Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baking for Nightshift- Afghan Cupcakes

When I got up yesterday after once again trying to sleep in this heat, I thought I might make something to take to work as for the first night I worked I had been busy at the shop replacing the things we had stolen when our door got kicked in so ran out of time to bake. My camera had also been replaced so I was also really keen to try it out and get back to taking good photographs instead of the ones I was getting from the borrowed cameras I have had to use. As well as this a lovely woman I work with called Ning, who has been away for ages, was meant to be working so I wanted to make something to welcome her back to work. Unfortunately she ended up cancelling her shift so she wasn't even there. Well all that meant was that there were more cupcakes for us and these ones were worth coming to work for. 

The two cupcake books I use the most are 'Crabapple Bakery' and this one which is called 'Divine Cupcakes'. Not only are the ideas really good but the recipes always taste wonderful and are no-fail, so to my mind that makes them both perfect cookbooks. I have often eyed this recipe up as I LOVE afghan biscuits. For any non-Kiwi's who may be reading this blog these are chocolate biscuits made with cornflakes with chocolate icing and topped off with a walnut. I had always thought this recipe might be a bit more time consuming but I was wrong. It did have a couple of steps to it but it was easy and well worth it. The cake itself was light and had a wonderful chocolaty flavour, the walnuts enhancing it. But the real star were the pralined cornflakes on top. They totally complete the cake and bring all the flavours of the afghan into it. The crunch also complements the lightness of the cake and the smoothness of the buttercream icing. The main thing I did differently when I made these is change the method to how I think cupcakes turn out the best so I will do that when I give you the recipe. I also made 2/3 of the recipe and got 19 cupcakes from the mixture but I will give the full ingredient list here.

Afghan Cupcakes 

185 gm butter
2 tsp vanilla
380 gm caster sugar
3 eggs
300 gm self raising flour
100 gm cocoa
250 ml water
150 gm chopped walnuts

Oven to 175 C and line cupcake tins.

Cream the butter and add the sugar in two halves creaming well after each addition. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each. Add vanilla.

Sift flour and cocoa and add to the butter mixture with the water. Mix until smooth. Stir in the walnuts..

Bake about 20 mins then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pralined Cornflakes

350 gm caster sugar
4 c cornflakes

Slowly melt the sugar in a pot making sure you watch it well so it doesn't darken and burn before all the sugar is melted. Swirl the pot to mix the sugar (don't stir). Once it is melted and reaches a golden amber colour add the cornflakes, mix quickly and tip onto a baking paper lined try. Pull apart gently to make small clumps (or you can also break it up once it has cooled).

Decorate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing and the pralined cornflakes.

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