Toffee Popcorn cupcakes
Isn't it ace when you decide you want to make some cupcakes and you know you've got just the right cases for them? That's what happened here. Almost two years ago I bought these cupcake cases because I loved the red stripey ones - they made me think of popcorn and also for some reason, the circus (?!). So when I discovered a bag of toffee popcorn in the cupboard at Christmas - seriously, I have no idea where it came from! - I decided to make these popcorn cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home book to take along to a post Christmas gathering with some friends and I knew these cases would be perfect for them.
These cupcakes were so light and fluffy with nice little crunchy toffee bursts hiding inside! The frosting was very sweet and you didn't need a lot of it - for that reason, even though the cases worked well with the cupcakes they also made them very difficult to eat... it was so hard to peel them out of the cases, and even when you'd done that the cakes are quite deep so hard to get that perfect mouthful of cake plus frosting (at least without dislocating your jaw). So, I think a lot of people resorted to eating off the frosting first and then wrestling with the cake cases to eat the cake, when I think these are cupcakes that really need to be eaten as one with the topping.
Anyway, I would still use these cases every time as they fit the popcorn cupcakes so well... the only other annoyance was that there wasn't 12 stripey ones, so there are two rogue dotty cases in there!
Here's the recipe, if you want to try them yourselves.
70g unsalted butter, softened
210g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
210ml whole milk
2 large eggs
80g toffee popcorn
Preheat oven to 170c and line a 12 hole deep muffin tin with cases.
Mix the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in an electric mixer until they have a crumb like consistency.
Mix together the eggs and milk in a jug by hand.
With the mixer on a slow speed, gradually pour half the egg/milk mixture into the mixer and mix until combined. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is smooth and thick, and no lumps remain.
Turn the speed back to low and gradually pour in the remaining egg/milk mixture, and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and combined.
Spoon the batter into the cases, filling them two thirds full. Place four pieces of popcorn onto each unbaked cupcake.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
500g icing sugar, sifted
160g unsalted butter, softened
50ml whole milk
60g toffee popcorn, chopped
50g toffee popcorn, to decorate
Mix the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer on low speed until combined and no large lumps of butter remain. Gradually pour in the milk with the mixer still on a low speed. When the milk is incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Stir the chopped popcorn through the frosting, and mix until incorporated. Top the cupcakes with the frosting and decorate with the leftover popcorn.