Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes

It's cupcake day again, and this week my excuse was a friend's birthday. I wanted to do something special, something that would taste amazing and look really pretty. So I decided to make chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream, a combination I'd been thinking of for awhile. Only I wanted there to be a little something extra. So this week I bring you surprise cupcakes - chocolate cupcakes with a dollop to caramel in the centre and pink strawberry buttercream on the top. I used my large 1M frosting tip to make a flower shape by simply holding the tip straight above the cupcake, only about a half centimetre away from the surface, and squeezing until the frosting had spread out around the tip, then lifting the tip quickly to make a point. If you had something circular like decorative sliver balls or some sort of small round candy (like M&Ms maybe) you could place it in the centre to make it really look like a flower. I think I'll have to try that next time. For now I have to find people to eat these cupcakes so that they are not sitting there tempting me to have another one.

Chocolate Cupcakes

125 grams butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon custard powder (or cornflour/corn-starch)
1/4 cup milk
Caramel (pre-made or make your own)
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
125 grams butter or shortening (room temperature)
2-3 cups icing sugar
Red/Pink food colouring
Strawberry flavour/essence
1-2 tablespoons milk

Before you begin these cupcakes, you need to have the caramel prepared. If you have brought a jar or can then that is fine, but if you're making your own make it now, before you even start the cupcakes. For these you want something quite solid, not like a sauce, more like soft toffee or dulce-de-leche.

I made mine with a can of condensed milk - you simply take the paper wrapper off of the can, place the can in a large pot, cover it with water and let it simmer for 3 hours. Apparently if you let the water level drop to below the top of the can then it could explode - this has never happened to me, but I wouldn't want to tempt fate and let it boil down too far. Whenever I notice the can showing I add more water. The last thing to keep in mind when making caramel like this is that you need to let the can cool completely before you open it. If the contents are still warm and you try to open it the pressure will make the caramel spurt out and go everywhere. It's not easy to clean caramel off of the ceiling so let the can cool. Which means you might want to do this part the night before.

For the cupcakes, begin by turning the oven on to 180 degrees celsius and lining a muffin tray. Then take a large bowl and cream the butter with the sugar. Add the vanilla essence and the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Continue beating as you add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and custard powder. The custard powder (or cornflour/corn-starch) makes the cake that little bit softer and more moist.

Finally beat in the milk, then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes, after which point a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Take the cupcakes from the tray and let them cool completely before moving on - which should take a few hours. I generally make mine at night and frost them in the morning.

Finally, the frosting and putting them together. For the frosting, Beat the butter/shortening until it is creamy, then begin to sift in the icing sugar, a half cup at a time. When you have added about two cups of icing sugar the mixture should seem quite stiff. Now add a small amount of red food colouring and strawberry flavouring - just a couple of drops of each should do. Add a tablespoon or two of milk and beat the mixture again. Taste it and add more flavour and colour if necessary. Then continue to sift in the last cup of icing sugar, until the frosting has the consistency that you want.

To make the surprise cupcakes, you need to take a sharp knife and cut a section out of the middle of the cupcake. If you insert the knife at an angle and cut a circle you should be able to take a cone-shape out of each. Then place a small dollop of caramel in the centre. Take the piece that you have cut out and slice the top off, so that you have a small disc of cake. Place this back on top of the cupcake. You can see this in the picture above - the front cupcake has caramel in it, the cupcakes behind have had their tops placed back on top of the caramel.

Finally, pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cupcakes in any way that you like, and then serve them up and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jaimie,
    What special cupcakes, I want to try your recipe! Enjoy your weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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