Today the first meeting of Cupcake Club is taking place in London and alas I can't be there. Cupcake Club is the brain child of Kelly from An American Cupcake in London, to keep bakers busy while Iron Cupcake takes a (we hope temporary) break.
I had planned to go tonight and already practiced my cupcakes which were delicious, and my toppers, which although tasted fabulous, looked like something I'd picked off the floor.
I stuck with the nuts theme from the now cancelled Iron Cupcake and went with peanut butter and chocolate - the reasons being;
- I love the combination
- I'd never made peanut butter cupcakes before (too tempting to scoff them all) and
- Cupcake club was taking place the day after July 5th and my favourite American candy is Reese's Peanut butter cups
I used the recipe for Peanut Butter cupcakes with chocolate frosting from my Primrose Bakery cookbook, changing it only slightly. I used crunchy peanut butter rather than smooth, and for the chocolate frosting used the 85% Green and Blacks chocolate as in my opinion it makes the best chocolate frosting ever. I also used slightly less salt than required as I find peanut butter a bit salty already. The cakes took a little less time than stated in the recipe and were just beginning to over-brown in the oven but luckily I caught them in time, and lashings of chocolate frosting covered up any darker bits. The cupcake was really moist and flavoursome - and lasted for days (I made them last Sunday and Manny was still scoffing them Tuesday night). The frosting remains my favourite ever chocolate frosting - we had to put these in the fridge as it was so hot last weekend and it still tasted great.
My toppers were going to be homemade peanut butter cups. I'd originally planned to just make cake pop type balls on a stick, but then while buying more lollipop sticks on ebay I chanced upon this beautiful candy mould and couldn't resist. Co-incidentally we bought a cupcake shaped chocolate lollypop at William Curley last week after visiting the Elephant Parade and they totally use this mould!
I didn't get a chance to test the moulds until Saturday, when my kitchen thermometer read in the high 30's. This was an omen of the disaster that followed. I melted the chocolate (used Green and Blacks cooking milk chocolate first, then their cooking dark chocolate for the second attempt) and while it set I mixed my peanut butter filling (smooth peanut butter, bit of icing sugar and a touch of vanilla paste = yum). I then plopped in the peanut butter mixture, shoved in a lolly stick and covered the mixture with the remaining melted chocolate. Then my error, I put it in the fridge as I thought this'd help. I know chocolate and fridges don't go but there was no way in hell it'd set in my kitchen. From looking online and checking forums etc I should've bunged it in the freezer..grr. I'll know next time. They tasted really nice, if only they'd not "bloomed" - maybe next time I should temper the chocolate? Any candy making tips gratefully received.
Anyways I thought my cupcakes looked quite cute - even without the toppers
And here are the failed toppers
Finally if you're a peanut butter fan like me, pop on over to Peanut Butter and Co's website and drool. Their sandwich range has given me some fabulous ideas for cupcake flavours and I desperately want some Easy Squeezy Peanut Butter squeeze packs! If you're in the UK, Waitrose and Whole Foods stock some of the range, including The Heat is On and White Chocolate Wonderful, which I think would make a lovely cupcake. I must check if they do the peanut butter cupcake mix next time I'm there.