I have a confession, I had promised to blog these in the week, but fun and crazy things happened; if you follow my Facebook page or Instagram, you’ll have had the sneakiest of peeks. And that is all I’m saying on that matter until next time, so as you were…
Now you know how much I love to use high quality ingredients in my baking; so when the fabulous peeps over at BakingMad.com dropped me a line and asked if I’d like to put their website to the test I was up for the challenge; especially as my favourites Nielsen Massey and Billingtons Sugar were on board, along with Allinson’s Flour. I admit to being a fangirl of a locally milled flour and I love that it comes from just down the road; but if I’m ever in a flour-dilemma, I’ll happily pop a bag of Allinson’s in my shopping basket. And so it was with squeals of delight when the most pretty review parcel was delivered by courier; all wrapped up in pink tissue paper, tied up with ribbon and a thank you card, it was the little touches just as much as the ingredients that made me excited to be reviewing Baking Mad.
Looking through all the tempting recipes on the website, I thought that it would be good to just go simple on the recipe front and then jazz whatever I decided to do up, with a little spookiness; well it is getting closer to Halloween. As I hadn’t baked cupcakes in a while, a search through easy cake recipes in the Baking Mad archives threw up a rather simple caramel cupcake recipe that I thought would be best for the ingredients in my goodie box.
So onto the website, the recipe itself was easy to follow and I liked the option of entering ‘Bake Mode’ for when you are baking along with the website; it really works for things like the iPad except for the sticky finger prints all over the screen, if you’re anything like me when baking! It’s nice and easy to navigate around the site and the search function brings up images of the recipes, so you get a feel for what your final bake should look like. I’m a person that chooses things to make by what they look like, and if I’m met with just a list of recipe names I tend to give up and move to the next site to search; so I really like this. So I’d probably say it’s a good resource for a home baker; there are some more adventurous recipes on the website but most of them are good home baking ones. I think I’d probably use it every now and then ,but not all the time as I like to experiment a bit more.
Anyway, recipe-wise I did tweak it up a little, mainly the buttercream frosting as I wanted to be able to pipe mine nice and smoothly, and I thought the recipe would make it spreadable but not quite the consistency I wanted to go for. I wanted more clean and smooth ghosts and devils not jaggy, messy ones; not that there’s anything wrong with that; just that I do quite like my round piping nozzle at the moment.
Like my Gingerdead Skeletons last year, I really wanted to create something for Halloween that wasn’t overly complicated, was quick to put together and wasn’t at all scary in the slightest. I’m not a big and nasty Halloween fan, I’m more of your cute and not-so-scary Halloween person; and I think that these ticked the right boxes. The comments I got from the guys and gals at work certainly said they did. The only thing being, that one and only baking pit-fall of the lipstick effect of red food colouring… oops!
I went for Ghosts and Devils, but you could do the same with a little orange food colouring and turn your cupcakes into pumpkins, or a little black for a witch’s hat. And to be honest, although I chose a caramel recipe, there’s nothing to stop you going for a vanilla, lemon, chocolate, strawberry etc. sponge, just remember that you will need a pale frosting for adding colour too, red colouring into a chocolate frosting won’t work.
Go on then, what are you waiting for… be a devil!
Halloween Caramel Cupcakes
Yield 12 -18
Creepy and kooky Ghost and Red Devil cupcakes make Halloween a little cuter and less scary! Based on a Baking Mad cupcake recipe
For the cupcakes:
- 200g Unsalted Butter
- 200g Golden caster sugar
- 1tbsp Golden syrup
- 4 Free-range eggs, medium
- 200g Self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Caramel sauce or Dulce de leche
For the Frosting:
- 250g Unsalted Butter
- 500g Icing Sugar
- 50g Soft Toffees eg. Werthers Chewy Caramels
- 2tbsp Double Cream
For the Decoration:
- Red food gel colouring
- Black sugar paste
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 180C or 160C (fan) and line a deep muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the caster sugar, butter and golden syrup. Beat until fluffy and creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one.
- Add half of the flour and baking powder and mix together until just combined.
- Add the rest of the flour and baking powder, and mix together.
- Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cupcake cases, they should be approximately ½ to ⅔ full.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- When the cupcakes have cooled, use an apple corer, core each cupcake and fill with the caramel sauce or Dulce de Leche.
For the Buttercream:
- Add the toffees and double cream to a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring continuously, until the toffees have melted.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of the cooled toffee sauce. Beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining icing sugar and 1 more tablespoon of the cooled toffee sauce. Beat until smooth.
- If the frosting is too stiff, add a teaspoon of whole milk and beat until smooth.
- Put half of the frosting into a separate bowl, and with the remaining half beat in the red food gel, a little at a time, until you get the colour you want.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain/smooth nozzle with the caramel frosting.
- Pipe the frosting into three mounds onto equal cupcake, with them getting smaller in size. Pipe half the cupcakes with the plain frosting, and half with the red frosting.
- To finish the cupcakes, add two small dots of black sugar paste to the ghost cupcakes for eyes, and roll horns and a tail for the devil cupcakes.
Any leftover caramel sauce or frosting, can be kept in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 1 week.
BakingMad.com is a free to register, baking recipe website with Allison Fine Flour, Niellsen Massey and Billingtons. Products are available from most supermarkets, in store or online for between £1.20 and £6.00. With thanks to Baking Mad UK for the invitation to review their website and ingredients.0