Wednesday, 27 February 2013

S'mores Cupcakes

I have been in a marshmallowy mood this week.  It did start with the desire to make marshmallow and chocolate stuffed chocolate chip cookies, but they didn't quite work out due to the cookie dough being too...spreadable and everything falling apart in the oven.  Very disappointing, but I'll go into that properly when I remake them successfully and do a write up.

Anyway!  S'mores cupcakes was what I decided I wanted to make for the fiancé to take on his weekly trip to Dundee.  So I found a recipe by browsing around the internet for which I had all the ingredients and that looked good.  I did have to make one change though, which was that I used McVities Digestives in place of Graham crackers.  We don't have those here in the UK and on the rare occasions I've made s'mores (mainly back when I was a Brownie), we used Digestives or Rich Teas for the base.  Yum yum!  Besides, the fiancé really likes Digestives and I happened to have a packet sitting in the cupboard.  I reduced the cocoa slightly, but only because I didn't have quite enough.  Didn't seem to make much of a difference.   I also ended up putting a little too much bicarbonate of soda in.  I picked up the wrong spoon!  I added less baking powder to compensate and again, nothing seemed amiss with the final result.

So the final product has a Digestive crumb base, topped with a little chocolate, then chocolate cake sprinkled with more biscuit and chocolate, and finished off with a swirl of toasted marshmallow fluff.  As usual, my marshmallow fluff is homemade rather than store bought.  I don't think you can get that over here either?  I've not seen it anyway.  I had to toast mine under the grill, since I don't own a blowtorch.  I had to watch them diligently and rotate them about to get an even toasting, since the flame for my grill runs down the centre of my oven.  The result was good though.  A slightly firm exterior with a squishy, soft interior.  The fiancé said it was perfect, having expected it to be a bit rubbery.

What can I say?  They were very well received.  The biscuit base proved to be popular with everyone, as was the marshmallow.  Again, it was a really moist cake due to it being a very wet batter.  And it's definitely reminiscent of s'mores.  Quite a nice alternative indeed!

Recipe - adapted from The Martha Stewart Show and Bake me I'm yours...Sweet Bitesize Bakes
Makes about 12

  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 140g/5oz plain flour
  • 40g/1.5oz cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 125ml/4.5fl.oz milk
  • 60ml/2fl.oz sunflower oil (or any other flavourless oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml/4.5fl.oz boiling water
Digestive Base:
  • 40g/1.5oz caster sugar
  • 90g/3oz McVities Digestive biscuits - about 6 or 7 biscuits worth 
  • 40g/1.5oz butter
  • 125g/4.5oz milk chocolate
Marshmallow Fluff Topping
  • 1 large egg white
  • 125g/4.5oz caster sugar
  • 25g/1oz golden syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together into a large bowl.  Mix together with a spoon.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir in to combine.
  5. Add the boiling water and stir until smooth, with the batter being even in colour and consistency.  Put to one side.
  6. Melt the butter and in the meantime, crush the biscuits in a bowl until you get small crumbs.
  7. Add the melted butter and sugar to the biscuit crumbs and mix together.
  8. Chop up the chocolate into small pieces.
  9. Put 1 tablespoon of biscuit crumb mix in the base of each muffin case and press down with the end of a rolling pin.
  10. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of chopped chocolate on top of each base.
  11. Put them in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  12. Remove and fill each case three quarters full with the cake batter.
  13. Sprinkle the remaining biscuit mix and chocolate on top then put back in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cakes are springy and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  14. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  15. Whilst the cakes cool, put a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  16. Place everything for the marshmallow fluff except the vanilla extract in the bowl.
  17. Whilst it is heating, stir with an electric whisk for several minutes (about 10) until you get shiny peaks.
  18. Remove from the heat and whisk for another two minutes to thicken it up.  
  19. Add the vanilla and whisk in too.
  20. Allow to cool.
  21. Switch on the grill and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and pipe swirls on top of each cake.
  22. Place four cupcakes at a time on a tray and place under the grill.  Remove every 30 seconds to check how they are doing and rotate if necessary.  You want only a light brown toasting.

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