Sticky Chocolate, Caramel and Fudge Chunk Muffins

I’m the first to admit that summer makes me more than a little lazy. Kitchen time has definitely lessened in the past couple of months; who wants to be slaving over a hot stove when it’s already sticky and warm out*.
(*I know it’s not that warm in the UK. But I need some excuse for my laziness!)

These muffins were made a couple of months back, and my poor brain struggles to remember why. I have a feeling that Rob was off road-tripping with the band several nights in a row, and in my boredom out of sheer niceness I made these the first evening, so he’d have something nice to take away the next day.

The observant among you may recognise the ingredients for these – yes – they currently feature as my blog header :-)
Why oh why would you buy packets of pre-cubed chocolate and fudge chunks, at twice or even more of the price of a big block, when you could let loose and chop up your own. (If you were so inclined you could also make your own fudge, but that’s a little more effort than I’m prepared to put in…). It also means there’s plenty of opportunity for taste testing and quality control…

I chose to make muffins rather than cupcakes, simply because they would be more dense and suited to the chunky flavours and textures.

I threw some very generous handfuls of fudge and chocolate into the muffin mix, and they baked to perfection, looking and smelling like absolute heaven!

Inside was a gorgeous gooey fudge-y chocolate mess. They set a little as the muffins cool, just enough to have sweet stickiness with every bite.

Did they need frosting? No, not at all. Did I want an excuse to add more chocolate at gooey-ness? Yes, yes I did.

The icing recipe comes from the rather delightful Primrose Bakery. If you’ve not heard of them before, they are a London-based cupcakery, who’ve grown immensely in the last few years and now supply shops such as Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason, and also extended their product range to include larger layer and celebration cakes.

Although I’ve yet to visit either of their shops, I bought and can heartily recommend iPhone app.

With super-cute pictures, and simple, easy-to follow instructions, it is a great source of inspiration, and also serves as a good reminder for the more basic recipes you may forget the contents of.

This is where I discovered heavenly caramel buttercream, it’s one of the best icings I’ve ever tasted and rather fun to make as well (I love it bubbling up in the pan!)

Ingredients

90g butter
135ml milk
330g light brown sugar
360g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Melt the butter, milk and brown sugar in a saucepan, and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Allow to boil for one minute, keep stirring as it will bubble up! (See photo below)

Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes, before beating in the icing sugar and vanilla essence (at this stage I substituted 30g icing sugar for 30g cocoa)

Leave to cool until it reaches the consistency you want. If you want to pour it, then it’s pretty much ready straight away. If you want to pipe it, as I did, it’ll need a good 30 – 60 minutes in the fridge first. (If you’re in a hurry add a little extra icing sugar to help thicken it up).
If it over-hardens, you can easily stir it up again, or pop over a low heat for a few seconds at a time.

Left – boiling up; Right – runny and ready to go!

I cooled my icing down to a pipeable consistency, before adorning the cakes with big swirls and more fudge chunks.

Wickedly good – I’m quite glad Rob took them away with him before they all had a chance to add themselves to my waistline!

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