Saturday, 8 October 2016

Toffee Apple Cupcakes


Toffee Apple Cupcakes.

It’s Autumn. The weather is starting to get cooler, the leaves are turning brown and the Goose Fair has just arrived in Nottingham! As soon as it turns Autumn, I can’t wait to get my spiced candles out and have porridge with cinnamon again so it seemed the perfect time to bake some Toffee Apple Cupcakes.
This lovely recipe came from Love and Custard and it definitely didn’t fail to disappoint. Not only did my flat smell of cinnamon and toffee as soon as they went into the oven, they pretty much encapsulate Autumn in a cupcake! They are perfect to have on a cosy day, with a great film and a cup of tea.

Ingredients
For the apple cupcakes:

-          2 large Bramley cooking apples
-          3 tbsp caster sugar
-          1 tbsp water
-          1 tbsp caramel extract
-          115g unsalted butter (room temperature)
-          150g dark brown sugar
-          100g caster sugar
-          2 large eggs
-          225g plain flour
-          1 ½ tsp baking powder
-          1 ½ tsp cinnamon
-          ½ tsp salt

For the toffee cream cheese frosting:

-          120g unsalted butter
-          120g muscovado sugar
-          120ml double cream
-          500g icing sugar
-          1 tsp salt
Instructions
Cupcakes:

1.       Begin by peeling the apples and roughly chopping them into cubes. Then, in a small saucepan, gently heat the diced apple, sugar, caramel and water on a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the apple is soft and beginning to go fluffy. It should take around 10 minutes. When the apple is done, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
*Top tip: The consistency looks like apple sauce so stop when it starts to resemble it!
2.       Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3. In your 12 hole muffin tin, line if with paper cupcake cases.
3.       Now, for the cupcakes. In a large bowl, using an electric whisk beat the butter, brown and white sugars together until they are light and fluffy. This takes around 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one until the mixture is fully combined. You may need to scrape the mixture from the side of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well.
4.       In a separate, medium-sized bowl, it’s time to mix together the dry ingredients. Put the flour, baking powder cinnamon and salt into the bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon.
5.       Next, add about one-third of the dry ingredients into the main mixture and mix until they are only just combined. Add half of the stewed, cooled apple and mix. Repeat this until you have combined all of the dry ingredients and stewed apple.
*Top tip: Make sure you don’t overbeat the mixture at this stage because it will leave you with a dry, tough sponge. You could use a wooden spoon if this helps!
6.       Spoon the batter into your cupcake cases, filling them all about two-thirds full.
7.       Bake for around 25-30 minutes until they are golden and springy to touch.
*Top tip: You can add a skewer or a toothpick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes back out clean, they are done!

Toffee cream cheese frosting:

1.       Whilst the cupcakes are baking, you can begin on the frosting. Start by melting the butter and sugar together in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue heating the mixture until it starts to bubble. This takes around 1-2 minutes. Then, add the double cream and stir until it’s combined.
*Top tip: The mixture may separate but don’t panic! Continue to stir and eventually it will combine.
Continue stirring until the sauce has thickened. If the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, it is done! Allow the sauce to cool.
2.       To make the frosting, pour three-quarters of the cooled toffee sauce into a large bowl. Put the remaining quarter to one side (you will be using this to drizzle over as a decorative drizzle at the end). Using an electric whisk, on a low speed, beat in the icing sugar a third at a time until it is all combined and smooth. Next, add the cream cheese and salt and combine on a medium/high setting for around 3-4 minutes. Do this until the frosting is light and fluffy.
3.       Before you frost the cupcakes, you need to make sure they are fully cooled. If you put the frosting straight onto a hot cupcake it will melt and just drip straight off! Fill a piping back with a star nozzle with the frosting and swirl it onto the cupcakes. Once they are all frosted, you can drizzle the remaining toffee sauce onto the cupcakes.
*Top tip: I dipped a toothpick into the toffee sauce so I could create swirls that were neat and evenly distributed. 

Adding the caramel to the wet ingredients.

Piping the frosting.

The cupcakes are finished!

Toffee Apple Cupcakes.
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