430g (15 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
265 g (91/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
125 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
5 drops red food gel + 1 tsp cocoa powder
5 drops black food gel + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
300g red candy melts
300g white candy melts
200g black candy melts
100g white fondant
100g black fondant
1 cup small yellow caviar sprinkles
1 batch American buttercream frosting or Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
6 drops yellow food gel
1 tsp pineapple flavouring
To make the poké balls you’re going to need some equipment. To make the spheres you’ll need some round sphere molds. The ones I bought from amazon are called: Small sphere moulds: Martellato Polycarbonate Chocolate Mold Half-Sphere 50mm, 8 Cavities. If you search for that, it should pop up. To make the black ring around the ball you’ll need a 5cm round cookie cutter. To make the little buttons you’ll need a large round piping tip (1.5cm), a medium one (1cm) and a smaller one (0.5cm).
Begin by adding your three chocolates to three separate bowls. Microwave each one separately for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until melted.
Pour the red chocolate into one side of the chocolate sphere mold and gently tap the mold. Pour the white chocolate in the other half and gently tap. That’ll help any air bubbles rise to the top. Let the chocolate sit in the mold for 1 minute before turning the mold up side down onto a baking tin. Allow the excess chocolate to drip out.
Use a large bench scraper to scrape away excess chocolate from the top of the mold before placing in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill very well.
The way the mold is designed is that the chocolate spheres will come out very easy. If they don’t give the mold a gentle tap on a tea towel and they will pop out. If any break, pop them back in the bowl with the rest of the melted chocolate and re-melt for the rest of the chocolate sphere. You’ll need 12 red halves and 12 white halves.
To make the black ring add the melted black candy melts into a a piping bag. Place the 5cm cookie cutter ring onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Pipe black chocolate on the inside perimeter of the cookie cutter. Place the baking tray in the fridge for 10 minutes and allow the chocolate to set. The chocolate ring will pop out easily. Repeat this process until you have 12 black rings.
To prepare the fondant buttons, roll out both the black and white fondant onto a flat surface using a fondant rolling pin. Use the end of the large piping tip to cut out 12 black fondant discs. Use the end of the medium and small piping tips to cut out the medium and small white fondant discs.
Use some of whichever melted chocolate is left over to pipe a very small amount of chocolate on all of the black fondant discs and stick the medium white fondant discs on top. Add some more chocolate on top of the medium white discs and stick the small white fondant discs on top. Allow them to set for 30 minutes before using.
To assemble the spheres, place a non-stick frypan on the stove and WARM it up. (don’t get it hot) Alternatively you can do what I did and dip a metal bench scraper into some boiling water and dry it. Place the white halves on the warmed up surface and slightly melt. This will do two things, it will melt the end of the sphere half allowing the black discs to stick to it and it will make the sphere half slightly shorter so that when the black chocolate disc and the other half of the sphere are all put together, it looks like a circle and not an oval.
The bottom of the black chocolate discs will be perfectly flat. The top will not be so you want to add the top of the black chocolate disc onto a warm surface and melt it down so that it’s nice and flat. Add it to the white chocolate half. Repeat with the red chocolate sphere halves and place them on top of the black chocolate discs.
The spheres are almost done! Place a small dab of melted chocolate on the back of the button and stick it to the side of the sphere where the black chocolate disc is. Allow them to set in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
Please note: if you’re making these on a warm day, the spheres and the cupcake will need to be stored in the fridge otherwise the spheres will melt.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two cupcake tins with the cupcake liners.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, yoghurt and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds.
Split the batter into two bowls. Then take about 3 tbsp of batter from each bowl and place into a small bowl. Add black food gel and cocoa powder into the small bowl and mix until well combined.
Add red food gel and cocoa powder into one of the other bowls of batter and mix until well combined.
Add each batter into a piping bag. Pipe white batter into each cupcake liner. Then pipe a thin ring of black batter before finishing with red batter. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Add the yellow food gel and pineapple flavouring to the frosting and mix until well combined.
Core the center of each cupcake and fill with yellow sprinkles.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton 6b piping tip and frost a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake before placing the poké ball on top!
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 40 min before serving). Although I’d recommend baking and serving on the same day.
EQUIPMENT: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.
OVEN TEMPERATURE: Each oven is different. Some are old, some are new. Some ovens can be hotter on the inside than the temp you set your oven at. If you find your cupcakes, cakes or macarons are browning or cracking, turn the oven temp down 10C. A handy trick is to get an oven thermometer which sits inside the oven and will give you an accurate temperature reading. They’re inexpensive and can be purchased online or at your local kitchen supply store. And always bake in the centre rack of the oven for best results!
BAKING TIME: These cupcakes will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cupcake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and no caramelisation so that if the cupcakes are coloured they don’t change colour and brown. After 40 minutes, stick a skewer into the centre of one of the cupcakes, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.
Large mixing bowls
Magic Whisk for wet ingredients
Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
Cupcake baking tin
Ice cream scoop (optional)
Small sphere moulds: Martellato Polycarbonate Chocolate Mold Half-Sphere 50mm, 8 Cavities