Sunday, 4 September 2011

What's not to like?

Remember when Hershey's came to Australia and we had cookies and cream chocolate readily available for the first time?  Where did they go? Cookies and cream is such a fabulous combination.  Another fabulous thing is a cupcake.  Why not merge the two?  I have seen many recipes for cookies and cream cupcakes but for some reason I decided to come up with my own recipe and can I tell you these. were. delicious.  My brother ate at least six of these babies, although that isn't necessarily a good indication of how good they are as he tends to eat excessive amounts of everything - five packets of two-minute noodles at once, three chocolate bars in one catch my drift.  Hang on.  I'm not really selling my cupcakes here, am I?! They are great and I will most certainly be making them again.  And again.  And again.  

I decided to tweak a favourite recipe of mine, The Crabapple Bakery White Chocolate Mudcake recipe, and I kinda made the frosting up.  Luckily it worked, quite well in fact!  

First you sift the flour and baking powder together and set it aside.  

Melt the chocolate, butter, sugar and milk in a metal bowl over a saucepan of slow simmering water, stirring constantly.  In my house constantly is once every few minutes.  Those pesky gorgeous kids keep getting in the way!

A good tip is to put a tea towel around the rim of the saucepan to stop the bowl from slipping

Set this mixture aside until it comes to room temperature.  I normally allow a minimum of fifteen minutes.  

Crack two eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly.  Add the vanilla.  

Try to use good quality free range eggs if you can.  It really does make a difference.  
When the chocolate mixture is cool, gradually add the flour to the mixture while lightly whisking.  

This is a trick that I discovered that really helps to stop the mixture becoming lumpy, a recurring problem for this recipe.  I know it is hard to comprehend how I could make something without a KitchenAid, but there you have it.  Don't worry.  I use it for the frosting.  Phew.  

Now comes the best part.  

I find Oreos kinda boring on their own and wouldn't really choose to eat them, but wow, once they are added to a liquidy (made up word, I know, but it perfectly suits what I am trying to describe so :-P) substance they are  I experimented with a few different ways of adding the Oreos to my cupcakes.  I put whole Oreos in the bottom of the patty pan - 

and I crushed ten Oreos up and added them to the remaining mixture.  Fill your patty pans - 

I like to fill the pans to about four fifths with this batter. 
Bake for approximately twenty-five minutes at 150 degrees , although my oven is really hot so I tend to drop the temperature to about 140.  Damn.  You'll have to make a few batches until you find what is right for your oven.  

The end result of the cupcakes with the whole Oreo was interesting!  The Oreo floated up in a few of them and stayed at the bottom in the rest.  

The ones with the crushed Oreos looked fabulous and I was positive that I would prefer them over the floating Oreo ones!  

Don't these look great? I made some mini ones for the kidlets, too.
Dear husband and I had a taste test and both decided that we liked the ones with the whole Oreo better.  It was almost like a brownie inside a cupcake.  Yum.  But then I had another of the crushed ones today and it had really big chunks and I decided that it was my favourite.  But the frosting.  Oh the frosting.  It was a buttercream with crushed Oreos added but is was ssssssooooooo good.  I could have eaten the whole bowl.  I forgot to take photos before my gluttonous brother arrived and by the time I got around to it there was only one lonely frosted cupcake left.  

Do yourself a favour.  Make these now.  

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

2 cups plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
250 grams unsalted butter
150 grams good quality white chocolate
2 cups castor sugar
1 cup full cream milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Oreos, minimum

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.  Set aside.  

Place a metal bowl over a saucepan of slowly simmering water.  Place the butter, chocolate, sugar and milk into the bowl and stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside until it has cooled to room temperature.  

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150 degree Celcius and place patty pans into cupcake pans. Lightly whisk two eggs and add the vanilla. 

When the chocolate mixture is cool, add the egg mixture and gently fold.  Gradually add the flour mixture, whisking lightly as you go to prevent lumps from forming.  

If you are going to use whole Oreos, place them in the patty pans and gently pour or spoon the batter over the top.  If you are using crushed Oreos then crush twelve or more of them with the back of a spoon in a bowl until they are the desired consistency and add to the batter.  Spoon the batter into the patty pans.

Bake for approximately twenty-five minutes.  Cool in tins for ten minutes before turning out to cool completely on racks.  Do not frost for at least 45 minutes.  

Cookies and Cream Frosting

200 grams unsalted butter, softened
600 grams pure icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons full cream milk
12 crushed Oreos

Beat the butter until smooth.  Gradually add the icing sugar, beating after each addition.  Once all of the sugar is added beat for 3 minutes to create a creamy consistency and take away some of the yellow of the butter.  Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.  Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency.  Crush the Oreos in a bowl with the back of a spoon and add to the frosting mixture.

Spoon the frosting onto the cupcakes and spread.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy the cupcakes as much as we did! 

Susie xx

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