Saturday, 18 February 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

Although I've never had "s'mores", I've heard about their famous elements of chocolate, biscuit and marshmallow. It had me at chocolate. The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days  book (a worthy addition to any baker's collection) has just the thing to fulfil your combined craving for chocolaty, gooey crunchiness all in one bite. A moist chocolate sponge is topped with melted-marshmallow-style meringue, with sprinkled biscuit crumbs and chocolate shavings hidden underneath. A traditional American treat in cupcake form - what's not to like? Next time, for added gooey indulgence, I might chuck some mini-marshmallows into the cake batter.

S'mores Cupcakes
(Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days)

makes 12-16 cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
30g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chilled
5 digestive biscuits 
80g unsalted butter, melted
280g caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
240ml whole milk

for the topping:

200g caster sugar
4 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a muffin tin with cases. 
Grate the chocolate as finely as possible. Crush the biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, or in a food processor. With an electric whisk or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until like fine breadcrumbs. Mix the eggs and milk together in a jug then pour three-quarters of it into the dry ingredients. Mix on a low speed until combined then add the rest of the liquid - increase the speed to medium until smooth and thick. Fill each case two-thirds full, filling more than 12 cases if necessary. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings and biscuit crumbs over each cupcake, leaving about a quarter of the biscuit crumbs for the topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave in the tin for around 5 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely. 
Put the sugar in a saucepan with 150ml water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs until foamy in a mixer with paddle attachment. Keep boiling the sugar until it gets to the soft ball stage then slowly pour it into the eggs while mixing on a medium speed. (Be very careful as the sugar is extremely hot). Keep whisking until bottom of bowl feels lukewarm and meringue is shiny, smooth and increased in size. Smooth over the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining biscuit crumbs and/or some chocolate squares or shavings. 

If you don't want to make the topping, just top the cakes with marshmallows and put under the grill until they have melted slightly - yum!

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