I was recently lucky enough to be able to order two different long coveted baking goods from The Stateside Candy Co. One was some Guittard mint baking chips and the other was these awesome festive mini Reese's peanut butter cups (that's right my American readers - us deprived bakers in England cannot find either of those products on our supermarket shelves!) and I felt because it was Christmas I was more than justified to buy overpriced delights like these.
I also knew I wanted to create some bauble (Christmas ornament) cupcakes and that these Reese's cups would be the perfect decorating aid for the Christmas Market Stall these cupcakes made their debut at.
These were my favourite of the whole day. The brownie and peanut butter combo is pretty unbeatable, but I also loved the fun decoration too. They were rather time consuming, especially when I started off making the zig zag patterns out of individual jimmies. I realised it was going to be an even longer night than expected if I carried on like that so I moved on to making a fairly easy row of sprinkles and sugar pearls in the middle of the bauble with some zig zag patterns being more easily formed by melted chocolate either side of them.
Makes 12 regular and 24 mini's
450g milk chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until just melted, about 4-5 mins.
Remove bowl from heat. Whisk in sugar and salt until mixture is smooth, whisk in eggs to combine. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa just until smooth (do not overmix).
Fill cupcake cases until 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted halfway in centres, comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached about 25-30 minutes (and 12-15 minutes for the mini's).
Peanut Butter Frosting:
Makes enough to frost the above
From: Sweet Tooth
4 cups icing Sugar
1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk
1/2 cup unsalted organic unsalted butter
1 cup smooth organic peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
Blend together the sugar, milk, buter and peanut butter until smooth. If you require a thicker consistency add more sugar, if you need it to be thinner add more milk.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop up a level scoop of frosting and put it on top of the cupcake.
I used the back of a teaspoon to help smooth it out so that it covered the whole surface of the cake. I tried to make sure I maintained a 'domed' shape with the mound of frosting.
Place a mini Reese's peanut butter cup at the top of the frosting.
Use sprinkles to create bauble type patterns on the frosting.
Melt some chocolate to pipe on zig zag patterns.