Where I used to work, when someone decided to leave for a new job/career break/miscellaneous life change, my lovely friend Emma would make themed cupcakes for their last day. (Incidentally, Emma has started a cupcake blog which you can find here. Have a look!). When I found out a friend, Anna, from where I am now working is leaving for a new job, I remembered the tradition that Emma had introduced and decided to make some cupcakes using Anna’s favourite chocolate bar. It also gave me an excuse to do some more chocolate bar themed baking, after the Mars bar successes!
When I asked Anna to name her top three chocolate bars, she replied with “galaxy… galaxy… and galaxy”. While this gave me a definite theme (!), it didn’t seem like the most exciting thing to theme a cake around. I was wrong. These are amazing. I might be a genius. A chocolate cake genius. Yes, I like that.
The cupcake recipe is adapted almost beyond recognition from a Malteser cupcake recipe in Eat Me and is used for both the chocolate and caramel cupcakes. It uses melted Galaxy chocolate and Galaxy hot chocolate powder.
For the chocolate cupcakes, I used a buttercream icing with melted Galaxy chocolate. For the caramel cupcakes, I made caramel for the centre and a caramel buttercream for the topping. I iced half the cupcakes with the chocolate buttercream and then mixed the leftover chocolate buttercream into the caramel buttercream and used this to top the remaining cupcakes, which I had filled with caramel. I then topped the chocolate cupcakes with a piece of Galaxy chocolate and the caramel cupcakes with a piece of Galaxy caramel chocolate. I’m hoping this marks a return to the whole baking and blogging malarky!
For the cake:
225g/8 oz butter, at room temperature
200g/7 oz Galaxy milk chocolate, broken into pieces
4 large eggs
150g/5 oz soft brown sugar
2 tbsp Galaxy hot chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa powder
410g/14.5 oz can of evaporated milk
250g/8.8 oz self-raising flour
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
Galaxy chocolate and Galaxy caramel chocolate, for decoration
For the caramel filling (enough to fill half the cupcakes):
110ml/4 fl oz double (heavy) cream
1 level tbsp light muscavado sugar
30g/1 oz caster (superfine) sugar
For the chocolate buttercream (enough to ice half plus a bit spare):
200g/7 oz Galaxy chocolate
225g/8 oz butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp milk
250g/8.8 oz icing (confectioner’s) sugar
For the caramel buttercream (enough to ice half plus a bit spare):
60g/2.1 oz butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp milk
220g/7.75 oz light brown sugar
240g/8.5 oz icing (confectioner’s sugar)
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) fan oven/180C (360F) conventional oven/gas mark 4 and line two muffin tins with paper cases (there will be some mixture left over, I cooked mine in two batches).
Put the butter and chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir every so often until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow to cool briefly, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Stir in the sugar.
Pour half of the evaporated milk into the mixture and stir in. Then sift in half of the flour, the Galaxy hot chocolate and the cocoa powder and stir well. Stir in the rest of the evaporated milk, and then the other half of the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.
Once the mixture is smooth, divide the mixture between the paper cases. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes (ine took 25 minutes in a 170C fan oven).
Once cooked, allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the caramel. Put the caster sugar into a small pan and set over a medium heat stirring every so often until the sugar has melted and is dark and golden. Remove from the heat and immediately pour in about a quarter of the cream (be careful, it will bubble up). Then stir like mad with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the rest of the cream in three stages, adding the muscavado sugar with the second addition of cream and stirring well each time. Once all the cream has been added and the mixture is smooth, leave to cool until thickened (I put mine in the fridge for about 15 minutes once the pan had cooled). Use a knife to cut a small cone out of the top of half the cupcakes (cut a circle about 2cm diameter with a knife inserted about halfway into the cake, at an angle pointed towards the middle). Fill the hole with caramel and then put the top back on, pressing it down.
To make the chocolate buttercream, melt the chocolate in a small pan over a very low heat, stirring every so often until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Meanwhile, beat together the butter, milk and sifted icing sugar until smooth. This took a minute or so with an electric handwhisk. I dread to think how long it would take by hand. Beat in the melted chocolate until smooth, then use this to ice the plain chocolate cupcakes. Keep any leftover icing.
To make the caramel buttercream, put the butter, milk and light brown sugar in a saucepan over a high heat and stir until melted together. Bring to the boil and boil for 1 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat and stir in half the sifted icing sugar until smooth. Allow to cool slightly and then stir in the other half of the icing sugar. Beat together until smooth. At this stage, you can stir in any leftover chocolate buttercream, if you want to. Top the caramel-filled cupcakes with this icing.
The caramel icing is best used immediately but, if you need to make it in advance, you can reheat it and loosen it up with a little milk or double cream.