Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Last week on my last day before my one-week holiday, my boss asked me what I was going to do during my vacation. "I'm going to turn twenty-nine", I answered. "So you're going to bake cake?!", he said, smiling. And I answered that I was going to do that anyway, but, of course, my birthday is always the perfect occasion to have myself a little cake festival, as I like to call it. I had a few friends over yesterday to celebrate and I made sure they were going to get enough sweets. Next to cream cheese brownies (no birthday party without cream cheese brownies), a plum and an apricot cake, I made these peanut butter cupcakes which were also a big hit. A sweet and salty treat for the addict ;-)

(slightly adapted from: Home Sweet Home by Tarek Malouf and the Hummingbird Bakery)

Makes about 12-16 cupcakes

For the sponge:
70g soft butter
210g plain flour
250g sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
210ml whole milk
2 large eggs
40g crunchy peanut butter

For the frosting:
500g icing sugar
160g soft butter
50ml whole milk
30g crunchy peanut butter

For the decoration:
salted peanuts

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

In a bowl mix butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with an electric hand mixer until they form a crumb-like consistency. In a jug, mix milk an eggs. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour half of the liquid into the crumb mixture and mix thoroughly until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth and thick, with no lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Once all lumps are gone, turn the speed back down and gradually pour in the remaining liquid, continuing to mix until the batter is smooth and combined. Add the peanut butter and mix through, making sure it is evenly mixed through the batter.

Spoon the batter into your paper cases, filling them two-thirds full. I usually use my ice-cream scoop for this. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

In a bowl, mix icing sugar and butter together on low speed until combined and there are no large lumps in the butter. Gradually pour in the milk whole mixing on low speed. When all the liquid is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat the frosting until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix well until the frosting is even and smooth.

Spoon generous amount of the frosting onto each cupcake, then gently smooth over with a palette knife, making a swirl at the top if you wish. Top each cupcake with chopped salted peanuts.

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