It was a pleasant Friday afternoon in Austin, when I was all set to bake away. Just when I was wondering what to bake though, I had a call from an old school friend of mine who didn't feel like working and just wanted to have a happy chit-chat. To help settle my dilemma of which flavor to bake, I entrusted her to decide the flavor. As it turned out, it was the most easy question for her to answer. All she said was 'I feel like having a chocolate, so why don't you bake a chocolate cake with a bite of chocolate inside it for me. Is that even possible ?'. After seeing a stack of snickers bar inside my fridge, I had my eureka moment. Duh! I knew exactly what I would be baking. (Grin!) Snicker's Chocolate cupcake.
There are several ways of baking a desired cake flavor. One of the easiest (and sometimes cost/time effective) would be to buy ready to bake mixtures, add eggs, vegetable oil and some water and bake the mixture into cakes or cupcakes. One such easier way to do this cake is to use a devil's chocolate cake mix boxes. So for all of you who want to save quite an effort and time, you can get the box and adapt it inline with the recipe later. For the others who want to really work from the start, exactly! What's the fun in baking if you don't start from the scratch!
- Unsalted butter (at room temperature) 8 oz (2 sticks)
- Brown Sugar 8 oz (1 cup)
- Eggs 2
- Hershey's Cocoa Powder 1/2 cup (min.)
- Butter milk 1/3 cup
- Snickers Chocolate mini bars 4
- All purpose flour 1 cup
- Baking powder 1 tsp
- Vanilla extract 1 tsp
- Preheat your oven to 365 F. Ensure that your butter is at room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter at room temperature until it is nice and soft. You can either use a hand mixer or use a stand mixture with a paddle attachment.
- Next, add the brown sugar and beat it into the butter, until the mix is fluffy.
- Incorporate the eggs, one at a time and beat it well into the mixture.
- Add butter milk and vanilla extract and beat it well.
- Separately, sift all purpose flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Note : Its always good to start adding cocoa powder conservatively into the mixture, and gradually strengthen the chocolate flavor. Chocolate flavor is bitter if added excessively. I would recommend to gradually increasing the cocoa powder quantity to your desired taste, as it is not possible to undo excess.
- Add the sifted powders into the wet mixture and incorporate by beating in more air to make the batter light and fluffy.
- Line your cupcake tray with cupcake liners. Scoop in the mixture to fill in 3/4th of the liner. Insert a cube of snickers chocolate into the centre and cover the top with some batter. Push the try into the preheated oven.
- Your cupcakes will be done in 7-9 mins. To check for it's doneness, insert a toothpick into the cupcake (without removing them from the oven), and if it comes out clean - your cupcakes are ready.
- Transfer the cupcakes onto a cooking rack and let it cool, while you prepare the icing!
The combination of a chocolate cake and caramel frosting goes magically together. While I love the taste and visual appeal of a chocolate ganache on top of a chocolate cupcake (slurp.. my mouth is watering already!), I preferred to stick to a caramel frosting. Here is how we make it.
1. Unsalted butter 8 oz (2 stick)
2. Salted butter 4 oz (1/2 stick)
3. Brown Sugar 1 cup
4. Milk 1/4 cup
5. Powdered Sugar 2 cups
6. Meringue Powder 1 tbsp
7. Liquid Flavor (optional) 1 tsp
- We start by getting our homemade caramel ready. In a heavy saucepan, add 1/2 stick of salted butter and heat it slowly. I chose to use salted butter here as I like the taste of a mildly salted caramel. You may substitute with unsalted butter. Butter can burn very quickly, so be watchful. It should take about 5 mins.
- Just when the butter starts turning brown, mix in 1 cup of brown sugar. Keep stirring until the brown sugar is completely melted to form caramel. Ensure that the mixture is not over heated or burnt. The key to a best tasting caramel is controlled heat and continuous stirring. After 2-3 minutes of this process, add milk and stir for 1 minute more.
- Once you get a smooth, non-granular texture, you caramel is ready. You can now remove the saucepan from heat and let the caramel cool.
- Beat the unsalted butter at room temperature until it is soft. Add flavor (almond or vanilla), meringue powder and confectionery sugar, little by little into the mixture and beat it fluffy. Since I am not aiming to get a perfect white icing (as I would be adding caramel shortly), I am using a normal vanilla extract. Else I would have gone for a clear extract.
- Blend in the completely cooled caramel into the butter cream until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the icing into a piping bag and you are all set to decorate your sinfully rich chocolate snickers cupcake !