I had recently seen cupcakes with shards of toffee on, which got me wondering if I could make nests out of toffee. It took me three attempts, but I got there in the end. I wanted the cupcakes' flavour to match the toffee nests so, being a big fan of toffee apples, I decided to make apple and maple syrup cupcakes with a chocolate butter cream top. Here's how I did it.
Maple apple cupcakes (makes 12 muffin size cakes)
150g (1 cup) gluten free self raising flour
60g unsalted butter
110g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60ml maple syrup
200g grated apple
453g chocolate butter cream
- Preheat oven to 160-180 deg C.
- Line muffin tray with paper cases.
- Beat flour, butter, sugar, eggs, cinnamon and maple syrup in a bowl with an electric mixer until mixture is a pale colour.
- Stir in apple and divide the mixture between the paper cases.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place cakes on wire rack to cool.
- When cakes are cool, pipe butter cream icing in a swirl on top. I used chocolate butter cream, but after tasting, my friends and I thought they would taste better with vanilla.
I made three batches of toffee because on my first attempt I left the toffee too long in the saucepan and it went black. The second batch worked well but I was not quick enough with it so it started to set in the pan. I tried re-heating it, which was a disaster as it turned white and powdery! So, on the third attempt I worked really quickly with the toffee before it started to set in the pan. I guess the saying is true - the third time really is a charm!
220g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- Coat the back of the muffin tray in olive oil (it has to be olive oil).
- Combine sugar, water and vinegar in a heavy based saucepan.
- Sir over heat till sugar dissolves and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Boil uncovered without stirring until the liquid goes a golden colour. I used a sugar thermometer and took the mixture off the heat when the thermometer read 'crack'.
- Wait for bubbles to subside.
- Using a wooden spoon, drizzle the toffee onto the back of the muffin tray to create nests.
- Allow toffee to set at room temperature, and then carefully lift the nests from the muffin tray and place on top of cakes.
- Fill with mini chocolate eggs.