Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Biscoff and Kahlua Crunch Cupcakes

I have just come off four days on the Dr. Oz 3 Day Juice Cleanse. Yup. I realise it is a three day cleanse, and I did four days but y'know, in the words of the great Justin Timberlake "#that's how we do"!

What can I say? I'm just one of those people who always goes the extra mile. Or maybe I'm one of those people who eats so much sugar that they need at least one extra day more than normal people to cleanse their bodies of all the stuff. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusion. If you jump to the latter (unfairly and unfounded), then we're over. O-V-E-R!

Anyway, I didn't mention my cleanse just to show off (well, I did a little).
I mentioned it so as to use it as an excuse.
I would have posted this two days ago but I couldn't really write about cupcakes when I hadn't eaten solid food for 2 days. Nobody has that kind of strength! (Except maybe everybody else in the whole world).

I realise I might be hitting you with some unfamiliar ingredients with these cupcakes - roll with it, new is good. Luckily, I have put together a handy glossary to help you along on very delicious road less travelled. You're welcome :)

Biscoff: Recognise these amazing biscuits?

Well these biscuits are to Biscoff spread what peanuts are to peanut butter. They make up 65% of it. It's basically these cookies in spread form! Incredible for eating out of the jar with a (large) spoon and baking! To be honest, I can't really think what else you'd do with them - the thought of spreading it on toast as suggested really doesn't appeal.

Kahlua: A coffee liqueur. True story, I discovered this while I was doing an exchange programme in Victoria, Canada. If memory serves me right, my Japanese friend Rieko introduced me to it. Mixed with milk, this tastes amazing! And you can drink lots of it! And we did. Though I don't know if it has that much alcohol in it so go ahead and start having it with your milk in the morning. I did and I turned out fine! (ish)

The combination of these two and the Daim bars make for an amazing cupcake! I think I went wrong with my cupcake somewhere as it fell but honestly, it made for a wonderfully moist, dense, slightly sticky chocolate cupcake. As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of chocolate cake but this was really good! It was my favourite part of this cupcake!

Everyone else's favourite part though was the frosting. It is a Swiss meringue buttercream which has the advantage of being really creamy and not too sweet. I have to say it's not my favourite frosting (but I am someone who can list her top 5 frostings, spelt backwards, with the ingredients listed alphabetically) but objectively, it is a brilliant frosting.

These cupcakes have been on my "to bake list" for ages and I'm so glad I finally got round to making them!

Recipe from the amazing Bakers Royale

Makes 12 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
113g unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/2 cup Kahlua

Biscoff Frosting
5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
454g unsalted butter, diced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup of Biscoff spread

Chocolate Pouring Sauce
2/3 cups dark chocolate
2 tablespoons double cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
4-5 tablespoons, warm

2 Daim chocolate bars
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4 / 350F. Line 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. To make cupcake: Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. 
  3. Add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute.
  4. Add half of the Kahlua into the mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add remaining Kahlua. Beat for 20 - 30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.
  6. To make chocolate pouring sauce: Place chocolate and double cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine.
  7. Add the icing sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Remove 5 tablespoons and place reserve in a separate bowl. Set aside all chocolate pouring sauce to cool until warm.
  8. To make frosting: Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 160F/ 71C while whisking constantly. If you don't have a candy thermometer (I don't), whisk for 7 minutes over simmering water.
  9. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl (or the bowl for your hand mixer), fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10 - 12 minutes.
  10. Add butter in a piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking - this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. 
  11. Add in Biscoff and mix until well combined. Add reserved chocolate pouring sauce into frosting. Using a spatula, gently fold it into the frosting, DO NOT over mix so that chocolate streaks remain.
  12. Assembly: Cut Daim bars into shard shapes (or try to - I struggled and got block like shapes instead ;p); set aside. Finely chop any leftover crumbs.
  13. Fill pastry bag with round tip. Hold pastry bag at 90 degrees above the cupcake and starting from the perimeter, pipe inward and upward.
  14. Using a spoon drizzle chocolate on top of frosting. (If it is too thick to drizzle, thin slightly with an addition tablespoon of warm water, or two). Sprinkle Daim crumbs on chocolate. Insert Daim shards into top of frosting.