Halloween Treats

As we get deeper into the spooky season of Halloween, what could be more fitting to bake than some scary mummy cupcakes; (using the word ‘scary’ very loosely that is)! For me, this time of year has always been about the yummy treats on offer above anything else. As I was deciding upon which Halloween Treats to bake this year I was bombarded by so many amazing new ideas I’d never seen before. It’s fantastic what you can find on the internet these days... there’s a tutorial for pretty much everything!

These are the sort of cupcakes that look really impressive but are so simple to create. Although I did add my own little surprise inside… but you’ll have to read on to find out all about it.

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So I love to get all my ingredients out before I start baking. The cake recipe I used here is actually an alternative version of a Stork recipe for a salted caramel chocolate fudge cake. You can find the recipe, including all the ingredients I have used here

I tend to make the icing first for this particular recipe as I find it takes so long to cool and set before being ready to put on the cakes. This way, the 2 types of icing can cool whilst I make and bake the cupcakes themselves. So to make the salted caramel icing, it’s as simple as popping the brown sugar, cream and salt into a pan and boiling them up together then adding in the butter once the mixture has cooled a little. I then let this cool a little further before putting the whole pan in the fridge to set the caramel. For the ganache icing, I just pop the chocolate and cream in a pan until melted together and then let it cool before popping that into the fridge too!
Now that the icing is all done, its time to crack on with how to actually make the cupcakes.

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So first things first I just cream the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk as I find this makes for a lighter and fluffier sponge than if you follow the ‘all in one’ method. Then I add each of the other ingredients one by one, whisking after adding each one. Once all the ingredients for the sponge have been mixed together, I split the mixture into two bowls and add 55g of melted plain chocolate to one and 55g of melted white chocolate to the other. I find this method of creating a chocolate sponge is much tastier and makes for a much nicer sponge texture than using cocoa powder. Once the two separate mixtures are complete, its as simple as spooning alternate spoonfuls of each mixture into the cupcake cases and marbling the two together using a metal skewer, then popping them into the oven for around 20-25 minutes at 180 Celsius (for a fan oven)! This usually makes about 12-14 cupcakes for me.


I was really impressed with how these turned out. A mistake I always tend to make is filling the cases up too much in the hope of creating amazing giant muffins, when really you just end up with a messy overflow of cake. I filled these all up around half way up the cupcake cases and they all turned out around the same size which was perfect for turning into my Halloween mummies.
So, now its time to let you in on my little secret surprise hiding inside the cupcakes. With a sharp knife I cut a circular hole into the top of each cupcake, going as deep as about ¾ down into each cupcake. Then, getting the salted caramel from earlier on back out of the fridge, I just spooned 1 teaspoon of the salted caramel into the hole in each cupcake and popped the top back in. This creates the yummiest filled cupcakes, and is a tasty surprise for those who don’t expect it! (Don’t forget!! Cupcakes need to be fully cold before adding an icing, or you’ll just end up with a sticky mess)

 

 

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Usually I end up with a lot of salted caramel left so I put a bit on the top of the cupcakes after filling them and then put the cupcakes in the fridge to set before adding the chocolate ganache. Once the caramel had hardened a little I applied a thin layer of the ganache. The great thing about these mummy cupcakes is that the icing doesn’t have to be neat at all; for me that is such a time saver!
The next bit is where it gets a little technical, but don’t worry, when I say technical, we’re still far from the skill level needed for the Bake Off’s technical challenge! Now this next ingredient isn’t part of the original Stork recipe… its regal icing! I just bought mine for £1 from Tesco as its so much easier than trying to make your own… saying that, if you’ve got the time and you’re up for a bit of DIY, by all means make your own. I rolled out half of my icing into a (near enough) square shape. The icing needs to be pretty thin for this next step as you’ll begin to layer pieces on top of each other. First cut strips (about 6mm thick) out of your icing with a sharp knife. Then cut these strips into the same length as the diameter of your cupcakes.
With these smaller strips, I layered them across the cakes in a zig-zag fashion, leaving a gap for some eyes to be added later.

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Next I cut out some eyes from the left over icing and, popped a red ball in the middle of each to create the eyes of the mummies.

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I think they looked great like this however I wanted to add a more ‘halloweeny’ effect to them so I made them look dirty and old and gave them that ‘back from the dead’ vibe. To do this, all I did was mix cocoa powder with hot water and grabbed a paintbrush to add a muddy look to the white icing.

 

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If I may say so myself, these tasted amazing, and I definitely think the oozing salted caramel surprise inside makes them that bit tastier! The mummy cupcakes are perfect for any Halloween event, from kids parties or ‘trick or treat’ treats to a yummy Halloween dinner party dessert!

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