Rolo Cupcakes

I got into a bit of a cupcake craze over the summer, trying various recipes and flavours. I follow quite a number of cupcake bakeries on Facebook and Twitter and they do such a variety of wonderful flavours, it got me wanting to experiment a little. I quite like rolo’s and love caramel, so I decided to try the Rolo Caramel Cupcakes.
I have to admit the recipe had quite a few stages to it and took some time putting all together, but it was worth it in the end, cos these babies tasted like rolo’s in cupcake format! These went down a treat for a friend’s birthday party: chocolate cupcake, topped with chocolate frosting, a caramel buttercream frosting and a rolo. YUM!
This recipe makes about 15 decent sized cupcakes. The original recipe was gluten free, I didn’t have any to hand, but to make a gluten free version for yourself, just substitute with gluten-free flour.
Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 56 g chocolate, chopped
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • ⅔ cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 extra-large egg + extra-large egg white, beaten

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 5 tbsp vegetable shortening (I searched high and low in a few supermarkets around and couldn’t source any, so substituted with butter instead)
  • 70 g chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup

Salted Caramel Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 tbspbutter, softened
  • 5 tbsp vegetable shortening (Again, I substituted with butter)
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup caramel sauce, at room temperature, salted to taste with salt
  • Rolos, for decoration

(Salted) Caramel Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt
I started with the caramel sauce, to allow it cool in sufficient time. Add sugar and water to a saucepan. Stir and cook over a low heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, brush down any sugar crystals that have made their way onto the side of the saucepan.
Attach a sugar thermometer to the side of the saucepan and increase the heat to medium. Do not stir the mixture at this stage. You should shake/swirl the saucepan gently just to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn. We have to wait for the mixture to reach 160 C, which takes about 5 minutes. You will notice the mixture firstly turns a light brown colour, then about 30 – 90 seconds later if turns a dark brown colour and almost looks burned.
Remove from the heat immediately. Whisk in your cream. Once you add the cream, the mixture will bubble violently, so be careful at this stage. Stir in your salt at this stage – season to taste. The caramel will last in the fridge, once covered tightly, for up to two weeks.
Now for the cupcakes! Preheat the oven to 165 C. Line your muffin tin and set aside. Place the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Melt the chopped chocolate with 8 tbsp butter until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool briefly.
Add the yoghurt, caramel sauce, vanilla and eggs to the dry mixture and beat well. Add the chocolate mixture and combine well. The batter will be quite thick. Fill the muffin wells to about 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make your frostings. For the chocolate frosting: Use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer and beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the icing sugar and mix until well combined. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie until smooth. Add the vanilla to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Pour the chocolate mixture into the mixer and beat well to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the corn syrup and mix until light and fluffy. The frosting should be thick, but not too stiff.
For the salted caramel frosting: Beat the butter (with the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and mix until well-combined. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce and mix until light and fluffy.

Rolo Cupcake

To assemble the cupcakes, fill a piping bag with chocolate frosting and another bag with the salted caramel frosting. Pipe a thin layer of chocolate frosting on top of each cooled cupcake. Allow the chocolate frosting to set for a few minutes, then pipe a thick swirl of salted caramel frosting on top of the chocolate frosting. Top each cupcake with a Rolo. Set aside to set.

Apologies I don’t have more photos of the process…as I mentioned there are quite a few messy stages to these cupcakes, but they certainly have the wow factor for any party or upcoming event!

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Mocha Cake

I had a request for a coffee cake recently. I’m not a big fan of coffee cake myself, so I wanted to make a coffee cake with a twist. I found this recipe for a Mocha Cake which was really simple to make. However, there wasn’t so much of a coffee flavour from the cake, my mistake. The recipe calls for very strong coffee, I used three tsps of instant coffee to 60 ml of water, but I think it would need a tsp or two more to bring out that coffee flavour.

Ingredients

  • 175 g flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 225 g soft light brown sugar (I used demerara sugar here)
  • 175 g butter, melted
  • 4 medium eggs, seperated
  • 60 ml very strong coffee, cooled (I used 2 heaped teaspoons of Nescafe Gold coffee)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 x quantity coffee butter icing
  • Chocolate curls to decorate

For the chocolate icing:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted (I used 100g icing sugar here, because it tends to get too sweet otherwise. I just spread the icing between the cut cake and not on top as in Rachel Allen’s recipe)
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp mascarpone cheese

Preheat oven to 190 deg C. Oil and line a loaf tin (5 x 9in) with parchment paper.

