Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
After the success of our Malted Marshmallow Cupcakes, we decided to experiment more and devised these Cookies and Cream ones as well as the Chocolate and Marshmallow Cupcakes on page 24. Although not as subtle a cupcake as we normally make, they go down particularly well with children.
- For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 115g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 175g soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, free-range or organic, separated
- 185g plain flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
- For the Marshmallow Icing:
- 120g granulated sugar
- 80g golden syrup
- 1½ tbsp water
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ tsp good-quality vanilla extract (optional)
- For the topping:
- 1 packet Oreo cookies, crushed or broken into small pieces, to decorate.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.Line 2 x 12-hole muffin trays with 16 muffin cases.
Melt the chocolate: you can do this in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water on the hob, but the easiest way is in the microwave – place the chocolate in a microsafe bowl and heat on a medium heat for 1 minute, stir and then microwave again for a further minute – but be very careful not to burn the chocolate. Leave to cool slightly.
In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together, using an electric hand mixer, until pale and smooth. Slowly add the egg yolks and beat well. Next, add the melted chocolate and beat well again.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl and stir together. Measure the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract. Gradually add alternate amounts of the flour mixture and the milk to the chocolate, butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
In a clean bowl and using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks have formed. Then, using a spatula, carefully fold the eggs whites into the main batter until it is all combined.
Spoon the mixture equally into the muffin cases, filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake for 20–25 minutes. Leave the cupcakes to cool in their tin for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the marshmallow icing: Place the sugar, golden syrup and water into a saucepan or a shallow frying pan and cook on a high heat until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage – this is when the bubbles in the mixture almost start to stick together and would drop off a spoon in a smooth, slow stream. This could take about 2 minutes on a high heat. When it reaches this stage, remove from the heat.
In the bowl of a freestanding mixer or a food processor, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Now, with the machine on a low speed, slowly and evenly pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl. Continue to beat on a low speed until all the hot sugar is in the mixing bowl.
Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whipping until the mixture becomes thick, glossy and cool. Add the vanilla extract, if using, towards the end of the mixing process.
This icing is easiest to work with while it is still a little warm, so try to use it right away. If you have some left over, store it in the fridge overnight, but we would not recommend keeping any unused icing for longer than that. You will need to beat it again gently with a spoon or spatula if using straight from the fridge.
Once the cakes have cooled, ice them with the marshmallow icing and decorate with some of the broken Oreo pieces.