Monday, 23 May 2011

Honeycomb Fudge Cupcakes

So the sky hasn't fallen down!!  Ironic that I always expect it to, just for being open and honest and true to myself - for once...  I had honestly expected a lot more comments and thoughts from anyone who read my last post.  Like I said, I wasn't even sure how many people would read it, hence the sneaky cupcake recipe offer, but in a way, the fact that not many commented on my revelations is a relief.  

Without further ado then: here is the long awaited Honeycomb Fudge Cupcake recipe.  I am afraid to have to tell all you cupcake bakers and makers out there that I have now officially named this cupcake the best cupcake ever.  I am so serious that you really shouldn't think I am kidding.  I have adapted the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and this said, I feel that I can take a teeny bit of credit for the gorgeousness of the results.  

The cupcakes are very fluffy and very moist, incredibly tasty in a caramelly fudgy way but without being either too rich or sweet, and the light buttercream with caramel drizzles just finishes it off nicely.  I'm actually craving some for myself (and only myself!) right about now.  

Honeycomb Fudge Cupcakes
(adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

240g plain flour
280g soft brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, room temperature
240ml whole milk
2 eggs
130g small honeycomb pieces
195g fudge, chopped into smallish pieces
½ tsp vanilla extract
fudge buttercream and fudge sauce, to ice

1.       Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3.
2.       Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
3.       Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
4.       Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).  Add honeycomb and fudge pieces and continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.
5.       Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.
6.       A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
7.       When the cupcakes are cold, ice with fudge buttercream and drizzle with fudge sauce.
Makes 24 cupcakes

Please do try it out - it's one of those quick and easy recipes that is really worth it and you'll probably come back to it lots of times once you've tasted them...  In any case, let me know how you get on!

Happy baking!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Fantasies in a cupcake

Well. What can I say??  I've been long absent again, and this time there's good reason for it.  I am about to make what is a very public (for me!) announcement into the wilds of cyberspace...and part of me is hoping that I don't get any interest or feedback on it whatsoever...

But the more honest and mellowing side of me realises that now is perhaps the time to be more open with myself, my friends, and even my family.  I posted on the Fans of Cake Baker facebook wall this was simply that...erm...  Ok.  Deep breath. goes!  Actually, wait.  I posted in response to a comment from another focb, who had mentioned something similar to this.  To divert slightly, for anyone who is in any way at all cake minded, this facebook page is the best thing ever.  I swear.  Ok, ok.  

Now.  Here we go.  I have suffered from the very devil's devil that is depression for most of my adult life.  The depression.  Ahh, people say.  And man, the looks!  The sympathy, as if they don't know quite where to run to but are equally scared to meet your eyes.  I'm not entirely sure what they'll find there - I am still the same Lorien!  Eeeesh.

So, alongside all that ongoing palaver, I still go on with the baking and creating, and having the enjoyment that my kitchen and oven are giving me.  I have been busy preparing for market stalls (Pangbourne Qaulity Market, in Berkshire) and then I had about 250 cupcakes made and sold at the Burghfield May Fayre - such fun!  Mr Chill insisted that there must be an Oreo cupcake:

and true to his opinion (he's usually always right - I know, I know, a conundrum in itself...), they were very popular.  

I also made batches of mint choc, raspberry with white chocolate, plain vanilla, chocolate with Bailey's, strawberry cupcakes and THE ultimate: honeycombe fudge.  This was a cakegasm, if I can claim that word for my own?  I insist.  I MUST.  Baker's rights!  

It was a mouthful of caramelly, soft, light sponge, speckled with chewy bits of honeycomb  (imported specially from Mullins Icecream in Northern Ireland) and chopped up dairy fudge. 

Here are the slightly pockmarked (with honeycomb and fudge bits!) and wailing-for-buttercream cupcakes.
To finish the killer combo, I mixed fudge sauce with homemade buttercream, swirled away, and then topped a few decadent drops of fudge sauce on top.  

And there you have it - the most delicious thing I have created in a looong while.  People raved about it!  (Some people even - although I am very sad to admit it - took pictures of the cupcakes too...)  Suffice to say that all my cupcakes sold out long before I got home.  Happy days!

So, to get you drooling - I'm heartless, I do know this - here's just a taste:

Ok.  Cruelty over.  

But I must confess that I'm curious about who's reading and peeking at my blog (if indeed anyone is...), so instead of posting the honeycomb fudge cupcake recipe right away, if anyone would like it perhaps you'd leave a comment below and I'll post it up?  If not I'll have to torment you with more pictures of delish goods from my oven until you're demanding those recipes!  

Thank you for reading - and I hope to catch you on here again soon.