Friday 22 March 2013

Marshmallow Cupcakes... A fluffy dream

Sometimes I forget how much I really love making things look pretty. Whether it be stationary, presents or dessert. I really enjoy sitting back and looking at something cute, after I have just spent hours making it.

That is what sparked my passion for baking. The final product in all its sparkles and prettiness. Obviously taste plays a major role too...

This week I couldn't move past the idea of marshmallows.. What with their fluffiness. They're like little clouds.. I wanted them... In a cupcake.

So bake a cupcake I did. Or more like 20.

This was scary and new because I didn't just want a cupcake that resembled the taste of marshmallows, I wanted marshmallows inside it, on top of it and all around it.

So I started with a basic chocolate cupcake, as most ideas do. This was inspired by the chocolate cupcakes in the Primrose Bakery Cookbook. I then stuffed in a marshmallow and baked it. I took them out of the oven early, stuffed in another marshmallow and baked them for a further couple of minutes and this was the result.

After baking with 1 marshmallow...
A toasted marshmallow in a cupcake.. what more could you want?
Mmmm, they look just like when you cook them over a campfire.

Top it off with some lovely fluffy butter cream icing and voila. Not all together as gorgeous and heavenly looking as I had hoped but I have let it go a bit in the cupcake department of late so I think we'll call this display a practice run. You get the idea...

Now that you are ever so slightly amazed at my creativity, I do have a confession to make... I also wanted to make marshmallow icing to go with my ever so mallowy cakes so I took a leaf out of the Primrose book and attempted their marshmallow icing. I may have caramelised the sugar... It turned to toffee the minute I added the melted sugar and golden syrup to the egg whites. It was a disaster! So so so sticky. I have since had the epiphany that in my icing mentality I used icing sugar rather than caster sugar for my syrup. As a result I am still sticking to everything I touch and have left the saucepan in the sink for Little Sis S to deal with after I experienced a slight mental episode trying to clean it... She is not yet aware of this.

Please enjoy the fool proof recipe below that I resorted to after almost creating a second base for my saucepan.

Marshmallow Cupcakes
Makes around 20
(inspired by the Primrose Bakery Recipe for Cookies and Cream Cupcakes and Buttercream Icing)

120g 70% cocoa Lindt dark chocolate (or similar)
90g butter
180g brown sugar
2 eggs
190g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bi-carb soda
A pinch of salt
250ml skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
A packet of marshmallows of your choice. Two are needed per cupcake.

120g butter
60ml skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500g icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line muffin trays with cupcake liners ready to go.

2. Melt chocolate by stirring in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water... or in a microwave on short bursts with stirring in between. Be careful that you do not burn the chocolate. Set the chocolate aside to cook slightly.

3.  Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time until combined then add the melted chocolate and mix well.

4. Sift together the flour, bi-carb soda, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

5. In yet another bowl, mix the milk and vanilla essence.

6. Add half the flour to the butter mix and beat well. Follow with half of the milk. Once well incorporated add the rest of the flour then the rest of the milk.

7. Place a marshmallow in the cupcake liner then fill the liner half way with cupcake mix. They will expand a lot in the oven, especially the marshmallow.

8. Place the cupcakes in the oven for 13 minutes or until the marshmallow is completely melted. Remove from the oven and place another marshmallow in the hole where the original marshmallow has melted. Place back into the over for a further 2 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly browned on top.

9. Leave cupcakes to cool in tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Once they have completely cooled they are ready to decorate.

for the icing;
beat the butter, milk, vanilla and half the icing sugar until mixed and fluffy. Gradually add the remaining sugar until the icing has a creamy appearance. Color to your own preference.

I added another marshmallow on top for decoration (making it 3 marshmallows per cake) and some pretty fairy sprinkles.

Happy Baking...

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