I don’t eat a great deal of cake. When I was a kid I baked a lot, and I love it…but there’s not a huge need for cake in my day-to-day life and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste, so I don’t bake terribly often. Which is why there isn’t a great deal of desserts on my blog, seeing as this is more a food diary more than anything else. This means, when I do have to bake cake for something, I tend to go ridiculous. These cupcakes are ridiculous.
I was designated cupcakes for a Cousins’ Catch-Up games night, and these are what I brought along. This chocolate cupcake recipe is my go-to chocolate cake/cupcake recipe. It is simple, it’s easy and the cakes are always great. It produces a nice, moist and fluffy cake. I then cut a little hollow to fill with salted caramel, because I’m obsessed with my caramel at the moment. You’ll remember it from my Salted Caramel ChocPavlova, and I used it for Chocolate Tacos, and for my bacon bark and Lance has taken to making salted caramel and melted chocolate dessert nachos with it. Oh. My. Goodness. That is delicious. You should do that. And then I added icing. I must admit, I’m not a big buttercream fan. To me, buttercream icing is just plain icing you used to make when you were a kid, but then it got a fancy name and now it’s the shizz. But really, it’s just butter and icing sugar. Nice and it definitely has it’s place, but nothing spectacular, and too much when piled high on a cupcake. I tend to scrape half of it off. Give me cream cheese icing with that delicious cheese-cakey tang and you have me won, though. This cream cheese icing is peanut butter flavoured. Because peanut butter and chocolate is a match made in heaven. You'll see I used Maple Peanut Butter - that's because it was the only smooth peanut butter I had. You can mimic that by adding 2 tsp maple syrup to normal peanut butter. To just make it the most ridiculous cupcake ever, I then topped it with peanut praline. Epic, yeah?
These are not for the faint hearted. They are *quite* sweet. I recommend keeping them refrigerated after icing them and taking them out around 30 minutes before serving. The warmer they are, the sweeter they are. You can tone them down a bit by having just the cupcake and icing, but at Cousin’s Catch-Up Games Night, I play to win!
Speaking of ‘when you were a kid’…we played Nightmare that night. Do you remember that ol’ VHS game? Yeah, it was awesome…my little maggots!
Chocolate Cupcakes1 1/2 cups plain flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing1 cup icing sugar
250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
4 tablespoons Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Caramel Sauce
Peanut Praline, chopped
Preheat oven to 170. Line a 12 cupcake tray with cases.
In the bowl of a standmixer, blend together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and butter on a slow speed until it combines to look like breadcrumbs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Pour half of this into the flour mix, then beat on high to make sure there are no lumps. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly pour the rest of the milk mixture in a steady stream. Mix for another minute or so until completely smooth.
Spoon batter into paper cases until 2/3 full, then place in the oven for 20-15 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Let cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst cooling, make the icing. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, blend the peanut butter and cold cream cheese until combined. Add the icing sugar a little at the time and beat on medium high for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Don't overmix as it can separate. Refrigerate until ready to use.
When cool, use a thin pointed knife to cut a cone shaped circle down into the centre of the cupcake. Slice the pointed bottom off (and eat!!) and reserve the circular 'plug'. Spoon 1/4 tsp or so of caramel sauce into the hole, then cover with the cake 'plug'.
Use a knife or piping bag to decorate the cupcakes with the peanut butter cream cheese icing