Dark Choc-Chip Fudge and Toasted Walnut Cupcakes

My boyfriend was casually flipping through my Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook a couple of days ago and came across this recipe. After reading the recipe and the ingredients list, I knew it would be a winner. He made a quick call to his work mate and his decision was confirmed (he loves taking my cookies and cupcakes into work for his colleagues – and himself!) and I wrote up my shopping list. These cupcakes are incredibly rich, enjoy responsibly*

Dark Choc-Chip Fudge and Toasted Walnut Cupcakes

Dark Choc-Chip Fudge and Toasted Walnut Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 225 grams unsalted butter
  • 500 grams dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar. firmly packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C  and line muffin tins with cupcake papers
  2. Spread the walnuts over a flat biscuit tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  3. Allow to cool, then chop
  4. Put butter and chocolate in a metal bowl and place over a large saucepan of simmering water
  5. Stir continuously with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until melted and well combined
  6. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature
  7. Add brown and white sugar to cooled chocolate mixture
  8. Stir until well combined
  9. Add the whisked eggs and vanilla extract
  10. Stir until well combined
  11. Add the sifted flour, salt, chopped walnuts and chocolate chips
  12. Stir until well combined
  13. Divide mixture between cupcake papers
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes
  15. Wait 45 minutes before icing

i didn't have a metal bowl, so just used a small pot over a large one

this is what firmly packed brown sugar looks like

mix mix mix

baked cupcakes ready to be iced!

Caramel Sauce Icing

This is the same icing used for the Sticky Date Cupcakes – and it is delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams butter
  • 2/3 cups soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 8 cups icing sugar

Method:

  1. Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and cream in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat
  2. Stir occasionally with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Turn heat up to high and boil for at least 5 minutes (keep a watch on the pot – don’t let the mixture get too hard!)
  4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature
  5. Add half of the sifted icing sugar to the cooled caramel mixture
  6. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes of until light and fluffy
  7. Add remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until light and fluffy and spreadable
  8. Add extra cream if too dry or extra icing sugar if too wet

use a non-stick saucepan and stir continuously

if mix gets any darker than this, stop. recipe says boil on high for at least 5mins but i would recommend something between simmering and boiling - otherwise it just hardens and is unusable

mixture should run off spoon smoothly

We had a beautiful dove perch itself on our balcony while I was icing my cupcakes. He was sitting there happily for over half an hour when I looked up from what I was doing and called out to my boyfriend that our dove had gone. Five minutes later my boy calls out from the study that it’s back – and was wandering about our living room! He even waddled over to the kitchen before I registered what my boyfriend was saying! Luckily we ushered him out of the house with no dramas 🙂

out little friend - surely doves coming into your house are good luck, right?

Eleanor x

*responsibly: always maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime and enjoy things in moderation! 😉

 

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Sticky Date Cupcakes

Another recipe from Jennifer Graham’s The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. I made this a while ago as a treat for my sticky-date-loving boyfriend (as well as for a party I just happened to be attending that night, too). They are ridiculously tasty – especially when taken out of the cupcake wrapper and popped in the microwave for 30 seconds so the icing melts over the cupcake – mmmmm.

sticky date cupcakes!

Sticky Date Cupcakes

Makes 26

Ingredients:

  • 450 grams dates, pitted and diced
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 120 grams softened butter
  • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs

Method:

  1. Put the dates and water into a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium to high heat, stirring continuously with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon.
  2. Remove rom heat
  3. Add ginger and bicarb soda
  4. Stir until well combined
  5. Cover saucepan with plastic film and let mixture cool to room temperature (overnight is best for dates to absorb water)
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C and line muffin trays with foil cases
  7. Sift together self-raising flour, ground cloves and mixed spice
  8. In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes
  9. Add half the caster sugar and beat for 2 minutes
  10. Add remaining caster sugar and beat for 2 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy and sugar is dissolved
  11. Add eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition or until light and fluffy
  12. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until well combined
  13. Fold in the cooled date mixture until thoroughly combined
  14. Spoon into cupcake papers, filling about three-quarters full
  15. Bake for 20 minutes or until skewer inserted into centre of cupcake comes out clean
  16. Remove cupcakes from the trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before icing

Caramel Sauce Icing

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams butter
  • 2/3 cups soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 8 cups icing sugar

Method:

  1. Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and cream in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat
  2. Stir occasionally with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Turn heat up to high and boil for at least 5 minutes (keep a watch on the pot – don’t let the mixture get too hard!)
  4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature
  5. Add half of the sifted icing sugar to the cooled caramel mixture
  6. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes of until light and fluffy
  7. Add remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until light and fluffy and spreadable
  8. Add extra cream if too dry or extra icing sugar if too wet

