Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas mark 5. In a large mixing bowl, beat 125g Stork with Butter into the caster sugar until fluffy.
Beat the eggs and vanilla extract into the sugar and Stork with butter mix. When incorporated, fold in the self raising flour and cocoa powder until just smooth but do not over mix.
Using two dessert spoons, decant even quantities of the chocolate batter into the cupcake cases. Bake the cupcake bases for 16-18 minutes until a cake tester/cocktail stick just comes out cleanly. Allow the cakes to cool in their tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes cool down, mix the icing topping; beat the remaining Stork with Butter with the icing sugar (a food processor with standard blade is an efficient way to do this without icing sugar flying everywhere) until combined into a paste or soft ball. Add 30ml vermouth of the icing and blend again. If too stiff add a further 10ml. Finally add half a teaspoon of good quality red paste food colouring and beat until the colour is even. Keep the red icing covered with cling film until ready to use.
To make the guns / bow ties: roll out black sugar paste to 5mm thickness and score into 12 lozenges approximately 3cm x 2cm in size.
Cut a smaller rectangle from the bottom right corner of each one and set aside to form bow ties in the next step. With the remaining L-shaped pieces, use a tapered chopstick or fine knitting needle to indent a hole where the trigger would be. Then use a small kitchen knife to make an indentation at the back of the gun and score twice along the top to suggest the barrel.
For the bow ties simply pinch the tiny rectangles with the tip of the kitchen knife and then indent the point on either side to suggest gathering of bow tie fabric. Set aside.
To make the tuxedos: roll out white sugar paste to 5mm thickness and cut out 12 circles.
Use the kitchen knife to score lines to suggest jacket lapels and the tapered chopstick to suggest 3 buttons in between.
Use chocolate writing icing to gently affix the bow ties and guns to the tuxedo jackets and leave the circles upon a wire rack to dry out slightly.
To pipe swirled red icing upon the cupcake bases, decant the icing into a disposable piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle piping tip. Otherwise you can apply the icing to the cupcake bases with a table knife for a flat surface instead.
While the red icing is still damp, gently press down the sugar paste tuxedos/guns. The cakes will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container.
- Temperature: 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas mark 5 oC
- Baking time:
- Serves: 12