Flour, cocoa powder and brown sugar

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar to combine.

Using a wooden spoon, beat in the melted butter, egg yolks, coffee and water until smooth. The mixture is not very smooth at this point, because of the sugar, so ensure to beat enough so as there are no lumps.

Beat wet ingredients into dry

Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl until fairly stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the cake mixture in three batches making sure there are no lumps of egg white left.

Fold egg whites into the mixture in three parts

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf or cake tin and smooth the surface. Give the tin a tap to remove air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 35 mins, then reduce the oven temperature to 160 C for the last 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Tap the tray before placing in the oven to remove any air bubbles

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins then lift out by the parchment paper (if loaf tin used) onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing:
-Place the butter in a large bowl and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until it is very soft.

-Add the sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat slightly, then add the mascarpone. Beat until you have a thick creamy icing.

Layer icing inside the cake

When the cake is cold, remove the parchment paper. Using a bread knife, split the cake horizontally and spread about a third of the icing on the lower half with a butter knife. Place the other half of the cake back on the top and spread the rest of the icing over it.

Mocha Cake

Tip- The original recipe called for baking time of 35 mins plus 20 mins, however I found the cake was becoming very dry on the sides at about 30 mins into baking. So I’d recommend keep checking the cake during baking or the sides may become dry or burned.  As you can see with mine, it is slightly dry around the top, but once it was iced it was tasty. But we live and learn and hopefully next time will be perfect! 🙂

My unsteady hand ‘halved’ the cake slightly crooked! 😉

Italian Hazelnut Cake

I’ve been back to baking again today after a couple days away. I’m visiting relatives this evening, so I thought it would be nice to bring a homemade cake for the occasion. This is such an easy and handy recipe. Whip it up in under two hours for a decadent dessert, served with lightly whipped cream, or better still ice-cream! It’s also, correct me if I’m wrong, a gluten-free recipe, as it contains no flour.

The original recipe called for cinnamon in place of the chocolate, but seeing as it’s Sunday and I wanted to create a special treat, I replaced that with chocolate for some extra yumminess!

Ingredients:

  • 200 g hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g chocolate
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter and line a 20 cm diameter spring form tin. Grind the hazelnuts, chocolate and baking powder in a food processor until fine. Add the butter and combine.

Hazelnut and Chocolate Mixture

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar. Whisk until the mixture becomes slightly moussey. Add the hazelnut mixture and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.

Greased and Lined Tin

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks are formed. Gently fold the whites into the hazelnut mixture in three parts until well combined.

Fold the whites into the mixture

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 55 – 70 minutes until a skewer comes clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and icing sugar and serve with a nice cup of tea. Delicious!

 

Italian Hazelnut Cake

Chocolate Pistachio Brownies

I don’t really have a sweet tooth, so I’m never quite sure why I bake so much. Perhaps I’m a feeder. I usually pawn my baking off on family and friends! 🙂 I like baking for people.

This recipe was really easy and as I eat a brownie as I type, I can confirm, they are also delicious! I’ve adapted this recipe from Apt2bbakinco’s Sweet and Salty Brownies. I left out the caramel in the recipe, but added pistachios to the brownie recipe. Note, it’s best to use high quality chocolate for the recipe, 70% or higher. I used half the quantity, hence why my quantities may look a bit smaller in the pictures.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large handfuls of pistachios

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, butter the tray and sprinkle with flour.

Whisk flour, salt and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until chocolate and butter are melted. Take the bowl from the heat. Whisk both white and brown sugars into the mixtures until fully incorporated.

Add 3 eggs to the mixture and whisk until just combined. Now add the remaining two eggs and vanilla essence.

Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture to combine. Next fold in the pistachios, be very careful not to over mix at this stage, just fold gently until combined.

Pour mixture into your baking tin and bake for 30 mins. It’s important to turn the tin half way through baking. Take from the oven once cooked, check with the back of a knife to test brownies are cooked. Allow to cool for a minute or two in the tray, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing or serving.