These cupcakes come highly recommended – especially for you sticky date pudding lovers out there! I hope you’ll give them a go and let me know what you think! If you want more recipes like this I would definitely recommend hunting down the cook book 🙂

Eleanor x

Christmastime Cupcakes

Early this year I was lucky enough to score a sweet Scoopon for a Cupcake Masterclass with Jennifer Graham of Crabapple Cupcake Bakery. Always being an enthusiastic baker, I jumped at the opportunity to learn the art of cupcake decorating from a pro. Prior to this workshop I was more of a cookies and cakes kinda gal. I had made cupcakes and muffins before but never really moved past the old icing sugar + water combo for the icing and the application tended to be pretty pathetic.

Thankfully, I learnt some great tips and tricks from Jennifer in the workshop and I left with my hands full of cupcakes, my very first piping bag set and the fabulous ‘Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook’ (which I highly recommend you run out and buy ASAP).

My Cupcake Bible

It is from this wondrous book that I bring you the Christmastime Cupcake recipe that I recently tried out on my family. These cupcakes have a mocha spice flavour and literally taste like Christmas. The recipe suggests you decorate with Royal Icing and green and red fondant holly leaves and berries. Unfortunately my local baking supplies store ran out of holly leaf cutters so I had to improvise and ended up making red buttercream frosting with white fondant snowflake cupcake toppers. I recommend making the cupcake toppers first to allow them enough time to dry, then the cupcakes and then start on the icing while the cupcakes are cooking.

White Fondant Snowflake Cupcake Toppers

Ingredients/Tools:

  • 250 grams white fondant (I bought mine pre-made from my local baking supplies store)
  • Cup of water
  • Edible Glitter
  • 2 small paintbrushes
  • Rolling pin
  • Small snowflake cutter

Method:

  1. Sprinkle clean bench top with icing sugar
  2. Massage fondant for a couple minutes to soften
  3. Roll out fondant to 3-5mm thickness
  4. Cut out 26 snowflakes
  5. Dip first paintbrush in water and lightly coat snowflakes
  6. Dip second paintbrush in edible glitter and flick bristles over snowflakes (there is no need to completely cover the snowflakes with glitter – just a touch will look beautiful)
  7. Leave on bench to dry out for an hour or more before transferring to cupcake

cut out snowflakes

be sure not to drown your snowflakes in water

finished snowflakes ready for cupcakes!

 

Christmastime Cupcakes

Makes 26

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 grams dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 200 grams softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line muffin trays with large cupcake cases
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, mixed spice and salt and set aside
  3. In a heavy based saucepan, combine the chocolate, coffee and boiling water over low heat. Stir continuously with a flat-bottomed spoon until chocolate has melted. Do not boil. Set aside once combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add half of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining sugar and beat for a further 2 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy.
  6. Add the vanilla and beat until combined
  7. Add a third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
  8. Add half of the sour cream and beat until combined.
  9. Repeat this process
  10. Add the remaining third of the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined; do not over-beat as this will toughen the mixture.
  11. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the mocha mixture a third at a time. Be gentle and do not over-stir. The mixture will be quite thin.
  12. Spoon mixture into cases, filling to about two-thirds full (no more as it rises a lot)
  13. Bake for 15-18 min and cool in pan for 5 min before removing to cooling rack.

flour mixture and mocha mixture

be careful not to over mix when folding in mocha mixture

baked cupcakes ready for icing!

Buttercream Frosting

Again, this recipe is from Jennifer Graham’s The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 cups icing sugar

Method:

  1. Cream the butter for 1-2 minutes
  2. Add the milk, vanilla extract and half of the sifted icing sugar (4cups)
  3. Beat for at least 3 minutes or until light and fluffy
  4. Add remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until light and fluffy and of a spreadable consistency
  5. Add extra milk if too dry or extra icing sugar if too wet
  6. Add food colouring/flavour (for my cupcakes I chose to use pillar box red food colouring)

Assembly

Once cupcakes have cooled, icing is made and fondant cupcake toppers are hardened it is time to complete your cupcake! I chose to use a large star tip piping nozzle but you can choose what you like best. Pipe icing onto each cupcake and place fondant snowflake on top. If you like, you can use silver cachous (those edible little balls) to decorate further. I used 3 per cupcake and a sprinkle of glitter.

the finished product!

Feel free to ask any questions, good luck!

Eleanor x