cupcakes

Sweet Caramilk and sweet news {Caramilk Cupcakes with Caramilk buttercream icing}

Since Cadbury’s Caramilk chocolate returned to the shelves of NZ supermarkets for a second, more permanent stay, I still can’t get over my urge to hoard the delicious stuff. So naturally I buy a couple of blocks at a time – then have to justify to myself why there are so many in my pantry…

Thank goodness the squares of caramelised white chocolate look cute as cupcake toppers – that’s where half of one block ended up this week when I decided to make Caramilk cupcakes for a farewell to our lovely, local, long-serving Plunket nurse. I think of this as a really special flavour (since it was only a few years ago that the flavour came back as ‘limited edition’) and is a great unusual treat. I adapted a recipe for white chocolate (and raspberry) mud-cupcakes that I used ages ago to great success. But it wasn’t without trial…

This is a heads up on working with Caramilk chocolate – I’ve found it a wee bit temperamental to melt and combine with other ingredients. Experience tells me this might be due to the caramelisation of white chocolate making it harder to form a stable temper, meaning it ‘collapses’ at higher temperatures. This was quite noticeable when I added sugar to the melted chocolate and butter, causing the chocolate to clump up. I think this was because the fat component of the Caramilk isn’t tightly bound to the sugar in it, and so the two separate easily when more sugar (which would have been slightly cooler than the chocolate) was added. But if someone can correct me on this I would love to know more specifically what’s happening!

These cupcakes came as morning tea to our Wednesday preschoolers Playgroup and were enjoyed by all – including our hard-working out-going PN, who we will greatly miss!

P.S. The sweeter news you’re waiting for is after the recipe below…

Caramilk Cupcakes with Caramilk buttercream

Inspired by Cravin Cake. Makes approx. 24 cupcakes

  • 180g Caramilk chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in a heat-safe jug at medium heat, pausing approx. every 1 minute to stir and check if chocolate has all melted. Add sugar and leave to cool as long as you can (or 10 minutes!) – don’t worry if lumps of soft chocolate form in the mixture (see note above).
  2. Lightly whisk the eggs together in a jug, then whisk into the chocolate mixture one third at a time until well combined. Whisk in the vanilla essence.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl, whisking to combine. Whisk one third of the flour into the chocolate-egg mixture, followed by: half of the milk (or milk and yoghurt), one third of the flour, the remaining milk, and ending with the remaining flour.
  4. Divide the mixture between two 12-cup muffin tins or a combination of muffin and mini-muffin tins (see the picture below to show how far I filled the muffin cups, approx. 3/4s full). Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes (less for mini-muffins).

For the Caramilk buttercream…

  • 100g Caramilk chocolate
  • 200g butter, softened to room temperature
  • Approx. 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave in a heat-safe jug at medium heat, for 30 second bursts then stirring to check if chocolate has all melted. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes, until ‘warm room temperature’ and still liquid.
  2. Beat together the butter and one cup of icing sugar at medium speed for one minute, then medium-high speed for four minutes [in a stand-alone mixer or with a hand beater]. Add one more cup of icing sugar and beat in at low speed for one minute then medium-high speed for four minutes.
  3. Add the melted Caramilk chocolate to the buttercream in two or three additions, being sure to quickly beat together after each addition (you could do this by adding the chocolate as a steady stream while the beater is running, or stopping the machine to make each addition – whichever results in less chocolate splattered on the sides of the mixing bowl!)
  4. When all the chocolate is added, beat in the vanilla and the last cup of icing sugar. You might find that the icing looks like it is slightly separating – this improves after putting it through a piping bag to decorate the cupcakes (see earlier discussion about the instability of the caramelised chocolate once heated).
  5. Using a piping bag fitted with a star piping tip (I used a Wilton #1M) pipe spirals from the outside-in / base-upwards on each large cupcake – and little swirls on the mini cupcakes. Decorate large cupcakes with squares of Caramilk chocolate. Store

Even if you’re just making these to have at home, because, Friday…. I guarantee they will be approved by all, including little helpers… He tried one of the mini ones and I am proud to say he ate the icing first, then I turned around and the rest of it had just disappeared the next second I looked!!

And speaking of little helpers… I’m expecting a second little kitchen helper around about Christmas-time! Although they won’t be so helpful in the kitchen immediately, there will no doubt be many happy kitchen memories in our future involving the two wee helpers 🙂

This is perhaps a way of explaining why I haven’t been whipping up much in the kitchen lately – too off-food / too tired {oh so tired} / too feeling-bigger-than-a-whale… hopefully I’ll feel more inspired as the year drags on.

I’d love to know what’s inspiring you to bake at the moment; is your lockdown sourdough starter still alive and kicking?! Did you perfect a brownie recipe recently? Let me know, I’d love to hear xx

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