Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Peanut Butter and Vanilla Cupcakes

This is my new favourite cake. A vanilla and peanut butter flavoured base (it's actually more of a muffin than a cake), with soft, swirly vanilla icing topped with salty honey-roasted peanuts. Oh yes. It's good. There aren't many words for this (I'm still love-struck with it) so I'll just continue with the recipe below. The recipe is adapted from one by Leiths for peanut butter and chocolate muffins, but I've tinkered with it to include the vanilla, increased quantities to make more of them and obviously changed the icing. I like the denser, more robust muffin mixture instead of the light crumb of a proper cupcake with this; the peanut butter makes it somehow more fudgy and filling. Nutty, sweet and salty: you have to try this!




Peanut Butter and Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12-16 cakes

Ingredients
For the cakes:
  • 340g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 160g smooth peanut butter
For the topping:
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 100g soft, unsalted butter
  •  ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp hot water from the kettle
  • Honey roasted peanuts, about 4 per cake.
Method:
  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  2. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a bowl.
  3. In another bowl or a large jug, mix the melted butter, eggs, milk, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix well with a fork - the peanut butter will take a while to mix in.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir well to combine.
  5. You will have quite a stiff batter - add a few drops of milk to loosen if need be.
  6. Pour into a silicone muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes. When done, take out and leave to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, get on with the frosting. Beat together the icing sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and loosen the mixture with hot water from a recently boiled kettle. When smooth and soft, spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped nozzle.
  8. When the caked are cool, pipe a swirl on top of each cake - you only need a small amount of icing - and then sprinkle the nuts on top.
What do you reckon? Would you eat one?