These cupcakes are a great little treat. They keep well in the fridge and make excellent thank you gifts at this time of year. Our little miss took some to her swimming teachers, some to riding school on the last day, and some to Santa at Ballantynes. The toffee frosting is a lovely light alternative to buttercream. We added strawberries and blueberries to give them a nice cheerful Christmas theme. The cupcakes can easily be made gluten free by using Bakels gluten free flour instead of wheaten flour.
Chocolate Mud Cupcakes with Meringue Toffee Frosting.
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 and 3/4 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 160 deg. C. Put out 35 small, free-standing cupcake cases onto a baking tray.
Sift the flour and cocoa together and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, cream, espresso, boiling water, vanilla essence, lightly beaten eggs, brown sugar, salt, and lastly the baking soda.
Add the flour to the liquid and gradually whisk the mixture to combine it.
Place the mixture into a jug to make it easier to pour into the cupcake cases.
The cupcakes rise quite a lot, so only half fill each case with mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes until well risen. The tops should bounce back when pressed. Allow to cool completely before decorating with the toffee frosting.
Meringue Toffee Frosting
175g granulated sugar
1 tablepoon liquid glucose
3 egg whites.
Separate the eggs. Reserve the egg yolks for another recipe. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Not so much as the whites start to look dry, just stiff enough to stand up when the beater head is raised out of the mixture.
Put the sugar, glucose and water into a small pot over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and boil until the toffee reaches 145deg. C on the sweet thermometer or until it's a light brown colour.
With the beater running, dribble the toffee into the beaten egg whites a little at a time. The egg whites will start to look glossy, then turn a nice thick toffee colour. Be very careful with the hot toffee!
Working quickly before the frosting sets, use a piping bag and star nozzle to pipe rosettes onto each cupcake. If you don't have a bag and nozzle, just use a knife to spread a generous amount onto each one.
Top each cupcake with a quarter of strawberry and a couple of blueberries. Any summer fruit will do.
Store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge.
I got a super cute and practical cupcake holder box from a $2 store in the mall - definitely worth getting for easy transportation.