Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

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I was recently given Peggy Porschen’s exquisite book ‘Boutique Baking’ (by a friend who knows me too well) and as you can imagine I was a) absolutely thrilled and b) couldn’t wait to try out some of her delicious recipes. Peggy is renowned for her exquisite cupcakes so I thought I’d try out the Parlour’s most popular recipe – Sticky Toffee Cupcakes. The caramel filling makes the date and pecan sponge incredibly moist whilst the cream cheese and caramel icing is simply to die for. Perfect as teatime treat or serve as a scrumptious pudding.

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So here’s how (makes 12):

Cake mixture

  • 35ml water (for soaking the dates)
  • 145g pitted dates, chopped
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 145g self-raising flour
  • 120g Muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 70g chopped pecans, toasted
  • 100g soft caramel (or dulce de leche)

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Sugar Syrup

  • 75ml water
  • 75g caster sugar

Caramel Icing

  • 100g cream cheese
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 200g soft caramel (or dulce de leche)

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To make the soft caramel:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over a low heat until golden brown and thick in texture

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Line a cupcake tray with paper cases and pre heat the oven to 175C (155C fan)
  2. Place chopped dates into a bowl and pour over boiling water
  3. Leave to soak for 20 minutes
  4. Drain and add vanilla extract
  5. Mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  6. Whisk eggs together and pour into sugar mix
  7. Sift in flour and bicarbonate until well combined
  8. Add in dates and chopped pecans and spoon into the cupcake cases until two thirds full
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown (or skewer comes out clean)

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To make sugar syrup:

  1. Mix water and sugar together over a low heat until sugar dissolves
  2. Once the cupcakes have been out of the oven for 10 minutes, use a pastry brush to brush syrup over the top of the cupcakes
  3. Leave to cool before scooping out the top of the cupcakes with a melon baller and pipe in soft caramel

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Caramel icing:

  1. Mix together butter, cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth
  2. Slowly pour in soft caramel until well combined
  3. Put mixture into a piping bag and pipe into a swirl on the cupcakes

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Please note that I have adapted this recipe slightly from the one in Peggy’s book.

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