conventional oven, centre shelf, 170ºC fan oven, GM 5.
- Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and creamy
- Gradually add the beaten eggs
- Sift together the flour and the cocoa and gently fold into the mixture.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cup cake cases
- Bake in the pre heated oven for 15-18 minutes until risen and soft to the touch.
- Allow to cool on a rack completely before decorating.
For the fondant icing chick decorations:
- If you are using white fondant, colour ⅔ of the fondant yellow for the bodies of the chicks and the remaining fondant orange for their beaks.
- If you are using the ready coloured fondant, roll the yellow fondant into 36 small rounds about the size of a 10p piece for the chicks bodies.
- Flatten the orange fondant and cut into small diamond shapes, fold in the centre to form a beak and attach to the body with a little water.
- Use the black writing icing to give each of the chick’s eyes.
- Put to one side to allow to dry.
Buttercream for the ‘nest’ and ‘straw’ icing:
- Beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth
- Add a little milk if the icing needs softening.
- Divide the buttercream in half, mix the cocoa with a little hot water to a paste, allow to cool and mix into one half of the icing.
- Place the Grass nozzle into a piping bag with the plain icing and use to create the straw affect around the edge of each cooled cake.
- With a clean Grass nozzle and piping bag, use the chocolate icing to create the nest on the straw.
- Place your 3 fondant chicks into their nest.
- Any leftover buttercream will keep covered in the fridge until the next time.