Saturday, 30 June 2012

Blossoming Caramel Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

When I was making these, I was thinking that they would be another glamorous brownie, but, I am not really sure whether a cupcake brownie can qualify as a glamorous brownie. They are quite glamorous though, aren't they?



























These are easy to make, hardly need any specialist equipment and they taste really delicious too. I made my chocolate brownie cupcakes using the Hummingbird Bakery traditional brownie recipe, but, you can use any recipe you like from scratch or from a box. When the batter is mixed, fill cupcake cases about two thirds full, just as you would for a regular cupcake and bake. You will need to bake for about 10 minutes less than your recipe states. Remember that brownies are cooked when they are still a bit undercooked in the middle!




When the brownies come out of the oven, they will have beautifully risen domed tops and your house will be filled with the delicious smell of chocolate. Don't let your heat sink as the brownes sink a little in the centre. This is what gives them their lovely fudgy texture and when they are decorated you won't notice

This is all you need to decorate them.

1. A little chocolate sugar paste (fondant)












2. A teeny tiny blossom cutter plunger












3. A star shaped nozzle. This is a Wilton 2D
4. A batch of caramel butter cream (recipe follows)

Making the teeny-tiny chocolate blossoms

If you can, make your teeny-tiny chocolate blossoms the day before you are going to use them. It doesn't really matter, giving them a chance to dry out a bit means they keep their shape better when you use them. You need 7 blossoms per cupcake brownie, this recipe gave me 12 cupcake brownies, so that was 84 blossoms! Always make a few more for luck.

1. Roll out a small amount of chocolate sugar past thinly
2. Cut out the blossoms using the cutter.
3. Lift the cutter with a bit of a sideways flick - you should have your newly cut blossom inside.
4. Shape the blossom by pressing down the plunger gently onto a foam sugar craft pad if you have one.
(I usually just press my forefinger and middle finger together and plunge the blossom gently between the two. Place the blossoms somewhere to dry.)

Caramel Buttercream

Blossoming Caramel Chocolate Brownie Cupcake 1
Buttercream is one of those really flexible recipes that you can't really go too far wrong with. The traditional English recipes vary from between equal amounts of butter and icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar to twice the amount of icing sugar to butter.


For this caramel buttercream I used equal amounts:

250g / 8oz / 2 sticks butter (softened)
250g / 8oz / 1 cup icing / powdered / confectioners sugar
Tin or jar of caramel (at least 200g / 6oz)

The tin of caramel I had weighed a little under 400g / 12oz. You actually only need about 200g (6 oz) to get a good caramel flavour, I didn't have any use for the rest of the can, so I just tipped it all in. For buttercream you need to use really soft butter. Leave the butter at room temperature for a couple of hours to soften up, or give it 10 seconds on low in the microwave.


Method

Put the butter into your mixer and beat really well (or use a hand mixer). You need it to be really smooth. Star nozzles have a narrow centre so any lumps of butter will get stuck. When the butter is soft and smooth add about half the icing sugar and beat until really well incorporated, then add the the rest of the icing sugar ad beat until the butter cream is looking lovely and soft and fluffy. Finally add the caramel and beat until just incorporated.

Decorating

Put your piping nozzle into a piping bag and fill the bag with the caramel buttercream. Pipe a couple of test flowers. If the flowers don't hold their shape, pop the piping bag in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm up a little.

Start by piping a flower in the middle.

Hold the piping bag upright and pipe slowly, then pause and lift slowly.

Pipe six flowers around the edge

Pipe a final flower on top of the one in the centre

Then carefully place a teeny-tiny blossom onto each flower


Blossoming Caramel Chocolate Brownie Cupcake 4
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That's all for today
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