Honestly, the first time that I saw these little succulent cactus type of cupcakes. I was super intrigued and thought they looked like little terrariums or terraniums. I don’t know exactly how you it, but you know what I’m talking about. By the way, if you are new here, my name is Jasmine Lee. I’m a pastry chef based here in Montreal and I release new baking tutorials here every single Friday for you guys. So if you’re into that type of thing, you can subscribe down below. It helps to support my channel a lot, so I have experience piping flowers before. I have another video on it. I’ll link it up here, but I have never piped any type of cactus or succulent or things like that. I ordered a new pastry tip to be able to make different types of succulents. So hopefully it will go well today. I’m super excited to try this new challenge. Let’s just get right into the video. So this is a super basic chocolate cupcake recipe. You’’re going to start by measuring the dry ingredients, so that’’s 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup, granulated sugar 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon, baking powder 1/2 teaspoon, baking soda 1/2 teaspoon, salt and 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder. The espresso powder is really just there to boost the cocoa flavour. Sift that using a sifter into a large mixing bowl. Now we just need to measure in the wet ingredients. Pour in a 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon, vanilla 1 egg and ½ cup milk. This recipe is really simple and easy. It’s pretty much a “tos’s all the ingredients in the bowl together and mix” type of recipe. Mix all that together on medium speed until you get a very nice, silky batter like this. The final step to make these chocolate cupcakes. Super moist is to stream in ½ cup of boiling water. I’’ve never seen this trick used unless it’s a chocolate cake recipe. So I guess it has something to do with the cacao. Make sure to line the cupcake pan with some liners and fill each cup around ¾ of the way full. These bake at 325F for around 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Now it’s time to make the buttercream. So in a double boiler I’’m going to measure 1 cup of granulated sugar and 4 egg whites. Give this a good whisk and make sure to keep whisking constantly until the sugar dissolves. You can dip your finger in to feel if the all sugar crystals have dissolved. Now you can whip that until it reaches very stiff peaks and has a chance to cool down. It’’s around 6-8 minutes. I think it’s ready so I’’m just going to put my hand on the side of the bowl to check the temperature and it’s barely warm to the touch, so I was start to add in 1 cup of cubed butter. If it’s not cooled down enough, the meringue can melt the butter and it will become really liquidy. Which it not what you want. Room temperature butter is the best since it has an easy time incorporating. Just add one cube at a time until all the butter is added. To finish off the buttercream, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon of salt. It’’s really important to add salt to help balance the sweetness. This is a trick. I learned in pastry school. If the buttercream is too stiff, you can use a blowtorch around the sides of the bowl and very quickly move around the entire bowl. If you don’t have a blowtorch, you can also use a double boiler for similar effect. Just make sure you’’re only adding a small amount off heat by leaving it on for a few seconds at a time. Now we can start to assemble the cactus cupcakes. I’’m going to start by using an apple corer to take out the center of each cupcake. This step is completely optional. I just like to put a filling when I make cupcakes. I’m putting in raspberry jam using a piping bag here, but you can put anything like pastry cream salted caramel. It’s really up to you. Repeat that same process with all the rest of the cupcakes. Okay, I want to try and make something that looks like soil on the cupcakes. So using a ziploc bag and rolling pin I’’m going to crush some Graham crackers and add the to a plate with so chocolate baking crumbs. I’ve used these crumbs before on my channel, but if you don’t have these, you can use the cookie Part of Oreos. Just make sure you remove the icing. I was nervous. Some of the icing might show through the crumbs, so I’m sifting in some cocoa powder and mixing that in. Honestly, the icing didn’t show as much as I thought it would so. I think you can even skip this step if you want to. You can use an offset spatula to spread a really thin layer on the cupcakes. This is really just there. So the cookie crumbs stick, Press each cupcake and roll it until they are completely covered. Now we can finally get started on the most fun part of these cupcakes. Which is piping. You need some piping, tips and gel food colouring. I’ll link their exact names down below as well as a pastry nail offset spatula, parchment, paper squares and piping bags. I’m going to start by separating the buttercream into different bowls. I decided to make 4 different colours and reserved some white buttercream for later. Here, I’’m mixing together a moss green colour. I also made pink brown and dark green. I was nervous about these colours being overly bright and looking artificial. So if that is the case, you can add cacao powder, which helps me get those more natural tones. When your mixing buttercream colours just add a little bit of colour at a time with a toothpick until you get the right shade. To make the first succulent I’’m going to put the green and brown colours into the same piping bag with a flat petal tip. This one is good to start with because it’s fairly easy to pipe. It’s really similar to piping a flower, but instead of leaning the tip away from the center, you’re going to do the opposite and lean it towards the center. This is going to make the plant look more closed and less like a flower. When you’re done piping, just transfer the parchment square onto a cookie sheet. This is great because you can choose all of the best ones to place on your cupcakes. For the next plant, I’m filling up a pastry bag with the dark green colour fitted with the curved petal tip. I’’m going to start by piping, a small mound in the center. Then starting at the base, you can lift the piping bag upwards. Keep on repeating this while slowly, turning the pastry nail, and it should look something like a succulent by the end. Now, I’’m going to make the cactus using an open star tip and the light green colour Put pressure on the piping bag and pull upwards and away from the pastry nail. You have to be kind of careful here because it can topple over, so make sure to be gentle. Using a small pastry cone filled with white buttercream, I’’m going to add small white dots along every second line or ridge. To finish the cactus, I’m using the pink colour to make a small flower on the top. This is the last small plant, which I honestly wanted for 2 reasons to add some colour and to fill in small gaps. This is the green and pink fitted with a leaf tip and I’m really just doing random spikes in alternating directions. Now all the plants are done and have been in the fridge. So I’’m going to transfer them onto the cupcakes. These cupcakes are a lot of fun to make. You can really get creative with the colours and decorations, so you can really make them unique and your own. For some final touches, I’m going to pipe on some vines and add some chocolate rock candies. You can place these strategically to hide holes or imperfections in the other plants. And that is how you make beautiful, succulent cupcakes. Okay, that is how you make these succulent cactus cupcakes. I’m so happy with how these turned out. They look so great. I already have 2 orders on their way for these exact cupcakes, so I’m super happy that this was such a success and other people seem to be liking them as well. Now I got so excited. Actually that I didn’t actually set one aside for me to taste on camera, but I figured that’s OK. These cupcakes are pretty much all about aesthetic anyways and flavour wise. It’s pretty much chocolate, raspberry vanilla, which is like pretty basic. If you guys do decide to recreate this recipe, Don’t forget to tag on Instagram. I always love to see what you guys are making at home, and if you want to help support my channel and encourage me on Youtube, don’t forget to help by subscribing down below, giving this video a big thumbs up and also clicking the bell to get a notification. Everytime I post. Okay bye till next time.