It’s Valentine’s Day and the sweetest cakes that I saw whilst out and about this morning were simple chocolate cupcakes with a single gold-sprayed Rolo on top. I didn’t have time to make anything fancy and I haven’t baked cupcakes in a little while now, so I’m a little out of practice. However, baking always relaxes me and I am reminded of how quick and fun it can be to make a quick batch at a fraction of the cost. Sometimes, simple best. You don’t have to get all fiddly and pipe the frosting, just take a reasonably flat knife and spread your topping over the top. If you fancy something a little different, try my Raspberry Ripple and Basil cupcakes instead.
This is a recipe adapted from a lovely new baking book in my collection, Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking. I imagine her cupcake boutique was filled to the brim with pretty and intricately decorated Valentine’s Day cakes today. It is definitely on my list of places to visit when London-bound. Since receiving the book for Christmas, I’ve had my eye on Peggy’s triple layer Creamy Caramel Cake, but in the end, I wondered if I’d be the only one left eating it. So, I decided to halve the cake mix to make 12 individual cupcakes instead. I added some My Secret Kitchen Vanilla Pudding Spices (cinnamon would work well, too) and used a toffee sauce, since that’s what I had, in place of dulce de leche. Peggy suggests making a sugar syrup to soak into the cakes once baked, but as these were small cupcakes with plenty of sweet frosting on top I didn’t think it was necessary.
Caramel and Cocoa Cupcakes
Adapted from Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking (Creamy Caramel Cake)
100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100 g vanilla sugar or golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
100 g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla Pudding Spices or Cinnamon
- For the Buttercream Frosting
100 g unsatled butter
150 g icing sugar
60 g toffee or caramel sauce
Two tablespoons cocoa powder to dust
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/gas mark 5. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
- Beat the butter and vanilla sugar together for at least five minutes until pale and creamy.
- Slowly add the beaten eggs and gently whisk together.
- Sift in the flour and pudding spices or cinnamon and gently mix together with a metal spoon until all the flour is folded in.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake cases, or use an ice-cream scoop. The cases should be just over half full.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Take the cakes out of the oven and leave them to cool.
- To make the buttercream frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the toffee sauce and mix well.
- Using a small palette knife or a flat knife, spread a little frosting onto each cake. Twist the cake round as you spread to create a swirl effect.
- Dust the cakes lightly with cocoa power and eat!
With all the pretty flowers around too, I am also reminded that it’s almost spring and that warmer weather and a little bit of sunshine is just around the corner.
Since I had bookmarked Peggy’s Caramel Cake, but ended up with cupcakes, I’m sending this to Bookmarked Recipes at Tinned Tomatoes hosted by Jac.
I’m also sending these to Credit Crunch Munch hosted jointly by Fuss Free Helen and Camilla. The Valentine’s Day cupcakes I saw in town were £2.50 each! Since I had all the ingredients in the cupboard to make these myself, I saved myself a fair few pennies.
I hope you’ve had a lovely day whether you’ve been romanced, or not.
There’s still a little time to enter my Hotel Chocolat Love Notes giveaway, too…