Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Zee’s Food Baby- Toffee Popcorn Cupcakes


Difficulty Rating: 6/10
Time Taken: 1 hour (if you’re as slow as I am)

These cupcakes will make you re-think about that diet you've been planning on starting! With toffee popcorn mixed into the cupcake mix and popcorn pieces used as decoration, these are certainly some cupcakes to take to the cinema as an alternative to that REALLY expensive popcorn.
They are also perfect to take to a friend’s house or party and kids love them! I gave some to my old school for their summer fair and they sold out in 30mins.
So enjoy them while they last, as they won’t be there for long!
This recipe makes 12, so you will need a 12-hole muffin tin (lined with muffin cases) and a piping bag for the icing.

Ingredients

Toffee Sauce
·         100g/ ½ cup caster/granulated sugar
·         40g/ 3 tablespoons butter
·         80ml/ 1/3 cup double/heavy cream

The Cupcake Batter
·         60g/2 oz. caramel coated popcorn (e.g. butterkist toffee)
·         115g/1 stick butter, softened
·         115g/ ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of caster/granulated sugar
·         2 eggs
·         115g/1 scant cup of self-raising flour, sifted
·         2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream

Icing/Frosting
·         200g/1 1/3 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar
·         2 table spoons crème fraîche or sour cream
·         60g/4 tablespoons butter, softened
·         60g/2 oz. caramel coated popcorn


Method

1.    Preheat the Oven to 180˚C (350˚F) or Gas Mark 4

To make the toffee sauce
1.    Put the sugar and butter in a small saucepan and whisk over gently heat until the butter has melted, the sugar dissolved and the caramel starts to turn a golden brown.
2.    Pour in the cream slowly, stirring all the time, until the sauce is smooth.
3.    Do not overcook once cream is added, it will be too thick if you do. If this happens add a little more cream and stir again.
4.    Pas the sauce through a fine mesh sieve, so you can remove any sugar crystals.
5.    Set the sauce aside to cool.

For the cupcake batter
1.    Blitz the popcorn into a fine powder in a food processor. If you don’t have one put the popcorn in a bag and bash it with a rolling pin.
2.    Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat together with a whisk (hand or electric) until light and creamy.
3.    Add the eggs and whisk again.
4.    Add the flour, crème fraîche, popcorn powder and 2 tablespoons of the toffee sauce. Fold these ingredients together with a metal spoon. (This is so you don’t beat the air out of the mixture, so the cupcakes are fluffy and light)
5.    Spoon the batter into the muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20mins (they may need a couple more minutes above that depending on your oven).
6.    Once cooked, stick a clean knife or skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean then the cupcakes are cooked. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Icing (Frosting)
1.    Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the crème fraîche, butter and 2 tablespoons of toffee sauce. Whisk together (by hand or else it will go everywhere!) until light and creamy.
2.    Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a swirl of frosting on each cupcake.
3.    Top each cupcake with a few pieces of popcorn and a drizzle of toffee sauce.

WARNING: The Popcorn goes soft, and horrible, after a few days (4-5) so you will want to eat these quickly (or make them a day before you are going to serve them)… oh, it’s such a hard life!

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